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Hiking Staff - Useful Den Doodles

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  • Hiking Staff - Useful Den Doodles

    I'm ADL for my son's Den. We'll be the Bear Den next year.
    The DL & I are trying to think of ideas to better encourage the boys' participation in recording their advancement.

    Our original DL didn't really utilize the instant recognition bead thing well at all, and this has continued this year as well. We just haven't made it a big part of the meeting. I've tried encourage our leaders to use it and I think it could work if we pushed it more, but I don't really think the boys care about getting a bead..... since many don't wear their uniforms enough, & frankly it is kind of boring.... Honestly, I hate the look of them on the uniform anyway....
    We've tried to use the wall chart thing, asking verbally, and sending emails, but the parents aren't really participating in letting us know their boys progress.

    I think the key is the boys and getting them to drive it.

    We are looking for something a bit more visual at the den meetings and hands on. I thought of the Den Doodle, but our DL suggested Indian spears with feathers, or hiking sticks. I think the spear thing is, well, cool and the boys would love it of course!..... but it's a bit too 'aggressive' and not really the 'image' of scouting I think.

    I'm pushing to make the beads, doodle, or whatever we do to be more of a formal part of the meeting. Take a few minutes after the prayer, pledge, and promise to have each boy report and record their progress since the last meeting and hang a feather or whatever. I think we could also use this time to encourage uniform wear, coach for incorrect patch placement, etc.... and maybe be more of an encouragement overall for attendance.

    Anyway, I like the hiking stick idea instead of a doodle....
    it's useful
    it fits the scouting image
    we could carry it over to WEBELOS
    its a good keep sake
    relatively cheap and easy to make

    but problems I see;
    stick 'fights' and boys doing what they do when they have sticks
    forgetting to bring it
    .... so the DL or I would almost need to keep them and bring them. 10 hiking sticks aren't really the easiest to transport and display at the meetings (we can't leave them there)

    So my questions:
    Anyone ever done this or similar?
    Any ideas for what to hang on the stick to show the progress toward ranks, etc..... that wouldn't fall off the first time it's used for a hike?
    Any ideas on how we could display our "useful Doodle" at den and pack meetings?

  • #2
    I used 6' closet rod walking sticks as part of the "uniform" for all the boys in the troop. The PL had the patrol flag on his stick. I have one of my own and I use a magnifying glass to record all kinds of information on it as to where I have been with it. A lot of the boys followed suit. It costs about $6 to make one and I always put a hook on the end so they can hang it in trees, pull down branches that are beyond reach, pick up stuff when wearing a backpack, etc. etc. etc. Hooked together they form a teepee which a poncho can be thrown over the top for a temp shelter for gear, with a piece rope and the pole and in an emergency double as stretcher poles. They can carve on them wood burn, add a grip, etc. and are very functional.

    If they start of the game of stick fights, they are confiscated, but the boys can buy a new one and start all over from scratch. I found that the boys really don't want to do that and so the stick fights never occurred.

    I never seemed to have any problem with them. Yes, they did forget to bring them to meetings, but then they forgot their neckers, etc. anyway on a regular basis, too.


    • blw2
      blw2 commented
      Editing a comment
      something like that is what I imagined, but with some sort of formal color code or other way to record progress toward rank..... to either add to or replace the instant recognition bead thing....

  • #3
    The boys with sticks and balls in the CO is a bad idea....

    I cannot tell you how many picture frames I have replaced.

    Blake you are talking boy scouts, not 8 and 9 year olds. It makes a huge difference.


    • jblake47
      jblake47 commented
      Editing a comment
      You are correct. The age and maturity of the boys makes a difference. However, if done correctly, it can still be done. One has to start teaching responsibility somewhere along the line.