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  • Retaining Older Scouts

    Ok Folks, I am teaching a class on retaining older scouts. I've done a bit of research and will be working on this more, but I would like to here your experiences, ideas to keep them, etc etc. Anything at all to help keep youth in. Below is my outline.

    How to Retain Older Scouts Outline
    I. "Why is a Blue Loop teachign this class?" Introduction of Myself

    II. Why Older Scouts Leave and Possible Solutions

    A. NEVER ASK AN ADULT CAN WHAT A SCOUT TELL YOU. How to Find out What's the
    problem.
    1. SM Conferences
    2. Boards of Review
    3. PLC meetings

    B. Train them. Trust them. LET THEM LEAD! Lack of Ownership/Trust.
    1. Start with Experienced Scouts mentoring New Scouts
    2. PLC and Patrol Method
    3. Keep helpful adults out of the way.

    C. OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING. Boredom
    1. Let Older Scouts run things
    2. Vary program.
    3. Look for opportunities for Older Scouts to do things on their own.
    4. Network with units/district/council for additional opportunities.
    5. Order of the Arrow
    6. Sea Scouts and Venturing

    D. Fail to Plan, And You Plan To Fail. Why planning is important.
    1. Let the scouts come up with the 6 to 12 month calendars.
    2. Need to plan around school events: SATs, dances, etc.
    3. Look for patterns in school events to aid in planning

    E. Lack of Communication/ NEED TO FIND A GOOD QUOTE
    1. Best events are worthless if no one knows about them.
    2. Patrol phone trees/ Peer contact
    3. Troop Newsletter
    4. Social media/ Internet communication

    F. Personal Life/ NEED ANOTHER GOOD QUOTE
    1. Family life: divorce, deaths, health problems
    2. School Life
    3. Social Life
    4. Counseling: Peer counseling and SM conferences

    G. Audience Input on things they have been told why Scouts left./ Brainstorming Solutions

    III. Resources to Help with Older Scouts
    A. Venture Patrol
    B. Roundtables
    C. Other Units as a better fit
    D. NYLT
    E. High Adventure
    F. OA
    (This message has been edited by Eagle92)

  • #2
    Eagle92, well done, I wish I could attend your class....

    Two things kept me involved in the troop after I made Eagle:

    - Adventure...my troop in AZ went to Philmont...when we moved, my troop in AK would have high adventure outings for senior scouts only. Very challenging stuff and excellent training beforehand.

    - Being treated like an adult/SM in training...as an SPL, I ran the meetings, came up with the yearly calendar and set monthly themes with the PLs. I attended all troop committee meetings, district roundtables and a few adult scouter training courses, as a 16 year old. I was surprised and happy that folks welcomed me to these venues, and I learned a heck of alot about scouting, but also how to conduct myself in these settings.

    Comment


    • #3
      A. I would never disrespect a blue loop, but if you feel it matters that's okay.
      E. how bout "Without vision the people perish"? You might want to have a backup in case a group of SMs walked in with whit canes!

      I think you're covering most of the bases.

      Comment


      • #4
        "- Being treated like an adult/SM in training.."

        Isn't this the way it's supposed to be? This should not come as a surprise to anyone. When trained, the older boys should be treated like adults. I'm thinking some boys are more scout savvy than many of the newbie SM's out there, at least from some of the other comments on the forum, that wouldn't be much of a stretch.

        This is not like someone flips a switch on someone's 18th birthday that makes them an adult.

        Stosh

        Comment


        • #5
          Quaz,

          Unfortunately there is a bit of a anti-Cub Scout bias in my neck of the woods. Although most of the really old fogeys know me from my DE and heavy involvement with the OA days, some of the younger ones who have the attitude may not know me since I've been Cubbing for the past 4 years. The Anti- Cub bias is slowly going away, and I praise our current SE for that, but the bias is going away too slowly for me. To quote Inigo Montoya, "I hate waiting."

          'Rat,
          HA is also what kept me involved as well. I was fortuante in that A) my council did have a HA program at summer camp, B)had BROWNSEA 22, which while not exaclty Philmont, definately tested our Scouting skills.

          'Rat and Blake,

          That's how it's suppose to be. But unfortunately it is not always the case. When I was a 21 y.o. chapter adviser, I had some "challenges" from some of the older leaders in the district due to my age.

          Please keep the comments coming, and if you got any relevent BP or GBB quotes that are relevent, please pass them along. Or anything you have heard during your careers in scouting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Blake: As a 19 year old Scouter, I have about 7-8ish years in the program. Some adults are receptive to an experience young adult leader, and some aren't. Seems to be a pretty even mix from my experience.

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe this deserves a different thread ... but I'll ask it here anyway.

              What do you for the older Scouts who are being held hostage by their parents? It would seem to me that a Scout in that position would be hard pressed to be interested, cooperative or anything close to functional as a Scout.

              The Scouts that I'm talking about are those who can't do (or get) X, Y or Z until they Eagle. There are a couple of those in my son's Troop, no driver's license until they Eagle. I'll bet that kid is one happy camper (no pun intended).

              My Scout was one of those, Grandparents, Dad, Uncles, Cousins, Mom all determined to drag him across the Eagle line, kicking and screaming if necessary. Mom has finally caught on...realized that Scouting is our boy's gig...not ours. He's all but done with Scouting now...done a couple of campouts and maybe 5 meetings this school year. High School (Marching Band, Honors Courses) have taken priority over reading Merit Badge books and filling out paperwork.

              Comment


              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                We have that with quite a few of our boys. Actually, the young women in our crew find it especially hard to balance obligations. Step 1: Teach parents to take it down a notch. Step 2: Encourage the youth to set priorities and let them know he/she's welcome whatever the choice. Step 3: encourage them to stay registered because it saves paperwork. Step 4: Have arms open every time they come back.

              • Krampus
                Krampus commented
                Editing a comment
                I think this is universal. Oddly enough the dads who were Eagle -- or Scouts but never made Eagle -- are the ones NOT dragging Billy over the finish line. We continue to recommend parents let their kids do things themselves (check their email, website, pack their pack, organize,their patrols, etc) but in the end it is a parenting decision. I think parents will either get it or they won't. We try to discuss this during SMCs that the boys need to take ownership of their scouting careers. But more often than not these boys are conditioned to have mom/dad wiping them and don't want to change. So if neither mom or dad change and the scout does not change, what more can one do?

                I *do* take the opportunity during each COH to ask the questions:

                - Do you do your son's homework?
                - Do you check and review all his home work and assignments?
                - Do sign him up for school courses or social events or other functions rather than let him do it?
                - Do you dress you son or lay out his clothes?
                - If you don't do these this for him outside of Scouts, why do you do these things for him when it comes to Scouts?

                I usually end with the Baden-Powell quote, "Never do for a boy what he can do for himself."
                Last edited by Krampus; 02-27-2013, 06:01 AM.

              • Sentinel947
                Sentinel947 commented
                Editing a comment
                Eagle is something to be earned by the Scout when they want to earn it. If they don't want to, that's fine. The programs goal is not to create Eagle Scouts, but good all around citizens and leaders. I encourage Scouts in my unit to stay involved with their other extra curricular activities. I think the sign of a good Scout is one who has a well rounded and balanced life. Too often parents have a goal, and that goal is their kid to earn Eagle for whatever reason, (maybe as a resume booster, or because dad got it). Those parents need to back off.

                Yours in Scouting,
                Sentinel947

            • #8
              At the same time, if the kid is honest about it, "my parents won't let me get a driver's license until I get Eagle", then I'd flat out ask him, "OK, well, what are you going to do about it?" Is it a screwed up situation? Sure. But helping boys deal with a screwed up situation honestly and fairly may be just what they need.

              Comment


              • WasE61
                WasE61 commented
                Editing a comment
                I doubt there is an "honest and fair" way to deal with the hostage situation. The kids is stuck under the thumb of the parent(s). About the most he could hope for would be to maneuver in such a way to try to pit the parents against one another, or get an outsider to exert pressure. Not sure that's a positive thing to learn.

            • #9
              Had a Scout was being pushed by Eagle dad and mom with the incentive of driver's license and car. On his way to getting Eagle too with 58 MBs. But he got tot he point that he rebelled and dropped out. Only needed to do is a project and POR.

              Definitely do not want them pitting one parent against the other. But need to encourage him to speak his mind, and take responsibility for his own life. That is the real goal of Scouting: molding a young man who can and will do what he wants and being an active, contributing member of society, not Eagle. And by talking to the parents and discusssing what he wants, is a first step.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by WasE61 View Post
                I doubt there is an "honest and fair" way to deal with the hostage situation. The kids is stuck under the thumb of the parent(s). About the most he could hope for would be to maneuver in such a way to try to pit the parents against one another, or get an outsider to exert pressure. Not sure that's a positive thing to learn.
                I don't see the difference between this and the kid who gets forced by his parents to join the band or a sports team that they don't want to be a member of. Ultimately it's not an ideal situation. I'd do my best to help him through the program. I'd like to get him to enjoy Scouting, but if he doesn't, I wouldn't mind talking to his parents for him.

                Sentinel947

                Comment


                • #11
                  Sentinel wrote: "I don't see the difference between this and the kid who gets forced by his parents to join the band or a sports team that they don't want to be a member of."

                  I completely agree. As parents, I think we have to give out kids options. But it should be their decision to engage (or disengage).

                  I've been involved in youth sports and band for a number of years, both as a coach and a sideline parent. I've only had one kid in baseball that was there and didn't want to be. He got in trouble in the dugout and left before the season was over.

                  Comment


                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yea. I'm not a parent, but I think parents should definetly get their kids involved in activities. Sometimes kids are afraid to try new things. However, if the child puts some time into Sports, Band, Scouts whatever and doesn't like it, he shouldn't be forced to stay in it and miss out on an activity he/she would enjoy better.

                    Sentinel947
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