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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Welcome! And thanks for all you do for the youth!
    • Wow, that's a big challenge. Good for you. Words to an 11 year old aren't nearly as powerful as actions. Don't spend too much time talking. Rather, have an activity. Set up something in a park. Bring gear to look at. Have a slide show of trips you've been on.   If they're enthused about adventure and camping then you have something much more important than merit badges. If they're having fun then they'll stick around and learn what we want to teach them. That's the goal. With that said, you can make the merit badges part of the fun and adventure. Do a bunch of fun stuff and then tell them what they've completed and what's left to do to get the MB. A few will take you up on the offer. Then, at the court of honor, award the merit badge to the scout in front of the entire troop and tell him he did a great job. That can be more motivational than you talking about how important a MB is. With regard to the wealthier families and the poorer families, it's important to treat all the scouts the same. In this case some scouts need to earn the money. So make all the scouts earn the money that's spent. It would be a great lesson for all. Best of luck and keep us informed.
    • There is a very simple answer for that. They don't have do merit badges if they don't want to. The advancement program is completely voluntary. 
    • We always have: Fastest Car, Marathon Winner (the slowest car (which has to make it past the finish line to count)), Most Creative, Best Craftsmanship, and Scout's Choice. Every boy who enters a car receives a participation medal as well.  Of all the awards, the most coveted is easily the Marathon Winner, and we actually have two set of brackets to accommodate the competition for both the fastest and slowest cars. It's become easy to figure out how to make a car fast, but to make it slower than every other car while still making it all the way down the track? THAT can be just as tricky. And the nice thing is, there is no one "winner" of the evening. There are many, but of differing kinds, which I think makes the whole day much less stressful.
    • Thanks all - I am looking for insights anyone might be able to share working with urban poor youth.  My unit is located in a regentrifying neighborhood - if you are north on one side of a street - $650k home if you are south of that same street $100k homes (if that much).  There is a big discrepancy there and the urban affluent are just having kids and the urban poor have younger and older kids.  Any insights on how to approach an 11 year old boy about joining Scouts?  It's a tough putt... I often see this kids without their parents, had one boy join Scouts and his mom signed him right up.  I said I look forward to meeting your family. A campout came out and the mom had no idea she signed him up for Boy Scouts (despite the application saying Boy Scouts of America, that sometimes gives it away).  He has not been back.  I troll a neighborhood community center and the boys seem to have interest but their parents are never around to understand what the boys might be getting into.  I have met some really great kids who were enthused about adventuring, camping, hiking, canoeing, but worried that when it comes to Merit Badges the enthusiasm drops.

      Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated and thanks for the warm welcome!
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