Everything posted by LHScoutmaster
Thanks everyone. Keep the great ideas coming. It is reassuring to know I have already been doing some of these things without really thinking about why. Back in February I organized our first every cooking competition campout. We had each patrol plan out a lunch, dinner, dessert, and breakfast. The adult leaders and SPL got to score each meal based on taste, presentation, creativity, etc. It was a close battle, but in the end, it was the oldest scout patrol that actually won the competition. They participated and really seemed to enjoy it. At our last meeting, we have to two youngest patrols play a game involving tying bowlines and 'rescuing' their patrol-mates. The same older patrol facilitated the game and again had a good time and was not disruptive. I definitely agree with Twocubdad that sometimes you have to dictate/mandate from the SM position if you want to change the culture. It is not necessarily that they boys don't want to do things, but more that they don't know how. When you show them, they will pick up with it. One of the next things on my list is getting the boys planning meeting activities. We have discussions in advance and I ask them what do they want to do at the next meeting or two. Blank stares or sarcasm all the way around. I will suggest why don't we do x, y, and z and they will all agree. I am hoping that at some point they pick up on this and actually bring some ideas forward. Thanks for everyone's help. I am learning a lot here. Keep 'em coming!
Thanks everyone for the responses. I appreciate the comments. Qwazse - great ideas reinforcing the patrol method. I have started doing some of that, especially competitions between the patrols. That really seems to grab the boys Basementdweller - before I got here, there really was no 'program' per say. Meetings were times to play football and camp outs consisted of hiking and eating pop tarts. I am starting to work in a program where the monthly campout is focused on some sort of scout skill and we use the meetings leading up to it to teach that skills. It's not yet where I want it, but we are making baby steps. Key problem is my SPL is one of the biggest opponents to doing scout stuff...cooking is too much work/gotta wash dishes...building a campsite gateway is too much work/you've just got to take it apart again. MattR - great note. Your situation does seem very similar to mine. I am working hard not to mandate change. I would like the boys to lead the change, but it is a challenge when your boy leaders do not want to change. I have some new ASMs with solid scouting backgrounds (Eagle scouts, OA) so they are onboard with the transition. We are spending most of our change efforts on the new guys (0-2 years in). That is 90% of the boys at this point, so I think the change will occur over time, probably more quickly than I expect. IM_Kathy - my class of oldest scouts absolutely does not want to teach (I already learned that stuff. I don't need to know it anymore), so again, we are focusing on the next class down where there is more interest.
Hello all, This is my first post so please go easy on me. I am a new scoutmaster leading a troop undergoing a significant amount of growth and I have a few questions for the seasoned folks here... My son joined our troop a little over 2 years ago. Before his class crossed over, the troop was 8-10 boys. We are now at 30 scouts, having just crossed over 12 new scouts in March. The area is really growing and we have a large Cub Scout pack behind us, so we are going to get even larger. Before we joined the troop, it was essentially a 'camping with friends' club. They checked off their scout requirements and moved on to other things. I became scoutmaster about 6 months ago and have been working to transition the troop to a more Boy Scout normal operation. We have implemented the patrol method, are starting to implement and reinforce scouting skills, etc. My issue is that almost all of my experienced boy leaders are from the old school, where you just didn't really have to do all that 'scouting stuff'. I am struggling to bring them along to lead the new guys because A) they don't know how/never had to and B) they don't really want to. I would rather not run the older guys off, but at the same time, I don't want them to poison the younger guys. Have anyone else ever been in a similar situation? Or if not, do you have advice on ways to approach this? Thanks for your help!