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Fighting Apathy and Mediocrity

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For the past few years, I have seen a decline in the amount of passion, heart and drive that Scouters put into the Program. By the Grace of God, the local Order of the Arrow has managed to remain active thanks to a few effective leaders. But the troops within the district are in shambles. The District Executive does what he can, but he is not God, and cannot make miracles happen. It seems we are fighting apathy left and right. Any ideas?????????

We don't want to see Scouting fail in this area and if you have any stories about this subject and how you managed to overcome the "battle of apathy", please post 'em! Thank you!

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My suggestions, fortunately, or unfortunately, will require some work, and hopefully fun...

1. Fun, creative and new camporee ideas... our district just did one in the spring where the boys became reenactors in a Civil War theme. Camporee had about 40 re-enactors, divided between two camps. Boy Scout Camping was set up different... campsite set up as military streets, all cooking done on fires, no lights, except lanterns (flashlights in tents only). The weekend was set up as a drill, practice, lessons on life in 1863, and concluded with a re-enactment. Yes, it was a lot of work (I was on committee)

2. Troop displays... maybe at a community day/fair, etc. Go and build a cool signal tower or impressive bridge, put those scout skills to use and show them off to the community.

3. Get the boys to JLT, call your DE.

4. Plan far ahead for need camp ideas, our troop just returned from Florida (we're based in NJ) where the older boys (14 yrs+) were the crew on a 65 foot bareboat charter. Sailed from Key West to the dry Tortugas. Too much cool fun to mention.

5. Adult leaders may have to "hands on" guide some different ideas until the boys can take them and run.




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In my opinion, apathy in scouting has more to do with the adults that with the kids. I think universally, the one thing that makes a troop successful in commitment by the adults, the kids will follow if they see the adults are energized. Unfortunately, our society does not encourage or immediately reward adults who spend time and energy in social service organizations, so the energy that adults are giving is dwindling.


I think to succeed, Scouting needs to recognize what the adults are looking for and provide it, the adults will then energize the kids.


Most adults are looking for ways to connect with their kids and provide entertainment and well as lerning opportunities, not only for their kids, but for them as well to interact with the kids and with other adults.


I say, look around and what the adults in your area are needing. If you provide a structure that meets their needs, I think the kids will follow.

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