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Chippewa29

Repetitive Troop Meetings

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The Scouts in my troop have 5-6 games they like to play at troop meetings (it is the last thing before closing). I believe it would be good for them to not repeat a game at a troop meeting for a year. For instance, we have about 40-42 meetings a year (take out 4-5 for holidays, 4 for Courts of Honor, etc.) and I think it would help the Scouts to try a different game each week. Some would work, some wouldn't. We've been a little limited on games as we only have one patrol and 6-8 scouts per meeting. Once we grow this year, I think we'll have more options. One thing I'd like to do is have the Scouts not repeat the same game at troop meetings for one year, which would basically force them to come up with different ideas and use the Woods Wisdom program section more effectively. How do other troops do that? Do they let their Scouts rotate a small number of games or are they really good about trying different things?

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My Scouts get to the Troop meetings about 15 to 30 min. early & usually come up with a game on their own. Lately it has been a version of soccer/dodge ball. I know games are important, but I think if this is becoming a focus of the Troop meetings, something is missing. In my opinion, Troop meetings should be used to work on advancement, prepare for upcoming camping trips, etc. Games are extra as time permits.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I agree with you that the games are a "bonus" once the real work is done. Usually, after we open, the Scouts will work on rank advancement or some other skill, followed by a "business" session (menu or event planning, etc.) Once they are done with the business at hand (determined by the PL in consultation with me), then they can go and play a game (usually there is 10-15 minutes for this before we have to close).

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We had the same problem, though we seem to have alleviated it somewhat. We use games only as a gathering tool, before the meeting. The games are the choice of the people who show up (usually the same crowd each week). We figure if they're the ones doing it, we should make them happy. Our real problem was the openings and closings. We did the Scout Law, Scout Oath and the Pledge of Allegiance exclusively. Now we offer a small prize to the patrol that comes up with the best opening and closing for each month (each of the four patrols is assigned one meeting a month). The prize might be nothing more than not having to do latrine duty at the next campout, or getting some dough for indian bread. Now we are starting to get intrapatrol competition, and the quality of our opening and closing words of wisdom have increased exponentially.

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The danger with "letting the boys pick it" is that a few (or even a majority but not all) boys may consistently pick the same things - say basketball. Those who don't like that activity never get any respite because the others enjoy it.

 

I don't know if once a year is needed, but I could see once a quarter being a good goal.

 

Brad

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