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Chippewa29

Retention of basic skills

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This thread is an offshoot of the one about BOR and SMC. While I don't remember all of my Scout skills I learned while getting my ranks back in the 80's, I do remember quite a bit (I tend to learn slow, but remember long). How do you help reinforce the basic skills over a period of time so that the Scouts can actually use them when the need arises?

 

My thought is that it should be part of the pre-meeting activity, such as having a rope bucket so the Scouts can tie a knot, etc. Speaking of which, how many of you actually conduct pre-meeting activities and how do they work?

 

Any other thoughts on this?

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We don't do this as a pre-meeting activity, but at least twice a month, we hold Knot of the Night. Each Scout is required to tie at least two knots they need to know for rank. This has worked well and the Scouts have retained what they have learned.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Do 'em! Not to be smart mouthed, but the best way I've found is to keep practicing them. We have knot contests from time to time. We get them to use them camping. We let them cook. We have stretcher relays. We let the older boys teach the younger, and so in.

 

I've seen lots of guys go to get their Eagle, who couldn't tie a bowline to save their life ( hey, that's not a bad pun! ).

 

I was in the same boat when I got back into Scouting. I could remember very little Scoutcraft, but I did remember a lot of the First Aid. But most importantly, I remembered how to work as a team, how to accomplish goals, how to deal with adversity, and so on.

 

THOSE are the most important Scouting skills.

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In our troop the SM started carrying a rope with him for SM conferences. During the conference, he would ask the scout to tie a few knots. The kids are so good at knots, that at the last campout he took his compass out and had them shoot bearings. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but repetition brings the skills home

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As a Webelos leader I was seen walking around a pack campout last fall with a piece of rope over my shoulders. Got some strange looks and some questions. But I also taught a few Webelos how to tie a square knot that weekend. The ones who said "I know how, I did it before" were then to instruct the new scouts or a younger scout. They fell for it hook, line and sinker!

 

For myself if you give me a reason to do something -- like it will keep my tarp up, then it will stick with me.

 

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On any outdoor activity we go on, one of the first things we do is issue a peice of rope to each scout or leader. While we are doing activities and have some slack time or are taking a hike and take a break, out comes the rope. The SPL or Who ever is in charge picks a knot or 2 and we all tie it. It works good to reinforce knot tying and is reletivly painless to do.

 

Paul Lamson

SM

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The lesson of all this is that any skill that is not practiced is lost over time. How many of you had to learn Morse Code for First Class and can still use it? I learned it once but never had to use it and can't remember diddly.

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