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We have just added 7 new boys to our troop this week. We have been a small struggling troop for the last two years and this is a real blessing for us. I have an idea that I want to run past y'all as I value your opinions.


Here's the idea. I plan to run it past our PLC too. I'd like to do a "scout blitz". This would be a two meeting event taking 20 -30 minutes per meeting held in the gym of the school where we meet. At the first meeting I want to have the older scouts set up one station for each of the scout requirements that we can do in this fashion (see list)


1. Pledge of allegiance

2. Scout salute, handshake, sign

3. Tie Square knot

4. Scout oath

5. Scout law

6. Scout slogan, motto, Outdoor code

7. Describe the Scout badge


On this first night, the new scouts would move as a group from one station to the next and be told what they are expected to do to complete the requirement. We will explain each requirement and practice the Law, oath, motto, knots etc. Then they have a week to practice for the "big event"


On night two, we will set up the same stations but may have doubles depending on the number of older scouts available (eg. we may have two Scout Law stations). We'll take the new scouts and put them in the middle of the basketball court with the stations around the edges. The object will be for the new scouts to run to a station, perform the requirement, and get checked off by the older scout. I what to make it a contest to see who can become a scout the fastest. The other requirements (excluding SM conference) will already be taken care of. When the scouts are all signed off we will have the SM waiting to see them in the order they finish to sign off the SM conference and at the end of the meeting we will give out the scout patches.


I think this could be a fun and memorable event for the boys and give them incentive to study. Do any of you have any reservations about doing something like this, or know of any rules we need to be careful of, or anything that might make it even better?


Thanks for the help





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The use of learning stations sounds like a lot of fun. I would caution you on two things however.


1. I'm concernered about making this a race. When you emphasize "I what to make it a contest to see who can become a scout the fastest" it could easily be interpreted by a scout that, if he doesn't win, he is not as good a scout as another boy. The boy who finishes seventh should feel no less accomplished than the boy who finishes first. They are all Scouts.


2. Be careful how you interpret and teach requirement #7. this is often misunderstood by leaders. It reads "understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or Promise, Law, Motto, Slogan and the Outdoor Code. ".


They are not required to recite from memory, that does not become an advancement element until Tenderfoot.


This is meant to be a counseling session, where these ideals are explained and they discuss how they fit into their home, school, community and scouting life. And then the scout is asked to accept these ideals. It should not be rushed through. This is where the foundation of the scouting ideals is built.



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GREAT IDEA! Just drop the contest. Competition in scouting is great between patrols, between troops but not for rank advancement. A good troop can help scouts advance, often one patrol will help each other along and after 3-4 years of hard work (fun) they all will be Eagle Scouts.

Others in the same troop, others will not be active and usually drop out at star or life, but they still had a positive learning experience and will remember scouting fondly when they are adults.

Keep it fun and reward you scouts and your troop will grow.

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Weekender, your stations idea sounds good, but I too caution against "the race" idea. And perhaps more variety in the stations. More than one knot station, less memorization to make it seem less like school-type memorizing stuff. Maybe a station on knife handling safety or fire building instead. Or first aid or a compass station or how to set up a tent. Things that they would not have had in Cubs, if they were Cubs, or a combo of think stations and action stations. Or how about a real "trick questions" station...pull a paper out of hat and do what it says...name the scoutmaster?, the SPL?, state what an SPL is?, name the next rank in scouting?, when is our next campout? etc. Remember, they are just 11 yrs. max., keep it fun and mix it up a lot. Think like an 11 year old. He didn't join scouts for homework type memorization, but to get his hands on a tent, a knife, a compass and to make a fire and go do stuff.

I just listened to a scoutmaster have a meeting with the new scouts and their parents. He had a great power point presentation with graphics explaining the scout aims, merit badge program, upcoming trips like Philmont and summer camp. It was beautiful, from an adult perspective. But as soon as the boys could ask questions, not a one asked anything about what he'd just presented. The new scouts questions were all about how soon they could go camping, and use a knife and what the troop's tents looked like, etc.

Good luck with your new Scouts.

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I just sat with a new patrol and a Troop Guide last night. They went through the joining requirements, only 2 of the boys where able to get a scoutmaster conference. Do not forget that one of the requirements must be done with a parent, reviewing the pamphlet in the front of the book. Not all may be able to get their scouter badge the 1st or 2nd night.

Your way sounds way much cooler! :)


Try to spend some time answering questions, the new scouts had a many good questions.

And review some of the troop policies, some that I thought where important, you cannot carry a knife until you get a Totin Chip, this was a 15 minute discussion of what it is and what they need to learn. Scouts cannot carry matches until they get a fire chit.

It is up to them to get the requirements done (but many will be done at meeting and campouts) and signed off of, unlike Cub Scouts.


And start them thinking about a Patrol Name, Patrol Leader, and A patrol Leader, and what they do.

Every name they came up with started with Flaming! Arrows, Pickles, etc.


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If these 7 have their Arrow of Light they should be able to say from memory the Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan. The joining requirements should be a piece of cake for them. The "scariest" part is that Scoutmaster conference. They don't know what that means but they know that school conferences usually aren't good!


I just got back from a campout with my son's troop. This was the first or second campout for most of the boys. They aren't as concerned with getting things signed off as with getting their Totin' Chip. They want to get a hold of a knife and axe. They like to tie knots. They like to put up tents. I had my Webelos put up a tent last fall at a meeting. Some of them had never been in a tent. So if you have boys brand new to Scouting, they would enjoy just sitting in the tent for a few minutes.


At last night's troop meeting, the older scouts worked with the younger ones on the Tenderfoot physical fitness requirements. In 30 days, they will retest them. They boys really liked doing this.


Remember, keep it fun.


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If those boys have their Arrow of Light they are ALREADY scout rank! All of those requirements are required for their Arrow of light with the purpoase of making a smooth transition to Boy Scouts.


other than that - sounds like a great idea! Why not start off their tenderfoot that way ?

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Your very close Laura, many but not all of the Scout Badge requirements are completed in the Arrow of Light Badge. The new scout has only to tie a square knot, complete the pullout section of the Boy Scout Handbook on the dangers of drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse with his parents, and have a Scoutmasters Conference.


I agree with you that I would make every effort to complete these 3 requirements at the scout's first troop meeting so that he goes home with his Scout Badge. We let the scout's parents know at the corssover ceremony that we would like the pullout section completed before the scout's first meeting so that we can sent him home as a Scout.


Bob White

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The pullout section is now about Child Abuse. I just went through it with my son. It's main focus was sexual abuse, both by adults and other boys. One parent did ask me wasn't it the same thing we did with the boys as Cubs, no, it isn't. The Cub pullout talked about safety in general. The one in the Boy Scout handbook is aimed at the older boy. It is more explicit.


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Re: Making it a race. I don't think having individual scouts compete against one another is as productive as having patrol competition. A method I just learned (after low these many years) was to have each patrol make a car cutout from cardboard or heavy poster board. They then attach a piece of velcro to the back. The trainer has a long piece of felt marked off into lanes (horizontally) with graduations (vertically) every ten inches or so. After each skill is taught the boys have "X" seconds to answer three or four questions relating to the skill. How many points in the law. What a clove hitch is used for. What's first bleeding or breathing. Like that, and the cars are moved according to correct answers along the course. We have the instruction and then a quick question to gauge comprehention. This semmed to work really well for me when I did JLT with my guys because I was able to ask harder questions which required the boys to actually take notes which aids retention. Using this for "New Scouts " in relation to joining requirements I don't think so. If you read the wording cafully pretaining to AOL automatically insuring the "Scout" rake I think you will find it says "With the Scoutmasters approval" again this goes to quality control.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We had our "Scout" rally last night. It was a blast. It was the third meeting for our new boys. We took last week to make sure they all knew what we would be doing this week and told them to study all the requirements. We started by going around as a group to each of our 7 stations, introducing the older scout who would be testing them and properly demonstating the activity. After that we placed them in the center of the basketball court, explained the rules of engagement, and said we wanted to see how quickly they could complete all the stations. We did not make it a race specifically. Our times ranged from 17 and 1/2 minutes at the long end down to 4:51 for the fastest scout. When we handed out the badges we started at the slowest score with praise for the fantastic job the scout did in earning the rank so quickly and each boy in succession got cheered for having even faster times. By the time we got to our fastest boy everyone was cheering for him without any of the other boys feelings getting hurt as each got a moment at the top of the heap. I got an email from one of the dads saying one of the boys was so hyped about getting his badge that he asked about wearing his uniform to school (something that they really haven't considered to be cool for a while).


We are going to continue on with the older boys doing most of the teaching and the adults doing the checking as we try to get the new guys to tenderfoot before summer camp.


BTW: Several of the older boys really enjoyed the meeting too. An added bonus was that they got to know each other a little better along the way and hopefully that will make the transition out of our new boy patrol that much easier.



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