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LauraT7

hope for our "team", canoe weekend a resounding success!

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We are working on re-building our troop after some major problems posted on this forum earlier - thought you would like to know the outcome of a plan put in action -

 

The boys had planned a weekend canoeing at a local conservation district park - and the SPL asked me to help with the activities planning. The boys are in a rut - they want to lead, but don't know HOW. they have internal fighting and no resolution for making decisions. They only come up , over and over, with the same events, the same meals, the same thing, year after year. They think planning is BORING and that things just happen - and our troop has gone from the extreme of adult lead repetition of program - to dropping it on the boys with no training for them on HOW to do it. (yeah they went to JLT - but that doesn't do it all)

 

The boy's goal was to sharpen canoe skills, get the unskilled boys some experience, and have fun. My goal for the troop was to see them develop some teamwork and re-instate the patrol method (which in our troop, patrols are used ONLY for lining up for opening and closing flag - yes, I'm serious!) We have some real attitude problems and alot of teasing and put downs, etc.

So...

 

we put together some "games" in the canoes - competition between patrols, and awards for the individual games and an overall weekend winner. one patrol in charge of each game - planning, working out the scoring and getting necessary equipment - but an adult leader would run each game, so that all the patrols/boys could participate.

 

The games were planned in a way that you got more points if you used all your teammates, and that the unskilled were valuable to the team as well. Individual boys could also earn points, which went toward their Patrol's total. EVERYTHING they did all weekend counted.

 

Each adult leader was given a number of poker chips - everytime they caught a scout "living the scout law" or doing a "good turn" the scout got a chip - worth 5 points toward their total score. So even if their patrol didn't have skilled canoeists, they still had a shot at winning the total event.

 

We did some traditional scout things the boys usually pooh- poohed - like having a patrol flag, doing skits for campfire entertainment, and having one patrol plan a church service on sunday. They loved it! (Oh yeah, "Mrs T is making us do these dumb skits" - but they had us all rolling on the ground with their parody of The scoutmaster and his assisants!)

 

I never saw so much "cooperation" in this group of boys - EVER. And I didn't hear the complaints I usually get from the younger boys. and I saw TONS more smiles. and nobody wanted to go home.

 

Altogether it was a great weekend, something to build from. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

 

 

 

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Great news Laura,

 

To paraphrase a movie line,

 

If you build it, they will come

 

AND

 

If they build it, they will stay

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Terrific job all around. You had a great mix of elements; Youth input, fun, creative, outdoors, patrol responsibilities, positive reinforcements, advancement. Small wonder it went so well. Sounds like you had a good time too!

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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