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Krampus

Troop Meeting Ideas

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From my SPL:

 

"Can you ask the leaders on the forum for meeting ideas that their troops use that are fun, hopefully involving scout skills or other fun things, that they would like to share with our troop? I am looking for the things below. I want to share with the service patrols to give them ideas other troops are doing."

 

So, please post any meeting ideas you troop has done. My SPL is interested in the following details below. Ideally the response would be written as if it were going in to the Troop Program Features. Bullet points are fine...teenagers have short attention spans. ;)

  • Skills being taught.
  • Materials needed. If costs involved, a sample cost (how was it funded too)
  • Amount of time to set up, practice or train.
  • Number of people teaching or involved in instruction.
  • How is the activity implemented (e.g., large groups, small groups, etc.)
  • Anything else they wish to share on how or why this was good/fun.

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Your SPL isn't going to like my recommendations, but then a lot of people don't so I'm not worried about it.  :)

 

 

From my SPL:

 

"Can you ask the leaders on the forum for meeting ideas that their troops use that are fun, hopefully involving scout skills or other fun things, that they would like to share with our troop? I am looking for the things below. I want to share with the service patrols to give them ideas other troops are doing."

 

So, please post any meeting ideas you troop has done. My SPL is interested in the following details below. Ideally the response would be written as if it were going in to the Troop Program Features. Bullet points are fine...teenagers have short attention spans. ;)

  • Skills being taught.

Whatever the PL deems as necessary for the particular situation his boys are currently involved in.

  • Materials needed. If costs involved, a sample cost (how was it funded too)

Patrol QM is responsible for getting things together, if there's a cost, patrol scribe knows of funds available to the patrol for such things.

  • Amount of time to set up, practice or train.

PL/APL are on top of this process

  • Number of people teaching or involved in instruction.

Depends on whether an outside speaker is involved, a Troop Instructor or internal instruction within the patrol.

  • How is the activity implemented (e.g., large groups, small groups, etc.)

Always the patrol method unless coordinated between PL's to involve other patrols.  This can occur with outside speakers, Troop Instructors, etc. if everyone is on the same page.

  • Anything else they wish to share on how or why this was good/fun.

My boys like it this way because they have ownership in the direction the patrol program is headed.  Boys tend to be pretty much the same age, friends at school and such, and have same level of maturity and interests.

 

 

I haven't much experience in how to keep it fun for sixth graders and seniors in high school at the same time.  I try to avoid that situation as much as possible.  Troop service projects and fund raisers work well as a troop, but not so much for programming.

 

With that being said, I would focus on the bigger projects, camporees, fund raisers, service projects as a troop and let the programming fall to the PL's who know what's going on with the interests in their smaller groups.

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With that being said, I would focus on the bigger projects, camporees, fund raisers, service projects as a troop and let the programming fall to the PL's who know what's going on with the interests in their smaller groups.

 

All that is planned, staffed and ready to go. That was part of annual planning. The assignments were made to each PL and they are currently working them.

 

The idea here was to give the program patrol -- the PL and patrol responsible for developing the monthly meetings that align to the monthly theme -- more ideas for meetings other than what is in the BSA resources, or what the boys themselves have found. ;)

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Here's an example of what my SPL is looking for:
 
Sample Meeting Idea: Cooking Demo

  • Have six stations (one per patrol, rotation after 10 mins to the next station).
  • 1-2 older scouts per station using the patrol's cook top and pans.
  • Cook a sample meal (can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert).
    • Should be simple.
    • Bonus for using fewer pans/utensils.
    • Some parts can be pre-cooked (i.e., if using rice/noodles/bacon it can be done in advance).
    • Should be a "group meal", not one that requires cook-to-order.
  • Cooking should be done in under ten minutes, end product can be tasted by the Scouts (small servings such as 2 tablespoons each)
  • Focus is on
    • Ease of preparation, clean up
    • Focus on cooking technique (low heat, pan re-use, etc.)
    • Taste, creativity

The Example:

  • Breakfast crepes.
  • Batter prepared, talk through how to make the batter while cooking.
  • Have fillings (jelly, fruit).
  • Cook 2-3 large 12" crepes during the demo, fill and serve by quartering the crepe and giving to the patrol.
  • Rotate to the next station.

The objective is to show scout quick, healthy, interesting cooking ideas that will encourage them to use these and other methods in their patrol cooking. Also, encourage better cooking techniques (e.g., not nuking every dish with ultra-high heat. Demonstrate other cooking techniques.

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In that case the younger patrols need focus on the training of basic skills, say compass work or first aid.  The middle aged patrols need focus on practice and proficiency in those areas, compass hikes and first aid preparations and proficiency.  The older boys need to be doing things that involve those skills, i.e. going to a Rogain competition or set one up for the troop/district or participate or run a mock disaster event with the local rescue/fire department crews.

 

One theme, each one translated to the needs of the boys in the patrols by the PL's.  It's the SPL's responsibility then to provide support for what the PL's needs by using the resources he has at hand with his LC people.  

 

The SPL announces this month is First Aid.  Younger boys' PL's all focus on S2FC instructional training.  Middle age patrols, focus on practice and mini-mock disasters.  The older patrols, head on down to the fire department/rescue squad to get some actual understanding of what First Aid is all about and maybe work with them to be the "victims" in their next mock disaster to actually see what these people do for real.

 

Next month  SPL announces Compass and then let the PL's run with it.

 

I guess it all just boils down to what the SPL thinks his job or leadership directive is.  Is he there to put together the program and coordinate the program (management skills) or does he support the program of the PLs (servant leadership skills)?

 

From your example @@Krampus, I'm thinking you are looking for just the management level suggestions.

Edited by Stosh

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I think we can build off of any merit badge, but one that may be useful:

 

Astronomy.

- Each patrol get a major constellation

-- Draw a sky-map of it on card stock

-- Identify the stars therein.

-- From books/downloads show pictures of objects that could be seen in that part of the sky with a really good telescope.

-- If the sky's clear, and it's still dark out, and the time is right, step outside and show scouts how to find it.

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Meeting plan from our backpacking trip:

 

-Opening flags

-Skills instructions

   -Merlins (older) - review of topo map for upcoming trip.  Route planning.  PL led

   -Ghostly Goats (younger) - compass/map use.  PL led

 

-Patrol Meeting

  -both Patrols collected grub money & decided menu

 

-Interpatrol activity

   -Blind compass relay (outside) with large paper grocery bag over their head & compass in hand (they could see their feet & their compass, the Scout was given a bearing to maintain for 100 paces, turn around & then return to start.  Then switch to next person.

 

-SM Moment

-Closing flags

 

I had the maps already.  The PLs brought their compasses.  I brought the large grocery bag (free).

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From one of our Cooking meetings:

 

- opening flags

-Skills instruction

  -Merlins (older) made Scout bread from BSHB in sheet metal oven over backpacking stove  PL Led

  -Ghostly Goats (younger)  made Scout bread from BSHB in dutch oven over coals  PL led

 

Patrol Meeting

 

Interpatrol activity

-  Spud (found in the game section of Troop Program Resources)

 

-SM Moment

-Closing flags

 

Scout bread ingredients $5, charcoal $3, reimbursed from Troop funds.

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Reverse Orienteering (a.k.a. Surveying)

- Provide each patrol a zoomed-in U.sG.S map of the grounds (caltopo.com Is a good source), a compass, and a purple pencil.

- demonstrate using bearings to triangulate landmarks.

- Challenge the boys to walk the grounds and draw in any new landmarks that weren't on the map at the time of it's last revision.

- you could also add landmarks (e.g. Flags, etc...) if your grounds are largely unchanged.

- evaluate boys on the quality of updated maps. If you use flags, you could actually add up the distance their points are from their true location.

 

The objective is to increase skill with setting bearings and orienting maps.

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Fishing #1

 

-opening flags

-Skills activity

  - Merlins - removing fish hook from finger.  PL led.  Used brats/sausages so each could try it out on recommendation of local nurse.

  - Ghostly Goats - removing fish hook from finger.  PL led.

 

-Patrol meeting

-Inter Patrol activity

  -Get the Patrol across the gym without touching the floor.  Using a furniture dolly, & ~150' of rope, get your Patrol across the gym.  You can stand on the center court line & either base line.   After 1 Patrol wins, do it again without talking.

 

-SM Moment

-closing flags

 

Brats ~$8.

Inter Patrol activity encourages team work, communication and it's fun.  It's become on of their favorites.

Edited by KenD500
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Fishing #2

 

-opening flags

-skills instruction - how to cast safely (to yourself & others)

  Both Patrols together.  ASM from another Troop came in as requested (PL called to arrange after I provided contact info).  This guy is a fishing expert.

 

-Patrol meeting

-Inter Patrol activity

  Elbow beach ball relay - relay race holding a beach ball with only your elbows (round 1), holding beach ball with your elbows & jumping on 1 foot (round 2) & entire Patrol must hold beach ball with elbows (round 3)

 

-SM Moment

-closing flags

 

Beach balls $5,  I brought extra fishing poles, PLs brought extra fishing poles & 1 Committee member brought extra fishing poles

Relay encourages team work.

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One of my personal favorites - Fire Month

 

Skills Instruction:

- Merlin Patrol - begin building fire bow/drill (3 meetings) / make char-cloth

-Ghostly Goats - 1st meeting - ignition sources:  ferrocerium rod & striker, matches, battery/steel wool, lighter, practice using each while lighting cotton balls;

  2nd meeting - tinder - using favorite ignition source light different things to be used as tinder: cotton ball, cotton ball with vaseline, dryer lint, Fritos, char-cloth, etc

  3rd meeting - discuss / layout different fire types.  Build small fire.

 

Interpatrol activity - whatever game they find at the time.

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@@Krampus, I currently have 5 patrols and one of the problems we used to have was "rotating through stations." 10 minutes per station is an artifact of the number of patrols, not the activity. If the activity should last for a half hour (what can you cook in the 5 minutes you'll actually have if there's a 10 min period?) then consider 3 meetings of doing 2 stations at a time rather than all 6 in one meeting. My scouts have revolted at 10 minute activities.

 

That said, climbing at a rock wall, archery, going to a pool, ice skating, and roller skating. These are all full meeting activities.

 

Go online and find low cope course/team building activities.

 

Do a geo cache. Make a geo cache for the town/schools.

 

Make a pizza in a dutch oven.

 

Make patrol woggles. You need a 4' long boot lace. Instructions are online.

 

Paint the patrol box.

 

Make a new patrol flag.

 

physical activity challenge: do all the tenderfoot fitness challenges and add up the total number of pushups, situps, etc the entire patrol does.

 

pioneering challenge: 6 poles, bunch of ropes, make a tripod and lash your patrol flag to it. score based on time and quality of knots.

 

done with school favorites: foam battle (pool noodles, pvc, and duct tape to make the weapons, and a bucket turned upside down to stand on, beat your neighbor until one of you falls off) and sponge water fights. Squirt guns also work, just to annoy those at national.

 

Go fishing. learn to tie all the fishing knots. Get someone to bring a fly rod and let the scouts practice with that. Again, this won't work with 6 patrols but it will work at a patrol level.

 

If you happen to live near white water, ask around to see if someone can bring a couple of white water kyaks to a pool for the scouts to try out.

 

Bring someone in to talk about spelunking. Would only work if it was tied together with a spelunking trip.

 

Go through the MB books. Every MB has at least one activity that is not discuss, describe, or explain, and is actually fun or at least unique.

 

One of the biggest challenges to look out for is how to keep everyone engaged. The cooking ones are nice but does everyone in the patrol cook? If it's only a few that are needed to do the activity, then the other scouts start getting squirmy. Even something like doing the geocache really only needs a couple of scouts. So maybe give each patrol two courses to do and have them split their patrol.

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Not always, but the PLC typically tries to fill three meetings with a theme:

 

rappelling

shooting sports,

Space exploration, I couldn't see this working, but they actually did a fantastic job of filling three meetings of busy activities. A visiting den of Webelos joined the troop because they were so impressed.

Fly-fishing,

Bicycling, 

First-aid, one year the older scouts taught making fake wounds, blood and broken bones. Next meeting the troop simulated a car wreck.

First-aid, another year a Air-ambulance was flown in. Fire trucks at another meeting. 

Car show - a group of scouts working on the Car Mechanics MB planned that one. Very cool. 

 

More will pop in my mind, I'm sure. We tried to stay away from typical First Class teaching type stuff. 

 

Barry

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