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Speak to me of this STEM Scouts program...

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OK, I have a friend who is running a STEM Lab here in the Beautiful Daniel Webster Council in NH. 


Couple of clarifications:

This is NOT a traditional Scouting program.

This is not designed for the traditionally "scouting kids"

This is a co-ed program for grades 5-12

This is all STEM based

this is more for the kids that say "camping? ewwwww"

It is a program for those kids who are STEM inclined already and to use the Scout Oath and Law to instill values in them while doing STEM stuff.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yep, I see this going nowhere in my locality.  Especially not at the cost.  Kids can take STEM stuff at school, through after school programs, clubs, at local businesses and about 30 other sources.  This would just be one more in that mess.


Now, offer program where they can have adventures and go places without their helicopter parents... we get tons of interest in that.

Southpole Scout, -- how do you get "tons of interest" in that?  How do you get that interest?  Do you have a big troop already?  We're in an area that has been aging so the demographic tends to be older empty-nesters because housing prices are so high young families can't afford to move in.  And, we're not getting a lot of new Scouts, even from our feeder pack, which is pretty healthy.  There seems to be a concern that when my husband and I move on, that they feel the troop will lose its rudder and implode.  I don't think that will happen but parents don't want to step up.  They want to go to troops where they can drop off or participate in a limited fashion but not lead.

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To give a little insight,


Over the summer at Philmont Training Center, I got to talk to the NOVA specialist from the National Service Center and several professionals who oversee STEM Scouting at a council or national level. This was their general explanation:


Traditionally, Scouting has prepared youth through outdoor and high adventure settings. However, we've learned through programs like Exploring and Venturing that we can still accomplish this goal without a monthly campout or a week at a summer camp. The STEM Scouts program was the brainchild of former Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock who wanted to reconnect youth who may not be interested traditional Scouting programs but still want to be part of an organization that promotes timeless values like the BSA. Thus, STEM Scouts was born. By substituting the outdoor component of traditional Scouting programs with that of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), we can reach out to an growing segment of American youth. Currently, the program is in the pilot stages and is being operated by only a handful of Scout councils.


My two-cents on the idea is it's redundant. We already have Exploring posts (serving high school and college age youth) and Exploring clubs (serving middle school age youth), and Exploring units are encouraged to center themselves around a career group, e.g. Engineering, Skilled Trades, Health Care, etc. I feel like STEM Scouts is reinventing the wheel here when we have a program serving a similar (if not identical) purpose. Again, my two-cents.

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