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RememberSchiff

Getting indoor parents enthused about outdoor program

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How do we get indoor parents enthused about an outdoor program? Specifically that they understand our Outdoor Method and appreciate the outdoors even if they do not want to experience it themselves.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Perhaps this is another situation where training--and training by doing--would be necessary.  All active parents would be encouraged to go camping as a group, free of charge of course, to learn about the Outdoor Method in the out-of-doors.  No Scouts, necessarily, but rather a retreat of sorts where instruction would be provided by experienced Scouters wise in the ways of the Force, uh, I mean Patrol Method.

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Yes, I think they would prefer the term "retreat" over "training". :)

IMO, it should be "Fun with a Purpose" , i.e., they see the value at conclusion. Something was built - a tower, a meal, summit hike, friendships,... some anxieties reduced - bugs, bathrooms, ...

My $0.02,

 

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Maybe they're like kids, you have to do it rather than talk about it. I'd start with an easy hike. At the end cook a meal in a dutch oven. Set up a tent. Hang out around a fire eating smores and telling stories. Then send them home. If they want to sleep in the tent they're welcome to it, and a really great meal for breakfast. Part of the method is camaraderie.  Get them to live that part. That's what the scouts like.

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I'm glad I don't have this problem in my troop. We have just enough volunteers, and even some parents that will go camping if they need too. Only issue with us is that some parents only speak spanish.

Anyway, I personally believe that having a "Parent Camp Out" without any scouts at your CO (if they have a picnic area, grove, etc.) and get them familiar with everything, mostly camping. Maybe some want to get involved but are afraid too. I personally would give them a position (committee, advancement chair, etc) so they feel important and may be more inclined to go camping and attend more meetings.

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35 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

I'm glad I don't have this problem in my troop. We have just enough volunteers, and even some parents that will go camping if they need too. Only issue with us is that some parents only speak spanish.

Anyway, I personally believe that having a "Parent Camp Out" without any scouts at your CO (if they have a picnic area, grove, etc.) and get them familiar with everything, mostly camping. Maybe some want to get involved but are afraid too. I personally would give them a position (committee, advancement chair, etc) so they feel important and may be more inclined to go camping and attend more meetings.

Parent involvement or coverage is not really the topic here.  This is about getting a non-outdoorsy parent to appreciate scout outdoor activities rather than discourage their scout to just do a minimum.

Similar to a parent who is not good at or dislikes math telling his high school student to just take two years of math rather than encouraging his student to take more math courses.

Sorry I was not more clear.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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If adults aren't interesinterested in doing, then maybe hearing about it could be the approach. Passionate stories from Scouts filled with tales of adventure with friends might convince the parents that their sons are benefitting from an outdoor program.

My .02¢

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Parent involvement or coverage is not really the topic here.  This is about getting a non-outdoorsy parent to appreciate scout outdoor activities rather than discourage their scout to just do a minimum.

Similar to a parent who is not good at or dislikes math telling his high school student to just take two years of math rather than encouraging his student to take more math courses.

Sorry I was not more clear.

Edited 1 hour ago by RememberSchiff

What has worked best for me (both as a Scoutmaster and an LNT Advocate) is speaking to the benefits of getting a scout involved in the outdoors and contrasting it will some of the problems we are currently facing with youth being disconnected from nature. Letting them know that a huge part of Scouting is being in the outdoors and that we are counting on them to help reinforce it at home, whether or not they participate. There are a ton of great resources online to help with the argument. Here is a search link and an article I like about it:

https://www.google.com/search?q=reasons+to+get+kids+outdoors&oq=reasons+to+get+kids+outdoors

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21017/7-sciencebacked-reasons-to-get-your-kids-outside.html

Richard Louv tags the current lack of kids as Nature Deficit Disorder. While I am not a fan of everything getting tagged as a "syndrome" or "disorder," his book Last Child in the Woods is a really good read. 

Having said all that, sometimes hard to get parents to sit still. Having a new parent session to go over how to save them $$$ on camping gear and what to buy is a good opportunity to share the "why" with them and not just the "how."

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8 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

If adults aren't interested in doing, then maybe hearing about it could be the approach. Passionate stories from Scouts filled with tales of adventure with friends might convince the parents that their sons are benefiting from an outdoor program.

My .02¢

Good point. After an outing, I always wish that I or someone had taken more good photos* to tell a scouting story.

*good photos - close-up, in focus, no backs of head...

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5 hours ago, LeCastor said:

free of charge of course

You must be talking about some organization other than the BSA.  :D

But generally I think this is a pretty good idea, based on what I have read in this forum.  In my own experience, the vast majority of parents, whether they go camping or not, DO understand the value of the outdoor program and do encourage their sons to go camping.  But it is clear from reading this forum that my troop is fortunate in that regard, because many parents in other troops do not seem to "get it."

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Never had a shortage of parents who valued the outdoors. They may not particularly value my willingness to set up camp in snow or slog a mile through laurel thickets or roll with the orienteering club. But, we somehow manage to complement each other's crazy preferences to cover what the boys are asking to do.

Edited by qwazse

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Parent involvement or coverage is not really the topic here.  This is about getting a non-outdoorsy parent to appreciate scout outdoor activities rather than discourage their scout to just do a minimum.

Similar to a parent who is not good at or dislikes math telling his high school student to just take two years of math rather than encouraging his student to take more math courses.

Sorry I was not more clear.

My apologizes.

Anyway, I personally don’t believe you can “make” someone outdoorsy. Either they are scared of bugs or they’re not. Either they are scared of sleeping in a tent or they’re not. Either they can survive outside without flushing toilets or they can not.

Honestly depends on how they were raised and experiences.

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RememberSchiff, to your point about pictures - maybe an album the parents can peruse on the Troop's website. Images of smiling, dirty faces so they can see how fun it can be.

Calling all Webmasters...

 

 

edited for spelling

Edited by Chadamus

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50 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

Anyway, I personally don’t believe you can “make” someone outdoorsy. Either they are scared of bugs or they’re not. Either they are scared of sleeping in a tent or they’re not. Either they can survive outside without flushing toilets or they can not.

Honestly depends on how they were raised and experiences.

I don't think that's necessarily the point RS is trying to make.  Personally loving the outdoors and being enthusiastic about the Outdoor Program (as a method of Scouting for the youth) are not totally the same thing.

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