Jump to content
T2Eagle

Most Fun Skills To Learn as a New Scout

Recommended Posts

This weekend the troop is doing "Tenderfoot Weekend"  which concentrates on helping our newest scouts learn to camp as a Boy Scout.  Because of scheduling challenges, our oldest scouts are going to be holding an Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops ILST session Saturday from right after breakfast until lunch time.

Contrary to what we all know is best practices, this means that rather than having our older scouts leading the program for our younger scouts that morning we will instead have some adults work with the newest scouts on some basic scout skills.  We know it's not a great idea, but it's the best we, and by we I mean the PLC and the adult leadership together, could come up with to get in some badly needed leadership training for our older scouts.  After lunch the adults plan is to retire to our camp chairs and turn things back over to the way they should be.

Setting aside all the approbation about why this is a bad idea, what do you think would be the most fun skills to work on for scouts on their first troop camp out.  I'm going to start with fire: how to find proper materials, how to build, how to start without matches, etc.  But I need another hour or two of subject matter.   

To really offend your sense of the way things should be, we're probably even going to do dishes for the regular patrols so that they can get to the training quicker that morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

This weekend the troop is doing "Tenderfoot Weekend"  which concentrates on helping our newest scouts learn to camp as a Boy Scout.  Because of scheduling challenges, our oldest scouts are going to be holding an Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops ILST session Saturday from right after breakfast until lunch time.

Contrary to what we all know is best practices, this means that rather than having our older scouts leading the program for our younger scouts that morning we will instead have some adults work with the newest scouts on some basic scout skills.  We know it's not a great idea, but it's the best we, and by we I mean the PLC and the adult leadership together, could come up with to get in some badly needed leadership training for our older scouts.  After lunch the adults plan is to retire to our camp chairs and turn things back over to the way they should be.

Setting aside all the approbation about why this is a bad idea, what do you think would be the most fun skills to work on for scouts on their first troop camp out.  I'm going to start with fire: how to find proper materials, how to build, how to start without matches, etc.  But I need another hour or two of subject matter.   

To really offend your sense of the way things should be, we're probably even going to do dishes for the regular patrols so that they can get to the training quicker that morning.

I actually don’t disagree with almost everything you said.

There is no reason why adults can not share their knowledge. A child can’t learn unless they learn from adults. How do you think I know all of the things I know today? You think someone my age taught me? I’m assuming you also have somewhat a small troop which is why the adult leaders need to split with the younger scouts. If so, we have the same issues & do the same. We only have 3 older scouts (1 is ready to get Eagle and leave so technically 2). Anyway, the only thing that I disagree with is the adults doing the KP. Come on now... KP doesn’t take that long.

Back on topic, my favorite thing in scouting to learn is first aid. (I’m still a youth if you haven’t gotten that yet) I mean it could just be me, but I enjoy doing scenarios with friends, such as stretcher relays, medical scenarios, and ones where you have to think.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you teach, I recommend adding an element of "fun" to it. Scouts, especially at that age, respond well making games out of it. And they can be dorky games too that are designed to make people laugh. Making a game out of some things isn't easy though and requires imagination. 

First, teach the skill.  Make it simple and focused.  Too much talk makes a scout lose interest.  But cover it enough that you get a basic point across.  I'm going to use the example of a square knot since that's pretty common to train new scouts in. Once you've gotten the scouts to do it a few times, the fun begins. 

Form two lines. First the trainer(s) stand at the front of the line.  Trainer shows the first scout in the line how to tie the knot. First scout then attempts to tie the knot.  When they get it, they grab a ball (dollar store inflatable beach balls work great) and then attempt to make a basket.  Or throw an object into a hoop. Something physical that you can say, score 2 or 3 points if they make it. Shouldn't be super easy to do, nor super difficult. You can even add a run to point A and do it. Score the points.  Scout returns and teaches next scout in line how to tie the knot with trainer at a distance.  They can call in a "life line" if they need it and I would recommend adding something that makes it not something you want to do straight away. Like a one point deduction. Second scout goes running off all crazy like. Repeat.  

The points get a bet of the EDGE in there, learn the process.  You can have them go through it once or twice, with or without trainers, etc. You'll need the adult to judge the "knot" as good. 

Game ends at either the first line done (recommended for when the boys get it and are doing speed runs) or all the scouts have completed their turn(s) and score the points. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My new scouts always love learning how to use hand axes (hatchets) for splitting logs. Not the most vital skill but one of the most fun!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, qwazse said:

Tent pitching ... blindfolded.

This is on the docket as a team building exercise for the ILST group.  But maybe even a better idea for the new guys.

4 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

My new scouts always love learning how to use hand axes (hatchets) for splitting logs. Not the most vital skill but one of the most fun!

The persistence with which some kids will attack a log with a hatchet always fascinates me.  This will definitely be on the menu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

The persistence with which some kids will attack a log with a hatchet always fascinates me.  This will definitely be on the menu.

I am amazed that when we set up the axe yard there is always a scout who will chop wood for hours. Every year. And with a full axe even the ADD kids REALLY focus on not chopping their toes off. I do sweat those seasons out though. We have had more injuries with carelessness with knives and hatchets.

One boy did so long every campout he earned the nickname of "Axe" and it stuck with him to adulthood.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on where you are camping but earning the Paul Bunyan award is fun. Find a dead tree 6-8 inch diameter, tie a heavy rope 20 feet up to help guide where the tree will fall. Each scout gets 3 swings each turn (help guide where to chop and what angle etc). When the tree falls they use hatchets to de-limb, then they use the saw to cut the tree into 4 foot lengths then they drag it out and have a bonfire.

Our PLC does a no-mess kit meal weekend every year. Scouts come up with different meal ideas on how to not use pot, plate or bowl. Usually only a spoon needs top be cleaned - example is eating oatmeal right out of the envelope it came in.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, qwazse said:

Tent pitching ... blindfolded.

Or we've done:

One blindfolded, one mute, one with one hand tied behind their back, and the patrol leader that isn't allowed within 3 feet of the tent.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And actually, just teaching them to light a fire properly, not just build a bonfire and shove a load of paper in the middle.

Fire/feather sticks.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had 10 mins to full tonight so we ran something you might find useful for teaching knots.

 

Played as an inter Patrol race.

 

each patrol has a length of rope. Each member of Patrol holds it in one hand and one hand only. If at any point in proceedings they let go, use two hands, swap hands or anything else involving not having that hand on the rope the Patrol is out.

 

PLs come to see adult who demonstrates a knot once. And once only.

 

PL returns to Patrol, adds his hand to the rope and they then have to tie said knot without anyone letting go.

 

best to start off simple and build up.

 

The tangle of humanity they got into doing a highway mans hitch had to be seen to be believed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×