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Randymck55

Searching for information on older scouts for wood badge patrol project

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    Hi, I'm currently enrolled in wood badge class S7-70-19.  I,m looking for resources on tactics, and techniques for keeping older scouts involved in scouting.  This will be used by myself, and the others in my patrol for our wood badge patrol project. My council doesn't have anything to offer, as far as pamphlets or brochures.  I just returned from the council building in greensboro nc.  I did notice that their is a fairly strong desire for such a paper, but none exsists.  Any help would be appreiciated, thanks.

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Welcome to the forum.

I have a hunch this is a lot more than a pamphlet. Older scouts leave because scouts no longer gives them what they need. Challenge, growth, meaning, to name just a few.

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I'm not looking for a full course,  but for a resource,  I'm thinking about a hip pocket referral source.  To help scoutmasters, and asm's.  Something similar to the small cards for Leave no trace cards given out at scouting activities. 

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I've not seen anything like that - a short resource for Scouters on how to keep older Scouts engageI

I think this is either a really short resource or a rather long one.  I think that @MattR nicely summed up the basic problem.  

In my experience the most obvious aspects of Scouting apply to early teen Scouts - advancement, outdoor program, etc.   As Scouts reach older ages, they need more challenge and reason to stay involved.  A troop program needs to provide things for those older Scouts that keeps them engaged.  The things that keeps those Scouts engaged are not simply "fun" things, but challenges.  i.e., simply planning a high adventure trip isn't enough.  Coming up with a program that mentally challenges and engages older Scouts month after month is needed.  For many Scouts this comes from a sense of being engaged - perhaps as a leader, organizer, etc.  For others it's comraderie - working together as an older group of Scouts who have become frends to go on adventures that are interesting to them.  For others, it's specific interests - outdoor skills, wood working, etc.

But, the key in my mind is to proactivly keep trying.  Simply focusing on the Tenderfoot to Star years and assuming the older Scouts want more of the same isn't sufficient.

 

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Troops that fail to keep older scouts typically and usually have a program that hasn’t matured past a first class advancement type of program. Older scouts are young adults requiring adult mental and physical activities that stimulate growth.

Where troops fail is developing a program where the scouts spend the first two or three years advancing, then the next two or three years teaching younger scouts advancement. So, the adults are expecting the young adults to repeat their scouting experience all over again. 

Adults (older scouts) need adult mental and physical activities and troops suffer from not giving them the responsibility for the troop program. Build a program designed to put the adults out of business. Build a program that if the adults didn’t show up, nothing would change. 

Troop quality should be measured by the older scout program because they are the role models and set the program tone and maturity. But most troops today measure quality from their advancement performance. That is typically a sign of immature adult leaders.

Also frustrating is adult misunderstandings of older scouts:

  • Older scouts don’t like working with younger scouts. FALSE. Older scouts thrive on responsibility, especially guiding younger scouts. They don’t like classroom teaching or repeating simplistic first class program activities.
  • Older scouts only want adventure. FALSE. Adventure activities like anything else get old and boring. Young adults need problems that require creative solutions, like the problems that troops typically run into. Older scouts should always be the first go-to resource for troop problems. 
  • Older scouts would rather hang with young adults their own age. Of course we all enjoy fellowship with folks of common interests, but that doesn’t override the pleasure of responsibility. They love responsibility. Give older scouts the reins of the program and they will figure out when they need a break with their peers.

I learned from my experience of helping troops improve their older scout program that they tend to resist their program needing changes. In general, they believe the scouts are the problem, not the program. So, I learned to suggest program ideas instead:

  • More adventure in the troop program. More adventure allows older scouts more creativity in planning and executing the activities. It also gets away from gets away from the stale first class program. 
  • Only the SM at PLC meetings and even just for a few minutes. To build a program that doesn’t need adults, the scouts need experience of running a program without adults. The PLC meetings are a perfect practice.

Oops, I’ve spoke too long. Mrs. Barry says I gotta sign off. 

Hope this helps.

Barry

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Older scouts are hankering to fulfill the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with their mates. This internal imperative means:

  • Some of them need to meet with their buddies absent adults.
  • Some of them need you to throw them the keys to the car, the keys to Gramp's cabin, the map to a sweet fishing spot.
  • Some of them need a trusted adult to review a plan for an excursion, and if it's a good one, excecute it on their own.
  • Some of them need to sit with their elders on committee meetings.
  • Once of age for war, some need to be counted as adults for the safety of our youth.
  • Some need a trade that feeds their family.
  • Some need to talk one-on-one with a trusted counselor.

Anybody who provides these will attract and retain older youth. Don't provide them, and the majority of older youth wil find them without you.

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Give me a day. I did a UoS class on the topic, and may have the resources I used for it.   FYI it is a problem since the 1920s and there is a lot of older literature on the topic.

 

Also if I remember correctly, there has been a thread on this topic in the past.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Give me a day. I did a UoS class on the topic, and may have the resources I used for it.   FYI it is a problem since the 1920s and there is a lot of older literature on the topic.

Also if I remember correctly, there has been a thread on this topic in the past.

Found 2 similar topics - RS

 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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@Randymck55, this is why I said it's going to be longer than a brochure. This is a really big topic and this forum has talked, and argued, about it for a long time. It gets down to the very core of what scouts is about. If you could make a good, engaging presentation about this that could run anywhere from 30 minutes at a round table to a weekend at a council camp and covered boy led and patrol method and all the methods and how they impact older scout interest it would be a fantastic resource that would fill in a lot of holes in the BSA training material.

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