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1 hour ago, mrjohns2 said:

Why? SM conference is one of the most important parts of the SM role. 

It has to do with leadership style and availability. For example, the SM couldn’t come to camp two years ago, so I covered the conferences for scouts so they could move to their BoR ASAP. Sometimes advancement is a trickle; other times, a flood.

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When I was a Scoutmaster, I always did the conferences for Star, Life, Eagle.  For the lower ranks I would delegate them to the ASMs.  Just worked best that way so I could spend a good amount of time with the older youth.  When I had newer ASMs, they would sit with me during conferences.

It helped with the training of the future Scoutmasters as well.  So I think it is ideal.

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On 12/9/2021 at 8:10 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

Sounds like football, cards, camaraderie, camping, and cooking were accomplished!

So...what do they want to accomplish...and what do you want them to accomplish?  Guarantee they will not be the same!  Remember, "This will be the hardest part for you to accept."

And put yourself in their shoes...probably every minute of their lives is scheduled with some activity.  They need unstructured time to develop.  There are a hundred studies that show this...  Do not be a slave to the "activity."

If they are camping and cooking, then those "activities" will lead to advancement.  Be available for them.  Set up your chair and another (for a Scout) near the fire and tell them anyone who wants to work on a requirement will have your undivided attention.  If a Scout takes you up on it, work on ONE requirement, them kick them to the curb for a few minutes and give the opportunity to another Scout.  I find this quite effective.  If no one takes you up on it, the start with one and do a Scoutmaster Conference (and sign it off if not previously done).  Talk for a few minutes about what they like about the Troop, what they would like to see in the Troop, and what they wish the Troop would stop doing (start, stop, continue...sound familiar?)  Ask them what their goals are for Scouting.  If they do not wish to pursue advancement, you have to be fine with that!  Help them set one goal.  SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited).  Write it down, and make a commitment to follow up with them on it.

A parting thought... do not try to make your Scouts follow in your footsteps, do the things you have done, and become you...they won't, and they aren't.  Help them find their own way.

Great comments. 

I've been in multiple troops.  Some of the worst scouting experiences we've had are in highly structured troops that often bragged about boy-led.  Reality is it was boy-led and adult nagged.  I think @InquisitiveScouter is exactly right.  Scout's objectives may not be your objectives.  Football and cards are great activities as they give the scouts a chance to socialize and connect.  That is one of the most important aspects of scouting.  Scouting is social.  A successful scout builds life-long friendships.  

The only caveat I'll give is that not all scouts are the same.  I'd encourage troops to find or choose at least one activity; maybe more.  Maybe it's a hike to the highest point.  Maybe it's a swim or exploring or ...  something.  If patrols or individual scouts don't want to participate, fine.  BUT, try to give them the opportunity.  There will always be some scouts that are not fully ready to socialize without guided activity.  There will always be some scouts who know their parents are waiting at home for the scout to tell them what they did that was meaningful over the weekend.  Oh, we hiked the XXXX up to XXXX and saw XXXXX.   Or we earned XXXXX.  Or we visited XXXXX.   

If the scouts choose the activity, you'll often see the scouts apply constructive cajoling to encourage participation.  Hopefully, constructive pressure.  :)  ... BUT, ya know.  If the scouts want their free time to de-compress and relax, fine.

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