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This may be similar to the thread i spun this off which was on scouting games. My troop recently has a problem that many scouts are becoming bored and disinterested. It seems that all we do is teach scout skills at least 2 or 3 meetings a month. I know that we should attempt to incorporate that months theme or outing into the meetings, but we never do. What do other troops do durring their meetings other than teach scout skills, make a duty roster or plan the meals for the upcomign campouts. It just seems that, me included, most scouts in my troop are realizing that the meeting quality has gone downhill. Does anyone have ideas for meetings that they have done that are lots of fun/memorable to scouts?


Thanks in advance,


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Just for fun - we hold the Wacky Olympiad each year over the course of 5-6 meetings. Each night has 3-6 different events that the patrols compete in, like...


Puddin' Head - each patrol member slurps down a pudding snack (no spoon) - fastest time wins.


Slice da' wiener - patrol that can cut a hot dog up into as many full slices is the winner.


Walnut Croquet using a crab mallet.


Oreo Cookie stacking - highest wins.


Balls Galore - how many tennis balls can one person hold.


etc. etc. etc. (let your imagination run wild). The events are not necessarily scout skill based, but a few could be thrown in. Instead, they are designed to be outlandish and fun.


Points are awarded for each event based on placement. Over the course of two months, there are probably 30 - 35 events. The winning patrol gets their name added to the trophy and hold it and bragging rights for the coming year. Right now, one patrol just three-peated and I sense the competition is going to be intense next time.

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Just mix it up.


It's a matter of timing.


If one type of activity (skill building) is taking up too much time, you'll need to break down the skill into smaller bits - one knot instead of four - one first aid skill instead of four. 5 - 10 minutes and then move on to the next thing. For skill building and retention, you're much better off learning/practicing skills for several short periods rather than one long period. Slice each activity into smaller chunks - mini-lessons. Activities that take longer lose their juice.



Alternate pace and emotion:


formalopening -

silly -

seriousskillbuilding -

fungame -

quietthinking -

loudphysicalactivity - conversationalplanning -

song -

seriousskillbuilding -




Including themes and fun requires planning.


Don't be afraid to deal with business - dues, attendance, forms, etc. on the fly. One person can deal with those details while everyone is doing something else - boys can be called out individually for seconds at a time without interrupting the activity.


Don't keep the guys standing still waiting - ever.






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Hi All


Lets see, try some nonscout skills themes like automechanics, rocketry, cinematography,Iron Chef cooking and shooting sports. Also find new themes for the old skills like building a fort for water balloon battles (knots and lashings). Got to a local park for map and compas.


Two packs of Webelos visited us during rocketry and I know that is why they joined our troop.


These are past themes off the top of my head. I'm out of time. Oh, our guys manage to have a hot rod show on the automechanics theme and I think a dozen hot rods showed up. Pretty cool.


I love this scouting stuff.



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Bring in a guest speaker.

In the past we have had an army Sarg. come in to do a bit of compass work. Another time we had an FBI agent come in and talk about his job (look them up in the phone book).

Had the local ambulance (Explorer post) come down to show of there equipment. (They straped the SPL down to a back board and caried him around for a while)

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Good Gosh,

why not make scouting skills fun not just lessons...

knots- how bout a 'guess the knot game' or knot races, (just this week we had timber hitch relay races...tie a timber hitch on a big old log and drag the darn thing across the parking lot to a teammate who ties one on the other end and repeats the drill...sounds like work to me but the kids loved it...some may have even learned to do the hitch under pressure!


first aid...competitions on splinting, wrapping bandages...making stretchers, defining symptoms etc.


fire building- (out side in a safe place of course) first and fastest, one match, no match, different types...MAKE IT FUN


cooking...make something- then eat it! don't talk about it..Have each patrol do a cooking show (and just like on tv they already have a finished product and then go through the motions...takes preparation but gosh its fun...and funny! (outside event- may want to have fire extinguishers handy)


camp gadgets-a race- actually have each patrol build one and explain its purpose.... give prize for coolest! (keeps lazy patrols honest).


compass- hide prizes out side at night give each patrol course to follow to find its prize...(candy, soda,pizza certificate)


tent set up races...blind folded!


backpack packing... with 'full' list of gear (the same for each team)-how fast can two scouts pack a pack...so its "high and tight" (packed well -not loose as a goose)


we could go on forever...you name it, some one out here can tell you how to make it entertaining!


good scouting

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We had a similar problem with the boys being bored, as our skill bases looked like lectures from a boring professor.


As the new SM, I worked with my staff to try to make these skill bases more fun and to get the scouts more involved. We instituted a 'get their behinds out of the chair' policy, meaning that we had to get the scouts to do more 'hands-on' stuff and actively participate in the skill base.


For example, for our winter 'layering' skill base, we had the scouts change clothes several times... seems too easy, but you know, once they get going at it, they are no longer bored. They are not just sitting there being lectured.


The adults have always done the skill bases in our troop, but at our last Patrol Leaders Council meeting, the PLC leaders suggested that they assign a scout to be the adult's assistant, and even made rumblings about doing some of the skill bases themselves, which I think is great.


We're also considering doing some different skill bases just to 'break it up' a bit, for example, we have several excellent snow boarders in our group, we have one scout who is a nationally ranked jet ski racer, and my son wants to do a skill base on motocross.


Basically, the more you get the audience involved, the less bored they will become.


Just my $0.02...







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1.Why do you never incorporate monthly outings into meetings?

2.who sets theme and plans for the meetings?

3.what is the form of each meeting, section by section?

3.how are your skill classes taught?

4.how large and how long is each class?

5.remembering the "old days", what is being done differently?


answer these questions and you will be on the way to your goal.

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Believe it or not, our meetings have actually gotten more boring since becoming boy-led. I think there are a few potential reasons:

- our SPL & ASPL are very mature, and more interested in learning/teaching than playing games.

- some of our younger guys are wild and can get out of control (no surprise), so I think the PLC avoids things that they think may get out of control (i.e. a lack of confidence on their part).

- they don't manage their time well. They'll have a fun activity planned, toward the end of the meeting. But they'll get behind on the skills portion, and the game often disappears.


I'm working with them on these issues. Any thoughts or ideas?

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EagleinKY sounds like a very similar problem. I am a scout and always attend the PLC to help plan the meetings. Lately we have attempted to split into groups of 5-6 scouts and teach a skill. Durring this time, 1 or 2 older scouts will teach each group a skill, then we will switch groups so by the end of the skill session, everyone would have, as an example, been able to learn the square, diagonal and shear lashing, or any combination of 3-4 related skills. Next, we plan on playing a game for 15-20 minutes that is just for fun. Then we have the closing and its done.

This style isnt bad, but it is not working. Everyone, including myself, is bored learning the same-old scout related skills and having less than a quarter of the scouts actually listening. The others talk and do not even try to listen, no matter what. It would work if it was not the same every single meeting. One good meeting we had last year was a hobby night(everyone had to bring in a hobbey that they liked, some people brought in collections, guitars and even a dirtbike...). This went very well but this was the ONLY out of the box idea. I am just looking for a few ideas to suggest to have for meetings that are not already set aside for camping prep.


Thanks for the ideas youve already given...if anyone else has any other help feel free to share.

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