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Skills challenge ideas?

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Hi everyone,

I'm scoutmaster for a troop of about 65 registered Scouts with about 30 "active" scouts. We're a boy-led troop. Since my active scouts are almost all 13 and younger, it's a huge challenge.


The Green Bar has decided they want to do a Skills Challenge night once a month. The idea was that each patrol would come up with a skills challenge. They would teach an adult their challenge, so the Scouts could go through the challenges and compete against each other. When the Senior Patrol Leader showed me what they had come up with, I was disappointed. I was a pretty disappointed in what they came up with. After thinking about it, I realized the problem is that they don't really know what to do for challenges.


So I'm thinking I'd like to put together a kind of list for them to pick from. I'd encourage them to come up with their own ideas. But if they can't think of something, they could use one of the pre-planned activities. But since our troop hasn't done many skills challenges and I've only got a couple years' experience...I'm realizing I could use some ideas myself!


So how about some help from my fellow Scouters? Please don't just suggest "something with first aid". I know that. But if you could give me specifics... like stage an unconscious victim and the patrol needs to determine what the injury is and how to treat it. That's my one idea...what have you got?


Thanks for your help!!!



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I'm a first year Tiger leader so I don't know much about Boy Scouts. But how about a fire starting type challage? Might work best on a camping trip? Start with nothing, have to find all the wood (tinder, ect), and start with anything BUT matches/ligther, maybe only 3 matches?


What were some of the SPL's ideas? Were they something you could build on?



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One you might try is the knot relay challenge from page 51 of the Troop Resource Guide:




The Resource Guide has tons of other games that can be used as skill challenges.


We've done some good First Aid challenges at our district Klondike Derby


In one the scenario was that the patrol of scouts was fleeing a forest fire. One scout has fallen and in doing so he has suffered a minor cut to his head, broken his collar bone and his ankle and impaled himself on a root that is causing blood to spirt from his thigh. And oh yeah, the forrest fire is still moving so you can't stay here.


Scouts were scored on various elements:

1. Some one immediately takes charge and someone is sent for help.

2. Immediately controlled the bleeding through direct pressure.

3. Treated for shock.

4. Immobilized the leg and shoulder (I think we considered the shoulder optional)

5. Improvised a stretcher and transported the victim.


I believe this one was a bit much. Of 15 patrols I believe we had 14 dead victims because they spent too much time treating the less life threatening injuries while the victim "bled out". The 15th might have lived but the patrol did not consider shock so he may have also gone to meet the Great Master of All Scouts.


While this one was not ideal but it should give your scouts an idea for a starting point


If you can meet outdoors then a no match or two match (depending on skill level) fire can be a good one. First patrol to get it lit wins.





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You could do something fun like tent races. Have them competing in who can set up their tent the fastest. Or if you go with the fire starting competition, make it more challenging. Sometimes you'll have to build a fire after it rains. And don't give them matches or lighters. Use a flint only to start a spark.

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Or maybe you can get a jeopardy board going, if weather is bad, and have different catagories with all types of scouting knowledge. Like uses for knots, maybe worst case weather scenarios, proper ways for handling wood tools, etc. That might be a fun game for them to interact and gain some knowledge.

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Knot challanges, first aid skills, camp set up (tents, dining fly), fuzz stick, camp gadget -- any skill will benefit with practice - challanges make it fun to practice - Treasure Hunt (short compass course practice)

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Troop Program Features Vols I,II & III, plus Troop Program Resources are excellent starting and building blocks. A Scout Handbook using the Tenderfoot through 1st class requirements are also great challenges. All of these should be available at your council offices. The Program Features also are published in the Scouter magazine.


Get these publications to the SPL and let him introduce these to the PLC and let them choose from the topics listed or come up with their own.


Through the whole process, guide and coach the PLC to utilize these tools and then let them try, they will come up with a better list if they know what is expected of them. If they fail, dust them off, lead a reflection and then coach and guide some more.



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