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New Scout Questionaire?

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Do you have one?


As we begin our journey of starting a new Troop, I have been brainstorming.

One big thing I am looking into now is a New Scout Questionaire. As SM I would like to see what the boys know about Scouting in general, what their expectations are on how things should be run, and what they would like to do while in scouts (ie backpacking, water trips, summer camp, etc...). Keep in mind we are starting with a small group of about 8 Scouts and the oldest will be 13. They really do not know what is going on, even after over a year in Scouts for 4 of the boys.


I want to do this so I can see what they do and do not know and how to guide them in the right direction of a Boy led Troop. I know for a fact that the Pack does a decent job in getting these boys excited to join the Troop, but there isn't much in the way of really showing these boys how they are supposed to run things. Hopefully this questionaire will help me with the boys already joining, and also to help show the WEB dens what they need to focus on.


So are there any questions you would put on this?

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The majority of boys that age will say they want the most extreme outdoor adventure available. The problem is that if you ask them what they want, they will expect to get it almost immediately. They don't understand experience levels, skill mastery, etc. They just want to do cool stuff.


Also, a questionnaire is going to get ignored by most boys. Paperwork smacks of schoolwork. Far better, IMHO, to listen to what they talk about around the campfire, and then later in the PLC.

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The formalities of survey research is wasted on small groups of eight or a good many more.


You are in a position to talk to boys directly about the kinds of things that interest them.


Also, the skills leaders have and the resources available to troops guide the program. A program that offers hiking and backpacking will attract boys who like those things.


If you have enough money you can buy high adventure activities from BSA, but my aim has always been to work with troops in low income areas where the program offered by the skills of troop leaders is going to largely determine the content of the program.



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qwazse, that is sort of what I am looking at.


shortridge, that is what I am trying to avoid.


I could just wait till campfire, but it will be the second weekend in November before our first official Campout. It will be the first of October before we are officially a Troop. Seeing as they are that young, I realize that it will take a few years to develop the Troop. We will be doubling the size in March from WEB2 in the Pack (At least 12 total, and that is a conservative number, already have commitments from that many. It could be as many as 16).


I was just wanting to get an idea of what they truly understood Scouts to be. From what I have seen over the last two years, the boys coming from the Pack see Troop as a continuation of the Pack. Last week we met to talk over some details and I explained to the boys that they would be running things, and the adults would basically be there to help facilitate their plans. You talking about excitement, they were bouncing off the walls. When we headed home, my 3 boys were talking about how excited their friends were and that they couldn't wait to get started.


That is where the questionaire comes into play. I was thinking I could get a quick snapshot of their knowledge, to help guide them on their way. But if you think that is no big deal at this point in the game, I can go with that. My original plans for the first few months were to basically give the boys a mini IOLS crash coarse. I want them to understand their responsibilities before the next group comes up so they all aren't in limbo. If you have any better ideas, My mind is wide open.


Adult Leaderships main goals are

First : Boy Led (Non-existant in previous Troop)

Second: Community Service (Non-existant in previous Troop)


Boys main goals

First : A more "Backpacking" approach to camping (This is the big one I

have been hearing from the boys, they want their own tents,

cooking wares, etc..)

Second: Taking Merit Badges they want, not what is given to them

(Something they didn't get in previous Troop)


That may be plenty to go on to begin with anyways. Thanks for any more input. Ask if you need more information about the Troop makeup.

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Your questions sound like excellent fodder for a Scoutmaster Conference. You have a small enough group that you could pull each boy aside for 10 minutes for a couple of meetings and get a much better idea of his hopes/dreams/vision of Scouting. SM conferences are not just for rank advancement, but for any of a myriad of reasons, including getting to know the boys in your unit.


Make sure they know what you're doing, otherwise the other seven will think the first kid in in trouble!


Alternately, just have a brainstorming session as part of the first few meetings. Take 20-30 minutes, get some of that big chart paper and have the guys throw out ideas. Devote part of the session to "troop governance" and part to activities. You may get more out of them when they can bounce ideas off one another than from a 'fill in the blank' type survey.

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The boys have spoken. Dude, you have to do something out of doors that first or second weekend in October even if it's a day hike around town with a stop at the nearest soda fountain.


This month, have the boys read each other the safe hiking chapters from the book. Call your game officer or agricultural agent. They might be able to give the boys some idea of how to find wildlife, and when/how to hike safely during hunting season.


Campfire can be in someone's back yard barbecue. (That's assuming your away from the burn ban.)


Do you all have leaves to rake yet? Maybe there's a town square or some elderly veteran's lawn that needs some TLC.

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