Fun Beads(was Re: Round tables)
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 13:55:27 -0500
On Fri, 3 Feb 1995 08:59:50 CST6CDT Mike Murdock <Mike_Murdock@UNT.EDU>
>At our Cub Scout Round Table, we have a fun bead system set up.
<Stuff describing the bead system deleted>
>As a result of this kind of reward system, two things have happened.
>First, attendance at all District events have improved significantly
>over the last three years and second, the leaders have gone bead
>crazy. I have not observed any bead swapping or unearned bead
Arrowhead District, Simon Kenton Council was having an attendance problem at
Roundtable a few years ago. A large part of it was a perceived lack of
program. As I understand it, two things happened which changed this: first,
new Roundtable Staff leadership and a regular rotation of Roundtable
Commissioners, and second, the bead totem recognition. We just use a leather
thong and leave the use of it to the leaders' imagination (I looped mine into
a neckerchief slide/bolo tie surround that easily fits into my pocket, so I
always remember to have it.
The attendance beads are givien out to _all_ attendees, not just Cub Scout
Roundtable participants. The system is similar to Mike's description, but we
also get into such details as presenting sessions, walk-ons, etc.
At the end of the year, a "general store" is set up and the beads are given
values, based on the colors. The bead holders may attend this store, and
purchase items (usually donated by local merchants) with their hard-earned
>The nametag and bead system has definitely enhanced leader
>participation and attendance.
I think that, in our case, a change of attitude regarding Roundtable
leadership and program improved the attendance, rather than an award system.
I'm not sliming the system, I think it is good - even the adults need the
"attaboys" to foster good morale (and there are too few IMHBCO), and that is
something that needs to be better addressed in the publications - what works
for the boy also usually works for the adult. I also like the "home grown"
awards and recognitions that have come out of the woodwork the past several
years. Every little bit helps.
Admittedly, the Cub Scout Leadership really knows how to get into the "fun"
mode, while the Boy Scout Leadership tend to get into the "program" mode.
While this is a good thing, there is nothing wrong with a lot more "fun"
spilling into the "program."
Katinonkwat 93 and Thal-Coo-Zyo 457 both use a similar system to boost OA
activity attendance, and, I understand, it has helped boost attendance at
their functions. I have been to the latter lodge's fellowships, and some of
the bead-crazy boys and adults have enough eads to make some rather large,
beautiful necklaces and breastplates!
Unit Commissioner Arrowhead District Simon Kenton Council
18 year veteran of the Scouting program
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City