FIRST YEAR PROGRAM - PART 1
William J. O'Connell ("William)
Thu, 28 Sep 1995 09:16:19 -0600
My mail server said my last message didn't get through, but Scouts-L said it
did. I thought I'll send it again just in case it didn't.
This is my first part so many about the First Year Program in your Troop
and Camp. I didn't take 4 years of college on the FYC program, but this is
my 3rd in as the FYC Scoutmaster and one year FYC director at camp. I
STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU MAKE COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS /QUESTIONS about what
PART 1 - The Importance!
The FYC program is THE MOST IMPORTANT PROGRAM IN THE TROOP! WHY? We have
this transistion of Webelos to Boy Scouts. If the Webelos haven't been
involved in the Boy Scout program yet, they have many different prespectives
of Boy Scouting. If they don't like it, they quit. The first year program
is made to get the Scouts comfortable with the other Scouts, get basic
Scouting fundamentals, and show that Scouting is fun and a great learning
So why is it important? 1) If they Scouts don't get a program they wish
for, they quit, When they quit, there will no use for the other programs.
In your Troop and Camp, you have to set up a program that the Scouts will
succeed in. That is why they changed the system around without meritbadges
- they have proven that Scouts who achieved First Class by the first year,
stays in. When the Scouts have fun and they see themselves progressing,
they stay with it.
We could put a rock in the middle of the floor and some of the Scouts will
have fun without leaders. BUT some will not. You have to relized that
these Scouts have a lack of attention span, have energy, and they are YOUNG!
Don't treat them as though they are in Senior High, because the are not. If
you respect them and give them some freedom, they will advance. You don't
need to push them, you don't need to holler at them. What seems common
sense to your older boys, are not common sense to them. Also remember that
these Scouts don't have the ability yet to think abstractly. Try to make
things concrete and put them to real life situations. If they don't see a
connection of the activity to real life, they won't learn it. The biggest
thing is to realize that they think and act differently than the older Scouts.
Lastly, you should have some program set up for the First Year Program.
Remember that these people learn by doing. People learn 10% what they read,
but learn 80% what they do. Don't make the program like school, but make
the program an active program. Be consistant in what you do and use lots of
positive feedback. Lastly, do the KISMIF system - that is KEEP IT SIMPLE
MAKE IT FUN!
If you don't have a program set up, continue reading my messages and others
so you can. Lots of troops put the FYC program last, but it should be
first. Have fun with it!
FYC Scoutmaster of Troop 15
1995 Camp Phillips FYC Director
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City