Re: Den Meetings
Bob Taschler (bob_taschler@PUBLICITAS-USA.COM)
Fri, 21 Jun 1996 15:29:08 -0600
John VB wrote:
Any suggestions on how to slow down or what to keep in the back pocket
for times when the activities finish up faster than you thought?
I commend you on trying to be prepared. I never feel fully
prepared myself and have had to rely on quick thinking, make
believe and a good sense of gamesmanship.
Good salesmen always remember their customer's point of view and
needs. Whether you are delivering a youth development program to
six year old Tigers or 15 year old Scouts, the method and pace
must fit their needs.
A six year old who was raised on the frenetic pace of Sesame
Street and video games will either become bored in about 3-5
minutes of any one activity or conversely, latch on to one
favorite activity and play it to death. Just watch them play
video games. If it bores or frustrates them, they put it aside
within 5 minutes. If they enjoy it, you can't pry their fingers
off the controller.
For the older Scouts, an activity isn't really cool unless they
perceive that their mothers would gasp "Oh! No!" if they saw
their sons engaging in it. No mother wants to watch her son
rappel down a 150 foot cliff or run white water rapids in an open
canoe, but every Scout I know thinks this is "Very Way Cool".
So my advice is to hang loose, KISMIF (Keep it simple. Make it
fun), and have several plan "B"'s handy. Create and carry a
leaders kit in the trunk of your car with an assortment of scout
craft materials: short ropes for knots (twine or 1/4 inch
polypro), small sticks for lashing (chinese chopsticks),
neckerchief slide materials (1/2 inch pipe hotglued to almost
anything), knife sharpener materials (sand paper thumbtacked to a
block of wood wrapped with bicycle innertube), fire starter
materials (candlewax melted onto dryer lint stuffed in paper egg
cartons), patrol flags (old linen napkins or cloth scraps, magic
markers or crayons, and pictures to copy or trace), lanyards
(plastic lacing), leather items (key fobs, knife or comb sheath),
lacrosse sticks (plastic cups glued to wooden paint stir sticks
and ping pong balls), make rafts and sailboats (glue or lash
popsicle sticks or chopsticks with paper sails), make gifts (glue
and grout ceramic tiles to a piece of plywood for a hot plate
trivet; paint faces on smooth rounded rocks for pet rocks;
"frost" pine cones with white paint for Chritmas; mix plaster of
paris and make hand print paper weights and paint them), teach
them to sing silly songs or jokes, play a guessing/memory game
(I'm going camping and I need to take ??? with the most points to
the team that makes the most appropriate suggestions); etc. This
list is endless really. Just become a child again yourself. The
sillier the better.
Things that are dirty or messy rate raher high with kids if not
their parents. Water also rates high on their list, especially if
it is a natural stream or pond. Exploring and "treasure" hunting
are great time killers as in "Whoever can find the most litter in
the next ten minutes will be the Denner at the next meeting."
Also, get the How To book for Cubs from your trading post. Go to
the library and have the librarian help you look for childrens'
game and craft books. Don't overlook cooking/baking something
simple. Don't get hung up on the boys not getting perfect
results, (they don't expect you to be perfect either). What works
with one group of boys is a total flop with another group.
Bob Taschler, ASM, Troop 88, Waldwick, NJ
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City