Re: Scout participation
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 11:41:44 -0700
Rather than use a negative reinforcement approach of restricting the one
thing the Scouts seem to enjoy doing,(to "compel" them to do other events)
why not find out why they are not participating. Is it possible they have
not been encouraged to do so? Do they have conflicts with other
activities on meeting nights or on weekends, such as sports, band, etc.?
Have you asked the parents, or even better had a meeting with them as a
group and explained the outing/activities program and its importance to
Scouting? Have you shared with them what equipment is needed to have an
enjoyable campout (e.g. how to stay warm on a winter campout). Some
Scouts that have had bad experiences (such as getting cold on campout due
to inadequate equipment/clothing) are very reluctant to participate in
future events ("once burned, twice shy"), so it's a good idea to minimize
Have you encouraged the parents to participate on the Scoutmaster's staff,
the committee, or just go along on the campouts to help out? Sometimes if
a parent participates, it's easier to get a new Scout to come along.
As with any youth activity, the Scout has to be interested and encouraged
to participate; if they don't see the activity as being fun and enjoyable,
they probably won't do it. Sometimes you have to "get their feet wet" on
a first event to show them that it really is a lot of fun and their
buddies will be their with them. Older Scouts are a great resource to
encourage younger Scouts to participate; they have lots of credibility and
serve as great role models; so if they are particpating in the events,
they can also "sell" the younger Scouts on the idea.
If Scouts come back enthusiastic about an activity, it tends to be
contagious, so show slides or video, have the Scouts assemble and narrate
the show. Have a musical background theme for the show, and stir up
interest in future trips. Make them think it's a "must-do" event.
Are your Scouts involved in the decision-making process of what activities
are chosen and when/where they will be held? If they have ownership in
suggesting the activities, and then are given the responsibility of
helping plan and coordinate them through the PLC, they are far more likely
to feel an obligation to be a part of the event.
Lastly, be appreciative of the fact that they are enthusiastic
about advancement and use it as a "tool" to get them interested in other
activities of the troop. If you "restrict" their advancement to force them
to participate in activities, you will probably lose them.
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, Boulder, CO
On Tue, 5 Nov 1996, James Gibson wrote:
> In our Troop the question has come up regarding what we should do,
> if anything, about Scouts that are not regularly participating in outings,>
> A Suggestion has been made that the Troop committee with the
> Scoutmaster should come up with and publish troop specific criteria
> such as at least 50% participation at troop meetings, outings and patrol
> meetings in order to be eligible for rank advancement.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City