In an earlier post, I reported on a poll and discussion of how the eight methods of Scouting are applied in our troop. We followed that up with a poll during the youth leadership training. It was great for discussion in that setting, and there were some interestingly different views on how our troop is doing in applying the methods of Scouting. I’ll use “+” and “-” for the strengths and weaknesses columns.
Plenty of food for thought, but I’ll pull out some that were discussed during the leadership training.
Ideals: The Scouts were concerned about troop members living the Oath and Law when they are not at Scouting events. They have a better view of this than the adults, because they see their fellow Scouts every day in school. They decided to re-institute a youth leader minute at closing, where one of the older Scouts discusses a point of the Scout Law. They also talked about mentioning the ideals more often when working with the troop.
Patrol Method: The Scouts were even more concerned than the adults about getting the newly-formed patrols working well. They talked about supporting the new Patrol Leaders with specific meeting plans, doing more inter-patrol games, and making sure patrols are independent on campouts.
Outdoors: Clearly, this is a strength of our troop. We’ll use this as a foundation for working on the weak areas.
Advancement: Lots of people voted on this, but with an equally split result for both the adults and the youth. The reasons were the same in both polls: we have a good track record, but a big challenge with so many new Scouts.
Personal Growth: A reassuring result for the adults. We’re never sure if we’re doing enough to support them, but the youth feel this is a major strength of the troop.
Leadership Development: The adults were surveyed before the first youth leadership training in a few years. The youth were surveyed during leadership training. Clearly, they felt it was useful.
Uniform: Pretty good alignment here, looks like we’ll be doing uniform inspections a couple of weeks before the next Court of Honor. As a patrol competition, of course. And we’ll work on wearing troop T-shirts so we look like a group on outings.
The Scouts really dug into this discussion and I think our program is already better.