Sunday, 6 April 2008

Scouting Methods

One pattern that I have noticed is that many Troops become a specialist at only one method of the eight methods of scout. When a unit chooses to go down this path for long periods of time then the unit will become dysfunctional. The reason why this occurs is because of the fact that you are then not truly giving that young scout a opportunity to experience everything scouting has to offer. So here is the reminder that I like to think about when I am asking the question "How can I provide better service or get better service from others while keeping in mind the methods of scouting" Here they are and fully digest what each takes and what it will mean for mine and your's unit.
  1. The Ideals: The ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. Boy Scouts and adult leaders incorporating these ideals into their daily lives are said to have Scout Spirit.
  2. The Patrol Method: Within the larger community of the troop, the patrol is a Scout's \"family circle.\" Each patrol helps its members develop a sense of pride and identity. The boys themselves elect their patrol leader, divide up the jobs to be done, and share in the satisfaction of accepting and fulfilling group responsibilities.
  3. The Outdoors: Boys join Scouting for the challenge, the excitement, and the fun. Much of Scouting is designed to take place outdoors in settings where boys can find real adventure.
  4. Advancement: The Boy Scouts of America believes that a boy should receive recognition for his achievements. The requirements for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class prepare boys to take full advantage of all that Scouting has to offer. Earning merit badges allows them to explore many fields, helps them round out their skills, and perhaps introduces them to subjects that will become lifelong interests and rewarding careers. In addition, advancement sets a pattern of setting positive goals and reaching them through life. Star, Life, and Eagle requirements focus on service to others and developing leadership skills.
  5. Association with Adults: Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders are positive role models for the members of the troop, and take a personal interest in the development of each boy.
  6. Personal Growth: Scout-age boys are experiencing dramatic physical and emotional growth. Scouting offers them opportunities to channel much of that change into productive endeavors and to find the answers they are seeking for many of their questions. Through service projects and Good Turns, Scouts can discover their place in their community. The troop itself provides each Scout with an arena in which to explore, to try out new ideas, and sometimes simply to embark on adventures with no design other than having a good time with good people.
  7. Leadership Development: Leadership is a skill that can be learned only by doing it. Every boy in a patrol and troop will find that he is filling leadership positions of increasing responsibility. Through leadership experiences, boys learn planning, organization, and decision making.
  8. The Uniform: Since 1910, the Boy Scout uniform has been a recognizable part of the American Scene. Wearing the uniform helps boys develop a sense of belonging to their patrol and troop. It reinforces the fact that all members of the Boy Scouts of America are equal to one another. People seeing a boy in a Scout uniform expect someone of good character who is prepared to the best of his ability to help those around him. Likewise, adult leaders in full uniform set a good example for members of their troops and are also seen as community leaders fulfilling a very important role.
I do not pleasure taking time to remind myself or others of all eight methods but it is a necessary evil that we must contend with if we are going to provide the best opportunities for our unit's other members.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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