Can you learn to be a Scout leader on your own?

Being new to the adult leadership side of scouting can be overwhelming to say the least.  I thought I would have it pretty easy, since I was a former cub scout and boy scout.  However, the more I got involved, the more I realized there were things to learn to give your son the best opportunity to embrace all the positive aspects scouting offers.

If you want your son & den/pack to get the most of out scouting, you can’t do it alone.

A tip that was passed along to me by an outgoing father in our pack was that this “thinguniversity of scouting” called University of Scouting is a great way to leverage the knowledge of the masses to bring your pack/den experience up a notch.  So with that in mind I signed up for Aloha Council’s 2014 University of Scouting.  While other events precluded me from staying the whole time, what I did experience was really helpful.

I attended sessions on “Songs, cheers, skits & stunts”, “STEM”, and every Tiger Den Leaders favorite “Go see it” which the presenter expanded upon to give great ideas for outings for the whole pack here on the island.  All of the sessions you get out of it what you put into it, and I really walked away with a much better idea of how to improve all three aspects of the scout experience that these sessions touched.

Some nuggets that I’ll share here:

  • For songs & skits, use the internet, borrow other ideas as a foundation and let your scouts tailor it themselves.  You’ll be shocked at what is important to them to add, which is what makes it truly theirs.
  • Enthusiasm is contagious, so start every meeting off with a song/cheer.  It will warm them up and leave them with a good memory of the event.
  • STEM – start them early and keep the whole pack involved
  • STEM – There were some mistakes in when you can/can not do STEM activities.  Do what works for your pack/den, when it makes sense.

The other piece that made the event was interacting with the leaders from other packs & troops on the island.  I’ve only been doing this a few months, and all ready faces are familiar and this was a great way to talk story with folks while not keeping an eye on 20 some kids.  I am really hopeful for the future of scouting because I see a new generation of parents stepping up to the plate with energy, passion and fresh ideas.  We will need it.

I’m really looking forward to the next training opportunity (who ever says that?), and hopefully attending wood badge next fall.