Tips to Scout Success
Troop 59 loves to see Scouts succeed. We are proud of our Eagle Scouts, our young leaders and the accomplished young men who graduate our Troop program. Above all, we want our Scouts to have fun. To enjoy their time as a Scout, to explore everything Scouting has to offer and to make their personal Scout journey the best that it can possibly be.
Every Scout is different and every Scout’s experience of Scouting will be too. Maybe he’ll want to aim for Eagle, maybe he’ll want to take every chance he can to get into the outdoors, maybe he’ll enjoy the leadership opportunities the most. Is the best thing about Scouting for him the hiking and camping? The bonds he builds with fellow Scouts? Or the times he spend showing younger Scouts the (literal and figurative) ropes? The Troop program offers all of this and more, so get your Scout off to a great start.
Top Five Tips
1: Sign Up, Sign Up
Troop 59 offers all sorts of activities and opportunities. Encourage your Scout to sign up for as many as interest him or as many that will fit into the family schedule.
2: Get to Meetings
Activities and outings introduce him to all sorts of Scouting skills but regular contact with the Troop cements the ideals of Scouting. Troop meetings are where plans are made, boys work together with other Scouts, listen to their leaders and share their skills. Scouts should attend as many regular meetings as they can.
3: Don’t Lose That Handbook
The Handbook isn’t just a wonderful resource of all things Scout, it is where you son will record his rank advancements. He should learn to track and manage his own Scout achievements. This includes looking after his handbook, recording his advancements and planning his next steps. The most organized Scouts keep a folder or binder with photocopies of their completed advancements pages, their Blue cards and other certificates and awards. Whether it is a binder, folder or box, make sure they store their Scout information together in one safe place. They may need it all again one day for an Eagle Board of Review.
4: Learn from other Scouts
The Patrol system was developed and the Troop is run so that Scouts learn from each other. Whether his patrol is of mixed ages or peers, every Scout learns from the Scouts around him. The older Scouts share skills with younger which is a keystone of leadership for both Scouts. During his time in Scouts, your Scout will be both student and then teacher, mentored and mentor. Most of our kids’ time in school and on teams is spent surrounded by boys his own age or close to it. The Scouting program offers contact with all sorts of boys from all sorts of schools and interests of ages between eleven and eighteen. Add to that the values Scouting teaches and the experiences it offers and your Scout has an all too rare opportunity to mix with some very accomplished young men, share interests with younger ones and develop friendships across age groups.
5: Let him Learn for Himself
Scouting is a journey and in every journey, there will be missteps and detours. Let him learn from his mistakes and failures. Don’t pack for him, don’t manage his advancement and don’t ever, ever think of arranging his Scoutmaster conference. Yes, he may forget his mess kit but there is nothing like trying to eat out of another Scout’s spare bowl or cup to make sure that you never forget it again. That Scoutmaster conference may take him weeks to arrange but when he finally does, he has done it himself. When he realizes it was not nearly the ordeal he anticipated, that will be his hard won knowledge and his accomplishment to relish. Don’t deprive him of that. Don’t underestimate the value of small accomplishments. They turn into bigger ones. Those tall, confident Eagle Scouts didn’t start that way. They were once Tenderfoots who didn’t bring enough socks or warm layers, who messed up compass readings and made inedible meals on campouts. They learned, they grew, they succeeded.
Behind every single Scout is a parent who once bit their tongue, who backed off, who let them do it the wrong way. In a boy-led Troop, things don’t always run smoothly and patience is often needed in great quantities. The leaders and parents would certainly be more efficient. Decisions would definitely be easier without asking a group of pre-teens and teens. Everything would be more organized because, as adults, we have learned to do that but this is not about us. At the end of the day, the more you can make it about your Scout and his experience, the more successful that experience will be.