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In the Army we have certain points to aim for in training our men; but in the long course of years the steps in training have become so absorbing and important that in many cases the aim has come to be lost sight of.
Take, for instance, the sword exercise. Here a number of recruits are instructed in the use of the sword in order to become expert fighters with it. They are put into a squad and drilled to stand in certain positions and to deliver certain cuts, thrusts, and guards on a certain approved plan. So soon as they can do this accurately and together like one man – and it is the work of months to effect this – they are passed as efficient swordsman, but they can no more fight an enemy than can my boot. The aim of their instruction has been overlooked in the development of the steps to it.
I hope the same mistake is never likely to occur with us in the Boy Scouts. We must keep the Great Aim ever before us and make our steps lead to it all the time.
This aim is to make our race a nation of energetic capable workers, good citizens, whether for life in Britain or overseas.
The best principle to this end is to get the boys to learn for themselves by giving them a curriculum which appeals to them, rather than by hammering it into them in some form of dry-bones instruction. We have to remember that the boys are already tired with hours of school or workshop, and our training should, therefore, be in the form of recreation, and thus should be out of doors as much as possible.
That is the object of our badges and games, our examples and standards.
If you would read through Scouting for Boys once more, with the Great Aim always before you, you will see its meaning the more clearly.
And the Great Aim means not only the practice of give-and-take with your officers, but also with other organizations working to the same end.
In a big movement for a big object there is no room for little personal efforts; we have to sink minor ideas and link arms in a big “combine” to deal effectively with the whole.
We in the Boy Scouts are players in the same team with the Boys’ Brigade, Church Lads, Y.M.C.A., and Education Department, and others. Co-operation is the only way if we mean to win success.
-B.P., May 1910, “B.P.’s Outlook”
While I’m in the middle of taking my Woodbadge II for Company and Crew, it occurred me there aren’t a lot of resources on the more obscure parts of a well-rounded program. All parts of the Venturer and Rover Scout Programs are important, but some like camping or service get a lot more attention than topics like conservation or even simply administration of the Company or Crew.
So this will be one of many in a series of improving various aspects of youth programming at the Venturer and Rover Scout levels.
The main thing I find that gets attention from companies and crews when talking about the Environment is Leave No Trace. From the simple, “pack in what you pack out” to more elaborate codes of conduct, it can have various meanings for various activities. Leave No Trace Canada is a “national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.” Otherwise a perfect outside agency to learn from for being experts in their field. They offer various levels of training, an awareness workshop which covers the basics, and trainer certifications to put on the workshops.
Venturer Scouts can take the course which can satisfy various requirements:
- Contribute to Section 4-f of the Exploration Award
- Section 3-c,i of the Outdoorsman Award
- Contribute to requirement 3 of the old World Conservation Award
Rover Scouts can take the workshop, or even take the trainer certification and put on courses for Venturer Scouts in the area. Besides, it never hurts to get a refresher to use when you’re planning your exploration events.
[Editor’s note: A LNT session will be put on by your’s truly at the upcoming Mash Moot, and is available to put on courses upon request.]
More Program Ideas After The Jump
In the past five or six years, I’ve increasingly heard the sentiment locally and through other channels that social camps are useless and have nothing to do with Scouting. After all, are there the markings of a traditional scout camp? Not really. Heck there’s even dances and jello wrestling at one of them! Like customer service bad events are always shared with 7-10 people while good events are only shared by 1-3 and I wanted to explain with the help of some local Rovers what exactly what they are and what value they bring to the program of Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts. Social camps in south-western British Columbia include four (4) main events spread out over the Scouting year. There is a new social camp, Camp Coyote and some smaller Rover Moots that supplement these main program markers.
A few things that are common to all camps:
- Each(aside from the Rover only Moots) are open to Venturer Scouts, Rover Scouts and members of Girl Guides of Canada aged 15-30 as well as their respective Advisors. It’s also open to other WOSM organizations; we’ve had Australians and Americans attend at least one of these events in any given year.
- Camp attendance varies from 300-700 participants (Youth and Advisors) from Pacific Coast, Fraser Valley, their respective Girl Guides of Canada areas and occasionally groups from Washington State.
- Saturday is the main day of activities, usually culminating with a dance on the Saturday night. Awards for events are typically presented at Camp Closing on Sunday morning.
- Groups attending are responsible for everything they need for a weekend of camping, aside from program. All groups are expected to come with Advisors and their own camp forms. Advisors are responsible for their own youth at all times.
- Any major breaches of the BP&P are handled by sending the group home immediately (even if it’s at 2am and the parents have to drive out to pick them up), and a formal complaint is lodged with Scouts Canada by the group running the camp. Minor infractions are handled at camp between the Camp Chief and group(s) involved in the mischief.
- Most of these camps are run by volunteer staff that are aged less than 30, with the majority of planning done by youth 18-25. RoVent is the exception to this; “Friends of RoVent” do a lot of the planning and execution of this event, but are continually looking for new members to run the camp and aim for a Rover to be the Camp Chief.
Well, it’s been a long time coming since my last full article. Without much further ado, here’s my
2011 Scouting Year in Review
ie. I Didn’t Realize You Can Fit All Of This Into One Year
Simply amazing. Adventure, and to do so with old and new friends alike is the definition of Scouting. To see two well run events by Rovers, for Rovers, was empowering and exciting. The stories and lessons learned will continue to serve me for years to come.
The weekend after getting back from Australia was the first of three weekends to learn how to be a level 2 trainer. Lots to learn, and really helps to focus the teaching. Still have to go as a trainer to more courses in order to get my third bead. Should get that done in 2012.
I had the pleasure of training a third Focus course in 6 months. The fellow trainers who came out to assist me really stepped it up, given that I was out of town for the month prior. Couldn’t have done it without them. Oh, and the participants were awesome too.
Wow! What a totally amazing, excellent discovery!
Applied to be DCC-Communications
I wanted to make the next step, and applied for a Council position. While I ultimately did not get the position, the opportunity taught me a great deal that can be applied to so much in my future life. Funny how that happens with Scouting.
Every survey of young knowledge workers – physicians in the Army Medical Corps, chemists in the research lab, accountants or engineers in the plant, nurses in the hospitals – produces the same results. The ones who are enthusiastic and who, in turn, have results to show for their work, are the ones whose abilities are being challenged and used. Those that are deeply frustrated all say, in one way or another: “My abilities are not being put to use.”
The young knowledge worker whose job is too small to challenge and test his abilities either leaves or declines rapidly into premature middle-age, soured, cynical, unproductive. Executives everywhere complain that many young people with fire in their bellies turn so soon into burned-out sticks. They have only themselves to blame: They quenched the fire by making the young man’s job too small.
-Peter Drucker, “The Effective Executive”