Teaching Values



The values of Scouting are encapsulated in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. But we often spend more time teaching sheepshanks and Dutch oven cooking than we do teaching duty to God and cleanliness.

When I teach at the Philmont Training Center, we often do an interesting exercising. We brainstorm specific ways to teach each of the values found in the Oath and Law. Rather than give you the “answers,” I’ll offer this challenge. Write each of the following values on the top line of an index card:

  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Helpful/To Help Other People at All Times
  • Friendly
  • Courteous
  • Kind
  • Obedient
  • Cheerful
  • Thrifty
  • Brave
  • Clean
  • Reverent/Duty to God
  • Duty to Country
  • Physically Strong
  • Mentally Awake
  • Morally Straight
  • General

Now, try to come up with as many specific ways as possible to cover each of those values in your troop program. For “thrifty,” for example, you might have your PLC plan an actual budget for your next outing. For “physically strong,” you might require Scouts to do 10 pushups before entering your meeting room each week. Put things that apply to more than one value on the “general card.”

To make the values exercise even more valuable–no pun intended–do it with all your adult leaders. Then, create a plan to turn your notes into action.

You get the idea. Hopefully your Scouts will get the values.

Note: If you have great ideas about teaching any specific value, post them in the comments section.

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