How to Make Your SPL Quit

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seniorpatrolleader

I’ve been doing interviews recently with Scouters for a forthcoming Scouting magazine article on the boy-led troop (or boy-run or Scout-run or Scout-led–you pick the term). The most remarkable quote I’ve heard didn’t come from a Scouter, however, but from a senior patrol leader. He said, “Honestly, I think I would quit Scouting if my Scoutmasters cooked me every single meal. There’s just no fun in that.”

This quote struck me because I’ve seen many, many cases where Scouters do all the cooking or where they take over cooking duties when the troop is in a hurry to get to a fun activity or to pack up before heading home. My representative sample of one SPL says that’s a dumb idea, that those Scouters aren’t doing their Scouts any favors when they “help” in this way.

Interestingly, even the first-year Scouts in this SPL’s troop seem to agree. When they’ve gone to closely packed camporees, some of those first-year Scouts have looked across a campground and wondered aloud why other troops’ leaders were doing all the cooking. Then they’ve turned back to their overcooked pasta and charred French bread and continued having fun.

Are your Scouts having fun? Or are they just eating nice catered meals in a rustic setting?

For more ideas on making Scouting fun, be sure to check out The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook today.

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