A good Scout is trustworthy, but a good Scouter is not above stealing–stealing ideas, that is. No, your BSA membership card is not a get-out-of-jail-free card! But as the Bible says (in Ecclesiastes 1:9), “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.“
One of the best places to steal ideas is your district roundtable, where you can learn about innovative meeting ideas and great outing destinations in your area. Online forums and Scouting magazine articles can help you learn from Scouters from across the country and around the world. And if you’re looking for creative service project ideas, look no farther than the winners of the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award. (Follow the link to find thumbnail descriptions of six years’ worth of winners.)
But your stealing shouldn’t stop in Scouting. Groups from schools to Sunday schools to sports leagues have great ideas for engaging young people and their families, ideas that you could easily adapt in your troop. For example, at this time of year many private and parochial schools post signs on the lawns of their new students, welcoming them to the school family. It’s a simple gesture, but it shows that the school cared enough to send a volunteer out on the first day of school. Imagine if your troop did the same thing each time a Scout joined … or if a veteran parent invited each new parent out for coffee and a chat about the value of Scouting … or if you created Scout trading cards like the baseball cards Little League teams produce at the start of each season … or if you replicated that killer fundraiser that your sister’s church’s youth group has been doing for years.
Remember: You’re only as successful as the ideas you steal!