Turn Scouting Requirements into Compassionate Holiday Service!
By: Carissa Rogers
I’m new to Cub Scouts. And my little boy won’t even be in the troop until next spring! I’m learning the new Den Leader ropes as fast as I can (a little selfishly) so I’ll be able to better help him when he’s part of the fun.
There are long lists of requirements for each Wolf/Bear/Webelos badge, pin or belt loop. The requirements increase as the boys get older.
Younger boys may only have to pass off a few simple tasks for a similar requirement, whereas an older boy might be expected to check off several more time consuming responsibilities.
TIP: Combining multiple requirements helps move the boys along on several awards at once.
Let’s use the Recycle Achievement as my example. So many of the requirements include things like: talk to the boys about _______. Tell a story about _______. And then more talking and ‘teaching’. But the thing is… IT’S BORING! I’m a grown up and I find it boring. These little guys are 8, 9 and 10! I’ve gotta find a way to get through to them about keeping ‘Mother Earth’ green and caring about the environment. And ‘talking’ to them just ain’t gonna cut it.
How to make the achievements fun and meaningful to a 10 year old boy?
I brainstormed up an idea. We’re covering this subject in December— the season of giving, right? Why not combine a compassionate service idea with the requirements for the recycle award? Two birds as they say… and a whole lot more fun than a lecture!
1) Recycling & Sharing: The month leading up to the recycle den meeting, the boys will save all soda pop cans because we live in a state where the 5 cents is refunded. (Plus ask neighbors for their cans as well).
2) Pick a Pal to Serve: The boys will help select a boy their same age, from a family in need, or maybe the local hospital children’s wing.. someone significant to them.
3) Doing Trumps Talking: Instead of just ‘talking’ during the meeting we will have a whole lot of ‘doing’. First, recycling the cans at a local store. Then when they cash in the money we will immediately buy and wrap a toy any boy their age would love.
4) Secret Delivery: Doorbell ditch the chosen family’s home, or sneak into the hospital wing and leave the gift on the front desk.
5) End with Hot Chocolate of course! And all during the event explain and cover the goals of the recycle achievement. No need to discuss the act of service, the ACT will speak for itself in a language the boys are sure to understand!
What is your troop planning for November and December? Which achievements can you combine into an opportunity to creatively cross off requirements, serve your community AND keep boredom at bay?
About the author:
Carissa Rogers is a VolunteerSpot team member and is a busy mom of 3. She blogs atGoodNCrazy.com and writes for other websites. When she’s not playing photographer, leading the PTO, or chasing kids to and fro she’s connecting, consulting, freelancing and lots of other -ings …a mom of all trades. Find her on Twitter asCarissaRogers.