J.O.’s troop has older Scouts who like to advance and younger ones who have trouble moving through the ranks. He’s looking for ways to get older Scouts to mentor their younger peers.
A PRIZE-WINNING IDEA
How about a challenge? Find something the older kids want—gift card for gas, a special trip, etc. Set a date, and the one who gets the most younger kids started on some of their goals gets the prize.
LE ROY, N.Y.
A TIME TO TEACH
Each week, our Scouts—who are First Class and above—are assigned a skill to teach the younger Scouts. After the skills are taught, the younger boys practice the skills and can get signed off for their advancements at a future meeting. In addition, the older Scouts get even more interaction with the younger Scouts during their Scoutmaster conferences and boards of review. The younger Scouts really enjoy working with the older Scouts.
Assistant Scoutmaster J.M.
I make it the responsibility of my troop’s older Scouts who are Star and above to work individually with the younger Scouts to help them advance. This gives them the opportunity to lead, as well as forges bonds with the younger Scouts.
SPREAD THE NEWS
I walked into a troop that had been stagnant for nearly two years, with very little advancement. The first thing I did was have the senior patrol leader announce who had achieved something at the closing of each meeting—for example, “John finished up four requirements for Second Class tonight; good job, John.” The boys caught on very quickly. They took pride in what they were doing at each event, and friendly competition began.
EWA BEACH, HAWAII
Assign each younger Scout a mentor to help along the way. The older Scouts can bond with the younger boys and talk about how they got over their obstacles.
Den Leader C.S.
GIVE THEM A GUIDE
New Scouts typically have trouble with individualized advancement, particularly if they have come from Cub Scouting where their den moved up in unison. We struggled with this problem until we decided to make better use of our troop guides. These older boys are tasked with familiarizing new Scouts with the advancement program and getting them on track to achieve First Class within the first year. After that, most Scouts have the maturity and motivation to advance on their own.
Assistant Scoutmaster D.B.
JOHNS CREEK, GA.
BOYS TO MEN
As Baden-Powell suggested, we are men teaching boys to become men. You must show your experienced Scouts that it is their duty to mentor those who follow behind them, just as you and others have mentored them. Remind your older Scouts that they were once the Scouts they seek to leave behind. Part of their citizenship as experienced Scouts is to share their knowledge with those less knowledgeable. In fact, they will not truly advance until they advance those who are less advanced.
District Volunteer L.K.B.
GRANADA HILLS, CALIF.
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