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Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:52 pm
by Roxybeaver1
As I blitzed through the new Canadian Path Wood Badge this summer, I must have heard the term "youth-led" dozens of times.

I am now a Troop scouter...and some of us still struggle with this. While some kids are happy to plan an event/meeting, we also can't get the older Scouts to come back to a meeting with ideas/plans.

We've had some success: one Scouter threw out the idea, wanna plan a camp? Go for it! And our girls, and just the girls, planned an overnight camp with food, bikes, COAA, the works. It was a great camp and it took weeks to fully plan.

So many kids seem to want to have their hands held. And some of our Scouters still tend to want to plan everything.

This to me begs the question: for Troop, is it best to simply ask them what they want to do and plan most of it for them, after they've given their input?
Or do a bare bones plan and have them tweak it?
Or outright ask them, what to you want to do? Great! Now, plan it and come back with your plan next week!
Or, instead, help them work through their plans over several weeks?

We are a very large Troop (44 kids) so we've divided them up by year for some meetings. I've got the 1st years, mostly former Cubs, and I've asked them "What do you want to do?" I got a huge list, told them which we could do, which we were doing and which were not very likely and some I've already planned and we've done it. And they're happy! Some are in the future and they're excited and they're happy! But it's that next step, of "What do you want to do?" to "How do you want to accomplish it?" that I'm floundering a bit. It would defeat the purpose of "youth-led" if I said save the 2nd question for next year as why not ask that now?

And such a range of skills too, among my 1st years...adding to the challenge.

Are there other Scouters struggling to find the right way to tap into the imaginations and drive we know is inside their heads while trying to shake off the older paradigm?

Re: "Youth-led"

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:58 pm
by Scouter Garland
Yah, it's a really tough balance.

Our troop has been focusing on skills training, and we have looked at the list of skills with the troop and have asked them which skills they want to work on the most, and try to guide them on the skills. So with winter skills coming up we are asking the scouts which skills they want to train both in preparation and during the camp.

Re: "Youth-led"

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:53 am
by aaslett
It is also not the 'new' thing it is being made out to be. Those of us who have had Troops using the Patrol System properly, and the Court-of-Honour have always done this.

Re: "Youth-led"

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 pm
by Hawkeye3
I too am struggling with this. My Troop has 14 youth. I believe I am doing too much, I have another Scouter who believes we aren't doing enough leading and hand holding. Getting males to plan anything is difficult, coming up with ideas is even harder.

Some of our best nights came when we brought in equipment, gave the youth bounds to work within, and let them go. This includes
  • Sewing night - Parents and grandparents brought in and helped run sewing machines, I brought in fleece and thread
  • Cooking night - They plan before what they will make and cook it. Cleaning is *always* a pain
  • STEM activity - take apart appliances / computers
Aaslett, you state that with a good court of honour, you can easily make it work. How do you get a good court of honour going and how do you run one? I am a second year Troop Scouter and still find myself stumbling, especially over this one.

Re: "Youth-led"

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:15 pm
by aaslett
You need to have organized functioning Patrols with at least older Youths acting well as Patrol Leaders. One of the best references is this older one from 1958.....

Scouter Alan Aslett, 2nd Peterborough