Our troop is having a mini camporee with just our patrols and the associated girl’s troop, and I’m looking for resources to help the adult leaders design the various stations–first aid, fire building, wildlife identification, knots, orienteering, pioneering. Any suggestions?
In all honesty, my first suggestion would be to have the troop instructors (youth) from each unit design and staff the various stations. I’m a big proponent of having the youth do the work. They benefit as leaders from the experience, and they are generally more in touch with what will be enjoyable for their fellow scouts than we are as adults. Having an adult leader assigned as logistical support to each instructor position or station would be helpful, so that the youth can delegate execution of some tasks to the adults (e.g. purchasing supplies, transportation of pioneering poles, etc).
The canned meeting plans at troopleader.scouting.org for the various disciplines might offer a starting point. I’ve seen everything from knot-tying/lashing speed contests to combinations of skill sets like timed first aid orienteering where the patrols navigate to a location, demonstrate a first aid skill, then navigate to the next waypoint where they get another first aid skill to demonstrate. I would be mindful of the restrictions on the height of structures for pioneering (not something I had to deal with as a scout).
Also, I understand that any activity that involves more than one unit (at least from different chartering organizations) technically becomes a district or council activity, rather than a unit activity. That’s discussed in the COVID-19 FAQs here: COVID-19 FAQ | Boy Scouts of America
I personally think that’s a silly restriction if all of the chartering organizations agree, but since I was aware of it I thought I should mention it. It seems (kinda) like there might be a loophole there for units with the same chartering organization, based on how the exact language of the FAQ is phrased (e.g. “units of different chartering organizations”).
I can’t stress enough how successful the troop can be when using it as a guide for all troop activities.
Thanks so much for the suggestions. I figure since we are both chartered by the same organization and at this point when the girl’s troop is so new we share much of the same leadership, we will assume it is OK. The troop leader’s guide looks very helpful. I understand your recommendations for youth led challenges. For a few reasons we’re using adult leaders this time. I hope we will change that the next time.
Just be aware, hope (as loosely as it is defined in colloquial English) is not enough to overcome but-we-did-it-this-way-before. Make a plan at this event to solicit ideas from youth for the next event. Bring that out as part of a planning agenda six months before the event. Set aside time for youth to prepare. Real hope requires real belief which must be expressed really often.
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