Guest Author - Erik Moeller
While we discuss topics from cold weather survival to merit badge counselors and first aid tips, it is important to remember the primary rule for our young men- SCOUTING SHOULD BE FUN!
As adult leaders we want to teach them survival skills, how to pitch a tent in the rain, how to cook their own food. Like most of us sometimes they learn more when they fail- when things don’t go as planned. We had three patrols on a campout cooking dinner. Like most leaders we encouraged the Scouts to try something different. For dinner, one patrol decided to cook spaghetti and meat balls. Sounds simple enough. They cooked the meat and sauce in one pot and boiled the spaghetti in another. When they got ready for dinner, they poured the spaghetti into the sauce- they did not, however, drain the spaghetti. A very interesting concoction. There was plenty to eat, but that is one cooking lesson none of the boys will forget.
Every year one of the districts in the council holds a merit badge college. Nearly 1000 Scouts attend. I have taught Citizenship in the World on several occasions. The Citizenships can be less that exciting. To help the class get a feel of different markets, I set up a trading game. The class was divided into 3 teams. Each team got $1 million to trade. They could buy steel, oranges, oil or keep the cash. We went through 5 cycles where weather, strikes, etc. effected the price of the commodity. The best team got a small prize. The Scouts enjoyed the game a lot.
During the third year of playing the game, I broke the class into teams, gave them the rules and told them to plan their strategies. From one member of the team in front of me I heard, “I was here last year. We buy oranges all the time.” He said he came back to this class because he wanted to win the prize this year.
In the spirit of fun and enjoying Scouting, there is a link below to a Word Search game. Print it out and let your Scouts find the words. I find this kind of game is enjoyed by older Scouts as much as younger ones.