Bringing Scouting’s Values Through to Youth
To bring the values of Scouting through leaders need to understand how youth grow and develop, how to create an environment for learning and growth, and how to provide youth with activities and meaningful experiences that reinforce positive values.
A positive adult role model has always been one of Scouting’s methods. Caring adults, interested in the welfare, growth and positive development of youth have been a hallmark of Scouting since its earliest years. Our example as adult leaders is the starting point. Scouting will work with adults who care. They care about Scouting. They live by its values, and they care about their Scouts.
The Ages and Stages of Youth Development
An important part in helping Scouts grow is recognizing that all boys are different. These differences are often a result of their age, or the stage of their physical or emotional development. In Scouting activities are often planned for separate experience and age groups. Advancement is tailored to the age, experience and maturity of the boys.
Clearly, B-P understood this when he wrote the following in Aids to Scoutmastership in 1919:
Activities that Help Bring Values Through to Youth
The Scouting program is designed to keep Scouts busy and involved in all sorts of activities. Scouts learn by doing, and learning values is as action-oriented as other parts of Scouting. There are three types of activities designed to help bring the values of Scouting through:
Reflection — By talking about or reflecting on their experiences, Scouts learn to think for themselves, and practice group skills. They make judgments, work together, develop understanding and trust. With guidance, they can seek and find the meaning or purpose behind activities, make sense out of experience and reinforce positive values.
Problem Solving — Through stories involving ethical dilemmas Scouts learn successful ways to resolve real problems. With experience, Scouts learn how to apply this method to real problems in Scouting and in their own lives
Community Service — By planning and carrying out meaningful service projects Scouts are able to connect with the real needs of their community.
Scouting is a Special Place
Educators and others often talk about providing youth with a place where they can feel physically and emotionally secure.
This is a place to grow, to develop, to learn and mature. We refer to this when we use the phrase, "Scouting is a Special Place." As adults in Scouting, we have a special responsibility to youth. The Scouting program has always emphasized this role as one of the "Methods of Scouting."
Creating that "special place" is best accomplished by personal example. Your attitudes, your example and your expectations will set the tone. The process of reflection and activities will keep the message clear.
Delivering the Promise
By being caring adults, creating a safe haven, and recognizing the differences in the ages and stages of youth development, we can create a special place in Scouting for boys. Reflection, the problem solving process, and opportunities for meaningful community service, each help achieve this.
Our goal as leaders is to bring the values of Scouting through and the way we do this is with an exciting program, challenging activities and a real adventure for boys. We "Deliver the Promise.
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