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Scoutcraft Presentation

Scoutcraft, obviously, is one of the most important parts of a Scout meeting.  A boy should go home from every Troop meeting feeling that he has learned something new in Scouting, something he wants to practice at home and in his Patrol.

In all probability your Troop bases its program on themes, concentrating a month's work around a certain Scouting skill.  The Scoutcraft presentation will logically feature some phase of this skill. It will not attempt to teach it, but will try to give the Patrols the incentive to follow up on the subject at Patrol meetings and on Patrol hikes.

The Scoutcraft presentation at the Troop meeting is not meant to be a formal instruction, dividing the subject into so many lessons, with an "expert" putting his stuff across.  Scouting is not interested in mass instruction.  Scouting is not regimented learning.  Our efforts are directed toward giving each boy an opportunity to grow according to his own abilities and interests, to learn at his own speed.  We want to see Scouts train themselves and each other right in their own Patrols.

This is one factor which makes Scouting distinctive as an educational movement.  As Baden-Powell says: "If once we make Scouting into a formal scheme of serious instruction in efficiency, we miss the whole point and value of Scout training, and we encroach on the work of the schools without the trained experts for carrying it out.  We want to get ALL our boys along through cheerful self-development from within and not through the imposition of formal instruction from without."

Besides being against Scouting principles, mass instruction in the Troop is impractical: The average Troop consists of a mixture of Tenderfoot.   Second and First Class Scouts.  Any mass instruction at Troop meetings would be too advanced for some and too elementary for others.  And furthermore-no Scoutcraft subject can be thoroughly taught and learned in weekly twenty minute periods.

Ways of Presenting Scoutcraft

The main purpose of the Scoutcraft presentation is to show some of the aspects of a Scouting skill in such a fashion, that the boys will be inspired to get deeper into the subject and master as much of it as possible.

If your theme for the month is "Communications," for instance, several types of presentations may be made during a series of Troop meetings: At one meeting, a good speaker may tell an exciting "camp fire" story of life saving through signaling.  At the following meeting, an Explorer may show how to make a simple blinker or buzzer from scrap metal.  Next time one of the Patrols may demonstrate signaling methods during the ages.  And finally, the leader in charge of the commando game scheduled for the Troop hike of the month will explain the signaling project planned for the climax of the game.

If properly presented, the result should be: A vivid interest in the subject, a desire to learn more about it, tricks to be tried out in the Patrol, a way of using the knowledge in the out-of-doors which will require Patrol practice.

You have a wide choice of methods for presenting Scoutcraft at the Troop meeting:

TALK - A talk is probably the least effective method.  Yet, if well done by a person who knows his stuff and how to present it to boys, a talk may provide a good starting point.  A general treatment is better than one going into too many details.  True-life incidents add color.  A first-aider, for instance, may tell of "Accidents I Have Dealt With." - a forest ranger of "Forest Fires We Have Fought," combining information and drama.

BLACKBOARD TALK - A blackboard provides the chance to illustrate a talk with simple sketches and diagrams.  The principles of building a pioneer bridge or a signal tower can be shown more easily in a diagram than by demonstrating with full-length timbers.  A blackboard presentation also makes boy participation possible: The speaker can draw out the boys and write down their ideas on such a subject, for example, as: "What Equipment Do I Need for an Overnight?"

LARGE-SIZE PICTURES, SLIDES AND FILMSTRIPS - make a talk even more effective.  The Boy’s Life photo features on Scoutcraft may be used here.  A number of series of slides and filmstrips are available; many more are under preparation.

MOTION PICTURES - Our special Scout films are excellent for interesting the boys in a Scoutcraft subject. They range from "Axemanship" and "Life Saving" to "Conservation" and "Forestry" ("The Scout in the Forest"). Your Scout Executive has a list of Scout films and can get them for you.

DEMONSTRATIONS - are your best bets for the Scoutcraft presentation.  They can be put on by individuals or by Patrols.  A leader may demonstrate fire-by-friction; how to pack a pack; how to sharpen an axe.  A Patrol may show how to lash a bridge trestle; how to improvise emergency stretchers; how to make a fire rescue.  Take time off after the demonstration to answer all questions the Scouts may raise.

DRAMATIZATIONS - work well for a number of subjects.  Axe safety, for example, may be shown in a Patrol skit of "Tenderfoot Willie Brings His Axe to Camp" - Willie, of course, being shown by his Patrol pals how to use his axe correctly after having handled it in the most dangerous manner.  Any number of first aid "dramas" are possible.

Of the various methods of Scoutcraft presentation, demonstrations and dramatizations put on by Patrols are the most beneficial all-round.   They kill three birds with one stone: They present the subject in an interesting way to the whole Troop; they give the Patrol putting on the presentation the incentive to get to together at Patrol meetings for practice; and they encourage friendly rivalry between the Patrols to give the best performance.

The Scoutcraft theme of the month should be brought Into each Troop meeting program.  A game or a demonstration will do It.

Suggestions for projects for demonstrations and dramatizations may be found in PROGRAM THEMES and GAMES & PROJECTS.

See: Patrol Corners






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Meeting Ingredients ] Before the Meeting ] Opening Exercises ] Troop Formations ] [ Scoutcraft ] Patrol Corners ] Scoutcraft Games ] Recreational Games ] Council Fire Period ] Closing Exercises ] After the Meeting ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Object of Camping ] Patrol Camping ] Patrol Hikes ] Gilcraft Patrol System ] The Patrol System ] Court of Honor (PLC) ] Gilwell PL Training ] Philipps' Patrol System ] Golden Arrow PL Training ] Patrol Leader's Creed ] PL's Promise Ceremony ] Patrol Competition Awards ] Informal Scout Signals ] Ten Essentials ] Story Telling ] JLT Skits: Leadership ] Master & Commander ] Patrol Activities ] Patrol Motivation ] Troop Meeting Hints ] Troop Meetings ] Patrol Leader Training ] Essays ] Patrol Flags ] Training Patrol Leaders ] Troop Brainstorming ] Menus ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.