From the Build an Adventure campaign:
“Scouts do stuff. They build things. Play with purpose. Make friends and work together. Set goals and clear them. They go places. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. These life-changing experiences — and the confidence they provide — become bricks in the wall of childhood. Bricks that eventually form a foundation. One a Scout can stand on to embrace opportunity and overcome obstacles. For the parents watching in awe, it’s not a question of where their Scout will go, but where won’t he go.”
The whole campaign focuses on young people exploring their interests, learning new things, and taking responsibility for their own program. All of which fits in well with Baden-Powell’s vision that “In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.” Empowering boys to choose their own Scouting path not only keeps them interested and engaged, it also helps them grow into decisive, responsible adults.
This is not to say that adult volunteers aren’t vital in the process. According to beascout.org, leaders should mentor and guide youth without taking over and depriving them of valuable leadership opportunities: “While there is guidance from experienced leaders, Boy Scouts take their own lead, exploring places they’ve never been as they dive into the rugged world of outdoor adventure. With a spirit of teamwork, they pack up their Scout gear and their sense of adventure, and dive into the learning and excitement that comes from being in the brotherhood of the Boy Scouts.”
How do you encourage youth to build an adventure? What role do you play in making sure Scouting is effective in helping youth grow and learn for themselves? Let us know in the comments.
Author: Maria Milligan | Grant Writer, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.