Changing the image of Scouting

by Mike Pratt

Ever wondered how to get your boys more engaged with Scouting? Does it suffer from an image problem within your team?

Here are some ideas to get that spark going:

·         Keep the “outing” in “Scouting” – outdoor activities attract boys and get attendance.

·         Make it fun. It’s not all about passing things off.

·         Get them involved and running the program. Involvement leads to buy-in.

·         Do something big and worthwhile. Something they have to work towards to make happen.

·         Ask them to commit. One group got up at 6:30am a week after school was out to start prepping for their big adventure.

·         Help them see beyond the uniform to the things they do as Scouts—river trips, canyoneering, etc.

·         Try using a field uniform (T-shirt) they helped design for identity and esprit de corps.

·         Provide a list of gear they’ll need. Boys get excited about having gadgets.

·         Liken it to them. What do they want to be when they grow up? Help them understand how what they’re doing now leads to success later.

·         Do some marketing – promote the activities, be enthusiastic.

·         Find your own passion in Scouting. You can’t start a fire without heat.

For other ideas see Help Scouts change the perception that Scouting’s not ‘cool’ in the September–October issue of Scouting Magazine.

Find more ways to help your boys by attending roundtable, held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. For Boy Scouts, including Venturing and Varsity, go to the LDS chapel at 10400 N. 6000 West. For Cub Scouts, go to the LDS chapel at 6400 W. Timpanogos Highway.

24 Ways to Get LDS Youth to Wear the Scouting Uniform

1- Walk them through the full uniform, show where everything goes.

The second class badge in scouting has important symbols

The second class badge in scouting has important symbols

2- Teach the elements of each award, what they mean
3- Wear your uniform always, talk about the meaning of patches, etc. you earned
4- Show your red jacket or sash with all your patches, etc.
5- Make sure kids all have full uniforms, help trade uniforms to keep costs down
6- Show a video of a military uniform inspection

Marine Uniform inspection is a great example for Boy Scouts to wear the Scout Uniform

Marine Uniform inspection is a great example for Boy Scouts to wear the Scout Uniform

7- Have uniform inspections

Have a Scout Uniform inspection

Have a Scout Uniform inspection

8- Have a Marine come and talk about the US military uniform and wear it (or former Marine)
9- Award random points, prizes, treats for uniform inspections
10- Let them make a class b uniform they help design and like
11- Get older (cool, muscular) young men to wear their uniforms to Courts of Honor
12- Assign a Troop guide (cool older boy they respect) to discuss the uniform and wear it proudly.
13- Make a big deal of the merit badge counts as a sign of achievement on the sash
14- Get all boys a sash, even awarding it to new scouts
15- Link the uniform of scouting to the uniform of missionary work (an important goal in LDS units)
16- Get adult priesthood leaders to wear their scouting uniforms to all YM events (lead by example)
17- Tell the stories of Bayden Powell and how the uniform came about

Baden Powell felt strong about the Scout Uniform

Baden Powell felt strong about the Scout Uniform

18- Start a tradition of uniforms that carries on and is upheld,
19- Have older boys come in and discuss traditions (including uniforms) of the units
20- When calling junior leaders, get commitments to wear uniforms and get others to also
21- Priesthood leaders include the uniform commitment when calling new adult leaders
22- Point out kindly but clearly whenever a boy dishonors the uniform (untucked, unbuttoned)
24- Hand out patrol identity patches to the boys (for each patrol)
25- Give out junior leadership patches to all boys immediately on callings to leadership