By Scouter Marc, Troop Scouter
Who has not had a chance to make banana boats at camp? They’re pretty tasty and easy to make. Slit a banana lengthwise through the peel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Stuff the banana with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap it in foil and place it on the coals to cook to a sweet and gooey treat. Done!
When my Cubs added it to the menu, I asked the question, “What if we added peanut butter chips to the banana boats?” The Cubs nodded. One Cub added, “What if we added whip cream once they’re cooked?” The other Cubs started to salivate and nod. Another Cub then added, “What if we also drizzle on some maple syrup?!” The Cubs in the Pack agreed on what our ultimate banana boats would be. Through the “What ifs” we also added a secret ingredient: crumbled Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal!
When my Cubs think up of what they would like to do or eat at camp, we always try to have them challenge themselves a bit further. Asking them a “What if” question can help to create those new experiences that we want them to try and seek out. My shock came this summer when I joined our Scout Troop for summer camp. (It’s always fun to see how my old Cubs have grown, and how they’ve stayed keen on Scouting in the Troop.) The Scouts went climbing at the same tower they’d visited the year before. “I’m going to try the easy wall first!” exclaimed one Scout. A second Scout said, “What if you did it blindfolded?” Another exclaimed, “What if you did it while holding a tennis ball?” Another Scout asked, “What if you could only use the red holds?”
The language that we introduced years before in Cubs had become part of their way to challenge themselves in an older Section. I see Plan-Do-Review gaining the same momentum. As we start asking the right discussion questions, our youth will use those questions to help build their adventures and make them come true. The more we use it in the younger Sections, the more the youth will benefit later when they’re in older Sections.
The true changes of The Canadian Path will not happen within our Section at a flick of a switch. We will see it take shape down the path, when new habits become second nature.