By Scouter Marc
Bringing common sense to the youth
Think of all the assumptions we make on behalf of our youth. Why do we make these assumptions? Why can’t we instead help our youth to develop that sense of identifying specific issues? Give them the opportunity to find the right solutions to them, developing their own common sense.
Content in emails sent to the parents should be the culmination of what was discussed with your Section.
When we think about it, typical emails to parents will be packing lists, reminders to sign up for camps, reminders about upcoming events, snack requests or notices of what youth should wear for the next meeting. If we did not engage our youth with the information contained in the email to their parents, how can we regard our program as being Youth-led? Gear lists for camps should be prepared as a Section before each outing. Oh, yes, I know, we all have the perfected, no nonsense, ready-for-anything packing list that was refined for 30 years. Imagine if the youth helped prepare that list, how much more easy it will be and more effective they will be at packing the right stuff. (Like, why do we need to pack two plastic grocery bags?)
This comes back to developing common sense. What if we ended some of our meeting by asking the youth, “What do I need to send as an email to your parents?” Have the youth think up of some of those reminders. For older Sections, the Section Leadership Team can send those messages. So, over time, our Section emails to parents will become more effective in their communication and in shaping youth skills and habits. When a parent asks a question to our youth about anything in the email, imagine how much more information the youth will share. “Mom, we need two plastic bags in case we our boots get wet, or we can use them to pack wet clothes.”
What do I need to send as an email to your parents?
The Value of Plan-Do-Review
Whether we’re asking “What snacks should we bring for the hike?” or “How do you think our Troop should handle this?”, asking the youth to weigh in on a decision makes them feel important and valued. Continuously asking these simple questions is great practice for the youth to make sound decisions without the help of adults. It’s all about creating meaningful discussions and having the youth help put the adventures together.