Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979 Page: 10
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Scoutmaster L.M. has a problem with
troop meeting attendance. In our
May/June issue, he wrote that he had
talked to his Scouts and written to their
parents. But sports is still their top
priority. What, he asks, can be done to
The best defense is a good offense. Forget
about the threats and letters to parents.
Troops that have good, exciting programs
have good attendance and compete very
well with sports programs or any other
distraction. Athletes who really like the
program of their troop usually find a way
to remain active in it. If your program is
not good and exciting, consult the new
Official Boy Scout Handbook, your
Scoutmaster's Handbook, Scout Program
Helps, or Boys' Life. There you will find
all the ideas you need for an excellent
District Chairman L.L.B.
I had problems with school sports, as well
as band trips, causing attendance to fall
off, until I contacted the coaches and the
band director and asked them to act as
merit badge counselors in their respective
fields. Occasionally the Scouts of my
troop miss meetings and other activities,
but I know that they are working on the
requirements for their Sports, Music, and
Physical Fitness merit badges while they
Scoutmaster W. W. W.
First, one must accept the fact that boys
like to participate in competitive sports.
Second, don't get discouraged or make an
issue of the situation. Third, show a gen-
uine interest in their life as a whole, the
key to good Scoatmastership and parental
cooperation. Fourth, have a good,
planned, troop program with the patrol
method in the forefront. There is no sub-
stitute for creating boy interest. If need be,
enlist the aid of your district and council
in this endeavor.
As a Scout, I played first-string basket-
ball and was senior patrol leader, and I
never missed a troop, district, or council
function or a basketball practice or game.
When I was a Scoutmaster, many of my
Scouts were in sports, but they were some
of the most active boys in the troop.
Assistant District Commissioner H.X.
The diversity of demands on a youth's time
is fierce, with sports representing the
major competitor of Scouting. The prob-
lem is not going away, so we must accept it
and use our imagination to make Scouting
a top priority again. Our council invited
Frank Gifford, the national sportscaster,
to our annual recognition dinner as key-
note speaker. Why don't you spark inter-
est in the Sports merit badge by inviting a
local sports figure to speak at a troop
meeting? In our council, we're urging
Scout leaders to encourage boys to make
news and report it on a community level
via school papers, church bulletins, and
troop newsletters. Such news could report
that Johnny Doe hit a home run to win a
game and his troop is mighty proud of
him. It's a waste of energy to nag Scouts
who don't show up at troop meetings.
tudes of those who do.
Council Board Member G.A.R.
L.M.'s problem is a classic one. It was
brought up last week at our roundtable,
and no solution was reached. The Scout-
master should try to make meetings as
attractive as possible and strive for
cooperation between the troop and
school, but there is no surefire answer to
the problem. L.M.'s idea of letters to
parents is a good one.
Assistant Scoutmaster C.R.L.
As every Scouter knows, we have lots of
competition for a boy's time. It's a fact of
life today. For most boys, Scouting will be
high on the list of priorities if their troop
has an active outdoor program. Some
boys, though, would drop out of the best
troop in the BSA if they had to make a
choice between Scouting and playing on
their school's football or basketball team.
All a Scoutmaster can do is work through
his patrol leaders' council to make his
troop the best it can be.
BARE BONES FOR BEAR ASPIRANTS
I have five eight year olds and three nine
year olds in my Cub Scout den. When
we're working on a theme that relates to
some of the achievements and electives, I
usually concentrate on the Wolf Cub
Scout Book because that's what most of
my boys are using. As a result the kids
with Bear books feel left out and don't
advance as fast as I'd like. What can I do
to encourage Bear advancement?
Den Leader C. L.
Send your sugges-
tions for Den
Leader C. L. to:
Front Line Stuff,
zine, P.O. Box
Fort Worth Air-
port, Tex. 75261.
zine also solicits new
questions of a provoca-
tive nature and pays $10
for each one used in
Front Line Stuff. ■
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979, periodical, October 1979; New Brunswick, New Jersey. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth353681/m1/10/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.