What Leaders Need For Online Scouting
Online Scouting Is Here. Are You Ready?
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Good To Go With Online Scouting?
Why Do All This?
We have a tremendous opportunity to shape the next generation of scouting. “We can either be in front of the change or under it.” Through the partnership of both the scouters who are “dreamers” and “traditionalists” we can build what could be known as “Scouting’s Second Wind”
Setting The Goal For Your Unit
As the adult leaders of our units, others will be looking to us for guidance and setting the overall goals of programming. This is especially true for online scouting. By planting the flag for others to see, this will help make decisions and is easier for everyone to understand why those decisions where made. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. Use the example on this page to build your own SMART goals. Goals Should be Smart… Keep scrolling for more…
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- Specific: What online programming will your unit be ready for? “I need to be able to communicate quickly with my parents.”
- Measured: Where exactly are you on that goal and how to measure that journey? “Create a contact list to be handed out to all parents to include their cell phone numbers. I will have 100% of my parents on with confirmed cell numbers.”
- Action Based: Assignments, tasks and who is assigned. “I will ask my assistant scoutmaster of communications to create a parent text group for me to use and have all those numbers distributed”
- Relative: How does this task work towards the goal? “The parents text group will provide an immediate communication path for fast response ability.
- Time Boxed: Give a deadline or it’s a dream. “This task is due by Day/Month/Year.
Believe it or not there is a lot of activities your scouts can do at home. There are online discussions, meetings, merit badges and board of reviews…. all done from the house. Imagine great ways to break down rank requirements into daily activities without you having to build it. There are 30 day challenges for Scout through First Class Ranks here on this site free for the taking.
Why Do All This?
Now more than ever is the time to engage scouts on as many levels as we can. By providing an online scouting program we can provide a more rounded experience. This can lead to more time for the face to face/peer-to-peer scouting skills when your unit is all together.
“Scouting must accomodate for social distancing at the same time provide and good quality, safe programming for scouts to build their confidence in accepting and conquering the next challenge” – Tony Zizak
Change happens… When COVID-19 forced social distancing and quarantines, scouters around the world thought up new ways to keep scouts engaged. Online troop/pack meetings, boards of review, campfires, merit badge days and camporees. That will not go away when COVID-19 is over. We now need to make sure that the spirit of intent of the requirements remains intact. We cannot cheapen the experience.
What does this mean from a program perspective?
- Events are now offered world wide. The pool of available scouts is huge and events will fill up much faster.
- Because events fill up faster, your unit has to respond quickly to take advantage of some online events.
- Units will need to go digital in one way or another. It will be up to the leaders to figure out the how and when.
- Scoutmasters will need do a little more work and to verify merit badge counselors since they could be out of council.
- Scoutmasters will need to set guidance with their troops for when, how, and how many merit badges to take. Giving a “free for all” mentality will cause crazy amounts of logistical problems.
- Scoutmasters will need to adjust programming to allow for these online opportunities so the unit can take full advantage of the face to face opportunities.
Take small steps… scroll down for some suggestions…
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Take Small Steps
Look to the list below for some ideas about online scouting you may want to start incorporating in your unit now.
Online Scouting Items to Consider
- Fast communication with your parents (minutes): Text Group.
- Communication with PLC, Parents and Adult Leaders (hours to days): Email Groups
- Unit Information Everyone Needs (Information which doesn’t change often): Web pages and PDF files regarding troop information and guidelines for both unit family and guests.
- Parent Portal: Internal communications, resources for all types of communication and static files within your unit family.
Start at the top and work your way down. It will take time to get all the way to the bottom of the list.
This Is Just The Beginning
Online Scouting is here to stay. You may be finding yourself starting from scratch and don’t know what to even ask or you may want some new ideas to keep it fresh. Either way we all could really benefit your involvement on our site. Join our free membership to share ideas, ask questions and learn from each other.