Looking for a list of Leaders’ Minutes? There is a list of 35 at Troop Program Resources

So let’s review the bidding. What are our aims in Scouting?  Our aims include character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

Here are some methods we use to achieve these aims:

(1) association with adults (that would be you)
(2) adventure in the outdoors,
(3) the ideals of Scouting and, of course,
(4) our favorite, advancement.

It’s a tradition that a Scout meeting ends with the “Scoutmaster’s Minute.” This is a time when the Scoutmaster has an opportunity to give a little talk that will start the Scouts thinking about the ideals of Scouting and hopefully keep them in Scouting longer. No matter what an individual’s job in Scouting ,there will be similar opportunities. With every encounter that happens with Scouts there is often that precious minute or perhaps just a few seconds when you can say something to will close the deal. How do you do this? Being alert to those opportunities, you must be ready to use that precious minute to start and continuing a conversation that will take them on a guided discovery or slow walk them to an epiphany about themselves,about the ideals of Scouting or about the adventure of Scouting that will influence their character and influence them to stay in Scouting.

Start such a conversation by asking leading questions. In Cub Scouting advancement happens at Den meetings and at camp. You might ask, “What have you done at summer camp?”

Every Tenderfoot Scout that has ever cracked open the Scout Handbook or been to an Eagle Scout court of honor dreams of becoming an Eagle Scout. You could ask, “What are your plans to make Eagle?” You might think that a 11 year-old would be too young to have such plans, but you would be wrong. Remember, Genghis Khan was about that age when he set out to conquer the world. You can also ask, “What did you do at summer camp?”

So no matter what your job is, be it Cubmaster, Den Leader, Scoutmaster, District Advancement Chair, Unit Commissioner or Troop Committee Member, be alert for the opportunities to use that precious minute and be ready to ask that question or say those few words that will start a conversation that will get the youth thinking about their future.

In this way you’ll influence them to stay in the Scouting program longer so that we will have a greater opportunity to shape their character. Now, isn’t that what we’re all about?

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Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. These days he is a Scouting Ambassador and serves on the Council Membership and Marketing Committee. However, his pride in Scouting is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative, and Commissioner.

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