Sample Gathering Period with Enhancements
As Scouts arrived for their weekly troop meeting, It was already dark outside. Approaching the Scout hut, they were placed in groups of four, given a flashlight, two sheets of paper containing letters a through z, numbers 0 through 9, and the corresponding morse code dots and dashes for each letter and numeral, a pencil, a paper with a series of dots and dashes forming a unique message, and a compass. Each foursome was then directed to split into pairs, one to use the flashlight to send the message, and the other, from a distance away, to receive the message, write it down, and decipher the code.
When the message was thus received and decoded, it revealed a degree bearing along with a number of paces to take. It might read something like: “Follow a bearing of 60 degrees for 20 paces.” The pairs would then join together and using the compass, face the bearing and pace off the prescribed distance. When they did this accurately, to their delight they happened upon a bag containing eight pieces of candy.
Just sending and receiving the message would make an effective preopening gathering period. It would be involving, challenging, and along with an entertaining message, could in and of itself be fun. What made this kind of activity an example of comprehensive programming was the extra twist supplied by having the message serve as a directive, which provided an added challenge, and culminated with an unexpected reward. The use of the compass and the action of pacing a distance added an additional layer of impact, and the bag of candy enjoyably served as icing on the cake.
Sample Scout Meeting Activity with Fringe Benefits
A workable activity to reinforce a patrol’s ability to set up a dishwashing assembly line can be featured during a troop meeting, especially if the patrol(s) aren’t familiar with the procedure, or maybe could just use some practice. For a typical front-country camping trip, the materials for this operation can consist of a receptacle, like a small trash bag, in which food scraps and goop can be deposited, a goop scraper, a 4-quart pot containing warm water with a little soap, a dish washing brush, an 8-quart pot containing hot water, hot pot tongs, and a plastic sheet. Also, there really should be something to wash, like a plastic bowl for each patrol member.
The patrol(s) can simply demonstrate their familiarity with this form of dishwashing, by racing to properly set out the materials, wash the bowls and then place each on the plastic sheet to dry. As a competition, this actually could even be fun. But, with the addition of an imaginative routine that assures the bowls will require washing, this mundane activity can be transformed into a uniquely comprehensive and entertaining experience. The following additional materials will be needed: a blindfold and spoon for each patrol member, and some ice cream.
First thing, Scouts buddy up. A bowl containing a scoop of ice cream is given to each pair, along with a blindfold and spoon. Scouts are instructed to lie down on the floor facing one another, to place the bowl of ice cream between themselves, to apply the blindfold, and then to take turns feeding each other using their spoons. This, of course serves as both a comical prelude to setting up the dishwashing assembly line, which no longer is a race, but has become an incidental byproduct of participating in a deliciously unexpected undertaking.
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