Monday, October 10, 2011

Varsity Huddle - Cracking a Boy's Head Open To See What Is Inside (August 2011)

Just for the record, this picture creeps me out!!
Most adults identify the emotion in this picture as fear.  Teenagers though for some reason identify the emotion in this picture are shock or anger.  Clearly there are differences between adults and teenagers.

Tiger Cubs – 7 year old boys learn through interactions with their parents mostly and their leaders and learn through a “go and see” program.  They should receive monthly recognition for their achievements.
Cub Scouts – 8 to about 11 slowly get more responsibility and learn to interact with their Scouting leader to become young adults.  They should receive monthly recognition for their achievements. 
Boy Scouts – age 11 to 13 – begins peer mentoring as well as mentoring from a specific Scout leader.  Advancement is skill based, one rank building on what you learned from a previous rank.  Each Scout sets out his own trail to follow and progresses at his own pace.  There is no “one way” to work towards Eagle.[1]  Recognition for achievements should happen at the time the boys earns it but is recognized at Court of Honors. 
Varsity Scouts – age 14 to 15 – encourages rouged High Adventure and challenging sporting events.  Varsity units are stand alone units[2].
Venturing Scouts – age 15 to 18 – focuses on learning skills from experts and taking those skills back and teaching others. 

As boys progress from Tiger Cub to Venturing Scout, adult involvement slowly moves into the background (usually to looking over their shoulder to make sure they don’t light themselves on fire or hurt themselves).  Scouting is inclusive by nature so those with certain disabilities can still come to Scouts and get something from the program.  Fun is different for the Tiger Cub, the Cub Scout, the Boy Scout, the Varsity Scout and the Venturer.  Most boys just want to have fun!!

“Love tanks” – Have you filled your Scout’s “love tank”?  Do you even know how to fill his “love tank”?  The 5 love languages of teenagers are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch (within the guidelines of Youth Protection)[3].

[1] This is Scouting video
[2] This is Scouting video
[3] The Five Love Languages – How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, 1995

(This is an interesting article by National Geographic on the teenage brain!)

Here is what the Varsity Coaches come up with in each group.  We spoke in generalities.  We may have missed some ideas but I think the group came up with some great things!  One of the Coaches brought up the idea that as boys get older, feedback gets slower.  We don't always get feedback from teenagers or even good feedback.  I had never thought about this but was glad it was brought up. 

Age Boy
Definition of Fun
How do they want us to show them that we love them?
Tiger Cubs (7 year olds)
Attention, food, TV, video games, easy games
Physical stuff, silly stuff
Word of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts
Cub Scout (8-11 year old)
Derbys, tag, competitions
Gifts, words of affirmation
Scout (12-13 year old)
Needs motivation, competitions, danger, stuff that is over the top, outdoors
Fire, knives, outside, messy stuff
Varsity Scout (14-15 year old)
"I don't know" is a common phrase, self confidence, self aware, attendance issues
Extreme stuff
Words of affirmation, acts of service
Venturer (16-18 year old)
Driving, tons of freedom, adult-like, jobs, able to look ahead
Words of affirmation
18+ (Mission and college age)

No comments: