Games in Scouting
by John Boom
My name is John Boom. I have been continuously involved in scouting since 4th grade. Scouting changed my life. I found friends, I learned skills, I made some great life decisions. As a scouter I’ve done a little bit of everything from working at scout camps to being involved with the order of the arrow and even cub scout round table.
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A common complaint I have heard is that merit badges X, Y, and Z are SOOO boring! I set out to remedy this situation by coming up with ideas for games for enhancing merit badge instruction. As Lord Baden-Powell said, “Scouting is a game with a purpose.” It makes sense that scouts want a summer camp, not a summer school. Merit Badge Instruction should be fun for everyone. Both your, and the boys’ enthusiasm increases with the use of a variety of learning styles. These games seek to involve multiple talents and intelligences, and are an alternative to the traditional lecture.
At Bear Lake Aquatics Base, Camp Steiner, and Camp New Fork I piloted some of these games to help enliven the learning process. It was a great success! Because scouting means a great to me, I decided to share my list. However, Like the axe and log, and so, too, like our lives, this book is a work in progress. I am always looking for new ideas and welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have. One should note that not every requirement has a game listed, some requirements are fun, exciting and dynamic enough that additional pizzazz simply isn’t needed. Games for some badges, such as Metalwork and others may distract from the necessary atmosphere of safety. This, of course, does not mean that the presenter should not strive to find ways of making instruction as fun as possible. With these games be sure to use your head, monitor for safety, and use at your own risk.