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WHAT WOULD YOU DO? A Question of Cool

Ideas from the field: Changing others’ perception of Scouting.

Scouts in assistant Scoutmaster J.P.’s troop enjoy awesome adventures, yet they still get teased for being in Scouting. She asked how leaders can help change Scouting’s uncool perception.

COMEBACK KIDS We teach our Scouts how to respond when someone makes a negative comment. Examples: “Scouting is for wusses? When was the last time you hiked 63 miles, rappelled 40 feet, biked 60 miles, climbed a 12,000-foot peak, or canoed 60 miles?” “If there were an emergency, you could trust me to be able to take care of you. Would you be able to take care of me?” “Where do you think I learned the leadership skills to be the captain of the track


Here’s the dilemma: You come to the end of your popcorn sale. Product has been purchased and given to Scouts and parents. At the end of the day, several fami- lies do not turn in the money due to the unit. What do

you do? D.S. NEWARK, ILL.

SHARE YOUR SOLUTIONS and read more answers by visiting We also solicit new questions and pay $50 for each one used in this column. Or, send your submis- sions to Scouting magazine, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.


(or cross-country, tennis, wrestling, football, basket- ball, or soccer) team?” “At least I’m able to put achiev- ing Eagle Scout on my résumé/college application. What are you putting on yours?” “Are you part of any- thing that you and others our age plan and lead? I am. We plan and lead our meet- ings and activities. It’s not like everything else where the adults are in charge.” When Scouts respond

in such a manner, it usually shuts off the negative com- ments and often recruits the one making the comment about Scouting.


STAY RELEVANT Since entertainment is so immersive today, we have to step up our efforts to keep up. For example, I’m cur- rently working on a “Zombie

Survival Edition” of the Emergency Preparedness merit badge. The require- ments are the same, but the instruction is delivered in a theatrical and imagina- tive way. I’m pretty sure that earning that badge will be memorable, effective, and comment-worthy. Measuring the effectiveness of our program by boys’ willingness to tell others about it will keep us adults heading in the right direction.

Unit Commissioner M.G. LEHI, UTAH

ROCKS, NOT SOCKS Many people choose not to join Scouting because the uniform is all they see. More attention has to be shifted away from what we wear to what we do: going on great trips, making amazing friends, and learning leadership,

service, and new skills. We have to change the image of Scouting from a tan shirt and green pants to one of rock climbing and backpacking.

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster J.O. RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIF.

GO TECH Have the unit purchase some of the cool tech shirts that Scout Shops have been selling and let your guys wear them from time to time as a uniform alternative. You still look uniform as a group and increase the coolness factor a bit. Take action shots of your

boys doing the fun and cool stuff that Boy Scouts do, and try to get those photos into the local paper. Scouting is a year-round sport; market it as such.

Scoutmaster J.P. LOGANVILLE, WIS.


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