As Scouts develop and grow they acquire skills and better their camping techniques. They learn through the Start, Stop, and Continue process and each and every camp out they get better and better.
Well, we would hope so. You all know that old adage, “You can lead a horse to water…” Well, I have come to believe that it is true. With a few exceptions, I mean to say that.. you can lead that horse to water.. but you have to motivate him to drink. And so it is with our Scouts. We teach them, guide them, and coach them… but I will not do it for them.
So what motivates them? The other thing that I have come to believe is that one day in all of them a light goes on… lets call that light motivation. When it comes to cooking on camp outs, it is that point when meat balls are not enough.
It is the point when a Scout realizes that being lazy will never getting anything accomplished, and when taking the easy way does not satisfy them. It is that point when they look around and see those that have already had to light come on and want to be like them. Until then however.. meatballs are enough.
I recently had a discussion with a few of the parents of boys in my troop that were not happy with the way their Scout was eating on camp outs. Valid concerns I assure you. But the answer was not going to be found by asking the Scoutmaster. The answer could be found in their planning (which is checked by an ASM). The answer could be found in the Scout that did the shopping and food prep. The answer could be found in how much did they bring home (Un prepared food because “We did not feel like cooking). The answer was not in lack of instruction, coaching, and leadership. The answer was in laziness and lack of “Wantto”.
We take the boys out prepared, what they do within their patrols during meal times is pretty much up to them. There has never been a Scout that died of hunger on a weekend camp out and the sooner they get tired of meat balls… the sooner they will get better.
We have seen in this in the last three age groups of our Scouts. they start off great… taper off.. then get tired of the crappy food and become great camp cooks. The light goes on and they get it. And that was my answer to concerned Mom and Dad.. one day they will get it. And you will know… as will I. Until then, we coach, teach, and mentor and they cook meatballs.
So be it. We all learn.
Have a Great Scouting Day!