Aims, Methods, and …Fun!

While we constantly talk about the Aims and Methods of Scouting, I think it is important never to forget FUN!
Even though it is not listed as a specific Goal… if you are not having fun then you are not doing right.
I’ve been doing some Scoutmaster reflection lately and came to the understanding that 12 year old boys are 12 year old boys. By and large they joined Scouting to get out in the woods and do nothing but have fun. The leadership stuff develops as they grow and the values creep in as we teach, but at the end of the hike it was all about fun… not citizenship, being a good steward of the land, or development of character. While they got all of that, when you are 12 you just have fun.

I think BP said it best when he talked about “the game with a purpose”. It’s just a game, how we, the adult leaders, develop the values in the Scouts is less important to the Scouts than having fun. We need to do it throughout the program, but never loose sight of the 12 year mind. He’s thinking fun.

Last night at the Troop meeting, I took and informal poll. Sort of a Troop reflection. I did not require an answer, but if any Scout wished to speak up he was welcome.
I asked two questions: First. Since you have joined the Troop, have you learned anything?
That is a broad questions, but I wanted to give them plenty of room.
And second. Are you having fun? Pretty simple.
The answers were refreshing. More than half of the Troop raised their hands to comment. To a Scout they all answered Yes and Yes… most adding phrases like, Learned a ton!!! Some of the older Scouts talked about skills, some of the younger Scouts talked about doing something for the first time. I was glad to hear that they all were having fun. And to me that means we are doing it right. Learning while having fun.

The Aims and Methods of Scouting are great tools to guide you and your Troop to developing strong young men, leaders, future Dads and citizens. When they look back on their days in Scouting and all they have achieved in life, I want them to remember how much fun they had.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. The older guys in my troop tend to be very laid back and just say, “Yeah”, they’re having fun, but it’s hard to get specifics until you press. The young guys are like little jumping beans and they’re always willing to give a lot of feedback.When I asked them at the annual planning conference a couple of months ago what they enjoyed most on our outings I was surprised that they said, “Just being able to hang out”. I wasn’t hoping for an answer like that. I was hoping for any kind of learning thing, like, firebuilding or whittling. Those are the things I was into when I was a kid, even though I wasn’t a Boy Scout. So, they built a lot of hanging out time into their outings, but they also wanted to do things that piqued their personal interests. My son added “Zombie Survival Training” to the calendar which turns out to be an excuse to build a fort-like structure. Pioneering skills here we come!


  2. That’s what it’s all about – fun! Both for the Leaders and Scouts.I always remember what another Scout Leader told me, if we make things fun, the kids learn, and by making learning fun, they don’t realise they’re learning. ‘Learning by stealth’ he called it!Nick


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