By Rick Seymour
The Scout Spirit Scavenger Hunt:
for Scoutmaster Conferences
Demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise)
and Scout Law in your everyday life.
How do you "measure" Spirit in a Scout's everyday life?
True Spirit is not like a square knot, which can be "demonstrated" at
Some Troops ask for a note from a Scout's parents or religious leaders. Other
Troops count attendance or use this requirement to block Advancement to
No method in which an adult evaluates a Scout is as efficient a
learning experience as making a game out of a Scout's reflection on his own behavior.
I give a Scout a copy of this Scoutmaster Conference worksheet on the first evening of the
campout on which he is likely to finish the requirements for his next rank. In his
Tenderfoot session with me, the Scout memorized the Scout Law in a single sitting by
explaining how each Scout Law is a practical rule for working with other people in the
wilderness (See Learning Scout Law).
With the Scout Spirit Scavenger Hunt, he learns to recognize this behavior in his own actions.
I keep an eye on the Scout for the rest of the evening and breakfast the following
morning. Then I casually ask him how his worksheet is coming along. The
dialogue usually goes something like this:
"I didn't do it yet."
"Well, why don't write things down when they happen, that way you don't
"How about Cheerful, you have anything for Cheerful yet?"
"You were Cheerful last night at the campfire when you sang the Bear Song."
"Oh Yeah!," (making a motion to take out his Worksheet).
"Well, it doesn't count if you get the idea from someone else! Can you think
of another time when you were cheerful?"
"That's a good one! How about Helpful? Did you help anyone
"Are you sure? I saw you being helpful this morning."
"Oh Yeah! I helped the cooks open the cans."
(And so on).
When the worksheet is complete, the Scout brings it to his Scoutmaster Conference.
The conversation then leads to how he applies the Oath and Law to his everyday
life. This sets the tone for the rest of the Conference.
This Scoutmaster Conference worksheet is not intended to be a mere writing assignment. The first half of each
sentence is printed out for him, and all he really needs is a verb and a noun.
Even so, most worksheets come back to me about 1/4 blank. Many Scouts
write general answers, and I transcribe more specific images in the course of the
conversation. If a Scout has a complete block about writing, I let him dictate his
answers to me and I patiently write down everything he says on his worksheet as he
I keep the Scout Spirit Scavenger Hunt worksheets and at the next Court of Honor, I ask the Scout with the funniest
or most moving experience to light the candle in a ceremony for that particular point of
the Scout Law. As he lights the candle, he explains to the audience in his own words
the meaning of this law as reflected in his own experience. This
makes for a much better ceremony than reading a canned definition of each Scout
When a Scout sits down to write, he is always surprised to find how many of
his actions are an example of Scout-like behavior. If you approach it in the spirit
of a game, the Scout Spirit Worksheet can turn this Rank Requirement into a
source of joy, pride, and growth.