Scout Spirit Introduction




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By Rick Seymour

The Scout Spirit Scavenger Hunt:
 a Worksheet 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 will. 

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 "trouble-makers."  

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 forget."


"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 today?"


"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 watches. 

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 Law.

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.






Additional Information:

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Parent- Level Topic Links:
Game with a Purpose ] Spirit Scavenger Hunt ] Scout Law History ] Learning Scout Law ] Woodcraft Laws ] B-P Law & Promise ] B-P Scout Motto ] B-P Salute Sign Badge ] Timberwolf Promise & Law ] Otter Promise & Law ] Traditional Variations ] The Order of Nature ] Boy Pioneers Constitution ] Scoutmaster's Benediction ] BSA as Religious Org ] Good Deeds ] What is a Boy Scout? ] A Scout is Reverent: ] When Others Say "God" ] On Patriotism ] Flag History & Care ] Value of Little Customs ] B-P & Nature Knowledge ] Religion of Backwoods ] Baden-Powell on Religion ] B-P Fundamental Ethics ] Letters to a PL ] Pantheism ] Evidences of Christianity ] Within My Power ] Has God in Him ] Matthew 19:13,14 ] Matthew 25:3146 ] Kingdom God Within You ] B-P Badge + Sign ] BSA Congressional Charter ] Scouting in 1938 ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.