We have created a section of team meetings dedicated to personal heroes. We all have people we personally look up to. Heroes are important for everyone, but particularly important for youth; they inspire us, excite us, and give us hope.
Whether the hero is a real person or imaginary, whether they are an action hero who always saves the day, a firefighter, a parent, or a coach, heroes help us carry on. They remind us that there really is someone out there pulling for us and helping us and doing it with character. It is no wonder people get so excited over a returning veteran or a new action hero movie – heroes bring out the best in all of us. In that spirit, our Scouts hold a Personal Hero team meeting.
Choosing Personal Heroes
Scouts invite their personal hero to the meeting and everyone get a chance to introduce their hero and say why that person is a hero to them. Scouts choose their own hero. The Personal Hero should be someone who is a hero to that particular Scout. Popular choices include parents, friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses, educators, relatives, and spiritual leaders.
Invitations should be on card stock. Ask for “business announcements” and use the least expensive printing method in black on white or ivory. They should be printed at a print shop to ensure quality appearance. It should read something like, “We request the honor of your presence at our Hometown Hero Dinner…” The time on the invitation should be the time the Scouts believe they will be finished cooking and ready to serve. Formal card stock should be available at no more than a dollar per invite. Scouts can call ahead to print shops to ask about selection and to find out if the print shop will donate or reduce the price of the invites. Be sure to mention they are Scouts.
Ahead of Time
Scouts will need to make sure they have heard from their chosen hero. Scouts will also need to plan what to cook, when and where to cook it, who is bringing the food, plates, silverware, cookware, decoration, etc. A budget must be planned, and Scouts will use money from their petty cash fund to purchase ingredients. Pots and pans, if they are not otherwise available, can be borrowed from parents, Team Counselors, and Counselors. Scouts will need to go the market.
Scouts should be wearing their full dress uniform.
Where to Cook
We want our Scouts to do the cooking. If their meeting site has a kitchen, they can arrive early and cook on-site. If not, Scouts can cook at home. We remind parents that while parental help and advice is always helpful, it is our Scouts who are doing the cooking.
What to Serve
Scouts choose the menu for the meal and it is important they make it themselves whether they come early and cook on site or cook at home. Scouts can cut up vegetables and cook them and make salads. Remember, everyone is dressed up, so avoid anything too messy! An idea for the main course:
- chicken, such as chicken cutlets (not fried chicken) which are fully cooked and can just be heated up
Hero as Guest
Since each Scout invites a hero, they are that Scout’s guest. There should be a greeter at the door for instance. The speaker should be someone who is interesting to the people invited, such as a public official like the Mayor, the police chief, fire chief, or an exciting person such the coach of the local professional baseball team. They too want to meet interesting people who may be unrelated
to their job. Speakers should be brief – no more than 10 minutes, and perhaps another 5-10 minutes for questions.
As a guest, the hero is invited to take part in the different portions of the team meeting if there is time. With both dinner and clean up, there may not be time for a formal meeting. The Hometown Hero can take part all portions of the team meeting. Best of America and the announcements cannot be skipped. The guest is free to take part in all portions of the meeting that are held, but of course some may not feel comfortable taking part in physical activities, such as friendship games, and that is perfectly fine. If an Activity Buffet is held, the guest, like Scouts can attend whichever interactive session they want.
Before sitting down to dinner, the guest should be given an Orientation. After the regular Orientation, a couple of pre-selected Scouts stand up and say why the joined our Scout Programs and what is the true meaning of them.
Finding a Speaker
A speaker for this meeting is found in the same way a Guest for the Activity Buffet is found, except Scouts are taking into account the guest’s interests rather than their own. Scouts call city hall, or wherever they will find the preferred speaker and explain the Scout Programs and that the hero is an invited guest.
Anatomy of a Hometown Hero Dinner:
- Scouts arrive early to cook
- A reception is held in the meeting room. Scouts have prepared hors d’oeuvres.
- Scouts serve dinner and sit down for the meal with the guest, giving thanks before the meal
- Scouts clean up
- Scouts hold the rest of the meeting if possible
After the meeting, the Hometown Hero should be thanked by all the Scouts, the Team Counselors, Counselors, and any parents in attendance.
Why We Want Our Scouts to Get the Details Right
Reading this, parents, Team Counselors, and Counselors may wonder why it is so important for kids to create such a grown-up presentation.
The reason we ask our Scouts to go the extra mile and create details which look professional, such as card stock invitations, a door greeter, and a reception is not to be picky, but because our Scouts will need to know how to do those things.
They will be giving parties all their lives from Sweet 16 parties, Quinceaneras, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, and much more. It can be embarrassing for a grown person to have no idea how to throw a formal party. We want our Scouts to naturally develop the skills they will need in the future as a part of society – before they need them.
The Scouts’ personal heroes get the chance to become familiar with our Scout Programs and let others know about them. Our Scouts also get the opportunity to publicly thank their heroes and let their heroes know just how much they really are appreciated.