In order to keep meetings FUN, we encourage varying the meeting randomly. Every few meeting (not at regularly scheduled intervals, such as every three meetings, or Scouts will only come to those meetings), Scouts should do something FUN that replaces parts of the traditional meeting. These are marked on the schedule as “surprises”
Team Counselors and Counselors arrange to surprise the Scouts. They can invite an exciting guest, bring an object the Scouts will be interested in, take them on a trip, or bring food for a treat.
Guests in this category are not Activity Buffet Guests. They are selected by the Team Counselor and Counselors as a surprise for the Scouts. Good choices are local athletes from a professional team, or a college or high school team. The Fire Chief, who brings along a fire truck, is a good choice, particularly for Rising Star Scouts. An astronaut, local hero, or local celebrity is a good choice, as is a skateboarding expert, or someone who has a cool job like a video game creator or film maker.
Team Counselors and Counselors can use their imagination. Arrowheads collected while camping out or hiking present the opportunity for a discussion about Native American culture, hunting techniques of the past, and how they lived and worked. A mobile petting zoo would excite any Scout, or maybe a local wildlife expert can bring one animal.
Team Counselors and Counselors who take Scouts on all-meeting trips need to take a couple of things under advisement first. Transportation will to be arranged ahead of time, and parents will need to be notified. This is just in case a Scout’s parent comes by early to pick them up and finds an empty, locked building and no cars in the parking lot. If a Team Counselor or Counselor is going to take Scouts somewhere off site, parents need to be notified first. Calling the day of the meeting will help keep the surprise factor. Counselors can ask parents to drive Scouts to the new location, which accomplishes both informing the parents and avoiding the transportation issue.
Miniature golf, go-carting, hiking, and batting cages present FUN opportunities for Scouts to replace a meeting with an activity.
Scouts can be treated occasionally by bringing in ice cream or getting pizza delivered. Team Counselors and Counselor could also occasionally cook dinner for the Scouts and bring it to the meeting, such as tacos, burgers, or other youth favorites.
One of these choices can be implemented every few meetings. We recommend trying meetings 3, 5, 9, and 10 to start off with. Of course, Team Counselors and Counselors should use their own common sense. If one of those days falls on a holiday when there will not be a Scout meeting, change it to another meeting. If weather prevents traveling, obviously do not take the Scouts out in inclement weather. If the surprise for meeting nine, for example, was huge, maybe you will not want to have a big surprise for meeting ten.
We want our Scouts to be surprised and to never known when they are going to have a really FUN meeting. Not wanting to miss it, this will encourage Scouts to keep coming to every meeting.