On a periodic basis, usually twice a year, Scouts invite one of their educators to an educator night. If the Scout has one educator, they would invite that educator, or if they have many educators, they can invite a favorite.
Advantages to Educator and Student
The educator is the Scout’s guest and this allows the Scout the opportunity to interact with the educator in a different setting. The educator in turn gets the chance to see what their student’s outside interests are and that their student is a Scout. This also allows the educator to be introduced to our Scout Programs, which may encourage them to invite members of our Scout Programs to give a demonstration during assembly time or encourage students to join. Educators come away with a positive opinion and understanding of our Scout Programs. Parents have a standing invitation to all our events, but this is not intended to be a parent/teacher conference. The Scouts are the hosts of the event and this is their opportunity to show what they can do and spend time with their educator. Educators also get the chance to talk with other educators. Some will undoubtedly be from the same school, and others will not be.
Invitations should be created ahead of time on card stock. Ask for “business announcements” and use the least expensive printing method in black on white or ivory. These should be printed at a print shop, rather than on a laser printer in order to impart that this event is indeed a special honor. It should read something like, “We request the honor of your presence at our bi-annual Educator Night…” 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 and the purpose of the invitations.
Educators can simply reply in person to the Scout they see 5 days a week. It should be a nice invitation because everyone is more likely to attend if they receive a great looking invitation – it sends the message that their attendance is important.
Ahead of Time
Scouts will need to make sure they have heard from their chosen educator. Scouts will also need to plan what to cook, when and where to cook it, who is bringing the food, plates, silverware, cookware, decorations, etc. A budget must be planned, and Scouts will use money from their petty cash fund to purchase ingredients or obtain donations of prepared foods. Pots and pans can be borrowed from parents, Team Counselors, and Counselors. Scouts will need to go the market and stick to the list. Scouts will work out who is going to go and details such as transportation.
Attire at the Dinner
Scouts should be wearing their full dress uniform.
Where to Cook
We want our Scouts to do the cooking, unless prepared food is donated. 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 expected to do the cooking.
What to Serve
Scouts prepare the meal. Remember, everyone including the educators are likely to be dressed up, so avoid anything too messy! Ideas are:
· chicken, such as chicken cutlets which are fully cooked and can just be heated up.
The meal should be served as a sit-down dinner, not buffet style.
Before the Meal
There should be hors d’oeuvres served before the meal. The reception time enables everyone ample time to eat dinner together in case some guests are late. In addition, it allows for an informal start. Posters or displays of Challenges can be displays for viewing during the reception.
Educator as Guest
Since the educator is the Scout’s gue
st, they are treated accordingly. There should be a greeter at the door for instance. The team provides dinner for the educator and a speaker. The speaker should be someone who is interesting to an educator, 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. This is not intended to be an educational conference, which educators certainly go to enough of. They too want to meet interesting people who may be unrelated to their job. Speakers should be brief – no more than 10 minutes, allowing 5-10 minutes for questions.
As a guest, the educator 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. Educators can take part all portions of the team meeting. Best of America and the thanks before the meal should be included. Educators are free to take part in all portions of the meeting that are held. If an Activity Buffet is held, educators, like Scouts can attend whichever interactive session they want to attend, with the Scout who invited them or not.
During the dinner, in between courses, educators should be given an Orientation. After the regular Orientation, a couple of pre-selected Scouts stand up and say why they joined our Scout Programs and why our Scout Programs are important to 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 educator’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 educators are invited guests.
Did and Do Exhibit
Being in the exhibit is a reward for those who have done exceptional work on their Challenges.
Timeline of an Educator Night
- Scouts arrive early to cook or set up
- A reception is held in the meeting room. Scouts have prepared hors d’oeuvres. Educators can have the opportunity to speak with other educators, and with the Scout who invited them
- Scouts serve dinner and sit down for the meal with their educators, giving thanks before the meal
- Best of America
- Scouts clean up
- Announcements and educator thank you
After the meeting, the guest speaks and the educators 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, dinner, and guest speaker is not to be picky, but because our Scouts will need to know how to do those things.
They will be attending and giving parties all their lives from Sweet 16 parties, Quinceaneras, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, and much more. We want our Scouts to naturally develop the skills they will need in the future as a part of society – before they need them.