Our Scouts have special projects they perform in their communities in order to be of service to the greater community and meet more people. One of those projects is an Expo. An Expo is a gathering of people who have an interest in a particular topic for the purpose of learning more about it. One choice is a Green Expo.
P.O.L.E. (Plan, Organize, Lead, and Evaluate)
Scout use their knowledge of P.O.L.E. to help them with the Expo. They plan, organize, lead, and evaluate their efforts so the next Expo can be even better.
Scouts are responsible for choosing the topic of the Expo, organizing the exhibitors, the guests, the location, and every detail of the Expo. They lead the entire event from start to finish, and afterward evaluate their efforts.
Expos serve the purpose of educating the public about a particular topic of interest. Generally, exhibiters do not sell items at our Expos, but rather provide information.
An example of acceptable materials to hand out would be a pamphlet on the advantages of cleaner drinking water. On the back could be the name of the company providing the information, such as a bottled water company. We want our Scouts to think big and imagine which companies and organizations can contribute to the public at a particular Expo.
Who is Invited
Expos are held for the public and Scouts advertise to the community. Inviting youth is particularly important, however, we want families to be able to participate together and there should be attractions for every age group.
Just like the Activity Buffet, nearly all attractions should be interactive when possible. There should be special exhibits for youth to take part in, and our Scouts need to make it clear to those with an exhibit that learning-by-doing exhibits are the expectation. For example, at a green expo, a local governmental organization, such the EPA, could set up a demonstration which shows Scouts and others how to save energy.
Ideally the Expo should be free for the public.
For exhibitors, we prefer they can set up their booths for free, but if they are charged, nonprofits are never charged unless absolutely necessary.
One way for Scouts to offset the cost of the Expo is by selling food. There are two different ways the Scouts could go. First, various booths can be set up by exhibitors, such as a cotton candy machine. Our Scouts sell food tickets to the public, which the public turn into the food booths in exchange for food. The exhibitors with the food booths count up their tickets at the end of the day and the Scouts give them the appropriate amount of money. The Scouts then keep a previously agreed percent of the food sales. Since the Scouts sell the tickets and handle the cash, they are in a better position to ensure they receive the correct percent of the food sales.
Another choice would be for Scouts to prepare and sell food themselves. Most Expos have simple food the Scouts could prepare like grilling hotdogs and having sweets on hand. For either of these choices, Scouts will need to investigate the matter first. There may be tax ramifications for selling food in a particular area, and a license to sell food may be necessary. All of this needs to be looked into by the Scouts well before the Expo.
Where to Hold an Expo
Scouts plan the entire event, including finding a location. Scouts take into account the season and weather; for instance, they would choose an indoor venue such a convention center or school in the winter. In the summer, they can choose an outdoor venue and take responsibility for supplying tarps or canopies to shield the sun and to provide water to the guests. It is preferable to hold the Expo at the same time and place year after year so the public begins to count on it and look forward to it.
The Scouts invite the exhibiters. They will brainstorm on who to invite based on the topic of the Expo. Local merchants, government agencies, fire and police personnel, community and religious organizations make consistently good choices.
Green Day is an environmental ex
po, with opportunities for Scouts and the public to acquire knowledge about how to care for the environment. They can invite the gas company, recycling companies, foresting services, and much more.
Ecologically sound energy companies can set up booths describing how they preserve energy. They can show the public and our Scouts how to use less energy, such as the importance of turning lights off when you leave a room and replacing regular bulbs with fluorescents.
Farmers can be on hand to describe organic farming techniques. The benefits to the soil and to nutrition can be discussed. Organic farmers can have samples of their fruits and vegetables on hand.
Manufacturers of electric cars can present how the cars work, and could have an example of an engine that runs on electricity on hand to demonstrate.
Local recycling companies can describe how they recycle and give hands-on demonstrations. They can show guests which color trashcan corresponds to which type of recyclable material, and where the recyclables go after they have been picked up. They can lead our Scouts and the public through the process of what happens to cans, bottles, and newspaper.
Local forestry or national park services can hand out free seedlings and describe how to care for them. Guests can take their own tree home and understand what it is nurture a plant and take care of a garden. Once they begin to grow, outdoor trees with decoration make an environmentally friendly alternative to chopping down a tree for the holidays.
There are many high profile persons these days who are involved in the environmental movement. Local mayors and government officials can describe their policies on the environment. However, we want our Scouts to think big and if they want to invite a celebrity or a governor of the state for example, there is no reason they should not do that. They might just attend and join in the adventure.
Scouts are free to invite any related organization, group, or individual they want, and as in everything else they do, they choose, organize, and lead their own Expo!