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 people who have an interest in a particular topic for the purpose of learning more about it.
Companies and organizations which specialize in the topic set up booths, exhibits, and demonstrations. They serve the purpose of educating the public and getting public interest in their product or serve. We do not allow our exhibitors to sell items at the Expo, but they do provide information, and can provide information about their company and particular product or service while doing so. We want our Scouts to think big and imagine which companies and organization can contribute to the public at a particular Expo.
Who is Invited
Expos are held for the public and Scouts will 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, 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 safety expo, a local governmental organization, such the U.S. Geological Survey, could set up a demonstration which shows Scouts and other youth how to prepare an emergency kit for themselves and their families.
Ideally the Expo should be free for the public.
Where to Hold an Expo
Scouts plan the entire event from inviting people in the community to set up booths, to taking responsibility for 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.
The Scouts invite the exhibitors. 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.
An expo can be held on any topic the Scouts want. One possibly is Safety Day.
Scouts can invite police and fire personnel, doctors and nurses, personnel from local emergency centers, and more.
Police can set up booths with information about Amber Alert, youth protection, and bike safety. Some police departments set up exhibits where they can take a youth picture to keep on file if the child were ever abducted. Police can share information with youth about how to be safe, ride their bikes in pairs, role play scenarios in which abduction is possible.
Fire personnel can demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher and discuss the different kind of extinguishers and why you cannot use a water extinguisher on electronics, etc. They can demonstrate how to feel a door for heat before opening it, and how to escape a burning building.
Hospital personnel can exhibit basic first aid and show our Scout and other youth how to prepare a first aid kit. They can give examples of what to do if injured while camping or biking.
Local governmental disaster relief agencies can discuss how to pack a backpack in case of emergency. They discuss how Scouts, youth, and their families should respond during an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood or the most likely disaster in that particular area.
Car manufacturers can discuss car s
afety, such as air bags and driving in inclement weather. Naturally, much of this information will appeal to parents of the Scouts and youth. AAA and other auto clubs can have displays showing they can be of assistance in case of an accident or problem on the roadway.
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!