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. One choice is the Travel Expo.
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, and can provide information about their company and particular product or service while doing so. An example of acceptable materials to hand out would be a pamphlet on the advantages of travel. On the back could be the name of the company providing the information, such as a travel agent. 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 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, a travel agent could set up a booth where visitors get their picture taken with a backdrop of exotic locales.
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 off-set 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.
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.
Travel agents, youth who have traveled, tourism companies and people in the community who have traveled widely are invited.
Travel agents representing many exotic locales can have booths. Youth who have been foreign exchange students can discuss their adventures.
Scuba diving companies can ha
ve demonstrations of scuba equipment, possibly even a pool in which people can test their equipment.
Photographers can take pictures of Scouts and other youth in front of backdrops such as the desert, the Amazon, and the ocean. Pictures can be transferred to t-shirts and buttons with slogans like, “I hiked through the desert with Adventure Scouts USA.”
We encourage our Scouts to think big and if they would like to invite world travelers or photographers from famous travel magazines, they should do so.
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!