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We emphasize the difference between hearing and truly listening

Active Listening benefits our Scouts lifelong


One of the educational strategies we use in our Scout Programs is active listening.  Active listening is an educational strategy which emphasizes the difference between hearing someone and truly listening to what they say in a way that the information is retained.


Listening is harder than it sounds:  when most people think they are listening, they are really doing any number of things such as thinking of what they want to say next, or concentrating on something else.youth on headphones


The educational philosophy of active listening explains why people can hear someone speaking and afterward realize they have no idea what the person said.  Many things interfere with listening, including:

  • The listener’s state of mind and prejudices
  • The listener’s opinion on the subject matter and belief that it is easy/hard, good/bad
  • The listener’s bias about the speaker
  • Whether the topic is important to the listener
  • Whether the presentation includes charts, graphs, and visual aids
  • The physical comfort of the listener

We encourage our Scouts to focus on the other person.  A good trick for practicing this skill is to have one Scout read a short passage, and then ask our another Scout to repeat as closely as possible what they said. 

Active Listening develops within our Scouts the skill of communication.  We encourage respect of other’s needs and interests in our use of active listening techniques. Scouts and Team Counselors use Active Listening not just to hear, but also to listen to what others have to say. 


It takes practice to concentrate on what someone is saying until their point is completely understood.  Consequently, we encourage our Scouts to practice the skill of active listening and to develop it over time.


Active Listening helps our Scouts improve their experiences in our Scout Programs and also to improve their academic performance and communication skills by developing their ability to actively listen!

Adventure Scouts USA