Planning Skills Weekend, Part 2


This year’s skills weekend is going to provide an engaging weekend for younger and older Scouts, as well as the Webelos we have invited along for the day. To keep it fresh and exciting I’ve planned a variety of activities and a lot of fun! Part 1 is an overview of the trip.

The scope of skills weekend grew significantly when we decided to provide the opportunity for Scouts to learn rank requirements and a merit badge. Basically, it has turned into two campouts because of the separate activities:

  • Younger Scouts and Webelos will be able to earn the Totin’ Chip, Firem’n Chit, and some Tenderfoot and Second Class rank requirements. We chose a lot of requirements that are best done in the outdoors.
  • Older Scouts were able to choose from three merit badges: Cooking, Surveying, or Pioneering. The goal is to allow them to complete a merit badge in a day (or close to it).

Since we were all going to be working separately, I wanted to have some activity that would bring us all together, too. While all of the Scouts will get to earn rank requirement and a merit badge, I think it’s important that we make sure everyone knows this is a Troop event, so we should do things together, too. So, in the morning will be a Troop-wide competition I came up with called Cooking Pancakes, and in the afternoon we’ll have a crazy relay race. (More details on each of these will come a little later.)

With all of this activity going on, I really needed help to run the trip. We needed adults who could be counselors for the merit badges, and more adults who have familiarity with each of the rank requirements, and knife and fire safety. To keep the day interesting for younger Scouts I wanted to have different adults teach different rank requirements. So, while our Troop always has quite a few adult leaders at campouts, I wanted to get more than usual there to help.

Additionally, I tapped some Scouts to help plan the trip. I tasked the Troop Guides, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, and Senior Patrol Leader with several responsibilities:

  • determine which rank requirements younger Scouts need to earn by reviewing their books and compiling a list
  • make sure that all older Scouts have signed up for a merit badge
  • plan some of the activities for the crazy relay race
  • one small activity related to the smorgasbord dinner is voting on the food; plan some of the voting options

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