A Scoutmaster had the pleasure of witnessing one of the patrols in his troop out-perform 30 others at a council camporee. What’s significant was they were competing in an activity they had never tried before. Why were they so successful? Simple. They knew how to work well together. The interpatrol challenges at their troop meetings back home provided repeated opportunities to hone their teamwork skills—each was a team building challenge. Many required pioneering skills and were preparatory to building various pioneering structures, and the process gave rise to knowing how to pitch in and get the job done.
Pioneering requires good, cooperative teamwork. Without it, the project just won’t get built. As necessary as it is to have the required skill sets under their belts, the crew tackling the construction of any larger pioneering structure will also need to put into action all the qualities embodied in the execution of solid teamwork.
Scout patrols are teams. In order to get things done, especially on an outing, they must communicate, cooperate, and pull together. A good team building event furnishes each patrol member with a way to contribute to the successful accomplishment of the task at hand. Besides being challenging and fun, effective Team Building Activities afford a patrol the opportunity to pool their resources and share leadership. Of course, amongst the team members, there’s always plenty of provision for providing helpful support, along with a good show of Scout spirit.
Why troop meeting pioneering activities? Because a race or challenge revolving around pioneering skills is involving and fun, and requires cooperation and teamwork. Choosing a successful activity is a sure-fire proposition—there are a host of pioneering-related Scout meeting challenges that are tried and true and ready to do. Just make sure the Scouts are ready to put the skills into action before implementing the activity.
What are pioneering skills? They’re definitely more than just knowing the ropes.
What makes it fun? One thing about pioneering—it’s primarily a twofold process. First something’s built, then something’s used (enjoyed). So, when pioneering skills are a central focus of the interpatrol event, the element of fun ultimately enters the picture as the challenge’s culmination! For example, Everyone on the Tripod is a wonderful interpatrol competition. If the challenge was for each patrol merely to race and build a tripod, the activity would be a dud. It’s that final act where everyone gets to climb on board resulting in the inevitable smiling and cheers of success that make it fun! Simple concept, right? By the same token, the real fun is not building an H-Frame Trestle to make a chariot, it’s racing it; it’s not joining Scout Staves together to make a long fishing pole, it’s catching the rat trap; it’s not constructing a Scout Stave Launcher, it’s seeing how far and accurately it can launch projectiles.