Scott Robertson

SM Tips - Teachable Moments and More
By: Posted On: 2012-05-10

As Scouters, we’re supposed to be building men of good character, not just men of good camping ability. But many of us spend much more time teach outdoor skills than life skills.

Of course, Scouts pick up life lessons along the way, but we that doesn’t mean we should rely strictly on learning by osmosis. Instead, we should look for opportunities at every meeting and on every outing to teach Scouting values.

Scoutmaster’s minutes are an obvious place to start, but they’re just the start. You’ll want to build in some reflection time at the end of every day of high-adventure trips. Especially with older Scouts, discussing ethical dilemmas (like those featured in my “Ethics” column in Scouting magazine) are a great rainy-day activity. And teachable moments – when things that are really good, really bad, or simply unexpected happen – are another.

One thing about teachable moments is the more you look for them, the more you’ll find them. Just about everything you do in Scouting ties back to a value – although you shouldn’t stop every five minutes to deliver a Scoutmaster’s minute!

A good case in point is this supplemental training module on disc golf: . Scroll to the end, and you’ll find the following resources:

Advancement requirements related to disc golf
Service projects you can do at disc golf courses
The rules of disc golf according to the Scout Law

If you can turn disc golf into a life lesson, you can turn anything into a life lesson. All you have to do is be aware of the possibilities and mindful of the real purpose of Scouting.

Republished with permission of Mark Ray at


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