At very young ages, children are able to demonstrate a passion for an activity or subject. We can all remember being awed by space travel or dinosaurs when we were younger, and there is nothing like seeing a young child break into an impromptu dance at the sight of a lizard they have never seen before.
It is that kind of passion and thirst for knowledge we foster in the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA. Our Scouts have many opportunities to foster their individual passions.
We Foster Passion!
Our Scouts choose, organize, and lead their own programs, so they get to vote on what activities interest them. When voting on a weekend activity, a Scout who loves dinosaurs may cast a vote to visit a Natural History Museum, and a Scout who gazes at the stars may vote to go to the planetarium. Our Scouts choose their own activities. They brainstorm, vote, and decide via consensus which activities to participate in. Our Scouts discuss their interests and make decisions themselves.
Our Scouts often exhibit a passion for a subject. A Scout might exhibit a passion for dinosaurs, skateboarding, or baseball just to name a few. If a Scout loves dinosaurs, they could grow up to be a paleontologist! We foster and support that passion and the necessary life skills that go along with it. First, a paleontologist needs a passion for dinosaurs, but they need many things beyond that to be successful. A paleontologist will need to know how to dig up bones without damaging them, how to plan an expedition, how to forecast weather in the areas they are excavating, and how to budget for a trip.
That Scout has the desire to learn those subjects because they are necessary to explore his or her passion. Now the Scout actively chooses to learn in order to better pursue the subject. They want to learn because it is a necessary step in fulfilling their passion.
Ways We Help Our Scouts Discover Their Passions
To help our Scouts discover their passions, we encourage their discussion of music, movies, games, books and other interests. This enables our Scouts to share their interests with others in a constructive, creative environment. We also use their existing enthusiasm to encourage the creation of their own comics, writing, music, art and other creative forms.
Accordingly, another method we use to discover and develop the passions of our Scouts is termed the “Try It Method.” If a Scout does not want to participate in an activity, we ask them to give it a try. No one is ever made to feel uncomfortable and if the Scout tries the activity and is not interested, that is the end of it. However, we always ask our Scouts to give their best.
For instance, if we have a Scout who is reluctant to be around horses and chooses not to go horseback riding, we might ask if the Scout, under careful supervision, would like to approach the horse. Perhaps our Scout would like to pet the horse. Eventually, our Scout might be comfortable putting one foot in the stirrup. In time, our Scout may get on the horse and ride! A great equestrian may be born in that moment when our Scout takes a chance and makes the sometimes difficult choice to simply try it.
We understand as youth grow and change, so do their interests. A passion our Scouts have while very young may result in a career, but not necessarily. A youth who wants to be a paleontologist may grow into a teen more interested in being a doctor. However, skills they have acquired are never forgotten and the youth who learned how to budget for an expedition may grow into a young adult who knows how to budget for an entire hospital. An important concept our Scouts keep for life is that acquiring new knowledge is FUN and can help make their dreams come true.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA foster passion in our Scouts by encouraging them to work toward achieving a goal. Whether they are pursuing a lifelong passion, or trying something for the first time, we encourage our Scouts to always give their best. Their discovery of a lifelong passion could be one step away.