As we begin a new school year, I would like to bring back an old scout tradition — the spirit stick. If you were in the Pack WAYYYYY back in 2015 you likely wouldn’t forget the spirit stick but at this point I think it is only the Herbner family and our family that were around at that time… Aaron has been trying to forget it ever since.
The spirit stick is a rotating award — a simple hiking stick — that the den’s will compete to win and hold for the month. While they have the spirit stick, they are encouraged to embellish it in any way they would like. To win the spirit stick we will be foregoing the screaming contests of the past (they were brutal. Somehow VOLUME is the only way kids know how to show enthusiasm). The method for awarding will change from month to month but I know we will have a ‘best dressed’ from the scouts in their best uniforms, a behavior award, a chant/song award, etc.
The Spirit Stick is an example of one of the Methods of Scouting – Belonging to a Den. We use dens as a way to group kids of similar age and interest so that they can have shared experiences and come together as a group. A healthy den gives the kids a place to try new things in a safe environment to fail — yes, fail. Failure in a safe environment is a fantastic way to grow and learn and in my opinion is missing in our kids lives these days.
So, while a simple hiking stick and some silly songs might not seem all that important, it is one step in a process.
Stick —> Teamwork —> Safety and Comfort —> Safe Failure —> Growth.