Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Did you see this?

This has been on my mind for months.

LDS Young Men General Presidency
© Intellectual Reserve
Last night, I finally watched the 2012 Young Men Spring Training, held last May.  What's the big idea, you may ask, of a dude whose calling is in the Primary (11YOs are Primary Boys, NOT AP Young Men, after all) attending such training? Someone is probably yelling at me to, "Shut up and color [in the lines]!" as we used to say in the  Air Force.  Well, I see my role, along with the boys' Primary teacher (a division of labor with which I disagree), as being the last push before AP activity - which it is.  If Scouts are to be prepared (and remember, the Priesthood Preview anthem is, "A Young Man Prepared," also known as the LDSuperman Song), well, it's my job to prepare them for the next six years. I should be familiar with what they'll encounter.

There was a very good discussion on Scouting (segments 5, 7, 11) that to me really drove home how integral Scouting is in (US) AP quorums. (It's unfortunate that the Church hasn't found a way to make Scouting work for boys around the world.)  And there is plenty of room for adapting what was said to a Primary setting, too.  Add in the new 2013 curriculum, and the "DTG Online," and it appears there's a real push for a holistic approach toward building youth into strong individuals and MP-holders.  It looks like there is a real effort to meet today's kids on their own turf, speak their language, and really connect with them. Putting all this together should result in a system that prepares them with the skills to confront the challenges of the rest of their lives. You see this in the young men profiled in the video clips.

For example: in the new curriculum, lessons, rather than being read out of a book, are discussions by design.  In a discussion, two-way communication happens, and kids can't help but think about what's going on, and be inspired to understand, rather than shut down for a lecture/lesson.  From what I hear, there's also less emphasis on "back on the farm" stories in favor of examples that today's kids can actually relate to.  (I remember teaching primary lessons to my class in Tampa, and having to take 6+ minutes to explain the story, just so the example would make sense.) DTG online allows Young Men to explore the materials in their natural habitat - it recognizes that kids are much more likely to do something online than on paper, and you can't lose the book.  (Watch this clip about getting all your YM up and running with this great resource.)  Scouting, as the activity program, can pull it all together in an engaging way, especially under the guidance of an adult who has been trained to effectively use all the tools at his disposal.  (Curriculum, DtG, Scouting - Hey, that's three, and we like three-legged stool imagery, right?)

Now, I'm just waiting for a similar training about integrating Scouting and Primary (eliminating the separate Sunday teacher/Wednesday teacher model would go a long way - I'm just sayin'...).  In the meantime, adapt and overcome!

Prepared. | For Life.™

The important clips are 4-7 and 9-12, the rest is either hymns or duplicated content. All together it will take about 1.5 hours to watch. Take good notes. And, for good measure, here's the 2012 Spring Training for Primary Folks.

1 comment:

Brian Reyman said...

Agreed - the new materials in all the areas are a huge improvement.

To your last point, the handbook actually suggests that the scout leaders may be the primary teachers - I think that would help a ton.

Also, while oversight for the 11-year-old and cub scout programs and the rest of the boy scout programs is technically under different groups, I feel strongly that the front line leaders (den leaders, 11-year-old leaders, scoutmasters, etc.) should keep a very close relationship. Doing so ensures programs are coordinating appropriately, etc.

While I'm the Scoutmaster, I almost always visit new 11-year-old scouts with the 11-year-old leader(s) to welcome them to program. It helps show the continuity the should expect and helps me get to know the young men better - as early as possible. In addition, if I have time, I sometimes even attend a Pack meeting (especially the big ones, like the Blue and Gold) to make sure I'm mingling with the families, talking with the cub scouts and letting them get to know me as they'll see more of me as they get older.