Tuesday Talkback: Encouraging Scouts to read Boys’ Life

Tuesday-TalkbackJeff M., a Scoutmaster with a brand-new troop in Cleveland, hosts a “Boys’ Life Trivia” section during the Scoutmaster’s portion of each meeting.

He pulls questions from the most recent issue of Boys’ Life and finds it’s a great way build camaraderie around the shared experience of reading BL. Plus it encourages Scouts to read the latest issue right away rather than letting it sit around for a week or two.

Hearing about Jeff’s story (relayed to me by BL Senior Writer Aaron Derr) got me wondering how other pack and troop leaders motivate Scouts each month to read the hottest magazine for kids and teens.

That’s the subject of today’s Tuesday Talkback. First, learn more about Jeff’s strategy for encouraging his Scouts to read BL. Then share your own ideas.

After all, you and I know that boys who subscribe to and read Boys’ Life get more out of Scouting, advance farther and stay in Scouting longer. But boys don’t care about any of that. Once they open the magazine, all they see are fun stories that interest them.

The challenge — your challenge — is making sure they open it.

Jeff’s strategy

During each meeting, Jeff asks his boys a trivia question from the most recent issue of Boys’ Life. The first Scout to answer correctly gets a prize — usually candy or something like that.

He started off by telling the boys, “Next week’s question will come from the Heads Up section.” Or, “Next week’s question will come from Scouts in Action.”

But the boys got so good at it that now the entire magazine is fair game. The result is all of his boys pore over the magazine each month, hoping to be the one who knows the answer to that week’s trivia question.

The idea, of course, is that they’re learning more about Scouting along the way, too. But they just think it’s fun.

Your strategy

How do you encourage Scouts to read their copy of Boys’ Life? Continue the conversation in the comments section below.

Related posts

How your pack and troop can get the most out of Boys’ Life

Did you know there are two editions of Boys’ Life each month?


Share your Tuesday Talkback questions

Have a question you’d like me to consider posing to the larger Scouting community? That’s what Tuesday Talkback is all about. Send me an email, using the subject line “Tuesday Talkback.” Describe your dilemma, and include your Scouting role. Submitters will remain anonymous.

About Bryan Wendell 2880 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.