Since at least 1925, troops have been setting aside time near the end of their meetings for the Scoutmaster’s minute.
In those 60 seconds (or, let’s be honest, usually a little longer), the Scoutmaster shares a story, a parable or an anecdote that helps Scouts think about Scouting and life in a new way. (Note for Venturing and Cub Scouting leaders: These same principles apply to a Cubmaster’s minute or Crew Advisor’s minute.)
The February 1927 issue of Scouting magazine offered a nice description of the Scoutmaster’s minute that still holds true nearly 90 years later: “The Scoutmaster says a word, tells a story or in his own way gives the boys a bit of inspiration in the way of a reminder of the Oath and Law.”
There’s magic behind a Scoutmaster’s minute, but the formula isn’t a secret, says John Duncan, council commissioner with the Northeast Illinois Council. In the February 2016 ScoutCast, the BSA’s monthly podcast for Boy Scout leaders, Duncan offers four elements behind every great Scoutmaster’s minute.
Is this topic important to the people who are listening?
Do you truly believe what you’re saying or is this some trite cliché that you read out of the book and you’re reading it back?
Do you exemplify what you are saying? If you aren’t visibly doing your best on your honor, then you come across as a hypocrite and that is the worst possible thing that could happen with a Scoutmaster’s Minute.
How important is this topic to you as the speaker?
These four tips are just a small taste of what Duncan shares in the ScoutCast, so be sure to take a few minutes and listen. You won’t want to miss his “performance” of his personal favorite Scoutmaster’s minute. It’ll give you goosebumps.
Listen to the February 2016 ScoutCast
Listen or read the transcript by clicking here. Or search for “ScoutCast” on your favorite podcasting app. For example, if you have an iPhone, just search for “ScoutCast” in the Apple Podcasts app, tap Subscribe and listen right on your phone!
What’s your formula for a great Scoutmaster’s minute? What’s the most powerful one you’ve heard? Leave your thoughts below.