Monday, January 18, 2010

Scouting Around

This article by Carly Loeper, the Museum's exhibit and program developer, was originally posted on Kidoinfo.

Learning to tie a square knot; making a blade of grass whistle; building with a hammer, nails and scrap wood; experimenting to find the best solution for shining pennies; singing a silly song without a shred of self-consciousness. We can all recall those childhood activities that are like special rites of passage – timeless, open-ended and magical in the journey, not the end result. Scouting supports school-age children's self-discovery and connections with others through activities like these. I grew up as a venturesome young Scout and now, as a program developer at Providence Children's Museum, I plan playful evening programs for a new generation of Scouts.
I moved to a new neighborhood as a shy second-grader. Navigating the social rules in a different place was a challenge, but being a Scout helped me learn more about myself and what I liked doing. I discovered how much I enjoyed sharing ideas for skits and songs with my fellow Scouts. I will always remember trying to control the hysterical laughter when my friends and I performed a Scout song at camp by turning our heads upside down and drawing eyes on our chins. Similarly, a parent at a Girl Scout Overnight Adventure at the Children’s Museum remarked how delighted and shocked she was to see her quiet daughter deliver the punch line of a short group-written play. Scout programs support skills and challenges that stretch children to try different things and learn what they're good at.
Through shared experiences, Scouts find common ground with children they might not ordinarily be friends with. I asked nine-year-old Korinne what she enjoyed about being a Junior Girl Scout. "We do service projects and play a lot of games, but it's not just about doing stuff – we get to know people we didn't know at all." During a recent Cub Scout evening at the Museum, small groups of Scouts were challenged to design a structure that could stand on its own using only dowels and rubber bands. I noticed two boys working independently next to one another. One child was supporting his building-in-progress with both hands and legs until his neighbor slid his construction closer and suggested, "You want to add yours to mine?" Together, they devised new strategies and were soon able to create a stick house they could both stand inside.
Scout evenings and overnights at Providence Children's Museum provide a series of fun hands-on activities that encourage Scouts to explore their interests, expand their skills and develop friendships – with the added adventure of being at the Museum after-hours!

FETCHThis winter, the Museum is presenting "Go FETCH!," an action-packed line-up of Friday evening and overnight adventures for Cub Scouts and Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts, inspired by PBS's "FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman.™"

Special offer:
Register by February 1 and get one FREE registration! Click here for information on programs and fees. Click here for a registration form.
TM/© 2007 WGBH Educational Foundation.

No comments: