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Starting Conversations with Scouts

Throughout the Jamboree, staff members will constantly be seeing Scouts and Scouters on the trail, in program areas and everywhere else throughout the Summit. Because staff members are supposed to be good hosts to the participants, they should have enthusiastic conversations with the Scouts.

Here are six simple steps for interacting effectively with a Scout:

  1. Give the Scout an open gesture to feel welcome. Holding up your hand and getting an energetic high-five from a Scout is a perfect way to begin the interaction in a non-threatening way.
    Greet the Scout sincerely. Saying “Hey man” or even “Sup” in a wholehearted manner can really go a long way.
  2. Ask a few specific, open-ended questions. Make sure the questions cannot be answered with “Yes” or “No,” but be careful with asking questions that are too vague. Questions like, “What is the coolest thing you have done today” and “Where are you going” are great places to start. Keeping your face and body language positive is essential while talking with the participants.
  3. Remind the Scout about safety and hydration. The days can get extremely warm, so reminding Scouts to drink water and be careful is definitely important.
  4. Ask if there is any way you can help. It could be as simple as making sure the Scouts know directions to their destination or having an idea on which shortcuts are available. Any help you can provide will be an asset to the Scouts.
  5. Close in the same way you opened. Give the Scout another high-five and send them on their way, wishing the Scout a great rest of the Jamboree.

Days at National Jamboree can be long and tiring, but staff members should channel their energy into helping and caring about the participants. Being exhausted is a normal feeling for staff members, but being cranky in front of the Scouts sends a bad message to the participants who paid a large amount of money to be at the Summit. The interaction does not need to be long, but the payoff can be monumental.

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