A Collection of Stories

Compiled by Rick Clements

     This is a collection of stories that I have found. I found many of them on Scouting related discussions on different computer networks. I have used some of them at campfires and as part of Cub Scout ceremonies. - Rick Clements

Table of Contents

STORY TELLING

These are general guidelines to try. It will take some trial and error to find what works for you. I've seen things work great for someone, but I have been unable to make them work. I have been able to adapt them and make them work.

WHEN TO TELL STORIES

The following suggestions are from Blair Madore.

-Only do it at camp, and not all the time. It keeps them wanting more.

- Never repeat a story. Never read a story (exception: the diary story that was posted earlier- great idea!). [At Webelos Resident Camp, I saw a story read with very good results. It was Cub Scouts by Patrick F. McManus. This is an other case of what works for you.]

- Wait for it to be very dark and the campfire to be nothing but embers. Insist on complete silence. When the story is over end the campfire. Send the scouts to bed immediately (or after a quick mug up).

- Never tell them "it's just a story". If they ask if it's true, try lines like "What do you think?"

CHOOSING A STORY

You can write your own story, use one that's written or modify a story that's written. But, the final story needs to fit both you and your audience. As the workbook The Entertaining Speaker from Toastmasters International says, "It should suit your personal style and outlook on life. If you aren't comfortable with a story or a set of funny lines, your material won't go over well as part of an entertaining speech."

If you are writing an entertaining story, your personal experiences are a good starting point, but you don't have to stick to the facts. You can stretch the facts, combine different events or even modify a joke to fit. Also, a story doesn't have to funny to be entertaining; the ghost stories and the "Winter Cub Story" are entertaining by being dramatic.

If you are using an existing story, the workbook Storytelling from Toastmasters International offers the following points to consider.

- The age of the audience. Are your listeners adults, teenagers or children? Different age groups prefer different types of stories.

- The type of audience. Are your listeners boys, girls, men women?

- The social and intellectual levels of your listeners. Generally, younger children enjoy stories with plot and action. Older children and adults like stories with more humor and interplay with characters. All ages enjoy rhythm and movement of event in stories. Stories should be well paced, with few slow and no dull spots.

You also need to consider how your story will fit with other events. For example, if the story will be used at the beginning of a campfire, it should have a lot of excitement and energy. If the story will be used near the end, it should be quieter and more thoughtful.

Stories are usually better told than acted out. If you act them out they become more of a skit. I had the instructor at Pow Wow (a Cub Scout leader training session) tell us that it's better to just stand than incorporate any movement. My experience tends not to agree with that; gestures -- if the are natural -- add to the story.

The gestures also depend on the audience. A friend of mine, who is a seminary student, said he was taught that elementary school age children like more gestures and movement. That agrees with the following statement from Gestures: Your Body Speaks from Toastmasters International.

You may, on occasion, have to adapt your gestures to fit the size and nature of your audience. The larger the audience, the broader and slower your gestures should be. Young audiences are usually attracted to a speaker who uses vigorous gestures, but older, more conservative groups may feel irritated or threatened by a speaker whose physical actions are too powerful.


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