Carrying a message

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Silver Wolf - Home Safety: Carry a message and deliver it politely and correctly.

Long ago, people had to remember messages. Then they learned to write and more and more messages were written down. Before Baden-Powell founded the Scout Movement, he used boys as messengers when he was a soldier during the siege of Mafeking.

Carrying a message correctly could save a life; it could be very important, or it could just be useful. It is a skill worth learning, but it takes practise.

When you get a message, listen carefully to the words. Repeat the words to the sender. Be sure you have it right and that you understand it before you set out. It is very important that the message is delivered correctly.

Ask someone at home to give you a simple message and try to say it back to them an hour later. Or you could read a sentence from the newspaper and later on check whether you still remember. Keep practising.

Using a telephone to relay or receive a message

Speak slowly and clearly. Be extra careful when your message contains numbers, addresses or times; you cannot afford to get them mixed up.

If you are passing on a message about an accident, you should remember the three W's:

  • WHAT happened?
  • WHERE did it happen?
  • WHEN did it happen?

Notes for Pack Scouters

This activity goes back to B-P's days in Mafeking where he used boys to carry important messages for him. To be able to carry a message accurately is important and it is something that every Cub should be able to do. The memory training is also a useful skill at school and in life.

  • Start off with short messages for the Cub to remember. Once the Cub can remember a short message, it will add confidence and they will be ready to remember a longer message.
  • Include words and numbers in the message.
  • Make the messages real. The Cub will feel great being asked to deliver a real message, rather than just "remember these sentences from a book to repeat to Akela later in the programme". This takes preparation, as the Pack Scouter will have to prepare a meaningful message and have someone ready to receive the message.

You can also use message-carrying games like broken telephone and yarns that tie in with the theme of carrying messages and information accurately.