One implication of learning by doing is that young people are encouraged to experience things first and draw conclusions from what they have experienced later. In practical terms, this has several implications for the adult leader:
  • The adult leader does not need to explain the educational objective of an activity. Not only are the young people likely to be uninterested, it would limit their spontaneity, limiting the experience to the confines of what they may imagine is being expected of them.
  • On the other hand, verbalising their reactions, feelings, etc., afterwards helps them to reflect on the experience and to draw conclusions. A quiet moment at the end of a meeting or amp can be  used to evaluate in general terms how the activity went and to encourage the young people to express themselves. The young people may perceive the experience in different ways, and may actually feel that what they have gained from the experience has nothing to do with what was originally intended by the activity. The purpose for the adult leader here is not to insist on what they were “supposed” to have learned, but simply to accompany them as they reflect for themselves. The atmosphere needs to be constructive so that the young people do not feel afraid to speak. If needed, the code of living can be recalled to help young people to reflect on their experience or simply to remind the young people that each person has a right to express him or herself and that if complaints are to be made, to describe the problem and not to attack anyone personally.
  • While the adult leader should gradually feel comfortable with making use of whatever opportunities arise to create an educational experience, the activities must always respect Scouting’s principles: all activities and the way they are conducted must be constructive and not destructive for anyone or anything, etc. 
  • Difficult decisions that arise for the adult leader include how far to allow a young person to experiment or make mistakes before intervening. While the adult leader should always strive to make an activity successful, the success or efficiency of the activity cannot be at the expense of learning experiences. Making mistakes is an inevitable part of the learning process. However, through experiencing a mistake, a young person can better understand what, how and why something went wrong and, perhaps, how to go about things differently next time!