"Have you got your 30 in today?" "I’ve already got four miles logged in and that's just from walking around CCS!" These and comments like them are being heard wherever commissioners gather together these days. Why? They are all working on the SCOUTStrong PALA Challenge.
SCOUTStrong PALA is the result of an alliance between the BSA and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. The PCFSN created the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, an activity challenge of the President’s Challenge program. In 2011, the BSA and the PCFSN began working together to create a challenge specifically for Scouts. Each BSA local council will have its own PALA group. Members of these groups will be able to compare their progress relative to the group and be able to send messages back and forth to group members.
All registered Scouts, Scouters and parents can participate. The challenge is to have a daily activity goal (30 minutes for adults; 60 minutes for youth under 18) for at least five days a week, six out of eight weeks. The SCOUTStrong website provides a list of more than 100 activities that count toward the goal and participants log in each day, recording their activities.
So what will we get out of it? Well, a patch, of course. Everybody likes those. But we also commit to a daily activity goal and are challenged to stick with it. Experts tell us that it only takes 21 days to make a habit. With 30 days of an active lifestyle, a lifelong habit is a shoe-in.
What is the commissioner’s role in all of this? Encourage units and individuals to join in! After all, Tico’s doing it—and if he’s doing it, we can!
For more information, visit the SCOUTStrong website.