It’s not very often we have visitors in our newsroom, let alone little ones. Heck, we’re not even convinced a majority of our readers know where are offices are located. But no matter. I’m sure you can still understand my excitement when I was approached by a local Cub Scout leader asking to help her troop learn about communication.
I’m pretty lucky-everyone on my staff is so passionate about what we do. So when I asked if they would be interested in helping me host a few Tiger Scouts to teach them about newspapers, I was met with overwhelming excitement.
Our eagerness to have fun with the kids and to share our work coupled with the youthful enthusiasm and rambunctiousness of six-year-old boys was a perfect match. We delighted in hearing their questions about our production process and how we distribute it around campus. (One boy asked if we had someone who rode around on a bike throwing the papers on everyone’s driveways the morning it comes out. Sadly, we had to tell him we didn’t have one of those yet.) They were great listeners and were very attentive throughout the entire presentation.
But of course, boys will be boys, and it was clear how much more they liked our activity. After going through how we lay out each page of the paper, we gave the scouts a chance to do some design of their own. Each child made their own mini copy of the “Tiger News,” complete with a front page, an inside page with their own original drawings and text, and a back page as well.
We couldn’t help but smile as we saw them shuffling through the pages of our newspaper, hunting for photos they liked or article ideas. And man, were they creative! Their papers featured stories about sports, cars, and birthday parties, and I must say, we might have a budding headline writer or two in the bunch… “Roadrunner Scores Huge Dunk” has a nice ring to it. We couldn’t have written it better ourselves.
A dozen animal stickers and four entire glue sticks later, the scouts went home with their newspapers and their very own official Ramapo News reporter’s notebooks, pens and magnets. We also hope they left with a better understanding of the media and the importance of communication on a larger scale.
We all certainly learned a little something from the scouts, too. In all of their first grade wisdom, they reminded us to laugh more, ask every question that comes to mind, and, above all, have fun.
That’s all the news for now-Nicole