Encouraging Boys to Write: a case study with the Barrowby Scouts

A few months ago I was asked to help the Barrowby Scouts with their writer’s badges. I was only too pleased to help. The scout troop is a small one, only six members. The boys were well mannered but somewhat lacking in enthusiasm at first. They seemed to want their badges but be reluctant to actually write!

All the boys were pleased to have a story read to them, even though ‘The Mouse Who Howled at the Moon’ is aimed at children a little younger than they are. They particularly loved Jinx, the “Ninja Squirrel” as they called him. They engaged beautifully with the story and then wrote some really good letters to the characters. These will be written up in future blog posts – along with the replies from the characters!

To get the rest of the badge completed I realised I would need to come up with something really exciting for them. So I decided on the spot that we would publish their work, in paperback and on kindle. Each boy wrote a short story and a poem over the course of two weeks and I took them home, along with some of the boys’ own illustrations, to write up. The results were quite astonishing. Some of the boys have no shortage of talent and produced some extremely good stories and poems.  The boys were delighted with their books and most of them took their paperback copies into school and bought extras for grandparents and other relatives. Some of them have even started thinking about other ideas for volume two!

Of course there is the obligatory plug at the end here, the book is available on kindle for the bargain price of £1.99 with all royalties going to the upkeep of the Barrowby Scout Hut.

scouts cover

Get your copy on kindle


The Barrowby Scouts have produced a book of poetry and stories in order to raise funds for their scout hut.

The boys would like to invite you into their world. Fight monsters with Lewis, rewind to your childhood with Archie’s evil dinner lady, laugh with Taran and his clever Mr G.Raffe, lose yourself at the skate park with Ross, face down the evil Stenchers in Jaden’s zombie apocalypse and be fascinated by Ben’s true story about his adventures with his bike.
The stories and poems within this book will make you laugh, make you jump and have you on the edge of your seat.

Illustrations by the boys themselves add a wonderful touch of whimsy and are guaranteed to raise a smile.


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