(Update, April 2, 2013) Please read a special message at the end of the post.
Knives. They may be the source of the most confusion within Scouting circles.
I’ve heard people tell me sheath knives are banned in Scouting (they’re not), that Scouts can only carry one knife (not true), or that blades can’t be longer than five inches (wrong again).
Today, though, BSA Health and Safety team lead Richard Bourlon announced a new knife policy that changes things a bit. For the first time in the organization’s history, the BSA is mandating a maximum blade length for knives used within Scouting.
The magic number:
What’s better than a new episode of Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?
Two new episodes, of course. And that’s just what we’re getting as the Tougher season comes to a close Monday night, starting at 8 p.m. (7 Central) on the National Geographic Channel.
So far we’ve been given almost all the canoe-jousting, victim-rescuing, snake-identifying, bridge-rappelling, river-rafting, Scout Spirit-demonstrating, rope-lashing, and orienteering action viewers can handle. I said almost.
Sandra says Wood Badge was the “most exciting and incredible experience” ever.
Wood Badge builds lifelong memories, regardless of the setting.
So whether you’re at Philmont Scout Ranch (where I’ll be staffing a course this summer), a council camp in the midwest, or even an island in the Caribbean, you’re getting the same great course.
But from the looks of things, you could do much worse than taking Wood Badge in beautiful Puerto Rico. That’s where Sandra Vallejo Dávila recently finished her course at Guajataka Camp, in the city of San Sebastián. It’s the main spot for Boy Scout training on the island.
Sandra, a “very proud Bobwhite,” sent me this email earlier this month:
Hi Bryan, I emailed you in November to tell you how much I enjoyed your Wood Badge Wednesdays blogs and that I myself was taking my course this year. Well, I did and it has been the most exciting and incredible experience of my life! Here are some pictures for you.
Get an inside look at Sandra’s Wood Badge course, with pictures and captions, after the jump. Continue reading
Updated | April 22
This just in: All jamboree youth participants are invited to register as National Hometown News Correspondents.
An email home to Mom and Dad? These Scouts and Venturers will do one better, sharing their first-person jamboree experience with local news organizations back home. Get your guys and girls to register today and start making headlines in their local newspapers or TV stations.
Here’s the scoop: Continue reading
It’s kind of like finishing a marathon but heading straight for your car instead of stopping to pick up your medal.
A Scouter from the St. Louis area — I’ll call him “Tim” — emailed me last week with a problem: Three Scouts in Tim’s troop finished all the requirements for the Eagle Scout award, but when Tim called the boys to help them plan an Eagle Scout court of honor, none seemed interested in even having a ceremony.
Here’s Tim’s full email explaining this sticky situation:
What one tool could help the adults end their losing ways?
If anything can, it’s The Boy Scout Handbook.
For the first time this season, the adult challengers on Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? were shown with copies of the preeminent Scouting text before embarking on their first challenge against the Scouts.
In case you’re just joining us, Tougher pits current Eagle Scouts against men who didn’t earn the award as youth or are looking to recapture their teenage glory. But when you’re matching 30-somethings against in-shape teenagers, as we’ve found out in the first three episodes, it’s kinda like sending the Miami Heat to play a team of fifth-graders.
But in Episode 4 of Tougher, titled “Where Eagles Fly,” the adults have a secret weapon. Can the Handbook level the playing field? You’ll have to read my recap and review to find out …
Spoiler alert: This recap will include details that reveal who won the competitions in this week’s episode. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen Episode 4 and want to be surprised by the results.
Both groups “make really good salespeople.”
That’s the contention of Ken Krogue, an entrepreneur who wrote this interesting article over at Forbes.com last week.
When looking for the best salesmen, you can toss out the research questionnaires, behavioral analytics, surveys, training manuals, business books, and more, Krogue says.
In 1994, Krogue worked as a hiring manager for Franklin Quest, which later merged with Stephen Covey’s organization to become FranklinCovey. As someone responsible for hiring at one of the fastest-growing companies in America, he was compelled to analyze “what factors, at least in the men on the team, made up the leaders in sales.”
Two things stood out among the high-performing men: “A strong background of personal athletic achievement … and being an Eagle Scout.”
As an aside, I should point out, as Krogue did in his post, that all of the women on his team in 1994 were in the top half of the performers. That’s why he was interested in studying the men to see what set the better ones apart.
Nearly 20 years later, Krogue still does the hiring—but at a different company, now. And even with all the additional research at his disposal, “those rules I learned back in my Franklin days two decades ago still hold true.” So he’s still hiring all the former college athletes and Eagle Scouts he can.
Why? Continue reading
We’ve seen nine Scouts-vs.-adults challenges this season on Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?, and the adults have lost all but two of them.
You could say it’s been one lashing after another.
But in Monday’s new episode, we’re in for a different kind of lashing — the diagonal, square, and round kind familiar to any Scout who’s earned Pioneering merit badge.
The Scouts should know the ropes, but how much will adults know about joining two poles together? Let’s find out together in the new episode, airing at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Monday on the National Geographic Channel.
We’ll see a fresh group of adults go toe-to-toe against three of the best-and-brightest Boy Scouts around. And, as the promo photo above indicates, we’ll see snakes. (Why did it have to be snakes?) Continue reading
If a pregnant Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, can do it, so can you.
I’m talking about getting trained, an important step for any Scout volunteer — whether a Cub Scout leader from California, a Scoutmaster from South Carolina, a Venturing advisor from Vermont, or, yes, even a member of the British royal family.
In January 2012, I blogged about the Duchess’ new role as volunteer with the U.K. Scout Association. And today, she did what every volunteer should: She got trained.
Her Royal Highness joined 24 other Scouters from across the United Kingdom to take part in an adult volunteer training event. The course took place at the snowy Great Tower Scout Activity Centre in northwest England.
As this article on the U.K. Scout Association website explains, she “braved the cold and took part in a number of activities, including lighting different types of fires and whipping up some delicious campfire treats. She passed on her Scouting skills to Cub Scouts from Manchester and Cumbria. She also chatted to volunteers about them helping Cub Scouts climb some of the large coniferous trees located around the campsite.”
But her impact goes way beyond campfire cooking skills. Continue reading
Can’t attend the 2013 National Jamboree this summer? Consider the next best thing.
Mark your calendars today for the 2013 editions of the Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet, held this fall. As the names imply, the events give Scouts a chance to communicate with fellow Scouts from across the country or around the world through the power of amateur radio or the Internet.
This year’s JOTA and JOTI are set for Oct. 19 and 20, and if last year’s numbers are an indication, turnout should be big. Continue reading