For new Cub Scouters, the terms “monthly core values” and “roundtable” might as well be in a foreign language.
We’ve all been there, and Cubcast knows it.
For newbies or anyone needing a refresher in those two essential Cub Scouting subjects, listen to the January 2013 edition of the monthly podcast.
Your hosts are Sam Thompson, regional operations manager and past leader of the Cub Scout Division, and Cub Scout volunteer extraordinaire Janet Griffin. Sam and Janet chat with Assistant Council Commissioner Cheri Pepka of the Chief Seattle Council. She explains implementing the core values and monthly themes fun and the joys of participating in roundtable.
Listen to Cubcast each month right here.
Are You a Boy Scout Leader?
As I mentioned yesterday, there’s now a Boy Scout version of Cubcast, called ScoutCast. Don’t miss it!
Scouters love to shoot the breeze about the next campout, newest merit badge, or tastiest recipe.
But when someone brings up a more-sensitive topic at a roundtable or leader meeting, it’s often greeted by silence.
That’s where the new ScoutCast comes in. The new podcast, a close relative of the popular CubCast, will focus on topics that you might not feel comfortable talking about at roundtable meetings, such as bullying. That’s January’s subject.
The goal: Get you and your fellow Scouters thinking and, ideally, talking about these critical issues facing Boy Scouts.
The hosts are familiar
faces voices to those of us who work for the BSA’s magazines. Meet J.D. Owen, editor-in-chief of Boys’ Life, Scouting, and Eagle Scout magazines, and Paula Murphey, senior editor of Boys’ Life.
For the debut episode, J.D. and Paula chat with New York Times best-selling author Michael Gurian about the best ways to handle bullying in your troop. (P.S.: Read Scouting magazine’s 2010 article on the subject for more insight.)
Click here to listen or to download the file to your smartphone or MP3 player for offline listening.
You’ve been awarded a square knot. Congratulations! Now what?
If you’ve been honored with one of the 34 square knots currently available (see the full list below), waste no time in sewing that badge of honor to your uniform. Though they don’t tell the whole story of a Scouter’s impact, these tiny rectangles provide great evidence of a volunteer’s efforts.
But before you dust off the sewing machine, read these tips:
Location, location, location: Knots should go over the left pocket, as seen from the wearer’s perspective. Line them up in rows of three in any order you choose. Typically, the knot you deem most important is worn on the bottom row on your right, but that’s your call. If your knot total isn’t divisible by three — aka you have a row of one or two knots — you can either center them in the row or keep them aligned to your right. The latter method means you won’t have to re-sew those knots if you get a new one.
Count to nine: If you’ve been a Scouter for some time, those knots could really stack up. How high they go above your pocket is up to you, but the BSA recommends wearing no more than nine — or three rows of three.
Don’t flip out: Yes, square knots have a right-side-up. The chart above explains the process of determining which end goes where. This can be tricky on single-color knots, but if you squint really hard you can tell which loop on the knot is above the other.
Which knot is which?: Let’s hope you can identify the knots on your own uniform, but it’s likely you’ll see a knot or two out in the field that you don’t recognize. Here’s a handy chart (click to enlarge): Continue reading
Your 10-piece jamboree set for my Eagle patch? Sorry, no way.
Council shoulder strips, district camporee patches, and pins from your hometown are perfect trinkets to trade at national Scout jamborees or other major Scouting events.
But some patches and Scouting memorabilia should stay home.
No matter what the event, including the 2013 National Scout Jamboree next summer, the BSA has rules restricting patch trading.
Here’s the excerpt from Page 9 of the 2012 edition of the Guide to Awards and Insignia: Continue reading
White boxes show you where the patch belongs. Drag it there, and it gets magically “sewn” onto the uniform.
Finally, an easy way to answer the question, “What do I wear?”
A new, easy-to-use uniform Web site targeted at new Scout families just debuted, courtesy of the folks in Program Impact and the Supply Group.
Click on the appropriate Scouting program — Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Leaders, and Dress Uniforms (professionals). From there, you’re presented with a list of required and awarded patches that you can drag and drop to where they belong on the uniform. It’s simple and fun.
Give it a try, and be sure to bookmark bsauniforms.org to send to the new parents in your pack, troop, team, or crew. And to buy actual uniform components, they’ll want to visit ScoutStuff.org or their local Scout Shop.
What you’re seeing now is Phase 1, which gives you an idea of what’s possible with this useful tool. The next step is to include everything found in the Guide to Awards and Insignia. It’s a working project that will get better over time.
Now if only they can find a way to sew the patches on for you, as well!
Is an older Scout who wears his uniform in public committing ‘social suicide?’ Weigh in on one Scoutmaster’s policy
Open for debate: What’s your Scout unit’s uniform policy?
Quality trumps quantity when it comes to Scouting. A well-run unit of 15 to 20 boys or girls beats a dysfunctional unit of 80 to 100 Scouts every time. (Many larger troops thrive, but only through careful planning and strong leadership.)
What happens when your unit reaches that magic number where adding any more Scouts means a drop in program quality — overcrowded meeting space, leaders stretched too thin or other growing pains?
Do you turn Scouts away, sending them to another nearby unit? Or do you squeeze them in?
That question was posted to a Scout message board earlier this week: Continue reading
Spring may be the season of renewal, but fall’s when Cub Scout packs hit the reset button for the year.
Which is also the perfect time for Cubcast to do the same. As I mentioned in August, the podcast has been completely reimagined, with your help, and the November 2012 episode is the result of that revamp. If you ask me, it’s a hit. The new hosts bring a fresh energy and a sense of authority to the informative, 10-minute episode. And the shout-out to my blog makes it even sweeter!
The subject matter for this month’s episode is about renewal, too — as in the unit charter renewal process, a timely reminder this time of year.
Who are the new hosts? Meet Regional Operations Manager (and past leader of the Cub Scout Division) Sam Thompson. He’s joined at the microphone by Cub Scout volunteer extraordinaire Janet Griffin. This month, the two chat with Terrie Wilder, assistant council commissioner for charter renewal for the Mount Baker (Wash.) Area Council.
Listen to the November 2012 Cubcast or catch up with past episodes here.
Boy Scout Leaders, Listen Up!
Cubcast is great for pack and den leaders, but what about Boy Scout volunteers?
Just wait — ScoutCast will air Jan. 1.
Think of it as a roundtable or after-hours discussion. Sure, we all know how to teach kids about cooking over a campfire or tying a sheepshank, but ScoutCast will focus on topics like anger management, bullying, or dealing with kids with ADHD or hyperactivity.
I’m thinking it’s something Boy Scout leaders won’t want to miss.
Scouts aren’t exactly stumbling over themselves to take Personal Management, Emergency Preparedness, or Citizenship in the Community/Nation/World.
But with a little advance planning and creativity, you can bring seemingly dull merit badges to life.
Start by studying every requirement for ways to turn lectures or pen-and-paper exercises into something hands-on.
Then consider these tips from our friends on Facebook and Twitter: Continue reading
It’s amazing how quickly a whisper turns into a roar.
Take Wood Badge tickets, for example. Each one leaves a lasting legacy, but 50, 500, or even 5,000? That kind of impact reverberates across the Scouting universe for generations.
At my Wood Badge course in August, 50 Scouters each crafted five tickets. That’s 250 boosts to Scouting in North Texas from our course alone.
Some of you might be wondering: What is a Wood Badge ticket? Well, after the six-day course ends, participants aren’t done. To earn those iconic beads, a Wood Badger must complete five projects, called tickets. The tickets allow Scouters to give back to the program and to “realize their personal vision of their role in Scouting.”
That focus on Leaving a Legacy is a huge part of the spirit of Wood Badge. And it’s the subject of today’s fifth and final Wood Badge Wednesdays post.
In your unit, is a Scout’s contact info freely available or guarded like nuclear launch codes?
Two forces are competing here: Effective, efficient communication between families — and privacy. How do you straddle the thin line dividing the two?
That’s what assistant Scoutmaster Leon wondered in an e-mail to me last week. Take a look at his note, and then weigh in below: Continue reading