Silly question. Who couldn’t use some extra help corralling a bunch of rowdy Cub Scouts?
Say hello to your new best friend: the Cub Scout Den Chief. This older Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or Venturer co-leads weekly den meetings, assists at pack meetings and meets regularly with adults to find out when and where he can help the most.
Don’t have one for your den? Let the October 2013 CubCast be your first step in changing that. In the latest installment of the monthly podcast, you’ll hear from Sherry Herzog, a terrific volunteer who set up a den chief training course with the Three Fires Council in St. Charles, Ill.
She’ll explain what a den chief does and why your den needs one ASAP.
That nice, uniformed, young man who visited your troop last week, was he your unit commissioner, district commissioner, district executive or someone else entirely?
For new adult volunteers, keeping track of your own Scouting title and responsibilities can feel pretty overwhelming. Memorizing the positions and duties of everyone else in your Scouting circle? Forget about it.
The good news, then, is that ScoutCast has help.
In the October 2013 episode of the monthly podcast (available to stream through your browser or download for later listening), you’ll hear from Ed Martin, scout executive for the Black Warrior Council in Tuscaloosa, Ala., as he explains who’s who in this “zoo” we call Scouting.
You’ll learn who these volunteers and professionals are and, more importantly, how they can help make your job in Scouting easier and more rewarding.
Summer camp season may be over (sadly), but we can still have a little fun looking back.
And I mean way, way back — to 1930 and summer camp in the Kansas City Council.
Michael Dulle, membership coordinator of Overland Park, Kan., Troop 0459, sent me the flier below from the “Kansas City Scout Camp” in Osceola, Mo., now called the H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation.
I found it interesting how much has changed in summer camping in the 83 years since this charming document was printed. Equally fascinating: how much has stayed the same.
Take this sentence directed at a Scout’s mom and dad as a perfect example: “Let your boy acquire that healthy tan, the sparkle in the eye, and that enthusiasm for the worth-while which Scouts attending camp bring home with them.”
Hold on. A healthy tan? Most experts consider that phrase an oxymoron these days. Today’s parents send their kids to camp with a fresh bottle of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. But the part about a boy returning from camp with a “sparkle in the eye” and “enthusiasm for the worth-while”? That’s still true today. So is an earlier phrase about summer camp offering “fun not found in cities.”
I found it intriguing that summer camp was a two-week affair in 1930. Summer camp these days is just a week, of course.
But this was my favorite part. Guess how much it cost to attend summer camp for two weeks, including food, lodging and transportation in 1930? A whopping $16.
Check out the flier after the jump… Continue reading
It takes a village to recruit new Scouts, and here’s the latest example of that Scouting village uniting for the greater good of the BSA.
Packs, troops, teams and crews are invited to celebrate with the LDS church on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 29, for Scouting Open House Night.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints becoming one of the BSA’s first chartered organizations, LDS chapels and stake centers all over the country will open their doors to tell the story of Scouting and to invite youth to join the program you and I believe in so strongly.
The event, designed as a kind of national join Scouting night, is open to units and prospective Scouting families from all denominations — not just LDS units or members of the LDS church.
But wait, isn’t Oct. 29 the same night as the church’s A Century of Honor live broadcast I told you about last week? Yes, and though these are two different events held on the same night, they do overlap and fit together nicely.
Download a printable (PDF) flier for Scouting Open House Night by clicking here. And find out more info, including how councils and chartered organizations can get involved and how you as a unit leader can make the most of this opportunity, after the jump. Continue reading
Father (or Mother) knows best?
Maybe, but that’s not how a Scout troop, Varsity team or Venturing crew is supposed to work.
Scouting is a youth-led, youth-run organization. Your responsibility as an adult leader is to train the young men and women, provide direction, coach and empower. Then you step aside.
That means you’re observing from the back of the room, not barking out orders from the front of it. Scouts and Venturers are free to make mistakes; that’s where real learning happens.
For today’s Tuesday Talkback, tell me this: Do youth leaders make the critical decisions in your unit? If so, how do you prevent adults from taking too big a role? How do you resist the urge to step in? If adults are the leaders in your unit, how can you change that?
Leave a comment below with your thoughts, and let’s have a discussion about the best way to handle this important issue. Continue reading
Note: Not a real patch.
In Crew 9820, they’re taking the joke of “underwater basket weaving” to new heights.
Or, technically, new depths.
Last weekend, the Minnesota Venturing crew, which specializes in scuba diving, went below the surface in their field uniform shirts, wetsuits and scuba gear. But they weren’t hunting for fascinating fish or awesome artifacts. They were making baskets.
Why? “Because we could,” says crew Advisor Dave Tengdin.
The crew drove to Square Lake in Stillwater, Minn., and made baskets while immersed in 68-degree water.
“Everybody makes jokes about taking classes in underwater basket weaving,” Tengdin told KSTP-TV. “And we figured, you know what? Let’s just have underwater basket weaving.” Next up for the crew: underwater pumpkin carving. Seriously.
Read a little about the origin of “underwater basket weaving” on the Wikipedia page, watch video of the crew’s event here and follow the jump for more photos. Continue reading
Just like your favorite film, Wood Badge is even better the second time around.
Last month, I served as a Troop Guide for Wood Badge course S2-571-13-3, known within the Dallas-based Circle Ten Council simply as Wood Badge 106.
Loyal blog readers will remember I had a mountaintop experience as a participant of Wood Badge 102 last summer at Philmont Scout Ranch. (Read my five-part recap here, and send to those who haven’t yet taken Wood Badge but should.)
But this time I was a Wood Badge staffer, again at a course held at Philmont. And this time I learned even more. Staffing Wood Badge is like having a backstage pass. From that new vantage point, you know what’s going to happen, how it happens and why it happens at that exact moment. That new perspective comes with a greater appreciation for why this is Scouting’s top training course for leaders.
I learned a lot more than I could put into one blog post, but I thought I’d share 10 lessons I learned staffing Wood Badge. If you’ve staffed, please share your own takeaways by leaving a comment. Continue reading
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the first sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America way back in 1913. One-hundred years later, the LDS church brings hundreds of thousands of Scouts into the movement each year.
Next month, your Scouting family can join the BSA family in celebrating that “Century of Honor” through a special live production held in Salt Lake City.
There’s something in the show for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, Scouters, Scouting families and non-Scouting families of any religion. The live broadcast celebrates Scouting, not just the LDS church, so it’s relevant to everyone.
As you’ll see in the pulse-pounding trailer after the jump, the 85-minute performance will include original music and media, historical reenactments, special guests and a cast of hundreds of Scouts.
All of this awesomeness will be hosted at the Salt Lake City’s 21,000-seat Conference Center, where the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert is taped each December.
Circle Oct. 29 on your calendar right now. At 7 p.m. MDT on that Tuesday night, the show begins. Watch the trailer and get the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How after the jump. Continue reading
You’ll notice it right away, of course.
You’ll see Tristan across the room at your pack or troop meeting this week and instantly spot the unit numerals on the wrong sleeve, the rank patch on the wrong pocket or the World Crest way too low on his field uniform shirt.
What do you do? Call Tristan out in front of the group so other Scouts learn from his mistake? Hand him a needle and some thread and send him out of the room? Email his parents after the meeting? Something else?
Leave a comment below with your answer, and let’s have a discussion about the best way to handle this common concern. This is the first of a recurring series of posts I’m calling Tuesday Talkback. Continue reading
You the Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America, in Order to form a more perfect understanding of the U.S. Constitution, establish awareness of our nation’s Founding Documents, and secure some Free Money, do indeed need to enter this Bill of Rights Institute Eagle Scout Competition
OK, so maybe my version of the Preamble doesn’t match the original, but it still contains an important message.
That message: The Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization “whose mission is to educate young people on the ideas of the Constitution and the rights it protects,” has launched its second annual Eagle Scout Competition.
One grand prize winner will score $1,000 for himself and $500 for his unit. Two runners-up get $500 for themselves and $250 for their units.
To enter, Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts between the ages of 14 and 19 must write two short essays based on the topics listed below. The deadline — Feb. 10, 2014 — will be here before you can say “more perfect Union,” so send this to your Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts right away.
Complete rules and info after the jump. Continue reading