Win your audience

It’s said that there are three secrets to giving a presentation: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.

This approach is actually quite successful. You want to hook your audience with a taste of what’s to come before delving into the details of your message. You also want to make sure they don’t forget by summarizing what you just said at the end, in case their attention wandered during your talk – the too long, didn’t read version. Continue reading “Win your audience”

Girls + Scouting ≠ Girl Scouts

I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well.

You may have heard about the lawsuit filed by the Girl Scouts of the USA against the Boy Scouts of America for infringing on their trademark by dropping “boy” from Boy Scouts, calling it instead Scouts BSA.

The complaint is that the change marginalizes the programs of the GSUSA because it can lead the public to think that its programs are not true “Scouting” programs, but rather, as they put it, “niche services with limited utility and appeal.” Continue reading “Girls + Scouting ≠ Girl Scouts”

Accepting refugees

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

If you follow the news at all, there’s no way to avoid hearing about what some are portraying as a grave threat to our country – an “invasion” by a caravan of “dangerous criminals” with plans to “attack our borders”. The claims are that there are “ISIS” “terrorists”  who are “unknown Middle Easterners,” “hardened criminals” and “very tough fighters” who are “bringing smallpox” and have intentions of spreading mayhem. Tens of thousands of military troops have been dispatched to the border to quell this “insurrection.”

Cooler heads realize that the caravan – many hundreds of miles from our border – is composed of, at most, a couple thousand people, mainly from Honduras. For these mostly women and children, many with nothing but the clothes on their back – shoeless, even – things are so bad in their home countries that they are willing to risk the trip Continue reading “Accepting refugees”

More Q&A: Committee chair absence, getting leaders trained

Time for answers to a couple of your questions:

Our Committee Chair has a conflict that prevents his participation in our troop committee meeting on its traditional night. In his absence our Scoutmaster is running the meetings. Is this a good practice, or should someone else be running our committee meeting?

My first suggestion would be Continue reading “More Q&A: Committee chair absence, getting leaders trained”

As girls come in, a temporary extension

One of the most critical requirements for a Scout who is pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout is that the completion of all requirements, except for his board of review, must take place prior to his eighteenth birthday. Case-by-case extensions have been made for Scouts with special needs or when last-minute circumstances beyond the Scout’s control interfere, but all too often it’s a race to the Scoutmaster’s house on the night before he turns eighteen (it has happened in our troop, and probably in yours too).

Now, as we prepare to welcome girls into what’ll become known as Scouts BSA, the national council is announcing a temporary extension to the time allowed to earn Scouting’s highest rank, under specific circumstances and for specific Scouts only. Continue reading “As girls come in, a temporary extension”