Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Mistakes for the right reasons

missed_arrows_200To err is human. We’re all familiar with the observation that Alexander Pope made in his writings on criticism.

So why do we get all bent out of shape when things go wrong?

With adults it’s one thing – by now, you think, they should know better – but especially when our Scouts mess something up, we tend to get upset and start looking for blame and fixes. Continue reading

Do the right stuff on the front end

HansomCabLeaders are often responsible for seeing that those who they lead deliver results, and it’s no different in Scouting.

Our youth leaders must work together to achieve common goals. The leaders that the Scouts elect are directly responsible for not only the welfare of those who elected them, but for seeing that everyone does what’s expected of him.

On the committee, we also have expectations. Continue reading

Financial practices for units: The unit budget

bankbookNow that many troops and packs are winding down the most active part of their program year and are looking forward to scaling back a bit over the summer, and as adult leadership and committee assignments often change, it’s a good idea to review how you do business, from a business standpoint.

While most Scouting units don’t fall  in the “small business” category, they do tend to handle a fair amount of money during a typical year. For a Cub pack, registration and membership fees and other costs such as insignia can run upwards of $50 per year per Scout. Add in fundraising proceeds, family camp, Blue & Gold banquet, Pinewood Derby trophies and day camp, and you could hit $10,000 without much trouble. In a troop, this can skyrocket when you factor in equipment, camping and high adventure. A typical troop can run $25,000 or more through its checking account in a year’s time, and if the troop uses a system of Scout accounts, the amount of cash held in the bank can be substantial.

How, then, does a unit best maintain the safety and accountability of these funds? Continue reading

Arrow of Light changes

oldest_island_boyWrapping up our series on the upcoming changes to the Cub Scout program, this time we’ll discuss what is changing with the requirements for the Arrow of Light award.

Although these changes take effect on June 1 of this year, bear in mind that current Webelos Scouts can continue to use the current Arrow of Light requirements. Any boy joining Cub Scouts after June 1 must use the new requirements.

The most significant change is that the Arrow of Light no longer requires first earning the Webelos rank. Continue reading