What is “Duty to God”?

On my honor, I will do my duty to God…

These familiar words open the Scout Oath, one of the fundamental guideposts of our movement and one which establishes our values. It’s always been part of Scouting, and was recently reaffirmed at the National Annual Meeting as a key part of all of our programs.

But although many units are chartered by a religious organization, we aren’t a church – so how are we expected to uphold duty to God outside of a religious framework?

To answer that question, we need only look to the words of our founder Continue reading “What is “Duty to God”?”

Some assembly required

We recently bought some new patio furniture. If you’ve ever done the same, you realize that it most likely comes to you in pieces and you need to put it together yourself. The large Swedish-based retailer whose logo shares colors with Cub Scouting (you know who I mean) is well-known for their quality and price, and equally known for their cryptic assembly instructions. But this furniture was not from that store, and the instructions were even more puzzling – just a single sheet with eight tiny, hard-to-read drawings. Only my mechanical intuition and well-stocked tool chest saved me from the total frustration that would have ensued had I tried to assemble it with the minimal hand tools supplied

I briefly pondered taking pictures or making a video of the way I ended up assembling the furniture. Continue reading “Some assembly required”

What shall we call them?

By now, you’ve heard or read about the Boy Scouts of America’s plan to change the name of our venerable flagship program, Boy Scouts, to “Scouts BSA” in February 2019.

The decision is part of the BSA’s Scout Me In campaign to recruit girls as well as boys into our ranks. As you might expect, though, the name change has seen considerable pushback from the old and new guard alike. After all, our organization is still called the Boy Scouts of America. And boy has been part of Scouting since Lord Robert Baden-Powell first published Scouting for Boys.

But change had to happen. Continue reading “What shall we call them?”

Advancement updates for Spring 2018

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Advancement Team continuously reviews and updates matters of advancement across our programs. They work to keep requirements relevant and establish clear wording so the chances of misunderstanding are minimal.

Part of their mission is to keep volunteers informed not only on new advancement opportunities, but also ways we can better provide for the advancement of our Scouts. In support of that goal, the Advancement Team publishes updates periodically.

The most recent newsletter, for the second quarter of 2018, has a number of informational items that pertain to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing and Sea Scouting. Here’s a summary of some of the updates: Continue reading “Advancement updates for Spring 2018”

Do you plan, or “wing it”?

I’ve had the opportunity to review several Eagle Scout leadership service projects over the years. Just as each Scout is different, so is their level of preparation for their projects. Some have mapped out their projects down to every screw and nail, while others give a more general description of what is being proposed or what was actually done.

I was confronted with the same sort of thing when we were embarking on a family vacation recently. My son likes to plan every aspect of the trip, down to what, where and when, and make all the arrangements. My wife, on the other hand, likes to be more spontaneous and not cling to a fixed plan – rather, intending to decide what to do on the spur of the moment.

There are pros and cons to each sort of approach. Continue reading “Do you plan, or “wing it”?”