Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Why do people attend meetings?

adamr_conference_table_chairs_200If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’

The humorist Dave Barry pretty much had his finger on the pulse of things with that observation. Economists seem to have a good grasp on the topic as well. John Kenneth Galbraith tells us that Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything, while Thomas Sowell cautions People who enjoy meetings shouldn’t be in charge of anything.

Meetings can be the bane of our existence, and seem to be a necessary evil in Scouting. Continue reading

Put me in, Coach!

baseball_in_grass_200Spring has sprung, or is in the process of springing, in much of the country, and with it comes the national pastime. Major leaguers have been warming up in sun country for a couple weeks, and our young people are dusting off their spikes and swinging for the fences as youth baseball leagues get ready to start up if they haven’t already.

Every year at this time we are reminded of the words of Solomon 2:11 that our beloved Detroit baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell used to quote as spring training got underway:

For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land…

It’s a potent reminder that as sure as the sun rises, spring will arrive and our enjoyment of being in the outdoors will once again guide our Scouting programs. Continue reading

Webelos program changes

webelos_200In our continuing series on changes coming this year to the Cub Scout program, this month I’ll preview the Webelos changes along with some pointers on how to do some advance preparation for some of the Adventures.

As always, be sure to consult the BSA’s Program Updates website for the official word on the changes to the program. Note that the recently-held webcasts on the Cub changes have been posted for viewing at any time.

While seven Adventures are required as with the lower ranks, the new Webelos requirements allow for two electives instead of just one, and Arrow of Light allows the Scout to choose three. Continue reading

Q&A: Requiring adult involvement, can Scouts go soaring?

questionmark_200This week, a couple questions from readers:

Requiring parents to register

Can a troop require that parents of Scouts register as adult members? Our troop insists that one parent of each Scout register as an assistant Scoutmaster or a troop committee member, and charges the adult registration fee as part of the Scout’s registration.

The BSA doesn’t really rule on this one way or the other, but leaves it up to the units to determine the need for adult leadership beyond the minimum requirements: Continue reading

Speak up! You can do it!

mic_and_audience_250Of all the things that terrify people, the one at the top of the list for most is public speaking. So much so, in fact, that a lot of people would rather have a root canal than get up and give a speech to a group.

For anyone in a leadership position, though, being able to comfortably deliver a speech or talk to a group of people is an essential job skill. Leaders need to be able to communicate their ideas and plans, and the way to do this is by speaking to those you wish to lead or serve. The fear of speaking to a group deters many people from taking on roles of leadership, and hinders success when they do. Continue reading