Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Mid-year Cub Scout program updates

cub_scout_sign_200If you follow Scouting Magazine on social media, you might have heard about some updates to the Cub Scout Adventure program that were announced last week.

(Look in the comments for links to the updates that you can print and paste into the Scouts’ books. Thanks Tom!)

The BSA Advancement Team found that, after the Adventure program was introduced last year, there has been a decline in the number of Cub Scouts advancing. As advancement and re-registration numbers start to appear, it has become apparent that an alarmingly low number of Cub Scouts completed their rank requirements last year.

Was this due to the newness of the program and the unfamiliarity of it among den leaders? Or could the requirements have just been too complex and rigorous?

The Advancement Team concluded it was probably the latter, and so have made a few easements to hopefully allow more boys to complete their rank advancements. Continue reading

Obsolete? Says who!

buggywhipA friend sent me the link to an article on the website of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) titled 10 Skills Our Kids Will Never Learn. It’s a rundown on skills that those of the Baby Boomer generation have come to take for granted but which today’s youth view as useless or otherwise irrelevant, thanks to technology, societal changes or a shift in our education system. There’s not much call for making buggy whips any more, but what about these skills?

As a Boomer and the parent of two Millennials, I can see their point and have seen some of these in my own kids. But the skills in the article are far from obsolete. Rather, they are great things to know that could come in handy when you least expect it.

From a Scouting perspective, it means Being Prepared – for there are times when your smartphone’s battery runs flat, or you need to figure something out that can’t be looked up on Wikipedia or YouTube.

Just for fun, let’s look at some of the supposedly obsolete skills, how Scouting manages to teach them to our young people anyway, and why it matters. Continue reading

How often should a troop camp?

tentsA troop committee chair writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to change our campout schedule so that instead of having monthly campouts, the troop would camp every other month, and do a service project in the months when there isn’t a campout. This doesn’t seem right to me – shouldn’t the Scouts be camping every month?

To start to answer your question, let’s go to the Methods of Boy Scouting and look at the Outdoor Programs method: Continue reading

Making the most of meeting time

meetings_250Meetings are one of the constant truths about serving Scouting as an adult volunteer. We enjoy serving the Scouts and helping them succeed, but it seems like we are constantly being called to meetings for one reason or another. Just last week I attended three meetings and there are a couple more this week.

The responsibility for making sure a meeting is productive – or even necessary in the first place – falls on the person calling and organizing the meeting. Continue reading

The other troop library

libraryMost troops have a library of merit badge pamphlets and other information for the Scouts to use in going about their activities. It’s maintained by a troop librarian – a youth position of responsibility – and is primarily run by and for the Scouts.

There’s another library that every troop should have – one for the adult leadership to consult.

We wrote earlier about the responsibilities of the committee chair. Among the responsibilities of a unit’s committee chair is the rather vague but rather ominous duty to¬†interpret national and local policies to the unit.

Just how do you go about doing this? Continue reading