What is a commissioner?

For over fifteen years, I served as a den leader, Cubmaster and committee chair, as well as on the training committee for our district. In that time, I worked with dozens of other Scouters and well over a hundred Scouts (not to mention more Scouting professionals than I can recall) in supporting the Scouting program in our pack and troop.

When my sons aged out of Scouting and went off to college, I decided to step back from the troop committee chair responsibility and allow someone else to have the experience of one of the best jobs in Scouting (thanks, Bill!). So it was a natural step to take my experience and apply it in another way – as a unit commissioner.

But just what is a commissioner?

Continue reading “What is a commissioner?”

New Eagle project workbook available

As we move into 2019, there are some advancement changes in the offing. Significant is the issuance of a new Eagle Scout leadership service project workbook, now available from the national forms library or your local council.

The new form must be used for all Eagle projects started after January 1, 2019, but projects started using the old form can continue to use that form for the time being. The BSA will most likely sunset the old form, probably in a few months.

One change is the file format that the new workbook uses. Continue reading “New Eagle project workbook available”

Recent updates: Training in progress, bankruptcy news

As we near the end of the year, there are a couple recent developments that Scouters need to pay attention to, for the good of our Scouts, units and families.

Training in progress

If you’ve taken any of the online basic training courses recently, you know how they are structured. Instead of a single course that might run an hour or two, basic training is divided into manageable chunks that only take a few minutes to complete. The total time isn’t any less, but the format is organized into logical sections so you can better understand what’s being presented. It also allows you to take a few segments here and there, and your progress is saved. If you can’t devote an uninterrupted two hour span, you can train a little at a time as long as you finish everything up.

Finishing everything up is the issue now. The Boy Scouts of America’s national training team is planning to roll out revised courses after January 1. Continue reading “Recent updates: Training in progress, bankruptcy news”

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”