Accepting refugees

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

If you follow the news at all, there’s no way to avoid hearing about what some are portraying as a grave threat to our country – an “invasion” by a caravan of “dangerous criminals” with plans to “attack our borders”. The claims are that there are “ISIS” “terrorists”  who are “unknown Middle Easterners,” “hardened criminals” and “very tough fighters” who are “bringing smallpox” and have intentions of spreading mayhem. Tens of thousands of military troops have been dispatched to the border to quell this “insurrection.”

Cooler heads realize that the caravan – many hundreds of miles from our border – is composed of, at most, a couple thousand people, mainly from Honduras. For these mostly women and children, many with nothing but the clothes on their back – shoeless, even – things are so bad in their home countries that they are willing to risk the trip Continue reading “Accepting refugees”

More Q&A: Committee chair absence, getting leaders trained

Time for answers to a couple of your questions:

Our Committee Chair has a conflict that prevents his participation in our troop committee meeting on its traditional night. In his absence our Scoutmaster is running the meetings. Is this a good practice, or should someone else be running our committee meeting?

My first suggestion would be Continue reading “More Q&A: Committee chair absence, getting leaders trained”

As girls come in, a temporary extension

One of the most critical requirements for a Scout who is pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout is that the completion of all requirements, except for his board of review, must take place prior to his eighteenth birthday. Case-by-case extensions have been made for Scouts with special needs or when last-minute circumstances beyond the Scout’s control interfere, but all too often it’s a race to the Scoutmaster’s house on the night before he turns eighteen (it has happened in our troop, and probably in yours too).

Now, as we prepare to welcome girls into what’ll become known as Scouts BSA, the national council is announcing a temporary extension to the time allowed to earn Scouting’s highest rank, under specific circumstances and for specific Scouts only. Continue reading “As girls come in, a temporary extension”

Two-deep leadership updates

By now, you should have taken the new Youth Protection Training course online to bring your training current. As we’ve discussed before, everyone must take the new course, which was released in February, regardless of the expiration date of your YPT. If you haven’t taken the new YPT, do it now!

The recent revisions to the Boy Scouts of America’s youth protection practices include updates to the policy requiring two adult leaders at all Scouting activities. The national youth protection team has provided some important clarifications and answered many questions about the new policy: Continue reading “Two-deep leadership updates”

Roll out the welcome mat!

This fall, we’ll be joined by families new to Scouting. Curious about the flyer they might have picked up at a school assembly or by what their excited son or daughter told them about Cub Scouts, they’ll be walking through our doors into what – for them – is a great unknown.

Think back to when you were brand new to Scouting. Was there someone who welcomed you in and showed you what our program is all about?

If not, there should have been, and now we have that someone who can help your new families feel welcome and get them into the swing of things. Continue reading “Roll out the welcome mat!”