Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Why aren’t your leaders trained?

trainedGreenq_125It’s the time of year when we look back on our past experiences and accomplishments over the previous twelve months and make resolutions on what we’re going to change and improve in the year ahead.

In Scouting, sometimes our new year’s resolutions arise out of our unit’s performance on our annual Journey to Excellence evaluation. JTE makes it easy to see where we’re doing well and lacking, and can give us some impetus to make changes. (Next year’s evaluation form should make it easier to tell how we’re doing.)

One of the key areas that many units can improve on is leader training. Continue reading

Boys or Scouts?

BoyScoutsWe sometimes use the terms interchangeably. We have a boy-led troop with boy-led patrols. They read Boys’ Life. “Never do anything a boy can do” is a key piece of advice, and Baden-Powell made frequent references such as “The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play by doing so himself” and “The boy is not governed by don’t, but is led by do.”

It is the Boy Scouts of America, after all. Our constituency is overwhelmingly young men – boys – and we frequently think of them as such. However, when it comes to dealing with them in the context of Scouting, it helps to think of them with higher expectations than merely “boy”. Continue reading

Tiger program changes

new_tiger_handbook_200If you’re a regular reader of this website, you’ve heard about changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Maybe you’ve read our articles, or those fromĀ Scouting Magazine’s blog, or attended Cub Scout Roundtable and heard about them from your friendly district Roundtable staff. As our own Roundtable commissioner told me, the program is very different – but in a good way.

Over the next few months I’ll outline those changes and give you some unique insight into how to prepare for next year’s Cub Scouting.

We’ll start where most boys and families start – with Tigers.

No, not Tiger Cubs – the name of the first-grade program officially changes to Tigers, to continue the integration of the youngest Cub Scouts into the pack. Continue reading

How to help young leaders grow

mechanics-fourstepsOne of the most fascinating and fulfilling things about being part of the Scouting movement is watching our young people grow and develop as individuals, team members and leaders.

Every time I sit on a board of review (as I did for two new Eagle Scouts last week), I’m reminded that, in one way or another, the adults of our troop helped these young men grow. We did it, not by doing for them, but helping them see what’s important and how to handle it when they see it. Continue reading

It’s waaay different!

tigerwolf_250It’s been said that change is inevitable, and that nothing worthwhile is accomplished without change. We cannot start to change until we move out of our comfort zone.

Cub Scout leaders, prepare to be uncomfortable!

We’re a little under a year away from the national rollout of the new Cub Scout structure and program, initiated from the results of the 411 Project started a couple years ago to examine how to sustain and grow Scouting into the next decade and beyond. Details of the changes have been announced in stages and revised even before going into effect. There’s a lot to know and understand, and we’re here to help. Continue reading