Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

2017 Journey to Excellence

jte_gold_250It’s rechartering time for just about everybody, and with it comes our annual self-evaluation, the Journey to Excellence.

With us since 2011. this program allows units to assess how they are doing compared to how high-performing units operate. It’s a set of eleven guidelines (nine for Venturing crews) along with a means to evaluate each item from basic to outstanding.

Each year, we look back on how we served our Scouts in the previous twelve months. It’s also a good time to look ahead to the next twelve and see where we can tweak and improve. The 2017 scorecards are available now. Continue reading

Patterns of character

charactercounts_200If you are a civics aficionado, this is a very interesting time. We are in the midst of one of the most notable and volatile presidential campaigns in our country’s history. Much is being said on both sides of the debate, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone could not have formed an opinion by now.

But how do we form our opinions on matters of such great importance as electing our leaders?

As we prepare to choose who will represent us, in offices ranging from city council to the presidency, each of us looks for many factors in deciding who to support.

Undoubtedly, character is one of the most important of these factors, as it is probably the most reliable predictor of what a person would do in office. It’s not easy to gauge someone else’s character – you have to look for the outward signs that give a glimpse of inner traits. Sometimes these are fairly obvious but they can be quite obscure.

Perhaps the most important thing to examine is our own character, and for us Scouters, what better way is there than to hold character up to the light of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The twelve points give us some solid benchmarks for comparison and judgment. Continue reading

Make training more interesting

training_300It’s fall and our newest recruits are joining us. Not just the boys, but the adults as well, stepping into Scouting leadership for the first time, moving to new positions within their units or making the transition from program to program.

Any time we start something new, it helps to learn a bit about it before we take the plunge. In Scouting, we have plenty of training courses to help adult leaders get off on the right foot when it comes to performing their duties. Continue reading

The whaty-what of what?

questionmark_200Drop in on any conversation between commissioners and you’re likely to hear something like this:

So I was at Pack 123’s JSN. The CM was hoping for twenty new members but the CC said they only got fifteen. That’s good, considering the TAY at that school. There were a couple adult apps so the COR took care of them and said he’d hook up with the DE. We just need to make sure their YPT gets done. Their JTE is looking great and we’ve already scheduled a FOS right before their PWD.

Scouting is like almost every other venture in that it has its jargon and abbreviations that are common internally but bewilder outsiders. Continue reading

We sustain the wings

glennmillerIt’s not likely that many, if any, readers of this column were around during World War II, but perhaps your parents or grandparents were. If so, then they most likely remember a show on the NBC Radio Network called I Sustain the Wings. The show’s eponymous theme song was composed and performed by Captain Glenn Miller, whose orchestra was one of the most popular bands of the era. The program featured Miller’s orchestra performing the hit songs of the day, which helped to lift the spirits of those at home and our forces on the front lines. The title, I Sustain the Wings, was the motto of the U. S. Army Air Corps Technical Training Command, for it was up to the technicians to keep the planes “in the sky above / where they fight to victory”, as the lyrics go. Continue reading