Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

The new Troop Committee Guidebook

tcg_old+newYou may not have noticed, but earlier this year the Scout shops and Supply Division replaced the Troop Committee Guidebook with a new edition. The previous version, item 34505B, was originally published in 1998 and was reprinted several times since. The new version has a bright red and green cover with photos of Scouts in action, carries a stock number of 616928 and was published in 2013, though it didn’t become widely available until spring of this year.

Normally, revised publications have many changes and updates. Continue reading

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate!

Our pack committees and leaders meet and plan the details of our pack programs, starting before the program year with updates frequently thereafter.

Den leaders make plans for outings, activities and rank achievement work. The coming weeks and even the entire year are scheduled with the boys in mind, so everyone can have maximum fun and earn their ranks while they’re at it.

Packs plan overnighters, special events at pack meetings, a banquet and Pinewood Derby race. Things every boy can have fun doing.

Then we wonder why attendance is so low. Continue reading

How many coaches does a team need?

Casey Stengel

Casey Stengel

Despite the differences in aim and scope, we often make the comparison between Scouting and team sports in order to clarify the way something less familiar works (Scouting) in terms that most people can understand (sports). Each has the equivalent of players, coaches and spectators. Each has the rules and boundaries of the game.

Take a baseball team, for instance. The usual size of a team’s roster is about 35 players, divided into categories: outfielders, infielders, batterie, and reserve (relief pitchers and designated hitters). One of the players is usually chosen team captain by his teammates. Teaching and guiding these players are the various position coaches: the pitching coach, bullpen coach, hitting coach, base coaches, and the head coach or manager coordinating.

A Boy Scout troop has a very similar structure. Continue reading

The Marshmallow Test

marsh_200If someone set a marshmallow in front of you, would you eat it?

If that person told you that if you didn’t eat it, but watched it for 15 minutes, they’d give you another marshmallow. Would you eat it or wait?

Now imagine you’re a kid. Do you think you’d have the patience to wait 15 minutes? Think of how much longer 15 minutes seems like to a child than it does to us.

You’ve probably heard of the psychology experiment conducted by Stanford professor Walter Mischel in the 1960s. Continue reading

Q&A: Why recharter in December; extending youth registration

questionmark_200Time for answers to a couple more of your questions.

Why do we recharter in December?

Fall is the time that we recruit for Cub Scouting. Many troops and crews recruit new members in the fall as well. So with all these applications coming in, and with our packs renewing their members for the coming Scouting year, I have been asked why we don’t just renew our charters in September and get it over with, rather than having to go through the roster audit process a few months later.

As a practical matter, that may seem to make sense. Continue reading