Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Which way are your people pulling?

train-travel-minitime_bill85704_250Do you ever feel like your leadership efforts are like the engine of a locomotive, but it seems like you’re working a lot harder than you have to in order to get somewhere?

Some organizations seem to operate that way. It can take a lot of effort and a long time to achieve results that you expect should have been realized much sooner and without nearly as much pulling.

I think this is more commonly true of volunteer-led organizations like Scouting. Continue reading

Webelos elective changes

webelos_200Last month we took a look at the changes to the Webelos program coming in June 2015, with an eye toward the required Adventures that’ll require some nontrivial advance planning on the part of the Webelos den leader.

This month we’ll dive into the rather lengthy list of elective Adventures that the Scouts can choose from to fulfill the requirements for the Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks, courtesy of Candy Kniaz, Ottawa District Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner. As you look over the new Adventures, you’ll find that most parallel the activity badges and pins that they replace. Continue reading

What is a Scout campout?

tents_at_scouting_camp_250When many people think of “camping” they think of gassing up the RV and loading it up with groceries, beverages, maybe the ATVs, video games and sports gear, and heading to the lake, a KOA or a state park and plugging in for a weekend or a week.

To a lot of Scouts and Scouters, that’s not really camping – it’s a vacation in a tin can. But just what is Scout camping?

Troops go camping every month – it’s part of what we do. Continue reading

Scouts who are not advancing

first_class_rank_card_badges_c250I got an e-mail from a reader:

I’m the advancement coordinator for our troop. Recently I was running the “Scouts Not Advancing” report in Troopmaster and noticed that we have a good number of Scouts who haven’t advanced in rank in 18 months or more. One of our committee members told me that an assistant Scoutmaster used to collect the Scouts’ books, went through them to see what hadn’t been signed off, then told the PLC what requirements were missing to try to get the Scouts to help others advance. What is the best way for the committee to help move advancement along? Should we have some of the older Scouts work with the younger ones to get requirements done? How about a troop meeting where we have a session with sign-off stations?

This is an issue that seems to come up frequently. While some Scouts advance quickly through the ranks, others seem to lag behind for one reason or another, and it sometimes makes the adult leaders wonder how to help them catch up. Continue reading

Why do people attend meetings?

adamr_conference_table_chairs_200If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’

The humorist Dave Barry pretty much had his finger on the pulse of things with that observation. Economists seem to have a good grasp on the topic as well. John Kenneth Galbraith tells us that Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything, while Thomas Sowell cautions People who enjoy meetings shouldn’t be in charge of anything.

Meetings can be the bane of our existence, and seem to be a necessary evil in Scouting. Continue reading