Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Journey to Excellence 2016

JTE-White_250As we approach the end of the year, packs, troops and all other units are working to compile their statistics for the 2015 Journey to Excellence evaluation tool.

Yes, it’s best to think of it as a tool to help your unit identify its strengths and weaknesses, and guide you to make the changes necessary to improve your service to youth.

Each year, the team of volunteers that manage the Journey to Excellence process evaluate the previous year’s statistics, correlate the results with the aims and goals of our movement, and make adjustments to try to help move closer to the ideal goal of a well-run unit. Continue reading

A proving ground for manhood

manhood_200A lot of pressure is put on boys in our society to develop and exhibit characteristics and behavior that many view as typical masculine traits. Many people would give as examples of such traits toughness, perseverance, determination and confidence. Boys are told to “man up” or “be a man” when faced with confrontation or just everyday situations.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of sports, where winning is the goal and it takes a hundred and ten percent – or more – to realize it. And football seems to rank above all other sports in the perceived toughness factor.

Football in America is not just popular, it’s practically a religion. Continue reading

Do you need a policy handbook?

parent_handbook_250It seems like we live our life by rule books. We have policies and procedures to follow at work. The clubs and organizations we belong to have by-laws, rules and regulations. Every sport has an official rule book, and most sports teams have a policy manual of some sort for parents and participants.

How about your troop or pack? Do you need a policy handbook?

It’s not always necessary for a Scouting unit to outlineĀ all of the policies and procedures that it might feel are necessary. This is because we already have a master policy, if you will, that governs everything we do: the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Continue reading

One simple sentence

cubmastermikebaker_200You’ve probably heard that many people fear speaking in public more than almost anything else. But it doesn’t have to be that way – and as a Scouter, you are in a perfect position to learn how to ease that fear.

I had never spoken to large groups very much until I became a Cubmaster. I had given presentations at work and before my professional society, but I wasn’t completely comfortable doing it. Now, I had to entertain the boys and keep their parents informed – and you know what? It was actually fun! Scouting was something I believed in, and could see the value of in my own kids, so it became second-nature to lead the group. I put that new-found comfort to use as a trainer and was just as much at ease relating to new leaders as I was to a room full of grade-school boys.

We’re into our recruiting drives now, and you’re finding that you are speaking to groups of parents eager to hear how the Scouting program will benefit their sons. Continue reading