Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

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

How do I quell a parent revolt?

angry_parents_200Has this ever happened to you?

The following question was posted on one of the Scouting forums in the last few weeks. I thought it was an interesting conundrum and offered my comments. Since it’s unfortunately not an uncommon situation, maybe you can relate. I’ll paraphrase:

Last month at the troop committee meeting, I [a Scoutmaster] was told that “this boy-led thing” was not working. I was hurt and disappointed in the boys. The parents thought the boys chose their leaders poorly at the previous election, and they want a major overhaul. I’m not sure we did the right thing, but we had two boys express interest in being senior patrol leader. The assistant Scoutmasters and I picked between the two and chose a tenth grader as the new SPL.. We let him pick his staff down to the patrol leaders and assistant patrol leaders. The boy we chose believes in the patrol method and wants to continue to develop it. I think.he has chosen a good staff, but the parents are still calling for changes. What do you do to quell a parent revolt?

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Whose advancement is it, anyway?

firstclass+calendar_200A friend in a nearby troop sent me the following:

I was talking with a former Scoutmaster of our troop about how we have some Second-Class and Tenderfoot Scouts who would like to take part in a high adventure activity offered by our council which permits only First-Class Scouts and above. He mentioned:

“If we move the younger Scouts to First Class, they can go on the hike as crew members. In the past, the assistant Scoutmasters and I kept a list of the requirements each boy needed so when we met with the PLC we could help them decide what skills the troop should focus on in meetings and campouts. The boys didn’t know about the list, but it was helpful because of our aim to help the Scouts make First Class in the first year.”

This sounds like a good idea. It would help get them to First Class faster and let them experience our high adventure trek. What do you think?

Continue reading