Time for answers to a couple more questions from readers. This time, the questions deal with older Scouts and patrol organization, and what to do about cell phones at summer camp.
One of my favorite magazines, The New Yorker, has a recurring column titled Notes from All Over, a collection of miscellany that are interesting in and of themselves but don’t merit an entire article. Today’s article is like that, so I’m borrowing the title with apologies (and a tip of the campaign hat) to the esteemed periodical. Continue reading
Although the print edition of the Guide to Safe Scouting gets updated each year or two, the information in the Guide is revised quarterly when changes are made. A printed or downloaded copy should be part of every Scouter’s kit, and while traditionally published as an 8 1/2 x 11 stapled booklet, recent paper editions have been in a smaller format and spiral-bound for easy reference and for fitting into your duffel or backpack.
The April 2015 edition of the Guide is now available online. This version contains a few changes and updates over the most recent printed edition issued last year. You should make note of the changes, especially if your program is affected. Continue reading
Talking with the Cubmaster at a Blue & Gold banquet recently, I found out that her son is crossing into Boy Scouts this spring. In fact, he (and she) have already been on a campout of the troop that he is joining. Among other tales of the adventure that lies across the bridge, I gently advised her to quell the urge to do things that the boys should be doing. She had heard that before – from the Scoutmaster. On the campout, she thought it would be helpful if she’d wipe down the table after the patrol had lunch, whereupon the Scoutmaster reminded her that it was the boys’ job to do that – not the adults’. So she called her son over and told him to do it, and learned the next part – it’s not the adults’ job to direct the Scouts, but that they’re led by their own leaders.
There’s a lot to learn when an adult follows his or her son into a troop. Continue reading
A couple months ago, we wrote about just what constitutes a Scout campout. Scout camping, as you’re aware, is different from ordinary-folks camping because it aims to fulfill a purpose besides recreation and just getting outside. Scout camping is where the values of Scouting come to life and is the end result of a month’s worth of planning and preparation by our Scouts.
In one of his recent podcasts, Clarke Green crystallized the concept of whether a particular activity qualifies as an appropriate Scout campout. Clarke gives three essential elements that must be present in order to be a Scouting activity and not just a weekend in the woods. They are: Continue reading