Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

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

Put me in, Coach!

baseball_in_grass_200Spring has sprung, or is in the process of springing, in much of the country, and with it comes the national pastime. Major leaguers have been warming up in sun country for a couple weeks, and our young people are dusting off their spikes and swinging for the fences as youth baseball leagues get ready to start up if they haven’t already.

Every year at this time we are reminded of the words of Solomon 2:11 that our beloved Detroit baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell used to quote as spring training got underway:

For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land…

It’s a potent reminder that as sure as the sun rises, spring will arrive and our enjoyment of being in the outdoors will once again guide our Scouting programs. Continue reading

Webelos program changes

webelos_200In our continuing series on changes coming this year to the Cub Scout program, this month I’ll preview the Webelos changes along with some pointers on how to do some advance preparation for some of the Adventures.

As always, be sure to consult the BSA’s Program Updates website for the official word on the changes to the program. Note that the recently-held webcasts on the Cub changes have been posted for viewing at any time.

While seven Adventures are required as with the lower ranks, the new Webelos requirements allow for two electives instead of just one, and Arrow of Light allows the Scout to choose three. Continue reading