Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers

popcorn+cards_250It’s that time of year again – popcorn season! And soon, our Scouts will be knocking on doors, standing on street corners and in front of grocery stores offering the tasty treats of popcorn and other goodies as a thank-you gift to our friends and neighbors for their financial support of Scouting in our communities, making it possible for our young people to enjoy fun and adventure while the values of Scouting are instilled.. (And you thought they were just selling popcorn!)

And just as much as our Scouts struggle to make the sale, we struggle with the finances. We guesstimate how much of each product to order, find some place to store it when it arrives, allocate it by den or patrol, and take back the unsold inventory. We also have to deal with the money, which could be the most daunting aspect of all.

In the past, most people paid cash or wrote a check, but it has become more of a cashless world, and Scouting needs to keep up with the times. Continue reading

There IS a better tool

soccerball_250As fall recruiting season nears, we’re putting together our plans to make sure every boy has an opportunity to join Scouting – scheduling Join Scouting nights, polishing our presentations and getting ready with another year of fun, adventure and enrichment.

You can tell that fall is approaching because our competition is getting their act in gear as well. All over town, I’ve noticed signs springing up announcing that youth sports leagues are forming, for kids age 3 to 17. Competing for space on street corners with the political signs, these promote a certain┬ánon-profit organization that franchises youth sports programs in towns around the country.

I won’t mention the name of the organization, but a check of their website boasts of over one million participants in towns from coast to coast, offering leagues, camps and clinics in today’s most popular sports. In a way, the organization is similar to Scouting in that kids at all skill levels are welcome, with no tryouts. Everyone plays in every game, sessions are one day a week, and trained officials are present. There’s no mandatory volunteering and, unlike us, no fundraising of any kind. Continue reading

Why do we enjoy being Scouters?

whenyouvolunteer_250Chances are, if you’re a Scouter, you enjoy what you’re doing. You’re helping your son and his friends have fun while they learn things like survival skills, leadership, citizenship and being helpful to others. You’re enjoying some of that yourself – as your son learns how to tie knots, you’re getting a refresher too. You meet other like-minded people in your community with similar aims. It’s certainly not because of the money.

The satisfaction we enjoy being Scouting volunteers parallels the experience that employees enjoy working for some of the companies rated highly for job satisfaction. Continue reading

Learning to lead

learn+lead250While some people seem to be natural leaders, it’s generally held that leadership is something that can be learned. The esteemed football coach Vince Lombardi believed that

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.

Our Scouts, most likely, are not great leaders. In fact, they probably don’t know the first thing about leadership when they take on their first leadership position of responsibility – most often as a patrol leader. It is through Scouting that they begin the process of learning about leadership. Continue reading

Our Eagle Scout President

FordBoyScout_200As a Scouter, you’re most likely more familiar with American history and civics than most people. You also probably know which U.S. president:

  • was never elected to national office?
  • was the only one from the state of Michigan?
  • was the only one to attend the University of Michigan?
  • was the only president to grant a pardon to another president?
  • was the only Eagle Scout to serve as president?

I’m referring, of course, to the thirty-eighth President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, whose 103rd birthday we observe this week.

President Ford took office during a turbulent time in our nation’s history – upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Mr. Nixon was embroiled in the scandal surrounding the cover-up following the break-in by Republican operatives at the Democratic campaign headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex. Mr. Ford, a long-serving congressman from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was serving as Mr. Nixon’s appointed vice-president after Spiro T. Agnew resigned the vice-presidency due to unrelated charges of federal income tax evasion less than a year earlier. Anyone who was alive and paying attention to the news then remembers vividly the chains of events leading up to Mr. Ford’s becoming the unlikely President of the United States. Continue reading