Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

So you’re a new Cubmaster!

cubmaster_200Maybe when they asked for volunteers to step forward, everybody else took a step backward. Perhaps you were approached by the pack committee chair who lured you in, telling you “it’s only an hour a week.” Or you always wanted to be the big guy up front and you didn’t see anyone else brave enough to do it.

In any case, congratulations! You’re the new Cubmaster!

Now what? Continue reading

Selecting volunteers

raised_hands_200As we get back into high gear with our pack and troop programs, we may find that we’ve had some “churn” in our adult commitments. Perhaps a family moved away over the summer or decided on a shift in priorities. When that happens, an adult who made a commitment to volunteer in our unit is no longer available. This churn is most common in Cub Scouting, as den leaders move up and new dens (particularly Tiger dens) form, membership in the various den levels gets redistributed, or an adult in a key role has experienced a change in outside commitments, such as work or other involvement, and can’t continue in that role.

You might thin the term selecting volunteers is a bit strange – Continue reading

Taking action on tough issues

gavel_200Most of the time, the business of running a troop or a pack goes smoothly. Everyone is in it together for the benefit of our sons, and nearly all committee members and parents are glad to work toward having a better program for them – and have a little fun along the way.

But sometimes there’s a problem. It could be a dissatisfied parent, or a rift between volunteers. It could involve a Scout’s misbehavior or something he did unintentionally. It could even be the top leadership – in a recent column, Ask Andy dealt with a situation where the committee chair was abusive toward the Scoutmaster and committee.

What’s the best way to deal with situations like this? Continue reading

To play, or not to play?

ccsoccer_200Ready or not, summer is coming to a close, fall is rapidly approaching, and with it the start of school. We’re gearing up for our Join Scouting nights and Boy Talks and enticing young people (and their parents) to join our packs with our fun programs and cool activities.

There are also those who have had a year or two experience with Scouting and are on the fence, deciding whether they’d like to continue on with more of the same or branch off into other activities. It’s always a shame to lose a Scout and his family if  they have the impression that they’ll see the year ahead as “been there, done that” with the kinds of things they’ve done already rather than as a progression into activities that build on what they’ve done and involve new things they can do as they grow.

One reason for this reluctance is the preponderance of youth sports teams, whose seasons are really anything but a continuum or progression. Continue reading

Build it and they will come

Field_Of_DreamsAbout four years ago, our community voted on itself a tax increase to build a new library. Even though it was only twenty or so years old, the former library building was way too small. There was hardly any space to hold the burgeoning collection of materials and provide room for modern technology such as computers and DVDs. Though it had lots of programs and regular users, there just wasn’t enough room. A committee of dedicated volunteers and professionals designed and built a beautiful new building so big that six of our former libraries could fit inside. There are quiet areas, conference rooms, a coffee shop and a large conference room, plus room to grow. The amazing thing to note is that in this day and age of being able to look up just about anything online, the parking lot is packed every time I drive by, seven days a week, and it’s difficult sometimes to find an available study room when I meet Scouts there to go over merit badges. Continue reading