Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Notes from all over

Smokey_with-ScoutsOne 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

Guide to Safe Scouting 2015 update

g2ss2014Although 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

What are you clinging to?

balloons_200Talking 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

Scout camping: Three essential elements

tents_at_scouting_camp_250A 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

Cub Scouting’s New Beginning

tigerwolf_250Today is June 1, 2015 – a date that a lot of Scouters have been anticipating, either with excitement or dread. It’s the day on which the biggest overhaul of the Cub Scouting program in recent memory takes place.

The rollout of the Cub Scout Adventure Program, an outcome of the 2011 strategtic plan, includes many features intended to increase interest, engagement and retention for the Scouts as well as make life easier for the adult leaders. By condensing the myriad requirement complexities of the various den-level programs into a common, more easily understood structure of Adventures, it’s hoped that planning den and pack meetings will be streamlined (giving you back one of those one-a-week hours that seem to mysteriously multiply). It makes things clearer for the parents as well – and hopefully a lot more fun for the boys we serve.

As with any well-run activity, though, you can’t just drop in unprepared and run an interesting and engaging den or pack meeting. Continue reading