Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow

You’ve probably heard the term helicopter parents. These are parents who seem to hover above their children, manipulating them like marionettes and steering them around life’s obstacles. Afraid to see their children fail, they try to push them to make the right decisions, acting as managers and spokesmen and try to erase any uncertainty. We’ve written about the subject several times in the context of highly organized activity schedules, staying out of the Scouts’ way, and mentoring and guiding our Scouts, rather than directing and managing them.

I heard another term a couple weeks ago listening to a radio interview with a local parenting expert.  In a discussion on raising resilient kids and teaching them the coping skills they’ll need later in life, Continue reading “Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow”

What is “Duty to God”?

On my honor, I will do my duty to God…

These familiar words open the Scout Oath, one of the fundamental guideposts of our movement and one which establishes our values. It’s always been part of Scouting, and was recently reaffirmed at the National Annual Meeting as a key part of all of our programs.

But although many units are chartered by a religious organization, we aren’t a church – so how are we expected to uphold duty to God outside of a religious framework?

To answer that question, we need only look to the words of our founder Continue reading “What is “Duty to God”?”

Some assembly required

We recently bought some new patio furniture. If you’ve ever done the same, you realize that it most likely comes to you in pieces and you need to put it together yourself. The large Swedish-based retailer whose logo shares colors with Cub Scouting (you know who I mean) is well-known for their quality and price, and equally known for their cryptic assembly instructions. But this furniture was not from that store, and the instructions were even more puzzling – just a single sheet with eight tiny, hard-to-read drawings. Only my mechanical intuition and well-stocked tool chest saved me from the total frustration that would have ensued had I tried to assemble it with the minimal hand tools supplied

I briefly pondered taking pictures or making a video of the way I ended up assembling the furniture. Continue reading “Some assembly required”

What shall we call them?

By now, you’ve heard or read about the Boy Scouts of America’s plan to change the name of our venerable flagship program, Boy Scouts, to “Scouts BSA” in February 2019.

The decision is part of the BSA’s Scout Me In campaign to recruit girls as well as boys into our ranks. As you might expect, though, the name change has seen considerable pushback from the old and new guard alike. After all, our organization is still called the Boy Scouts of America. And boy has been part of Scouting since Lord Robert Baden-Powell first published Scouting for Boys.

But change had to happen. Continue reading “What shall we call them?”

Advancement updates for Spring 2018

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Advancement Team continuously reviews and updates matters of advancement across our programs. They work to keep requirements relevant and establish clear wording so the chances of misunderstanding are minimal.

Part of their mission is to keep volunteers informed not only on new advancement opportunities, but also ways we can better provide for the advancement of our Scouts. In support of that goal, the Advancement Team publishes updates periodically.

The most recent newsletter, for the second quarter of 2018, has a number of informational items that pertain to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing and Sea Scouting. Here’s a summary of some of the updates: Continue reading “Advancement updates for Spring 2018”