You are this nation’s knighthood

I’m reading a book by an up-north Wisconsin author that I happened across at one of my favorite bookstores, Between the Covers in Harbor Springs. The Hearts of Men is a novel about a young man coming of age in the 1960s. The protagonist in the just-published second novel from author Nickolas Butler is a Boy Scout, and the story tells of his relationship with his family, the bounds of morality and redemption, and the struggle to make lifelong friendships.

I expect that I’ll write a more thorough review once I finish the book, but one paragraph leapt off the page in light of this week’s events at the National Boy Scout Jamboree Continue reading “You are this nation’s knighthood”


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Summer camp, or merit badge factory?

Summer camp is one of Scouting’s great traditions. For youth and adult alike, it’s great to get away for a week or more, camp under the canopy of trees, enjoy the fine summer weather (yes, even the liquid sunshine!), and get back in touch with the great outdoors and what’s really important.

However, most camps are set up just like school. Scouts are up and off to breakfast, then fill their days with a schedule of classes. There’s a short break for lunch. Dinnertime comes around, and there are more merit badge opportunities in the evening. If a Scout wants to work really hard, he can earn seven or eight merit badges.

Is that the point of going to camp? Continue reading “Summer camp, or merit badge factory?”


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This is the Boy Scouts. This is America.

This week I attended the quarterly court of honor at my old troop. The troop is doing well with a healthy youth membership, youth leaders in charge and supportive adults. While I think things were pretty good when I was active and serving as committee chair, the current adult leadership has continued the tradition of excellence and improved on it in the years since I left “active duty.”

One thing that has changed is the makeup of the Scout membership. I recognized a few of the Scouts but there is a whole new crop of boys whom I had never met.

What struck me as unique is how the troop has kept up with our community demographically. Continue reading “This is the Boy Scouts. This is America.”


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A teaching moment

scout_sign_250“This is America. Go back to Mexico!”

“Build That Wall!”

These words are all too familiar today. You might expect to hear them at a rally for the current Republican presidential candidate. The outrageousness is reported by the news media for all to see and hear.

But, in this case, it wasn’t at a Donald Trump rally where the words were shouted.

It was at a Scout camporee.

Seriously.

Continue reading “A teaching moment”


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Convincing volunteers to get Trained

Hi! I’m not trained at all in how a Boy Scout troop is supposed to be run and I haven’t been vetted by anyone on having the skills necessary to take your son and his friends camping or hiking…So how’d you like to entrust your first-born to me???

trainedGreenq_125Ask Andy, the NetCommissioner, has some wonderful gems of advice. This week’s article deals in part with a question from a troop’s training coordinator on how to convince leaders to get Trained when the only hard-and-fast requirement is Youth Protection Training and when the Scoutmaster pushes back.

Read Andy’s article here. (It’s the second question.)

Now, go to my.scouting.org, log in, and if you’re a unit Key 3 (committee chair, unit leader or chartered organization representative), you can access your unit’s training records. Look to see who is not fully trained for their current position, and use some of Andy’s methods to encourage them to get trained.

Your district has probably scheduled training sessions for the fall and winter upcoming. Register and take advantage of all the learning you can – for your son, his friends and yourself.


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