Our troop held its first-ever summer court of honor this week. I realize that most troops meet year-around, and hold four courts of honor to recognize their Scouts for their accomplishments. Our troop, however, has long had a policy of not meeting when school is not in session. I suggested last year that the Scouts should consider meeting in some way over the summer, the Scoutmaster agreed, and the PLC planned every-other-week troop meetings (in order to dodge around high adventure and summer camp). They did a great job, planning a beach night, a canoeing night, a cooking night and a couple other fun things.
Our hometown newspaper had an interesting article this week about a local group of friends who have been getting together every year for the past couple decades to hold a “no moms allowed” campout. That’s right – just like the “no girls allowed” sign that boys might hang on their treehouse, only in this instance it was just dads and their sons and daughters camping for a weekend while the moms (who didn’t particularly care for camping anyway) stayed behind and went shopping and to the movies with the other moms.
I attended a district planning meeting last fall at a church which charters a rather large troop. The Scouts were there, setting up and checking their patrol boxes and getting ready for the church picnic the next day, for which the troop was doing the cooking. Assistant Scoutmasters were working with the patrols where needed, helping them to figure out their equipment, how things went together, and providing support from the equipment coordinators.
Twice last week, I was greeted by one of our former Scouts in public, once at a restaurant and the other at a store.
We were having lunch and both my son and I noticed a busboy who looked familiar, but neither of us could place exactly who it was until he came over and said “hi” to us, or more specifically, to my older son, five years removed from the troop but who must have made an impression on the younger fellow. He was working hard, clearing dishes and doing side work, and it looked like he was giving an extra measure of service when compared with the other bussers. Continue reading “Courteous”
An essential part of youth leadership development is the reflection that follows a youth-led event or activity. It gives the boys a chance to talk about what went right and what could use improvement, and how to better plan for next time.
In our troop, as in many, we call it “Roses and Thorns.” It’s simple: at the next troop meeting, every boy who went has a turn to reflect on the experience. “Roses” – good things – are encouraged. “Thorns” – not-so-good things – are also OK, but the rule is that every thorn needs to be accompanied by a rose, to keep it from being overly negative. And no names. Continue reading “Roses, thorns and adults”