He is describing chaos

New60minutesIf you’re a regular viewer of the CBS show 60 Minutes, you probably caught the remarkable story last Sunday of a prep school in Newark, New Jersey. St. Benedict’s is a private school that enrolls boys from grades seven through twelve from a wide demographic but with a common thread – most come from underprivileged backgrounds and are susceptible to the dangers that come with it.

Yet, ninety-eight percent stick with it and graduate; most go to college and do well, with nearly ninety percent earning a college degree.

How do they do it? Continue reading “He is describing chaos”


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Why can’t they make it easier?

coh_insignia_cSometimes, it seems that the Boy Scouts of America gets in the way of fulfilling their own aims.

Here’s an example, inspired by a post on Google Plus’s Scout Nation group, which featured a photo of rank advancement and merit badge insignia and cards ready for the Scouts to be awarded at the court of honor.

The thing that caught my attention was the fact that many of the rank insignia were probably earned weeks or months ago, and they’re just now being awarded. Continue reading “Why can’t they make it easier?”


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The adult involvement paradox

seven_scoutmasters_c150While helping a couple Cub Scout packs in my district with their rechartering this fall, we were trying to figure out how to juggle the few adult volunteers so that all the positions are filled. The Cubmaster doubles as the den leader for his son’s den (definitely not a recommended practice). They still needed an official den leader to satisfy the requirement to have at least one, so one of the den’s parents was “drafted” to be a DINO – Denleader In Name Only. The chartered organization representative doubled up as a committee member so there would be the minimum of three.

The other side of the coin seems to be Boy Scout troops that have an excessive number of adults on their charter. Continue reading “The adult involvement paradox”


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Extraordinary people

Happy_Thanksgiving_200On one of his first episodes of the Scoutmaster Podcast, my friend Clarke Green offered an essay in tribute to Extraordinary people. I found it to be one of the most true-to-life descriptions of the kind of person who becomes a Scouter. At this time of Thanksgiving, I’d like to present Clarke with his essay from Scoutmaster Podcast number nineteen from 2010. It’s a bit over six minutes long, but I’m sure you’ll be nodding your head in astonishment that Clarke recognized the type of person you are.

If you’d like to read along or have the text, I’ve transcribed it and it can be found on the Roundtable Resources page. Clarke would want you to feel free to use it in your own unit or Scouting program as long as you give him credit.

From Clarke, and from me, Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for all you do in service to Scouting and to youth.


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