Do you plan, or “wing it”?

I’ve had the opportunity to review several Eagle Scout leadership service projects over the years. Just as each Scout is different, so is their level of preparation for their projects. Some have mapped out their projects down to every screw and nail, while others give a more general description of what is being proposed or what was actually done.

I was confronted with the same sort of thing when we were embarking on a family vacation recently. My son likes to plan every aspect of the trip, down to what, where and when, and make all the arrangements. My wife, on the other hand, likes to be more spontaneous and not cling to a fixed plan – rather, intending to decide what to do on the spur of the moment.

There are pros and cons to each sort of approach. Continue reading “Do you plan, or “wing it”?”


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Double-check your adult registration requirements

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America updated (overhauled, really) its youth protection training and related requirements, which I wrote about here.

Among the changes is the new requirement that adults staying at a long-term Scouting event, such as summer camp, must be registered with the BSA if they attend the event for more than 72 hours (three nights). The time need not be consecutive, which means the 72 hours is reached if the adult camps, say, two nights at the beginning of the week and returns for the last night of summer camp.

I’ve been hearing, though, that some camps and councils are tightening the requirement, Continue reading “Double-check your adult registration requirements”


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Combining committees

One of the most persistent problems in keeping a troop or pack going is obtaining sufficient adult leadership to get all the various jobs covered without causing burnout of the small group of people who usually get stuck with everything.

It’s often advised to make sure each committee role is covered, and in a Cub Scout pack, to ensure that den leaders (and the Cubmaster) aren’t doing committee-type things.

Troops are usually better off, because parents are more familiar with Scouting after going through it as their sons grew, and they see the value in the program and the need to get things accomplished. Or perhaps it finally dawns on them that nobody else is going to do the work, and the pack or troop can only go when supported by enough volunteers.

One solution, as suggested by a reader, is to combine the pack and troop committees for units that are chartered by the same organization. Continue reading “Combining committees”


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Rebooting a troop committee

It doesn’t happen very often, but on rare occasion a troop’s committee withers away as Scouts leave or age out and their parents, who served on the committee, also depart without being replaced. Sometimes, others just take on the added responsibilities rather than recruiting a replacement, until the burden gets too great and they themselves step down. When you’re wearing not just one hat but a stack of them, it’s not easy to take off just one or two.

A question arrived a few weeks ago from a Scoutmaster who said that his troop committee had essentially disbanded. Continue reading “Rebooting a troop committee”


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Adults on troop outings

A reader wrote to me a few weeks back asking for advice on how to select adults to go along on troop campouts, particularly those featuring above-the-norm, interesting activities. This reader felt that certain adults were given first crack repeatedly, that most of the adults were being bypassed when it came to offering the chance to participate, and he asked if some sort of a lottery or rotation system should be put in place.

I responded by saying that first and foremost, Scouting is for the Scouts. It’s not something that the adults plan and do because they like it or find it interesting, and include the youth in the process. Adults are there to make it possible for the Scouts to do Scout stuff. Continue reading “Adults on troop outings”


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