Committee chair timeline: April

calendar_graphic_200Starting this month, I’m beginning a series of monthly articles based on a portion of my class at University of Scouting this year. Besides talking about issues that committee chairs typically encounter, I handed out and we discussed a suggested list of things that the committee needs to attend to, month by month. It’s a checklist of sorts, or a timeline for a troop committee’s year. Continue reading “Committee chair timeline: April”

Keeping meetings on course

You know the feeling. It’s time for the monthly unit committee meeting, and you dread sitting through a long drawn-out meeting which usually degenerates into an open-ended discussion or retelling of old “war stories.”

Perhaps you’re the committee chair and you equally dread the meeting, not knowing how it’s going to go, what you need to accomplish or why you’re even having a meeting in the first place.

Sound familiar?

Continue reading “Keeping meetings on course”

Who’s steering the ship?

One of the hallmarks of Scouting that sets it apart from other youth activities is its emphasis on youth leadership. Boys form their own patrols and hold elections, govern themselves within the framework of Scouting, decide and plan their own activities, and are generally supposed to be running the show, with adults in the background.

Of course, there are very few boys who are completely capable  of doing all this in a vacuum, let alone an entire troop’s worth. Scouting has always had adult supervision to coach and mentor the youth leaders, all the way from Baden-Powell’s vision, through “Green Bar” Bill Hillcourt’s patrol method resources, to today’s youth leadership training. Continue reading “Who’s steering the ship?”

Get ready to recharter

Each year, each and every part of the Boy Scouts of America must renew its charter, giving it authority to operate for another year. This applies to packs, troops, crews, districts, OA lodges, and even councils. The annual renewal process allows for an opportunity to review a unit’s performance over the previous year, review its membership and leadership, and re-commit to the ideals of Scouting so that we may serve the youth who have come to us seeking fun and adventure. Continue reading “Get ready to recharter”

Fulfilling responsibility

The new BSA Guide to Advancement lays out and clarifies what it takes for a troop to evaluate whether a Scout has satisfactorily served in a position of responsibility as required for the ranks beyond First Class.

While this is primarily handled by the Scoutmaster and assistants, the final evaluation takes place at a board of review. In most cases, the Scoutmaster conference will determine whether the requirement has been satisfied, and the Board of Review can concentrate on other areas of a youth’s development. Continue reading “Fulfilling responsibility”