Comfort and joy

Over the last few weeks, our offices at work have undergone some renovations, including removal of the 25-year-old wall coverings, painting, general cleaning and rearranging of the furniture. The good news is that I get a new office cubicle with more space and a bit more privacy, but the downside has been working in the interim in temporary quarters, jammed into a small room with several of my co-workers. (But let me be clear that my co-workers are not a downside – I happen to work with a great team that gets along very well.)

During the process, the painters had their obligatory boom-box going in the next room. Ordinarily you’d hear rock and roll or country music, but they usually had the radio tuned to the station playing Christmas music. I thought “oh brother, here come the same twelve Christmas songs over and over” and spent the rest of the day with echoes of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You rattling in my head. Six weeks of that, I told myself, is more miserable than waiting for the groundhog’s prediction to come true.

But then it occurred to me why we embrace the holiday season. Continue reading “Comfort and joy”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

On gratitude

Thanksgiving has become a speed bump in the marketing cycle that starts before Halloween and continues all the way to Christmas and beyond. In the past, it marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season. In recent years, retailers have been tripping over themselves to attract customers by cutting prices and opening earlier. Forget about opening at the usual hour of nine or ten AM on what has come to be called Black Friday. Midnight is no longer early enough as evidenced by some of the big stores opening up Thanksgiving evening and even late in the afternoon. (But, kudos to REI Co-Op, outdoor retailer and favorite supplier of Scouts, for giving its associates Friday off to go out and appreciate the outdoors.)

The holiday itself features parades, football games and gut-busting dinners shared around a table with families, with all the friction you might expect. Continue reading “On gratitude”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Family Scouting is on the way!

By now you have heard that the Boy Scouts of America will begin to allow Cub Scout packs to register girls beginning next fall, and a program for older girls is on the way as well.

This is a long-awaited (and long-feared) advance in our programs. Embraced by many, it’s also criticized by some who fear the erosion of our “traditional” values. But experts up and down have endorsed the concept as a way to unite families and make Scouting more convenient for today’s families fragmented by diverse schedules and activities.

The core of the apple is this: Continue reading “Family Scouting is on the way!”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page

New committee chair? Watch out for these

If you’ve ever transitioned from being a rank-and-file employee to a supervisor or manager, you’ve undoubtedly run into some rough spots as you made the transition. Taking on a managerial role is a big step, because you’re now overseeing the people you used to work alongside.

The same sort of thing can happen if you find yourself nominated, selected or volunteered to be the committee chair of your unit. Your chartered organization probably picked you because of your dedication to Scouting and knowledge of the program, your unit and your fellow committee members. But that’s no guarantee that you’ll work smoothly with them as their new chairman. Continue reading “New committee chair? Watch out for these”


Print pagePDF pageEmail page