The best way to help? Don’t.

A Scout is Helpful. It’s right there in the Scout Law. Number three. A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting a reward.

Except… when helping someone takes away an opportunity for them to help themselves.

Of course we want to help. But as we know, helping others doesn’t mean doing their work for them. You wouldn’t “help” your child by doing her homework, would you?

Much of the time, we are tempted to just jump in, grab the wheel and take care of a task ourselves if we feel it’s expedient, or we know how to do it better. Continue reading “The best way to help? Don’t.”

Duty to country

Flag and ballot box“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and  my country…

These words resonate at the beginning of every meeting of our packs and dens, troops and crews. We sometimes rattle them off without thinking about what they mean.

Our country is at a crossroads and is on the eve of what could be the most important election of our lifetimes. American government is not a spectator sport. The founders designed it so that periodically, regularly, we choose those who will serve the people, make our laws, and chart the course of our society. Continue reading “Duty to country”

Journey to Excellence modifications for 2020

The pandemic has affected life in so many ways, Scouting being just one of them. Units have had to scramble to continue providing program despite restrictions on group meetings – the very lifeblood of the Scouting experience – and trying to plan for the future in a world where the future could change with little advance notice.

Realizing this, the Boy Scouts of America have realigned one of the tools we use to evaluate how we are doing in providing the Scouting program to our youth. Journey to Excellence has been with us for a decade now, and although it was overhauled repeatedly early on, its measurements have remained relatively stable in recent years.

This year, however, is different, and many of the evaluation points became difficult to meet. Continue reading “Journey to Excellence modifications for 2020”

Making virtual meetings more successful

“Zoom fatigue” is a term that has crept into our lingo, given that so much of our collaborative work-from-home activity is done through online real-time video sharing tools like Zoom, Webex and GoToMeeting.

In our district, we’ve been holding our monthly Commissioner and Roundtable meetings via Zoom since March, and it has largely been successful in increasing participation. Our first online Roundtable attracted almost twice as many participants as a typical in-person meeting, which made us wonder why we didn’t think of it a long time ago. (Actually, we’ve thought about it for a long time, but the means and methods just weren’t convenient yet.)

You may have already held troop meetings and committee meetings on one of these remote platforms. Like in-person meetings, they are not free of issues. Continue reading “Making virtual meetings more successful”

Scouting reimagined

Our Friends of Scouting theme last year was Imagine… The conversation revolved around imagining not just what Scouting could help your son or daughter realize, but to also imagine what the world would be like without Scouting.

As the Boy Scouts of America proceeds into bankruptcy proceedings as it struggles with the fallout from decades of improperly handling abuse allegations by volunteers, we can actually begin to realize what the world would be like if Scouting – the organization, not the movement – were no longer around. And even though bankruptcy is intended to shield the remaining assets, it’s not inconceivable that Scouting as we know it could diminish to the point where it is no longer sustainable.

The national organization is taking some steps to try to shore up its revenue and its membership. Continue reading “Scouting reimagined”