Say more by saying less

I’m sure you’ve been in many meetings where the chairperson or meeting facilitator does most of the talking. There’s the discussion of business, summary of past activity and general announcements. Many times, people are hesitant to speak up, so the chair just fills in the quiet spaces.

If you’re a chairperson, you know the feeling too. You begin to wonder why others don’t have anything to say. Sure, you can count on the secretary and treasurer to deliver prepared reports. You probably even have one or two talkative committee members who can go on and on.

The leader who does most of the talking can be an asset in certain situations, but to get the ideas flowing and the brains storming, try being quiet for a change. Continue reading “Say more by saying less”


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You are this nation’s knighthood

I’m reading a book by an up-north Wisconsin author that I happened across at one of my favorite bookstores, Between the Covers in Harbor Springs. The Hearts of Men is a novel about a young man coming of age in the 1960s. The protagonist in the just-published second novel from author Nickolas Butler is a Boy Scout, and the story tells of his relationship with his family, the bounds of morality and redemption, and the struggle to make lifelong friendships.

I expect that I’ll write a more thorough review once I finish the book, but one paragraph leapt off the page in light of this week’s events at the National Boy Scout Jamboree Continue reading “You are this nation’s knighthood”


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Guide to Advancement 2017

Since its inception in 2011, the Guide to Advancement has been the single point of reference for nearly all matters related to advancement across all our programs. It replaced a smattering of documents, references in handbooks and training manuals, and official policies that were not well documented.

The Advancement Team did a great job putting it all in one place, and their efforts have withstood the test of time. Changes do take place, though, and every couple years they’ve been updating the book to reflect the current status of things.

The 2017 Guide to Advancement was released a couple weeks ago. Continue reading “Guide to Advancement 2017”


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Old copies of Boys’ Life taking up space?

You probably know someone – your parents, a college friend, maybe even yourself – who subscribes to National Geographic. The magazine contains some of the finest writing and photography available, and their iconic yellow covers have become part of our culture. But many people who subscribe just can’t bear to throw them away. They pile up, fill our bookshelves and basements, and can take over our lives.  Lexington Herald-Leader writer Tom Eblen wrote about his own experience with the “yellow wall”, as he put it, and  joked:

One of these days, I fully expect to see this newspaper headline: “Couple killed in bedroom ceiling collapse; police blame National Geographics in attic.”

They may not be as ubiquitous (or as heavy) as collections of old copies of National Geographic, but many of us are hoarding stacks of the various magazines published by the Boy Scouts of America. Continue reading “Old copies of Boys’ Life taking up space?”


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Flag Day

On August 3, 1949, President Harry S Truman signed a proclamation designating a national day on which we honor the United States Flag, and so June 14 became known as National Flag Day.

The story goes deeper, though. President Woodrow Wilson was the first president to establish the date by proclamation in 1916, following initial efforts by New York kindergarten teacher George Balch to hold an observation on the anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes. Balch’s 1889 effort gradually gained ground, and with the involvement of the Sons of the Revolution, the idea was popularized. The National Flag Day Association was formed in Illinois in 1894 and a Flag Day observance was held in Chicago that year with three hundred thousand school children in attendance.

It’s no accident that Flag Day traces its history to educating children about Old Glory. Continue reading “Flag Day”


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