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”

A Scout Salute for Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day is an opportunity to think less of beaches, parades and barbecues, and more about remembrance.

With that in mind, our council has passed along the following information from the BSA about how Scouts and Scouters can mark the occasion.

Dear Scouting Community,

In response to necessary adjustments to traditional Memorial Day plans, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure every fallen hero is remembered this year with a special tribute and salute. Continue reading “A Scout Salute for Memorial Day”

What to do instead

The worldwide health crisis has changed and is changing the way of life. It’s no surprise that it has touched Scouting and affected it in ways we could not have imagined. Even the “any old thing” that Baden-Powell suggested we Be Prepared for probably didn’t anticipate what we’re going through.

It should be evident that our traditional unit meetings need to be approached very cautiously. Continue reading “What to do instead”