Roll out the welcome mat!

This fall, we’ll be joined by families new to Scouting. Curious about the flyer they might have picked up at a school assembly or by what their excited son or daughter told them about Cub Scouts, they’ll be walking through our doors into what – for them – is a great unknown.

Think back to when you were brand new to Scouting. Was there someone who welcomed you in and showed you what our program is all about?

If not, there should have been, and now we have that someone who can help your new families feel welcome and get them into the swing of things. Continue reading “Roll out the welcome mat!”


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It’s time to retake Youth Protection Training!

As we have discussed recently, the revised Youth Protection Training is now available, and all Scouters are required to take it regardless of when your current training expires.

If you have not taken the new course, which was released in mid-February, your YPT expiration date has been reset to September 30. Now would be a great time to re-take YPT if you haven’t done so since February.

This training is mandatory for all registered adults regardless of position and highly recommended for all non-registered parents. Scouters who do not take the new YPT prior to October 1 will have their registration cancelled, meaning they are no longer a registered leader – ineligible to lead a den or pack, serve as Scoutmaster or on the committee, or counsel Scouts in merit badges.

Go to https://my.scouting.org to check your training status or to retake Youth Protection Training. Do it now before the program year gets going and you’re short on time and before the site gets overloaded by last minute re-trainers!


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Safety first!

The world was on the edge of its seat last week over the fate of twelve young men  and their coach in Thailand. They had decided to visit a cave following soccer practice one day, and a sudden rainstorm flooded the cave and trapped them deep inside. A literal army of thousands of military and volunteers took extraordinary measures to rescue them after days of worry and hope. The technical skill, preparation and good fortune came together and, except for one rescuer who perished,  everyone was brought out safely.

Besides happily hearing the good news, my thoughts turned to what if this had happened to a Scout outing. After all, Scouts do some pretty adventurous things – caving being one of them. Continue reading “Safety first!”


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Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow

You’ve probably heard the term helicopter parents. These are parents who seem to hover above their children, manipulating them like marionettes and steering them around life’s obstacles. Afraid to see their children fail, they try to push them to make the right decisions, acting as managers and spokesmen and try to erase any uncertainty. We’ve written about the subject several times in the context of highly organized activity schedules, staying out of the Scouts’ way, and mentoring and guiding our Scouts, rather than directing and managing them.

I heard another term a couple weeks ago listening to a radio interview with a local parenting expert.  In a discussion on raising resilient kids and teaching them the coping skills they’ll need later in life, Continue reading “Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow”


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What is “Duty to God”?

On my honor, I will do my duty to God…

These familiar words open the Scout Oath, one of the fundamental guideposts of our movement and one which establishes our values. It’s always been part of Scouting, and was recently reaffirmed at the National Annual Meeting as a key part of all of our programs.

But although many units are chartered by a religious organization, we aren’t a church – so how are we expected to uphold duty to God outside of a religious framework?

To answer that question, we need only look to the words of our founder Continue reading “What is “Duty to God”?”


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