A three-step problem solving process

One of the greatest virtues of the Scouting program is that it teaches young people how to solve problems in real time with the resources they have at their disposal. They’re not usually major problems – at least not to us, but to the Scouts, they can befuddle and confuse until they set themselves in the right direction.

I recently read an article by Tommy Gray, CPBE, in a broadcast engineering trade magazine. We broadcast engineers often face puzzling problems that need to be resolved quickly. Gray offered the advice that you are never totally down if you use your head. There are three things to keep in mind, Continue reading “A three-step problem solving process”


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Major updates to youth protection training and procedures

As anticipated, the Boy Scouts of America has issued some major updates to our landmark Youth Protection procedures.

The program is being expanded and strengthened, and will include youth training in youth protection for the first time (aside from our traditional A Time to Tell and It Happened to Me programs). The requirement for all adult volunteers to take Youth Protection Training, often spotty in the past, will be strictly enforced, and there will be professional help and guidance available for those having questions about what to do as well as for those who have experienced abuse under Scouting’s umbrella in the past. There’s also new training for camp staff covering youth-on-youth situations.

Here is a summary of the changes affecting volunteers and units that are now in effect: Continue reading “Major updates to youth protection training and procedures”


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Minding the minutes

As the old joke goes, meetings are the place where the minutes are kept and the hours are thrown away.

But meeting minutes – the written record of the business conducted – are probably the most important, yet the most ignored, aspect of our meetings. The secretary diligently takes notes – some even record the audio and transcribe it later – writes up the report, prints or e-mails copies, and distributes them to committee members, where they often go unread.

Minutes are an important chronicle of the business of any meeting. Continue reading “Minding the minutes”


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No more CSVs, and other advancement news

Time marches on, and technology comes along for the ride. It’s true of the Boy Scouts of America, which a couple years ago unvelied Scoutbook, a unit recordkeeping software package initially developed by a Scouter who had a better idea. Available to units at a reasonable cost (or free in some cases), Scoutbook is a step forward in terms of integration with the BSA’s own databases.

For the past several years, paper advancement forms took a back seat to Internet Advancement, which allowed units to enter advancement data directly online instead of having to complete forms in triplicate and hand-carry them to the council’s service center. Continue reading “No more CSVs, and other advancement news”


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The One-Three-One approach to presentations

As we roll over the calendar into the new year, councils will be beginning their fundraising efforts for 2018. Our part as volunteers and Scouting families is participation in the Family Friends of Scouting program. Most of us are familiar with the need to help fund our Scouting programs above and beyond the direct fees that we pay, so many volunteers also choose to help support this effort by giving presentations to our packs, troops and crews inviting familiies to become Friends of Scouting.

Of course, this means giving the dreaded FOS pitch. Facing a room full of parents who just want to have dinner, watch their son receive his awards, and get on with the program, an FOS presenter gets a lot of blank, impatient stares. It seems like everyone has their hand out, and we’re trying to convince them why our hand needs to be filled. Continue reading “The One-Three-One approach to presentations”


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