Some assembly required

We recently bought some new patio furniture. If you’ve ever done the same, you realize that it most likely comes to you in pieces and you need to put it together yourself. The large Swedish-based retailer whose logo shares colors with Cub Scouting (you know who I mean) is well-known for their quality and price, and equally known for their cryptic assembly instructions. But this furniture was not from that store, and the instructions were even more puzzling – just a single sheet with eight tiny, hard-to-read drawings. Only my mechanical intuition and well-stocked tool chest saved me from the total frustration that would have ensued had I tried to assemble it with the minimal hand tools supplied

I briefly pondered taking pictures or making a video of the way I ended up assembling the furniture. Continue reading “Some assembly required”


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They’re walking in your steps

Today’s article comes to us courtesy of Sean Scott. Sean’s a long-time Scouter who I got to know through a Cub Scouting forum when we were both Cubmasters. Back in the day, Sean wrote:

Yesterday I was getting ready for a new pack organization meeting. My job is to get everyone excited and then, while my district executive talks to the parents, I take the boys outside to work on Bobcat. Oh, and then we make film canister rockets. When we get back together, I do a little ceremony, a couple of cheers, a song and a closing.

Not happy with the “Follow the Bobcat Trail” help sheet I’ve been using for a couple years now (it’s a 10th generation photocopy of an old mimeograph page, I believe!), I decided to type up a new one. One line describing the Law of the Pack really caught my eye and made me think: Continue reading “They’re walking in your steps”


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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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