- Webelos Scouts are putting the ribbons on their Arrow of Light requirements, and now is the time to make sure they know that the bridge they’re about to cross leads to your troop. Your Scoutmaster and senior patrol leader should be visiting Webelos dens, giving them the “sales pitch” and inviting them to attend your troop meetings. Talk to the parents too – let them know their role is changing for the better. And make sure that bridge doesn’t have a closed gate at the far end! Welcome them into the troop, chat with the new parents and discuss ways they can fit in. Often, a parent who is welcomed warmly can make the difference whether their son stays or goes.
- Scout Sunday and Sabbath are just around the corner. Make sure you publicize these events and encourage your youth and adults to attend services in uniform. National Supply has a Scout Sunday/Sabbath patch; your council may have its own. Remind your Chaplain Aide to turn in names of those who attend in worship and get them the patch.
- As we mentioned last month, we’re on our long progression toward summer camp. Make sure you don’t miss any deadlines when it comes to signups and payment to your council or the camp you’re attending. Many councils are speeding up the process and others are paring down their camp offerings so space could be at a premium. Don’t forfeit the session or any spots you’ve signed up for by missing payment or headcount confirmation dates. Parents need to know the details as soon as possible.
- Summer’s also the usual time that councils conduct their sessions of National Youth Leadership Training. This is outstanding training for your current and future boy leaders. They’ll learn about themselves and others and find out ways to be better leaders in their troop and, more importantly, in life as they fill their “leadership toolbox” with the skills and methods that will put them (and their troop) ahead. Be sure to identify at least a couple boys who would benefit from this outstanding training. Talk to their parents and get them on board, and find a way to help fund the cost if that’s an issue. NYLT is an opportunity that’s too good to pass up, and it’s only available because of Scouting.
- Councils and districts have their annual dinners in the spring and along with them come adult leader recognition. Councils nominate outstanding adults for the Silver Beaver award and districts nominate leaders for the District Award of Merit, but units can get in on the action too by nominating their adult leaders for district-level recognition. It goes by several names – possibly Unit Award of Merit or Trailblazer Award, depending on your district – but the intent is the same: recognize those adult volunteers who give a little extra to your troop. Be sure to find out about these awards (they’re usually announced at Roundtable) and nominate those who you feel are worthy of a pat on the back. Then, let them know when they’ve won, and invite them to join you at the district dinner or volunteer celebration where it’s presented – and don’t forget to tell everyone in your troop what outstanding volunteers you have!
- Hopefully, your troop did well in the Journey to Excellence evaluation you turned in at recharter. Make sure your Scouts and registered adults show their pride by picking up a supply of JTE shoulder patches for the level you achieved. The next court of honor would be a good time to distribute them, or have your Scoutmaster deliver them to the senior patrol leader and have him distribute them to the patrol leaders to give to their patrol members.
Have a fun and safe February, knowing that our winter months are dwindling and spring is on the way!
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