An Eagle extension

Despite our efforts to keep Scouting programs going in the face of the worldwide pandemic, some things just become impossible at the moment. Merit badge requirements that include camping, for instance, and the collaborative nature of Eagle projects when we can’t come together due to social distancing threaten the timely completion of requirements.

A Scout’s eighteenth birthday can’t be postponed, of course, so the national advancement team has announced a temporary policy change to allow accommodations for Scouts approaching the age-out deadline to have an extension of time to earn Scouting’s highest honor. Continue reading “An Eagle extension”

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”

Bullying prevention: it’s our job

We usually think of bullying as taking place between youth. Whether they lack the filter of age and experience or just don’t know that it’s wrong, young people – particularly teenagers – can be genuinely mean-spirited at times.

But it’s not just young people. One of my readers wrote to me a few weeks ago to relate a situation in his troop where the Scoutmaster was, in his description, verbally and mentally abusive to Scouts in the troop. He didn’t go into specific detail but from the circumstances surrounding the incidents, one could describe the behavior of the Scoutmaster as bullying.

After making progress toward greater awareness of bullying and its effects and consequences, it seems like the discourse is becoming less civilized. Continue reading “Bullying prevention: it’s our job”

What do we tell the children?

Bankruptcy imageBy now, you’ve heard the news, along with the rest of the country, about the national Boy Scouts of America filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “The Boy Scouts are bankrupt!” made its way across the country, along with allegations and suspicions and lots of finger-pointing.

While it’s bad news for our movement here in the US, it’s not entirely unexpected. We’ve known for months that the BSA retained a bankruptcy law firm to explore the Chapter 11 avenue. The US court system refers to Chapter 11 as “reorganization”, meaning that the corporation voluntarily petitions the court for the ability to restructure its debt while operating under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee.

In the case of the BSA, the reorganization was undertaken to be able to manage the pending and future cases of alleged child abuse against BSA volunteers and the way the organization handled them. Continue reading “What do we tell the children?”

Scout Sunday

Yesterday I gave the sermon in my church in observation of Scout Sunday. Here are some excerpts from my message.

Here in the US, Scout Sunday is observed on the Sunday closest to the February 8 anniversary of the founding of Scouting in America. It’s an opportunity to recognize Scouts and the blessings that Scouts bring to our nation and the world. And although Scouting is not a religious organization, Baden Powell emphasized that the whole of Scouting is based on religion in the form of the realization and service of a higher power. Continue reading “Scout Sunday”