A teaching moment

scout_sign_250“This is America. Go back to Mexico!”

“Build That Wall!”

These words are all too familiar today. You might expect to hear them at a rally for the current Republican presidential candidate. The outrageousness is reported by the news media for all to see and hear.

But, in this case, it wasn’t at a Donald Trump rally where the words were shouted.

It was at a Scout camporee.

Seriously.

Continue reading “A teaching moment”

Summer camp packing list for adults

checklist_200June is here, which means troops will be heading off to summer camp starting this month. The annual pilgrimage always involves making sure everyone has what they need in order to have a successful week at camp.

There are many lists of what Scouts should bring to summer camp – clothing and personal gear, forms, handbooks, camping essentials and outdoor equipment, to name a few. As an example, here is a list (PDF) from my troop. I put it together a few years ago, with input from our experienced youth campers, and offered it to Scouts and their parents, with the advice that the Scout should pack his own gear.

That list covers what Scouts will likely need at camp, but what about adults? Continue reading “Summer camp packing list for adults”

Belief or learning?

brainlock-lekkyjustdoit_200fA commenter on a story in The New York Times made the observation:

Belief is the conviction that one already knows; learning, in contrast, requires an awareness that one has yet to know.

This is what happens when a mania for belief takes over your life. Eventually, you become incapable of learning. New information goes in one ear and out the other — it literally just does not register, as the mind, addicted to belief, blocks it out.

While the original context of the comment had nothing to do with Scouting, I certainly think it applies to some volunteers in our movement.

Too many Scouters come in to Boy Scouts with the belief that they know how the Scouting program should work, and they apply the beliefs they have acquired in life. Often these have to do with their experiences in areas like business management, sports coaching, and even Cub Scouting. They do not have the awareness that Boy Scouting is different. Continue reading “Belief or learning?”

What are you clinging to?

balloons_200Talking with the Cubmaster at a Blue & Gold banquet recently, I found out that her son is crossing into Boy Scouts this spring. In fact, he (and she) have already been on a campout of the troop that he is joining. Among other tales of the adventure that lies across the bridge, I gently advised her to quell the urge to do things that the boys should be doing. She had heard that before – from the Scoutmaster. On the campout, she thought it would be helpful if she’d wipe down the table after the patrol had lunch, whereupon the Scoutmaster reminded her that it was the boys’ job to do that – not the adults’. So she called her son over and told him to do it, and learned the next part – it’s not the adults’ job to direct the Scouts, but that they’re led by their own leaders.

There’s a lot to learn when an adult follows his or her son into a troop. Continue reading “What are you clinging to?”