Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow

You’ve probably heard the term helicopter parents. These are parents who seem to hover above their children, manipulating them like marionettes and steering them around life’s obstacles. Afraid to see their children fail, they try to push them to make the right decisions, acting as managers and spokesmen and try to erase any uncertainty. We’ve written about the subject several times in the context of highly organized activity schedules, staying out of the Scouts’ way, and mentoring and guiding our Scouts, rather than directing and managing them.

I heard another term a couple weeks ago listening to a radio interview with a local parenting expert.  In a discussion on raising resilient kids and teaching them the coping skills they’ll need later in life, Continue reading “Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow”

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”

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?”