The role of “other” adults, part 1

adultcampfire_200Nearly all of us grew up with our sons in Scouting, starting first with Cub Scouts. We remember the pleas for help from the Cub parents. You were always in need of a parent to head up the next outing or field trip or make a run to the Scout shop or work at the popcorn sale table at the supermarket this weekend. Cub Scouts doesn’t run without heavy parent involvement, so we get somewhat accustomed to feeling the need for lots of parental help and missing it when it isn’t there.

So naturally, when our sons cross over to a troop, those of us who are committed to the program step forward and volunteer for an adult role. Continue reading “The role of “other” adults, part 1″

Let boys be boys!

cheerfulboyplaying_200For  most kids, play dates can be fun. You get dropped off at a friend’s house, play a few games, maybe have lunch or a snack that Mom prepared, the go play in the backyard, watch TV or play video games, then get picked up and go back home. Sounds like fun, right? But for a lot of people, what they fondly remember were long days spent playing with friends in an unstructured manner. You’d go to the park and swing on the big swingset, roam the neighborhood, ride bikes all over town, sneak into the kitchen and cook some hot dogs for lunch, then just hang out and build a fort in the backyard with things you’d find in the garage. Continue reading “Let boys be boys!”

How to be a better Scouter

team_unity_200It goes without saying that every Scouter is in on the mission of Scouting to provide and support an excellent program for our boys. We’re looking for ways to better relate to the Scouts and our fellow Scouters. In what’s known as the 80/20 rule, in general 80 percent of the results comes from 20 percent of the effort in just about any undertaking.

In a recent Fast Company blog post Six Painless Ways to Become a Better Boss, developer and CEO Brendon Schenecker explains several relatively simple steps one can take to improve their relationship with the people they oversee and support. Continue reading “How to be a better Scouter”

We have to get it right!

RuleBook_200What if the coach of a basketball team let eight or nine players play at a time? Or let them shoot into both baskets? Have you ever seen a baseball game where the batter could swing at as many pitches as he wanted to until he got a hit, or keep running the bases after she was tagged out? Would a band director let the trombones play the flutes’ score if they liked that music better?

These are all absurd situations. The rules of various sports are clearly defined, and the game has to be played by those rules. A band or orchestra has to play the score pretty much as it was written, or cacophony would result.

So why do some Scouters fail to understand how a troop works, or disobey the rules because they think they know better? Continue reading “We have to get it right!”

Know the rules!

rulebooksEvery game has its rules. They can be very basic or highly complex. Any baseball fan who knows the infield fly rule can tell you just how complex the rules of the game can get.

Scouting is a game. Our founder, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, even said so. It’s a game with a purpose but it’s still basically a game. And like almost all games, there are rules for the game of Scouting. Our rules can range from the very basic – “Be prepared!” and “Keep it simple, make it fun!” – to the very complex, as you might find in the Guide to Advancement.

Why do we have rules? Continue reading “Know the rules!”