Appreciation award ideas

As we head into another year, packs and troops will be holding Blue and Gold Banquets and Courts of Honor where we recognize our Scouts for their achievements. We should also remember to recognize our adult volunteers, because without them we wouldn’t have a Scouting program.

Recognizing Scouts is easy. The badge of rank, belt loops and pins, and merit badges are symbols of what they’ve accomplished. Recognizing adults is a bit more difficult. Continue reading “Appreciation award ideas”

How do you onboard new parents?

As young people cross over from Cub Scouts to ScoutsBSA‘s programs, their parents frequently follow. Often, the more involved adults have been volunteer leaders in their childrens’ packs, and it is this source of talent that many troops seek to help do the many things that adults do for the Scouts.

The ScoutsBSA program differs substantially from Cub Scouting in that the responsibility for carrying out the program rests on the youth members rather than on the adults. The transition is meant to be a smooth and continuous one for the youth, but can be disruptive to the adults who have been used to running the show for the last several years. Continue reading “How do you onboard new parents?”

Volunteer – Just Do It!

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably an adult volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America or another Scouting organization. We were the ones who took a step forward – or stayed in place when everyone else stepped back – and found ourselves in a job we didn’t know much about at first, other than it would help the pack go, or allow us to be with our children and have some fun and adventures with them and their friends.

When I first volunteered to be a den leader, our Cubmaster told me that I needed to do two things – go to basic training, and attend Roundtable each month. Wanting to not let down the boys in my den, I went and got trained, and each month I joined our Cubmaster and many others at Roundtable.

At these events, I marveled at the knowledge and experience of the volunteers leading the sessions. Continue reading “Volunteer – Just Do It!”

Accepting refugees

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

If you follow the news at all, there’s no way to avoid hearing about what some are portraying as a grave threat to our country – an “invasion” by a caravan of “dangerous criminals” with plans to “attack our borders”. The claims are that there are “ISIS” “terrorists”  who are “unknown Middle Easterners,” “hardened criminals” and “very tough fighters” who are “bringing smallpox” and have intentions of spreading mayhem. Tens of thousands of military troops have been dispatched to the border to quell this “insurrection.”

Cooler heads realize that the caravan – many hundreds of miles from our border – is composed of, at most, a couple thousand people, mainly from Honduras. For these mostly women and children, many with nothing but the clothes on their back – shoeless, even – things are so bad in their home countries that they are willing to risk the trip Continue reading “Accepting refugees”

Two-deep leadership updates

By now, you should have taken the new Youth Protection Training course online to bring your training current. As we’ve discussed before, everyone must take the new course, which was released in February, regardless of the expiration date of your YPT. If you haven’t taken the new YPT, do it now!

The recent revisions to the Boy Scouts of America’s youth protection practices include updates to the policy requiring two adult leaders at all Scouting activities. The national youth protection team has provided some important clarifications and answered many questions about the new policy: Continue reading “Two-deep leadership updates”