Adults in the Order of the Arrow

As we’ve been discussing, the Order of the Arrow is an organization for youth members in Boy Scouting. Its governance and activities are all conducted by members under 21, and because they are the top tier of Scouts, they do it very well, with a sense of commitment to the principles of the Order as well as a big share of fun.

There is an adult presence in the OA as well. As in all other areas of Scouting, it takes adults to make things happen. Some are more direct roles in program planning and execution, while others are a back-seat advisory role. The role of the adult in the OA falls into the latter category.

How adults come into the Order of the Arrow doesn’t make a big difference in their level of involvement. Continue reading “Adults in the Order of the Arrow”

We sustain the wings

glennmillerIt’s not likely that many, if any, readers of this column were around during World War II, but perhaps your parents or grandparents were. If so, then they most likely remember a show on the NBC Radio Network called I Sustain the Wings. The show’s eponymous theme song was composed and performed by Captain Glenn Miller, whose orchestra was one of the most popular bands of the era. The program featured Miller’s orchestra performing the hit songs of the day, which helped to lift the spirits of those at home and our forces on the front lines. The title, I Sustain the Wings, was the motto of the U. S. Army Air Corps Technical Training Command, for it was up to the technicians to keep the planes “in the sky above / where they fight to victory”, as the lyrics go. Continue reading “We sustain the wings”

Why do we enjoy being Scouters?

whenyouvolunteer_250Chances are, if you’re a Scouter, you enjoy what you’re doing. You’re helping your son and his friends have fun while they learn things like survival skills, leadership, citizenship and being helpful to others. You’re enjoying some of that yourself – as your son learns how to tie knots, you’re getting a refresher too. You meet other like-minded people in your community with similar aims. It’s certainly not because of the money.

The satisfaction we enjoy being Scouting volunteers parallels the experience that employees enjoy working for some of the companies rated highly for job satisfaction. Continue reading “Why do we enjoy being Scouters?”

Summer camp survival kit

Even though summer camp rolls around each year at this time, we’re never quite prepared for it. We generally do a pretty good job, but there are details we tend to forget from one year to the next. Add to this the changing nature of our troops and a refresher becomes a good idea.

So, whether you’re heading to camp next week or next month, here are some summer camp-related articles that I and others have written on the subject recently. Continue reading “Summer camp survival kit”

An untapped source of adult help

faucet_200Boy Scout troops don’t seem to have the same drought of willing adult helpers as Cub Scout packs do, but they still need a few to serve in roles supporting the Scouts in running their troop, and a few more to help with the support tasks that the Scouts can’t do for themselves. Still others are needed to serve on boards of review and to drive Scouts to and from their campouts.

Very often, parents of crossing-over Cub Scouts who were den leaders and committee members in their packs will look for a way to help out in the troop that their sons join. More often, though, it seems like these Cub Scout leaders have been burned out after five years of organizing den and pack meetings, planning campouts and outings and running to the Scout Shop every time a boy earns a belt loop.

Fortunately, there are parents who don’t suffer from this kind of burnout, and are more easily convinced that serving as a volunteer is not only fun and rewarding, but won’t take multiples of “an hour a week”. Continue reading “An untapped source of adult help”