Some assembly required

We recently bought some new patio furniture. If you’ve ever done the same, you realize that it most likely comes to you in pieces and you need to put it together yourself. The large Swedish-based retailer whose logo shares colors with Cub Scouting (you know who I mean) is well-known for their quality and price, and equally known for their cryptic assembly instructions. But this furniture was not from that store, and the instructions were even more puzzling – just a single sheet with eight tiny, hard-to-read drawings. Only my mechanical intuition and well-stocked tool chest saved me from the total frustration that would have ensued had I tried to assemble it with the minimal hand tools supplied

I briefly pondered taking pictures or making a video of the way I ended up assembling the furniture. Continue reading “Some assembly required”

Double-check your adult registration requirements

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America updated (overhauled, really) its youth protection training and related requirements, which I wrote about here.

Among the changes is the new requirement that adults staying at a long-term Scouting event, such as summer camp, must be registered with the BSA if they attend the event for more than 72 hours (three nights). The time need not be consecutive, which means the 72 hours is reached if the adult camps, say, two nights at the beginning of the week and returns for the last night of summer camp.

I’ve been hearing, though, that some camps and councils are tightening the requirement, Continue reading “Double-check your adult registration requirements”

Dealing with alumni adults

A while back, we ran a couple articles about the role that other adults play in a Boy Scout troop. By “other” adults, I’m referring to assistant Scoutmasters, committee members and parents of Scouts.

But sometimes, you encounter a situation where adults like to stick around after their sons have aged out and moved on. They’d like to stay associated with the troop but no longer have a Scout registered.

I received such a question from a reader recently. Continue reading “Dealing with alumni adults”

Avoiding the expert mountain

I remember when I was about six or seven years old and was first learning to ride a bicycle. I had training wheels on my two-wheeler for what seemed like forever. One day, I noticed that the training wheels weren’t touching the ground as I rode, so I asked my dad to take them off. Riding down the sidewalk, I felt empowered that I had learned a new skill and felt that I had mastered riding a big-boy bike.

Until I rounded the first corner, and the wheels slipped out from under me. Boom! Down I went.

I wasn’t such an expert, after all.

Life is like that. We get a taste of the knowledge we seek, and we learn a bit more, and a bit more, and it starts to come to us. Continue reading “Avoiding the expert mountain”

Convincing volunteers to get Trained

Hi! I’m not trained at all in how a Boy Scout troop is supposed to be run and I haven’t been vetted by anyone on having the skills necessary to take your son and his friends camping or hiking…So how’d you like to entrust your first-born to me???

trainedGreenq_125Ask Andy, the NetCommissioner, has some wonderful gems of advice. This week’s article deals in part with a question from a troop’s training coordinator on how to convince leaders to get Trained when the only hard-and-fast requirement is Youth Protection Training and when the Scoutmaster pushes back.

Read Andy’s article here. (It’s the second question.)

Now, go to my.scouting.org, log in, and if you’re a unit Key 3 (committee chair, unit leader or chartered organization representative), you can access your unit’s training records. Look to see who is not fully trained for their current position, and use some of Andy’s methods to encourage them to get trained.

Your district has probably scheduled training sessions for the fall and winter upcoming. Register and take advantage of all the learning you can – for your son, his friends and yourself.