Just tell me what I need to do!

TigerDenLeaderGuide_200School starts in most places in just a few weeks, which means we’re heading into our big recruiting season. Packs will be going out into the schools to spread the word about Cub Scouting, enticing boys with the thrill of adventure, exploration and fun, and hoping they’ll run home to tell their parents that they want to join.

We’re also going to be recruiting their parents as den leaders, committee members and even Cubmasters. Without adult volunteers, Scouting simply wouldn’t exist.

Recruiting boys is relatively easy. They’ll go for anything that appeals to them, and Cub Scouting has it all – and then some.

But recruiting adults is another story. Continue reading “Just tell me what I need to do!”

Why keep score?

scoreboard_200The game of Scouting that we play is indeed a game. We hope that our boys are having fun, and one of the best ways to have fun is to play a game. William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt was the first to describe Scouting as a game with a purpose.

Most games we play have winning as the desired outcome. In order to determine a winner, a metric is needed: the score. Indeed, virtually every game – from sports to darts to cards – has a means of scoring the outcome. The football coach Vince Lombardi was the one who famously pondered:

If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep the score?

The boys playing the game enjoy keeping track of how they’re doing, whether they are playing a sports contest, engaged in a robotics or debate competition, or playing the game of Scouting. Continue reading “Why keep score?”

Why aren’t your leaders trained?

trainedGreenq_125It’s the time of year when we look back on our past experiences and accomplishments over the previous twelve months and make resolutions on what we’re going to change and improve in the year ahead.

In Scouting, sometimes our new year’s resolutions arise out of our unit’s performance on our annual Journey to Excellence evaluation. JTE makes it easy to see where we’re doing well and lacking, and can give us some impetus to make changes. (Next year’s evaluation form should make it easier to tell how we’re doing.)

One of the key areas that many units can improve on is leader training. Continue reading “Why aren’t your leaders trained?”

Selecting volunteers

raised_hands_200As we get back into high gear with our pack and troop programs, we may find that we’ve had some “churn” in our adult commitments. Perhaps a family moved away over the summer or decided on a shift in priorities. When that happens, an adult who made a commitment to volunteer in our unit is no longer available. This churn is most common in Cub Scouting, as den leaders move up and new dens (particularly Tiger dens) form, membership in the various den levels gets redistributed, or an adult in a key role has experienced a change in outside commitments, such as work or other involvement, and can’t continue in that role.

You might thin the term selecting volunteers is a bit strange – Continue reading “Selecting volunteers”

No more, no less

33216_WB-2What if a high school math teacher decided that during her geometry class she would start teaching her students about calculus?

What if questions about calculus appeared on the course midterm or final exam?

In the first instance, the teacher could be trying to show her students that what they’re learning – in what to some may be a pointless geometry class – is of value further along in the spectrum of mathematics. After all, calculus does rely on many of the concepts learned from geometry.

But in the second case, the teacher is clearly out of bounds for expecting that her students should demonstrate some proficiency in limits, differentials or integrals – subject matter that isn’t required by the geometry curriculum.

Yet there are some in Scouting who apply the same practices with our Scouts. Continue reading “No more, no less”