Professional education at a volunteer price

woodbadge_orangeWhere can you get professional quality leadership development training, worth many thousands of dollars, for a bargain price?

One of the perks of our serving as Scouting volunteers is the opportunity to learn and improve our own leadership skills as we mentor our boys to do the same. The BSA provides these opportunities so that we can see for ourselves what servant leadership and personal development is all about, and use that experience to set an example for, and help guide, the boys as they learn the beginnings of what it takes to be a leader. Continue reading “Professional education at a volunteer price”

Reach out and touch someone

phone_200Years ago, AT&T, parent of the Bell Telephone companies, ran an advertising campaign which encouraged people to use their long-distance services to keep in contact with friends. The “Reach Out and Touch Someone” series of ads had everyone singing along and even inspired people to make a few more telephone calls.

The thought that we, as Scouters, should reach out and touch someone is a very good one, particularly when it helps us escape the closed world of our own troop or pack. Continue reading “Reach out and touch someone”

Volunteering improves leadership

volunteer_standoutDid you know much about leadership before becoming a Scout leader?

Perhaps you did, if you were a Scout as a youth, or you were a class officer, team captain, or president of your JA company. In the work world, you may have picked up leadership skills through job responsibilities or possibly even formal training. And certainly, the military develops leaders.

For many people, though, taking on a leadership role in a Scout unit is our first exposure to leadership. Continue reading “Volunteering improves leadership”

What’s up with Cub leaders’ kids?

bo-01_200Cub Scout leaders are among the most committed of our adult leadership. They way overspend their “one hour a week” planning and conducting weekly den meetings and field trips, planning pack meeting participation, scheduling meeting rooms, sending out newsletters, wrangling parents to do stuff, recording and submitting advancement, collecting dues and fees, arranging snacks, purchasing craft supplies, and giving up the hope of using their dining room table for dining, for a few years anyway. They are dedicated to seeing their Scouts have fun, advance, and get the most out of the program.

Then why is it that their kids don’t seem as likely to cross over to Boy Scouts? Continue reading “What’s up with Cub leaders’ kids?”

Keeping it going

Green_Bar_Bill_signatureMost troops seem to operate under a more or less faithful version of Baden-Powell’s patrol method, where the boys are in charge of their troop, plan and conduct the meetings and activities, and enjoy their success along with a good measure of fun.

There are many, however, where the patrol method is merely given lip service. The senior patrol leader may be elected, but has no real authority. Patrols may be organized by the adults rather than the boys. The Scoutmaster or committee may plan the annual calendar and decide on the activities, or even run the troop meetings. In essence, it’s a big-boy Webelos den. Continue reading “Keeping it going”