Don’t do it halfway!

denleaderhalfCommitting to become a den leader (or other adult leader in Scouting) means not doing it halfway, otherwise the boys don’t benefit as much, and the adults don’t have as much fun either.

Sure, accepting a leadership role is a big step, but it’s not usually something you can do just a little bit. It’s normally a one-year commitment (unless something unforeseen comes up, like moving out of town or changing jobs) and there are specific responsibilities of leaders in various positions. Sometimes, these can be shared with others, but it rests on you to ensure that they are taken care of.

The good thing is that once you get going in your position, you’ll establish a rhythm and things will fall into place, so you don’t have to keep figuring out how to do new things. Continue reading “Don’t do it halfway!”

Why are we still training?

“Every boy deserves a trained leader.”

“Train ’em, trust ’em, let ’em lead!”

If there’s one thing that’s everywhere in Scouting, it’s training. We train our youth leaders to run their troop. We teach Scout skills – that’s a form of training.   Even in Cub Scouts, we teach the boys to say the promise and the Law of the Pack in the course of “instilling the values” As adults, we take online training for youth protection, Cub Scout leadership, safe swim, weather hazards, and others. We attend Scoutmaster leader-specific training, outdoor skills training, BALOO training, and the list goes on. Continue reading “Why are we still training?”

Ever try to cook an avocado?

One of the things I like to do in my spare time that isn’t taken up by Scouting is to cook. The Food Network has a lot of shows that I enjoy watching, and one of them is Worst Cooks in America. In this series,  two professional chefs each adopt a team of highly inept home cooks and work with them through the episodes to hone their skills to the point where they can cook a restaurant-quality meal by the end of the series.

The chefs teach cooking skills to their “recruits,” as they are called, by demonstrating how to prepare various dishes, explaining what they are doing along the way. They then turn the recruits loose in the kitchen to either replicate the dish they were shown, or ask them to prepare something similar. While they are cooking, the professionals watch over their trainees, giving them pointers along the way. Eventually, the amateur cooks develop enough skills that the pros can watch from the sidelines without having to interact.

Does this sound familiar? Continue reading “Ever try to cook an avocado?”

Calling All Scouters!

University of ScoutingAs a Scouter, one of the most important things you can do to improve not only your experience in Scouting but also to improve the program for the boys is training.

In addition to online and classroom training courses, a fun and interesting learning opportunity comes around in most councils about once a year – University of Scouting.

Formerly called Scouters’ Conference or Cub Scout Pow-Wow, the University of Scouting concept has spread across the country. Continue reading “Calling All Scouters!”

The knots, they are a-changin’

Cub Scout leaders and volunteers can expect to see some changes to their training awards and insignia beginning next year.

The national training team has received requests and suggestions for simplifying the large number of personal achievement, recognition, training and service awards, commonly called “square knots,” that are available for leaders to earn. Among the changes coming are a consolidation of the Cub Scout Leader training award knots. Continue reading “The knots, they are a-changin’”