Obsolete? Says who!

buggywhipA friend sent me the link to an article on the website of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) titled 10 Skills Our Kids Will Never Learn. It’s a rundown on skills that those of the Baby Boomer generation have come to take for granted but which today’s youth view as useless or otherwise irrelevant, thanks to technology, societal changes or a shift in our education system. There’s not much call for making buggy whips any more, but what about these skills?

As a Boomer and the parent of two Millennials, I can see their point and have seen some of these in my own kids. But the skills in the article are far from obsolete. Rather, they are great things to know that could come in handy when you least expect it.

From a Scouting perspective, it means Being Prepared – for there are times when your smartphone’s battery runs flat, or you need to figure something out that can’t be looked up on Wikipedia or YouTube.

Just for fun, let’s look at some of the supposedly obsolete skills, how Scouting manages to teach them to our young people anyway, and why it matters. Continue reading “Obsolete? Says who!”

Barriers to entry

fence_250Have you ever joined something – a club, team or organization – and had to cross a hurdle in order to be a member?

Clubs have membership requirements. Most sports teams have tryouts. You have to meet the job requirements as a step in getting hired.

Scouting has its membership requirement. For Cub Scouts, it’s really simple – be a boy in grades one through five. Boys need only be eleven years old but not yet eighteen to be a Boy Scout. Simple, right?

We also have our joining requirements, but we let new members in the door before they complete, or even start, fulfilling them. Continue reading “Barriers to entry”

The committee’s most important duty

bor_250The troop committee has many responsibilities and functions that facilitate a well-run troop. These include equipment, finance, advancement, training, transportation, helping to provide camping opportunities, and generally supporting the Scoutmaster.

We know the Scoutmaster’s number-one job: to train and mentor the youth leaders so they can run their troop effectively.

But what is a committee member’s most important responsibility? Continue reading “The committee’s most important duty”