The aims of the Boy Scouts of America – character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness – are carried out through application of the methods of each program. You can probably name at least a few of them off the top of your head. Advancement, uniforming and the outdoors come to mind right away, but they all work together to help ensure that our core values are carried out.
For example, in Cub Scouting, the first two methods are Living the Ideals and Belonging to a Den. Continue reading “How the Methods strengthen Scouting”
You’ve probably heard the term helicopter parents. These are parents who seem to hover above their children, manipulating them like marionettes and steering them around life’s obstacles. Afraid to see their children fail, they try to push them to make the right decisions, acting as managers and spokesmen and try to erase any uncertainty. We’ve written about the subject several times in the context of highly organized activity schedules, staying out of the Scouts’ way, and mentoring and guiding our Scouts, rather than directing and managing them.
I heard another term a couple weeks ago listening to a radio interview with a local parenting expert. In a discussion on raising resilient kids and teaching them the coping skills they’ll need later in life, Continue reading “Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow”
Over the last few weeks, our offices at work have undergone some renovations, including removal of the 25-year-old wall coverings, painting, general cleaning and rearranging of the furniture. The good news is that I get a new office cubicle with more space and a bit more privacy, but the downside has been working in the interim in temporary quarters, jammed into a small room with several of my co-workers. (But let me be clear that my co-workers are not a downside – I happen to work with a great team that gets along very well.)
During the process, the painters had their obligatory boom-box going in the next room. Ordinarily you’d hear rock and roll or country music, but they usually had the radio tuned to the station playing Christmas music. I thought “oh brother, here come the same twelve Christmas songs over and over” and spent the rest of the day with echoes of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You rattling in my head. Six weeks of that, I told myself, is more miserable than waiting for the groundhog’s prediction to come true.
But then it occurred to me why we embrace the holiday season. Continue reading “Comfort and joy”
I’m reading a book by an up-north Wisconsin author that I happened across at one of my favorite bookstores, Between the Covers in Harbor Springs. The Hearts of Men is a novel about a young man coming of age in the 1960s. The protagonist in the just-published second novel from author Nickolas Butler is a Boy Scout, and the story tells of his relationship with his family, the bounds of morality and redemption, and the struggle to make lifelong friendships.
I expect that I’ll write a more thorough review once I finish the book, but one paragraph leapt off the page in light of this week’s events at the National Boy Scout Jamboree Continue reading “You are this nation’s knighthood”
Ethics. It’s a big word. It can be a loaded word in some ways.
Ethics is typically defined as the fundamental principles of decent human conduct. Merriam-Webster defines it as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. In business, it can be taken to encompass the study of universal values such as respect and equality for men and women, fairness in dealings with others and concern for health, safety and the environment.
Does this sound familiar in a Scouting context? It certainly should.
Ethics is at the heart of the values we instill in our young people. Continue reading “Ethics”