What aren’t they learning in school?

auditorium_250Every school day, our Scouts get up in the morning, have their breakfast, gather their belongings and head off to school for a day of learning. Important subjects such as history, English, mathematics, science, music and art are taught, with the aim that our young people will acquire a well-rounded set of skills to give them a starting point when they head out to college and a career.

Trouble is, they aren’t learning the important stuff. In fact, what they actually are learning most likely works counter to their future aspirations. Continue reading “What aren’t they learning in school?”

Get off your high horse

highhorseWhen I started as the committee chair of our troop, one of the things that went through my mind was how many things I’d need to be responsible for. I had a pretty good handle on advancement (or so I thought), matters of finance and the rules of safety and youth protection. But what about the outdoor program? Camping equipment? High adventure?

Sooner or later, I learned that I didn’t need to know every nuance and detail of those subjects, because we had other volunteers who had the know-how to take care of them. I relied on them for a basic understanding of their areas, and let them do what was needed without any interference.

A committee chair who views himself or herself as the ultimate expert on every aspect of troop operations is fooling himself and shortchanging those around him. Continue reading “Get off your high horse”

Prepared for college – and life

graduation_250Prepared for Life.

It’s not just a slogan – it’s what Scouts become as a result of being Scouts.

For most of our Scouts, life after Scouting begins at college, and for many, it means living away from home for the first time in their lives. It’s true of their classmates as well. Most high school graduates going away to college may be prepared academically, but it’s likely that they aren’t ready for the new adventure that independent living brings.

Unless they were Scouts! Continue reading “Prepared for college – and life”

A leader we can learn from

Steve Kerr

The Golden State Warriors won the championship of the National Basketball Association this week. The team is led by an experienced basketball man – as a player, general manager and television commentator – but a rookie coach. Steve Kerr, in his first coaching assignment, took on a different style of leadership than those he played under or worked with, and certainly different from most of what we imagine a “head coach” to be. And he achieved not only something that is difficult but rare – guiding his team into winning a championship his first time ever as a coach.

Kerr, profiled this week in the Washington Post, didn’t consider himself to be the most important person on the Warriors’ squad. Continue reading “A leader we can learn from”

Scout camping: Three essential elements

tents_at_scouting_camp_250A couple months ago, we wrote about just what constitutes a Scout campout. Scout camping, as you’re aware, is different from ordinary-folks camping because it aims to fulfill a purpose besides recreation and just getting outside. Scout camping is where the values of Scouting come to life and is the end result of a month’s worth of planning and preparation by our Scouts.

In one of his recent podcasts, Clarke Green crystallized the concept of whether a particular activity qualifies as an appropriate Scout campout. Clarke gives three essential elements that must be present in order to be a Scouting activity and not just a weekend in the woods. They are: Continue reading “Scout camping: Three essential elements”