As a unit commissioner and Friends of Scouting presenter, I have the opportunity to visit many troops and packs and get insight into how they operate. We commissioners also talk among ourselves about problems and issues in our units.
One of the troops had an observation about a recent campout:
…the boys were separated by patrols… more boys seemed to be engaged cooking and cleaning…younger Scouts did well…we should continue this method.
While on one hand I’m happy that the troop conducted a successful patrol-method campout and has seen its benefits, I was disappointed to hear that most of their monthly “campouts” tend to be group activities: a ski trip, a merit badge clinic, aÂ museum weekend, and so on.
This troop seems to be employing the patrol method on a part-time basis, Continue reading “The part-time patrol method”
Just about every youth activity touts that it teaches “life skills.” Baseball teaches life skills. Karate teaches life skills. Dance teaches life skills. Church groups teach life skills.
And Scouting teaches life skills – but ours are different. Continue reading “We’re all about life skills”
Time for answers to a couple more questions from readers. This time, the questions deal with older Scouts and patrol organization, and what to do about cell phones at summer camp.
Engaging older Scouts
Continue reading “Q&A: Older Scouts; cell phones at camp”
A 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”
Spring has sprung, or is in the process of springing, in much of the country, and with it comes the national pastime. Major leaguers have been warming up in sun country for a couple weeks, and our young people are dusting off their spikes and swinging for the fences as youth baseball leagues get ready to start up if they haven’t already.
Every year at this time we are reminded of the words of Solomon 2:11 that our beloved Detroit baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell used to quote as spring training got underway:
For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land…
It’s a potent reminder that as sure as the sun rises, spring will arrive and our enjoyment of being in the outdoors will once again guide our Scouting programs. Continue reading “Put me in, Coach!”