The moving target of social media

smartphone_200Back when most of us were teenagers, what we now know as “social media” consisted of long hours tying up the family telephone chatting with our friends, or perhaps time spent cruising the boulevards or at the town soda shop. Times have changed and so has the technology, and our teenagers communicate by all manner of instant electronic means.

Early commercial online chat services such as Prodigy and Compuserve eventually gave way to the king of instant messaging, America Online. It seemed like anyone who was online had an AOL account, and when Internet connectivity became widespread, so did AOL Instant Messenger. Continue reading “The moving target of social media”

Keeping it going

Green_Bar_Bill_signatureMost troops seem to operate under a more or less faithful version of Baden-Powell’s patrol method, where the boys are in charge of their troop, plan and conduct the meetings and activities, and enjoy their success along with a good measure of fun.

There are many, however, where the patrol method is merely given lip service. The senior patrol leader may be elected, but has no real authority. Patrols may be organized by the adults rather than the boys. The Scoutmaster or committee may plan the annual calendar and decide on the activities, or even run the troop meetings. In essence, it’s a big-boy Webelos den. Continue reading “Keeping it going”

Remember when you were a kid?

Ah, summer. The weather has finally gotten nice all over the country. School is out or almost done for most, and our kids are looking forward to having a couple months off from the daily grind of classes, homework, projects, term papers and study sessions.

If you’re of a certain age, your summers were probably made up of long days where you’d set out in the morning with friends to go nowhere in particular, roam the neighborhood or town, play in the yard or relax in the woods or by a nearby pond, only coming home for lunch, dinner or bedtime.

But if yours is a typical “modern family” your kids can probably look forward to days being driven to day care, math, sports or church camps, organized “play dates” or other activities that have replaced the freedom to roam that we enjoyed as youth. Continue reading “Remember when you were a kid?”