A warm Scouting handshake

handshake_200Last week we discussed some of the ways we can overcome the hesitation that Scouts and families may have at joining a troop. After as much as five years in Cub Scouts, preparing to become Boy Scouts, most boys will be looking forward to joining the adventure, and their parents will be coming with them.

The next challenge for new Scouts joining your troop is keeping them engaged and involved. Continue reading “A warm Scouting handshake”

More on “sports parents” and Scouting

bsalax_200In February, we posted an article titled Signing Day in which we explored the high-profile world of high school athletes committing to play sports in college and how the “race to the top” ends up costing parents, families and youth dearly, often to grave disappointment. A few months later, Bryan Wendell of Scouting Magazine blogged about the phenomenon as well.

More continues to be written about the youth sports craze and how parents can best manage their children’s, and their own, experience and expectations.  Continue reading “More on “sports parents” and Scouting”

What Cub Scout membership coordinators need to know

youthapp_200Cub Scout packs are making plans to get their programs going for the next year of fun and excitement. Join Scouting nights are getting scheduled and all the recruiting materials are being updated. But Scouting’s raw material is membership, for without the boys we don’t have a movement!

A pivotal committee function at this time of year is the membership coordinator, whose job is to register all of our new Scouts and re-register the returning boys for another year of fun. Often, though, we find that this important job is either being done by other committee members or by a new parent without a good understanding of the process. The responsibility for unit membership really is a separate task which calls for a dedicated individual to handle it.

When a new parent steps into the role, there’s usually a lot to learn about the membership process, and when it’s a parent new to Scouting they have to learn a little of everything! Continue reading “What Cub Scout membership coordinators need to know”

Look at yourself!

Taking a break from answering readers’ questions, a recent Ask Andy column, Troop Spotting instead gives advice to parents of Arrow of Light Scouts who are shopping for a troop. Much of the advice is stuff we know about: uniforming, youth leadership, the adult role. It’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and gives soon-to-be Boy Scouts and their parents some great information when looking for a troop.

Besides being useful to boys about to cross over, it’s also a great checklist to size up our own troop. Continue reading “Look at yourself!”

What can Scouters learn from skaters?

Photo by Rob Woelkers - PluskateboardingSkateboarders and Scouts may seem at first like completely different groups of kids. Scouts are seen as courteous, obedient, cheerful, and clean, while skaters have been typecast as disrespectful, rebellious loners who wear dirty, ripped clothing and hang out in shady areas.

Take a closer look at skateboarding, though, and you’ll see respectful young people who help one another, take care of their surroundings and are engaging in healthful outdoor activities. They learn and practice skills, then try, fail, try, fail, try and succeed.  Sounds a lot more like Scouting now, doesn’t it? Continue reading “What can Scouters learn from skaters?”