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”

“And,” not “or”

bsaand_200We’re into the time when our Webelos brethren have made or are making the decision about continuing on in Boy Scouting. There’s always a range of interest levels among our incoming Scouts. In my experience, about half are coming over with great enthusiasm and are looking forward to the adventures ahead, earning ranks, going on campouts, and having fun with their friends. The other half approach with some level of trepidation – not knowing what lies ahead, apprehensive about the outdoor experience, wondering just what they’re getting into or being befuddled by the changes the Boy Scout program brings. Continue reading ““And,” not “or””

Is Scouting invisible?

When perfectly-engaged and enthusiastic Cub Scouts just don’t make the transition to Boy Scouts, opting for heavier involvement in sports or other activities instead, you have to wonder why.

Is it because of something they didn’t get out of Scouting? That’s probably not the case, because they stuck with Cub Scouts all the way through.

Do they lose interest? That may be part of it, because either they or their parents can’t see doing another six or seven years of field trips to the fire station or overnight sleepovers at the science center. Continue reading “Is Scouting invisible?”

Walking away is easy

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to decide to do the right thing.

Every year we get a handful of Scouts who decide, for one reason or another, not to continue in Scouting. They decide that they’d rather play sports, or are heavily involved in music, robotics or other activities. They think that there isn’t any time left for Scouting.

For many, it takes a stretch of faith to understand the benefits of the Scouting program for our sons. This is especially true in a troop where youth leadership is given lip service, where the adults take a larger-than-necessary role in troop operations and planning, and where troop meetings and campouts seem more like Scout school than a training ground for future leaders at a youth level. Continue reading “Walking away is easy”

Why do Scouts leave?

Each year, when we recharter, we may find that there are a handful of Scouts who, for various reasons, don’t return. Often, these are boys we haven’t seen active in some time; usually they are first-year members who crossed over the previous winter or spring, but sometimes they’re older boys who have been flying under the radar for some time and finally decide to quit. Continue reading “Why do Scouts leave?”