Know the rules!

rulebooksEvery game has its rules. They can be very basic or highly complex. Any baseball fan who knows the infield fly rule can tell you just how complex the rules of the game can get.

Scouting is a game. Our founder, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, even said so. It’s a game with a purpose but it’s still basically a game. And like almost all games, there are rules for the game of Scouting. Our rules can range from the very basic – “Be prepared!” and “Keep it simple, make it fun!” – to the very complex, as you might find in the Guide to Advancement.

Why do we have rules? Continue reading “Know the rules!”

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”

The 4-1-1 on big changes ahead

Say goodbye to the Law of the Pack.

By now, you may have heard about the BSA executive board’s approval of the resolution to have all programs – Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturing and Varsity Scouting – use the Boy Scout oath and law. The change, one of many on the horizon, was recommended by volunteers and adopted by the board this past week.

Gone will be The Cub Scout helps the pack GO and other familiar phrases that we pounded into our boys’ heads (and our own) for so many years, to be replaced by “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful…” at pack and den meetings. Cub Scouts will also be reciting the words “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight” before they can even grasp what those words mean in some cases. Continue reading “The 4-1-1 on big changes ahead”

Scouting’s “one piece of paper”

Most successful leaders didn’t get that way by accident. Leadership is a learned skill, based on guiding principles and developed through experience. For an organization, these guiding principles are usually codified in a mission statement, which members of that organization follow in carrying out their responsibilities.

In addition to a mission, true leaders need a moral compass that guides their stewardship and service within their organizations. For most, the way to arrive at which way their moral compass points is through introspection and careful consideration of their personal values and vision. Continue reading “Scouting’s “one piece of paper””

So where does camping fit in?

Like the Scouts of nearly every troop, our boys recite the Scout Oath and Scout Law at the beginning of troop meetings.

How often do they – or you – stop to ponder what those words mean?

They are the essence of our movement, reduced to forty words in the Oath and twelve points of the Law: Duty to God and country. Help others. Be trustworthy, helpful, courteous, reverent… you know these things.

What do Boy Scouts do, mostly, though? They hold meetings and they go camping. That makes up, I’d say, 80 percent of their time and efforts. Continue reading “So where does camping fit in?”