Rebooting a troop committee

It doesn’t happen very often, but on rare occasion a troop’s committee withers away as Scouts leave or age out and their parents, who served on the committee, also depart without being replaced. Sometimes, others just take on the added responsibilities rather than recruiting a replacement, until the burden gets too great and they themselves step down. When you’re wearing not just one hat but a stack of them, it’s not easy to take off just one or two.

A question arrived a few weeks ago from a Scoutmaster who said that his troop committee had essentially disbanded. Continue reading “Rebooting a troop committee”

How often should a troop camp?

tentsA troop committee chair writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to change our campout schedule so that instead of having monthly campouts, the troop would camp every other month, and do a service project in the months when there isn’t a campout. This doesn’t seem right to me – shouldn’t the Scouts be camping every month?

To start to answer your question, let’s go to the Methods of Boy Scouting and look at the Outdoor Programs method: Continue reading “How often should a troop camp?”

Belief or learning?

brainlock-lekkyjustdoit_200fA commenter on a story in The New York Times made the observation:

Belief is the conviction that one already knows; learning, in contrast, requires an awareness that one has yet to know.

This is what happens when a mania for belief takes over your life. Eventually, you become incapable of learning. New information goes in one ear and out the other — it literally just does not register, as the mind, addicted to belief, blocks it out.

While the original context of the comment had nothing to do with Scouting, I certainly think it applies to some volunteers in our movement.

Too many Scouters come in to Boy Scouts with the belief that they know how the Scouting program should work, and they apply the beliefs they have acquired in life. Often these have to do with their experiences in areas like business management, sports coaching, and even Cub Scouting. They do not have the awareness that Boy Scouting is different. Continue reading “Belief or learning?”

Troop Leader Guidebook now available

TLG1_200The first of two volumes of the long-awaited Troop Leader Guidebook is finally available through the BSA Supply Division’s website and at many Scout Shops in local councils.

The Guidebook, priced at $12.99, replaces the Scoutmaster Handbook and is a wide-ranging manual that explains Boy Scouting to an audience that includes not only the Scoutmaster but committee members and parents as well. It is written without jargon and assumes that the reader has little or no familiarity with the Boy Scout program. Continue reading “Troop Leader Guidebook now available”

Changing of the guard

railtracks_200A few weeks ago, our troop had the beginnings of the changing of the guard.

First, the Scouts elected a new senior patrol leader. The winner wasn’t the first one to throw his hat in the ring. In fact, it was one of the other Scouts who decided, maybe at the last minute, to give it a whirl.

I didn’t listen to their stump speeches, but he must have given a good one, because he won the election. I don’t know by how much (I don’t concern myself with such details), but it shows that the message is important. He accepted the challenge of backing up his ideas and putting them in motion, and has been doing a terrific job. Continue reading “Changing of the guard”