Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

Dealing with policy issues

RuleBook_200A reader writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to make changes to the troop uniform policy, but when I said I should have been in on the discussion he told me that uniforming wasn’t something that was at the committee chair level, since it deals directly with the Scouts. I said that changes of that nature need to be incorporated into the troop handbook, and should still be discussed by the committee. Should I have a say in the matter?

Let’s look a little deeper into what you’re asking and see if we can figure out what the real issues are. Continue reading

A teaching moment

scout_sign_250“This is America. Go back to Mexico!”

“Build That Wall!”

These words are all too familiar today. You might expect to hear them at a rally for the current Republican presidential candidate. The outrageousness is reported by the news media for all to see and hear.

But, in this case, it wasn’t at a Donald Trump rally where the words were shouted.

It was at a Scout camporee.

Seriously.

Continue reading

Summer camp survival kit

Even though summer camp rolls around each year at this time, we’re never quite prepared for it. We generally do a pretty good job, but there are details we tend to forget from one year to the next. Add to this the changing nature of our troops and a refresher becomes a good idea.

So, whether you’re heading to camp next week or next month, here are some summer camp-related articles that I and others have written on the subject recently. Continue reading

What aren’t they learning in school?

auditorium_250Every school day, our Scouts get up in the morning, have their breakfast, gather their belongings and head off to school for a day of learning. Important subjects such as history, English, mathematics, science, music and art are taught, with the aim that our young people will acquire a well-rounded set of skills to give them a starting point when they head out to college and a career.

Trouble is, they aren’t learning the important stuff. In fact, what they actually are learning most likely works counter to their future aspirations. Continue reading

The part-time patrol method

half_patrolsAs a unit commissioner and Friends of Scouting presenter, I have the opportunity to visit many troops and packs and get insight into how they operate. We commissioners also talk among ourselves about problems and issues in our units.

One of the troops had an observation about a recent campout:

…the boys were separated by patrols… more boys seemed to be engaged cooking and cleaning…younger Scouts did well…we should continue this method.

While on one hand I’m happy that the troop conducted a successful patrol-method campout and has seen its benefits, I was disappointed to hear that most of their monthly “campouts” tend to be group activities: a ski trip, a merit badge clinic, a museum weekend, and so on.

This troop seems to be employing the patrol method on a part-time basis, Continue reading