Three things you should never do

SM_SPL_200Just about all of us Scouters are also parents. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and some parents go a bit out of bounds to make sure they get the best and do their best – even if it isn’t really their best, if you know what I mean.

As Scouters, though, we really need to put some of these parenting instincts aside in order to make sure that we not only deliver the Scouting program as promised, but also to help our kids do their best by not helping them directly. Continue reading “Three things you should never do”

Scouting’s dividends

In the same way as money in a good investment pays dividends down the road, the Scouting program and our work as volunteers in laying the foundation for the future of our youth produce dividends as well.

As I was driving my son back to college after a recent visit home, we got to talking about Scouting, and he mentioned how he thought his time in Scouting has helped him in the post-secondary environment.

I had a few thoughts in mind: how you learn to take care of yourself on campouts, cook your own food, pack a backpack, stay hydrated, get along with a bunkmate – that sort of thing. Having been in Scouting improves one’s chances of admission into selective universities, and often there are scholarships for Eagle Scouts.

He had other things in mind, though. Continue reading “Scouting’s dividends”

Order in the troop! Order in the troop!

You’ve heard the sayings.

Order is Heaven’s first law. (Alexander Pope)

Good order is the foundation of all things. (Edmund Burke)

Order is power. (Henri Frederic Amiel)

Henry Miller also had something to say about order:

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.

Clarke Green recently posted an article on his blog ScoutmasterCG titled The Jedi Scoutmaster in which he discusses the issue of boy behavior, our perception of it, and how to handle it in our troops. Continue reading “Order in the troop! Order in the troop!”

Who’s steering the ship?

One of the hallmarks of Scouting that sets it apart from other youth activities is its emphasis on youth leadership. Boys form their own patrols and hold elections, govern themselves within the framework of Scouting, decide and plan their own activities, and are generally supposed to be running the show, with adults in the background.

Of course, there are very few boys who are completely capable  of doing all this in a vacuum, let alone an entire troop’s worth. Scouting has always had adult supervision to coach and mentor the youth leaders, all the way from Baden-Powell’s vision, through “Green Bar” Bill Hillcourt’s patrol method resources, to today’s youth leadership training. Continue reading “Who’s steering the ship?”