What shall we call them?

By now, you’ve heard or read about the Boy Scouts of America’s plan to change the name of our venerable flagship program, Boy Scouts, to “Scouts BSA” in February 2019.

The decision is part of the BSA’s Scout Me In campaign to recruit girls as well as boys into our ranks. As you might expect, though, the name change has seen considerable pushback from the old and new guard alike. After all, our organization is still called the Boy Scouts of America. And boy has been part of Scouting since Lord Robert Baden-Powell first published Scouting for Boys.

But change had to happen. Continue reading “What shall we call them?”

The whaty-what of what?

questionmark_200Drop in on any conversation between commissioners and you’re likely to hear something like this:

So I was at Pack 123’s JSN. The CM was hoping for twenty new members but the CC said they only got fifteen. That’s good, considering the TAY at that school. There were a couple adult apps so the COR took care of them and said he’d hook up with the DE. We just need to make sure their YPT gets done. Their JTE is looking great and we’ve already scheduled a FOS right before their PWD.

Scouting is like almost every other venture in that it has its jargon and abbreviations that are common internally but bewilder outsiders. Continue reading “The whaty-what of what?”

Scrub your jargon

questionmark_200Have you ever listened to a talk, attended a training session or even tried to read an article or paper that contained unexplained abbreviations and terminology that you were unfamiliar with?

If so, then you know what it’s like when someone who is new to our field of endeavor tries to listen in on our conversations.

“So then, the DE said to our UC, ‘407 had a great FOS this year, and all their ASMs have their LST. That and the high percentage of TAY they’re serving will help their JTE numbers’.” Continue reading “Scrub your jargon”

The true meaning of Scout

earspy_200Our troop has experienced a rash of Eagle Scout activity in recent months, the most recent of which was an Eagle Court of Honor on Sunday in which the 48th Eagle Scout in our troop’s 30-year history received his medal and his charge. We have two more Eagles who have completed their boards of review and are awaiting their courts of honor, another with a project completed and two more whose projects have been approved. The uptick in activity is the result of a successful recruiting drive six years ago that resulted in a dozen crossovers, almost all of whom have stayed with the troop. Successive waves of recruiting in the years that followed nearly tripled the size of our troop.

I had the privilege and honor of sitting on his board of review, and something he said during the enjoyable conversation caused me to make a connection to the true meaning of Scout. Continue reading “The true meaning of Scout”

Do you have a troop handbook?

It’s been said that the Boy Scouts of America is responsible for more dead trees than any other organization – based on the sheer number of handbooks, guidebooks, pamphlets, training guides, and other publications.

Don’t believe me? Just visit your nearest Scout shop. There you’ll find for sale copies of the Scout handbook in multiple formats, a handbook for Scoutmasters, a handbook for the troop committee, the Scout fieldbook, handbooks for various youth leadership positions, over one hundred twenty different merit badge pamphlets, books containing troop meeting planning guides and resource books. There are syllabuses for training Scoutmasters, committee members, and youth leaders, as well as guides for planning Roundtable. Guides for safe Scouting, conducting trips and outings, health and safety … the list goes on. And I haven’t even delved into Cub Scouting. Continue reading “Do you have a troop handbook?”