Adults on troop outings

A reader wrote to me a few weeks back asking for advice on how to select adults to go along on troop campouts, particularly those featuring above-the-norm, interesting activities. This reader felt that certain adults were given first crack repeatedly, that most of the adults were being bypassed when it came to offering the chance to participate, and he asked if some sort of a lottery or rotation system should be put in place.

I responded by saying that first and foremost, Scouting is for the Scouts. It’s not something that the adults plan and do because they like it or find it interesting, and include the youth in the process. Adults are there to make it possible for the Scouts to do Scout stuff. Continue reading “Adults on troop outings”

Who do we appreciate?

From the very beginning, Scouting has been a volunteer-driven organization. The paid professionals are but a tiny number of people who make our program go. The heavy lifting is done by the parents and friends who step forward in every unit, district and council.

April is Scouter appreciation month. It’s a great time to recognize the work and dedication that your unit’s volunteers put forth so your Scouts can have a fun and enriching program. We can’t give them a pay raise but we can do many things to show them that their efforts are noticed and worthwhile. Continue reading “Who do we appreciate?”

For best results, ask better questions

Leadership development is one of Scouting’s most important effects on its members. Ask anyone who was a Scout as a youth and they’ll probably tell you that in addition to learning how to camp, hike and respect the outdoors, one of the most important takeaways is that it helped them become a better leader.

What defines a leader? Reams have been written on the subject, but one of the best definitions comes from an item that surfaced in the early 1930s comparing a boss to a leader. The one we probably hear most often is A boss says “go” – a leader says “let’s go”. 

Among the list of comparisons are two that help to define the relationship between the leader and the led: Continue reading “For best results, ask better questions”

Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers

popcorn+cards_250It’s that time of year again – popcorn season! And soon, our Scouts will be knocking on doors, standing on street corners and in front of grocery stores offering the tasty treats of popcorn and other goodies as a thank-you gift to our friends and neighbors for their financial support of Scouting in our communities, making it possible for our young people to enjoy fun and adventure while the values of Scouting are instilled.. (And you thought they were just selling popcorn!)

And just as much as our Scouts struggle to make the sale, we struggle with the finances. We guesstimate how much of each product to order, find some place to store it when it arrives, allocate it by den or patrol, and take back the unsold inventory. We also have to deal with the money, which could be the most daunting aspect of all.

In the past, most people paid cash or wrote a check, but it has become more of a cashless world, and Scouting needs to keep up with the times. Continue reading “Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers”