Prepared for life: Not just a motto

prepared_250The Scout motto – Be Prepared – has been with us since the beginning, when Baden-Powell encouraged his young charges to be ready for whatever life might throw their way. It came from his days as a military leader, training his soldiers to be ready both in battle and in peacetime. When asked the meaning of be prepared was, he explained

…a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.

B-P said a Scout should be prepared for any old thing. Continue reading “Prepared for life: Not just a motto”

How to help young leaders grow

mechanics-fourstepsOne of the most fascinating and fulfilling things about being part of the Scouting movement is watching our young people grow and develop as individuals, team members and leaders.

Every time I sit on a board of review (as I did for two new Eagle Scouts last week), I’m reminded that, in one way or another, the adults of our troop helped these young men grow. We did it, not by doing for them, but helping them see what’s important and how to handle it when they see it. Continue reading “How to help young leaders grow”

Servant leadership: Not a new concept

ServantLeadership_200As the Christian world approaches Easter, the scriptures that are read center more and more on Jesus in his final days, as he traveled and taught, working closely with his disciples and followers. A favorite reading at this time of year is the story, written by John the Apostle in his gospel, about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples gathered for the passover meal. (In those days, most travel was on foot, and the roads were dusty, meaning that a day’s labors or journey left one’s feet filthy dirty. Those who were better off had servants to give the evening foot baths.) When one, Simon Peter, protests, Jesus explains that Peter and the others don’t understand why he, the teacher and lord, is doing the work ordinarily done by servants, but soon it becomes clear:

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Thus we are introduced to one of the earliest recorded examples of servant leadership. Continue reading “Servant leadership: Not a new concept”

Why are we still training?

“Every boy deserves a trained leader.”

“Train ’em, trust ’em, let ’em lead!”

If there’s one thing that’s everywhere in Scouting, it’s training. We train our youth leaders to run their troop. We teach Scout skills – that’s a form of training.   Even in Cub Scouts, we teach the boys to say the promise and the Law of the Pack in the course of “instilling the values” As adults, we take online training for youth protection, Cub Scout leadership, safe swim, weather hazards, and others. We attend Scoutmaster leader-specific training, outdoor skills training, BALOO training, and the list goes on. Continue reading “Why are we still training?”

Ever try to cook an avocado?

One of the things I like to do in my spare time that isn’t taken up by Scouting is to cook. The Food Network has a lot of shows that I enjoy watching, and one of them is Worst Cooks in America. In this series,  two professional chefs each adopt a team of highly inept home cooks and work with them through the episodes to hone their skills to the point where they can cook a restaurant-quality meal by the end of the series.

The chefs teach cooking skills to their “recruits,” as they are called, by demonstrating how to prepare various dishes, explaining what they are doing along the way. They then turn the recruits loose in the kitchen to either replicate the dish they were shown, or ask them to prepare something similar. While they are cooking, the professionals watch over their trainees, giving them pointers along the way. Eventually, the amateur cooks develop enough skills that the pros can watch from the sidelines without having to interact.

Does this sound familiar? Continue reading “Ever try to cook an avocado?”