A three-step problem solving process

One of the greatest virtues of the Scouting program is that it teaches young people how to solve problems in real time with the resources they have at their disposal. They’re not usually major problems – at least not to us, but to the Scouts, they can befuddle and confuse until they set themselves in the right direction.

I recently read an article by Tommy Gray, CPBE, in a broadcast engineering trade magazine. We broadcast engineers often face puzzling problems that need to be resolved quickly. Gray offered the advice that you are never totally down if you use your head. There are three things to keep in mind, Continue reading “A three-step problem solving process”

When campouts fail

It seems like an ideal troop outing. A trip to a local ski area for a weekend of snow sports. The slopes are not too steep but still full of fun and challenge. They offer downhill and cross-country skiing trails, snowboarding runs, ice skating and tubing. There are lights for nighttime skiing as well. Lessons are available, and there’s camping on site. The ski area is less than an hour’s drive away, and the cost is reasonable. There should be plenty to do for everyone.

But when only a few Scouts, and fewer adults, choose to attend, the outing has to be cancelled.

What went wrong? Continue reading “When campouts fail”

Ask more questions!

questionmark_200Teaching and developing others, particularly young people, can be a challenge. We try to organize a set of facts in a logical manner and deliver it to the receiving parties coherently, so the transfer of information is correct and goes smoothly.

But does it?

Sometimes it seems like we can talk and lecture until we’re blue in the face, but it just doesn’t engage the others. People tend to zone out if they’re getting too much information. There’s not an infinite capacity to receive and store what’s being explained to them.

It’s important to engage the brain in a manner other than just listening to what’s being said. Continue reading “Ask more questions!”

Learning to lead

learn+lead250While some people seem to be natural leaders, it’s generally held that leadership is something that can be learned. The esteemed football coach Vince Lombardi believed that

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.

Our Scouts, most likely, are not great leaders. In fact, they probably don’t know the first thing about leadership when they take on their first leadership position of responsibility – most often as a patrol leader. It is through Scouting that they begin the process of learning about leadership. Continue reading “Learning to lead”

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 “Summer camp survival kit”