I recently attended a presentation on the new Cub Scout Adventure program. Aimed at Scouters who will be implementing the program starting later this year, it was conducted by a member of the national task force that created the new program. He offered insights into how the committee arrived at its findings and what it hopes to accomplish by moving Cub Scouting forward .
After the presentation I spoke with the instructor. I thanked him for an informative session, and mentioned that I’ve been writing about the changes to the program and how den leaders can do some advance preparation to get ready. I was quickly rebuffed, however, with the warning to be very cautious about putting out anything that isn’t official information directly from the Boy Scouts of America.
Those of us who publish articles and podcasts to help our fellow Scouters are well aware that the only official source of information is from the BSA, and that what we write is not to be considered authoritative. It’s in my disclaimer at the bottom of every page.
However, while the BSA may be the authoritative source, I’ve found it to be heavy on process and procedure and light on little hints and kinks about how to make a volunteer’s experience more productive and enjoyable. That’s why we are here – to point to the official sources, explaining what we found along the way and giving our advice on how we did it.
The series on changes to the Cub Scout program is an example. You can read the requirements and follow the leader guides all you want, but you won’t find those reminders to schedule those outdoor adventures when the weather’s best, or to call your police department or nature center well ahead of time to set up a visit.
Another service I try to provide – one that the BSA lacks resources in – is personal leadership development. I’ve written, for example, about how to deal with interpersonal issues on your troop committee, how to recognize when you’re getting burned out, and ways you can help your fellow Scouters. These are things you’re more likely to discuss around the campfire than at any training session.
The official BSA materials give you the what and the who – but we try to fill in with the why and the how.
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