Monthly Archives: July 2011

Stitcher

For those of you with the smart phones or those that use a computer… ahhh thats pretty much all of you…
There is now a new way to get the SMMPodcast and other great PTCMedia content.
Stitcher.com is now featuring quality Scouting podcasts on your smart phone FREE APP and streaming on your computer.
Check it out.. its another great way of keeping up with us here at PTCMedia.net.
Listen to my latest show HERE,

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: podcast | Leave a comment

This weeks Poll- The Annual Plan

In this weeks poll I want to know about your Troops annual planning session.
Your choices are:  Totally on the Scouts, meaning the Scouts put together the annual plan and submit it to the Troop committee to receive the support to run the program.  The PLC does the planning.
It’s all about the Adults, meaning the Scouts just take what the adults decide.  The PLC does not do the planning.
Lets go 50/50, meaning Adult input to the PLC and they split the planning responsibility.
As a primer, here is how our Troop handles the annual planning session.  We start our planning at Summer camp.  This is a great opportunity for the patrols to take a look at the previous year and get the most input from the patrol members.  Sometime about mid-week at camp the PLC will meet and discuss the input from the patrols.
After summer camp the PLC will again sit down with all the calendars and look at months, dates, and locations from the next years plan.  I sit in with them on this planning session to answer questions and offer advise when asked.
Once the PLC is satisfied they have a 12 month plan, they bounce it off me and then the SPL and I take the plan to the Troop committee.
The Troop committees job is to say “Great plan, lets support it” and that is what they do.
Our Senior Patrol Leader and the Patrol Leaders Council does the planning for the year.  That is the way it is supposed to happen, this is their program.  Having them plan their year gives them ownership, tests leadership, and then as the year unfolds and they understand the program, their monthly PLC meetings are better organized and the plan is executed by the Scouts.
It’s not always pretty and often the planning is painful to some… but letting the Scouts run their Troop is the way Baden-Powell intended it.

“The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his
patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”- Baden Powell

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, Scouts, Skills, Summer Camp, training | 3 Comments

Right before your eyes…

And in the blink of an eye they grow.  Ok folks get ready for this.. a NON SCOUTING POST
Tonight we sat down with a photographer to set up appointments, packages, and wardrobe for my daughters Senior Portraits.  Senior Portraits.. wait a gosh darn minute.. what happened to my little girl? 
As the photographer asked her questions about likes and dislikes, hair styles, college plans, and out fits she is planning on wearing, I could not help but sit there quietly.. yes I said quietly and listen to my daughter giggle and twirl her hair answering the questions.  This is the same little princess that would answer “White” whenever you said “Snow”!
In the blink of an eye they grow.
The moral of the story here is that time fly’s and before you know it.. they have grown.  Don’t blink you will miss it.
There has been a lot of talk lately about balance in our lives.  If nothing else reminds you of how important it is, just watch your kids grow.
My youngest son, the football player sat patiently as we made arrangements with our daughter.  The photographer is going to take photos of him this season.  He makes fantastic books that chronicle the season highlighting the player.  There again, I watched as they talked about they type of offense they run and the schedule for the year.
I could not help but see that these two kids are growing into fine people.  They have their own interests, they communicate differently, and they have each have a distinct personality.
They are growing so fast, my wife and I make it a priority to be a part of their lives as much as possible.  Our house is that house that every one hangs out at.  Our cars are always full of friends, band gear, football gear, and coolers of food for wrestling tourney’s and school events.
This is how we have created our family environment.  It is a fun place, a safe place, and a home full of love.
But they grow so fast.  I am glad that so far none of them have out grown a hug and are not afraid to say I love you in front of their friends.  And knowing them, that will never change.
Tonight, as I sit here writing, directly behind me, my son and a few of his buddy’s are making silk screens for t-shirts.  They are laughing and joking and having a great time.  I am glad that we can share these moments.
Our oldest son, our daughters twin, is staffing at summer camp this summer.  Words could never describe how much I miss his company.  Next week he will be home for the weekend.. I can’t wait.
If I could control one thing.. I would never blink.
Right before your eyes… Bam! they are grown.

Categories: blog | 3 Comments

Calling all Podcast listeners

I am sending out a plea to all the listeners of the SMMPodcast!!!  Show 100 is just 8 Shows away!  I need your help to make it a great show… yeah I know.. how much better can it get?  Right?
What I am looking for is what you want to see in Show 100.  I would love to have some guests, maybe?  Any topic in particular?  Help me out on this folks.
And then we will start the next 100!  If I were tweeting this maybe we could throw a cool hash tag on it like #100showsin.
So help me out, send your ideas to me via email, smoke signal, telegraph or yeah you can even tweet it to me @smjerry.

It’s funny, I was talking with Cubmaster Chris from the AHAW show.  We were talking about when I came into PTCMedia in 2008.  My first show hit on March 11, 2008, but Chris was not sure.  He wanted me to have 10 shows under my belt before I became a part of PTCMedia.  So show #10 hit the internet on May 15th of 2008 and the rest they say is history.
I have a lot of fun with the podcast and hope that you all still enjoy listening.

I thank you all for the downloads.  It means a lot to see that people do listen.

Have a Great Scouting day!

Categories: Just fun, podcast | 1 Comment

SMMPodcast #91 – Sports, Eagles, and Chess anyone?

Show 91 is out and ready for your ear buds.
In this show we carry over some topics from the blog.  We talk about Young Eagle Scouts, a discussion on Sports and Scouting.  I introduce the new Chess merit badge, and we wrap up with taking a break from Scouting.
Thanks for listening to the podcast.
Lots of ways to leave feedback.. iTunes, here at the blog, drop me an email, or leave a comment on twitter @smjerry.

Thanks again.  We are now “officially” on the run to show 100!
Listen to the show HERE
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, podcast | Leave a comment

Train ‘em, Trust ‘em,….

I have said this so many times it is almost becoming cliche’.. but I’ll say it again…
TRAIN ‘EM, TRUST ‘EM, AND LET THEM LEAD!

Last night the SPL of our Troop held the Patrol Leaders Council meeting.  Because of a work conflict, I knew that I was not going to be able to be there, but two of the Assistant Scoutmasters of the Troop would be attending to maintain a safe environment and open up the meeting hall.
I called into the PLC for my two minutes of points that needed to be passed on from the committee and things that I thought needed to be attended to.  It was fun for the Scouts to be on a conference call with the Scoutmaster.  The SPL put his iPhone on speaker mode and placed it in the middle of the table.
I spoke my piece and asked if any one had questions.. then said good-bye.
Later that evening I got a call from… yeah.. you guessed it.. “Frustrated Dad”.  He wanted to know why I was not at the PLC meeting and who was running this show?  Well the answer to the second part was obviously easy.. The SPL is running the show.  As to why I was not there.. Work, sorry, moving on.
Once again I had to explain to him that I trust the SPL.  I know that he has been trained and mentored well and that we had talked before the meeting so he could bounce he agenda off me.  He will be shooting me an email sometime today also to recap the meeting.  Not that I asked.. he just does it.
When we train the Scouts, trust them to do the right thing, and let them do the leading.. they do pretty darn good.  The decisions that they are making, planning for, and executing are shaping them to be better leaders.  They are practicing communication skills, working with others, and yes learning from mistakes also.
The question was asked, “How can you teach them if you are not there?”  Well, I said, I am there.. I am there for them always.  I will be able to coach and teach the SPL when ever he needs it.  Again, going back to the prep work that the SPL did before the meeting.  That was a good time to coach, and I did. 
Remember that Baden-Powell told us never to do what a boy can do for himself… well that does not stop at setting up his tent and fluffing his pillow.. that is directed at the leadership of the Troop.  Never lead the Troop.. that is why they hold elections and serve.
I had to remind Mr. Frustrated that none of the adults in Boy Scouts have the word “LEADER” on their patch..  That stops at DEN LEADER…

Well, I am proud of our PLC, they held a meeting, that I am sure went well, they are leading the Troop, which I know is going well, and they are having fun.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, comments, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, Scouting, teamwork | 1 Comment

Getting away from Scouting

I posted a response to a post that my good friend Adam wrote on his blog.  Check out his blog here.  In his post, and many other posts of his and not surprisingly other Scouting bloggers out there is a recurring theme of separation between the “Scouting life” and the “Normal or Family Life”.  That amazes me.
I can not figure out for the life of me why anyone would want to separate the two.  And if in fact you are a Scouter that actually believes in the program that is offered.. well.. you simply can not create a chasm between the two.
Scouting provides a set of rules for life, values that are timeless and all of which makes families stronger.  Scouting introduces skills and interests that move people to explore their lives and the world around them.  Why on earth would I tuck that away and not make that a part of raising children?
Doing our best to live the Scout Oath and Law in our Daily lives provide for the best example of parenting.  That simply is a no brainer.
Does this mean you have to be a stick in the mud?  My goodness I hope not… After all, we do Scouting because we love it, believe in it, and find value in the program.  I am no stick in the mud by any stretch.. but I can have my Scouting cake and eat it too.
So why would we want to go out of our way to separate these two parts of our lives?  Why? 
I went on a hike today with my wife and another couple.  It was a non Troop event.. just the four of us out on the Eagle Creek trail.  I did not wear my uniform or anything else that would identify me as a Scouter.
I yielded the right of way on the trail to climbers and those with animals.. this is something we teach in Scouting.
I carried my ten essentials because it is a smart thing to do.. and had to use the first aid kit on a blister and a minor cut.
I carried my water purification pump.. I wanted to be prepared.
We left no trace and was courteous to other hikers.
All of these things are part of Scouting…. and my life.  There can be no separation.
When my family camps, we have fun, the adults have a few drinks, and relax.. that’s why we camp right?  But we don’t turn off our Scouting values, skills, and practices just because we are not wearing tan shirts.  It is a part of our family and that is how we are raising our kids.. not to run around with a Fleur De Leis tattooed to their forehead.. but to be good people.  Is that not a part of Scouting.
Citizenship, Character, and Fitness.  Goals in Scouting and goals in our family.
“Getting away from Scouting” ???  Why?

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog | 4 Comments

Put me in Coach…

“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal” – Vince Lombardi

Every Coach I have ever met wants his team to win.  When I was a Flag Football coach, even though they technically did not keep score.. I wanted the kids on the team to win.. Winning feels good and winning typically means that you were the better team that day.  Better skills, better leadership, better coaching, better condition. 
When the whistle blows for the opening kick off.. the coach stands on the side line and watches as his team succeeds or fails.  As the players come and go from the side line to the playing field he offers up advise, he coaches them on a specific part of the game, and he encourages them to go out there and win.
My frustrated Dad from the previous post reads the blog as I have come to find out via an email.  Which is great, because as he reads the content, maybe he will gain a better understanding of what it is that we are trying to accomplish here in Scouting.  I have already responded to him, but as I thought about how to best explain what it is that we Scoutmasters do.. well the Football coach analogy just would not leave me alone.
A coach does not go out and make tackles.. he coaches on proper technique.  He never throws a touchdown pass.. but he teaches the Quarterback on proper release.  The coach has assistant coaches too.. and they teach and coach their specific parts of the team.  They encourage their players to get better, stronger, faster, and more skilled.  Well such is the role of the Scoutmaster and his assistants.  They develop leadership in the Scouts and encourage them to do their best.  They step in when needed, but rely on the players (Scouts) to make the play or complete the task.
Standing on the side lines.. or in the back of the meeting hall, the Scoutmaster can observe his Troop winning or learning.  We don’t really lose.  Every failure comes with a learning point or as I call it in our Troop, our take home point.
What the Scoutmaster does is provide opportunities.  He mentors the Senior Patrol leader to a position that he now can do it alone.  The Scoutmaster is never too far away and provides confidence in the young man that he can and will accomplish any task he sets his mind to.  This is a great lesson in life.
I love the coach analogy.  It fits well when you want a Scout to go out there and play the game with a purpose.
And as for the frustrated Dad.. he will get it.  I am sure of that.
And hey.. thanks to Larry for the great comment on the last post.  Right on!

“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?” – Vince Lombardi

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, comments, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods | Leave a comment

The Leading Question?

The other night at our Troop meeting I was approached by a frustrated parent.  He asked why I continuously gives the boys the “run around”.  I asked him what he meant, even though I kind of knew where he was going.  He told me he has been sitting back watching over the last few weeks as Scouts come to me with questions.  He wanted to know why I never just answer the questions that the Scouts have.  I asked him to give me an example.  He stated that a young Scout came to me with a question about meals last week, he wanted to know how many they needed to plan for.  Apparently my answer to the Scout was, “Have you talked to your Patrol leader about meal planning for the next camp out?”  The frustrated Dad wanted to know why I didn’t just tell him that he needed to plan 4 meals.
He went on to ask why I didn’t answer another Scouts question when I was asked about an activity.  Again, he says “you pawned it off on the Patrol Leader”.
The straw that broke the camels back however came when a Scout came to you, he said, asking if I could show him how to tie a certain knot.  Frustrated Dad threw his arms up when again I called the Patrol leader over and asked him to show the young Scout how to tie the knot.
“What is it that you do?” he asked.  I teach leadership I replied.
“How is this teaching leadership?” he asked.  Well, its like this.  If I just answer the question, then why do we need Patrol leaders?  If we don’t have Patrol leaders, how does the Scout learn to lead?
When we are camping for example, there are countless opportunities to use leading questions to teach leadership, skills, and camp craft.  Questions that get the Scout to think and act. 
On our last camp out, the Senior Patrol Leader gave direction to the Patrol to camp in a certain area.  One Patrol chose to camp on the slope of the hill on little plateau’s created on a trail.  This was fine as it practiced good leave no trace, but I had a few questions for the Patrol leader regarding placement of a few tents.  I did not tell the PL to move the tents, but did take the opportunity to talk about terrain and ask him what he thinks might happen if it started raining.  We talked about it for a minute and he came up with a solution.  He was hell-bent on not moving the tents.. so they dragged some downed logs over and placed them in front of the tents across the trail creating a break or diverter should it start raining.  He did tell me that they had made sure that the doors of the tent were facing down hill and away from the possible flow of water.
It rained like cats and dogs on Friday night.. and sure enough, their plan of pulling logs over the trail worked, not a single wet sleeping bag. 
It is the leading question that teaches.  Allowing the Scout to think a problem through and not just giving the answer.  This empowering of the Scout to think and act is a valuable lesson to him.  Sending a Scout to his Patrol leader for answers is just as powerful.  It teaches that we have leaders that have purpose.  It makes the leader stronger, because at the point that another Scout comes to him with a question he must do something… lead.  He needs to have the skill sets and knowledge to answer the question, solve the problem or seek help.  These are great tools in teaching leadership.
So frustrated Dad, there is a method to our madness…
And what do I do?  I teach by example.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, Scouts, Skills, training | 1 Comment

This weeks Poll

This weeks poll follows the discussion about the Age of Eagle Scouts.
Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
I am curious to hear what you all have to say about this issue.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog | Leave a comment

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