Yesterday I participated in a great Scouting Day. Our Annual Program and Training Conference was held yesterday at the Scouthridge high School. I am not sure how many Scouters participated, but there where many. I got the feeling that there were more than last year. There were classes ranging in topic from Songs and Skits to High Adventure. There was a nice midway that hosted a booths from the Scout Shop to Pampered Chef. For you Dutch Oven cooks out there, Pampered Chef has some real nice stuff. Anyway, there was a lot to see and do and I was happy to see that Boy Scout leader participation was up.
You see we used to have a couple of opportunities for Scouters in the Council to gather and get some training and program ideas. We used to have an Advancement extravaganza, this was primarily for the Boy Scout Program. And we used to have a fun event called Pow Wow. It was geared for Cub Scouters, but a real fun day of training and gathering of ideas. Last year the two programs were combined into the Program and Training Conference. I believe it was an idea borrowed from the Chief Seattle Council. So last year was the first time that I was asked to teach and so I did. I was invited back this year. Scouter Adam and I held a couple of sessions on using Social media for your unit and I taught Scouters about the Scoutmaster Conference, one of my most favorite subjects in Scouting.
I did two sessions of the SM Conference and they seemed to be received well. What I find interesting is the different views on BSA policy and the way in which Scouters interpret the BSA training. You see this in the way people ask questions and share their opinion on one issue or another. Now I am not saying this is always a bad thing, especially when they are looking for the right answer or the right way to do something, but it still drives home the point that Training and doing training right is important.
Mike Walton from the USSSP was a guest presenter this year. He flew out from Minnesota to share some thoughts of up coming changes in the BSA and did a joint session with our Councils CFO. It was an interesting session to say the least. I say that in a real good way because Jason and Mike both told it straight yesterday, and for those of you that have read this blog for anytime, you know that’s what I like and that’s how I do it. They shared thoughts of current issues, you know the homosexual thing, and they talked a lot about money in Scouting. I loved the comments about how people tend to blame “Council” for many of the problems, issues with their units, and financial woes. Jason asked “who is the council?” You see the majority of Scouting volunteers equate the “Council” with the support desk, the DE’s, and the people who never seem to stop asking for money. But, the answer is that WE Volunteers are “THE COUNCIL”. Too many units, Scouters, and other volunteers fail to take matters into their own hands when problem solving for their units, yes there are times when we need the support of the DE or the support desk, but to blame Council for every problem we have in our Scouting world is laughable. It was refreshing to hear it out loud yesterday by both the volunteer and the professional.
I spent a fair amount of time hanging out with the Wood Badge crowd yesterday. Recruiting for the upcoming course and spreading the word about great Scouting training. Again it was nice to see how many Scouters showed interest in Wood Badge and it looks like we are going to have another full class, just based on interest. Registration opened yesterday too, so we will see how quick the class fill up.
Yesterday was a fun day of hanging out with Scouting friends, sharing ideas, and helping Scouters deliver the promise.
Like yesterday was for me, and bid you Have a Great Scouting Day!
One of those great Scouting Days