Advancement

SMMPodcast #102

Join me on a hike with a new Eagle Scout Mom, and my best Friend (my Wife).  We talk about advice for new Scout parents, Parents of Scouts closing on their Eagle Award and Fitness.  It was a great hike and I am glad that I got a chance to get Teresa on the podcast, finally after 101 shows.
Hope you enjoy the show.  Leave us some feedback or drop an email.
Have a Great Scouting day!

Direct Download

Categories: Advancement, blog, fitness, Just fun | Leave a comment

Where worlds meet

For those of you that have followed the blog for any given time, you know that I am a fan of sports.  I believe that sports do great things in the lives of youth and I also believe that there is room for sports, scouts, academics, and a normal life for our youth.  I actually think that when youth participate in sports and scouts they become better young men and women.
This last weekend was spent watching my oldest son wrestle at a tournament with the High School wrestling team.  John did real well this weekend, and as I sat and watched, and for those of you that have been to wrestling tourney’s.. you know that it is an all day affair.  You have lots of time to sit and watch, think, write, or do as I do.. people watch.
I typically get into lengthy discussions with other parents.  This year has been interesting as John is a Senior and many of the parents we hang out with we have known since the boys were all in kindergarten.  So the discussions quickly turn to how amazed we are about our boys, future plans, college, and “do you remember when” subjects.  This last weekend we got into a discussion about one of the boys that I have known since he was 7.  He was in Cub Scouts with John, but when the time came to cross over, he made the choice not to continue with Scouting.  He turned out to be a great young man and is a good friend of my daughters. 
One of the other dads sitting with us said that his son had to drop out of Scouts because of athletics.  He could not do both as Scouting and sports don’t mix.
I had to ask why he thought that way.  The answer I got did not make sense to me.  He said that Scouting was more for kids that were intellectual and could not make it in sports.  He added that scouting takes too much time away from sports practice and social time. <insert record scratch>
I made mention that both of my boys were in scouts and they both are athletes, and they both are A’s and B’s students, and both have a good social life.  He said it was the exception not the rule.  Then I told him of the Scouts in my troop.  In my Troop there are football players, baseball players, wrestlers, water polo, swim team, lacrosse, soccer, and golf team members.  Of those guys, they are active in the Troop and are all either Eagle Scouts or well on their way to becoming and Eagle Scout.  All of them are good students and very active with their Schools.  Members of Student government or clubs, and are all really good young men.
Again, he said we are the exception not the rule.  So I had to ask.. why do you suppose that is?
I believe that young men that play organized sports learn valuable life lessons.  They learn team work and working with others.  They learn that the team comes first and individual egos should be left at home.  They learn that hard work produces great things and that when you lose you learn.  They learn that effort pays off and that collective effort will eventually win.
I believe that sports push young men to stay fit and sports develop in them a sense of committment and accountability.  The individual is driven to be there for his team mates, he understands that without every one pitching in and moving toward the same goal the team will not be a success.
I think far to many times parents and Scout leaders can not get past the old “Jock” stereotype. 
Speaking strictly for my family Sports and Scouting go hand and hand.  Sports and Scouting complement one another and help round out our kids.  Add to Sports and Scouting good family values, strong faith, and a host of friends that have the same interests, and we have been blessed with three awesome kids.
The boys John and Josh have been active in both Scouting and Sports since they could be.  Josh started playing Football in 3rd Grade.  John and Josh both run Track and played Soccer.  John took to Wrestling, Josh stuck with Football and Track.  Katelyn played Soccer and volleyball for the Nike Club league team.  She is talented in Band and is a great student academically.  She tried Girl Scouts, but could not fit in with their click.  So she stuck to a supportive role in her brothers Scouting lives.
The point here is that all three are great kids and sports and scouts have played a great role in that.  It has meant long weekends, lots of travel time, and spending money on the kids activities rather than ourselves, but the result is that we have a great family life and kids that are healthy, smart, and ready for life.
Sports gave them confidence, good attitudes, and drive to accomplish anything.  Scouting does much of this and more, but when the two worlds meet a great young person comes out the other end.
So this Dad that does not see the value in both.. or that its one or the other.. well, I think that comes from parents that see the hassle, Scout leaders that see the competition, and youth that go along with what they say.
Parents need to be supportive of a young man that wants to do sports and scouting.  They need to make a committment to their son that doing both is possible.  Scout leaders need to understand the value in having an athlete in their troop.  They too need to be committed to the Scout and his needs and interests.  Scouting and Sports can work together.
I am proud of the Scouts of my Troop that take the time to be athletes.  I admire their dedication and committment, and I tell them that during Scoutmaster conferences or when they have an achievement on or off the playing field. 
Here is what I know for sure.
It’s not 100% so I am not saying this for effect…
Young men that are Scouts and Athletes are better students, better leaders, are better fit, and have a higher confidence level.  They stick it out to the end and do not let their Troop or their team mates down.
I’ll take that any day!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

*By the way.. the picture on this post.. Gerald R. Ford,  39th President, Eagle Scout, Football player at the University of Michigan 1933

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, Ideals, Leadership, Scout, teamwork, Values | 6 Comments

JTE revisited


As with many of us we wear multiple hats in Scouting.  First and foremost we wear the Dad (or Mom) hat, then the hat appropriate to our unit, like Scoutmaster or Committee Chair.  Then there often times is some District level hat, whether that is part of the District Training team, a District event, or serving on the District committee.  Some are active within their Order of Arrow Chapters or Lodges, and so another hat is hung there.  And for some, and the numbers narrow here, the Council comes a callin’ and more hats are added to the hat rack of Scouting.  This is all well and good as long as the person wearing all of those hats can A.   balance and manage the time,  B.  give full attention to all the positions that he or she has volunteered for, and finally C.  Remember that this is Scouting and it is still a game with a purpose.
All of that to say… I am putting on my District hat right now for this post.
Thursday night at our District committee meeting I was asked to take on an additional responsibility, that of the District Committee Chair while we are looking to replace our retiring District Committee chairman.  I currently serve as the District Program Chairman, so this was not to far a stretch and so I accepted the interim role.
That is neither here nor there when it comes to the subject of this post, other than to say that in the role of both the District Committee Chairman and the Program Chairman one of the reports that our District Commissioner gave disturbed me to no end and I am looking for solutions.
That report was on the Journey to Excellence status of units within our District.  I’ll jump right in.
In November our Council wraps up it’s rechartering process.  This way all units are good to go heading into the new year.  If done right by the units, this is a nice way to end the year and start their Scouting calendar year off clean.  Maybe it’s because I do not know anything else, but this works well for me.
In November we also close out our now Journey to Excellence (Former Honor unit, Quality unit, Centennial Quality unit) report.  Now of all the programs listed in Parenthesis.. I like Journey to Excellence a lot.  It is a fair way to rank and rate your unit.  It is a good measure of how your program is delivering the promise of Scouting.  In the Thunderbird District we have 129 units that rechartered this November.. well 124 actually turned them in on time.. we are still waiting on 6 of them… which will add to my point here real quick.  Out of the 129 units only 35% of them turned in the paper work for their Journey to Excellence.   That’s only 45 units (Packs, Troops, and Crews).  45!
So the question has to be WHY?  The score card is easy to use, the goals are fair and offer a sliding scale from Bronze to Gold so that units have a way of stepping up their programs with rewards for small and large success’s.  But why would only 45 out of 129 units report how they are offereing up the program?
Is it a lack of knowledge?  A lack of training?  A lack of buy in?  Or does this tell us that the 84 units that did not report are not providing quality programs and do not want to tell that to the District and Council?  I sincerely hope that this is not the case.  I know that there are great Scouters out there in our District and I see the units around doing activities, service projects, and outings.  So why not report.
My thoughts went back to the Good turn for America program.  Our District struggled in getting units to report there also.  We asked a volunteer to chase down units and assist with their reporting.. read.. do it for them.  And amazingly, or not, the numbers went sky rocketing.  Now I am not suggesting that this is all about numbers.  I certainly am not, what I am hoping is that the Promise of Scouting is being delivered in the 84 units that have made the choice not to fill out the form.
In talking with one Scouter, I came to the conclusion that he just did not know how the process worked.  So a lack of training on his part led him to not being able to go through this with his unit.  I call BS on this to a certain degree.  The program is not that tough to just figure out.  He asked about tools that could be used to help with the process.  I told him to go to Scouting.org and look up the Journey to Excellence.  There he would find an easy way to set the goals of the unit, track the progress of the unit, and print the final report.  Along with definitions, Frequently Asked questions, and support.  I also reminded him that the number one function of the District is to support units and he could always call us.
Here is what I like about the JTE program.  If you use the tracker, and I mean break it out monthly and see how you are, as a unit progressing through your program based on your goals.  You will achieve success.  The tracker allows the unit to see potential problems or short falls before they happen.  It allows Troop committees to make adjustments, it is a nice tool for the Patrol Leaders Council to stay on track with their program.  After all the main emphasis of the JTE is in program and participation.  Most of us have a competitive gene in us.  Our Scouts certainly do.  So the Journey to Excellence plays on this part of the game.   There are incentives within the unit to continuously improve.  Better Performance means better Scouting for youth!  Better Performance can earn a higher level of Recognition, and Key requirements are tracked and improvement can be quickly identified so they can see where they are on the field.  It’s kind of like being in a 3rd and long and waiting to punt or 3rd and short and know you can score!
I also like that each year the requirements will change.  Each year,  the requirements will be reconsidered to reflect the improved performance by units.  This is why it is important that ALL units report.  Right now in my District 45 units will set the performance measurement for the rest of the District.  New standards for 2012 are already out.  You can see the Troop score card here.   
So I am looking for solutions to this problem.  If you have any ideas, please leave a comment or drop an email.
Share your Journey to Excellence success’s also in the comments section of this post.
Like I said.  I know that there are good Scouters out there doing the right thing.  But the Journey to Excellence program will help make Scouting better.  Better for the main thing… Scouts.
Have a Great Scouting Day! 

Categories: Advancement, blog, comments, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, Scouting, technology, training | 9 Comments

Advancement Changes

The more things change the more they stay the same… I am referring to the new Advancement guide of the BSA.  You can download now at the Scouting.org or here is a direct link GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT 2011.  In it you will find much of the same policies and practices that have governed the advancement process for years.  You will also find new merit badges and some new twists to some of the requirements.  I encourage everyone to download a copy and become familiar with the changes and renew your understanding of how advancement is supposed to work within the Boy Scouts of America.
The reason that I am bringing this up now is because of a discussion that I have been participating in on another “Outdoors” type forum.
I try not to get into debates on forums, I really do not think that forums provide an atmosphere that allows both parties to articulate their sides, concerns, and evidence on any given subject.  And keeping with that, I refused to get into a debate about advancement policies and changes on the forum.  I did however, give an opinion and yes try to explain how I understand the policy or changes.
Here is specifically what I am referring to, the comment made by a poster to the forum:
It has lots of changes.  It looks like BSA is adopting a “No Scout left behind” attitude.
For example:
Scouts can’t fail Scoutmaster conferences.
and
The Scoutmaster Conference is not the last thing done before a BOR.

“4.2.3.5 Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference The unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference, regardless of the rank or program, is conducted according to the guidelines in the Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33009.
Note that a Scout must participate or take part in one; it is not a “test.” Requirements do not say he must “pass” a
conference. While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it
be the last step before the board of review. This is an important consideration for Scouts on a tight schedule to meet the requirements before age 18. Last-minute work can sometimes make it impossible to fi t the conference in before then, so scheduling it earlier can avoid unnecessary extension requests. “

Ok.  The writer starts by stating that the BSA is “Adopting a ‘No Scout left behind’ attitude”.  I did not see that in the advancement guide.  There is no policy that states that No Scout shall be left behind or not advanced.  This perception that the BSA wants to hand out Eagle Scout badges is false and comes from Scout leaders that see this PRACTICE going on in units around them.  They want to swing it so hard the other way, that they feel the BSA does not support them in its policy changes.  I see this in our area too.  The best course of action would be to look at the policy and do what the BSA actually says.
The statement (4.2.3.5) states that “a Scout must participate or take part in one; it is not a “test.” Requirements do not say he must “pass” a conference.”  This is nothing new.  The Scoutmaster Conference has not been a retest in a long time.  Further more the language has also said “participate” for some time also.
There was a lot of grief given to the statement “While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that itbe the last step before the board of review.”  That also is true and has been for some time.  It does not make sense to hold the Scoutmaster Conference prior to completion of the requirements, but I can see circumstances in which the Scout may ask for a Conference prior to completion of all the requirements.  Circumstances like participating at Summer Camp where the remainder of the requirements will be completed before the end of the week, or in the case of a young man who needs to have his Scoutmaster Conference before his 18th birthday in order to earn that rank.  Yes folks.  As long as the Scoutmaster Conference has been completed before the 18th birthday, a Scout can have his Eagle BOR after the birthday.
Still, I think the advancement guide is clear in its policies and still I do not see how the BSA is trying to make it any more easier or a hand out.
Most of the issues in the discussion could be dealt with if Scoutmasters just did their jobs.  Scoutmaster Conferences should never be a retest.. why would it need to be?  The Scout should be tested along the way as he completes each requirement.  A Scout is Trustworthy and if signatures are delegated, the Scoutmaster should trust that the task, skill, or other requirement was completed.  If the Scout is having maturity issues, leadership challenges, skill development failures.. then these should all be worked with as they happen.. waiting for the Scoutmaster Conference is doing a disservice to the Scout and the process.
And yet again, I bring it all back to Adult leaders that do the wrong thing.  The right thing is not to make things up, rather do the program as the Boy Scouts of America outlines.  Doing this insures and the advancement process is fair for everyone.
Get a copy of the advancement guide and remember to do what is right.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement | 2 Comments

SMMPodcast #99

Welcome Back, In this show we talk about a new Charter, My Son’s Eagle Award, and Christmas.
The music at the end of the show is provided by the Reynolds High School Symphony and Winds Ensemble playing “What Child is this”.  It is recorded live from their Winter concert.  My daughter plays Clarinet in the band and they are very good. 
Enjoy the Show and the music.
Please leave feedback, drop us an email or shoot a tweet.. let us know what you think and how we are doing.
This show is sponsored by Badge Magic, without their help.. merit badges would not have been on John’s sash for the BOR.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Great Scouting Day
!

Categories: Advancement, Ideals, podcast | 2 Comments

Genealogy Merit Badge

As my son’s worked to earn their genealogy Merit Badge they learned a lot about our family and as politically incorrect as it sounds, Our People.
My dad has become a real student of our family history, he has spent the better part of 2 decades researching, studying, and collecting information on our family and the heritage that it has.  For us it is not just about the family, but a people that collectively made up the community in which our family worshiped, worked, and raised generations.
There is an organization called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.  They are a people that have a long and rich history, that many are unfamiliar with.  Locally, Concordia University has dedicated a large library and research center for the AHSGR.
Places like this are great opportunities for Scouts to learn about their genealogy.
Having said that.. another less known historical fact, this event in history had a major effect on my family.
Today is “Remembrance Day”, when 70 years ago Dictator Joseph Stalin effected the mass Deportation of 1.3 Million Ethnic Germans living in Russia. In 1941 he began the Mass Deportation of our people to Labor camps in Siberia and Central Asia.
 The “Volga Germans, Unserer Leute” (Our People) were interned or murdered in 1941, few made it to the Gulags.
 Jakob, Georg, Adam and Philipp Schleining were Killed on 15 Feb 42 in our Ancestral village of Norka, along with hundreds more of our relatives and Neighbors.
 “Remember Us” were the watch word they left us in letters, messages and pleas as they were deported;  “Denken sie daran uns”.   (Remember us).
Help your Scouts know their heritage.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: Advancement | Leave a comment

The Importance of Service

My twins are 18 and are getting close to graduating from High School.  The other night they brought home a form for documenting Community service.  In our State there is a requirement to perform 8 hours of community service.  I agree with this requirement, I think it, at a minimum forces today’s youth to at least understand the need for volunteerism and service.
So why am I blogging about this?  Well, this was real easy for us as we document all the service our Scouts do.  I mean, heck.. just to get to the rank of Life Scout the Scout will have completed at least 12 hours of service to his community.  Now add in all the rest of the service he will do in the course of a year and the graduation requirements are met with ease.
In the last two years I have had to go back into our troop documents and produce service records for graduating Seniors.  This becomes a real important part of the graduates record for the School.  I have talked with our High School about this requirement, one of the counselors said that they appreciate those Seniors that were or are Boy Scouts.  It sure helps them out in understanding the need for service.
Our family participates in the Relay for Life each year, and our High School is a host for the relay annually.   Our youngest son (Life Scout) is on the committee for the School Relay program.  The spirit of service has been grown in them from a very early age and I am happy that they now, without Dad or Mom pushing, asking, or even encouraging, they find ways to be of service.  Now if we could get them to clean their rooms…
Service is an important part of Scouting going all the way back to its beginnings.  The Lone Scout in the story of William D. Boyce lost in the London Fog, Food drives, Scrap metal drives during WW II, Goodwill/Good Turn, not to mention all the countless hours that Troops spend on local projects that benefit their communities, Charter Partners, and Wilderness areas.
Service has always been one of the Hallmarks of Scouting.  Even providing service within the Troop in leadership positions plays a major role in developing the spirit of service in our Scouts.  It is in this spirit that our young men start the habit of being in service to others.  I think that when they understand the importance of this, it will last them a life time.
Every year Scouts all over conduct Scouting for Food drives.  This is a great way to get in the community and do a great service to those that truly in need, but we can take that a step further.  Our Troop does the food drive, then helps sort, box, and store the food in our local food bank.  As this happens they all see the direct impact of their work on the drive.  As the food drive is always on a Saturday, the Scouts get the opportunity to see those in need arrive to collect the much needed food.  It is a sad that there is a need, but the fact of the matter is that there is.  We do not parade the Scouts around to get an eye full, but the behind the scenes glimpse that they do get is enough to instill in them the want to do more.
So I think it is a great thing that our Schools require service to the community as part of their graduation.  I think it a even greater that the Boy Scouts maintain service as one of its core values.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, Good Turn Daily, Ideals, Leadership, Service, Values | Leave a comment

Inspiration

The last couple of days have been days that were inspiring for me.  Inspiring in a couple of ways, lets start with Veterans Day.
Our High School held its first ever “Living History Day” on Wednesday.  This was a day in which the entire school honored Veterans from all era’s.  Inspiring because of the hard work and dedication the student body put into the event.  Along with a coordinator, the students of the largest high school in the state put on a class A event.  Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan were invited and in attendance.  They decorated the school with massive American flags and lined the street leading to the high school with hundreds of flags.  A local military museum had an old WW I tank in display as well as a 1910 Taxi from France.  The National Guard had some displays of current equipment, but it was the student body that really highlighted the experience.
The culinary class put out a nice spread of coffee and baked goods and made a wonderful lunch.  The JROTC cadets provided escorts that lead Veterans into the classrooms for 2 hours to talk with and answer questions from the students.  The student body dressed in shirts and ties and the girls wore nice outfits in honor of the special guests.
I was extremely impressed with the questions asked in the classrooms that I had the pleasure of being invited to.  At the end of the school day they held an assembly.  Because the school is so large they can not get the entire student body in one place at the same time, plus all of the Veterans, so the Freshman met in the small gym and listened to speakers from a number of conflicts.  The sophomores met in the performing arts center with a Holocaust survivor.  This brave man made a great impression on the kids.  His story was that of perseverance and will.
The Juniors and Seniors met in the main gym with the bulk of the Veterans.  One of the Tuskegee Airman gave a speech on making your mark in the world and both challenged and inspired the students.  There were recognitions of the services and some of the individuals that were in the gym that truly left a mark with their service.  I appreciate all the hard work that the students put into this event.  I was told by one of my son’s friends that is on the student council that the student government as well as many clubs and sports teams spent the better part of a week preparing for the event.  The day and night before, they stayed at the school and many slept at the school until the final details were complete.
I am proud of these kids.
The second part of this weeks inspiration came on the Football field last night.  Now, if you follow this blog you know that I love football.  I think that every one should participate in some team sport.  I may into that at another time, but for the sake of this post, lets just say that team sports develop in young people values and ethics that when coupled with Scouting, round them out in their growth and make them better people.  The Reynolds Raider Football team has been a program that has struggled for many years.  They have gone season after season without a winning record, there has been little pride in the program and the student body has been patient, but not very supportive.  Last year the school hired a new head coach that brought not only a new and exciting offense to the team, but a new attitude to the team in which the team meant more than the individual.  It has been a real slow go and last year the team won only one game.  Which given the previous years was an accomplishment.
This year the team has been sparked by an enthusiastic group of underclassmen and a solid core of Seniors.  What they lacked in skills and strength, they made up for in heart and grit.  Game after game, they went out and never gave up.  They won two games in the regular season this year.  Yes, only two games, but they scored a lot of points and in the games they lost, the margin was very tight, loosing one game in overtime.  The Oregon Student Sports Association (OSAA) has a unique playoff system in which the top teams get an automatic bid into the playoffs while the bottom teams are given one chance to “make it” into the playoffs to fill the remaining spots in the bracket.  they call this a “Play in” game.  The Raiders played in one of these games last Friday.  With no time left on the clock and down by 7 points, they scored a touchdown.  The coach decided to test his young men.  It was win or lose and the ball was placed for the point after.  They were going for 2 to win the game or go home.
A quick pass in the corner of the end zone and the Reynolds Raiders entered the Play offs for the first time in seven years!
Last night was that first play off game.  Lined up against the number one team in the State the challenge was great.  This would test the team in more ways than just making plays.
The Lake Oswego Lakers are a great team.  They are undefeated and possess all the skill, team work, and an established program that keeps them at the top of the brackets year after year.  Surely a game that would be easy to give up on, but the Raiders took the field last night and stood toe to toe with the best.  They saw how the number one team could move the ball at will and how a team that is dedicated to winning could impose themselves on anyone that lined up.
But here is the inspiring part, did the Raiders quit?  Give up and allow themselves to be taken out of the game?  NO.  In fact, they came out and fought hard on the field.  They passed the ball with precision and pressured the Lakers and made them earn their points.  Mistakes were made and at the end of the game it was not close, but the Raiders kept their heads up and learned from the experience.  The Lakers knew that playing against a 3 and 7 team should not have been a challenge, but showed a lot of class and respect for our team.  This too was a great lesson for our team.  Winning with class and having respect for your opponent.
Heart and dedication is building a football program at our High School.  Next will be better, and the year after will be better yet because of these young men on the field.
<DAD MOMENT>
As you all are also aware, Josh my youngest son, is the Starting Quarterback for the varsity team.  He is only a Sophomore and had a great season.  Last night facing number one, he threw for a touchdown and ran for one.  Those were the Raiders only two scores in the game.  He finished his first Varsity season with many great accomplishments including throwing 22 touchdown passes and well over 2150 yards of passing.  He helped take his team to their first playoff game and is part of the core that will move the team to future success.
</DAD MOMENT>
The final inspiration of the week came on Thursday night when our oldest son met with the District Advancement chairman and his team with his Eagle packet.  His application is in, paperwork complete, and now waiting on his Board of Review.
An accomplishment that I never achieved as a kid.  His hard work, dynamic leadership, and will to finish has earned him the right to join the ranks of those we call Eagle Scouts.  I am so proud of him and inspired by his work.  He turns 18 on Tuesday and Monday starts his final season Wrestling for Reynolds High School.  His hard work in Scouting, School, and on the wrestling mat has brought him many success and set him up for success in the future.
This has been an inspirational week for me.  Inspiration from youth!  I am sure we will be in good hands in the future if what I saw this week and what I see almost everyday is any indication.
Be inspired.. take a look at the kids around you.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, Competition, Ideals, Leadership, Patriotism, respect, Service, teamwork | Leave a comment

SMMPodcast # 96 The Scoutmaster Conference Live!

Welcome Back!  In this show you will listen in on a class I taught at our Councils Program and Training Conference.  This class is on the Scoutmaster Conference.  I used the National Supplemental training on the subject and if you would like to follow along with the slides from the class you can download them HERE.
The Program and Training Conference in our Council is a great event to improve your leadership skills, find new ways to provide a Quality program and learn more about our Scouting world.
I was asked to teach this year, as were most of the folks on Wood Badge Staff.  It was a great experience and I hope to be asked again next year.  It was a great opportunity to meet more Scouters from within our Council and expand our network.
Thanks for all the feedback and comments lately!  I really appreciate it.  As we get closer to show #100 I can feel the excitement growing in me to get more out and keep up the work of both the blog and the podcast!

Thanks for listening.  Leave us some feedback and enjoy the show.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

SMMPodcast # 96 Download


Scoutmaster Conference PowerPoint Download

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, Ideals, podcast, Scoutmaster conference, training, Wood Badge | 1 Comment

PTC and not the Podcast…

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a trainer at our Councils Program and Training Conference.. PTC.  I was asked to help teach a class on using Social Media and Websites with my Wood Badge buddy Adam.  Then Jackie this years Coordinator asked if I would want to teach something else.  I taught two sessions on the Scoutmaster Conference.  A subject that I am not only familiar with, but passionate about.  My good friend Larry helped me out with that, in all honesty, all I did was the talking.  He did a great job getting the material from the National syllabus and putting it all together in a Powerpoint presentation. 
Both of the classes went real well and were very well received.  The social media class went a lot better than I thought.  It seems that as we discussed the options out there and how we use social media the audience seemed to warm up to the idea that social media and electronic communication is here to stay.
When it comes to social media and electronic communication I always go back to what Bob Mazzuca, our Chief Scout Executive said, ” We have to take Scouting where the Scouts are.”  And they are on the internet, on their smart phones, and communicating rather effectively with other media outlets.
Our media class centered on communication to and within the unit.  It was nice that Adam is a Cub Scouter and so he brought the Pack perspective to the discussion.  I on the other hand represented Boy leadership and how the Scouts use social media in the daily function of the Troop.
We talked about the Do’s and Don’ts of using Web sites, Twitter, Google + and Facebook focusing a lot of attention on who should and should not use these outlets.  Most of this discussion came down to permissions and monitoring of the communications being sent at every level.
We did two sessions of this class and in both, the participants had great questions and moved the discussion along with enthusiasm and interest.  It was nice to see the diversity of the groups meaning, participants from every level of Scouting, ages, and genders.  I hope that we made everyone comfortable with social media and how it can be used in Scouting to not only communicate to each other, but to tell Scouting’s Story in a positive light.

The class on the Scoutmaster Conference was equally received.  A lot of interest among the Scoutmasters and soon to be Scoutmasters that attended.  I recorded one of the sessions, so I will see how that turned out and post it as a podcast.
So until I get that cleaned up and ready, I think I will leave that subject for another post.

All in all I had a great time at the PTC this year and will be an instructor again next year.  It was really great to see all my Wood Badge friends… almost like going to a family reunion.  We had dinner together last night and my head still hurts from laughing so much.
I like the idea of combining the Cub Scout Pow Wow and the Advancement extravaganza.  I don’t know what the turn out in numbers was yesterday, but at a glance it seemed as if there were at least 400 participants yesterday.  As this program grows I can see the numbers go up also.  It is a great venue for training, fun, seeing program ideas, and fellowship.
Good job Cascade Pacific council!  We’ll do it again next year!
You can read another perspective on this at Scouter Adams Blog.  He’s my Troop Guide buddy and we had a ball yesterday together teaching fellow Scouters!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Journey to Excellence, Just fun, Scoutmaster conference, technology, training | 1 Comment

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