I have neglected my duties in responding to so many well-deserved accolades from my fellow bloggers. By my count, I owe you a list of 47,332 things about myself. I had filled five, yellow, legal pads and was up to 41,765 things when I decided that maybe I should just tell you one thing about me that might give you some true insight, comprehensive insight, into what makes Harper Faulkner tick.
Its been a few days since my keyboard and I sat together and jotted down some thoughts… It’s been a long week and a pretty eventful one at that.
Monday we had our weekly Troop meeting, and to be honest.. I have no idea how it went. I was upstairs with a group of parents and a couple of the Assistant Scoutmasters showing what is expected in the type of gear our Scouts should have. In particular the winter gear that we need to see on the next couple camp outs. I thought it went well. It can be an overwhelming discussion to some parents and I try to keep it simple and show the parent that you don’t have to take out a loan to get the right gear. I reinforced with the parents that is about the Right gear and Not a lot of gear. To many grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles feel the need to get all the cool gadgets for their Scout and not the right stuff. Anyway, that went pretty good and I think will be an annual thing with all of the new Scout parents.
Tuesday, I got an email from a reader that really made my week. The reader called me an opinionated a**. That’s ok, I can live with that.. what really got me was the reader said that “someone who gets paid from the Boy Scouts of America should watch what I say”. Now that’s where I draw the line. There are many good Professional Scouters out there.. but I’m not one of them. I pay to do this thing called Scouting and like it. I have not worked a day in my life in the employment of the Boy Scouts of America… nope.. I’m just a Scoutmaster, a run of the mill volunteer. And yep.. I am an opinionated a**… but it’s my blog and so unless I am spouting off nonsense contrary to Scouting’s Values and methods… ahhh.. it’s just not worth the time. But thanks for that nice email and I appreciate your comments… Kill ‘em with kindness my dad always said.
Wednesday I replaced the continuous ridge line on my tarp. I ordered 50 ft. of 1.55 mm Z-line spectra cord from zpacks.com. This stuff is amazing! It will hold 200 lbs.. not that I will ever have that much weight on my tarp.. but what it really did was cut weight. The old continuous ridge line was Nite ize cord. It is really good stuff too and I like the reflective taping in it.. but the Spectra is super light and tough. I only need 25 ft for the ridge line.. so I configured it like I had the old set up and went from 38 grams of line to 18 grams. Considerable weight savings.. and I am going to need it to get to my goal base weight of 16 lbs.
Thursday my kids ordered (with my help) a birthday gift for me. They ordered me a Solo Stove. I got a tracking number Thursday night and it will be here on Tuesday.. more to come on that one.
And here we are Friday night. I am getting my uniform together for tomorrows Trainers EDGE class. I am helping on the staff. Looks like I am teaching and being a guide throughout the day. It should be a great Scouting day!
I’m not sure if what I am about to say is for public consumption yet.. but I’m going to tell you anyway. I got an email the other day from Chris, our partner with PTC Media. Actually he is the leader of our network, but anyway, after months and months of no contact, Chris sent an email to all of the show hosts of PTC Media stating that essentially we are done.
The network will remain up and available so folks can listen to the shows, but so far as the future. Well, PTC has run its course. So what does that mean for me and my podcast. Well, after all the great feedback I received I did promise to keep it going. I will do one more show on the PTC network and then my affiliation there will be over. I will look for a server or a way that I can run a podcast from the blog but in the mean time I will continue to blog and produce the videos. For those of you that came to the blog via the podcast, please know that the blog was here first and has always been that medium that I have preferred. It was the blog that got the attention of Steve and an introduction to Chris and then a podcast. So the blog (which I pay for) will remain unchanged.
I want to thank everyone that supported PTC Media for the last 8 years and in particular my show. I hope that I can find the time and passion to put more out.
I thank Chris for given me the opportunity and the forum to talk about Scouting! It was a real fun ride and along the way I have personally met many of you and have developed some great friendships. Again.. nothing really will change in that regard.
Well, time to go and get a good nights sleep… I get to hang out with Phil and Adam tomorrow and I am sure I will need all the rest I can get.
Thanks for letting me get random with you. After all… I’m just an opinionated a**!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
“If you aint cheatin’ you aint tryin’”… “it’s only illegal if you get caught”… “No harm.. No foul”…
These three little phrases raise the hair on the back of my neck. They are attitudes that while seem harmless, they dictate an attitude that it’s ok to do wrong.
Last night I was at a Super Bowl party and heard one of these little phrases. With a chuckle and a smile the person saying it followed it up with..”That’s how we roll”… ha ha…
I wonder if they really believe that.. or are just trying to be funny. But then I go back to an old truth that has proven itself over and over again. That is the fact that the first thing out of your mouth is the truth. The mind is not quick to lie and usually those things that are said first, without thought, are what the person is really thinking. And so… that is “How they roll”.
So, if it’s only illegal if you get caught.. then don’t get caught, right? After all.. that’s how you roll. OR… don’t do illegal things, play dirty, commit fouls (both off and on the field) and you don’t have to worry about being caught.
Ok.. here it comes.. and you knew it was on the way..
The Oath and Law… dang.. those two always ruin the fun…
But that’s how we roll.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yesterday I stumbled upon a great You Tube Channel. It;s called Scouting lighter. From what I gather, this Scouter put this together as part of his Wood Badge Ticket. So +2 for this fella! A backpacker and Wood Badger!! WhooHoo!
Anyway.. I found his You Tube channel full of really great information. I picked out this one video in particular because it really explains what we are trying to do in our Troop and more to the point what I am doing with my gear.
Enjoy, and I highly encourage you… Nay Demand.. .that you subscribe to his channel!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
I was up at my local Ranger station up in Sandy to buy new maps of the Mt. Hood area. While I was up there I got into a great discussion with one of the Rangers about Scouts, nope it didn’t have anything to do with policy changes it was about Leave No Trace.
The Ranger asked how much camping our Troop does up on Mt. Hood and in the wilderness areas up there. I shared with him some of the great treks we have taken and all of the places that we frequent up on the mountain and the surrounding wilderness. He told me that was great, but he was concerned.
I asked him what his concerns were and he quickly stated that “Typically he has trouble with Scout Troops camping up on Hood”. I asked him how so. The Ranger went on to explain the noise, the trash left, and the fact that they don’t practice leave no trace. I told him that I was sorry to hear that and assured him that our Troop was not like that at all. He went on to explain that it was not backpackers he was concerned about.. it was the car campers. Troops that go up to the big camp grounds and pull in and camp. ”They are terrible in most cases” he said.
Now, I am not sharing this to promote backpacking, nor am I pointing the finger at those of you that do the car camping thing… I am sharing this because when we as Scouts do not practice Leave no trace.. it hurts all of us. To this Ranger, pretty much all Scout units are the same. And we have a bad reputation within their office.
Leave no trace is for all of us. There are Front Country methods for those of you that car camp and there are back country methods for those of us that backpack. USE THEM. They need to be taught and practiced in every unit or we will no longer be welcomed in the areas we like to camp.
I am sure that this is not an isolated issue here. I have seen units at Summer camp that drive me nuts the way they act and treat our out doors. I blame the adults that allow it and fail to teach Leave no trace to their Scouts. Yep.. I said blame. If the shoe fits.. slip it on.. but remember that Leave no trace is for everyone.
Teach it.. Practice it… don’t screw it up for the rest of us.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Well, I had a great night out in the hammock ‘testing’ out some new gear that I finally received from Christmas orders.
The Hammock Gear Under Quilt is fantastic!!! Now I wish I would have got one years ago.
Anyway.. enjoy the video. The first part of the video can be found here.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yeah.. so I like to talk about gear… it’s what I do…
Hi, my name is Jerry… and I am a gear junky..
Hey folks, ever since I was a young Scout I was told to take care of your gear and it will take care of you.. I think that is very true and with that comes messin’ with your gear. Always looking for the ‘next best thing’ or a simple way or cooler way to do this or that.
Sometimes I am a bit apprehensive about showing gear or a way I do something because give it a week.. it may change.
As you know I am a hammock camper and use a tarp over the hammock. Real hard to get a hammock in a tent.. although I have seen it done. But I have not always been a hammock camper and enjoyed camping none the less. Hammock camping was introduced to me at the 2010 National Jamboree and I have been hooked since. I find it an extremely comfortable way to sleep and it gives me new opportunities to tweak gear. It seems that with hammock camping came a whole new way of camping. I started getting my gear lighter. I started to look at new ways to set up gear and find it challenging in the way modifications can be made and gear can be set up.
I am in no way shape or form trying to get anyone to convert to hammock camping. I could really care less how you camp… as long as you camp. You gotta get out there in the woods and enjoy nature. It is a must. I encourage… nay demand that you camp!
But yes I talk a bunch about hammock camping and show that style in my videos and gear tips and tricks.. why? Because it is what I do. What I know for sure is that I just like to talk gear and I like to share. The other thing that I know for sure is that I am not the ultimate authority on camping and everything associated with it.. but I do know a bunch, I have ideas, thoughts, and certainly opinions and once again… I like to share.
If hammock camping is not your thing than I can deal with that. Maybe you can find a tip here and there that you can work into tent camping or on the ground tarp camping. Maybe there is a tip out there that you can share with your Scouts to make their outdoor experience better. Maybe, just maybe, you will be intrigued enough to try something new or motivated just a bit to step outside of your comfort zone, what ever that looks like.
So here’s the deal. I’ll keep talking gear and changing my stuff every time the wind blows and I’ll keep sharing with you, my trusty reader. You know I love ya… right?
So here’s a couple of thoughts on gear.. lessons learned you might say.
***NOTE*** What I am about to write does not comply with the Guide to Safe Scouting!
Fuel. On the last camp out I noticed that my Denatured Alcohol took some time to warm up and light. It was nothing that would cause alarm and after a few minutes under my arm pit, the fuel was warm enough to light and get some water boiling. The fix. Today I went out and purchased a little 3 oz. squeeze bottle. It is a bottle recommended to carry fluids on an airplane, essentially to get through TSA. I wrote in RED Sharpie all over it FUEL! The plan (and I am going to test it tonight) is to keep it in my sleeping bag with me at night. Then in the morning, it will be warm and ready to use.
Now some of you are going to say.. well that is not setting a good example. Ok.. but then again, I am not afraid of teaching Scouts how to do things right and even if Denatured Alcohol leaked in their sleeping bag, there would be no harm. Fact is 3 ounces of alcohol would probably evaporate before they woke up. As long as they are not sleeping with a lit torch in their pants I am sure they would be just fine.
I am not going to rehash the comments I made about teaching Scouts and allowing them to act their age and skill level. Is that not setting a good example… well to some. One day the BSA will again allow skills to be tested. That day will come when we don’t teach to the lowest common denominator and lawyers leave us alone.
I have often said that I will never compromise Safety and Propriety.. A 3 ounce bottle of Denatured Alcohol does not compromise either… besides, what does it matter to some of the car campers out there? Enough said on that.
(Please know that part of me is joking here.. the other part of me is really pissed)
Next. Gear needs to be tested. This goes for Scouts and Scouters. You need to know your gear. You need to know the limits of the gear, the capabilities of the gear, and how to use it. There is no better place to do this that your backyard.
Tonight, I am testing some gear out in the backyard.
1. My new under quilt from Hammock gear. Hammockgear.com I got this for Christmas, but since they make to order, I just got it on Friday. Tonight I will be in it and my Big Agnes Encampment 15* bag. It’s supposed to get chilly tonight, so we will see how that goes. The best part is that if I get to cold.. my bed is about 50 feet away inside the house.
2. Dutch Clip on Tarp pull outs. They pull the walls of the tarp out to give you more room as well as keep the tarp off of you in the snow and heavy rain. I have them on the tarp tonight. Mainly because I wanted to see how easy they are to put on and take off… really easy as a matter of fact.
3. I am testing.. or more to the point playing with a stove that a fellow Youtuber sent me. It is an alcohol stove… looks a lot like the white box stove. I’m gonna fire it up and have some hot chocolate tonight and my coffee in the morning.
I also did some more tweaking on the tarp. I found that if I tied a bowline at the end of the guy line, then synched up the line using the prusik it was super easy especially with gloves on. There will be no need to until the bowline and will help in take down also.
So the tarp and hammock are up in the backyard and ready to be tested… now that’s the kind of testing I can get behind.
Today I took another look at my first aid kit and got it all in a small LOCSAK. This will make packing just a tad bit easier and I still have everything I need. Reworked my ‘toilet kit’ too. Added Wet Ones single packs to it. Feels nice on the tush when cleaning up in the woods.
Ok… so did you all get that I like to talk about gear?
That’s it for now.. should have a video out tomorrow. The Sunday Morning coffee will be built into the tweaking of the gear.
As always, I am curious to know what you think. Keep in my that the tag line of this blog is “Helping to Deliver the Promise of Scouting.” Do not forget what that promise is.. a large part of that promise is fun and adventure. I’m just sayin’.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
I left you in the last post talking about the “Big 3″ The Pack, the Sleep system, and the Shelter. Now we discuss the “Next 3″. The “Next 3″ components of your gear consist of the Cook kit, the First Aid kit, and Rain gear. Now in most articles that you will read and in most backpacking forums and circles the Sleeping pad is listed in the “Next 3″. But since I like to put the sleep pad in with the sleep system, and since my target audience is typically Scouts and Scouters, I think that logic would dictate that the sleep pad go with the “Big 3″. Regardless I think it is important that the First Aid kit is placed in with the “Next 3″.
So let’s get into these “Next 3″ components.
First, the Cook kit. When I say ‘Cook kit’ I am referring to that gear that will be used to prepare the meal, eat the meal, and clean up after the meal. This would include your cook pot, your stove, your towel, soap, fuel, lighter, utensils, eating ware (bowl, plate, cup or mug). For a backpacker, these kitchen items really need to be small and fully functional. Most meals require a single pot so a full cook set really is unnecessary. A small stove such as the Snow Peak Giga Power is enough to get water going and can even be used for frying up eggs. Keep in mind that you don’t need to bring the kitchen sink. The essentials of a Cook kits are:
Stove, bowl, pot, towel, scrubber, camp suds soap, wind screen, lighter, spoon or spork, cup or mug.
Next let us dive into the First Aid kit. Everyone needs to carry some sort of First Aid kit. It need not be big, but it needs to be able to provide the essentials to do First Aid. Gloves, band aids, ace wrap, gauze pads, prep pads, mole skin, tweezers, and aspirin are a good start. All of that will fit in a zip lock bag. I would also consider throwing in some butter fly closure strips and tape. The Scout handbook and the internet have lots of resources to give you tips on what to put in your kit. Just have one that will first serve you.. and then a buddy.
Rain gear wraps up the “Next 3″. This is important (not just here in Oregon) to keep handy. Rain gear serves more than just to keep one dry. It can be an outer layer of clothing. It is a great wind stopper, can be used as a ground cloth. Rain gear is essential in preventing hypothermia. Yes, even in the summer a hiker exposed to the elements can fall into those conditions. Staying dry and clean are some of the reasons to carry rain gear. Poncho’s are nice as they can serve multiple purposes. However I don’t recommend them to Scouts as they quickly become capes and provide less protection than Rain pants and jacket. There are some inexpensive, light weight options out there. Frogg Toggs makes a rain suit that retails for $20. It needs to be taken care of, but the weight and protection pay for itself in one rain storm.
So that’s the ‘Next 3′ components of the packing list.
Those 6 items make up the bulk of your gear. What’s left.. pretty much your little stuff and clothing.
“The Little Stuff”
Most new Scouts come out of Webelos ready for their day hikes with their 10 essentials. Moving to the “Big Pack” the 10 essentials get spread out within the contents of pockets and gear in the pack. You still need all 10, but they will be displaced throughout your gear. A great idea is to build a ditty bag to catch-all your “Little Stuff”
Matches or other fire starting materials, your compass, head lamp, small lantern, duct tape, extra cord, hand warmers, lip balm and sun block and a bandana just to list a few items. I keep all my “little stuff” in a ditty bag where I can find it and have access to it when needed.
Then you need to break down your clothing. This pretty much is the most variable of your gear items. Weather conditions, temperature, and length of trip will dictate your clothing choices. The most common error is taking too much. Give a serious look at the clothing you take. See what you really need versus what you want and try to get all your clothing in a single stuff sack.
So there it is. The Big 3, the Next 3, the little stuff and clothing. That’s your gear in a nut shell. Gear Glorious Gear. Develop your gear lists and kits that you are comfortable with, you can use, and you want to carry.
Any questions, comments, or suggestions.. give me a holler!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
After our last camp out we noticed that many of our younger Scouts seem to have been over looked when it comes to their gear and gear selections to include packing that gear. Now, let me explain here because if you have spent about a day browsing this blog and you know our Troop, gear is one of those subjects we talk about like it was a merit badge… ahhh.. maybe that’s not a great example… talking and teaching about gear is like teaching first aid.. yeah.. that one works better.
We believe that gear is essential in a great camping experience. Not a lot of gear.. but the right gear. And it seems that as of late we have been a bit lazy in really getting into the nitty-gritty about gear with some of the Scouts of the troop.
Now in all fairness, the Scouts that immediately take interest in the gear they have and show excitement obviously get into those discussions with us. And parents that see that enthusiasm in their son make it a point to talk about gear choices with us.
Having said all of that…
After the last camp out the Assistant Scoutmasters and I evaluated some of the processes we have in place to teach and talk about gear. Seeking a solution to the issue we concluded that we needed to go back to square one with some of the Scouts. We identified that the group of Scouts that have not yet completed all of the requirements for First Class was our target.. and more to the point.. their parents.
We have decided that in “starting over” with these Scouts and their parents we would demonstrate what it is that we consider the gear needed to support their Scout. To do this we are going to do a full lay out of 3 sets of gear. Mine, representing average gear that is on the lighter side. Bryce, one of the Assistant Scoutmasters, will lay his gear out which will show the middle of the road gear, very affordable and easy to use. Finally Ken, another of the Assistant Scoutmaster’s, will lay out his “heavier set up” with higher end items.
The thing that all three of our set ups have in common are the break down of gear types and the fact that we are pretty much carrying the same thing just in different forms, brands, and weight classes.
Our gear is broken into 3 groups.
First. The Big 3. This group includes the Backpack, the Sleep system, and Shelter.
The Backpack is essential in the discussion of gear. It’s were all of this is going to end up. There are essentially two types of packs that we discuss with the Scout (and Parent) Internal Frame packs and External Frame packs. We used to not recommend Internal Packs for our Scouts, but with the modernization of the internal packs and the technology that has gone into the development of the internal frame pack, it is a far better pack than older versions. The biggest concern with internal frame packs when it comes to Scouts is the packing of the pack. Internal frame packs require a tad bit more thought in packing so the gear will give the wearer a comfortable ride. This is the advantage of the External frame pack. The weight and ride of the pack is distributed on the frame. If a Scout does not pack well, he will, by and large, still have a load that is manageable.
I switched to internal frame packs about 3 years ago and love them now that I have played with them and refined my packing.
We recommend, that no matter which style of pack a Scout gets it has at least 3900 cubic inches of space. Now, all that space does not have to get filled up, but 3900 cube will allow for the Scout to make an easier time of packing.
Next we talk about the Sleep System. Note that I did not say sleeping bag. The sleep system is the bag or quilt and the pad or insulation. When it comes to sleeping bags the sky is the limit on materials, fill, rating, size and shape. The down versus synthetic argument is one that we resolve by saying this. Down is lighter and warm but when it’s wet it is not worth having. Synthetic materials are warm, heavier, and will maintain it’s warmth even when wet. We recommend to parents that if their Scout can take care of it, down is the way to go. Having said that.. I have a synthetic bag.
Sleeping bag liners add about 10 degrees to any bag and are small and light. They are a great addition here in the Northwest to a sleep system and can carry a 20 degree bag well into the teens.
Ground insulation goes beyond a ground cloth. A sleeping pad whether it is a Closed Cell Foam pad (CCF) or an inflatable pad is a must. CCF pads are light and durable and work really well in the winter. Most inflatable pads lack insulation but are comfortable and still get you off the ground. There are insulated inflatable pads out there and they are well worth the extra money and weight. A current trend is to put the inflatable pad inside of the sleeping bag. This maintains the comfort and heat qualities of the pad.
The final component of the “Big 3″ is the Shelter. Again, note that I did not say tent. A lot of Scouts now are finding their way into tarps and bivies. There are advantages in weight savings, ease, and multiple configurations to the tarp and bivy style of camping. Regardless of what you decide to sleep under, this part of the big 3 typically makes up a major portion of the money spent on gear.
Tarps tend to be lighter, and I should clarify that I am not talking about your standard BiMart blue tarp. We are talking nylon or silicone impregnated nylon (Silnylon). They provide good cover and are nice and light. A good tent will last a Scout for ever if he takes care of it. Most Scouts of our troop trend towards a single person tent for a few reasons. First, the ownership. The Scout takes care of gear that belongs to him better than he will if it does not. Second, the weight of a single person tent is a big savings in the pack as well as the volume. And finally, the idea that he can adapt the tent to his style, needs, and he does not have to worry about someone elses gear in there. When he is ready to go to sleep, he can.
Some have suggested that this practice takes away from the social aspect of the camp out. This has not seemed to bare out in our troop. Nylon tents are not sound proof and the Scouts set up their tents pretty close and lay there and chat. They set up tents with the doors facing and play cards in the middle. They tend to figure it out. A two person tent is a great investment also and allows for more room. You will carry a bit more weight, but for some, the added room and the flexibility to add a person.
The key when picking out a good tent is to look for free-standing, easy set up, and good coverage. Whether you pick a tarp, hammock, bivy or tent coverage, ease of use and how much you want to pay is a good way to start your shopping.
Tomorrow on the blog we will talk about the “Next 3″. The next group of gear that includes the components; Cook Kit, First Aid kit, and Rain Gear.
If you have comments or questions please leave them here on the blog.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
I often preach about how I expect more out of our young men, that nothing in life will be easy, and that there are no participation ribbons just for showing up in life. When it comes to leadership, the Scouts in our Troop hear it over and over again that we all need to “Model Expected Behavior” and they all should at least have an understanding of what that means. For the Scouts of our Troop that means that good is not good enough. It means that we do things right, we learn from mistakes, and we hold one another to a higher standard.
So what does that mean? Is is arrogant of us to act that way? Well, to the outsider looking in, yep.. but for us we look at it this way. The world around us is happy with mediocre leadership, results, and standards of living. I’m not ok with that when it comes to our Scouts.
We are not a merit badge mill nor are we an Eagle factory. We do not measure success in the amount of Scouts that earned awards or rank each year. We measure success in the way our Scouts act. We see direct results in watching older Scouts teach younger Scouts and hold each other accountable. We measure our success in growth and sustained attendance. Is our Troop for everyone.. nah.. but no troop is. Even though we all work toward the Aims of Scouting, our programs are different in their delivery. I could not be in a Troop that had more adult involvement than Scouts. I could not be a unit that did merit badge classes each week. I could not be in a Troop that produces Eagle Scouts that can not do the basics. I could not be apart of a Troop that did not seek adventure and test the limits.
This weekend, our Troop camped at a local Scout camp. There were not a lot of miles walked and the weather was great. It got real cold, and that tested some of the boys in the troop. Some Scouts pushed their boundaries by shooting Shot guns for the first time, while other Scouts increased their knowledge and leadership skills at Junior Leader Training. A few Scouts were taken out of their comfort zones as they taught the Junior Leader Training. No matter what level of the Scout there was challenge enough for everyone.
Our Junior Leader Training follows the National program, but we tend to focus heavily on communication skills, team development, Conflict resolution, and expectations of leaders.
We start the session with a talk about Modeling Expected Behavior and then everything that follows in the course of training maintains that theme. We expect our Scouts to be and act the best. Good is never good enough. The team deserves that attitude from everyone. If they all act their best.. they become the best. A high performance team.
Now you may ask.. aren’t you expecting too much from these young men. Nope. If I don’t who will? We see too much “getting by” in our world and I will not be party to it. Do we exclude young men when we expect more from them? NO.. we expect more and they give more… like it or not.. That I don’t care about. Life is going to expect a lot from them. Why treat them with kiddy gloves now.
Does this mean we are hard ass’s? Not at all. We stay within the Scout Oath and Law. Teaching in a friendly, fun, challenging atmosphere. But when things are not right, a leader (adult or youth) simply corrects the issue and we move on. Un tied shoes, un tucked shirts, gear looking like a yard sale, bad attitudes, improper set up or use of gear, not living the vlaues of the Scout Oath and Law. These are things that other Scout leaders just allow. Kids will be kids… yeah.. but bad habits last forever. Good attitudes, skills, and behavior does to and gets them a lot farther in life.
So modeling expected behavior is a cultural thing. We don’t march, we don’t yell.. yelling is for ineffective bad leaders.. we just teach, coach, train, and mentor.. oh and we model expected behavior. Adults don’t get a free pass on bad behavior either. We are expected to model what we expect.
The proof is in the pudding. Our Troop grows annually. We lose Scouts too, and that’s ok, maybe we are not the fit for them. Maybe XBox and lower expectations is what they are looking for in life. And that’s ok.. just not in our Troop.
This morning a Scout was standing under a shelter pouting. His hands were cold, after all, it was 24 degrees outside. His Patrol leader had just instructed him to get his gloves on. The Scout could not find them. So the Patrol leader and the Scout went to his pack and dumped it out. There were the gloves. I then saw the Scout standing there not assisting with his Patrol in breaking camp and wrapping up the clean up. I called him over to where I was standing watching. I asked him if he was ok. Yeah.. he said, but I’m cold. I suggested that if he would get moving he would warm up. If he would help his Patrol mates out.. he would start to feel a bit warmer. I asked him why he was pouting earlier and he told me that his hands were cold. I asked him what he did about it… fully knowing what had happened. He said that he found his gloves and put them on. Then I had him recite the Scout Law to me. And asked to him to reflect on the meaning of being Trustworthy. We talked a bit about making choices and how he was either going to develop good habits and skills, or he would develop bad ones. The choice was his, not mine, the Patrol leaders, or his parents. He would have to make a choice which path he wanted to take. He turned and walked back to his patrol and pitched in. You see, if we let it go, it won’t change. If we expect little, that is what we get. So we chose to expect more. And not surprisingly we get more.
When our Youth leaders set good examples and model the behavior that we want out of our Troop.. that is what we get.
There is nothing wrong with winning and losing. We can learn from both. There is everything wrong with not learning and not trying to learn, to push, and to find success.
I had a talk with a Scoutmaster about this a while ago. He said that “I bet they all march around and it’s all yes sir this and no sir that..” On the contrary.. In fact the Scouts in my Troop call me Jerry and we call them by their names. There is no marching, yelling, or military like behavior.. just a lot of fun and development. It is an environment that is comfortable, friendly, and leaves them wanting to come back.
At the end of each camp out we close with lessons learned, Start, Stop, and Continue. Today the Senior Patrol leader led the discussion with whole troop. As the next two camp outs will be up on the mountain, this camp out was a great opportunity to learn and get ready for the up coming outings. He had each Scout share one thing that needs to improve in the next 3 weeks. I listened as the Scouts really gave some thought to their answers. It was in some of the more experienced Scouts answers that I realized that they got it.. they are modeling expected behavior. They were critical of themselves and how they prepared for this camp out. The next one will be that much more successful.
Expect more.. get more.
Have a Great Scouting Day!