fitness

Methods- Personal Growth

Now don’t let the word personal get you.  Yes we want each and every Scout to grow, but we want them to find this growth within the context of Scouting’s values (found in the Oath and Law).  Personal growth is a tricky method in that it will sneak up on you as the Scout develops.  Each Scout will grow at his own pace and so we use tools and watch and guide his growth.  First and foremost, his family.  Stay in touch with his family, develop friendship and a relationship with the family.  They should be able to seek your input and you should be able to offer your suggestions also.  You see the Scout outside of the family context on camp outs and other events.  When you see a behavior change, talk with the young man or ask the family if they are seeing something different.  This is the tricky part.  If you are not comfortable getting into their lives, well then, you can’t assist with this.
I recently got a call from one of my Scouts Dad’s.  He was concerned about a change in behavior and wanted to know if I saw it.  We ended up talking for about an hour about different parts of this young man’s life.  It was a great opportunity for me to share some of the things that I see and he was even open to hearing what I thought on the matter.
The second tool we use is the Scoutmaster conference.  I have said this before, but it is always worth saying again… the Scoutmaster conference is not all about rank advancement.  You, Mister Scoutmaster are a mentor, a role model, a friend, use the Scoutmaster conference to get to know these young men and what makes them tick.  You can assist in the personal growth of each and every Scout by talking and listening.  When they know you care and want to listen, they will talk to you.  Sometimes, you are a better set of ears than their parents or teachers.  You are the guy that goes camping with them, plays games, and teaches them skills.  They trust you.  Don’t take advantage of this, but keep in mind that if you want these young men to grow into good men, you need to take an interest in their lives [outside of Scouting also].
And finally, the last tool set we will discuss are the various programs in Scouting.  The religious emblems program, doing a good turn, and being helpful at all times.  These programs/values will shape the young man and develop good habits in him that will last.  You will see growth in the character of the Scout as he serves others and learns about his spiritual world.  But there probably is no device so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, fitness, Good Turn Daily, Ideals, Methods, Scoutmaster conference, Values | 1 Comment

Methods- Adults Association

This method is somewhat confusing, especially at the troop level for parents coming from the Cub Scout program.  I say this because it is different.
I’ll explain as we go.  First and foremost, no matter what level of Scouting you participate in Adult Association starts with being a good example.  An example of what right looks like, attitudes, habits, and the Scout Oath and Law.  This is a lofty ask, but it is without a doubt the most important part of being a Scout leader when talking about the methods.
How you carry yourself, talk and act, wear the uniform, demonstrate skills, and teach and coach these young men will leave a lasting impact.  Remember that you must practice what you preach.  I hate to say this, but if you unwilling to be a good example, Scouting does not need you.
Adults need to model the expected behavior and demonstrate good character.
We practice adult association when we conduct boards of review, Scoutmaster conferences, and work with the Scouts on skills and merit badges.  They see modeled behavior and we expect them to act like we do.  So we need to be our best.
Scouts look to adults for guidance, for coaching and a person to be a mentor.  We are that person in Scouting.
I have seen too many adults that carry this a bit far.  Boy Scouts are still Boy led.  We need to know when adult interaction or interference is needed.  Two deep leadership can be achieved from a safe distance while maintaining a healthy level of adult association.
Cub scout parents that come to a Troop often find it hard to get used to adults not being so hands on.  But as I often say, there are no adults in a Boy Scout troop who’s patch say’s leader.
We teach, coach, train, and mentor and maintain a healthy adult association through modeled behavior that reinforces good character, citizenship, and fitness.  Oh and we are supposed to have fun too!.. Remember the Scouting way.. that’s the game with a purpose!
Have a Great Scouting day!

Categories: Advancement, Character, Citizenship, fitness, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Methods, Scoutmaster conference | Tags: | Leave a comment

Methods

Over the last couple of weeks Scouter friends and I have had numerous discussions about Scouting in our District.  After the last Scoutmaster training session it became pretty clear that many Scouters have heard about the methods of Scouting, but do not really put them into practice in their units.  Kind of like knowing that the BSA has a mission statement, but really it only applies at the National Level.. ahhh right?  Ahhhh.. No.
We got to talking last weekend about the methods of Scouting and how we should be using them in our units.  During the outdoor skills portion of the Scoutmaster training, it was unclear to many participants that the methods needed to be used to have a well-rounded program.. for that matter.. a Boy Scout Troop.
So I thought I would discuss the methods of Scouting over the next, lets see, 8 blog posts.
To quickly remind every one of what the methods are, they are:  Ideals, Patrols, Outdoor Program, Advancement, Association with Adults, Personal Growth, Leadership Development, and the Uniform.
Those eight methods are the steps that we take to reach our goals of Citizenship, Character, and Fitness.  The Boy Scout program (or the achievement of the goals) are dependant on all eight methods working at the unit level.
To start off the discussion we will dive into the IDEALS of Scouting. The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.  These ideals are the foundation for everything that follows in the Boy Scout program.  Without the ideals, it is just a club that goes camping.  The building blocks for the Scouts character is directly tied to the ideals found in the Oath and Law.  It is extremely important that every Scout learns the Oath and Law and practices these ideals daily.  As a Scout advances it is a good idea for the Scout to do a self check on where he is in his character development.  This is tough at times and some Scouts will understand or mature at a faster rate than his peers.  That is why the self check is important.  The Scout is not measuring himself against his peers, he is measuring himself against the Oath and Law which are lofty, but simple concepts that grow with the Scout as he negotiates his life.  The basic understanding that he must be a person that strives to achieve those ideas outlined in the Oath and Law is important and should not be taken lightly by the Scoutmaster.  It is ok to call out a Scout that is not demonstrating those values.
The other part of the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are that they are not only an individual responsibility, but they are ideals, values, that are shared among the group.  We all know and believe that the values expressed in the Oath and Law are good and true.  We can all agree that every Scout, no matter what his background, education level, learning capability, or social status, can live up to the Oath and Law.  It is hard, but it is attainable.  Expecting that from every Scout and Scouter is reasonable.
These shared ideals are the foundation for the rest of the program.  If they are modified or removed, there is no reason to continue.  Character development hinges on the values found in the Oath and Law.
Dictionary.com defines Character as:
(noun)
1.  the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2.  one such feature or trait; characteristic.
3.  moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4.  qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5.  reputation: a stain on one’s character.
The Boy Scouts of America in setting one of its goals to develop men of Character considers this in its values.  Time tested, tried, and unwavering values that shape a mans character.
The qualities of being someone who can be trusted, a man who is loyal to his family, friends, School, work etc.  A young man who is helpful and works with a smile on his face, friendly, courteous and kind.  Someone that is obedient to our laws, parents, employers and faith.  A man with a cheerful spirit not someone who belly aches and brings down the morale of the team.  A man who is thrifty with his money, time, and resources.  This is the man who will develop a sound attitude of stewardship.  Brave is not just for standing up for himself, it is standing up for other people, ideals, values, and that which the Scout believes in.  Being Brave is important in the world we live in where our values are tested daily.  And then the part of a man’s character that keeps him clean and reverent.  These are matters of the mind, heart and body.  The Scout should stay clean of mind and body.  Spiritual health is important to for a well-rounded man of character.  These values, when put in to practice demonstrate the attitudes of character.  They are if you will.. the characteristics of character.  I think we all can agree here that without them Scouting is not Scouting.
The method of our Ideals is the foundation of Scouting and the launching point for all of the rest of the methods.  Everything ultimately comes back to the Oath and Law and as a Scoutmaster we need to continuously teach these values, not only with our words, but our actions.
St. Francis of Assisi said; “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”  We should do the same with the Oath and Law.
Let me know what you think.  Leave a comment or thought.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, fitness, Good Turn Daily, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Motto, Oath and Law, Scout Law, Scoutmaster minute, training, Values | 1 Comment

Delivering the Promise

At last nights Roundtable I was pleased to see a great turn out in the Boy Scout break out.  Last nights attraction was Camporee and what units can do to get ready for it.  We had about a half hour left so I thought it would be worth our while to talk a little District talk with the leaders that took their time to be at the break out.
Now first of all.. I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again.. at Roundtable we typically are preaching to the choir, but there were plenty of newer faces in the room, so putting on my District Chairman hat, I stepped up front and spent a few minutes sharing some district news, reported back a little on the District Journey to Excellence Score card, and made myself available for questions.
Summer camp.  This became a big subject last night.  There are way to many units that still have not reported a summer camp sign up for this year.  It is a fact that Scouts that attend summer camp stay in Scouting longer.  We looked at the numbers. Only 1/3 of the scouts signed up for our council camps are from our council.  That means that lots of units from outside of our council are flowing into our camps.  That’s a great thing, except to say, that means that lots of Scouts in our council are not going to summer camp.
Retention.  Summer camp leads us to retention.  IF lots of Scouts are not going to summer camp, then its no wonder why they are not staying in Scouting.  Our numbers show that we are doing well crossing Webelos into Boy Scouts, and we are doing a great job getting boys to join Scouts “off the street”.  But we are not doing the best we can to keep them in Scouting.  It is no surprise that boys leave the program when they are not engaged.  If they are not having fun, or participating fully in Scouting, they will leave.  I mean, why stay?
Program.  Back when I was a new Scoutmaster, a mentor of mine shared with me that regardless of everything else the key to a successful unit is the program.  He said Program, Program, Program!  I have shared this here before to, my “Field of Dream” philosophy.  If you build the program, they will come.. and stay.  Monthly camp outs, Summer camp attendance, advancement focus, service opportunities all add up to great program.  Youth leadership that is driven to lead to the next adventure keeps them excited and wanting more.  A solid program at the unit level is the answer to most if not all of the problems we face in the Scouting movement.
Which brought me to the final point of the evening.  What is the role of the Council and the District?   Resourcing.  It is not the role of the Council or the District to run units.  They are there to assist in the administrative tasks, financial opportunities, and resourcing of program (materials, camps, etc).  I think too many people wait around for the Council or District to do things for them.  The unit is where Scouting happens.  It is where Scouts become men of character, good citizens, and discover fitness.  If you wait around for the council to do that, you will never be a successful unit.  The council and district can not build you a program that is successful.  They can assist with the resources that will help your success… but wait around and you will fail.
A question came up about the DE and his role.  Again, he is a resource manager.  He is there to raise funds, develop relationships in the community to build and grow scouting.  He is there to assist units in training, growing, and ensuring that the promise of Scouting is being delivered in those units.  But wait for him to do the work at the unit.  You will fail.  This is not a bad thing.  This is the way Scouting was designed.  Scouting is owned and operated by the volunteers that care to serve our youth.  Bottom line.  We are Scouting and we Deliver the Promise.  We, the volunteer.  Our District committee is made up of volunteers, our Council committee is made up of volunteers, but more importantly, our units, Packs, Troops, and Crews are made up of thousands of volunteers that every single day do something to deliver the promise of Scouting to the great kids that come seeking fun and adventure.
It was great to be able to talk with some of those volunteers last night.  As I looked at the room and saw the faces of the BSA, people that really care.  I know that all is well.  The numbers are the numbers, and they will come around.  The people care and will do what ever it takes to develop those programs to make Scouting the greatest.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, fitness, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Scoutmaster minute, Service, Summer Camp, training, Webelos to Scout Transition | 5 Comments

Going over the Edge!!

I NEED YOUR HELP!!
I do not want a penny from you for personal use.  I have never used this blog as a fundraising tool.. but the time is NOW to help Scouts and help me do something real cool.
Yes.. I will benefit from this in that I get to have an extremely cool adventure.
Let me break this down for you.  I am in the Cascade Pacific Council.  The CPC sits in the heart of a city (government) that has no values, no support of conservative efforts and, while the CPC is a large council with many youth and adult participants… the city in which it resides is not a big supporter of Scouting.  And that is one of the reasons this is so cool!
We are going over the edge of the US Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland.. there is NO WAY that the city will be able to not see this great event that supports Scouting!


I pledged to raise $2,500 ! Your support will help us impact young lives with values like… On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country.  These words have been the foundation of our organization since 1910 and reflect the values that are critical to the healthy development of our youth.  Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
You can help me rappel 500 feet down the US Bancorp tower and help Scouting!
Go to my site and see if you can help.  I really believe in Scouting and need your help.  And yep.. the mic will go with me down the tower.. the first ever Scouting podcast from 500 ft and dropping!
Here is a link to my site where you can make your tax deductible donation.. every penny helps:  http://cpcbsa.kintera.org/overtheedge/schleining
I know that most of you are Scouters and support your local council.  And I thank you.  $2,500 is not that much when we spread it out among the great readers and listeners of the Scoutmaster Minute.  Please Help!!!
This is the US Bancorp Tower in Downtown Portland.  Its the second tallest building in the city at 536 feet!

 

 

 

 
I really want to rappel down that 500 ft tower!
Thanks for anything you can do!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, fitness, gear, High Adventure, Ideals, Just fun, Leadership, podcast, Scouting, Values | 1 Comment

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

Fat or Fit

There is a big push in the BSA, and our Country right now to get fit.  Why?  Because it makes sense.  Fitness leads to longer, happier lives.  This has been at the fore front of our Troop now for a few months as we are preparing for our first trip to Philmont.
In 2010, I was active with the National Jamboree contingent for our council.  There was a big push for fitness in getting all of our youth and adults in shape.  It was important to us as Oregonians heading from a very temperate climate to the hostile humidity and heat of Virginia.  We started a walking challenge.  Every adult leader was required to wear a pedometer and record mileage walked.  The goal was to walk (in miles) to Virginia and back.  The 4 adults leaders of my Troop walked the equivalent of 3 trips to and from Oregon and Virginia.  We were all concerned about the health and well-being of our Scouts and what a better way to help them than to set a good example.
Well, now Philmont is right around the corner and as we prepare, I can’t help but notice that I have let myself go a little.  Today I took the Physical Wellness online training at the e Learning  site on Scouting.org.  I had to renew my Youth Protection anyway, so while I was there, I thought I would see what the BSA had to say about Physical Wellness.  I have to tell you that the training information was good.  I enjoyed the training until I got to the part where they ask you to check your BMI.  Yep.. reality check.
So I took a look at myself on paper.. then went to the mirror and decided that enough was enough.  Heading back to the Scouting.org website I revisited the BSA Fit site.   There I checked out the blogs of many of the leaders of the BSA and how they are doing in the Walk the Walk challenge.  This lead me to the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.  I found that in the ScoutStrong program, most if not all councils are encouraging members to join the challenge. 
I created an account with the Presidents challenge and set up my challenge to earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.. along with my friends from the council.  The ScoutStrong PALA+ is a neat way to track your progress and get fit.
I need to lose 10 pounds before I get to Philmont.  Today I am within the guidelines and my BMI is just over where it needs to be, so its time to lose the fat and get fit.
Now I am not going to update every piece of bread I eat and each ounce of sweat I drop.  It drives me nuts to read about everyone loosing or gaining an ounce here and gram there.  But I do want to share my journey to getting fit and more importantly a life of being well.  I consider myself in ok shape and certainly not fat.  But I can stand to get in better shape and get to a weight that my body will like better.  We are not getting younger and I see myself very active in the years to come.
I would encourage you all to take a look in the mirror and see whether or not you are fat or fit.  It was a wake up for me to see that if I did not start now.. I would be heading in the wrong direction.
You can download the ScoutStrong PALA log from the website.  Join up and track your progress.  Personal Awareness and accountability are keys in successfully accomplishing your goals.
Join me and let’s get fit!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Competition, fitness, Just fun, Scoutmaster minute, training | 3 Comments

Scouting- A Way of Life

Picked this up along the way.. it still rings true today.
The Scout Oath and Law are a system of principles, and the program of Scouting is the method of making these principles work in the lives of boys.  Let your boys know that the Oath and Law are the rules of the Troop.  Scouting is a great game.  Boys want to know the rules.  When the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law become practical guides for the games, they then become a code to live by.
Keep in mind as you go along that the purpose of Scouting is”‘…to promote,…the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues,…’ by placing emphasis upon the Scout Oath or Promise and Law for Character development, citizenship training, and physical fitness.”
Knowing the purpose of Scouting and the means of achieving it, you will have made a giant stride in the direction of building good men.
Finally, remember that as the first Scoutmaster Handbook put it- “Our purpose in this Boy Scout Movement is not to exploit methods, not to glorify organizations, not to honor Scoutmasters, but to lead boys into useful lives.”
- The New Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America, 1958

As much as we all have tried to say this in other words.. that pretty much sums it up.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, fitness, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Motto, Oath and Law, Scout Law, Scouts, Values | Leave a comment

Fitness

Citizenship and Character are real easy to identify, teach, and train our Scouts, but what about this fitness thing?  We are not just talking about physical fitness.  We need to make sure and look at the emotional and mental fitness of our Scouts.  It is a total package.  We are mentoring young men.  These young men are living a time in their lives that is full of emotion, change, and in many cases confusion about who they are and what they are going to be.  Emotional and mental fitness is something that we as Scout leaders need to be aware of.  How we talk to these young men, how we understand where they come from, and how we work with them on a weekly or more basis is important to how they come to understand what emotional fitness and mental fitness is.   It is tricky ground to step on, and no we are not psychologists or therapist, but by our example and our care, we can go a long way to helping these young men through the tough days of teen age boyhood.
There was an article I picked up along the way.. I thought it had some great ideas and was worth sharing.  The article basically talked about attitude en route to mental and emotional fitness.  There are a few simple things to look at.  Improving your emotional health by positive thought, Choosing positive actions, Disputing pessimistic thought, Doing the right thing, and taking a look at your emotional health.  When we take a look at these things, we can see in our Scouts where they may be in their journey.  When we look at these things in ourselves, we can get a better understanding as to how we are helping, through our example, the Scouts in our care.
So lets take a look at these topics.  See where you are and how you can help.
Improve your emotional health by thinking positively
You’re okay. But can you be even better? That’s one of the questions being asked by a movement in the mental health field known as “positive psychology.” Unlike most traditional psychology, which seeks to understand and heal problems of the mind and emotions, positive psychology delves into what makes us emotionally healthy—or happy—and tries to build on those sources of strength to increase our happiness. According to several studies by psychologists in this movement, happiness can be achieved just by making these adjustments to your attitude.
Choose positive actions. In other words, you may not be able to change everything about yourself, including much of your environment, but there’s a lot that you can control. You can choose to think and act in ways that make your life more pleasant and, ultimately, more meaningful.
Dispute pessimistic thoughts. It may help to treat your own negative thinking as if it were coming from another person. Sometimes simply checking the evidence is enough to show that a negative belief is untrue. For example, you may think you “blew” your diet, when an actual calorie count says you haven’t. Also, you should get in the habit of taking the optimistic tack in explaining events; by remembering bad things will pass, but good things will last.
Do the right thing. As the old saying goes, “Virtue is its own reward.” Be inspired just by doing what’s right in your home, your workplace and your community.
Consider your emotional health. Is happiness this easy to attain? The answer depends in part on how happy or unhappy you already are. For people with serious emotional problems, positive psychology is not a replacement for getting help from a coach, therapist or physician.
Take baby steps. High expectations for change in your life have to be realistic. Happiness springs from actions, but the actions often have to be small steps. For example, shyness is something that keeps people from really engaging in life, but you can’t be expected to just toss aside your shyness and go out and enter a life of politics, or corporate leadership.

You may not want to play the part of psychologists or therapist in your unit, but as a Scoutmaster you are an influence in their lives.  Whether you accept that or not.. you are, and you play a major role in the development of their emotional and mental health.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, fitness, Journey to Excellence, Leadership | Leave a comment

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