Webelos to Scout Transition

The Membership Discussion

WSJpic1Lets talk about membership.
We all know that we need members to keep Scouting alive.  There are many different angles and directions to answer the membership question.  I am not going to solve this issue in this post, rather, I am opening up the dialogue to see what you all think.
Scouting in the United States if a bit different from the rest of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement (WOSM).
First, we are not Coed, until you get to the Venturing Program.
Second, our programs are not connected.  Yes, Cub Scouts go to Boy Scout etc… but in most cases outside of the US, a Scout group is made up of youth from 7 to 21.  The units are formed from a group.  This allows for continuity in the program and allows for leadership and example to be promoted from within the group.  Personally, I like this idea.  I think it solves a few of the issues we have in Scouting in the US.  Namely keeping youth in Scouting.
I have become pen pals of sorts with some Scouters from outside of the United States.  While they do have their own issues it seems that young people stay in Scouting longer and have a great Scouting experience along the way.
Starting off as a young 7-year-old and staying in Scouting till they are in their young adulthood.  I think this creates a better Scouting life for them.
Anyway, as stated, I am not going to answer the question, just start the discussion.
I think that the BSA will need to explore the COED option sooner than later.  With declining membership and the Girl Scout program not what most girls want… I think that opening the doors to a COOED program may go along way to saving Scouting in America.
So how does that work?  Will we lose our values and program?  I don’t think so.  I think we can move forward with the program we have.  We need not tailor the program to girls, they will fit right in.  Look at the Venturing program as it is?  It would be much better if it were filled with young people and adventure.
OK, membership at the core.
I think that our professionals at the National and Council level have the very best of intentions when they talk membership.  It is a simple equation.  Get more youth in and membership will fix itself.
A few things that I know for sure.
You will never be able to out recruit your losses.  You will never be able to keep Scouts in a program that is floundering.
When I was a young Scoutmaster I was told the three keys to a successful troop were Program, Program, and Program.  If you build it they will come.  Boys do not join Scouts for Monday night meetings.  They join for cool programs and camp outs.  Parents bring their sons to our program.  Not to our meetings.  They need to be able to see value in the program.
Program will drive membership.  So I think sometimes we put the cart before the horse.  The horse is our program, the cart is membership and money.  Now, you can’t have one without the other, but if your priority is not program, you won’t get members.  That, I know for sure.
So where is our effort more effective?  Building programs or recruiting?  I think we build programs and let them come.
There are more factors to this discussion to be sure.  It is not always that simple I understand.  At the unit level programs need to be the priority.  Build it and they will come.  Recruiting efforts need to be a part of the annual plan.  Focusing on Cub Scouts is not the only answer.  We need to sell Scouting to all eligible youth.
This is where I see other WOSM get it.  They appeal to youth of all ages and keep them in longer.  There is a coolness factor about hanging out with their peers and they longer they stay, so do their friends.  I think this is an important part of our membership issue.
So.. lets take a few posts and explore this issue?
What do you think?  Let’s discuss this.
Here is a little video I stumbled on that really got me thinking.  It is from the Scouts in Germany.  I would love to see our youth in American Scouting like this one day.  I got to see Scouting like this when I was a kid in the Transatlantic Council as we did many International Scouting activities.
Also take a moment to check out the Kandersteg International Scout Center videos.  See what they look like and lets see how we can implement some of this here.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

A Sky Full of Scouts from Andreas Herten on Vimeo.

Categories: blog, High Adventure, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Just fun, Leadership, Methods, Scouting, Scouts, Values, Webelos to Scout Transition | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Scoutbook.com

scoutbookEvery unit has a method of tracking their Scouts.  Advancement, activities, special awards etc.  There are software programs and online resources for tracking, even an Excel spreadsheet can be used.  But I want to introduce you to a real cool way of tracking your unit.  Scoutbook.com.
Before I go any further, I should say in full disclosure that my unit does not use Scoutbook.com…. yet.  I was made aware of Scoutbook.com recently and thought I would review it and let you all know about some of the great features it has.  I should also say that as a Scoutmaster, I rarely get involved in any of this, but with Scoutbook.com your committee will be very happy to have such an awesome tool at their finger tips.
At first look I love the interface.  The ease of the program.  It is clean and requires no hunting to find what you are looking for.
tysonadvancement270Second thing that you notice right away is that the Scout has some responsibility for his advancement in this program.  Just like their Scout handbook, the Scout himself now has the ability to track and maintain parts of his record keeping.  Yes, he still needs to get the work done and Yes, he still needs to see the Scoutmaster or who ever signs the book.  But with Scoutbook.com, he has everything at his fingertips electronically.
I remember Former Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzucca reminding us to take Scouting where the Scouts are.  Well, 78% of our teens have cell phones, and not just cell phones, but smart phones.  So put this tool in their hands and see if they get excited about this part of Scouting.
I love that Scoutbook.com is on “The Cloud”.  Pretty much the world that we live in.  The ability to have data on your tablet, phone, computer or other device is critical these days.
Ok, So the Committee has a role in this, the Scout has a role in this, and the leaders all have roles in this.  It is a total package deal.  Constantly updated to meet all of the BSA requirements, linked to ScoutNet, and easy to use.
As a leader, you can track and maintain your training records.  I am sure that the Training chair on your committee would love for your help on that.mytraining280
Printing Blue cards is a snap also.. right from your device.
Merit Badge counselors can track the Scout and report percentages of complete to the committee in real-time.
For the leader, you can track multiple Scouts with just a few clicks.  Monitoring those first year Scouts sometimes can be chore.  But using the tools in Scoutbook.com they have been made easy and right at your finger tips.
Troop Committees can print beautiful reports and even the 34403 form to purchasing awards and advancement for your next Court of Honor.
Scoutbook.com is 100% secure and allows the unit to decide who gets what access.  The Scout, the Leaders, Merit Badge Counselors, and the Committee all have functions suited to them.
There are many features of Scoutbook.com that I can’t write about here, it would take pages on the blog.
If you are currently using other tracking software or online programs you may be able to transfer your data, but before you do, check out Scoutbook.com and see all of this for yourself.  It is worth a look.
And here is something cool about Scoutbook.com… You can have it for a year free because you read my blog.
The first 3 readers that send me an email (tbirdironchef@gmail.com) and ask for the subscription will get an annual subscription to Scoutbook.com.  You need to check out the website to see all of the benefits that come with this cool program.
I think it is a resource that you and your unit need to look into.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Camping, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, reviews, Scout, Scouting, Skills, Summer Camp, technology, training, Webelos to Scout Transition | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

One Word

You know, some times things happen and then you look back at it and have an “Ah Ha” moment.
In my last post I put in a Rockwell print to illustrate “Scouting”… Today as I looked at it again, I thought.. Now that is the ultimate Boy Scout Recruiting poster.
Look at the Cub Scout in the print.. you know what he wants out of Scouting… Look close you will see it.
If you build it they will come pt.2

ADVENTURE!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Backpacking, camp skills, Camping, Character, Competition, fitness, High Adventure, Ideals, Just fun, Leadership, teamwork, Webelos to Scout Transition | 5 Comments

Captain Obvious

Earlier today I received an email from a “fan of the blog and podcast”.. his email is certainly appreciated and I am glad that he took the time to express his thoughts, but…
I will not post the email here, but let me share with you the part that got me to write this post.
“OK Captain Obvious, we all know the ‘Methods of Scouting’ and use them, please tell us something we don’t know.. after all, if it isn’t broke we are not going to fix it”.
Really now.. it isn’t broke.  Well good timing my friend.  Last night at the Top Team meeting our Scout Executive presented the 2011 Progress review to the District Chairman.  I was floored by the results of the audit at both the National level and our Council.  Let me tell you that we have work to do.. at both the National Level… and the Council level.  Now our SE said we are going to “Celebrate our short comings.. and work to fixing the issues”.. I would suggest, strictly from “Captain Obvious’s” point of view that we need to work and work hard to get some of these things fixed.  So, tell us something we don’t know he said.  Let me tell you that the discussion on Methods is exactly what we don’t know.
Let me share some National numbers with you..
MEMBERSHIP-  In my last post on the Outdoor program, I suggested that PROGRAM, PROGRAM, PROGRAM, and working the Outdoor program method was a key point in getting Scouts to join and stay in Scouting.  It is what gets Webelos to cross over and invite their friends to join.   When I was at the National Meetings last year in San Diego, Rex Tillerson the BSA President talked to us about “the Main thing”.  that Main thing is delivering Scouting to young men.  They can’t do Scouting if they are not in Scouting.
In our Council we are seeing a terrible trend in Cub Scout market share (market share is how the BSA measures growth).   Our Council is pretty much average with the Nation, but here are the numbers from 2007 thru 2011.  In 2007 we had 15,022 Cub Scouts in the program, 14,465 in 2008, 13, 902 and 13, 303 in the next two years and in 2011 we ended the year with only 12,600 Cub Scouts.  That is a significant loss.  The reason that I find this alarming is that without Cub Scouts you drastically reduce the ranks of Boy Scouts.
Boy Scout membership in 2007 in our Council was 11,960 and in 2011 it dropped to 11, 731.  Now this may not seem significant but long term, the Cub Scout numbers will catch up.  Boys are in the Boy Scout program longer than their Cub Scout years, so we have not felt the impact of the dropping number yet.
I would suggest that this is broke and the question first is why?  Could it be programs?  Could it be the lack of leaders not trained.. we will get into that in a second.  Could it be that methods are not being followed?  I wish I had the answer.. but Captain Obvious here knows broke when he sees it.
Now the good news is that our Retention numbers are looking pretty good.. but only pretty good.  The National Average in retention is 70.6%.  We have way too many Scouts going out the back door.  Our Council’s retention rate is 76%.. still not a great number.. so why are they leaving?  Is it that they don’t agree with our values?  are they bored? are they not getting the bang for their buck?
The average size of a Boy Scout Troop in America is 21 Scouts and we recruit about 9 a year on average… so where are they?
Ok.. lets move on to Advancement.. yeah.. remember that’s one of the methods also..  How are we doing?
Only 39.8% of the Boy Scouts in the Nation advanced a rank last year.  Need we say more?  Captain Obvious says we need to work a little harder on this.
Now get ready to treat for shock.. TRAINING!
Only.. and I hope you are sitting down for this.. ONLY 34.4% of Direct Contact leaders, that’s Tiger Leaders, Den Leaders, Webelos Leaders, Cub Masters, Scoutmasters, and Venturing Advisors are Trained in their positions!  As my daughter would say OMG!  And we are taking these boys in the woods and asking parents to feel good about it.  I would not allow my sons to be in a unit with untrained leaders.  34.4 % is the National Average of trained leaders and I would suggest this needs immediate fixing.  There is no excuse what so ever for an adult to be un trained.  NONE.  In an age where the BSA has made Training easier than ever to access, District and Council training committees are holding multiple training events annually… why are we not trained?  How do we have “Adult Association” and mentoring for “Leadership development”.  How does an adult who is not trained teach, coach, train and mentor a Scout?  Captain Obvious is shocked.
So once again, I would like to thank the reader for the email and suggest that we revisit the “Main thing” and the Methods of Scouting.  maybe, just maybe we can fix some of these issues… nay.. we have to fix these issues and the methods will help you and your unit fix what you think is not broke.  Here is what I think.  Those that don’t know.. don’t know.  Those that are untrained, will not know.  There are no excuses for this.  We all love Scouting and for the most part will do what ever it takes to deliver the promise of Scouting.  Scouting is alive and well, but has some work to do to deliver that promise.  It’s obvious what we need to do.  ON MY HONOR I will do my part!
What are your thoughts?  I am curious to know what you think.  drop an email, leave a comment, or send me smoke signals.
Have a Great Scouting day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Camping, comments, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, training, Values, Webelos to Scout Transition | 6 Comments

“NOT WORTHY”

Last night we had another Webelos Scout cross over into our Troop.  He started in his last year of Cub Scouts a little late and wanted to complete his Arrow of Light, so rather than cross with the rest of his Den, he waited, finished his AOL, and crossed last night in a ceremony with his Pack.
Our Troops ceremony team conducted the ceremony and true to form, did a great job.  Last night as I stood patiently awaiting the new boys arrival from one side of the “Bridge” to me, I listened as the team presented the decorative arrows symbolizing their journey to achieve the Arrow of Light.  In the ceremony they test the arrows to see if they are straight and true and worthy to continue the journey.  In the quiver are placed non decorative arrows that are broken in the ceremony.. they are “Not Worthy” to continue on the trail to Eagle.  As each arrow is tested the suspense grows with the beating of the drum.  The Scouts are all worthy, and soon will cross the bridge to their next adventure.
I really have not given much thought about this ceremony until last night.
The symbolism of the broken arrows and how fragile they are.  Keeping the arrow straight and true and worthy of being a man of character.
Our character is that arrow, the Scout Oath and Law help keep it straight and true and worthy of the journey.  It is when we fall off target, like the arrow that is not straight or has a flaw that we will give our character away.
After the ceremony, we went back to our Troop meeting to prepare for the up coming camp out.  Last night, I shared this thought with the Scouts of the Troop, each having seen this ceremony at one point along the way.  I challenged them to seek an arrow that is straight and true, one which will not fall off its mark.  It is then that they will be worthy… worthy of a life of character.. to be called an Eagle Scout.
I challenge you.  Find that arrow within you and keep it straight and true.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, Character, Webelos to Scout Transition | Leave a 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

SMMPodcast # 103 – Talking with Bob

In this show I have a lengthy chat with a fellow Scoutmaster and great Friend Bob Pierce.    Join us as we talk a little bit about everything.  Jamboree, Dutch oven cooking, Troop Guides, JLT, Anuual planning, Parents and Philmont just to cover some of the bases.  It’s what happens Scoutmasters get together and shoot the breeze.  The show was recorded on location at the Annual rendezvous of the Order of the Arrow at Camp Meriwether, so the crashing of waves and other camp sounds fill the background of this nice talk with my buddy Bob.
Hope you enjoy the show.
Please leave some feedback, drop us an email, or leave a comment in the comments section.  Thanks for listening.
Have a Great Scouting Day! 

Direct Download

Categories: camp skills, Character, Cooking, gear, High Adventure, Jamboree, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Order of the Arrow, Patrol Method, planning, podcast, stories, training, Webelos to Scout Transition | 2 Comments

Journey to Excellence Pt. 2

Ok.. so the first post on JTE has been met with some resistance.  Let me just say this, then I will move on.
As a Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, you need to have a way to measure the success of your unit.  Going camping, having Scouts cross over, and holding a Court of Honor or two is not an accurate way of knowing that you are delivering the promise of Scouting to the youth of your Troop.  We all can stand back and say that we are doing a good job, but can’t we do better?  Sure.
I heard a comment about JTE as it applied to the old Quality Unit program in that they were always a Quality Unit, and now they may not be in the new system.  Well then, maybe your unit needs to work harder in the areas that you fall short.  Other comments reflect a need to pass it off to the youth leadership.  And while I agree that Scout units are to be Youth led, every unit should have a plan that is part youth driven and part adult driven.  The Troop committee must have a plan that supports the plan of the PLC.  Handing off the JTE program to the PLC will only get them so far down the road.  This is not setting them up for success.  The Journey to Excellence program is designed to bring out the best in the units leadership both adult and youth.
OK.. so having said that, lets dive into the program.
In this post I am going to discuss the first couple elements of the JTE program.  Advancement and Retention.
Advancement.
The objective is to increase the percentage of Boy Scouts earning rank advancements.  To earn the Bronze level you need to have 55% of your Scouts earn one rank or have a 2 percentage point increase.  I think this is important especially if you have older Scouts that are not going to advance in the year.  Lets say a Scout is Life, it is likely that he will not earn Eagle in that next year.  So having a percentage increase helps your score when you have younger Scouts earning Tenderfoot to First class in that first year.  This is attainable in every unit.  For the Silver level 60 % of your Scouts need to advance or 55% AND a 2 percentage point increase.  The Gold level requires that 65% of the Scouts advance AND a 2 percentage point increase is attained.  I find that these goals are within reason and with encouragement from the committee and Scoutmasters, every Scout, especially those younger Scouts can assist your unit in achieving this goal.
So what is the PLC’s role in this objective.  If the PLC encourages each Patrol to shoot for the Honor Patrol award, then Patrol members will advance.  The Troop guides play a major role in attaining this and working the younger Scouts on the trail to First class.  So its not just a number, it is a goal that assists your PLC and Troop Guides in properly functioning within the structure of their leadership roles.
Retention.
Simply put the objective here is to improve your retention rate.  So you have to retain and reregrister 76% of your Scouts or have a 2 percentage point increase from the previous year to earn the Bronze level.  80% for Silver and 85% for Gold.  I think this is a worthy goal.  My only heart burn with this goal is retention in general needs to be thoughtfully considered with each Scout.  Here is what I am saying.  I believe that every young man should be in Scouting.  I don’t however think that every young man fits in Scouting.  I have often said that I would rather have 10 Scouts that want to be there than 100 Scouts and no one really wants to be there.  Having a large troop that has a small percentage of active Scouts is just as good as having a small troop.  I like the idea that the Boy Scouts of America wants us to retain everyone, but at 85% retention that means we are really allowing for those that do not want to be there to find a fit elsewhere.  I like that.
So in my Troop I can lose 6 Scouts (not that I want to) and still have an 85% retention rate.  Last year we gained 9 and lost 6.  Our retention rate was still at 85%, but our net gain for the year was +4.  This would be a 40% gain for the year and qualify for the Gold in the JTE program for both retention and Building Boy Scouting.  Most of us would agree that these numbers are reasonable and easy to attain, as long as we are building a good program that the Scouts want to be a part of and establish good recruiting habits and relationships with Cub Scout packs.
Now, more than likely I lost many of you that are tired of the numbers.  Those of you that think that Scouting should not be about the numbers and that this is just an excercise in helping the DE’s look good.  I beg to differ though.  I think that periodic looks at the numbers keep your unit on track.  Further, I think it is important for the Scouts of your PLC to understand some of this.  It is a tool that they can use to assist in recruiting for the future of your troop.  Who better to recruit then the Scouts that enjoy the program?
This is just as much a function of the Patrol leaders council as the Troop committee’s.  They, working together will achieve success as a unit on a Journey to Excellence.
As much as the PLC of my Troop wants every year to be the Troop of the Year, the Journey to Excellence is a part of the program that gives them goals and tangible results.
I know that I am not going to convince some of you.. and you are probably the same Scouters that balk at anything that “National” forces on you.  Like methods and Aims.. you reluctantly went along with Quality Unit and this has no meaning to you either.  So be it…  I am sure you can run a great program without it also.  As for me.  I like the tools and I like to teach and mentor Scouts to do the hard things in life.  To set goals and plan to achieve them.  This is yet another opportunity to do that with our Patrols, our committees, and our Scoutmasters.
More later. 
Your comments are welcome.. send them to tbirdironchef@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here or at the SMMVoice mail 503-308-8297.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, comments, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, Scouting, Webelos to Scout Transition | Leave a comment

Getting what you want!

Values, Mission, Goals…. at the fore front of my mind right now as I assist a group of new Wood Badgers in the working of their tickets…
Tickets?  In Scouting, if you are not familiar with Wood Badge then this is a foreign concept.  Simply put.. it is working goals to fulfill your mission.
OK.. enough already, we just want to go camping and sell Popcorn!!!  What is it with this Values, Mission stuff?
Well, we are all heading somewhere, right?  We all have an idea of what we want our Scouting units to look like… right?  Well how do you get there?
Enough of the cryptic talk.. lets talk about your vision.
First.. what is it that you believe in?  What makes you tick?  Answer these two questions carefully.  A good personal assessment of your values is an important part in establishing your Vision en route to your mission.  You need to be honest and really know who you are before you can effect others.  So what is important to you?  Faith, Family, Values like those found in the Scout Oath and Law.
Figure this out and write it down.. not just words, but why its important to you?  Write it down.
Now that you have a better understanding of who you are and why its time to find out what you want.  What do you want out of life, your family, your work, Scouting, health, and hobbies?  In short, what do you want our of your life?  You may want to be financially independent, have a richer faith life, loose 10 lbs or become a teacher.  The sky is limit and you and you alone are the only one that can set the course to reach it.
So do you know what you want?  Write it down.  If you are like me, you will have a list of the things that you want.  Things that you want to change, do, get better at, and impact in your life.  Pick 1.. yep, just 1.  Write it down.
Now, lets go get it.  But first.. you need to throw away all obstacles, the first of which is your idea that you cant do it.  What ever you want.. you will have.. if you want it and are willing to work for it.  So write it down and lets go get it!
Make a list of 5 things that you MUST do to get what you wrote down.  Not 4, not 7.. 5 things that will lead you to your want.. Oh and by the way.. lets start calling “your want” “YOUR MISSION”.  Here is an example:
I want to develop a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District.  That is the mission.
So 5 things that I need to do to get what I want.
1.  Find out if there is a current plan in place and identify the short falls in the plan.
To do this I will talk with current District advancement chairman and Webelos to Scout transition volunteers to find plan or documentation.
I will do this in the next 30 days, this needs to be completed by June 20th.
2.  Knowing the short falls of the current plan (assuming there is one) I will rewrite the plan with the objective of increasing the crossover percentage by 30%.
To do this I will write a plan that will be distributed to all Packs and Troops in the District.  This plan will outline methods of contacting Packs and Troops within the District, obstacles to over come in the process, and ways to build relationships between units.
I will have the plan complete in the next 60 days.  This goal will be complete by July 20th.
3.  At the August Roundtable, I will present the plan at the Webelos Den Leader break out.  I will distribute copies of the plan at the time and field questions and concerns about the plan.
To ensure a good turn out at the break out I will make contact with Packs through the District emailing system.
This will be completed after the August Roundtable and the emails will go out in the Thundering News Flash in July.
4.  Make contact with Packs that have a low crossover rate and Troops that are not maintaining steady growth.
To complete this goal I will get last years data on troop new Scout registrations and Pack Cross overs.  I will call those units and set up a time to meet with unit leadership to offer assistance in increasing their crossover/ recruiting percentage. 
I will accomplish this by November 2011.
5.  Assess plan and make adjustments to the plan based on Troop and Pack receptive nature and amount of prospective Webelos Scouts that plan on crossing to a Troop.
To do this we will contact Webelos Dens and ask that they fill out Boy Scout applications at time of Troop Visits.  Once a Troop has been identified as the Troop that they are planning on going to, an application will be filled out and reported.
This will be completed by February 2012. 

This simple, measurable, specific outline of 5 goals to reach the mission of developing a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District can be accomplished if I work at it and not allow road blocks to stop my progress.  I must be willing to work it to the end.
This outline can be worked for anything in my life.  To lose weight, get healthy, find a deeper understanding of my faith, be a better husband and father, well.. anything.
This is what we Wood Badgers call a Ticket.
It is a great assessment tool and a way to ensure success in anything that you do.  Remember when you are setting your Goals to use the SMART tool.  Specific, measurable, Attainable, relevant, and Time based.  Use it and you will be and do whatever you want.
I promise.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Ideals, Leadership, Oath and Law, Patrol Method, Scout Law, Scouting, Skills, training, Values, Webelos to Scout Transition, Wood Badge | Tags: | Leave a comment

Been a few days

Once again, time has passed me by.. I suppose it is true what they say about time flying when you are having fun.
So here is a quick update, I am not to sure that anything inspirational or motivating will come of this, well maybe.
Let me begin with the weekend.
Wood Badge Staff Development #3 was this past weekend, and I think that while it may have not been the intention of the staff.. it seemed that we completely became a “High Performance Team” on Saturday.  Ironically, a guest presenter practiced the Stages of Team Development presentation immediately after the Troop Guides practiced our Course presentation.  It was all systems go after that, and without a doubt the team is heading to Gilwell ready and peaking.
After the training session we went to dinner at a local German restaurant called Der Rheinlander.  It was a fantastic time.  We relaxed over some nice food and awesome company, sang songs, and invited our spouses to join in the fun.
Sunday was dedicated to final Wood Badge prep for me as well as doing some things around the house.  It was nice to spend the day hanging out with the kids and wife.
Three new Scouts came to the troop Monday night.  One will not cross over to the Troop till October.  He has a few things left to wrap up for his AOL, but then he will join us.  The other two are ready to go and will be with us on the upcoming camp out this weekend.  It was nice to introduce them to their new patrol mates in the New Scout Patrol.  They met their Troop Guide last night and learned how to pitch a tent, get a menu planned, and how to adjust their backpacks.  So its right into it for them.  It’s nice to see the growth.  New guys coming, and older Scouts stepping up and leading…. isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Yeah.
Which leads me to I guess the motivational part of it.  I had to have a chat last night with the Patrol leaders.  It seemed that the edge is not there for the up coming camporee.  We talked about the three components of leadership.  That is to say that a Leader provides Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.  They needed to find that in themselves and in their patrols to be successful.  No one in the troop wants to come in second at Camporee.. they at least want to compete, but without the drive or purpose and direction, they will lack the motivation to accomplish the tasks that will lead them to the success they are looking for.
Well, they all agreed they need to get back on the horse and motivate their patrols.  PLC will meet next week and we will see what they come up with.
Like I said, time flys when you are having fun…
Hey tomorrows podcast features a great discussion about Youth Protection and how it effected Recharter this year.  Joining me are the District Commissioner and Program Vice Chair of the Thunderbird District.  I think you will enjoy it.

Let me know what you think.. leave a comment or feedback.. or drop an email.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Camping, Leadership, Webelos to Scout Transition, Wood Badge, Youth Protection | Leave a comment

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