Wood Badge Wednesday- The Woggle

I am the assistant Scribe for Wood Badge Course W1-492-15.  This is my third time staffing Wood Badge and I am super excited to once again have the opportunity to help the participants get the very most out of their Wood Badge experience.
Our Course Director thought it would be a fantastic idea to communicate to the participants well before course beyond the 300px-Wood_Badge_&_Woggleregular mailings, reminders, and lists that go out prior to the June course.  In the past we have used sites like My Family to host communication, but this year it was determined that Facebook was a good platform to get that communication out, not just to participants but staff also.
The Scribe team was asked, as is in our job description to begin that communication.  Part of that is sending out tid bits about Wood Badge that will get the participants ready and excited about getting on course. That task is assigned to me and I gladly accepted.
So, stolen from the pages of the internet.. or at least the title from Bryan on Scouting’s Blog... Wood Badge Wednesday was born.
Then I thought.. heck this stuff is good… I should share it on my blog.
Now, before you think I am just cutting and pasting from other sources.. I am writing all of this.  Yep, I am learning and using material that is out there.  After all Wood Badge is not new and so there is a lot of information out there that warrants me not having to rediscover the wheel.  But credit is given where credit is due.
So here is today’s Wood Badge Wednesday!
What the heck is a Woggle?
Once again we are going to introduce you to a little Wood Badge Tradition.. all a part of the magic that is Gilwell.
Part of the Wood Badge regalia is the Wood Badge Woggle. A Woggle is the traditional term for a Neckerchief slide.
You see back in the Wood Badge courses infancy, then camp chief Francis Gidney, was aware that most people were not that great at wood carving, so he had the participants tie a Turks head knot. This two strand Turks head was there after presented to participants that completed their Wood Badge course. The two strand leather woggle is the official woggle of Wood Badge and is not found or presented in any other Scouting activity.
The earliest reference we can find of the “Woggle” is in the 1923 14th edition of Scouting for Boys by Baden Powell were he writes “it [the scarf] may be fastened at the throat by a knot or woggle, which is some form of ring made of cord, metal or bone, or anything you like”.”
An interesting fact is the the Neckerchief slide grew in popularity here in America. English Scouts typically just tied their scarves or neckers with a knot. A Scouter named Bill Schankley, a young man from Australia working at Gilwell Park who was responsible for developing camping equipment. He was aware of the tradition of the neckerchief slides in America and decided to develop something for Gilwell. It was his introduction of the turks head knot to Gidney that became the Wood Badge Woggle.
So you can see, this fine tradition truly embodies the finest of the World Brotherhood of Scouting. And American idea, developed buy an Australian, adopted in England, and spread throughout the World in Wood Badge.
Wood Badgers from every Nation wears the same two strand Turks head fashioned from leather as part of their Wood Badge regalia. Well… how cool is that?
That’s your Wood Badge Wednesday.. Hope you are getting excited for your course.. Your staff is!
Have A Great Scouting Day!

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Why?

Last night at our Patrol Leaders Council meeting we discussed the most recent camp out, or I should say camp out attempt.  To recap, the weather got real bad, gear got wet, we assessed the risk and bailed out…in a nut shell.why
Part of each PLC meeting is a training portion.  I try to keep it to about 5 or 10 minutes, but last night was unique in that I sensed that the young leaders were not happy with the idea that we had to bail out of the camp out.  No one debated the fact that it was the right thing to do, but why did we get in the situation.
There is nothing we can do to change the weather.  But what is that we do to change or effect our desired outcome?  In talking with the leaders of the PLC I kept hearing that “We did not do this or that..” “We took short cuts” “We got lazy”.  And by and large they, although being very tough on themselves, were hitting the nail squarely on the head.
The problem I have was their use of the word “We”.  The way it was being used transferred the responsibility from “I or Me” to “We”.  You see, that makes it easier to assign blame or point fingers and the issues.
So we went around the table and each member of the PLC had an opportunity to reflect on a specific thing that could have been better.  And no.. no one was allowed to say the weather.  They also had to start their sentence with the words “I could have…”  The results were great.  We can not go back and change what happened this weekend.  We learned a lot about our Scouts and about the skills that we need to develop.  We.. I… learned that we have a fantastic group of young men that want to be successful and want to be leaders.  I was happy to hear them start answering the question… Why?
Why did I make that mistake?  Why didn’t I demonstrate good leadership by being a better example?  Why didn’t I check on my Patrol?  Why did I take short cuts?  Why was I lazy and not focused?
Now this may seem a tad bit harsh.. after all, these are just kids.  No.. These are kids that want to be leaders.  These are kids that understand that they are there to lead their friends.  These are young men that now understand that decisions that they make have an impact on not just them, but their patrol mates.  These are Scouts that desire to get it right and as a result will have more fun and adventure.
These are guys that are starting to get the concept that for every action there is a positive or negative reaction.  Each decision, each skill, each interaction within their patrols will result in success or failure.  They do not want to fail, but are willing to test themselves knowing that we are watching out for them and are there to teach them and coach them through the rough spots.  They feel safe knowing we care about them and are cheering them on to be better at leadership.
It was nice to listen in as they discussed the leadership principles that they did not practice.  This tells me two things.  First, they know what they are and second they know what they are supposed to look like.
We have a fun month coming up.  The Patrol Leaders Council along with the Troop Leadership Corps have a great plan… this month, they are sharing with the Troop the answer to WHY?
They are going to practice leadership by sharpening skills.  They listed the things that they see as their leadership challenges and are going to answer why these are challenges and how do we fix them.  It is going to be a fun month.  In light of this, they also asked to push our annual Junior Leader Training to February as it will serve as a great finale to this month of Leadership development.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of these young men.
I too am working on answering why?  Yep, there are things I should have done also this past camp out that I failed to do.  Why?  Well, I’m figuring that out.
Leadership starts with why?  Why do we lead?  Why do we care?  Why is it important?
Great start to a leadership discussion with your Troop.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Why we Salute

r1933Over the years I have various discussions as to why we salute in Scouting.  The question or discussion typically stems from a misunderstanding of what the salute means.  Many of the discussions try to compare the Boy Scouts with the Military.  This argument is not part of the Boy Scout tradition of saluting.  Think about when we salute in Scouts, pretty much only to the Flag as we honor the Nation during the National Anthem, when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, and when we are presenting and retiring colors.  We do not salute people, although it would not be inappropriate to do so.  You see it is important to understand the salute and how it came about.  Know that, it makes it more clear as to why we salute in Scouts.
The salute goes back way before the modern military and certainly before Scouting.
The tradition of saluting is commonly tracked back to the Knights of feudal times.  It was a greeting used to show both respect and trust as the Knight raised the visor of his helmet showing his face.  Modern Military tradition traces the hand salute, again as a sign of respect as the practice of removing ones hat was a sign of respect.  In doing so, the hand placement led to the hand salute.  A sign of respect.  In the military, the salute is rendered from subordinate to leader as a sign of respect for his or her position.  We render that same honor or show of respect when we salute the Flag of our Nation.
But the Salute goes back father than the Knights of old.  In ancient Greece the salute was a common greeting, the meaning still the same.  Again we found this same salute in ancient Rome.  These salutes were practiced more like our Founder Baden Powell intended.  The original concept of Scouts saluting one another was a greeting.  It was done by showing the Scout sign.  This greeting moved to the salute as we know it when honoring our Nations Flags and rendering honors to the Nations.  So along with the left handed hand clasp, the salute or as it was know in 1907, “the secret sign” became a Scouting tradition.
Respect, Tradition, and Honor.  That is why we salute in Scouting.  It is not about authority or superiority.  We salute because we promise to live values that include friendship and obedience.  We make a promise to do our duty to our Country.  Part of that duty is honoring the Nation.
So when folks ask why we salute, it is simple.  I am a Scout and part of an organization that shows respect.  Respect to one another and to our home.
Hope that helps in your next discussion over the fine tradition of saluting.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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The Better part of valor…

discression“The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have sav’d my life.” – Falstaff in the Henry IV, William Shakespeare.
It is not often that we get placed in situations in Scouting that call for serious decisions to be made, decisions that may be the difference between fun and adventure and getting someone hurt.
Rule #1. Have fun
Rule #2. Be Safe
Beyond that it comes down the Scout Oath and Law.. that is all the rules we have in our Troop. Before every outing we go through, albeit not a formal process of assessing risk. Typically there are measures that can put in place to reduce risk or minimize those risks so the outing is fun, meaningful, and achieves its goals.
It is not often, in fact in 10 years we have reacted to risk by moving locations, changing the dates, or changing the focus of our activity to meet the assessed risk, maintain the learning objectives, and achieve the desired outcomes of our Troops outings.
Today, for the first time in 10 years the risk could not be mitigated and the better part of valor was to walk away, literally hike out and call it a day.
This weekend was out monthly camp out. The plan was to camp up in the Zig Zag canyon on Mt. Hood. A great trek in that we have done in the past. For a month now, we have trained for the outing. Learning cold weather skills, first aid, and how to use the gear that would need up on the mountain in January. The Scouts learned the signs and symptoms of cold weather injuries and how to prevent them. They learned tips to use ordinary camping gear for winter such as adding guy lines to a 3 season tent that will add to the strength of tent, keep it dry, and equip it for harsh conditions.
So we practiced and shook the Scouts down nit-picking at gear choices, uses, and what they thought would be acceptable versus what we know to be worth taking on a mountain trip in January.
The Troop was ready.
Change #1. Location. Due to the lack of snow, we determined that it would not be possible to go into Zig Zag canyon. Getting in would be fine, getting out would be another story. With the lack of snow we would not be able to hike out on the rock in the conditions that currently are hitting the mountain. So we moved the location to another camp area familiar to the troop on the slope of Mt. Hood. It would afford us the ability to achieve our goals and get good practical experience in winter camping for the Scouts. We decided to hike into Devils Half Acre. A camp area on the Historic Barlow trail. It has a good snow park, good trail, and plenty of camping area.
This morning we departed our meeting hall. In the early morning hours we began our adventure. A light rain was falling and the forecast was calling for heavy rain in the valley, rain on the mountain with heavier rains coming over night as well dropping temperatures. It’s all good, we are prepared.
We arrived at the snow park to a light rain and moderately cool temperatures. The thermometer was hovering around 38 degrees.
As we hiked into the camp area, a steady drizzle accompanied us. We got camp set up, dinning flys, and water boiling for hot chocolate. Everything was going well. A little wet, but we have camped in the rain before.
The Troop ventured off on a hike stopping along the way to practice skills and learn about ways to make winter camping enjoyable.
While we hiked the rain increased. We arrived back at camp and checked the gear and started the process of getting lunch prepared.
I did a walk around camp with the Troop Leadership Corps. I wanted them to develop the critical eye on what right looks like. We discovered that many of the Scouts while setting up took some costly short cuts. In their haste to get set up and under the protection of a tarp, they neglected to think about their current location, situation, and consequence. They did not use the extra guy lines as we trained, they picked locations that we not optimal for the rainy weather and as a result we had wet tents.. on the inside. That also meant that we had several wet sleeping bags.
Not catastrophic at that point.. but then we started to put fixes in place. We reached a point were we knew that for some of the sleeping bags there was no way we could get them dry.
We began to reevaluate our risk and assess what our plans were going to be in the event that the temperatures dropped and the rain did not let up. Hypothermia kept creeping into the conversation. Pack and hike now or pack and hike in the middle of the night It really came down to our willingness to accept risk or not.
We decided the better part of valor was discretion. Ensure that learning objectives happened, find the teachable moment, and live to have fun another day.
We gathered the Scouts around and demonstrated what we were seeing versus what we expected. We talked about the desired outcomes of all the training and preparation and how we may have failed in the execution. Then we packed up and hiked out.
First. We talked about leadership. All of the issues we discovered came down to leadership.
Second. We reinforced our leadership principles and how they applied in this and most situations.
We focused on the first three. Become a Life Long learner, Learn to lead yourself, and Model Expected Behavior.
Learning and retaining things that make you better. Practicing what you learned so you can test and reevaluate what you have learned. Leading yourself so as to be that person that others are willing to follow. And of course, modeling the behavior that you want to see from those you lead. If you maintain those three principles in what you do.. you will not only effectively lead, but will have a great time doing it.
After those lessons were, pardon the pun, soaked in, we packed up ensuring it was done right and departed.
Even though it was a short outing relative to our normal camp outs, it became one that will live in the memories of our Scouts as a learning event. Everyone learned something today, and that made this “Camp out” a success.
Looking back now just hours from the event, I see great value in taking some risk. I also see a lot of value in evaluating and reevaluation of that risk. It is through that process that we learn and discover. It opens up opportunity to teach and reinforce key leadership and camping skills.
I don’t want to have to do this often, but when we have to.. we know we will do what is right. The better part of valor is discretion. And live to camp another day.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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The Uniform

Boy_Scouts_of_America_uniform_1974As a Scout Leader we rely on the methods to achieve the goals of Scouting, Citizenship, Character, and Fitness. The methods are an important part of the process to reach our youth and move them towards being good adults.
“The Boy Scouts of America has always been a uniformed body. Its uniforms help to create a sense of belonging. They symbolize character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Wearing a uniform gives youth and adult members a sense of identification and commitment.” BSA Official Uniform Policy from the Uniform and Insignia Guide 2014
The uniform is but one of those methods, but an important one to be sure. The uniform is the great equalizer. It puts all of us in Scouting on the same playing field. It identifies us as a member of the organization or team. When a football team takes the field, each player, while he has different skills, talents, and role on the team is part of the greater team. Each player dresses in the uniform of the team, to be unified in a common goal (playing and winning the game) and to be identified while on and off the field. Could you imagine a “come as you are” football game? You would have a hard time knowing who is on what team and in the heat of the game team mates may get confused as to who was sharing their goal.
In Scouting, Baden Powell established uniforming early on. Baden Powell once said “The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.” The uniform was greater than the individual. That is the idea also with sports teams, military organizations, and yes Scouting.
Now there are arguments on how important the uniform is today and whether or not our Scouts should have to wear them. The answer is simple.. yes, they should wear them, it is a part of Scouting. As much as advancement, adult interaction, and the out door program. The methods are time tested and important to the completion of our aims.
So what about the uniform? What is “the uniform”?
The Field Uniform also known as the “Class A” (an inappropriate term, but one that is commonly used by Scouters) consists of the uniform shirt appropriate to the program (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing and Sea Scouts). Adults wear the tan shirt or green shirt depending on their program and of Sea Scout leaders wear the appropriate uniform shirt. The official Scout pants, again those which go with the program level, socks and Scout belt.
The belt can be of any Scouting activity, the socks also can be of any variety acquired through the Supply division. Once a uniform has been a part of Scouting, it is always a part of Scouting. It is inappropriate to mix and match, but lets say you have a full uniform from the 60’s and you want to wear it, according to BSA Policy, you may.
Which brings us to what the rules say. According to the Boy Scout Handbook and inspection sheet state the “Official Uniform” of the BSA is the Uniform Shirt, Official shirt or official long- or short-sleeve uniform shirt with green or blaze orange shoulder loops on epaulets (Blue for Cub Scout leaders). The troop/team may vote to wear a neckerchief, bolo tie, or no neckwear. In any case, the collar should be unbuttoned. The troop/team has the choice of wearing the neckerchief over the turned-under collar or under the open collar.
Pants/Shorts. Official pants or official uniform pants or shorts; no cuffs. (Units have no option to change.)
Belt. Official Boy Scout web with BSA insignia on buckle; or official leather with international style buckle or buckle of your choice, worn only if voted by the troop/team. Members wear one of the belts chosen by vote of the troop/team.
Socks. Official socks with official shorts or pants. (Long socks are optional with shorts.)
Effective Oct. 1, 2013, the official stance on the Boy Scouts of America’s uniform policy is that shirts are to be worn tucked in, regardless of whether the wearer is a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturer, or adult Scouter. All Sea Scout uniforms are designed to be tucked in except youth dress whites and youth dress blues. In the past, guidelines have simply stated the uniform wearer should be neat in appearance. Neatness includes tucking in the shirt. This update will appear in related resources, such as the uniform inspection sheets, as they are revised and printed.
The Boy Scouts of America feel that as Baden Powell did that the uniform is an important part of Scouting. It creates that level playing field and identifies us as part of the greatest youth organization in America.
As leaders in our units, we model that importance and demonstrate to our youth why the uniform is a part of Scouting. We wear our uniforms with pride and we wear it properly.
Questions about the uniform? Check out some of these links:
The uniform inspection sheet for Adult Scouters- http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34048.pdf
The Guide to Uniforms and Insignia – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066_Section1.pdf
And of course the BSA Supply Division- http://bsauniforms.org/
I encourage you to always wear your uniform properly and completely.  We set an example when we wear it right.  Just like the leadership principle of modeling expected behavior, our Scouts count on us to do the right thing and do it right.  The uniform method is a part of getting to the aims of Scouting.  We can not make up the rules as we go.

Just as I won’t compromise the other methods, we don’t compromise the uniform of our organization.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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The Hypo Wrap

The start of treatment for a person going into Hypothermia is the Hypo Wrap.
Hypothermia is an extremely dangerous condition where the victim or casualty’s core body temperature drops below 95 degrees (F). The persons condition can deteriorate rapidly so a prompt response is required.
The hypo wrap puts the person in a state where he can begin warming using insulation and his body heat.
It is important to note the end of this process will lead to the hospital and professional medical attention.
Here is a little video of a training session I did at our Boy Scout break out at Round table this month.  It is a demonstration of how to build the hypo wrap and conditions in which you use it.
I hope it is informative and instructional for you.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Your Vision

vision-compassOk.. you have had a few days to look over and answer your 20 Questions.  I honestly hope that you took some time to answer the questions for yourself.  It is said that the average New Years resolution lasts 9 days.  Then we as a society just give up.  It comes back to understanding that we in fact want to do something, change something, be something, but we don’t have a good map to get there.  The reason that we lose the trail is that we don’t know what it looks like.  We have no idea what the final product looks like.  We do not have a picture of the desired outcome or how to get there.
Once you understand what your vision is, you can set a course to get there.
Now in all honesty the book has been written on this subject and I really have nothing new to add, just my understanding and perhaps my twist on the subject.
I have gone to many training sessions, courses and seminars on the goal setting, vision and leadership.  In each course, the message is the same, the delivery is a bit different, but essentially it comes down to this when we are talking Vision.
“If you can see it.. you can be it”.  The first time I heard this was at a training session about communicating Vision.  The instructor quoted Zig Ziglar saying “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”.  And that is what it comes down to.  Dream it and go get it.  So many times we do not allow ourselves to make our dreams come true because we fail to see our way to them.  We all dream of the big house, the nice car, or the perfect Scout Troop.  We do not see those things to reality because we miss out of following up with our Vision, or seeing our vision through to getting what we want.
So what is your Vision?
Your vision is simply that which you can see or imagine.  It is what you anticipate happening or where you want to be.
Your vision is the most important part in goal setting, achieving your dream.  You vision is not something that will come to you over night, that is why I think it important to reflect on those 20 questions.  They are a starting point in discovering who you are and what you want out of life.
Within those 20 questions you will find your values and ideals.  Those of us in Scouting have a solid base in that we agree on a set of values and ideals which are found in the Scout Oath and Law.
This is a great starting point for us to begin exploring our vision and setting that course.
It is important to create that starting point.  Who are your friends and why do you like them?  A simple question, but important in that it tells you a great deal about who you are.  Who are your hero’s and why?  Superman can leap tall buildings in single bound but my Dad taught me the value of Character.  Take the questions serious and truly reflect on them with the understanding that the more solid your foundation the more relevant your vision will be.
See it and then set the course to be it.
Once you understand the values you live and why, you can generate or strengthen your resolve in getting the life you want.
Remember that this is YOUR Vision.. no one else’s.  You may share elements of your vision, let’s say that you and your spouse share a dream.  That’s fine.  Share it and add it to your road map to getting what you want.  It is important that spouses share their dreams.  This gets you walking in the same direction toward your life’s goals.  This will also force good communication and we all know that the better we communicate, the better our relationships.
Do not allow others to dictate YOUR vision.  It belongs to you.  It is YOUR dream, YOUR wants and desires.  There are many parts of our lives in which we try to please someone else or live up to their expectations.  Your vision sets an expectation of success for you.
Write it down.  Once you can clearly see what you want.. Paint a picture of it.  Use words to describe your vision.  Basically write down what you want out of life.  Once it’s on paper.. you will have your destination.  Now lets map out way to get there.  That will be the setting of your goals.  Those bite size chunks, those little steps along the way to seeing your vision to reality.
We will talk about goal setting in a later post… give you something to look forward to.
This is a process that is worth sharing with your Scouts.  The sooner they get in the habit of seeing their life in a way other than a set of rules and following the wants of teachers, parents, and yep.. Scout leaders.. they will achieve bigger and better things with their lives.
The Eagle project is a great tool in practicing setting a vision, goals, and accomplishing something great.
Le me know what you think.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Guilt by association

judged“You can judge a man by the company he keeps”-Euripides

Guilty as charged.  The company we keep, tan shirts, dedicated to being good Citizens, men of Character, and Fit.
I have heard this saying all my life.  You are judged, as unpopular an opinion as that is these days, by the company that we keep.  If you hang out with knuckle heads, you are viewed as a knuckle head.  If you hang out with good people, you are judged as one of the good guys.  This holds true in every case.  I can not think of one example where people who hang out with bad people are viewed as one of the good ones.. or the better of the bad.  Huh.. yeah.. I heard that one last week.  “He’s a good guy, just hangs out with the wrong crowd.. he’s the better of the bad guys”.. but you know, he’s still among the bad guys.  And yes, lets call it like it is.  If they are bad, they are bad.
Too many times these day’s we try to give the benefit of the doubt or try to find that silver lining.  Sometimes it’s just not there.  More times than not there are opportunities for behavior change and it is neglected.  I don’t buy the idea that circumstances create a lack of opportunity.  It’s there, it just needs to be taken.  I have known many people who came from bad circumstances only to find opportunity, take it, and make something good of their lives.
Here is the deal.  We have Scouting.  Scouting is available everywhere.  Now, it certain circles it may not seem “cool”..so explore the alternative.  Join our Scouting gang, or join a thug gang.  In both circumstances you will find support, belonging, and a set of values.  The difference is one leads to good, the other doesn’t.  It comes down to choices.
Parents have a lot to do with this.  As a young man growing they assist in creating the environment that will lead their son to hanging with the right crowd.  Generations of “good guys” typically lead to more good guys.  On the other hand the lack of want to.. the fact that the path of least resistance creates the easy road down a path which lacks character puts young men in the bad category.
I don’t mind calling like it is.  The people who I associate with are good.  I need not worry about their character.  I don’t have to worry about the values that they live.  I don’t have to worry about the impression that I leave with the friends I keep.
I see our young men.. they look for that easy road.  That road will never lead the right way.  As a Scoutmaster, it is my job to help the parents in creating that environment which leads to good character and values.  Being a role model in that endeavor is part of the program.
Too often we forget as Scouters that we have an obligation to create those conditions for the Scout.  We get wrapped up in making Eagle Scouts that we forget what we are really there for.  Citizens of Character.
Now Eagle Scouts that hang out with Eagle Scouts is a good group to be associated with.. You will certainly be judged by that standard.
I tell ever Scout of our Troop that attains the rank of Eagle that up till now they had completed and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, from that day forward they must prove that they are worthy of being one.
That is the company that they keep.  It is the company we keep.  We are judged in that company.  I am happy with that.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Leadership, Scoutmaster minute, Values | Tags: , | 3 Comments

20 Questions

picture from adorepics.com

picture from adorepics.com

So lets start the New Year off right… looking back and learning from the past and setting goals for a better future.  Knowing who you are and where you want to go.  Setting a vision for the new year and seeing it to reality.
Lofty to start the new year out this way… right?
Well, I once heard a wise cat instruct a girl named Alice when she asked “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where –” “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”.
Without direction, a road map, a vision, It wont matter which way you go and chances are you won’t get there.
I believe it was also Alice that stated “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”  And you are.  Today you are different from you were last year this time.  So, who are you and where do you want to go?
If you have been to Wood Badge, or if you are planning on going, you will have seen or will see a list of 20 questions.  These questions are sent to you prior to you attending the course.  They get you to the trail head of your vision.  Once you answer those questions, you have a better understanding of who you are and where you want to go.  Starting your first steps on creating your vision.
This vision may be long-term, short-term, or based on what is happening right now.  Let’s set Wood Badge aside for right now.  I don’t want you thinking in terms of a “ticket”  Let’s focus on you and what you want out of this coming year.
Close your eyes and think about what your life looks like in December of 2015.
Is it what you want?  If not, change the course now.  Make a plan, draw a picture, and go get it.
Here are the 20 questions that will help you figure this out.
Answer them to yourself.  Share it with someone who will be taking the journey with you.  Most important.. write the answers down.  Everything is writing.  That which is scheduled will happen.  So write it all down and schedule your plan.  We will get into more about this in later posts.
The questions:
What do I feel are my greatest strengths?
What strengths do others notice in me?
What do I most enjoy doing?
What qualities of character do I most admire in others?
Who is a person who has made a positive impact on my life?
Why was that person able to have such significant impact?
What have been my happiest moments in life?
Why were they happy?
If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I choose to do?
When I daydream, what do I see myself doing?
What are the three or four most important things to me?
When I look at my work life, what activities do I consider of greatest worth?
What can I do best that would be of worth to others?
What talents do I have that no one else really knows about?
If there are things I feel I really should do, what are they?
What are my important roles in life?
In each of those roles, what are my most important lifetime goals?
In five years, what role do I see for myself in Scouting? (if you are a non Scouter.. insert your own)
What would I really like to be and to do in my life?
What are the most important values I use to guide and motivate my actions?
Don’t just answer these, sit down and really ponder each question.  Some will be easy and some will require some thought.  Take you time.  We are talking about you here.  Be a little selfish in setting goals for you.  What you do now, will help others later.
Look forward, reflect on yesterday but we are looking forward.  We can’t change anything from yesterday, but we can learn from it and get better.
So who do you want to be?  What do you want life to look like?  It’s up to you.
I revisited this yesterday in setting my goals for 2015.  I have set 22 goals.  22 stops along the trail of 2015 that will make me the person that I want to be in December.  They are in writing and have due dates.  Everything from being Debt Free to collecting OA pocket flaps.  Yeah, patches will make me a better person believe it or not.
I believe in this process and know that it works.  Patience and perseverance are important and staying focused and on task.  Perfect, no, at least not in my case.. I am a work in progress.  But willing to work.
We will talk more about this in future posts.  Go answer your 20 questions.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

New Year 2015

newyearWell, here we are.  The closing of the curtain of one year, the opening of another allowing us to move on to the next.
It has been a great year for the Schleining’s.  We count ourselves as blessed.  Looking back at the year that we fondly take a look back at and we can rest knowing that we did our best, we achieved some goals while falling short in others.  As a family we faced challenges and victories.  We enjoyed watching our children grow.  Our youngest graduated from High School and started a great College Football career.  Our twins continue to bring joy to our lives, John in the Army and Katelyn in College.  It was nice to have them all home for the holiday’s!
Looking back on the blog, it too grew.  The blog has been something that has required much thought and evaluation for me this year.  Why do I do it?  What impact does it have?  Is it worth the time and effort?  These questions and more have forced me to think long and hard about this blog.  It certainly has an impact and is totally worth the effort.  I am a believer that the numbers never lie.  They may not always tell the whole story, but they measure those things that you believe or need affirmation on.  They become a story about the story.
So I looked at some of the year-end numbers of the blog.
Scouters from 8 different Countries are visiting the blog.  I found it interesting that there is a Scouter out there from Mongolia that pays us visits from time to time.
I view the blog as a community.  That community is only as good as all of us having a discussion on how we better deliver the promise of Scouting.  Comments this year increased.  This tells me that our discussion is happening.  This increase is significant this year and has kept me going at times.
The blog was viewed 48,628 times this year.  That number is down, but the number of followers on twitter and Facebook have gone up.  Some visitors are getting the blog directly to a feed so they do not click-through the blog.
This is a great thing as social media has become a greater part of the blog.
I tried some give away’s this year.  Both of them were successful in that some one won!
Most blogs do give away’s to increase viewers and create email lists.  I did neither with our give away’s.  I did ask for “likes” on the last one, just trying to see where the blog would land in social media.  Maybe the average age of our readers is not into that sort of thing… it really made little or no impact.   I kinda wanted to take over the internet for a week…but unfortunately the Kardashians once again stole our thunder.
So what’s next?
Today I sat down and put together my goals for 2015.  Within my list are a few or the blog.  Last year I did a blog ticket.  I finished most of the ticket, but had to modify it.  This year I will try to post three times a week, at least one of those targeted to be video.
This should generate lots of good content and keep us focused on what and why we do this… to deliver the promise of Scouting.
I hope that this blog had helped you in some way.  I hope that this coming year is a great one for you.
Have a Blessed 2015!!  Set your goals and take charge of you and your life.

Have a Great Scouting …. Year!

Categories: blog | Tags: | 4 Comments

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