Month: March 2008


“Every Scout deserves a Trained Leader”

That’s what they tell us.. and its absolutely true.
Training provides the fundamental base for Scout leaders. It builds consistency within the ranks of our leaders and gives them a firm foundation to execute the Boy Scout program as it is intended.
Training gets everyone on the same sheet of music.

Without training leaders do not understand what Scouting is all about. Without training, leaders do not fully understand the mission, purpose, aims and methods of Scouting. Without that knowledge, a leader can not effectively provide the Scouts with a program they deserve.

All leaders should be trained. Start with Youth protection. It is available online and the BSA has done a great job with the new Youth protection training. There is a lot of information that needs to be put out. They package it well and it gives leaders the basic understanding of not only BSA policy, but what to look for when working with our Scouts to recognize abuse.

After Youth protection, hit the fast start training. The leader will start to understand what Boy Scouts are all about.
Pick a Saturday or Roundtable night when training is being offered and go to your Leader specific training. This is a must for leaders that really want to provide a good program.

Every Scout deserves a trained leader.. you can take that to the bank.

Visit the Boy Scouts of America training area on the BSA Web site

Happy Scouting!

Leave No Trace – Respect Wildlife

It has been awhile since the last discussion on Leave no Trace, but not because we forgot, just got real busy.
So we will be picking it up today with Respecting Wildlife.

The first and foremost thing to know about respecting Wildlife is that it is WILD life!!
It will hurt you, no matter how cute it is or fuzzy, or cool.
As much as we respect the mountain because it can be a dangerous place, or the river, or other situations, we need to be mindful that while most wildlife can adapt to consistant patterns of human activity, it is best to learn about wildlife through quiet observation.

That is to say…
Do not approach or follow wildlife for a “Better look”. Carry binoculars or a spotting scope or even the telephoto lens of your camera to view wildlife from observation areas and trails.

Observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee.

Other things to consider:
Do not feed wildlife, or leave food for wildlife to eat after you are gone. This gets the animals to expect food. Humans become beacons for wildlife that have been fed.
Use a “Bear bag”, or container to store food in camp. Do not let the critters get into your food. They will expect it from then on, that will endanger campers that follow.

Be quiet when you expect wildlife to be around. It is their house.. be respectful.
Allow animals to have access to their natural water holes. Do not block access, or disturb water areas that have visible animal tracks.

Respecting Wildlife not only is safe, but it creates an environment that we can exist in the wilderness with wildlife. They are beautiful creatures, but if you do not give them the respect due, you can get hurt or create an environment unsafe for campers that come after you.

Happy Scouting!

Who’s pulling the Wagon?

In developing young men to be leaders, it is important to remember that the best leaders were and are good followers. In Scouting we call it Servant leadership. Leading a group of individuals working as a team to accomplish something.. even if that something is just plain fun and games.

We tend to focus on leadership a lot in Scouting and the Scouts are always looking for that opportunity to lead, weather it is for the next rank, or to show the other Scouts that they are capable of leading.

But sometimes you need to ask, Who’s pulling the wagon? We all want to be in the leadership wagon, taking the leadership ride, but if we are all leading, who is following?

Sometimes it is ok to take the back seat, or get out front and pull the wagon and let someone else lead for a while. We see it in our Patrols.. a whole lot of chiefs, and no Indians, as we used to put it.

Being a good follower makes one a good leader. You can learn a lot from watching in the follower role. Watch success and learn from mistakes. Take it all in and try to do something different when its your turn to lead.

Pull the wagon once in a while. It is a refreshing view.

Happy Scouting!

Answer to Comments

I need to figure out a way to be a little more interactive… when a comment is left on the blog for a topic there really is no way for me to reply back. So I think that I will take some time now and then to address some comments to the Scoutmaster Minute.

I am going to start with a comment regarding Bullies.
The reader asked about a Scoutmaster Minute that dealt with Bullies and Bullying…

Well there is a lot of information out there especially in the guide to Safe Scouting and within the new Boy Scout Requirements.
You can read more at the post on ZERO TOLERENCE I did back in February.

The second comment I want to address is several comments from an anonymous reader. He wanted to discuss my points in an older post about “Being over sensitive”. I did not post his comments on the blog, they were lengthy and did not move Scouting forward. But I would like that reader to know that I did read his comments and yes, gave them some thought.
That is all I really can address, but thank you for your comments.

Westybsa- Thank you for your comments, I appreciate them and agree with you. You have a nice blog over at Scoutingmaniac.

Thanks again folks for the comments.

The podcasting is really moving forward now. I am working with the folks at Leaders Campfire (PTC Media) on a show about Leave No Trace. I’m looking forward to seeing how that comes out.
We just wrapped recording and are doing some editing on the Scoutmaster Minute podcast. Our Second Show discusses the Order of the Arrow Representative. Tom from Troop 664 was a super guest host. That should coming out real soon.
Our third show is in the works and we will be recording that real soon. It is going to discuss the Webelos to Scout transition.

We are keeping pretty busy here at the Scoutmaster minute. I hope this is helpful, I know it is fun.

Thanks again for the comments.

Happy Scouting!

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. The day we recognize the death of Jesus Christ, known to many as our Lord and Saviour. I became engaged in a short debate on this subject, the argument was sort of a Chicken and Egg argument.
The discussion asked which was more important, Christ being nailed to the Cross or Christ Rising from the dead?
I suggested that the argument was flawed because they are two separate and significant events they are connected, but have their own special place in our history and salvation.
First the death on the Cross, were Christ gave up himself for us. He is the Lamb of God and as a Lamb was lead to a sacrificial slaughter. Much as the old testament teaching were the ancients made sacrifices to the Gods, or God.
The rising from the dead was Christs triumph over death. He had to rise to fulfill the Scripture.
Christ rising from dead and being seated at the right hand of his Father is our Lord winning the ultimate battle against evil. He rose to make way for us to join him in the kingdom of heaven.

I do not want to turn this into a theology class or discussion, but I think that as Scouts and Scouters we should keep our commitment to being Reverent at the forefront of our lives. Just because the word Reverent appears at the end of the Scout law, it does not mean it is the least significant. I tend to think it is Scouting’s way of reinforcing the idea that you remember what you hear last.

Happy Easter Season, and Happy Scouting!