Monthly Archives: April 2008

Podcasts on iTunes

The Scoutmaster minute podcasts are now available on iTunes.

Open up your iTunes and check in the kids&family area.. you can also search for us using our name “the scoutmaster minute”.

Hope that helps get the podcasts easier.

Happy Scouting!

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Scout leaders can enable success or they can enable failure. Now I will leave it up to you to decide weather or not you are enabling which, but remember to use the Scouting program as outlined by the BSA to guide you.

We enable success when we allow the Troop to be Boy led. When we have an active and productive Patrol leaders Council that plans and executes the Troop program.
We enable failure when the Adult leaders do it for them. When the plan is a product of the Adult leadership and not that of the Scouts. When the plan is led by an adult we fail to develop leadership in our Scouts.

We enable success when we allow the Scouts to make mistakes, none that will get them hurt, but mistakes in leading. Mistakes in completing a task. We enable the success when the Boy leader has an opportunity to sit down and discuss his situation and learn what he could have done better.
We enable failure when we do it for them. When we take them by the hand and show them exactly what we want done. When we stifle creativity in the boy, not allowing him to go out on a limb. We enable failure when there is no conversation at the end of an event to discuss those things to improve on or continue to do well.

We enable success when we let the Scout work things out. Not jumping right in when Scouts are at each others throat (unless it is getting out of hand). Letting the Scouts sort out problems is part of citizenship and character. Leadership comes out in times of crisis. Allow it to happen, in the controlled environment of the Patrol.
We enable failure when we baby sit the Scouts. They are ready to move on to bigger and better things… we need to let them, without micromanaging or hovering. Let them have success in guided discoveries.

Scout leaders have much to do with enabling success or failure. Baden Powell once told a group of Scoutmasters, “Never do what a Boy can do”. This statement has never been more true.

Enable success in your Scouts and in your Troop.

Happy Scouting!

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Show 4

Show of the Scoutmaster minute Podcast is available for dowload or listen.

Check it out here

Show 4 is a discussion about Bullying. A real important topic facing the Boy Scouts of America today.

Happy Scouting!

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Well….. what do you expect?

The expectations of leaders differ. Depending on the situation, the skill level, the maturity, and the will of the leader.

We had a great camp out this weekend. Many of the new Scouts spent their first camp out with the Troop and as Boy Scouts up on Scouters Mountain. It was rainy and chilly, but nothing too unusual for an Oregon April.
The intent of the weekend was to develop our camp craft skills. Teaching the new Scouts skills such as cooking with backpacking stoves, knots, Knife, Ax, and Bow saw safety, first aid, and some introduction to map and compass. Needless to say it was a full weekend.

Along with skills instruction, the Scouts tested their skills as they set camp, lived as patrols, and ultimately broke camp on Sunday.

So what does this have to do with expectations? Everything. You see, we expect a lot from Scouts that know and have demonstrated skills, we expect them to help the young guys, we expect them to be skilled in Scouting’s basics and are able to perform those tasks without pain and agony. And the good news is the older guys did just that.
We expect from the new guys nothing more than a willingness to learn and a positive, cheerful attitude… and by and large we got that too.
So why write about it? Leadership.

We Know that the leader leads by providing, Purpose, Direction, and Motivation, the leader must understand that different skills levels deserve different levels of expectation. This expectation can drive motivation and purpose. Older Scouts do not need (or should not need) a lot of direction when setting up or taking down camp. We can expect of them, because of their experience and skill levels that they know how to do this properly. While the younger Scouts may need more Direction and explanation of Purpose. For example why we get our gear covered up, tents put up first, sleeping bags and pads ready, then start an activity.
The same at night. We can expect that older Scouts will ensure all their gear is packed and stored properly before they go to bed. On the other hand, the leader will have to physically check each of the new Scouts and explain the them the importance of storing gear for the night.

Expectations drive the amount of time leaders dedicate to the led. If given an hour to pack up camp and hike to the cars, the leader will dedicate 70% of his time with the new Scout while he can safely expect the older Scouts to motivate themselves, do the right thing, and assist where they can.

The final thought on expectations. As a leader you must INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT.
If those that have developed skills fail to accomplish tasks that are well within their level, retraining or reevaluation of their expectation is necessary. At a minimum a discussion and refocus of their motivation may be in order. The leader must determine this based on what he sees in the led. A new Scout may exceed expectations allowing the leader to move his attention elsewhere.

Expectations are different in every leader and from every follower. Leaders that recognize and evaluate the expectations of themselves and those he leads will find it easier to provide mush needed Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.

Happy Scouting!

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Methods achieve goals

Where I work we are held to a set of standard procedures for getting our job done. They are called our Methods. Any violation of the methods will surely get you in hot water with the boss. The methods are clear instructions for getting the job done in the most efficient and safe manner.

The Boy Scouts have methods for achieving its goals of developing in our young men Citizenship, Character, and Physical fitness.
Those methods are:

Ideals. 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.

Patrols. The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.

Outdoor Programs. Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. In the outdoors the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Boy Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.

Advancement. Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Associations With Adults. Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

Personal Growth. As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.

Leadership Development. The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

Uniform. The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals.

Using the 8 methods of the Boy Scout Program will insure that your unit is operating as an effective Troop. The methods are clear and can be found in all facets of the program.
The goal of the Boy Scouts is not to manufacture Eagle Scouts, it is to develop young people into Citizens with good Character and physical fitness. Earning the rank of Eagle is an accomplishment that validates in the youth and those around him that the program worked in his development.

Happy Scouting!

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