Month: April 2009

Adult Leader Roles

Tonight at our Troop Committee meeting I reminded the Committee that we are in need of a 5th Assistant Scoutmaster.

It prompted the discussion of roles of the ASM’s.  
We have had this discussion before, but in light of the size of the Troop it was worth bringing up again.
When the Troop was small and new, the ASM’s had a clear role of being Teachers, Coaches, and mentors.  Essentially, they had to start from scratch with a group of young boys.  
As skills developed and the boys became older, the role of the ASM’s morphed to a more relaxed coach.  Assisting where needed and working on specific skills.
Well now the Troop is big and young… very young.  The roles of the Assistant Scoutmaster’s have changed again.
We are now back into the Teacher, Coach, Trainer mode.
And so the role is back to a more hands on “Guided Discovery” approach.
Now we move the ASM’s back to covering down on a Patrol, teaching Patrol leaders, and developing the young men.
The roles of Adult leaders change and develop over time.  It is important that we recognize changes in the youth and their skill sets.
Further it is important that as the Scouts grow, you allow room and do not over supervise.  You have to let them remain boy led, even when skills are low and the age level is young.
Guided Discovery is the key.  Teach, Coach, Train, and Mentor the Scouts allowing them to own their Troop and make good decisions.  Decision making that is taught and learned from Assistant Scoutmaster’s that know their role.
Have a Great Scouting Day!


Alvin Townley, author of Legacy of Honor has completed his second book.

I was fortunate enough to be contacted and received an advanced copy (proof) and then a completed copy.
Let me tell you that Alvin wrote a winner here.
I just finished the book and highly recommend it to anyone that loves Scouting and values the program and what it does for our country.
What I particularly loved about Spirit of Adventure is that is shows you the adventures of a life time that are being lived by Eagle Scouts over generations and every walk of life.
The bool proves that the Boy Scout Program leaves a lasting impact on those men that drive them to greatness and adventure.
I absolutly love the book and highly recommend it.  A must for every Scout and Scouters book shelf, after you read if of course.
The book will hot the stores on MAY 12th… so mark your calendar and pick up a copy!
You can learn more at Alvin Townley’s site:

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Boys are Boys

While on a recent Backpack trip with my Troop I had the opportunity to do something that I really love… Learn.

Yes, I learned something about young men.  The bottom line up front is that Boys are Boys.
Let me explain.
I recently had a talk with a few adult leaders, we were talking about the differences in Scouts today versus the Scouts of old… and yes we were talking about when we all donned the green collarless shirts.
As we talked we came to the conclusion that Boys are Boys.. Scouts are Scouts.
The difference was in the culture.. not the kid.
When we were Scouts we looked for every opportunity for adventure.  We were allowed to.
We would stay out after dark and wander in the woods behind our house.  The street light was a signal to stay close to home in the summer and time to head in during the school year.
We made rafts in a local pond and got real wet most of the time, we took our bikes on miles of trail and track, packed a lunch or found stuff to eat.
We put on our Packs and hit the trail for a weekend with out a Scoutmaster or Assist hovering.. and on Sunday… we hiked back out to meet them.  (We can still do that in the BSA… most parents just freak out over the idea).
A good story was all it took for us to explore.  Tell us there was a crazy man that was the last of a Civil war Confederate regiment hold up on a hill somewhere.. we were climbing that hill to find him.
Our parents and teacher though we were overly active.. full of energy… Now they call it ADHD and medicate till the adventure is gone.
Our parents knew how to spray a leg or elbow with that stinging stuff in a can and tell you everything was OK.    Now a black eye will land you in the Emergency Room.
We would come home cut, scraped, bloody nosed and a grin from ear to ear.  We were having fun and living the life of the young Indiana Jones.
We all grew up just fine.  We all grew up with a strong work ethic, a since of adventure, and a lot of responsibility.  We grew up with skills that have stood the test of our time on earth.
We all have a strong set of values and know which way to follow our moral compass.
Skinned knees and worn our jeans were just the way it was if you wanted the next adventure.
So what’s the difference between us and the next group of boys?  Well if you ask me its a culture of fear.
We fear for our kids, we don’t want to see them grow up, we don’t want to see them hurt, we don’t want to put them in harms way.  Well, OK.. I can grab some of that… but what are we doing when we don’t encourage the zest for adventure.  When we foster a willingness in ourselves to let them run through the woods, build fires, use a knife, trap a small animal.. just because we can… tear an old pair of jeans and not have mom freak out.  When we foster that willingness.. our boys have a better life.  They can go without a pill box full of meds, they can do without a hovering leader, they become the leader and the adventurer.
So what did I learn on the last Back pack trip?
All of the above.  I saw the Scouts of our troop take on a adventure, they made decisions, led the way and traversed across a dangerous trail.  They did not need medications, they skipped rocks on the creek and stayed up to see the amazing stars.  They cooked their own meals and shared with each other.  They took themselves to the brink of exhaustion and kept going.
They pushed themselves harder than most have ever pushed before… and in the end were rewarded handsomely by an awesome view, clean air, and hanging out with their pals.
I learned that that the difference between them and me…   They are not allowed to be adventurous.  And that I thought to myself is my job as their Scoutmaster.  Give them the adventure that they don’t get at home, school, or in todays culture of not taking risk and adventure.
I will never stop learning.. and will never quite wanting to live like Indiana Jones either.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Slight name Change

As you may see the sight is now..

I have been fighting what seems to be tooth and nail with the domain host and finally just caved in and went a new route.
Sometimes that is just the best course of action.
Anyway.. I am back in the saddle, just with a new name.

Have a Great Scouting Day…
And be sure to note the change…

and a Word of Thanks

Sorry, I should have mentioned this in my last post.. but thanks to all the great Scouting Friends out there that have sent emails and twits… (I think that’s what you call them).

Everything is fine, like I said, just needed a break. Got it.. Not moving forward again.
Also, for those of you waiting for the next Podcast. It’s coming too.
I have a 7 part series on Leave no trace that will be hitting the net in about a week or so. Sorry for that delay too… part of the break.

And while I am still on the subject of break. I encourage all of you to take one now and then. It really is nice to take some “Me time” and get things sorted out… what ever that may be. It will make you a better person.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Still alive… just needed a break

Hello everyone.
As you can see by the dates on the blog, it has been a while since my last post.
Call it what you will.. I needed a break… I took one, and now I am back.

A few days at the beautiful Oregon Coast, some time to think and reflect and I am back in the saddle.
I suppose we can call it my Easter. A time of renewal, a time of reconciliation, a time of reflection and purpose.
I do not want to get to deep on this, but this lent was just that for me. A time to refocus and get my head right. To take stock in what I have, who I have in my life, and what makes me tick.
Scouting is a major part of my life, I love the program. It’s values, it’s purpose, and it’s adventure. Scouting is something in my life that crosses into everyday living.
The attitude that comes with living the Scout Oath and Law. The purpose driven attitude to be helpful and kind, Loyal and Obedient, Trustworthy and Brave.

It has been a while since my last post…
I am still having problems with the host issue, not sure when the domain will be fixed, but in the mean time.. we will be here.

Have a Great Scouting Day!
And have a Blessed Easter.