Month: November 2010

Thanksgiving Wishes

From my Family to yours we wish everyone a Blessed and Wonderful Thanksgiving.
I hope that you all can spend it with family and friends and all that are close to you.
Keep those that protect us in your blessings today as you sit at the table.

Thank you all for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!

Jerry & Family

Teaching Scouts to lead

Leadership has been define and redefined over the ages but the basic tenants remain the same and the practical exercise of those that lead can be studied and learned just as they have since the days of Alexander.
Learning how to lead has also been an age long process that has morphed through the ages as our understanding of those that are led is better developed, technology is incorporated, and our cultures become better educated.
This is a science that when perfected is still as simple as it started. Defining leadership seems to be a cause that keeps military leaders awake, corporate giants tossing and turning, and political hopefuls looking to experts to define how they will lead.
So what does all this mean in the context of Scouting? To put it simply, it’s all the same. I had my first taste of real leadership when I became a Patrol leader in Troop 100 in the Transatlantic Council. I was a young Second Class Scout and earned the confidence of my Patrol to be the leader, that, or I was just the only one that had not yet had a turn at Patrol leader. We’ll go with the confidence answer. Our Senior Patrol leader was a big guy named Chris Brown. He was on his way to West Point, an all star football player and a Scout we all looked up to, literally, he was big. I don’t remember too much about Chris other than his expectation that Patrol leaders needed to be in charge of their patrols. When faced with “Crisis” his favorite saying was “Work it out, come to me when you can’t resolve it”. And nine times out of ten we would resolve the issue and because we were all twelve and thirteen year old boys, short term memory would kick in and we would be on our way.
What I learned from my first experience as a leader was that I had responsibility and needed to take it serious. If my Patrol messed something up, it was me that was accountable, if my Patrol did great, it was me that got the pat on the back.
The second part of that responsibility I developed was that it was not about me, but it was about the Patrol. Selfless service.
I went in the Army after graduation from high school and soon found myself in leadership roles. Because of Scouting, I could read a map and compass, I could do First Aid, and I had a good understanding of Bush craft, and most importantly I could stand in front of a group of people and communicate. Those that I followed found me a valuable asset to help teach skills and help others in my Platoon develop in basic field skills. At the age of 19 I attended the Army’s premier Combat leadership course, the U.S. Army Ranger School. I emerged from that test a confident leader that understood that there was nothing in life that could stand in my way. Before I was old enough to have a sip of beer I was a Sergeant and leading an Infantry Fire team in 2nd Squad, C Company 4th of the 9th Infantry. I had four men, some older than I that was responsible for. And not just for planning menus and earning badges, but real responsibility, life and death kind of stuff. I would catch myself flashing back to my days as the Patrol leader for the Flaming Arrow Patrol in Troop 100. I would see myself the Senior Patrol leader of Troop 246 in Louisiana and I remember thinking to myself, I got this. 12 year olds are harder to lead. As long as I remember what I was taught about team work, about service, and about working toward a goal, my leadership in the Army would be easy.
Then, the Army decided that I needed more training. I went to the Primary leadership development course where I learned what Alexander the Great and Patton knew, that if you provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation as a leader than you can and will do anything you set your team to. And that’s what it is all about.
When I became a Scoutmaster the Troop was very young. The troop had six young boys in it, the highest rank was Scout. And one of them had to lead. It was then that I decided I needed to come up with a program to teach these young men to lead.
The National Youth Leadership Training course is fine, but sending a Tenderfoot to the course is not too practical. Most of our Scouts could not dedicate a week to going to NYLT anyway. They had to learn it where it counts and they needed to learn it in a simple effective way.
We started teaching an “OJT” style class to our Scouts. Preaching our leadership methods and skills at meetings, camp outs, and every time we had an opportunity to sharpen a skill or when those ‘teaching opportunities’ came around. The results have been good. Scouts leading, learning, and executing the Scout led plan.
In 2011.. I am going to focus many of the Blog posts to explaining how we teach and what those tenants are that I feel are important to leading people effectively.   They are principles that are timeless and they work, but yet, they work with Scouts and are easy for them to understand, embrace, and put into action using the Patrol method.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Follow Me Boys is a registered Trademark of Disney

Some news and a good link

Hey folks, I want to share a few things with you about the Podcast and the blog.
Clarke Green from the Blog and Podcast “Scoutmaster” recently posted to his blog about feedback and what it takes to maintain the blogs and podcasts.  Rather than re type what he said, because I agree with him and he said it well enough for all of us that blog and podcast, check out his blog post HERE.

Now some news about the Scoutmaster Minute Blog and Podcast.
First, I am going to try my hardest to get more content on the blog.  There is no lack of it, I just need to stay motivated and hit the keyboard.
The Podcast is going to a weekly show!  I will be posting every Wednesday, so look for the show in iTunes or check back here for the posting.  But every Wednesday a new show will hit the net.
Here is a sneak peak at whats coming up on the SMMPodcast-

Next week an interview with author of Legacy of Honor and Spirit of Adventure, Alvin Townley.
December 8th- Tips on Sleeping Well in the outdoors.
December 15th – What would you Do? Answering questions from Scouting Mag.
Thanks for listening.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

PTCMedia Survey

Hey folks,  we are always looking at making PTCMedia better for the listeners of our quality Scouting Podcasts.  We are asking for your input of some of the areas of the PTCMedia web site.
Please take this short survey and let us know what you think.  Your input will drive the direction of the PTCMedia website.
Thanks for listening to the show!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

SMMPodcast #67- ASMs and Troop Discipline

Show #67- In this show we answer a listener email about Assistant Scoutmasters and we open up the subject of Troop discipline. Let me know what you think.. leave some feedback.
Listen to the Show here.
A few Show notes:
First, I am planning on going weekly with the show.  The last couple weeks have solidified my “want to” and it seems there is no shortage of subjects… and hey.. I love to talk.
Second, thanks to everyone for hanging in there and supporting the show.  It is worth the time and energy and at the end of the day the show is an extention of my love for Scouting!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Sports/Scouts balance

Tis the season, Football season, Basketball season, wrestling season, baseball…. you get the point…  Our Scouts are busier than ever it seems these days and involved in many activities.  We need to help parents and Scouts strike a good and fair balance between Scouts and Sports, Scouts and Homework, Scouts and other things that seem to pop up in life.
Last night we reviewed all the paper work required to recharter.  Those of you that are familiar with this process understand.  We reviewed our current roster and looked at Scouts that we are now forced to drop from the roles.  I say forced because the Scout and his parents are not willing to go any further, now that can be for many reasons, but in the phone calls that we made to find out what the families intent was we found that Sports seemed to be the number one excuse.
So we need to find a good balance.  I am glad to see these young men participate in sports, after all a Scout is physically fit.. right?  I love sports and believe that sports offers young men great opportunities.  But I love Scouts too and know that Scouts opens up the world to our young men.  So strike a balance.
I talked to a Scoutmaster at Round table recently about this issue.  His attitude was that its either Sports of Scouts and that if a Scout wants to do both its on them.  I asked about a Scout doing both and coming to meetings in their sports uniform, many of my Scouts do this.  “Absolutely NOT!” was his reply.  I say Hogwash… I allow our Scouts to show up in their practice gear, uniforms, or plain clothes if that it what it takes to keep them coming.  I know who plays sports and who doesn’t, and it really is not that big a deal.  Do I want them in full Scout uniform, yes, but I also know that if they are coming straight from practice to Scouts they may not have time to change.  My own two sons play Sports.  Football, Track, and Wrestling.  And they have on occasion wore their sports uniforms or practice gear to Scout meetings, its better than not being there.
Camp outs pose another issue.  To go and miss a sporting event, or to miss the camp out and attend the event.  That too is a balance issue.  The way I see it, we camp 11 times a year, about 32 nights a year.  There are plenty of opportunities to go camping with the Troop.  Football season is about 10 Friday nights, typically effects  two or three camp outs.
The bottom line.  There can be both as long as the unit and the parents communicate that there can be both.  Does this add “just one more thing” to the already busy schedule.. sure it does, but its worth it to stay in Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Just a note on the iTunes issue

First of all thank everyone for listening to the show.
Next.  Yes, the show is back up on iTunes, however I had to repost it as a new show.  Worry not faithful, many of the old shows are back up, but the ratings and reviews are gone.
Show #66 – Talking Backpacking Food is on iTunes right now and available for download.  Looks like it is fixed.
In regard to the PTC “All Shows Feed”.  There may be a bug there, but Chris and I are working on that issue.
I want to thank everyone for their emails, downloads, and comments.  Keep them coming!

Have a Great Scouting Day!