Needless to say it’s been a real busy time here and I have let my posting slide.. know that you have heard that before and I make no apology. After all, you understand what is important and not so much.
So what’s new?
Well, I was asked a few months ago to be on a small committee for the Council. This committee is the Social Media committee and is charged with telling our story.. hey that is right up my ally. I think that Scouting’s story is an important part of our movement. I also think that more and more our story and the way it’s told is an important part in many aspects of Scouting. Social Media being an important part of our world today plays a much great role in Scouting. The Millennial generation of parents that are bringing their Cub Scout age boys to our program. It is the way in which they communicate and share information. The research, learn, and make choices based on what they see, read, and hear through Social media outlets. Google, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all means to reaching our target audience.
I got into this discussion at the National Order of the Arrow Conference this year when the youth clearly sent a message about technology and how they use it in Scouting. Those young men have tech savvy parents too and time is more precious to them than money. Instant information that is clear, available, and easy to use is what they want. They don’t want an extra meeting to be told what they can gather from a quick read or search on the net.
So our Council has made a decision to take the message and put it out there where the audience is. Smart if you ask me. Telling our story using the right media (multi media outlets) so we can stretch our reach and impact a greater audience.
Myself and Adam Cox from the Scouter Adam Blog are now telling our story. Sharing news and great stories from within Scouting and in particular the Cascade Pacific Council. We are now the Hosts of the Compass Points Podcast and the Council is sharing our posts from our blogs in the Council feed.
So what does that mean? Well it should mean that the blog will be more active. And I think it will.
So far as this blog. More video, more gear talk, and more stories about our Scouting life. Keeping in mind that we want to share our story to promote Scouting here and around Scouting.
Will there be gaps.. yeah, I’m afraid there will be. I am just me and I need to get my camping in and oh yeah.. family, troop, etc. So bare with me.. I’ve asked that before and you always hang in there.. and I appreciate it.
Well, here is episode 1 of the Compass Points Podcast. Yep I will be posting them here. Just because it will be CPC centric doesn’t mean that the information, stories, and whatnot won’t apply everywhere.
We will be shooting to get 2 podcasts out a month.
So what’s your Scouting story.. share it here.. if you want, we could use it on the podcast too. We all have a story to tell about our incredible Scouting experience. Please share.
By the way.. if you are not already doing it.. you can follow me on Twitter @smjerry gonna try to use that more too.
You can check out the story of our Council on Twitter @cpcbsa Have a Great Scouting Day!
There is a nice article in Bryan on Scouting today with comments and discussion on the blog about Scouts being on a first name basis with their adult leaders.
I know it may be bad form to take this discussion from Bryan and use it here, so I apologize up front and if you will allow me to approach it as an opinion piece I will be ever grateful.
So, in my opinion… And given the comments on Bryan’s Blog I am in the minority, I am a big fan of first names.
In my Troop we use first names for everyone from the committee to the members of the new Scout patrol. The only argument for not using first names that I can find (again referencing Bryan on Scouting) is the issue of respect.
Comments like “Mr. And Mrs. It shows respect, and also gets the boys in the habit of respecting their elders when not at scouts” kind of bother me in that it is clear that formal names are not a great indicator of respect. I work for a company (UPS) which, from the beginning has been a “First name” company. From the CEO to the newest part time employee, everyone is on a first name basis. Respect comes from how people act.
I served in the Army for 21 years. In that time the naming convention, which is the only convention allowed in the Army is Rank followed by last name.. Sergeant Smith for example. I served with people for years and never knew their first names. It is a method of forcing respect due to an authority. There are many leaders in the Army that I respected because I had to, but when it comes to real respect I can honestly say I did not respect them as individuals.
So what is it that we are trying to teach our Scouts?
First, I am not an authority figure. I am their Scoutmaster. A teacher,coach, and mentor. As these young men grow, I want them to respect me for my actions and what I have taught them. I want them to know that they have access to me and that Mr. Schleining is approachable and is their friend.
Baden Powell said that a “The Scoutmaster guides the boy in the spirit of an older brother”.
I understand that many folks feel a strong connection to the “Way it used to be” implying that the old days were better. Well yes and no.. the old days were different and the standard of the “old days” can’t always be applied today. Respect is not measured by how you address someone. When we teach the Scout about respect that is done by us being mutual in that respect. I respect our Scouts as much as I expect to respected. As long as their language and actions demonstrate an attitude of respect than the Scout is practicing those lessons taught. Using the Scout Oath and Law to guide the Scout in those actions will compel him to show respect to his leaders. The fact that they call me Jerry does not take away from that.
We do not live in a time depicted in Normal Rockwell paintings. Too many adults feel that young people today lack respect. No, I can’t paint all young people with that wide brush. Sure, there are young people that lack respect, but then again, you can find examples of that in every age. There has always been an element of young folks that did not have respect for authority, institutions, and other people. What and how we teach in more important than what we are called.
It’s all about how we teach and coach our Scouts.
Ever since I was a Cubmaster, I have asked that the Scouts and their parents call me Jerry. Some parents are not comfortable with this and I understand, so they may call me Scoutmaster Jerry or Mr. Schleining.. I really don’t care. When I am called Mr. Schleining by a Scout I tend to return the greeting by calling the Scout Mr. Soinso.. They don’t feel comfortable with that either, but again I am trying to teach them that we can respect one another with first names.
Here is the bottom line and I will close with this thought. I am here to serve them Scouts. They do not have to earn respect from me, I have to earn their respect. I am their Scoutmaster and as such.. their friend. We treat one another as we would like to be treated.
I would like to thank Bryan for a good thought provoking article. It is a great discussion and is obviously one that has differing opinions. Thanks for letting me share mine.
What are your thoughts on this issue? I would love to hear.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Here is a little update. I thought I owed it to you to hear it from me about the progress of my Blog ticket which in turn has led to me seeing that I am falling short on my goals.
It is good to review once in awhile as I now know that I need to regain some focus and get back on track delivering the promise thought the blog (and Youtube channel).
Pardon all the “um’s”.. Have a Great Scouting Day!
Again with the reset subject.
Yesterday, I did some major work on the YouTube channel. I am phasing out the old channel, which became a real pain switching back and forth between accounts… so it’s all in one nice bundle now.
Like I said before, most of the videos will post here on the blog also, but not all.
So here is the trailer for the new and improved channel… same old me.. but new focus for 2014!
Stay tuned friends… I have a great give away coming up! Just wrapped up the details yesterday… Look for details this weekend! Have a Great Scouting Day!
A few weeks back, I talked about resetting. Resetting the blog and the YouTube channel.
Well.. Today is New Years Day.. and the reset has begun.
I am posting a video and also letting you know that I have entered a 30 day blog challenge designed to improve the blog and increase readership.
I am going to be asking YOU to help me. All you need to do is keep reading the blog, telling a friend to check out the blog and subscribe. I am NOT doing this for money. There is NOT one penny coming my way in this. I am doing it to help deliver the promise of Scouting and to share my love for the outdoors… that’s it… no other motive or gain.
I think that this form of media is strong and far reaching and I want to be a part of it to tell the story of Scouting. Help me out.
So here is the first video of the year. Its about backpacking lanterns. I hope you enjoy it.. look for more to come… and after you watch it here on the blog.. subscribe to the YouTube channel also if you want. To me the blog is more important and you will be getting the videos here anyway.
What kind of lantern is in your pack. Leave a comment and let us know! Have a Great Scouting Day!
I know that the blog, once again, has taken a back seat to this crazy thing called life. I suppose an apology would sound nice, but hey, we all have lives I assume.
This week has been a real moving one for me and I want to share it. Once we get through this first part, the rest is going to make sense in the context of this blog and my Scouting world.
On Tuesday, my wife and I participated in what is called “Challenge Day” at our High School. Our youngest son participated last year and it really made a difference in his life. So much so that he asked to be on the Challenge Crew staff for this year. He was accepted and has been on the Challenge crew for the high school this year.
At our high school, they offer the Challenge day to the Junior class. Now there is an “opt out” for those students that do not want to participate, but for those that do take the day and participate it is an eye opening, life changing event. Not just an impact on the lives of the participant, but, if it is received by the participant, it will impact the whole school and community.
Challenge is a program that asks the participant to open their eyes and their heart and see how behavior effects people. Name calling, neglect,, bullying, race, gender, all of that come to play in how we treat one another. OK Jerry, we all know that… No.. No we don’t. We hear it, we say it, but we don’t live it. We assume that we treat people with respect and dignity, but we really don’t. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself… honestly am I? I suppose the bottom line is that we all can do better.
I was an adult leader for a small group “family”. When I say adult leader.. I really mean adult participant. We went through everything with the students. In my group we had 3 males and 2 females (myself included with the group). I got to hear their story and the stories of many of the kids in the room, there were about 150. My heart broke when I listened to some of the kids open up and share the pain and hurt they feel every day.
Being abandoned by their parents, abuse, neglect, and dealing with families struggling with addiction.
Towards the end of the day there was an activity called “Crossing the Line”. Two long stripes of tape were placed on the floor and the entire room stood on one side of the tape. As a category was called out, if it applied to you, you crossed the line and turned and faced the rest of the participants. The idea was to demonstrate that no one is alone, and pain and hurt is not unique to you… we all feel it and the impact is great.
“Have you lost a loved one to a violent act?”
“Have you ever been a victim of a violent act?”
“Have you lost a loved one to cancer or another illness?”
“Have you been effected by addiction?”
The list went on and on… and large groups of kids and adults crossed the line and returned… many crossing several times.
At the end the facilitator asked that everyone seriously think about the next category and then she said “If you have been allowed to be a child…cross the line”.
My heart sank as I looked around at all of the kids standing that did not move. Better than half of the room could not cross the line.
The say ended with healing and affirmations that this class would make a difference. The buck stops here. As they left the room, they made a commitment to make a change, not only in their School, but in their community… and it starts with how we look and treat people.
So what does all of this mean? There is way to much pain in our communities. We need to make a difference.
Baden Powell called for us to be a movement of peace. Are we? Does a patch on our uniform make us agents of that peace?
I am blessed,
I have a great family. I have fantastic loving kids. I grew up in a house with both parents that still to this day love me. My kids have never had need and have always been loved. We are a family of huggers,. My life is good.
So what? Is a blog going to make a difference? Nope, I am just sharing.. what you do with it is up to you.
I think it is time that we all reevaluate what we are really doing to be messengers of peace. I would suggest that we forget about global problems and focus on what is right outside of your front door. If we all do that then the global issue will right itself. Our Government can’t get it’s own house in order.. I don’t want it screwing up mine. WE need to make a difference. WE… US…
We start by adding this as part of our Junior Leader training. We adults start by living the Scout Oath and Law.. Daily. We reinforce our values in everything we do in Scouting and we invite all young people to join our adventure.
There is a big push to get leaders trained. We need to train them right. We need to make sure that all of the methods are being used in Scouting. It is through those methods that we will achieve our goals or aims… not to crank out Eagle Scouts.. but to have good young men that are great citizens and everything that the word citizen means. Men of Character that are fit.
I looked at the room on Tuesday and saw a lack of all of that somewhere along the line. Crapping parents, teachers that looked the other way, friends that are afraid to be friends. Scouting is designed to change that… but we don’t. It’s easier just to camp and call it good. We need to take the time and teach our boys to be men.
So… here we are. What is the blog going to do?
Leadership posts that direct that sort of change.
Gear reviews that encourage adventure.
Tips and techniques to make Scouting better… as I see it.
I have been away a lot from the blog recently. I have been freeing up parts of my life that did not really matter. The blog really matters to me and I think that it helps.
I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and family and I am blessed to have great readers of this blog.
Thanks so very much.
Think about the tag line.. “Have a Great Scouting Day” What does that mean and why do I close with that? A Scouting day is one in which we live the Scout Oath and Law. One that we are prepared and looking for the opportunity to “Help other people” It is a promise that we make daily to not just be in Scouting but allow Scouting to be in us. It’s more than Monday night meetings, it is how we live.
Think about that for a moment and see where you are.
You can learn more about Challenge day at www.challengeday.org(more…)
This is my 1000th Blog Post!!!
To Celebrate I am having a Giveaway…
Watch the video for details but here is the bottom line…
Click the Like Button for this post.
Leave a Comment for this post.
That’s all you have to do to get your name in for a chance to win!
I will draw a name at random and will announce the winner on Tuesday March the 12th.
Thank you for visiting the blog, especially those of you that subscribe.
I look forward to many more posts sharing my love for the outdoors, Scouting, and life! Have a Great Scouting Day!