During our Blue & Gold this year, I had the boys write letters on BSA letterhead that I downloaded from scouting.org to the military. One of my High School friends, who is an Eagle and serves in the Air Force as a pilot was recently deployed overseas. I had asked him if we could write him and others. He replied that would be great, but not to send certain items.
Archive for May, 2012
Tactical Scouters: Combat troops, together with any service troops required for their direct support, who are organized under one commander to operate as a unit and engage the enemy in combat.In the Scouting world this would translate to: Scouters who together and who are trained for their position within their Scout Units are organized under guiding principle to help build character, leadership and to offer a quality WOSM based program to the youth they serve before, during and after each Scout Event and Meeting.
So, why this title and posting? Over the past couple of days I have been on a Training kick within Scouting and also at work. I also got involved in a small discussion on the Scouts Canada Facebook page. They let me in there and I generally lurk about, eh. We all follow Baden-Powell and like to wear Uniforms, use Dutch Ovens, like bacon a lot and sing really badly. Oh, and then remember it’s for the Boys (or Youth in SA’s case)! But one thing we have in common is training and why we should take it and why we should not be required to take it.
I am think that training should be taken. Yes, I have taken BAD training that I really have never used. But, that was on the clock, so I did get something out of it! Yes, I have sat through boring Scout training too. Ugh.
So, I got excited as only a Trainer would be when the LDS came out with an updated document on LDS and Scouting. This page also talks a lot about how Training is supposed to happen within the LDS. Ok, I am not LDS and I know very little about it. I know as much about it as I do being Jewish, Catholic or Hindu.
Now, what I really like is how the LDS Church looks towards training. Being the Charter Org, this document has it right. Now, each position is a Calling within the LDS. It’s an honor to be Called for a position. The LDS even go so far to say, they will pay for any training and that Roundtable is a Good Thing! There is even a LDS Cubscout Den Leader PDF Training off the Scouting.org site.
So why all the excitement about LDS? I am not LDS…. Well, here is why. The LDS have put Scouting as part of their mission to help their Youth. Working with their program and the BSA’s there is good documentation and processes to help them offer a quality program. As District Training Chair, I need to know when there is a difference so I can give them the correct information.
Which in the end will help me offer a better program to the Youth I serve.
Ok, so you might feel like, what’s up with the Tactical part of the title of this posting. As Trainer’s we are charged with providing good information to the Scouter’s who will guide the Youth. We support them with quality training, quality answers & information for what is needed. Every Scouter is a Trainer to the Youth. So, it is incumbant of each Scouter to Be Prepared for the meetings, outings and events that we go to or put on.
We are all in this together. We are all Trained Tactical Scouters in support of each other for the Youth.
Adult Training on Scouting.org
Training Team on Scouting.org (off to the right hand side is a link to the Training Times. It’s where the BSA National Training Team communicates to Everyone! They are on Facebook too!)
Other Adult Training Info on Scouting.org
Publications of most every document and/or Book the BSA has printed. Even ones for sale at the Scoutshop! (Download these and put on your Laptop/iPad/Tablet/iPhone or whatever you use. This is a great resource and cuts down on paper & 3-ring binders/books to carry!)
Last night at the Pioneer District Dinner, the District Awards were handed out. It was a great time to reflect upon what the Scout Units did over the past year. The District Chairman and Commissioner gave their thoughts. Our Exec did the same too. But, he added points that really helped me. See we as a District are in transition. He came in two years ago and he’s been going UP all the time. Membership is growing in Pack, Troops & Crews. (It’s a Council Metric). The last time we had growth was 2000, 2007 & 2009 in all three categories.
Our Council President who resides in our District was also there. He talked about three goals that the Council is working on. Growth in Summer Camp Participation at the Cubscout level, FOS and building relationships within local Businesses.
It all got me excited to be a part of the District and Scouting. While I do not like where we are within the District, I like the fact that I am part of a group within the District that is affecting CHANGE and that I will be able to say I was there and helped make it happen.
Which, brings me to “The Silver Pretzel” award. I like this part of the dinner. I generally do not know who is going to win. The Advancement Chairwoman (Lois) gets to hand these out. She creates a little story based upon the info given about the Scouter who gets it. She keeps the name out of it so we all can guess. This year was awesome and all those who got it deserve it. It is one thing that I measure myself as a Scouter against. Am I doing my Best? What do I give to the District, Scouters and the youth. How did I serve them today and how will I in the future.
I nominated my friend Allan Campbell. He is the Cubscout Roundtable Commissioner, OA Vice Chair/Advisor & Vigil, Program Chair (incoming Advancement Chair as of June 1, 2012) Trainer,trained at POW-WOW and now Program & Training Conference, was Tiger Den Leader, Bear, Wolf & Webelos DL. Current Cubmaster and staffed several things at Council. He also brought back the Cuboree to the District and started and ran the Geocaching program within the Council in 2010. He is all that. Oh, and he put on the District Dinner and did the dishes. His wife was right along side of him as well.
His fellow Silver Pretzel winners are George Stephan and Virgle Pierce. Both had very outstanding resumes within Scouting. Looking at these great Scouter’s there is a lot happening and the Scouts are far better for it. I am proud to know them.
Our May Pack Meeting just totally rocked. This is what I posted on Facebook after I got home.
“Fantastic night at Pack 221′s Physical Fitness Meeting. The new kindergartener’s rocked. We did Slackline (actually walking a tightrope) and an Obstacle Course that had the Scouts figure out which was NSEW was, recite the Promise & Law, Raise a Flag and tie a Square Knot. Also a 3 legged race and wheelbarrow race. Started off with holding a bat to your forehead and go around 5 times relay race. We did get outside for it too. Blog post coming tomorrow. Lots of fun!“
The meeting was themed after To do your Best, Help the Pack Go and Cub Scout gives Goodwill. We had races with buddies, working with buddies and always doing their best! Along with “A Game with a Purpose!”
I started off the Pack Meeting doing the Cubscout Promise and Law by myself for two reasons. First, I really do not know it and I needed to do it in front of the Scouts and my Committee Chair. He’s been bugging me all year to memorize it. The second was for the Scouts to do it and learn it. It is the basis of the Pack Meeting and building blocks of all things Scouts and things that they can use in everyday life.
Above you see the obstacle course (we ditched the flag folding due to time) which was laid out on half a basketball court. The other half was our Dizzy Bat Relay. Outside had our other Relay games and the Slackline. (FYI: This Slackline was NOT the same as the BSA’s version of Slackline. It was a tightrope that the boys walked. Yes, I did voice my opinion and we did reviewed the Sweet 16 & other items.)
The Relay Games of 3-Legged Race and Wheel Barrel Race were based upon the Buddy System. The Scouts had to work together. We had several of the kindergartener and Tigers paired up with Webelos I. Even a kindergartener and Tiger. Both of the Scouts showed great compassion and worked with the new Scouts. That was Goodwill and Scout Spirit at work.
The Slackline was based on Trust and trying something new. The Wolf Den Leaders really helped out for putting this on. One Wolf DL is the same that had all the unicycles at one Pack Meeting. The other is a Physician’s Assistant. Ying and Yang!
The Obstacle Course was built around basics of Scouting. Promise, Law, Square Knot, Compass, Flag Raising and physical Fitness.
At the end of the Pack Meeting, I brought all the Scouts back together for the wrap-up and the explanation of while you were having fun, you were learning. I really did not say that but conveyed it to them. I told them that I was proud of them for helping the new guys. I told the new guys that they are awesome. I reminded the Scouts to do their best, to give Goodwill and hangout with those who do not have friends at lunch. Be Respectful.
Overall, this Pack Meeting can be put in rotation for next year and years to come.
Like rare patches? How about one only 11 men have ever worn?
Today, we learned the identity of the next man to join the impressive fraternity of Chief Scout Executives that started with Scouting legend James E. West. (See the full list below.)
The Chief Scout Executive Selection Committee announced it has chosen Wayne Brock as the next Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Council that I am in, recently put on a program called Mission Possible. Simply put, it’s a Spring recruiting drive for Tigers and Wolves. Along with getting Cub scouts to summer camp and getting the Pack to put on a Summertime Award Pack Events. As I pointed out in the above linked post, the Pack generally does all of this. However, we do the Fall Join Night instead. I have wanted to do a Spring Join Night, so here is our chance.
The join Night was held this Monday at the Gym and it was a huge success. I did not send out one flyer. I used what our Council Scout Exec said during the Kick-off event. He asked his son at the time, what seven friends do you want to join Cub scouts with you? He called those parents and invited them.
I took that and got a mom who is my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader (Girl Guide from the UK) and got her son’s buddies. I also sent an email out to the Pack asking if they knew anyone. I got three boys that way. Two were brothers. The third was a friend of my Bear Den Leader.
So, I held a 60 min Den meeting for 9 of the tiniest kids you ever saw. Got them excited about Cub scouts, Pinewood Derby and all things Tigers.
Out of that I have 6 firm applications. 4 (since one did not make it last night) are still coming. One mom asked about her Twin 2nd graders. Yup, they can start anytime.
Two boys are brothers of Wolves. A Wolf Dad picked up an Adult Application and will turn it in at the Pack meeting. Another Dad said he would be the TDL. He’s an Eagle Scout, OA, SPL, Den Chief & Marine from Olympia.
Another Mom said she would do what she can to support the Den. (She’s the one who organized everyone to come). The mom of the Twins tell her husband is interested in helping. He’s a Webelos, but does not want to be in front. Told her, we have a committee spots.
So, for a Spring Join Night, I have 11 new Scouts, two Den Leaders and a possible Committee Member.
Oh, and what did we do at the meeting? Played a game, built Rain gutter Regatta Boats and talked about what we do in Scouting. Also a lot of laughing and giggling. I think I know all their names too! I showed them a 3 min video off the iPod of what we did as a Pack the other year. They liked the BB Guns, Archery, First Aid Pinewood Derby and Water Bottle Rockets. I showed them all the segments & belt loops that they could earn. Told them whatever they liked, they could get a badge/Beltloop for it. I got pelted with how about this, that…I kept saying yes.
My only sad point was, this is going to be my last year as Cubmaster and these guys are the last ones I actively recruit as Cubmaster. Yes, I will keep an eye out for them.
So, here is the cool part. My new Tiger Den Leader has already taken Youth Protection and the TDL Online Training. In email conversations with the other Den Leaders and Committee Members he’s helping the Pack at the next Pack Meeting. This is going to be a great next year.
Now all I need is to get a couple of current Tiger Den Parents to step-up to be the Wolf Den Leaders so my current TDL will step-up for Cubmaster. I also need an Ast Cubmaster as well. I do not want her to do it alone.
Today is Mother’s Day and a time to celebrate Mom. We did that here today. I wanted to take one moment and thank all the Moms who are, were, will be and have been a Den Mother. As well all those who support Scouting in some way. Either as a registered Leader or as a Scout Parent who just takes boys and girls back and forth to meetings, go-see-its and events.
Yes, the BSA does not call them Den Mothers anymore. They are Tiger Den Leaders, Cubmasters and many other positions. If it was not for them, the Pack would not go. It was in 1936 that Den Mothers were given the option to register.
“By 1929, the new Cubbing program (it wasn’t called “Cub Scouting” until several years later) was taking shape and was introduced as a demonstration project in a limited number of communities. Its structure was similar to today’s Cub Scouting, except that dens were led by Boy Scout den chiefs. The plan included a neighborhood mothers’ committee to encourage Cubs and den chiefs. In 1930, Cub Scouting was formally launched, with 5,102 boys registered at the end of that first year. By 1933 the time had come to promote Cub Scouting throughout the country as a part of Scouting. All experimental restrictions were removed, and the first national director of Cub Scouting was appointed. Den mother registration was optional for the first few years. By June 1938, 1,100 den mothers had registered and soon became an important part of Cub Scouting.” From the BSA Website
It was not until 1976 that women were allowed to be Cubmasters! Which it was even longer for the first official Female Scoutmaster.
So, here’s to the Den Mother and all those Moms who served within Scouting!
Today was Jamboree on the Trail. It’s technically my first time. Last year I was at Gilwell Field as a Troop Guide, so maybe I was on the trail? I put JOTT on the Pack Calendar and incorporated it as part of my Cubmaster Hike. This was the second in a six part set of hikes. Today we went to Elk Rock Island. Non of the people on the trail within the Pack had ever been there. The land bridge that was supposed to be there, was under water. We could have gone swimming, but I had no idea about the currents or what it was like. Hence, we did not. The adults could have walked on the bottom of the river bed, but the water would have been up to our armpits. Plus, it was VERY COLD. Many of the people with us elected to wade in other areas and explore.
We did see several Osprey’s and a Bald Eagle. As we were hiking in, we saw a lot of garbage, which we all picked up some of it on our way out. We also went over the Cubscout Leave No Trace ideals again. The Scouts and Parents did well. It was shorter than I had really planned, but we did talk about the volcano & lava flows that we were on as well as the island itself.
Main thing is that we got out into an area that no one had ever heard of before and had a good time.
A friend and fellow Scouter up in the Seattle Council put on a BALOO training the other week. He just published a blog about it and included his Powerpoint slides for it. It’s Great! This is something that I have wanted to do for a while. Yes, I am stealing it…ok well, he put it out there and I am taking it!
He also teaches at the Seattle Program and Training Conference in October. Hopefully I will be able to get up there and take a class.
It is that time of the year, for most, to gather up the Pack Committee and Den Leaders and find a spot for a whole day and figure out what’s going to happen the next Cub Scout Year. This year, our Pack will have its first real sit down meeting and flesh it all out. Last year I had a 4 hour one at my house at the end of summer which was good in the fact that we got a new Committee Chair out of it. The years before was just me plopping down a calendar and saying “Here we go!” and ran with it.
So, what information/tools do you need to plan for the upcoming year? Several things.
First: Review what the Pack did last year. Join Night, Pack Meetings, Pumpkin Races, Scouting for Food, Caroling at Retirement Home, Wreath Sales (Fundraising), Scouting for Food, Pinewood Derby, Rank Advancements, Arrow of Light, Pack Camping, Blue & Gold, Webelos Woods, Camporee, JOTT, Summertime Pack Events, Raingutter Regatta and others. Did we do well? What did we fall down on. How can we improve.
Second: What do we want to do for events in 2012-2013? (See above) What do we do differently.
Third: Get the calendar of the School District, Council & District. As well as any religious calendars needed. As a Pack work to join, work with, be mindful about the Jewish Holidays. Since I am not Jewish, it is very helpful to know that there are days/nights that are not the best for Pack Activities.
Fourth: Tools. By this I mean look for the documents,websites, spreadsheets, software that is provided by National and Council to help plan. These will include the Journey to Excellence (Pack), Summertime Pack Event, Budgets and other helpful items. This is our Council’s Pack Planning Guide.
Once these are collected and the pre-work is done. Oh, Pre-Work? What is that? To me, that is all the ideas of what you want to happen next year based off past experiences and new ones you learned about. Since I am the Cubmaster and in charge of the program, it’s up to me to formulate the ideas. I do take advice from everyone. Yes, this is a group process of what should, should not be included and what worked and didn’t.
This year there are several factors that I need to contend with. We have the normal Fall Join Night. This year Cascade Pacific Council is working a program to increase the Tigers & Wolves enrollment. We have a Council Wide Sept 19th Fall Join Night. There is going to be a media blitz about it. So, we need to reason that in.
I have a Spring Recruitment happening as well. This will lead into a Raingutter Regatta for the last June Pack Meeting. It’s also our Summertime Pack Event. There are a couple of other Pack events in June that will cover the Summertime Pack Event.
For the coming year, besides the normal Council/District events and Traditional Events, I want to include a Space Derby in October. I have never seen one, nor do I know when the last Pack Space Derby happen.
Training: This is always a big thing. However, this year, I need to get several Den Leaders and others to BALOO & OWLS. I am the only one in the Pack with BALOO & OWL training. I also need to insist upon the Committee/Den Leaders to go to Program & Training Conference on November 3rd. It’s our University of Scouting/Pow-wow.
With these tools, plans and ideas of what & how to put on a Cubscout Year, your Programming will help attract & keep Cub scouts and Parents to the Pack.
I do have to say that my Council, Cascade Pacific has really made a huge leap in making it easier this year. This year, they have put the Calendar for the Council and each District online that can be updated easier and also to be subscribed to via your computer’s Calendar and Smartphone. This way, I know what is happening and get updates to all training events (that are loaded into the system). So, thank you to those within the Council that made this happen. It makes me very happy. Both as a Cubmaster and District Training Chair!