“In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.” Baden-Powell
While BP said this of boys, it surely is true for the scouters that encourage this learning. I love to learn, no matter what it is. Through my two recent years of Scouting, I have learned so much. And it has been facilitated by Cubscouts. Because I stepped up to the plate as Tiger Den Leader and now Cubmaster, I must make FUN!
So, where do I turn to learn? I would love to go to the Scout Shop and have a Vulcan mind meld! Won’t happen. I turn to three areas.
The Internet (Podcasts, Blogs, BSA offical websites, etc)
Council and District Training events
Today I went to the Cascade Pacific Council’s Advancement Extravaganza. Apparently I earned my Associate’s Degree for it. Whoo hoo!
I signed up for:
Troopmaster 101 & Internet Advancement, Advanced Troopmaster, Special Awards for Cubscouts, Cub Scout Ceremonies and Job of Pack Advancement Chair.
I am always on the lookout for new things to do at pack meetings and how to encourage them in learning something new. While I suspect that when I transisition to the Troop with my son, I will be a Merit Badge Counselor. There are so many programs to point the boys and families to, it’s unreal.
What I have also come to find out as cubmaster is I am not there for the parents entertainment. I am there for the boy’s entertainment. And they laugh at anything funny! So, SING, Be silly. It gets the point across. Because the boy will remember when their Cubmaster did something.
I took Troopmaster since I use Packmaster. Fundamentally the same in it’s job to track advancement, it also shows which boy is in need of guidence. It help shows what merit badges are needed and what patrols are lacking in certain skills. I use Packmaster for the same general idea with the parents. If you can show the parents what the boys are lacking for their rank, then it will help them in the long run.
Advancement Chair. I think that I really like this position. It is their job to make sure everyone is on track. Not just to go to the Scout Shop and buy patches. My one discovery today is that a Troop should have an Advancement Scribe that helps the PL stay on track on encouraging the boys to learn. It also helps the Advancement Chair to be on track. Coupled with Troop Master software, the ScoutMaster can uncover unseen weak points before it’s too late. It is the scout’s respondsibility to earn the merit badge and get credit for it and to keep his Blue Card. It is the Troop Adult leadership to keep accurate records.
Sidenote: I never went past Wolf. So, bluecard and other terms were lost on me. I am slowly getting all the lingo. I fully understand and get a lot of them now.
Learning from Blogs/Twitter/Social Media:
Wow. I think I surf more BSA related stuff than ever before. I learn so much. Just to call out Scoutmaster Jerry and Scoutsigns (on twitter and other places), I have learned so much just by lurking. Yes, Scouting is getting deeper into my blood. I can see how it affects your everyday life. I now go hobby shops looking for craft items. I also am planning a local overnight hike in the mid-spring.
So, I went to Woodbadge. While I am working my ticket, I am still learning from those who were there. I notice Woodbadge beads on other Scouters. We talk about they did, what I am doing and what to do next and on and on. Woodbadge is an instant common thing I share with others. From this networking, I learn what I want to achive and do next. Also what to look out for.
Because of several people that I met during Woodbadge, I do things completely different. I am starting to SING, putting myself out there, finding Cubmaster minutes and speaking from the heart more.
With that: Thank you for helping me be a better Cubmaster so I can create FUN.