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By: webmaster       On: 2015-06-25

Scouting in the Video AgeWhile you and I may still be living in the 20th century, our Scouts all live in the Internet Age. They’re born with cell phones in their hands. They devote untold hours to instant messaging, texting, and social media networks like Facebook. And they often learn better from videos than lectures.Yet most of us probably don’t take advantage of modern technology. Let’s say you wanted to get your Scouts excited about...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-06-18

Requiem for the PreopeningOne of my current projects is working on the BSA’s new Program Planning Features, which will replace the old Troop Program Features and will offer 48 updated themes to Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews. In spending a lot of time looking at meeting outlines, I’ve been thinking about an old friend: the preopening.Now, I haven’t done a comprehensive survey, but I have a feeling that the preopening—that 15...[More]


By: HighBark       On: 2015-06-11

A Scout Is ... Tech-SavvyEarlier this month, Deputy Chief Scout Executive Gary Butler wrote a guest blog at Scouting magazine in which he compared cellphones to utility knives. His bottom line: “I guess if we can control the proper use of a pocketknife, it should be possible to do the same with a smartphone.” (I reblogged Butler’s comments here.)About 14 months ago, the leaders of Troop 96 in Grayslake, Ill., hit upon that same comparison,...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-06-04

Don't Forget to Play the GameScouters often complain about youth sports. They say that sports are all consuming, that coaches only care about building character when they’re winning, and that sports just teach kids to win at games while Scouting teaches kids to win at life.Be that as it may, there’s one thing coaches do better than Scouting. They remember to play the game.What do I mean by that? After months of conditioning and drills...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-05-28

Conquering Context CollapseOn my blog recently, I wrote about It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, Danah Boyd’s landmark study on kids’ use of social media. The upshot of Boyd’s work is that the kids are (generally) alright, although they need caring adults to keep an eye on them in the online world.Of course, most adults spend a lot of time online as well, and many Scout leaders are connected to their Scouts and...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-05-21

Secrets to Successful Scout FundraisingNow that most of the country is on daylight savings time and daffodils are starting to sprout in my yard, it's getting easier to believe that spring will really arrive this year. (I had my doubts during this long, cold winter.)One sure sign of spring is that my troop has started selling mulch and bedding plants. In fact, I found an order form in my newspaper box just the other day.I...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-05-14

Twelve Questions for Patrol LeadersHere's an interesting self-test to give to the patrol leaders at your next patrol leaders' council meeting. It comes straight out of the 1939 edition of the Handbook for Patrol Leaders but is as relevant today as it was then.1. Do I know about every Scout in my patrol—each fellow’s strong and weak points; ambitions; home life; special needs? 2. Can I plan and conduct patrol meetings worthwhile enough to insure the bunch...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-05-07

Another Storm, Another Snow DaySchool is out again here in Louisville due to the weather. It’s our eighth or ninth snow day of the year (I’ve lost count), and I’ve been thinking about how Scout troops decide to cancel meetings and how they announce their decisions.The worst way to decide, I think, is to just follow what the schools have done that day—unless you meet at a school and have no choice. After all, weather...[More]


By: wackyeagle      

If You Build It, Will They Come?Think about the last major purchase you made. How many times through how many media did you hear about that product before handing over your credit card or signing on the dotted line? My guess is it took way more than one fleeting advertisement to move you to action.Now think about your Scout troop. How many times and in how many ways do you invite boys to join? Is...[More]


By: wackyeagle      

Boosting Troop Attendance at Eagle Courts of HonorWhat if you threw a court of honor and nobody came? While that's not likely to happen, the reality is that getting people to Eagle courts of honor can be challenging. People today lead incredibly busy lives, these one-off events are typically held at times and/or locations that troop families aren't accustomed to, and troop families may have little incentive to attend, especially if they don't know the...[More]


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