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By: webmaster       On: 2015-07-23

Facts and FilmstripsBelieve it or not, YouTube is good for more than cat videos!In planning a session on the patrol method that I’ll be teaching at the Philmont Training Center next week, I came across a gem: a YouTube version of a 1978 BSA filmstrip called “The Patrol Method.” Some Scouting history buff recorded the filmstrip and its cassette-tape narration (beeps and all) and posted it to YouTube several years back.The funny thing is that...[More]


By: wackyeagle       On: 2015-07-16

Let's Hear It for ColumbusingNPR’s Code Switch blog ran an interesting article recently on a phenomenon called columbusing, which it defines as “discovering something that’s existed forever.” Often, these discoveries happen across cultural or ethnic lines, and some meaning gets lost along the way. For example, the popular Color Run 5K races draw their inspiration from the Hindu festival of Holi.Not surprisingly, the people whose traditions are borrowed (stolen?) in columbusing tend to get offended....[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-07-09

How to Make Your SPL QuitI've been doing interviews recently with Scouters for a forthcoming Scouting magazine article on the boy-led troop (or boy-run or Scout-run or Scout-led--you pick the term). The most remarkable quote I've heard didn't come from a Scouter, however, but from a senior patrol leader. He said, "Honestly, I think I would quit Scouting if my Scoutmasters cooked me every single meal. There’s just no fun in that."This quote struck me...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-07-02

Transformational ServiceI spent last week on a week long choir/mission trip with 40 or so high-school and college students from my church, something I’ve been doing since 2000. During the week, our kids served in a homeless feeding program, built steps and porches for homes in an incredibly rundown trailer park, ran two vacation Bible school programs, and did a variety of landscaping and painting projects in a small Ohio community whose best days lie...[More]


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      

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      

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]


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