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By: webmaster       On: 2015-08-27

A New Scouting Position: Nozzle Control OfficerOkay, the BSA hasn't really created a new position, but maybe it should.We live in an information age, when all sorts of information is coming at us like water from a fire hose. Just think about the number of emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and text messages you see in a day. In Scouting alone, we've got Scouting magazine, countless official and unofficial Facebook pages and email lists, council newsletters,...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-08-20

Why We Do What We DoThis past Saturday, my daughter Lesley got married. It was a lovely wedding on a picture-perfect fall afternoon, and we were thrilled to share the celebration with more than 250 friends and family members from several states and even a couple of foreign countries.So what does my family news have to do with Scouting? A lot. You see, my new son-in-law, Ben Williams, is also one of my Eagle Scouts....[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-08-13

Ten Essentials of ScoutmastershipWhat does it take to be a good Scoutmaster? Many years ago, legendary Scouting author William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt suggested 10 attributes. Here they are:1. A belief in boys that will make you want to invest yourself and your time on their behalf. 2. A zeal focused upon one point—the boy’s happiness through his formative years—”A happy boy is a good boy, a good boy is a good citizen.” 3. An immense faith in...[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-08-06

Put Down That Firewood, and Nobody Will Get HurtHere in Kentucky, we’ve been entertaining an unwelcome visitor in the last few years: the emerald ash borer. This Asian invader has killed more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States and will likely kill millions more before it’s done. The only way to prevent infestation is to treat an ash tree with insecticide every two years—at a cost of around $200 per treatment....[More]


By: webmaster       On: 2015-07-30

What Really Attracts Boys to ScoutingSeveral years ago, I chaired my church’s youth minister search committee, and in that role, I thought a lot about what makes a successful youth program. In the process, I read a book (Choosing Church: What Makes a Difference for Teens by Carol E. Lytch) that really put this issue into perspective. I think the book’s lessons apply as well to Scout troops as they do to church youth groups.According...[More]


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]


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