Monthly Archives: March 2011

Day 51 – I don’t need training! (or do i?)

“I don’t need training!”  First off, I don’t believe that for one minute.  But there are those out there who feel that their other trainings in their jobs/life mean that they have all the experience being a leader that they’ll ever need.  I think each and every leader deserves to be trained so they can successfully deliver the Scouting program.  If we all have the same ‘base’ BSA training, then we’ll all be on the same page and understanding while trying to deliver the Scouting program.  All of our outside training and life experiences should enhance our core training and be a great compliment to each of us.  I also firmly believe that there’s always something new to learn, something new to experience – otherwise this thing would get pretty boring after a while.

Some also feel that since they’ve volunteered to be a leader, and give of their time, that they shouldn’t give of their money in order to become trained.  I can see their point here.  That being said, I feel that most of this training that costs (Wood Badge, for example) is not only training for BSA – its quality leadership training for life.  I’ve used so much of what I’ve learned at Wood Badge in other aspects of my life that I have found it to be a very valuable thing.  Also – most, if not all training that is required for each position is free.  It’s the supplemental stuff that typically costs.  And that’s a personal choice, really.  I would encourage all leaders to consider Wood Badge, however.

Every Scout deserves to be led by trained leaders.  I urge you to get the training needed for your position in Scouting, no matter what it is.  There’s always something to learn!


Day 49 – there is no pleasing some people

I don’t think I’d be too far off if I assumed that most units have at least one parent that you just can’t seem to make happy.  Either they never like what is being done, or they always seem to have a suggestion on how to ‘fix’ things…even if they’re not broken.  Granted, some are worse than others – but they seem to always be there.

In my 6 or so years of being Scoutmaster, I’ve had parents go straight to the Council about things, try and have our CC step down, and just about had our Chartered Org. drop us among other things.  I’ve realized that there are some people who you just can’t make happy, no matter what is done or who is in charge.  The question is, how do you deal with them?

For me, I’ve found that I need to stop – breathe – and remind myself why I’m doing this whole Scoutmaster thing in the first place – the boys.  I used to take it all very personally – until I realized that there will always be someone in the group that either isn’t happy with how we’re doing things, or has some other reason to complain and be a general pain in the butt.  There are those in this world that are this way regardless of what organization they’re part of.

I guess what I’m saying here is that as long as your following the rules and doing your best – don’t let these people get to you!  My favorite complaint form is the BSA adult application – seems to keep complaints to a minimum (unless, of course, that person is a registered leader).  Just remember you’re not alone, and you can always vent and lean on the others who are here.  Hit me up anytime, folks – I’m a good listener and am willing to offer any advice I can.

Keep your chin up!  Your doing a great job and helping boys become young men.

Day 48 – full speed ahead!

Boy, I tell ya.  A few busy days go by and suddenly I’m like ‘jeeze, did I write my blog entry today – no.  Oh well, I’ll do it tomorrow’.  Well, tomorrow turned into a few days.  And now it’s Sunday and I have to dig deep into my memory to figure out  what the heck I’ve done since Thursday.  I think I remember…

Thursday was a very long and late night.  Attended the District Commissioner’s meeting and the District Meeting up at the Council Service Center.  Good meetings!  I was able to tell all the commissioners about the Roundtable survey I created and about the Commissioner’s forum page I created.  Hopefully these two things will help our Commissioner staff at least a little.  I found out I’m currently also the only one on the ‘Building a Better Brand’ pillar on the District Committee.  It’s OK though, I have ideas and the things I’ve implemented so far seem to have been met with approval.

Friday was a pretty quiet Scouting day.  besides the fact that our newly created District has put out the vote for what we want the name to be.  My interest in this is pretty great, considering one of my suggestions made it onto the final ballot.  So, we’ll see what comes of it and I’ll pass the results on to all of you.

On Saturday, I practiced one of the points of the Scout Law – a Scout is Clean.  I helped clean our master bathroom while the Mrs. worked on our bedroom.  It now almost feels like when we first bought the house, it’s so clean!  We also went and purchased a really nice vacuum cleaner (it was on clearance for over 1/2 off, so we really upgraded!).  With 2 dogs in the house, we needed a pretty good one, or the $100 one would be dead in no time.  Love my dogs, don’t love how much hair they shed!   I also made some killer home made ribs for dinner last night!  I love cooking, wish I had more time to do it.

Today, I practiced another one of the Scout Law points – a Scout is Reverent.  Church – now home for the day.  Finally have some down time to write this, and I’m starting to think I need to work on my podcast as well.  I also need to get the church’s sermon up on their podcast as well.  My job is never done!

I hope you all have a great day – hope to write again tomorrow!

Day 44 – busy days!

These last few days have been pretty busy for me both at work and in Scouts – the main reason I haven’t been able to update this blog for a few days.  Today, thankfully, I was able to head directly home from work and am now watching the Twins play Baltimore in a spring training game.  Love it!

Monday we had our Troop meeting.  Handed out sign up forms for our upcoming Base Camp trip, and collected orders for a new T-shirt and hat order.  Also started collecting money for summer camp deposits.  So, I got to play book keeper in the beginning.  Sat with the younger Scouts and helped them with their Leave No Trace requirement for 2nd Class and their hiking safety requirement for Tenderfoot.

We also held Troop elections!  We now have a new Senior Patrol Leader – and in my opinion, he’s gonna do great.  Once we get through TLT, that is.  He was the ASPL for quite some time already – and since our last SPL wasn’t around much due to other commitments, he’s already had a taste of being in charge.

Tuesday I started peeking at the Scoutmaster Handbook you see in the picture.  It came from a Troop that kind of ‘merged’ with ours a few years back – and we finally got all of their materials on Monday.  I haven’t really looked much at this version (as I have the new version) but I’m curious to see if there’s any difference.  Fun to look at the pictures – and how ‘posed’ everyone is.

Yesterday and today I worked on creating an online survey for our Roundtable.  Ran it by our DE and Scout Exec, and they all seemed to like it and helped me tweak it with better worded answers and more questions.  One district passed it out today to their memebers, and I’m sure the other district will see it tomorrow.  It was neat to see the Council get behind me on this one and give me the green light.  I hope we gather some valuable data from it to improve how we do Roundtables.

Tonight I’m also working on subject matter for my podcast idea.  I figure I’m going to need quite a bit of material to talk about before I start actually recording stuff – so I can be sure that I have enough material!  This is all pretty fun at this point – so I’m going to keep on it.

I hope you all have a wondeful Scouting day!

Day 41 – training & hoping

This weekend I’ve been thinking of how our Troop needs to be much more boy-led.  With our Troop elections on Monday, I’m hoping that this will be the start of good things.  I’m hoping that no matter who is elected – with the proper training and guidance – that they’ll be able to lead our Troop in a way I don’t think anyone here has ever seen.

Since this Troop started out with 6 very green 11 years old 6 years ago – I felt the need to help them more than if I had joined an existing Boy Scout Troop that already had leadership in place.  Trouble is, I don’t think that I’ve ever really given it all up.  I realized this at our last PLC, when it seemed that our SPL just really didn’t understand that it was his meeting to lead.  Is that his fault?  Nope.  That’s mine.  It’s one of many things I’m hoping to fix in the coming weeks and months.

First this is to hold Troop elections.  We’re WAY past the 6 month term – and no one noticed.  Again, my bad.  Elections are tomorrow.

Secondly, Troop Leadership Training (TLT).  Haven’t held one of these in years.  It’s scheduled for early next month, and I will have my stuff together by then.  I will also have the SPL and ASPL trained prior so they can help in the rest of the training.  Once they complete TLT for their current position, they can wear the ‘trained’ patch, correct?  I’m also thinking of having quick ‘mini-PLC’ meetings after each meeting so we can go over what worked and what didn’t, and offer suggestions as to how to correct any issues for next time.

I realize that this isn’t going to all magically happen overnight.  There’s going to be some meetings and plans that won’t work.  There will be some moments where it will seem like none of the training is working.  But I know it’s just a rough spot, and if I can help the boys use it as a learning tool, it will only help them grow as leaders.

With these two things taking place in the next few weeks I’m hoping that we’ll be taking some huge steps towards an actual boy-led Troop.  I think if I set the tone and lay it out for them from the get-go, it should help.  If you have any other suggestions how to, in essence, turn this thing around – I’m very open to suggestions!

Day 37 – work and fun

Today I sent out a few emails to our DE about how we’re going to handle FOS and a question or two on surveys and Troop Committee functions.  He must have been out in the field most of the day as I got a flood of responses late in the afternoon.

Tonight, I re-w0rked our Troop logo a little bit.  The inner image (the BSA logo, if you will) was pretty detailed and wasn’t coming out very well in screen printing and embroidery.  So I simplified it big time and wound up with something pretty nice!  I think it’ll look sharper both in print and in thread.

I had a minor heart attack later in the day when an automated summer camp system sent me a message informing me that our Troop’s reservation for this year was expired for no reason.  I quickly forwarded it to the appropriate camp staff, and found out they goofed….but for a moment there, I was pretty freaked out wondering why in the world they would cancel our reservation without warning.  I’m glad I don’t have to explain that one to the boys at the next meeting!

Subscribed to the MISS podcast today.  Interesting to hear the female’s point of view on Scouting (I do get it daily from the Mrs., as she’s in deep in Scouting as well) .  Nice job ladies!  I also subscribe to the SMM podcast and the Leader’s Campfire podcast.  I’m enjoying them all at the moment, and it’s really inspiring me to try and do one myself.  Still not sure how/when I’ll work on it – but I want to.  Anyone else have the same interest?  Maybe collaborate?  Always looking for tips and suggestions!

Have you taken my poll yet?  I’m just curious the level of experience that reads my works.  Nothing scientific or even that important, but a kinda neat-to-have bit of information for me.  Always good to know your audience, right?

I’m just curious

I’m just curious what the level of experience is with those of you who frequent my site.  If you’d be so kind to take a moment and participate in my tiny little poll, I’d appreciate it.  Thanks!

Day 36 – Taking Care of Business

Today brought our monthly Troop Committee meeting.  This is only the second one in a row since we started having them again (another story – for another time).  Due to a boy’s basketball playoff game out of town, we were missing a few members, but we had a decent turn out (or at least enough to hold the meeting).  Our Chartered Organization Rep was there too!

I’m very happy to tell you that we were able to successfully find a way to do an FOS.  It’s a little unconventional, but it still will be in line with what FOS is about.  We (I say WE as in the Troop Committee – as Scoutmaster I don’t have a vote) also decided to fund our upcoming Base Camp trip so the Scout’s don’t have to foot the bill.  That all came from our aluminum can trailer – a product of my Wood Badge ticket!

We also talked first aid and CPR certification.  Our CC is trained, and we all want to get certified so we’re going to look into doing that soon.  Also looking into other Red Cross training that might prove useful for summer camp, as they only allow certain trained people to distribute any medications besides a parent.

Finally, we went through our Troop ‘wish list’.  We have some funds available, so we thought we’d list out what we need and want as far as equipment.  Some of it is rather important (new flagpoles) and some of it is totally what I call the ‘Scoutmaster’s Dream’.  But, we’re going to price it all out and figure out if we can get it all, or if we have to trim the fat and prioritize it all.

All in all, it was a very productive Troop Committee meeting.  I’m glad we held it, and am very happy and excited that we’re going to keep on holding them monthly.  I didn’t realize how much the Troop suffered by not holding these meetings monthly.  And here no one thought we’d have much to talk about this month…


Day 35 – PLC

Today we held our PLC.  It was a pretty good meeting.  First off, we had all but one youth leader attend – that’s a good thing!  Secondly, it was a very productive meeting – we were able to plan 2 Troop meetings and get everything squared away for our upcoming Troop elections and OA elections.

I’ve found that I just can’t sit back at this point for PLC’s – the boys just can’t seem to stay focused and on track.  I try to back off as much as possible, but it seems like if I don’t ask the questions to get them going, they’d sit there all night.  I’m hoping after elections and TLT that this will change.

Got an awesome email from @SM_Phil about how to try and get more attendance at Roundtables.  Thank you sir!  I will try and work those ideas into our Roundtable plans as best as possible, and we’ll see what comes of it.  I also want to thank all of those in the #SCOUTNATION who gave me pointers on my recent FOS quandry.  I’m finding the Twitter-verse and this blog are sure great ways to ask questions and get answers from so many of you wonderful Scouters all over the country!  Thank you to all!  Hopefully it will all be worked out for the best tomorrow at our Troop Committee meeting.

Day 32 – Feeling good!

The ScoutmasterDay 32 already, wow.  Seems like I just started this crazy ride and we’re already this far!  I have to say that I’m loving this journey – and I’m glad that so many of you at least take a peek at what I have to say!  I have discovered a whole new dimension of Scouting – and I will continue to explore it and enjoy!

I’m feeling really good today about Scouting in general.  Last night the Mrs. and I held our second Roundtable as Commissioners – and it went very well, in my opinion!  We had a few more people attend (first good thing) and we had some very good discussions.  I think we’re on the right track, at least!  I hope those that attended enjoyed it as well…

We’re finding that we don’t need to have as much material ready as I thought we would.  What was supposed to be an hour meeting turned into almost two hours!  No one complained, as it was all good information and discussion.

One of the things brought up was training, and how very soon all registered leaders will need to be fully trained in their registered positions in order to recharter with the unit.  Does anyone know what training a Roundtable Commissioner needs to take to be considered ‘trained’?  I would very much like to take the appropriate training not only for myself, but for all those who come to Roundtables.  The Mrs. and I really want to improve the program for all leaders however we’re able.

The Troop is, in my opinion, heading in the right direction once again – and I think we’re making progress on the Roundtable side of things.  I’m feeling good….really good about Scouting right now.

Here’s hoping each and every one of you have a wonderful weekend!

‘The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play the game by doing so himself.’
– Robert Baden-Powell