Boy Scouts will become “Scouts BSA.” The organization’s name will remain same. That was what former Crossroads of America Council Executive Patrick Sterrett advocated for as he moved to Number 2 in the BSA. It looks like his recommendation held true.
Here is Scouting Wire’s more detailed version. This includes information on “Scout Me In” recruitment campaign.
UPDATED 5/3/18: Here is local council’s press release: Read the rest of this entry »
As the BSA moves to being 100% co-ed, we need to study carefully what makes the BSA uniquely successful. In business this is called “best practices.” Best practices are an attempt to articulate in clear language and procedures what patterns of behavior in a business consistently lead to success, wherever tried.
The BSA has a history of moving adult leadership toward co-ed, so that once what was solely the province of men is now open to open women, too, especially the role of Scoutmaster. Even within our own district we have had successful female scoutmasters and cubmasters leading boys.
As girls move into the provinces that were once for boys only, we should consider with diligent care what are the Best Practices of leading scouts and cub scouts.
Since BSA adult leadership has been dominated by men with consistent involvement of women, some of the habits and practices that we have generated have come spontaneously from typical male leadership patterns. They are habits arising without thought or discussion. Some typically-male practices have been encouraged, such as the tendency toward a rougher and more chaotic pattern of play and participation. Some typically-male practices have been discouraged or outright banned, such as yelling orders at boys or hazing.
Psychologically we know that women tend to be more nurturing, protective, and risk avoiding, especially of infants and younger children; men tend to be more physically playful, bombastic, and risk inviting. According to Professor of Psychology Jordan Peterson, these two patterns help support one another in developing the most well balanced children. Both are essential to a psychologically healthy child. (Most of the analysis below is Peterson’s.)
Mothers create a safe environment where a child knows that the child will be well cared for when the child runs into problems, conflicts, or chaos. Mothers physically embrace and comfort children without hesitation when problems arise. Mothers speak soothingly and tenderly, allowing the child to right himself from whatever has upset him. This comfort and soothing are critical to allow a child to quickly find balance after something disrupt the calm surrounding the child. When my son was small, and even today as prepares to leave for college, when he is upset or frustrated, he is most likely to talk to my wife. My wife gives my son peace of mind.
Fathers create a risky environment where a child can explore the boundaries of the child’s body, its capabilities, and its limitations and of the world-at-large. Fathers are more likely to engage in rough and tumble play with the children. Children learn the limits of their bodies in such play. They learn that dad is heavier and harder to hurt. They learn there are consequences for inflicting pain on playmates. They learn difference between play and real fights. But most interestingly, children are so motivated by play that when dad tells them to do their homework before playing with dad, the children are more likely to do the dreary work first in order to be able to play with dad. This is one of the first and most effective means of teaching children the value of delayed gratification. When my son was younger, assuming dinner wasn’t ready, I would often toss my infant son up in the air and catch him, or tickle him. As he got older, I would change clothes then wrestle with him on the bed or do whatever game caught his attention at the time.
The father’s role in learning makes sense. Since we are creatures with bodies, our learning begins in the physical body’s interaction with the world. Our actions teach us more about the world than do our brains. We learn stoves are hot and dangerous through feeling heat (and hopefully avoiding contact). We learn how balls bounce through playing with balls, not reading books.
We learn how to walk through trying, while scientists are just now figuring out how to have robots do the same thing. This is called “embodied learning.” Robot designers have struggled with how to teach robots how to perceive and adapt to the world. They have used enormous amounts of computer processing and had little success. When they changed their perspective and focused on how a robot with a body would interact with the world, they quickly made huge break throughs. We embody learning because our bodies are our point of contact with the external world.
We learn love from mother’s caresses and hugs. We learn to walk by climbing up tables and trying our first steps. We learn to read by touching the page with our fingers to track where the next letter will be. We learn to treat others well through rough and tumble play. We learn to clean dishes after a meal when there are no clean dishes at the next meal. We learn to plan ahead by physically suffering from bad choices previously made. There becomes a desire to avoid the suffering the next time.
This physicality of embodied learning is a natural strength for male leaders. It encourages trial and error. It encourages individuality. It allows maturity-appropriate suffering while always avoiding and teaching the risks of life- or health-threatening suffering. Embodied learning is a core component of scouting.
So as girls become more involved in scouting, we have to be able to assess where male and female leaders strengths best serve our Best Practices.
We need to consider our Youth Protection Training and natural inclinations arising from chivalric principles about how men should treat and interact with women and young girls. How do we offer girls the benefits of embodied learning and physicality generally without overstepping our bounds, especially for male leaders?
I would suggest we recognize that these girls are joining Cub Scouts and likely will join Scouts BSA to have the experience of risk-taking, embodied learning, and other characteristics of male play that the girls have found lacking in other extracurricular offerings. We need to offer these girls what they have come for.
That means that mothers and fathers who are more risk averse for their “fragile” daughters need to be coached about the value of embodied learning that challenges these girls’ self-imposed limits. We need these mothers and fathers to recognize these challenges will make the girls anti-fragile. As a result, these girls will be happier, more self-confident, and more resilient.
In other words, we need to grow comfortable with telling the daughters’ parents that we don’t intend to water down the BSA program for their daughters. It is the undiluted BSA program that works. In essessence, we need to be prepared to explain why scouting works for boys and girls.
Mark your calendars for Thursday July 12 – the 2018 Membership Roundup meeting will be held that evening from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St., Indianapolis 46260. This will be held in rooms N101 and N102. More details to follow!
Reminder – Roundtables are on summer break, please mark your calendar for the August 9 meeting, 7:00 pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.
August Roundtable topics are:
- Cub Scouts: Cub Scout Camping… How to Plan & Execute
- Boy Scouts (Family Scouts): Roadmap to Rechartering / Onboarding New Leaders
Please forward this information to your Den Leaders, Committee members, and Assistant Scoutmasters. They are an important part of the Roundtables’ target audience.
Remember, attending roundtables is a key requirement to earn the Scouter’s Key for both Cub Scout leaders and Boy Scout leaders.
CONGRATULATIONS to the following Scouts who passed their Boards of Review this month (June 2018):
This group led the completion of nearly 1100 project hours, and three Scouts earned three Eagle Palms between them (2 Bronze and 1 Silver). Hearty Congratulations Eagle Scouts!
North Star Troop 56 (St. Luke’s United Methodist) announced the passing of its immediate past scoutmaster Dr. Brian Decker. Brian stepped down as scoutmaster when he was diagnosed with cancer. He had been battling ever since.
There will be a multi-faith Celebration of Life for Brian on Saturday, June 16th at 11:00 AM at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260). Following the celebration, there will be a light luncheon for fellowship with the Decker family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Indiana University School of Medicine Nephrology Division to be used to support fellowship training and personalized medicine activities. Please make memorial gifts payable to the “IU Foundation – IUSM” and mail to Indiana University School of Medicine, c/o IU Foundation, P.O. Box 7072 Indianapolis, IN 46207-7072. Please indicate “In memory of Brian Decker” on your gift.
Please keep Brian’s wife Peggy and sons Scott (age 19) and Noah (age 17) in your thoughts and prayers.
His obituary in the Indianapolis Star is posted here.
Last fall, the Indiana University Medical Center had posted a wonderful article about Brian, his battle with cancer, and its effect on his medical practice.
For any in the scouting community who would like to participate, please share any stories and/or photos of Brian with John Blue (email@example.com), who is collecting them for the Decker family. Cards to the Decker family can be sent to the Nephrology Division, c/o Sharon Moe, 950 W. Walnut Street, R2-201, Indianapolis IN 46202 (or campus mail R2-201) and will be sent on to the family.
If you have Spanish-speaking families in your pack’s or troop’s neighborhood, you may have difficulty making sure that they have all of the Spanish-language material you need. Council has undertaken a Latino Initiative to overcome this problem.
Currently, they are working on a dedicated Spanish-language version of the Council website.
Today they are rolling out the first part of this with a Crossroads of America Council En Español Facebook page. Please help us publicize this page by clicking on the link and “Liking” the page. That way your friends and family can find it easier.
This will also help you see how the Latino Iniative is progressing to help serve your unit.
CONGRATULATIONS to the following Scouts who passed their Boards of Review this past April and May:
This group had over 1400 project hours, and seven Scouts earned nine Eagle Palms between them (5 Bronze, 2 Silver and 2 Gold). Hearty Congratulations Eagle Scouts!
In case you have not yet heard – a fire at the Ute Park Ranch has thus far consumed 36,000 acres as as of yesterday June 5 was 25% contained. No residences have been lost in the fire but over a dozen Philmont buildings in the center of the ranch were burned as of late last week.
This is the post from the Philmont website on Monday June 4, 6PM EST:
“The safety of our youth participants, volunteers and staff is a priority for everybody at Philmont Scout Ranch and the Boy Scouts of America. While efforts continue to extinguish the fire currently burning in the back-country, the anticipated damage and inability to access the affected areas makes it currently impossible to host back country programs. Until the fire is extinguished, the areas are inspected and the damage assessed, it is impossible to definitively state when those programs will resume.
At this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all back country treks that were scheduled to take place in the Philmont back country from June 8 – July 14, 2018. We hope that back country treks may resume after July 14, 2018 with altered itineraries, assuming the back country is safe and infrastructure is restored.
Additionally, programs scheduled to take place at Philmont Training Center will also be canceled through June 23, 2018. The Philmont Training Center expects to welcome back participants beginning with Philmont Family Adventure on June 24, 2018.
The NAYLE program, which takes place at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp seven miles south of the Philmont Base Camp and is unaffected by the Ute Park Fire, will go on as scheduled.
Over the next few days, we will be contacting the lead advisor or contingent leader of all crews that are impacted by this decision, starting with those that are scheduled to arrive first, as well as affected PTC coordinators. Thank you in advance for allowing the Philmont team to contact your crew – your assistance will help make sure that Philmont phone lines remain open.
We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to continuously evaluate the fire and air quality to ensure that we can safely deliver outstanding program.
Thank you for your support and patience.”
For more details see:
– Philmont Fire Information site
This past weekend 12 Scouts and 2 Assistant Scoutmasters from North Star’s Troop 56 camped on the grounds of the Governor’s Residence for the Third Annual Governor’s Campout.
Scouts from Troop 56 along with 8 other troops from throughout the CAC took part in the event. The Scouts met at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and hiked with their packs to the Governor’s Residence accompanied by a police escort assisted by the Lawrence Explorer Scout Post #160. There they set up camp, met Governor Eric Holcomb along with First Lady Janet Holcomb and First Dog Henry.
After a few words from Governor Holcomb congratulating the youth for being selected to participate, he added, “you Scouts are the best of the best that Indiana has to offer.”
The Indiana National Guard was on site with a rotation of activities for the Scouts including inflatable jousting and a trailer that housed a shooting training simulation.
Tours were also offered where the Scouts learned about the history of the Residence and the opportunity to play a fifty thousand dollar grand piano. The Residence’s butler and tour guide, Dexter, was very impressed at how musically skilled some of our Scouts were.
The Scouts also got a surprise at the end of the tour by playing a little basketball with players from the IUPUI Jaguars.
After dinner, which was provided by the Fire Crafter Cooking Crew, a multi-denominational worship service was led by Chaplain Ken Steppe with guest Speaker Muzaffar Ahmad. The service began with an educational session where the similarities between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam were discussed so that our Scouts would understand that the values we all share far outweigh the slight differences we have.
Saturday night concluded with a Campfire Program with counselors from Belzer and Ransburg along with a Cracker Barrel snack.
The Humane Society of Indiana stopped by after Flag Raising and breakfast Sunday morning and the Scouts served by making dog and cat toys by braiding old t-shirt material and making cardboard cat toys for the pets being housed in shelters.
Troop 56 was honored to be selected for this great opportunity and would like to thank the Indiana State Government for its continued dedication to Scouting, the Indiana National Guard for contributing their time, the IUPUI Jaguars for taking time to connect with the youth, and all the Scout volunteers and speakers who served this weekend.
Did you know that the Boy Scouts of America, last year in conjuntion with Kiwanis International, has hosted four symposia on Youth Protection? It has been designed to train other youth-serving organizations.
The symposium in 2018 will be in Atlanta, Georgia, October 8-10, 2018, sponsored by the Atlanta Area Council and run by National Council. More information as it becomes available.
If you know any school, church, or youth-organization leaders who are concerned about this issue, consider inviting them to attend this symposium. They are the intended audience. It will help build BSA’s credibility.