On March 18, 2017,Wabash Valley District will offer Scoutmaster Specific Training at Terre Haute’s Camp Wildwood, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, for more information contact the Terre Haute Service Center 812-232-9496.
This training is required to recharter as a scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster in the Fall of 2017.
I attended last Monday’s Court of Honor for Troop 358 in Zionsville. The troop award an Eagle Scout medal, various rank advancements, merit badges, and Wood Badge beading for OA Advisor Mark Pishon, ASM Chuck Bricker, and ASM David Guzman.
The most unique part of the ceremony to my eyes was the award of three Eagle Palms. The first was for a bronze palm (the first palm awarded for 5 merit badge and 3 months leadership service after receiving Eagle). The second was for a scout’s silver palm (the third palm awarded for 15 merit badges and 9 months service after Eagle). The last was a second Silver Palm!
Think about that. A second Silver Palm for one scout. That means that he has served in his troop for 18 months as a leader after his Eagle Board of Review and earned an additional 30 merit badges in addition to the required 21 merit badge for Eagle Scout. Only 1/10th of 1% of Eagles earn a Silver Palm. To earn two Silver Palms is extraordinarily rare. (I cannot find the stats.)
Shown above from left: Matthew Heath, second Silver Palm; Josh Sheppard, first Silver Palm; John Heath, first Bronze Palm. All are White Stag/NYLT trained and have served on staff, too.
Congratulations to each of these three worthy scouts and to Scoutmaster Jim Beck and Troop 358 for providing such a rewarding environment that Eagle Scouts stay actively involved in the troop.
Have you as a Scoutmaster ever asked your PLC for reports from the patrol leaders only to be met with silence or hesitant thoughts? If the patrol leaders had effective meetings with their patrols, why do they have nothing to share?
I would suggest part of the problem is that scouts believe that ideas at PLC’s need to be delivered in a manner similar to school. They might believe that they should remain silent unless they have a perfect answer. If they are asked to brainstorm, they may believe that they need to start from scratch. They may not have had the concept of serving as a representative from the patrol to the PLC clearly enough or frequently enough repeated to have it fresh in mind at key times.
All of these problems are a philosophical problem. These all need teaching to overcome. An active Scoutmaster sitting in a PLC should encourage his Senior Patrol Leader to use this silence as an opportunity to educate on the philosophy of the PLC. Something like a 30-second reminder would be ideal.
But these patrol leaders often don’t have a philosophical misunderstanding. They just took terrible notes or more typically no notes on the topic at hand. The topic may have been thoroughly debated by the patrol. The patrol leader may struggle to put the range of debate succinctly before the PLC.
Clarke Green of ScoutmasterCG.com has a solution to this problem. He recommends that a Patrol Log Book be maintained. The log book is more than the Patrol Scribe’s Minutes Book. It is a chance for scouts to write their own “roses, thorns, or bud.” The Log Book is passed around the patrol meeting. Each scout is encouraged to offer his own rose, thorn, or bud. He then writes it down in his own words in a short sentence or phrase. Now the Patrol Leader has a series of notes from his patrol to carry into the PLC.
Look at Clarke’s website for a sample PDF to download.
Personally, I prefer the new Scout Leader Guidebook’s vocabulary of “Stop, Start, Continue.” Both methods encourage scouts to look at good, bad, and new ideas. Stop, Start, Continue puts an emphasis on actions and moves away from debates about current status of persons, places, or events.
Whatever your preferred vocabulary, encouraging each scout to speak his voice in the patrol meeting and having a sense that his voice is being accurately represented to the PLC is a powerful method of teaching citizenship and active participation.
Here are the materials to use for publicizing the Winter Camporee beginning Friday, January 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm. (Inauguration Day. Let the arguments begin!)
2017-wintercamporee flyer as PDF.
flyer in MS Word Format.
Reminder that tomorrow Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm (yes, 6:30 pm) is roundtable.
- Scout Roundtable will address how to use Junior Assistant Scoutmasters to engage 16- and 17-year-old scouts.
- Cub Scout Roundtable will address Preparing for the Pinewood Derby and Blue & Gold Banquets.
We will have another Scoutmaster Specific Training tonight (Wednesday) and another on December 7th. This is required for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters.
We will have an Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) on Saturday. This is required for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters.
Webelos Den Leaders and Cubmasters who participate in the IOLS training will also get credit for Outdoor Webelos Leaders Skills (OWLS). They will get two certifications for the price of one.
Den leader training is available tonight.
Troop and pack committee Training will be offered on December 7th, too.
To sign up or get more information, click here.
These certifications never expire.
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Troop 191 will officially close at the end of 2016. Long time Scoutmaster Lawrence Smiley has written me the following letter. I found the letter to be heart-felt and impassioned, so it was worth sharing with you. Mr. Smiley’s list of activities was very creative and worth considering in your troop or crew.
It has been an honor and a privileged to serve Crossroads of America Council for over a quarter of a century as Troop 191’s founder and scoutmaster. So many great memories of Christ-protected and guided high adventures:
- Riding the narrow gauge train from Durango, CO to gain access to The Chicago Basis [twice]
- Climbing Mt. Harvard [twice] and Columbia [once]
- Canoeing a 50 mile loop in the Boundary Waters [once]
- Sailing a homemade tri-hull in the Florida Keys under the command of Captain DeTurk [once]
- White water rafting the Missouri River near Buena Vista, CO [twice] and the New and Upper Gulley Rivers in West Virginia [twice]
- Shotgun Shooting at private farms in Indiana [most every year]
- Rappelling in Red River Forest east of Lexington, KY [most every year]
- Snow skiing at Swiss Valley in S. Michigan [most every year]
- Hiking sand dunes and swimming at Michigan Dunes State Park
- Canoeing the Blue, the Tippecanoe, The Wabash rivers in Indiana [most every year]
- Caving Small-Dull Cave near Bloomington or Marengo Cave [most every year]
- Water skiing at Lake Lemon [once]
- Paint balling on private property [most every year]
- Ransburg Summer Camp [every year!]
- Hiking the Lincoln Trail from New Salem to Springfield, IL [once]
- Biking to Mounds State Park from Hamilton SE High School [once]
- Touring the Air Force Museum in Dayton [once]
- North Star District Camporees [a few]
- And many more adventures that have faded from the corners of my mind!
- Weekly Thursday night meetings, way too many too count, where life skills, servant-leadership and character were taught along with earning rank and merit badges and having a ton of fun.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I close down Troop 191 with both the pride of accomplishment of mentoring tons of boys along their trail to manhood and the sadness of closing out a huge chapter in my life as a part of the Boy Scouts of America – from the age of 7 as a Cub Scout to the age of pushing 70 (June 23).* * *It has been a great ride and fantastic life adventure; and I depart with no regrets and many, many great memories!Thank you Jeff [Heck] (and Jerry [Simon]), for your service to the Boy Scouts. I wish you, The North Star District and the Crossroads of America Godspeed, as you continue serving the youth of Indianapolis.
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is coming to Boone and Montgomery Counties on October 13th, 2016!
In Montgomery County the torch will be passing through between 10:00am and 12:00pm. In Boone County it will be passing through between 12:30 pm and 2:30pm (at the court house around 1pm and Lincoln Park in Zionsville around 2pm).
Follow the torch and support the torchbearers! Follow them on social media. http://indianatorchrelay.com https://www.facebook.com/INTorchRelay/ https://twitter.com/intorchrelay https://www.facebook.com/boonecountybicentennial Download INTorchRelay app and follow the torch.
That’s not all!
That night between 7 and 10pm a FREE block party will take place at the Boone County 4-H fairgrounds. Anyone can attend. This includes Food, Activities for the Kids, Historical information about the counties and much more. Bring a can food item to donate to the Caring Center, Bring a book to donate to the “Boone Counties little Library” and a favorite picture of your location in Boone County.
BSA has just posted a quick article on Bryan on Scouting about becoming a merit badge counselor.
This has been timed to coincide with a how-to pamphlet on the merit badge counseling process and expectations of merit badge counselors. North Star District Merit Badge Counselor Registrar Mike Yates recommends this pamphlet highly.
All troops should print out this material and use it for new counselors to better understand their roles.