I have sat through troop youth leadership training. The scout has delivered. A scouter has delivered the training. There have been PowerPoint presentations. There have been no computers or projectors in sight. I have seen discussions on the back of a napkin. I have heard lectures. I have seen leaders say nothing.
All of these have one thing in common. They all have had little impact on improving the quality of the scouts’ leadership skills.
I have seen miraculous improvements in a scout’s leadership skills in the flash of a moment. I have seen steady improvement of leadership over a period of time. These have some things in common. They have engaged the scout’s own thinking.
This week Sox is reporting 34 Firecrafter candidates for the week. As of yesterday 28 had popped sparks.
Please note that July’s Roundtable will be on July 9th at the same time and place, not the usual date.
We will hold a general session for all attendees at 6:30 pm. At the close of general session, Cub and Scout Roundtables will be held.
Training for Chartered Organization Representatives and Representatives-Elect will be held at the same time. (RSVP’s requested for training.) This training is mandatory for a COR to be “Trained.” Our goal in North Star is 100% Trained-COR’s by the completion of this year’s Rechartering Process.
One of my regular refrains about recruiting is borrowed. “Get ’em in a tent, and you got ’em.” Boys of all ages want to camp.
When I was a Cubmaster, the most common questions the Cubs asked me was “When is the next campout?!” This was not really a question, so much as a barely contained exclamation on bouncing toes. They were fairly ready to explode. When the answer was anything other than “tomorrow” they nearly burst like a balloon, looking completely deflated.
The same excitement exists at 11 years old. By the time they get to 15 or 16, they still love tents and campfires. Now the emphasis is less on being outside where they can run and now about time spent together around the campfire. Stories, gossip, favored games, personal challenges, and complaints of the day become a greater bonding experience.
Knowing that boys want to camp at all ages, even if the reasons for enjoyment change, what can we do to improve our recruitment?
“You think Survivor is tough? Check out Big Munson. The Out Island Adventure combines camping on a remote 100+ acre island, snorkeling on pristine coral reefs, trolling for sportfish, kayaking through red mangroves, and exploring the flora and fauna of Big Munson Island. You will wade ashore on Big Munson Island carrying all the food, water and equipment used during your adventure in a rugged camping setting. Powerboats will take you snorkeling and fish on selected days. A program mate will remain with you for the duration of your trip to assist you in appreciating this unique environment. This is a true high-adventure program, one that combines physical challenge with excitement and adventure. If your crew has strong camping skills and enjoys rugged camping, then the Out Island program is for you. This is a seven day event.”
The website describes Big Munson this way:
In December of 1982, a gift was received by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America which was destined to change the very nature of some of the exciting programs offered by the Florida Sea Base. The gift was an untouched, uninhabited island over 100 acres in size, surrounded by the crystal clear water off Big Pine Key in the lower Keys.
On the entire string of islands called the Florida Keys, there are but a few that remain as they were when the pirates first rowed ashore in search of fresh water and game to provision their galleons. This island shows up on old nautical charts as Newfound Harbor Key, and on newer charts as Big Munson Key.
It is located three miles offshore from US 1, and a mere four miles inshore from Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, known for some of the most fabulous reef formations found in the Keys. Sea Base has committed to retain this island in its natural state. Lightweight screened tents, cooking gear and other necessary equipment is provided by Sea Base, but all personal gear, food, and water must be waded ashore for your stay.
Patrick Sterrett, our Crossroads of America Council Scout Executive, spoke to the College of Commissioner Science at Belzer’s Activity Center on June 6, 2015. He covered a variety of topics, but one of them had a direct impact on our local council: the introduction of a pilot program for STEM Scouts.
Patrick described the traditional scouting program as “outdoor scouts.” To reach more youth, BSA and our Council are piloting a new “indoor scouts,” called “STEM Scouts.” Patrick reports that the Council is excited to be a part of this project. It has required the acquisition of a Vortex lab.
Today, June 15, 2015 is the 800th anniversary of England’s Magna Carta or “Great Charter.” On this day, King John (of Robin Hood infamy) signed a promise in perpetuity to allow many rights. Many of these rights are enshrined in the American Bill of Rights.
Today is to honor the birth of our flag, as the birthday of its adoption on June 14, 1777. Betsy Ross gets a lot of credit, which may be undeserved. Declaration signer Francis Hopkins should receive more credit. Even so, the more important is that we consider what the flag represents and what military personnel have sacrificed to keep the flag moving forward.
Until the 20th century, they were so much more.
On battlefields for millennia, flags and standards were forms of communication. A general would communicate his location with his personal flag. This allowed runners to know where to find the general to deliver reports and obtain orders.
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In honor of “Rocky & Bullwinkle” titling conventions, this post has two titles.