Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Yes, the official time of death is Dec 31, 2019,
but it's on minimal life support until then,
and the vulture side of the family is eager to pull the plug early.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Counsel for a new Committee Chair

My ward just "hired" a new Committee Chair, whom my son called to set up a Board of Review. Not knowing what he already may know, I offered the following:

I don't know how much you've read up on the BOR process, but here are some things I have learned over the years.

  1. I can't sit on [son]'s Board (parents don't sit on their own sons' boards)
  2. Scoutmasters also don't sit on Boards.  They can observe, but they're not part of the Board.  In fact, they're not even Committee members. However, as advisors to the Committee, they represent the troop's plans and needs to the committee. It's the committee's job to take care of all the administrivia so the SM can focus on working with Scouts and not the logistical stuff, et.al.
  3. A Board consists of at least three Committee members. To my knowledge, in our ward, that's you & Sister GGGG (I have been considered as a committee member, but I'm not registered as such) and you could include the Chartered Org. Rep., either Br. VVVV or Br. PPPP.
  4. It's not a test of the Scout's skills and knowledge, but an evaluation of how well the program is serving the Scouts, how well it's being implemented and delivered to them.
  5. It's really about the Scout. He only has to "complete" a board, not pass it.  (see #4).  Flexibility is an important piece of it, and a Scout is never punished for adults' actions.  As you get more familiar with the process, you'll probably come to see how this process has, in many cases, been corrupted into a kind of Spanish Inquisition (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition), and pitfalls to avoid.

Take a look the district newsletter for more ideas.  The one from last December has some good advice (page 7)

It seems like a lot to take in, but one thing I appreciate about Scouting is just how much there is in the way of guidance, unlike most other callings.  Download the Guide to Advancement, and get familiar with its contents (Section 8 deals with the BOR, PDF version here).  This will give you the definitive background, process and ground rules.  There are also many great blogs that will help you get up to speed.  One of the best is "Ask Andy." Just use the search box to find what he has to say about BORs.  I also did a term search on my own blog and came up with this.  One of the best things you can do to get the information you need will be to attend 'spring basic training'.  This will be held on April 12, 6:30-9:00 at the WX North Stake building, 1509 W 1500 S. [Great Salt Lake Council, District 3]

Memorize the Mission and Vision of Scouting.  The Board of Review is really an evaluation of how well those are being delivered to the Scouts.  Try to structure your Boards to see how well the Aims and Methods are being used.

Prepared. | For Life.™

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Eagle Rank Guidance for Leaders of Older LDS Scouts

With the transition away from Varsity Scouts and Venturing at the start of 2018, it's worth noting that in that announcement, there was also an instruction that, "Young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout or Queen Scout should be encouraged and supported in their efforts..." Below are my thoughts on how Young Men Advisers of Teacher/Priest-age Scouts can offer that encouragement and support, taking the Eagle Scout rank requirements as a baseline, and leveraging the PPI to help in that endeavor. It assumes that the young man in question completed Life Scout when he was a Deacon.  If he hasn't, the requirements are roughly similar, and so the same concepts apply.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

So, I'm sitting on the bus going home from work last night, when my text message notification dings.

Dutifully, I read the Patrol-meeting related message, but it wasn't from the Scoutmaster.  It was a mass-text from a mom, intended for the Scoutmaster but asking anyone and everyone: Do the Scouts need their Scout Books at Scout Meeting tonight? To which the only reasonable answer is "Be Prepared." But I stayed my thumbs, as that isn't a good enough answer for attack helicopter moms. Nor is suggesting that the Scout be responsible for his own Scouting.

It then took a turn for the worse when she asked about which merit badges were on the schedule for the next several months, "so he doesn't do double work," and stated that the JR High PE coach conveniently "passes" all the boys on the Personal Fitness MB. Since my older son had taken his class (PE, not MB), I knew it for what it was, and replied, "Oh yes, the famed Mass-Pass Method of Scouting." (similar to the "ninth method of Scouting.")

Prepared. | For Life.™

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Family Scouting

By now, a little less than 24 hours after the announcement, everyone has heard that BSA is expanding to include girls in Cub Scouts and in a Boy Scout-equivalent program. Called Family Scouting, I think this is a good move, both for youth and for the sustainability of BSA - if it is to survive, it has to adapt to the world we actually live in, and not the one we pine for. That said, I think one of the best reasons for the expansion is that the world needs more of this:

Prepared. | For Life.™