Thursday, August 30, 2012

The source of self esteem

"...self-esteem comes from achievement, not from lax standards and false praise."
-- Condoleeza Rice, 2012 RNC address.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

...because I could

I got my beads!

Something right is going on here.

While on vacation with my family this past week, we attended the Second Ward in Jackson, WY.  They announced - in Sacrament meeting, from the pulpit - that Scout Committee meeting was that afternoon, and that it was a meeting for the parents of all Scouts (I'm assuming they lumped all three groups under "Scouts" as an umbrella term). No better way to emphasize that it's a group effort, and not the Scoutmaster's "job" to handle everything.

I'm thinking of ways to present the idea (it's been percolating in my head for some time now, anyway) to my bishopric, now that I've seen it done.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A little whimsy

Last week, we took a family vacation to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Part of the time we stayed in Jackson, WY, where I saw these shirts in shop windows. In the right light, they have a Scouting bent to them, so I'm putting them here just because. These are all phoney-cam images. Later, I'll post my real images at my Picasa and Flikr sites.

CONFIDENCE is the feeling you have
before you fully understand the situation

The Feeling you get right before you
try to do something incredibly stupid.
(through a window, so there's a lot of glare)

Nothing unlocks your true potential
like an 800lb killing machine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Go Camping

No, really, go camping.  Pack your pack, hit the trail, find a nice spot on your chosen path, and enjoy nature.  Learn about the stars, or local history and lore.  Whatever you do, get out of the jump-in-the-car, race-to-the-campground, sleep-in-a-tent and race-home-again-by-ten-the-next-morning rut. The only thing you really did there was sleep in a tent.

So What?

Scout camping should accomplish something. Climb a mountain, clean up an area, perform trail maintenance, do some wetlands restoration.  Learn something new.  Explore.  The typical 4-to-10 outing only accomplishes eating, farting and sleeping. So take 36+ hours and actually do something.  The office will still be there when you get back on Monday.

My two 11YO Scouts are going backpacking tomorrow (I'm going too, of course).  It's a short trail, only 3.6 miles of a gradual, 1,000' ascent to a meadow, but it's something they haven't done.  It's a challenge to finish.  It's a place to explore.  It's an exercise in planning and execution.  It's a chance to learn how to do it better next time.  It's a reason for there to be a next time.  Checking a requirement item off of a checklist is not a reason for any teenager to do anything.

Reasons I went camping as a Scout (from ages 10-18):
  • It was fun
  • To see new, exotic (to me) places
  • To climb tall peaks
  • To rappel down them again
  • To explore a cave
  • To do things I couldn't do at home
  • To do something new
  • To sit around a campfire
  • To be with my friends
  • To ride a mountain bike
  • To face down a challenge
  • To get away from parents, brothers and sisters
  • To eat good food
  • To go fishing
  • Because I could
  • To pass off requirements

Things that happened along the way:
  • I learned new skills that I still use today
  • I overcame those challenges
  • I built life-long friendships
  • I became a better person
  • I built a collection of treasured memories
  • Advancement
  • My testimony grew

"Many people are in a rut,
and a rut is nothing but a grave -
with both ends kicked out."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Doing what Scouts Do

This has been one of the most important things I have read about guiding boys on the Scouting trail (to include Varsity, Venturing, & DtG):

Scoutmaster CG - Stop doing Rank Requirements.

Scout Camp is a really good example: requirements and merit badges follow as a result of doing fun stuff, as opposed to sitting in "Scout School."  What Clarke Green says could also go a long way toward recapturing the interest of those older boys who "don't do Scouting anymore."

Another thing said on this site is that the job description of a Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Scribe, Historian, or any of the boy leaders is simply to lead, train and inspire others to become First Class Scouts (ppt file).  Coupled to an Aaronic Priesthood context, I think it gives a good direction for a young AP quorum presidency:  lead, train and inspire the quorum in being worthy and active AP-bearers.  In this way, the "priesthood arm" and the "activity arm" reinforce each other and support each boy equally while preparing them for the grown-up world of MP service and responsibility.

I think these two concepts can free the adults up to focus on simply training the leaders to teach their peers. Thanks, Fishgutts, for the reminder.