Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category


FirstClassSmallThe Boy Scouts of America offers a unique youth program. It has five distinct features that other clubs and organizations do not offer today’s youth. Granted, some clubs do offer one or two of these features, but no other youth organization offers all five of them.

What are these features that makes Scouting so special?

Scouting is a value based program. The B.S.A. asks boys to take an oath when they join, and then live up to that oath. Scouting teaches values, promotes good citizenship, and provides good adult role models. The program is diversified. It is not the same thing every day as some youth activities can be. In fact, Scouting compliments other organizations by providing program that they may be missing.

Developing leadership is another feature of Scouting. The boys plan their own troop program. They learn new things through hands-on experiences, not just by text book learning. They will receive the chance to be a leader by holding a position of responsibility in the troop. (Troop 68 holds elections every 6 months so many of its members will be given the chance to hold a troop or patrol office.)

Scouting is an educational program. Through the advancement program a boy will learn many new skills. Some of these will be just for fun, but many will help him later on in life. Subjects introduced through the merit badge program may help a boy discover a new life-long hobby or even a career choice. As he earns his merit badges and ranks he is recognized in front of his parents and peers for his accomplishments. This builds self esteem and helps him to develop a sense of pride.

Scouting encourages service to the community. An important part of Scouting is doing service for others. The Scout Slogan states that a Scout will “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Troops do countless hours of service conducting food drives, road and park cleanups, and conservation work, to name a few. By doing service a boy develops a pride in his community, a pride that will carry into adulthood.

Scouting can be a vehicle to bring families together. Many families find scouting to be a neutral topic, one in which parents and children can participate together. It offers parents a chance to spend ‘quality time’ with their sons. And the program is already there. All you have to do is participate.

The Scouting program does has its advantages. And families that participate in the program can attest that Scouting pays good dividends.

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    The last two posts to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first and second parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part three, the last part of that training tape which covers the Troop Committee. Who makes up the committee? What does the committee do? What are they responsible for? Are they really necessary? It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

    I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before? This is a great video to watch if you are new to the Boy Scout program.

    Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
    Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
    or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
    Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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      Fast Start Orientation, The Outdoor ProgramThe last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first of three parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part two of that training tape which covers the troop Outdoor Program. It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

      I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before?

       

      Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
      Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
      or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
      Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

      Thanks for Sharing!

        Troop Meeting TrainingI have collected a fair number of Scouting related items during the thirty-plus years I have been involved with our local Boy Scout Troop. One of these items is a vhs tape of Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation from 2002. You see, there was a time, not that long ago, when adult leaders could not readily go to the internet to watch training videos. They had to borrow a vhs tape from their council office. I know, hard to believe.

        While I am stuck at home recovering from neck surgery, I decided to make a digital copy of this 2002 training tape I received from the council when they decided to throw it out several years ago. Once I had a digital copy of it I thought it might be fun to share this 11 year old production with the viewers of the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. The whole video is 32 minutes long so I broke it down into three parts.

        This first part takes us through the process of planning and conducting a Boy Scout troop meeting. The video covers things very well and is still very reverent to today’s program. Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 has followed this format for decades with a lot of success. If you have new adult leaders in your troop I would recommend they sit down and watch this. I also think it is fun to watch a training video from 11 years ago.

        Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
        Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
        or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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          As active members of the Boy Scouts of America we all do our best do follow the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. I recently received an email from a friend in Europe that listed some other excellent suggestions to live by. See what you think of these…

          1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
          2. Marry a someone you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
          3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
          4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
          5. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
          6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
          7. Believe in love at first sight.
          8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
          9.  Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
          10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
          11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
          12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
          13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer,  smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’
          14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great  risk.
          15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
          16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
          17. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
          18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
          19. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
          20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
          21. Spend some time alone.

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            It has been one year since I retired as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. It has been an interesting, but sometimes confusing year. After thirty years of serving as a scoutmaster I am trying to figure out what my role should be and where I now fit in with the troop.

            I knew one of those new roles would be as advisor to the new scoutmaster. When the new scoutmaster stepped down after five months (he was also serving as the pack cubmaster) I found myself to be an adviser to the NEW new scoutmaster, Jim. Jim has taken to his role well and is not afraid to ask questions. He has taken all the online training and has been attending the monthly district roundtables. He has continued many of the things I brought to the troop but he is also adding a few of his own touches, which is to be expected.

            When I visit a troop meeting, I have to watch myself. I find that I sometimes will step back into the role of scoutmaster when I see some help may be needed. When I catch myself I take a step back. I am getting better. The Scouts still seem to enjoy that I come to some of the troop meetings.

            Patrol Leader Council meetings are still held at my home. It is a center point for the out of town families. The scoutmaster likes it because I am there to offer suggestions when needed. It has also offered a continuity to the meetings through the last year of adult leader changes.

            I will admit that it has been strange not attending the monthly troop activities. I like that I may now pick and choose which outings I will attend instead of being expected to attend everyone of them. It was weird not attending a long term camp with the troop in 2012. After all, I have spent every summer vacation for the last 30 years with Boy Scouts, either at summer camp, Philmont Scout Ranch, a Jamboree, or some other high adventure outing.

            I currently serve as the troop treasurer on the committee. After a year I have decided that although I guess I am doing a good job, I really do not enjoy doing it as much I as thought I might. I miss working with the Scouts. It may be time to look at changing to something new. I wonder if the troop could use an assistant scoutmaster?

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              It has been interesting how many people in the area think that I have retired from the Scouting program when they hear that I have stepped down as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. I explain to them that I am still active with the troop, that I serve on the committee as the treasurer, and that I am still assisting the new scoutmaster through the transition.

              I am not ready to leave the Scout program completely. It has been a part of me for nearly 3/4 of my life. I was a Boy Scout in my youth. I was an assistant scoutmaster before being appointed the scoutmaster. The Scout Oath and Law have literally become the guidelines in my life, along with the ten commandments.

              Oh, I am sure that someday I may step away from the program, but it will be a slow transition. We have a Boy Scout who is going to Philmont this summer and I want to be there to help as he prepares for his adventure. Some Scouts want to earn merit badges for which I serve as a counselor. A few of the boys have a good chance of becoming Eagles Scouts and I want to be around to see that happen and celebrate their accomplishment with them. Plus, there are still troop activities I plan to attend. I am even thinking about going back to spend a week with the troop at Many Point Scout Camp this summer. (I did not attend last year and I missed it.)

              No, I am not ready to retire from Scouting just yet,  but I am ready to try some new things outside of Scouting with the extra time I have. Any suggestions?

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                Every month the patrol leader council of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 meets to plan the meetings and activities for the next month. When I was the scoutmaster I did not want the boys falling into a rut by using the same opening and closing for every meeting, three times a month, month after month. I wanted the Scouts to add variety to their meetings, and to think about what could be used for openings and closings.

                I gave them a challenge (okay, I told them) to have different opening and closing ceremonies at each meeting during the month. The opening must contain something patriotic and something Scout related.  When they plan the next month they could use only one opening and one closing that was used during the previous month. This way there would be at least five different opening and closing ceremonies used during a two month period. It has worked well over the decades and the Scouts seem to enjoy the variety.

                When I stepped down as the scoutmaster last year I thought the boys may drop this guideline, but I did not need to worry about it. They have decided to continue this tradition, which has made me and the new scoutmaster happy. It is a challenge for the patrol leader council sometimes to rotate the various ceremonies (they try to avoid singing) but they have done well during the last nine months.

                So, what do they do instead of the basic Scout Law and Scout Oath at every meeting? Here are a few of the ceremonies they have used:

                OPENINGS
                Pledge Of Allegiance
                America Yell
                God Bless America
                The National Anthem
                American Creed
                Scout Law (or variations of)
                Scout Oath (or variations of)
                The Knight’s Code
                Gilwell Song
                Tommy Tenderfoot (song)

                CLOSINGS
                “Be Prepared” Song
                Patrol Calls
                Scout Benediction
                Scout Vespers
                Scout Slogan
                Scout Motto
                Taps

                What does your troop do for its opening and closing ceremonies? Do you have any good ones to add to this list?

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