Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Hooray! Scoutbook is now free for all troops and packs to use. The Scoutmaster of Troop 68 brought laptops to our last troop meeting to introduce this program to the Boy Scouts. I think things went well. The boys seemed to be having fun checking it out during the meeting. Time will time if they actually use the program.

As the advancement coordinator of our troop though, I am not finding the love. Maybe I misunderstood how this program was to be used. I thought I would be able to go online with Scoutbook and update the Scouts advancement or see what they have accomplished and update my records. So far I have not been able to do any of that.

It seems that only the troop’s “key three” have access to the Scout’s information. I understand the need to keep things private but it is not helping me in my position. As far as the “key three” accessibility, I understand the scoutmaster and the committee chairman, but the charter organization representative? Really? Like many charter organizations across the country, ours is not very involved with the troop. I highly doubt that our charter rep even knows about Scoutbook, much less wants to access it.

After playing around with Scoutbook for awhile I have found I have no use for it. In fact, I grew very frustrated with it. Like I stated earlier, maybe I am trying to accomplish something with it that it was not designed to do, and if that is the case I see no reason for me to go back to it.

Am I missing something? Do you find it useful for your troop? Leave a comment and let me know what you think about Scoutbook.

I have been podcasting for over five and a half years. I have co-hosted one podcast (The Leaders Campfire), produced an audio podcast (Around The Scouting Campfire), and continue to post videos to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. All three podcasts have had Scouting related themes. I have had fun podcasting and hope that those of you who have watched or listened to them have found them fun and informative.

This afternoon I did something I have not done for awhile. I went on iTunes and did a search for Scouting themed podcasts. There used to be several out there, mostly audio versions. I was a little surprised by what I found. I did a search for “cub scout” and 15 podcasts were found, but only three actually dealt with Cub Scouting: An Hour A Week (audio), Autism and Scouting Radio (audio), and my own Melrose Scout Productions (video). When I changed the search to “cub scouting” only two showed up: Autism and Scouting Radio and the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast (MSPP).

Next I tried a search for “boy scout”. Sixty one podcasts came up, but only five of these actually dealt with the Scouting program. One was produced by the Boy Scouts of America, and another was produced by Boy’s Life magazine. Both appeared to be dead podcasts with no episodes produced for quite awhile. Of course, MSPP was listed. When I changed the search to “boy scouting” I discovered that MSPP was the only Boy Scouting related podcast listed.

Now I know there have been other Scouting podcasts produced during the last few years, such as The Scoutmaster Minute and the Boy Scout Hour. I know the Scoutmastercg podcast is going strong and has a strong listenership. But these podcasts did not show up in the searches. Even my old Around The Scouting Campfire did not show up. Why? The only thing I can think of is that we all may need to check our podcast tags.

Then I started thinking. Are podcasts even relevant to Scouting anymore? Are adults leader searching them out and listening to or watching them? Do current leaders even know they exist? Do we need to do a better job and promoting them? If we do, what is a good way to promote them? The BSA does not seem to be podcasting any longer so maybe they do not feel there is a need for this medium.

I know the viewership of MSPP has gone down over the last year. I receive very few comments about the videos. If you look at the iTunes listing for MSPP you will notice that there has not been a comment left for nearly two and a half years. Comments  and emails are the only way we podcasters really have of knowing how people feel about what we are producing.

I have begun to wonder if it is time to retire the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. I have already stopped producing Around The Scouting Campfire. Is it worthwhile putting forth the time and effort?

Here are my questions to you.
Do you listen to or watch Scouting related podcasts?
Do you subscribe to any?
Which ones do you subscribe to? How should we promote them?
Or have Scouting podcasts lost their importance, if they ever had any that is?
I look forward to reading your comments.


Wow! I never expected to see something like this posted to Youtube by the BSA. But I think it is very well done. Welcome to Patrol Z, an action comic strip to promote the next Jamboree at The Summit. This video kicks off a program by the BSA to recruit Scouts with tech savvy skills. According to the Patrol Z website:


The Summit needs campfire stories. Digital ones. And we need you to tell them online. Scouts with skills – making videos, producing quality photos, writing blog posts. Designers and web developers, too.

We’re putting together a team. That’s Patrol Z.”

Do you have what it takes to be a member of Patrol Z? For more information check out the site at
But in the meantime watch the video below. (As I write this the video has received 338 views.)

What do you think about this idea?

100 Days Of Scouting: Day 24

I heard about the new social media site called Facebook shortly after it started becoming popular, but I did not join it right away. I could not. Facebook started out as a site for high school and college students. I did not meet the requirements until they opened it up to the general public.

I joined Facebook for a few reasons. First, I was not very happy with Myspace (see a previous article). Second, my nieces and nephews were migrating to this new site. Third, some of my former Boy Scouts had joined Facebook. Fourth, I liked the format better than some of the other social sites.

I soon discovered that quite a few Boy Scout Troop 68 alumni had Facebook profiles. I had lost touch with many of them once they graduated from high school. My Facebook friend list began growing. It became not only a great way to stay in touch, but also a great stay to keep up with their lives, and yes, families. I would guess that nearly half of the alumni of Troop 68 of the last thirty years can now be found on my friend list.

Another benefit of Facebook is that the fans of my podcasts, the Melrose Scouting Productions video podcast and the Around The Scouting Campfire audio podcast, have another way to get in touch with me. There is a Facebook fan page for the podcasts. Even Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, has a Facebook profile.

There are Scouting based groups found on the site, even one for our troop’s favorite summer camp, Many Point Scout Camp. The Central Minnesota Council has a profile page. Just a few of the groups of which I am a member include:

1st Facebook Scout Group –

Many Point Scout Camp –

You Know You Are A Boy Scout When… –

Do I spend a lot of time on Facebook? I would say not really, unless I get involved with a chat. I check out the site a few times a day for a few minutes, post something once in a while, and add pictures to my photo albums. It usually is only a several minutes per visit. I try not to get too caught up in the site, but I also try to stay in touch and up to date with friends.

Several years ago, when Myspace was the social network that everyone seemed to belong to, I created a profile and decided to join the fun. I found some of my friends, started building up a network, and joined a few Myspace groups. Eight of those groups were Scouting related. For awhile, I kept checking things out, including the groups, to see what was happening in this new virtual world. I hate to say it, but I was never quite impressed with what Myspace offered, and it seemed that most of my friends felt the same way.

I still have a Myspace profile but I seldom go to it anymore. Facebook and Twitter have taken over my virtual social life. I actually had a little time tonight so I thought it would be interesting to check out Myspace again and see what has been happening in those groups I had joined. Nothing much, I discovered.

For example, there is a group called Boy/Girl Scouts of America. It states that it has 2013 members. But yet, only 4 or 5 messages have been left in the forums this year. In 2010. Out of over two thousand members! Not very active in that group. So I checked out another group, The Boy Scouts of Myspace America. It boasts of having 1981 members. Only two of them have posted anything on the forums this year so far. And I was one of the two.

Each of the groups I checked had the same results. It appears that many of the people that once used Myspace to keep in touch with other Scouts around the country and the world have left Myspace for other social media. I guess I can not blame them. I did the same. Now granted, most people do not leave comments on group forums very often unless something catches their interest, but I have to say that I do see more activity in the other social sites.

Do I plan to drop my Myspace site? Not yet. You never know what could happen down the road. It may not currently be as good as Facebook, in my opinion, but I think it is better then another (national) Scouting based social network that some of us have tried and have been disappointed with. But my feelings about that network is another article.