Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

I am veering away from the usual song or skit video found on the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast to bring you something created by Eagle Scout Doug Gray. A couple years ago Doug’s father, Fred, asked me for some assistance in finding some Scouting videos that his council could not find for him. Fred recently wrote me to share a few videos created by his son. Here is a portion of that email:

My son just completed his Gold Palm and put together some videos. One of the DVD presentations was for this spring’s Buckeye Council NYLT. He is going to be JASM and will present “The Leading Edge, How To Be An Effective Leader.” Doug made an interactive DVD presentation in which he (as Napoleon on stage) interviews Napoleon on the screen. For Youtube he filmed both parts and put them into a complete presentation. Doug spent months on the project and then broke the presentation into four parts (he left out the first segment about Storming, Forming, Norming, etc because only NYLT people would understand that). The parts on Youtube Doug made because he felt that the National canned presentation was too much “how” and not enough “what” as far as leadership for 14 year old kids.
The best part of the whole presentation was about the Scout Law according to Great Leaders – Doug made that into a separate Youtube video. He is going to use it at his Eagle Palm presentation in a month.

I watched both videos and was very impressed with Scout Law video. After a quick email of my own, I received permission to share Doug’s video through this podcast. Fred wrote that Doug made the videos to share, so if you have an opportunity to use this within your troop, council, or district than do so.
Leave a comment using the link below, or at the PTC Media forums. You can also rate the videos of Melrose Scouting Productions at the iTunes Music Store. It really is great to hear what you think about the podcast videos.

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Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
or at
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I was beginning to feel a little burned out after serving as the scoutmaster of Troop 68 for six years in the fall of 1987. I told Paul, a great Scouting friend of mine, how I was feeling about Scouting. He suggested that I attend a Woodbadge training course. Woodbadge would get me energized.

I had heard about Woodbadge, that it is like the college course of Scout leader training, and that it is an excellent course to attend. I also knew that it would take place over three weekends and that there was a “nice” registration fee. Woodbadge would be something I would attend some other time.
Paul caught up with me during a district function in the spring of 1988. “I registered you for the fall Woodbadge course,” he told me, and then gave me the dates of the three weekends. “Well gosh,” I thought, “that was nice of him.” Yes, I wanted to participate in a Woodbadge course but this was much sooner than I had planned. Oh well, I was registered now so I guess I may as well get it done and over with.
I told the troop committee about it at the next meeting. They agreed to pay a portion of the cost for which I was very thankful. I also discovered that I would need another uniform shirt since I was not about to redo many of the patches on my current troop uniform. Luckily, I already had the official Scout pants, cap, and socks.
As the first weekend approached I began to get a little nervous. I was attending the course in Viking Council, since our council was not conducting Woodbadge training. I knew Paul would be on the staff as the troop quartermaster but would I know anyone else? Who would be in my patrol? What would be my patrol name? Too many questions. Too much to be nervous about.

I found this article on a blog called Scouting Maniac ( They write about a site called BeliefNet which is sponsoring a contest called Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2008. Here is what is written:

This is not Friends of Scouting or asking for money, this is about honoring a group of scouts who gave selflessly to help those in need at Little Sioux Scout Ranch, where over this summer had a tornado tear through the camp. Belief Net which is a online website that offers a award called Most Inspiring Person of the Year, this award gives a large sum of money to the winners charity of choice. But in order for this to happen we need to get votes in on the website as soon as possible because voting ends this coming Friday. The website you must go to vote is that of:

Not much time left to vote on this, but I did. It is a close race at the moment. If the Boy Scouts receive more votes they could win this. Check it out and vote.

Update 12/6/08:
The Boy Scouts have made it to the list of three finalists. The site states, “Your top three picks are our most Inspiring finalists. As we do every year, the editors of Beliefnet will now make the final choice. Come back December 10 to see who won!” The final three include the Boy Scouts who survived the Iowa tornado, Randy Pausch, the computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman. I guess I will have to check back in few days to see who becomes the site’s Most Inspiring Person of the Year.

Up until now, Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, has always been about the Boy Scouting program. He has talked about the Scout Oath and Law, being physically fit, how to tell when you know you are a Boy Scout, and has interviewed a Cub Scout and an assistant scoutmaster. Today, he begins to expand his Scouting knowledge into something he has never talked about before – Girl Scouting!

In the United States, boys and girls have separate Scouting programs (except for Exploring). Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting are very different programs even though they share many of the same goals. In both programs the members may chose to earn the highest award available to them. In Boy Scouting that would be the rank of Eagle Scout. In Girl Scouting it is the Gold Award.

I recently had the honor of attending the Gold Award ceremony of my niece and two other Girl Scouts. It was very impressive, and I learned a few things about Girl Scouting that I did not know. I video recorded the ceremony at the request of my sister, and we plan to broadcast it over our local community television station.

After the ceremony, I had the chance to congratulate each of the girls, and ask them if they would be willing to be interviewed by Buttons, the radical Scout. They had all seen a Buttons video or two so they knew what I was asking. To my pleasant surprise, they all said yes to the idea.

This video posting to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast is the first of these videos. Ali Kociemba, one of the Gold Award recipients, is the first Girl Scout to be interviewed by Buttons. They discuss the different age groups of Girl Scouting, what some of the awards are, service projects, what Ali did for her Gold award, and what her favorite troop activities were. It turned out to be a nice introduction to Girl Scouting.

You are invited to leave a comment using the link below, or at the iTunes Music Store, or at the PTC Media forums. Drop me an email at It really is great to hear what you think about the podcast videos.

Click here to DOWNLOAD this Podcast
Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
or at
Check out other Scouting podcasts at PTC Media.

Last night, when I was checking out a few Scouting related blogs, I had a quick flashback to the early 1990’s. BuffaloEagle, at Lone Star Scouter, had posted a list of the eleven skills of leadership. Upon seeing them I was taken back to my Woodbadge training at Camp Stearns.

The skills are:

Buffalo Eagle wrote that these skills were discussed during a COPE course that he attended. I went through COPE nearly ten years ago, but I do not remember discussing these during the course. Maybe we did. I do not remember. I was having too much fun climbing things and riding the zip line.

The Eleven Skills of Leadership. It has been awhile since I have thought about them. Maybe it is time to review them. Now, where did I put my Woodbadge notebook?

It is that time of year. Boys around the country will be joining Boy Scouting for the first time this month. And new parents will be asked to help their troop by becoming an adult leader. There are many reasons not to be a leader, but let me give you ten reasons why you should become a Scouter. (These are not in any sort of order.)

1) Be a positive influence in a boy’s life. I think we can agree that there are many youth out there who can benefit from more of this in today’s world.

2) Learn new skills. You are never too old to learn a new skill. And to tell the truth, I don’t think a person can ever learn too many skills.

3) Teach boys new skills. There are few things in life that will make you feel more proud then when you watch a boy or young man using a skill that you have helped them to master.

4) Make new friends. Not only will you form friendships with the boys, but you will also form new friendships with other Scouters.

5) Help your community. You provide this service through your unit’s service projects and by helping boys grow up to be better adults.

6) Spend time in the Great Outdoors. You really do need to get out of that recycled-air, stressed-filled office environment at least once a month.

7) Have a good laugh. Working with Scout age boys can be fun and funny in many ways. Just remember to laugh with the boys, not at the boys.

8) Go traveling. There are thousands of places to go that provide a great Scout Outing. And do not forget the opportunities to go to a National Jamboree, Philmont, or the other high adventure bases.

9) Get some exercise. We could all use more exercise. Just try keeping up with a group of Boy Scouts.

10) Be a kid again! Scouting gives adults the chance to have just as much fun as the Scouts themselves. Make sure that you do!

Well, those are ten of my reasons for being an adult Scout Leader. I am sure that some of you reading this could add some more to the list. I invite you to leave a comment and add those reasons.

scoutmastergeorge1(This is the second of a two part post.)

In September, 1981, it was time for a special troop committee meeting to decide what to do about the scoutmaster who was not doing his job satisfactory. The district executive had been invited to the meeting for his input and ideas. The meeting was held at a local restaurant. I attended but I had to leave early to go to the Cub Pack’s committee meeting. (I was planning to become the Webelos den leader.)Nothing had been decided by the troop committee before I left.

On the way home from the Cub Pack meeting I noticed that a couple of the troop committee members were still there chatting. I stopped in to find out what had been decided.I was surprised when they told me they had decided to dismiss the current scoutmaster. I did not realize at that time that that could be done, but they were told by the district executive that that was one option.

The second thing they told me surprised me even more.They had appointed me as the new scoutmaster! They had not even asked me! I had turned 21 two months earlier in July so I was now qualified.Well, I was not sure I was ready for this position, but I agreed to take it.I also had to call back the Cubmaster and tell him that I would not be able to take the Webelos den leader position.

I felt proud of myself to be a 21 year old scoutmaster.My ego was riding high until the Scouts found out about it.For some reason that I have yet to really determine, almost one third of the troop membership quit after I took the role.I tell you that brought the ego back down to where it needed to be pretty fast.

During the next years we worked hard to bring a quality program to the troop. The membership grew and the troop thrived.

Recently, troop membership is down due to difficulties that the Cub Pack has been having.I have been teasing the Boy Scouts that I would stay as scoutmaster at least until September, even if the troop roster continues to shrink. “Why September?” they ask. “Because then I will have my 25 years in as scoutmaster and I can retire”, I tell them with a smile on my face.

scoutmasterjohn1The first year of our nearly started troop went pretty well. We had a full committee, a scoutmaster, a couple of assistant scoutmasters, and a decent size group of Scouts, about 15-20. Our troop leaders had taken some training. We had done a few outings, including a council event at Camp Ripley National Guard Base, and a canoe trip down the river that runs through town. We even had a plan for the next few months. Yep, things were looking good.

Toward the end of 1980 our scoutmaster, John, gave his notice of resignation for the end of January, 1981. He was one of the few policemen our town had at the time and being the scoutmaster just was not working out very well with the hours he was putting in. We all understood his problem. Thus, the end of January arrived, and Troop 68 no longer had a scoutmaster. In other words, no one had stepped up to the plate yet.

I was only 20 years old when John resigned, so I could not be the scoutmaster. The other assistant scoutmasters did not want the job either. No member of the committee stepped forward. So, we went on without a scoutmaster. That is, until the council found out. The council made it clear that there would be a scoutmaster or they would pull our charter. Well, that got a little action. George, our committee chairman, decided to step down from his post and “temporarily” take the job as scoutmaster.

George was scoutmaster for only a couple months when the committee found someone they thought would be a great candidate for the job. A new chiropractor, Don, had moved into town, and he had earned the Eagle Scout rank as a Boy Scout. The troop signed him up as scoutmaster right away.

At first, things went well. But the Monday night meetings did not fit Don’s schedule well so he changed them to Tuesday nights. Unfortunately, that created problems with high school sports. As the month’s continued we began to see less and less of Don at troop functions. It finally got to the point were I, the assistant scoutmaster, was actually doing the work of scoutmaster. I will never forgot the night that Don invited me out to dinner to get an update on the troop because he had lost track of what was going on.

By this time, the committee was quite frustrated. They did not know what they could do about the situation so they called in the district executive for a special meeting.

(To be continued…..)