Category Archives: For Leaders

Councils Coming Together- Wood Badge Course

Submitted by Elaine Mason, Course Director from Cape Cod & Islands Council, BSA

Adult Leaders are invited to this year’s “Wood Badge” Course, hosted by the Cape Cod & Islands Council. The course incorporates the traditions of over 80 years of Wood Badge, while adding the management and leadership training necessary to be successful as a leader in the 21st century. Scouters will meet and build lasting friendships with others from three different councils!

Back in the old days, only a select few were invited to get advanced training and earn their Wood Badge beads.  Nowadays, this special opportunity is open to any registered adult leader with a position in Scouting.  Don’t miss it! If you haven’t taken Wood Badge yet, consider yourself invited.   This year’s course is April 28-30 and June 9-11.

Q: Who should take Wood Badge?
A: Every adult leader no matter which program you are in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and/or Venturing should consider taking Wood Badge. It’s ideal for anyone ready to build on their basic training, learn more advanced leadership skills and strengthen their commitment to Scouting. Wood Badge goes beyond traditional outdoor skills to focus on leading people: how to communicate, teach, plan, inspire, manage conflict, drive change and serve others.

Q: What Commitment does it require?
A: Wood Badge requires two three-day weekends (Fri-Sat-Sun), a fee of $275, and a commitment to apply your skills and “work your ticket” after the course. Yes, it is a big commitment, but you are getting a lot of training packed into six days! The fee covers six days of food and accommodations, t-shirt, plus a lot of training materials. You’ll get many of the same skills that people get in corporate leadership training, for just a fraction of the cost. Some units choose to help pay the fee for their leaders. A $50 deposit will hold your place.

Q: Why do we need to sign up now? Can I wait?
A: Wood Badge requires a lot of planning and volunteer time to run. The BSA only allows us to run a course if we have at least 30 fully committed participants a month in advance.

Questions? Contact Elaine Mason at elainemasonem@gmail.com

Keeping up with the Spirit of Adventure!

 

Submitted by Maria Kaestner, Spirit of Adventure Communication Specialist

Do you ever feel out of the loop when people are talking about Spirit of Adventure events and programs that are coming up? You don’t have to worry about searching for news, because we can send all you need to know right to you!

Our Spirit of Adventure Newsletter has been revitalized and like the Scouts it features, it is embracing new opportunities.

Our scouting community needs to know about what’s new and what’s happening soon. We are committed to providing that information so that is is both readily accessible and easily understandable.

How to be sure you are receiving our updates:

  • Make sure you are subscribed to our weekly newsletter (which you can do at the top of our website) with an email address you check regularly
  • Check your email every Friday for a message from the Spirit of Adventure Council
  • Be sure to read over our featured announcements and calendar of upcoming events

Additionally, you can always find new updates and announcements on our home pages and our Facebook pages!

Spirit of Adventure: Home | Facebook

New England Base Camp:  Home | Facebook

Please feel free to send any questions about our newsletter or communications to Maria Kaestner.

This Old House: #ScoutingThrives

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive Spirit of Adventure Council

The second round of Adventure Cards been mailed out to over 2,000 new participants. There are now about 7,000 adventure cards in use. These cards are one of the most significant signs of our recent shift to our service model. There has been much discussion about the card itself. I’ve written a small series of posts to help illustrate the full service model change of which the adventure card is just one piece.

                                                                                                                                                                              

If I had the time and the ability, I would like to speak with everyone directly, face-to-face. Over the past year I’ve met with many troop and pack committee’s, unit volunteers and others. We’ve sent out videos, mailings, visited Scouting events and dozens of other efforts. I do hope that you read all of these articles and look for opportunities for the council to help you make Scouting Thrive.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO UNIT LEADERS: One thing that has become clear through this entire process is the need to communicate directly with parents while supporting the troop or pack leadership. In fact, that’s a significant objective of the business model shift. Please forward this message to the parents in your unit so they can take advantage of additional Scouting benefits.

This month the families involved with Scouting will start to see direct-mail postcards and information on the webpage with these logos. That’s a signal that the Adventure Card discounts are available and advancement opportunities are directly recorded into the child’s scout book account. These logos mean Scouts can participate in inexpensive (or free) outdoor activities that support their personal Scouting goals. Their parents can get excited and energized about their child’s progress and their involvement.

One of the technical enhancements is built into the webpage and the Scout Book application. Yet many families don’t realize this advantage or how to access these discounts.

PARENTS: You are already entitled to discounts for the entire family and activities, enrichment programs and training classes. Even if you lost your child’s card. Please call or e-mail the council to Heather.sheehan@scouting.org or Lindsey.dionne@scouting.org 617.615.0004 for a 2-minute tutorial in how to get your benefits and sign up for local programs for the whole family. Additionally, we have sent your information to your unit leader so they can help you access your benefits.

Revelations about the new service model: Several changes in perspective occur as people use the Adventure Card or see the value in the new service model:

1. This provides direct value to families and Scouts but comes through the unit

2. The council can now help unit leader increase capacity or skills around patrol method, youth leadership parent engagement or other core Scouting road blocks to thriving troop or pack.

Sadly, it took us almost 50 years to re-arrange our practices, and in those 50 years we lost credibility and units (groups of parents) decided to “go it alone.” During that time we lost so much more than just credibility, we lost resources and brand relevancy.

A pack’s view of Adventure Card

Activity Scout Discount With Adventure Card Savings
Pack Weekend $25 + food and lodging Free + food and lodging
Den Activity (base camp) $15 per Scout Free for Scout
Family Activity $15 per person Free for Scout
Visit Satellite Camp Free – Only available to Scouts Free – Only available to Scouts
Sub Total $55 FREE -$55

 

A parent’s view of the Adventure Card

School Vacation Camp $250 $200 -$50
Summer Camp (Day Camp) $295 $236 -$59
Enrichment Clinic (learn to ….) $250 $200 -$50
Family Weekend $100 $80 -$20
Birthday Party $250 (10 guests) $200 (10 guests) -$50
Total Annual Savings $1,200 $916 -$284


Expectations

We’d be crazy if we thought every family spent $1,200 on Scouting programs each year. We also realize that today all these programs and services are available at our Milton location and we are growing our Kingston NH location to match and serve the northern communities more effectively. The satellite locations are an attempt to provide value and convenience as we grow (more about satellites below).

As we re-designed our business model to provide programs and services that help engage youth and parents in Scouting it was important that the adventure card value could be delivered regardless of distance and convenience to Milton, or a family’s interest in summer camp or other Scouting programs. Each Pack attends one or two “big ticket” over nights. Most popular are Saturday into Sunday evening. The easiest way to receive the full value of the card is substituting one of those overnight or day trips – for a day or evening trip to either Location Milton MA or Kingston NH.

Comparative Cub Overnight Programs

Location Program Cost Brief description
Museum of Science Overnight – sleep on floor $65 per person Enjoy the museum with only 600 other Cubs, one show (electricity or other), coffee and Danish for breakfast
Paw Sox or Lowell Spinners Overnight – pitch a tent and sleep in center field $25.00 – 28.50 per person

(depending on which team and seat location)

Watch the game, sleep in your tent in center field, activities and /or movie on screen
Battleship Cove Overnight – sleep on a battleship $65 per person Learn about the navy, sailing, military, enjoy the ships, small Scouting museum sleep like a sailor.
New England Base Camp Overnight Heated Cabin or Tents $25 youth

$15 per adult (encouraged to shoot, climb, swim and actively participate with your child)

FREE with Adventure Card

and $12 for adults or siblings or guests

Swimming, rock climbing, shooting sports, outdoor camping, wilderness survival and cooking skills, ropes course winter camping skills and sports, skating, snow shelters, snurfing. Most advancements available and directly inputted to your Scout Book app.

The more often the pack attends the more value they derive and the more outdoor programs the Scout can enjoy. He can attend all year long for free with his family, friends or den. Admission for all those visits are FREE. Of course, the Scout can also receive discounts for summer camp (day camps are located throughout the council) and dozens of other activities throughout the year all adding value to his card and increasing his outdoor experience.

All these programs are open and available for Scouts within the Spirit of Adventure Council. Check out the programs and locations through NewEnglandBaseCamp.org Don’t forget to check in with Heather or Lindsey to activate your card. Summer programs are also now open at locations all around North Eastern MA are available for everyone. The online campership application is also available. February Winter Camps at both locations programs are filling up fast, but there are still a few slots open. April vacation camp registration opens soon. Find a satellite location near you for a great den activity this spring. Plan a birthday party at camp! Check out this calendar of great family events and special programs to see when you’d like to visit Base Camp in Milton! When you use your adventure card, all the appropriate discounts will apply!

Hope to see you at camp.

 

 

Why I Staff at Scout Camp

Submitted by Michelle Merritt, National Venturing Vice President and New England Base Camp Program Director

Over the past four summers, I have had the privilege of being outside on the hottest days of the summer, wrangling elementary aged kids into activities, sleeping in a cramped cabin, and not having access to the internet; and I have enjoyed every second of it. Camp staff know that the hottest days are those when the camp gets free swim, kids will love the camp program, the cabin is full of five of your best friends, and a lack of internet means that we can take a break from summer homework and internet.

**Apply to be on 2017 camp staff**

Being a camp councilor provided me with life experiences that I never could have dreamed of. I have the skills to be a lifeguard, work with kids, provide customer service to adults, manage and lead other staff members, and create a program that will keep kids entertained and learning for days on end. A unique facet to being a camp councilor is the responsibility placed upon you. I was trusted to teach kids sports and swimming, to guard kids-on-rafttheir swimming activities, and to ensure that they got to bed safely. This level of responsibility caused me to rise to the challenge and become more mature. Not many other summer gigs can get you life skills and experience like camp staff.

Every time I go back for one more year of camp, I always get asked “Why do you want to go back to camp again?”. I go back because nothing is more fulfilling than having a homesick camper stay at camp because you talked with them. Nothing is more fun than sharing the experiences of the day with other staff members back in the cabin late at night. And nothing can stop me from smiling during a heartfelt performance of “The Invisible Bench” skit. Yes, it is a lot of work, I’m always sunburned, and sometimes I can’t tell if I’m covered in dirt or bruises, but none of that matters if I have made a difference. There is a famous quote that reads “One hundred years from now, it won’t matter what car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like. But, the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child.” Many summer camps, including Lone Tree Scout Reservation, have this posted somewhere in camp to remind staff (and others) what is truly important. I know that I have helped keep kids in Scouting, inspire a love of the outdoors, discover a new passion, and feel accomplished.

Helping people is a great part of my job but I gain a lot from them as well. Camp staffs have to overcome unique challenges and this causes them to quickly develop into “camp families” with surrogate brothers, sisters, moms, and dads. My camp family always has my back and I have theirs. The relationships that started four summers ago have developed into lifelong friendships. Camp enabled me to develop a sense of confidence. I promise, if kids-with-chess-piecesyou get up in front of a large group and sing a songs about bears, moose, and red wagons enough times, any fears of public speaking will disappear. The responsibility that I felt for the campers and for the camp also instilled this confidence.

I could get an internship, a more typical summer job, or sit and watch Netflix in the air conditioning all summer but instead I work on camp staff. I am the person I am today because of the experiences I have had at camp and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Someday I will probably have to stop working at the camps I love so much but I know that while I was there I made a difference and learned something new. If you are looking for the experience of a life time and a way to grow as a person, I would suggest you apply to be on camp staff in the coming year.

Lone Tree is joining the New England Base Camp Network

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive and CEO

Can Lone Tree become Base Camp of the North?” has perhaps been the most common question that has come from our leaders from the North of the Spirit of Adventure Council since the merger of the two councils.  This serves two purposes:

  1. Create a place for the programs and services available at Lone Tree for all the Packs, Troops and Crews who hope to avoid the traffic – knowing that part of the appeal for Base camp is the convenience of the location.
  2. To breathe new life into Lone Tree.

After much discussion, the Executive Board approved the concept in the spring of 2016. Since then, volunteers and professionals have been crafting a plan that will best serve the all Scouts in the Spirit of Adventure Council.  Although the plan is still being formed, we are able to conclusively show the initial steps that have been taken and an outline of the basic time line for the programs and services that will be delivered at Lone Tree

Here is a little FAQ to answer some of the questions that you might have:

  • Can we use the Adventure Card at Lone Tree?
    • YES!  Your family, Pack, Troop and Crew can register now for those programs (at no cost if you are a Spirit of Adventure Cub Scout family or Adventure Card member!). Summer camp program dates will be released shortly and the 20% discounts for Adventure Card holders will be applied to summer programs.ltsr-archery
  • When will these programs begin?
    • Immediately! Like the evolution of the physical program support, the number of weekends the program is available will also increase over time. The dates for the “Wrist Band Programs” can be found here.
  • What will be the biggest differences between Sayre and Lone Tree as the “wrist band program” evolves?
    • Lone Tree doesn’t have the same year round facilities (heated / insulated dining hall, indoor pool, year round showers) Those infrastructure elements are VERY costly and won’t be part of the initial evolution. However, we will see renovations to some facilities, specifically the dining hall. This rustic feel that Lone Tree combined with its comparatively more remote location will cause it to maintain the rustic stature, and keep it a camp used primarily for the Scouting population.
  • Will Lone Tree be “open to the Public” like Sayre / Base Camp?
    • Not at this time, and unlikely for the next several years. The overall process will take years so that different elements can be added or renovated during the evolutionary process.ltsr-canoeing
  • Will there be physical changes to Lone Tree? If so, what will they be?
    • Yes, it’s critical that we make the infrastructure changes that’ll allow the camp to better serve year round and enhanced program capacities. But, the changes will also be evolutionary and therefor will take some time based on how Scouts use the property and programs. Over the past few years one of the most popular programs at Lone Tree comes from a group of dedicated shooting sports volunteers and since we know that’s popular we’ll enhance that program first. Look for a much larger and diverse shooting sports program to be developed over the next few months and years. We’ll look to add action archery, shotgun, .22, black powder, and handgun program for Venturers and Explorers.
  • Will Lone Tree be using the Scout Book App to help units with advancements?
    • Yes!  We’ve been testing the use of Scout Book app for units throughout the satellites and summer camp and it’s become clear that the entire council will be using Scout Book, including all our camps and programs.ltsr-fishing
  • Does this impact other programs at Lone Tree?
    • Yes and No. Yes, it’ll impact the property and the usage, but no it won’t inherently cause programs to be cancelled. The idea here is to share the resources to better serve the demand. Cabin and campsite rental process remain unchanged. Other facilities like the Dining Hall, the Fort or the campfire area will become shared space for multiple programs.

Type 2 Adventures

Submitted by Sue Ellen Briggs, Flintlock District Chair

Scouting provides wonderful ways to have fun in the outdoors. I would say that there are two types of experiences. The first kind is picture perfect; smiling scouts under sunny skies. The second type is the activity that is better talked about after the fact than it was during the event.

 p1030792I had the privilege of being an adult leader on one of those type 2 activities. My son and his patrol spent a sunny day on the beach at summer camp lashing together a raft using Styrofoam and pvc pipe. Their raft was ready for launch after lunch. They loaded minimal supplies and paddled off to a not too distant shore to prepare for a night in the woods. They spent the afternoon building shelters. Anyone who has done this knows it is pretty difficult. They compared their techniques. …

 I arrived at the site on foot with everything I would need for an overnight. I setup my tent in a clearing not too far from a fire ring.

 After dinner, thunder could be heard in the distance. We settled into our shelters for the night. Then the rain started. It was a soft summer rain. One by one the scouts abandoned their “shelter” and congregated around the fire ring complaining about the quality of their shelter and their lack of supplies. Then a scout suggested that they ask me to take them back to the Troop and their dry tents. The reaction of the rest of the scouts was amazing. They stopped complaining about what they didn’t have and talked about what they did have. They got to work creating a fire. They talked about the rain not being that heavy and reminisced about worse weather. In the early morning hours the rain stopped and we got a little sleep.

 p1030795As a parent I do want to protect my children, and scouts in my care. I would have packed up and taken the scouts to their dry tents if they had asked. With devices keeping parents and children connected it is easy for parents to assist a child with the smallest of obstacle, limiting the opportunities for children to build self efficacy by figuring out their own solutions. Because these scouts decided to stay they each earned the Wilderness Survival merit badge. In the morning they triumphantly paddled their raft to the beach. As an observer I left with hope for these young men in the future. In each life a little rain will fall. When it does these guys will not give up or just endure, they know how to lift spirits and provide comfort in those times.

These Are Troubling Times

Submitted by Komba Lamina, Urban Scouting and Exploring Executive

When I saw the video of Alton Sterling’s killing for the first time, it frightened me. The video evokes memories of waking up to sounds of gunshots and artillery fire on one beautiful October morning in Koidu Town, Sierra Leone; rebels had attacked the city that morning. I felt broken, my spirit dampened, and experienced fear on that day like I never felt before. It was as if hope had left my being. I felt exactly the same way today, after viewing the video again.

I was equally horrified when I woke up to news of another police involved shooting in Minnesota, and the senseless killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

I’m sure that the perplexed feeling I had was shared by many here in America and across the world. And like many of you, I asked myself these questions: what are we becoming and what are we to make of these tragedies? I also asked myself what can I do to help put a stop to it?

It was with that feeling that I called a few of my team members to see how they were coping. I wasn’t shocked to hear that they were also confused, fearful and broken. They also asked themselves the very questions I was grappling with.

img_20160419_131505As the professional overseeing the inner city program for the Boy Scouts of America in Northeastern Massachusetts, most of our Scouts are minorities. I have often wondered what our Scouts are feeling during moments like this. I wonder if they have the avenue to express themselves in a positive manner and come to grip with this reality — and most importantly, what can I and the Boy Scouts do to stop these tragedies.

Many Americans and citizens around the world are asking themselves similar questions as to what they can do to ensure these tragic and hurtful occurrences come to a stop. That’s what I heard speaking to my teammates, and that’s what I derived from Chuck Eaton, our Scout Executive’s (CEO) email:

  • Komba,
    The news for the past couple years regarding race relations has been troubling – to say the least. Scoutreach obviously has more to do with financial and parenting support then race, however we all know the majority of those scouts are people of color, while the majority of our council is white. We should be an organization of action, not rants or blogs. But it’s so hard to figure out what to do, and stay away from the political aspect of things. I have a few ideas, but I think it’s more important the ideas come from you, or your Scoutreach staff, or others. If you have any ideas I’d like to support them if not, maybe we can brainstorm together. I hope you and your family are doing well. Thanks
    Chuck

Chuck is right, we must act, but act in a meaningful way. We understand that this is a very sensitive issue, therefore, many organizations stay away from it for fear of antagonizing the public. Because of what we (the Boy Scouts of America) do, (which is helping to shape the lives of youth), we cannot shy away from these issues. As a professional tasked with overseeing Scouting in urban areas, and as an Exploring Executive that works with police officers, I see community and the very best in each of us.

As an organization, we must take a stand for what is morally right, not convenient. We must foster an environment that allows our Packs, Troops and Crews to become places where genuine interaction between youths and adults occur regardless of political association, skin color, or profession. That is by facilitating a space for genuine interaction that celebrates all of our differences and help bridge gaps that exist in our communities. A space where young people are equipped with life skills. In this space, our focus is youth and equipping them with character that builds a healthy nation.

img_20160219_083017This space brings all of us together and in the process helps us learn a bit more about the other. In the end, we define ourselves less by our profession, skin color, political affiliation or financial aptitude. Widening this space is what I intend to do to help put an end to these hurtful times.

Please join us on Saturday, October 29th, at New England Base Camp’s Camp Sayre in Milton, MA

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Making the World Safe for Diversity

Sincerely submitted by Francisco Guzman, Scout parent, Cubmaster Pack 109, Leader Troop 109, Chelsea

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”  – Maya Angelou

Three boyhood friends, one Asian, one African American and one Caucasian walk into the Bar at the Ritz.  They all grew up together, went to Milton Academy, and recently all graduated from Harvard Business School…  This may be the beginning of a joke, but the question I would ask is, are they a diverse group?  My answer would be NO!  Diversity is more that race or ethnicity; it is a group of people from diverse racial, ethnic, social, religious, educational, financial, life experience and cultural backgrounds working together for a common goal.   The above group may be of different races, and possibly other factors, but the all share an equal cultural and social foundation.img_20150731_145854

The recent acts of race and ethnic base violence became a catalyst for my second blog.  Part of the reason is that I am trying to come to understand something that is beyond my understanding, how people make decisions and act on them based solely on someone’s race or ethnic background.  The other part is to share how lucky I am that our Scout group in Chelsea has remained free of any ethnic or racial discord.

My upbringing did not prepare me for the racial tensions that are so much in the news.  Having grown up in Puerto Rico, a community as racially diverse as you will find, we could not understand the racial tension shown on American TV during the 60’s and 70’s.  Our running joke in those days was that if we were racist, we would start by hating ourselves!

When my wife and I restarted the Cub Scout Pack in Chelsea, we made a decision to actively recruit Scouts from every race, ethnicity, social class, religion etc.  We did not want a Hispanic or any specific ethnicity group.  img_20160315_190121It was important to me to try to recreate the Scout experience I was involved in as a youth.  Fortunately our neighborhoods are exactly like that.  The Chelsea schools are integrated regardless of any traits from preschool on.  All kids learn early on to work with other children regardless of appearance or any other differences.

As much as younger children do not have any preconceived ideas of hatred or racial bias, unfortunately parts of our society seems to very easily teach our children about it.  It has been our priority as Scout leaders to keep those divisive issues from our Boy Scout program.  We emphasize from day one, that we are stronger because of our differences, not in spite of them.  Our Scouts learn to judge each other based on actions and behaviors, not on skin color, country of origin or language spoken.

By using the values taught in Scouting, we are able to keep at bay the negative values that seem to run freely thru our society today.  We teach our scouts to value cooperation vs. winning at all cost; the importance of community betterment vs. self gain; the importance of trustworthiness vs. selfishness.  These are the values Scouting instills on our children and teen agers, and we must continue focusing on those values.

Unfortunately, the foundation of Scouting as a community base organization, can also be use to foster those negative values.  We must remain vigilant against some of the more narrow minded and bigoted views within our movement that want to return to the “olden days”.  The future of our communities and our program will be on how it deals with those that are different from “us”.  Every time I hear the old “but this is how we have always done it” my stomach churns.  This excuse has been used for generations to allow for everything from slavery to segregation; from withholding education from girls and children with special needs to withholding equal pay for women or other special or disenfranchised groups.

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Presently we have 25-30 Scouts from several countries, religions, races and at least 5 different languages.  We have Scouts with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities.  We have Scouts from financially challenged families and Scouts whose families can help and contribute.  At our recent summer camp I was stuck by the fact that on the second night of the week long summer camp I had 3 homesick Scouts, all three were different races, ethnicities and which all spoke different languages.  When the tears came, some of the other Scouts jumped into action.  Amazingly, they did not jump in to comfort the children that were “similar” or the same ethnicity or spoke the same language as them, they just helped a Scout. It was not based on race, or ethnicity or language, just simply Scouts helping other Scouts.  That was all the proof I needed that we are on the right track, we just need to persevere.  MLK’s famous speech was about his dream, I am happy to see Chelsea’s Scout group bringing that dream a little closer to reality.

Please join us on Saturday, October 29th, at New England Base Camp’s Camp Sayre in Milton, MA

“The war we have to wage today has only one goal and that is to make the world safe for diversity.” – U Thant (Former Secretary General of the U.N.)

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ScoutBook: What’s in it for US?

Submitted by Chris Rogers, Scoutmaster, Troop 507, Winchester

I have been adult leader in Scouting for around 22 years.  Finding better ways to stay organized has always been important to me, as there is only so much time in the day to balance family, work, church and Scouts.

In Scouting, it is important to NOT reinvent the wheel, but to talk to other leaders by attending Roundtables, taking advantage of adult training opportunities and being present at Council gatherings.  Find out who else is doing something better… and do that, is my motto!   We are always better off when we share ideas and experiences, right?

When I first heard about ScoutBook, at the 2013 National Jamboree, it only took one quick demo and I knew that having this program would make my life as a Scoutmaster so much easier.  Why?… because advancement and personal information records would be stored all in one place, in a secure place, but viewable by the whole Troop.  Last October, when I found out that BSA National had bought the program, I signed up our Troop.

Some of the neat features of ScoutBook, are as follows:

  1. Youth are empowered to take control of their own advancement.  Parents know where their sons are in terms of their advancement as well.  No longer do they have to search for the Scout Handbook.  Wherever and whomever is allowed electronic devices, this information is available.
  2. Each Unit sets the parameters of what is viewable and able to be entered.
  3. Nobody needs a list of emails or phone #’s of anyone in the Unit.  Youth protection exists, as the parents linked to the Scout are copied on communications.
  4. Youth and adult leadership positions are recorded.
  5. Merit badge counselors are listed for quick reference (for Boy Scouts).
  6. Keeps track of the dates of your medical record, swim test classifications, and adult training… which is important to trip planners.
  7. Calendars, with reminders and attendance is all part of ScoutBook records.
  8. Can create reports by patrol of who is working on what requirement to help patrol leaders and for planning activities.

leader-with-laptopWe can have discussions regarding: does ScoutBook do this or does ScoutBook do that?  But, the bottom line is, ScoutBook is here to stay and will improve with time.  Persons like myself, across the country are helping to make suggestions and prioritize future enhancements to ScoutBook.  There is NO perfect program, for any organization.   I recommend you embrace ScoutBook for what it can do for US now!

All You Have To Do Is Ask!

My dad always told me “all you have to do is ask”. Yes, that statement has very much to do with a father daughter relationship, but being a Scouter for me has always been about the “Ask”. My dad taught me that it is ok to ask people for help and in return be at the ready to help others if asked.   What does my relationship with my dad have to do with helping Scouting Thrive?

Sometimes just asking is the hardest part. Over the course of my years as a Scouter I have never succeeded at anything on my own. I have had to ask 100’s of people to help make it happen: a Blue and Gold for almost 400 people, a raingutter regatta for a district, selling $57,000 in popcorn, and Pumpkin Fest for 3000 people at New England Base Camp. I have had to do a lot of asking and thankfully enough many, many, many people have said “Yes, I will help!”
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Collectively we have delivered great programs to thousands of Scouts over the years and I am inspired by the level of commitment and talent you can find within the Scouting community. It is amazing how someone can take a simple idea and deliver something that will last in the minds of our young Scouts for a lifetime just because they were asked.
Sometimes we prompt the ask in a conversation with other leaders and parents by saying “What can I do to help?” Because we all want to help, Don’t We? We often just do not know how. Well here it is how the “Ask” helps Scouting Thrive, someone tells us what they need us to do by asking us a very specific question.

pfestI was asked to be the Registrar for S.OA.R – Scouting’s Outdoor Adventure on the River, they asked “Can you help us get 10,000 people to come to the Charles River in October of 2016”. A specific question…okay, I was crazy enough to say yes (my dad would remind me that it is good to be helpful) and now it is my turn to ask you something.

Have you registered for S.O.A.R? You can help us by signing up your Troop, Crew, Post,
Pack, or Ship to come and joins us on the Banks of the Charles River! Visit http://soar2016.us

popcorn-1Have you encouraged others to attend Scouting’s Outdoor Adventure on the River? You can help us by working with the Pack’s in your town to coordinate Webelos Camping Overnight for the event with your Troop.
As a unit leader have you shared S.O.A.R. information about how to register with your families if needed? You can share event details and registration information. Share http://soar2016.us

Have you signed up to volunteer for S.O.A.R.? You can help us by signing up to volunteer! Visit http://staff.soar2016.us/ to sign up today!
You can share with others and let them know that your unit has registered for Scouting’s Outdoor Adventurer on the River and that you are ready to for a memorable adventure with 10,000 new Scouting Friends on Columbus Day Weekend.
You can help us by joining our S.O.A.R. Facebook Event Page let us know you are coming. Better yet Join and Share our S.O.A.R. Facebook Event Page!

Don’t know how you can help – Guess what? Ask me! Email register@soar2016.us – I have just the Job for YOU!

soar-meeting-1Over this past year, teams of volunteers have been planning, emailing, phone calling, attending countless meetings, all to make S.O.A.R. a quality event that will be sure to provide countless memories that will stay with you and the youth we serve for years to come , all because someone asked. Now it is your turn, I ask you to help us by saying yes to any or all of the questions above!

See you on the Banks of the Charles River October 8-10, 2016…Come Join the Adventure!