About 1 in 8 kids these days have a “special need” or “invisible disability” or something else that poses a challenge in traditionally structured situations like school or Scouting. In ages past, a Scout leader could expel or “ease out” a Scout that presented behavior problems or otherwise didn’t “fit.”
It’s important to talk about how we will work with kids in the normal troop environment with special needs. ADHD, autism down syndrome. Leaders need tips on how to handle kids, their parents and medication.
Continue reading Typical Troops, Atypical Scouts
Here’s the bottom line: If the Scout participates in any type of religious organization, whether it speaks of God or not, there’s no problem.
If the Scout perceives some power, essence, being, or motive force in the universe that could deserve to be called ‘God,’ there should be no problem.
On the other hand, if the Scout or Scout’s family’s personal beliefs forbid referring to any entity as ‘God’ then the Scout could have trouble participating in BSA’s Scouting programs.
Here’s how it works.
Continue reading A Scout’s Required Belief in God
Recently, I spoke to a young adult who avoided attending a funeral. To quote, “The religious stuff creeped me out.”
This is a common reaction from people who haven’t confronted choices of faith, or haven’t resolved them.
Most religious institutions aren’t trying to creep people out. Shouldn’t we minimize or prevent such feelings?
Boy Scouts practically excludes youth brought up outside of religious groups. I don’t think the founders of Scouting wanted to exclude any boys from Boy Scouts. I think we can fix it.
Continue reading Does God scare kids from Scouting?
I’ve mostly avoided news coverage of Steubenville because such tragedies sicken me on many levels, especially the way everyone involved is smeared with dirt by some news reporter or blogger.
Events like this should make us ask, “Why does almost every kid’s parent hope to raise a star player?”
How can this be healthy for growing boys or girls? We always hear about how sports teach ethical lessons beyond the mere rules of the game. But here’s the object lesson of sports teaching “win at all costs,” and “to the victors belong the spoils.”
Scouting has its shortcomings (and there is hope they’re being addressed) but it’s more than badges. The good troops (and there are lots of them out there) lead by example, give the kids a lot of non-sexually-themed things to do, and explicitly promote honesty, courtesy, and courage.
Continue reading Scouting and Stubenville
Centers for Disease Control – Atlanta, GA
July 22, 2012; 13:41EDT
UPDATE JULY 2012: Small animals manifesting “Zombie like” characteristics are rumored to have been sighted in the Upper Midwest, and appear to be slowly spreading throughout the Illinois and Iowa, mainly centering on river areas. No people have been impacted by this situation. US Health Officials have been capturing sick looking animals and, other than an occasional infection, nothing in particular has been noted.
Continue reading Alert for the Fall Eagle River Camporee
This is an arcane bit of trivia from the Scouting movement. Traditional scouting groups like packs, patrols, crews, posts, and so on, are chartered through a community organization that is already involved in education and service to youth. This approach arose in England when LTG Robert Baden-Powell collaborated with others to establish an organized scouting movement.
The scouting group renews its charter every year here in the US, and the local Boy Scout council issues a charter to the sponsoring community organization, called the charterd organization.
The local commissioner is a volunteer who visits individual scouting groups on behalf of the local council. Commissioners are usually organized into districts and communities, and take care of packs, troops, crews, etc., in their own neighborhoods. Charter renewal gives the commissioner an annual opportunity to meet with a chartered organization’s leadership, report on the benefits produced by their scouting units, and thank them for their sponsorship.
So, here are my thoughts on how to present a charter.
Continue reading Charter Presentations for Scouting Units