Adult Scouting leaders world-wide take part in a training program called Wood Badge. Baden-Powell (B-P), the founder of Scouting, hosted the first Wood Badge course in 1919. Every nation in the World Organization of the Scout Movement today recognizes Wood Badge training.
B-P’s first adult leader course was called a “scoutmaster training course.” When the course was finished, the participants asked B-P for a token to mark their achievement. B-P hadn’t thought about it, but he came across a necklace of wooden beads he acquired as a war prize during his military career. He gave beads to the participants. This gave the course its name: Wood Badge.
The beads have a story of their own.
Continue reading The Postcolonial Wood Badge Story →
This links to a series of videos on advancement for Cubs and Scouts BSA with special needs or disabilities. The videos include:
- Do’s and Don’ts for Advancement: how to do it right and avoid trouble.
- Scouts BSA Alternative Requirements and Extensions: how to apply.
The contents may be rearranged to better present the information.
DISCLAIMER: While I have based this production on official information and have tried to ensure accuracy, it has not been reviewed and endorsed by any official organization within the BSA.
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 →