Failure. It belongs in Scouting. 

Permission to Fail!

The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine from college who was recently called to be the Young Men President in his ward, and he was feeling lost about what to do and where to go with his program. He inherited a program that, well, didn’t really exist. He was frustrated because he wanted to do what is right; but I suspect like many of you, he was conflicted with balancing time in calling, work, family, and personal time. He was frustrated with what he thought needed to be done, and what he felt could actually be accomplished.  He is not what we would call a HUGE Scouter, nor has he drunk the Scouting Bug Juice yet; but he is a good man who wants to do what is right by his young men.

As I tried to talk him off a proverbial ledge, it got me thinking. Sometimes in Scouting, we need permission to fail. My friend wants to do everything right, but he is afraid to fail because he doesn’t know what to do.

One of the GREAT things about Scouting is that it is a place where it can be okay to FAIL. It is a place where a young person can try something new and find out weather or not it works.  Adults can experiment with leading and mentoring youth and discover what works and what doesn’t. Youth leaders can challenge the different methods of leadership and receive instant feedback on which principles and methods work and which ones lead young people to dig in their heals like stubborn mules.  there are very few things in Scouting that we cannot fix, when they go wrong.  Scouting is a great leadership laboratory, in which the principle of failure applies for adults as well as youth. Failure can be a hard, but effective teacher, and better someone learn these lessons in Scouting, where we can correct them and learn from them, than in the real world where things are more finite.  Continue reading “Failure. It belongs in Scouting. “

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Good, Better, Best

How your Unit can move from “Good” to “Best”!

For the past 106 years, the Boy Scouts of America have been knocking the program side of Scouting out of the park.  We have a great outdoor program, we encourage adventure, we take kids on week long adventures through our Summer Camping program and Unit High Adventure. We encourage Scouts to try their hand at white water rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, stand-up paddle boarding, SCUBA diving, and just about any other high adventure activity we can think of.

Truly, when you ask a young person about their memories of Scouting, they will regale you with tales of hikes, camp outs, times they tempted death, their advancement path, what they did for their Eagle Project or Silver Award Project, and their experience at Summer Camp, Jamboree, or other high adventure base.

What they don’t regale you with are tales of the administrative side of Scouting.  The youth won’t tell you about their adventures in filing tour permits, filling out advancement reports, tracking the membership growth of the unit, logging the unit’s service hours, making their summer camp plans, putting together the payment schedule for camp, figuring out who will be hauling the youth to camp, planning and executing the unit fundraiser, and the list keeps going and going.

Continue reading “Good, Better, Best”

6 “P”s to Success.

The 6 P’s of success.

Proper Planning Prevents “Pretty” Poor Performance.

My step-father called them the 6 P’s to success, and I always hated hearing him recite them to me.  It was one of those sayings that just grates on you, after you hear it over and over again. However, as I got older I thought about what it was my step-father was trying to teach me, and it was somewhere around 20 years old that it all started to click.

Our level of success can be directly tied to our level and amount of planning.  This applies to everything we do, work, school, church, family, and especially Scouting.

So let’s look at the 6 P’s as they relate to our Scouting units. The way our units perform, the strength or our units, their effectiveness in the way they present the program, and the level of fun the boys are having is directly tied to the ability of our units to plan.  It is also important to note here that it also matters WHO is doing the planning.  A unit cannot thrive by allowing just the adults to do all the planning. The youth have to be involved in the process. Continue reading “6 “P”s to Success.”

Myths surrounding Friends of Scouting (FOS). Why give?

 

My last post seemed to ruffle some feathers; and so with over 400 plus views, I thought I would attempt to take on another controversial issue, Friends of Scouting.  Now, before you start laughing, I know! FOS, the words that strike fear into the heart of any and all volunteers. Such a bad 4-letter word they had to make it only 3. I have heard them all.

My goal here is attempt, in some small measure, to dispel some of the rumors, misinformation, and falsehoods that exist around FOS. Specifically, I want to take on 3 myths about FOS.

  1. Friends of Scouting dollars just go to pay for the National BSA.
  2. Friends of Scouting dollars pay for big inflated salaries of professionals.
  3. “I would rather give to my local unit, that way I know the money is being well spent.”

Continue reading “Myths surrounding Friends of Scouting (FOS). Why give?”

WHY the LDS Church is in Scouting

I had a run in with a unit this week, that to tell you the truth, REALLY ticked me off. It all stemmed around this particular person’s opinion about the LDS Church and its relationship with Scouting. According to this person, things would only get better with Scouting and the LDS Church, once the Church decided to pull out of Scouting.

Now, I know this isn’t a onetime occurrence, and there are probably many who feel the same way this person does; but if I might be so bold. Those people who think that way haven’t got clue one, why the LDS Church is even in Scouting, in the first place.

That is the angry upset side of me speaking, the more logical side would argue 3 points to counter this well intended member’s opinion. Continue reading “WHY the LDS Church is in Scouting”

Legacy. In Scouting.

 

I am not usually one for blogging, but I have learned over the years that this is the new way people consume information.  So, I thought I would try my hand at it. These are my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and challenges from within the Scouting movement.  These words are mine and not the opinion of the national Boy Scouts of America, or whatever council I am currently working for.

Now, with that boring intro, on to the meat of this post.  I read. A lot. Specifically, I read books on management and leadership.  Call it a futile attempt at giving myself the education in business that I should have given myself when I was in college; but that is a different story for a different day.  In one of the books I was recently reading, the topic was “Legacy” and what it looks like in a business setting.  Think of Legacy in terms of football, and your legacy is your coaching tree.  The other coaches that you develop throughout your career is what will determine your legacy in the sport.  It isn’t always about the number of championships that you have one. You see this same phenomenon in basketball, baseball, and other major sports.  I figure it is easier for people to conceive a sports metaphor because most of us are not as familiar with the “coaching tree” of high level executives in the Fortune 500.  We don’t know what CEO trained which CEO, and which CEO spent years under the tutelage of another CEO.  It just isn’t common knowledge, at least not to the lay member of society.

Continue reading “Legacy. In Scouting.”