Yesterday we observed Scout Sunday. I loved seeing the boys in their uniforms. Two older members with no connection to the Youth stopped me to tell me how much they enjoyed seeing the uniformed boys. I also overheard a conversation in the hallway with 2 members saying the same thing.
So today I make my rounds through the LDS blogs and and and surprised to learn that Scout Sunday is controversial. OK, I don’t really think it is controversial in real life, but in the Drama Queen blogernacle, it is controversial.
Anyway, it is a very interesting post over at Times and Seasons
BTW- I have this theory that most everything on the local church level that is controversial is because leaders have failed to plan well, or communicate well. I arrive at that theory because everything that I personally been involved with that has turned out “controversial” was directly related to those failures by me or other leaders.
In the Times and Seasons post there is a bit of mini-drama is over whether or not the YM should pass the Sacrament in their uniforms. In our ward we notified the Elders Quorum early, so they prepared it and passed it. They enjoyed participating in that ordinance this one Sunday, the Boys get to see the men passing, which builds their appreciation for the importance of the ordinance. Families get to have their boys sit with them through the entire meeting. Sounds like a win-win situation, or as Micheal Scott says– “a win, win, win situation”.
The Deseret News’s Mormon Times has a report on a the “LDS Church and Scouting Relationships Conference” held last week(Oct 2008) in the Ogden Tabernacle.
To me, one of the more interesting tidbits was about how there is a very real struggle for many new Elders at the MTC, they are having a tough time beating their addiction to cell phones and other electronics:
(Elder Keyse) stressed that Scout leaders should make sure cell phones, cards, iPods, magazines and the like are all left home during Scout camps. He said the only exception are some cell phones leaders take for emergency use.
Elder Keyes also challenged Scout leaders to get all the training they can.
“If you get trained, you won’t run a hobo (scout) camp,” he said. “Young men who go to hobo camps learn nothing and do nothing.”
There is a lot more, very relevant to every LDS Scout Leader, read the whole article here
According to an article in England’s Daily Telegraph (here) the Scouts in Britain are now planing on giving out birth control to the young men-
Under new guidelines issued by their Scouts Association, they should feel able to hand out condoms “if they believe the young person is very likely to begin or continue having intercourse with or without contraception”.
They will also take them on outings to family planning clinics
I do not know if there is any connection, other than historical, between the British Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America, but this is something to keep an eye on. I also do not know if the LDS Church in England particpates in the Scouts.
I have to believe if anything remotely like this enters into the BSA program the Church in America will drop them like a hot potato, so it won’t happen. Keep in mind, hardcore scouters don’t necessarily love the Church, they think we put too many novices into the leadership ranks, which we do, but they are addicted to our money so they’ll stay strong in staving off wild PC ideas like this.
Popular Mechanics has posted it’s list of 100 Skills Every Man Should Know.
Just for fun I went through and counted how many of those skills I had learned, used or have taught in the Young Men’s/Scout Program. I came up with 42 out of the 100 (I changed #17 to “home brew rootbeer”).
The skills I saw on the list that I most want to teach the boys is “how to drive a stick shift” and “how to use a french knife.”
I saw the new scout uniform shirt for the first time at our Court of Honor last night. I wrote about it last month, but this is the first time I have actually seen it. My impressions are as follows:
The Breast pockets are not nearly as “blousey” as the official photo made it look. They lay flat, and looked good.
I didn’t realize they were getting rid of all the red, including troop numbers. It is all khaki and forest green. I think I like it. (more…)
Another reminder of how important it is for Young Men/Scout leaders do everything possible to keep the boys safe on outings. In this case a Scout died when a sand tunnel that he was digging collapsed in Southern Utah.
Ironically, after another child died in a tunneling accident a few years ago, a Scout made it his Eagle Project to post signs warning of the dangers of sand tunnel digging.
Of course this will bring out critics of the Scout program, but the reality is that when you take hundreds of thousands of young men into the outdoors every year, there will be accidents. I would say to those critics: prove to me that the accident rate of teenage boys at home is any lower than kids on Scouting outings. Teens have this feeling of invicibility, and it is tough to convince them to use their common sense. I have a gut feeling that the accident rate on Scout outings is no higher than the accident rate at home.
Check this story on ABC.com on a group of Boy Scouts caught in that Grand Canyon flash flooding. It is a great story about how the local American Indians helped keep them safe until the National Guard showed up with the heavy hardware and hoisted them out.
I found the troop’s website, in a powerpoint presentation for the Grand Canyon trip, which they presumably presented to the boys and parents before they left, they stressed preparation saying::
“The success of this trip depends on planning, support, and preparation”
And it appears Troop 21 did prepare well for the trip. Parents quoted in other news stories say the boys trained for a year with various campouts and hikes. They are not an LDS troop, it appears they are chartered out of a local school there in New Jersey. It is a great story to share with the boys next time you are talking about being prepared.
The Boy Scouts are introducing a new “Centennial” uniform. It looks pretty sweet. I am not sure what my old one is made of, but it was not that comfortable. The new one is “supplex nylon”. The Boy scout site says:
these new khaki shirts are made of lightweight Supplex® nylon, a durable, high-performance and infinitely comfortable microfiber fabric with superior moisture control that keeps you cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold weather.
I like the bigger pockets, and the extra one on the sleeve.
Boy Scout website, it says they will be available this Friday, August 22, 2008, although word is they may be backordered a month or so.
We just completed a very successful High Adventure Backpacking trip. One of the things we did very well this year was to set aside a few minutes every day to talk about the Gospel. We had a short evening devotional, where we asked each boy about gospel topics. We focused on their responses. We also read the Book of Mormon as a group, and sent each boy into the woods for 10 minutes of silent reflection. As you would suspect, the first attempts were a bit clumsy, but the boys did learn to expect it, and by the end of the week were responding quite well. It was really worth the effort, and I highly recommend developing some form of this daily devotional for LDS troops at Scout Camp, High Adventure, and even the weekend campouts.
Last summer we had the greatest high adventure trip that I can imagine. We went backpacking Isle Royale. It was a big trip, so this year the overlords have us on a short leash. That leads to the problem: how to get the boys interested in a less awesome trip this summer. When one boy was overheard saying that they were not interested in a “nature walk” we knew we had a problem.
Simply “talking up” the trip was marginally effective, so we came up with a different idea. We put up a billboard in the hallway in the church building. Actually, it was a bulletin board hyping the trip. We used pictures, maps and descriptions of where we are going. The boys walked past it every time they were in the building. It did rev up interest.
One tip — There were not a lot of good pictures of the trail available from traditional sources, so we used Flickr. Which was a goldmine. We made sure to give proper credit.