Compass Points Podcast

For regular readers and followers of this Blog, you will no doubt recognize this guy to my12219556_10207026093784239_3877748600976421156_n left.  Jerry Schleining-Jr.  I have known him as a friend since about 2009 after I took Wood Badge with one of his ASMs.  We have staffed Wood Badge together and have taught several courses.  If you see us in public together, you generally see to guys laughing hard.  Please, do not give us any Milk.  It will come out of our nose.

In his latest blog post about Social Media, He talks about the fact that both he and I were asked by Council to help spread Scoutings Story.  Particularly, Cascade Pacific Council’s Scouting story.

There is a lot to tell.  Jerry and I can are tasked with finding these stories and getting them out to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs and Podcasts.  The stories we tell and help tell will get published out on all of the Social Media channels of Cascade Pacific Council.  Jim Bergman, the Social Media Manager at CPCBSA is helping us with that.  He is our Council Professional who asked us to help.

Through him, we found that CPCBSA is helping with other Councils to tell the Scouting story through  Go there.  Bookmark it.  Read about Scouts.

So, what about Podcasts?  Well, yes.  Jerry and I just finished our first Podcast of Compass Points Podcast.

So, listen to our first Podcast.  Send us Feedback and your stories.  WE WANT TO HEAR!

Posted in Cascade Pacific Council, Compass Points Podcast, Podcast, postaday | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Region Area 1 Training

CPCBSA-Area 1 2015-TICO

The weekend of November 13th and 14th 25 volunteers and professional Scouters attended Training at Camp Thunderbird just outside Olympia, WA for Western Regional Area 1 Training.

I was invited by the Cascade Pacific Council Commissioner Dolly Olson to attend.  It was my first time going.  I attended due to my position as Assistant Council Commissioner in charge of Commissioner Tools and Communications.  Others attended due to their position as Training Chairs, Commissioners, and for upcoming Course Directors for NYLT and Wood Badge.

IMG_3319One of the other main reasons to go was that the Boy Scouts of America’s National Commissioner Tico Perez would be attending and speaking at the conference.  Over the two days, I was able to have several conversations with him.  Which proved to be incredibly informative.  He did listen to what I had to say, and had great insight as to what is happening at the National Service Center and also within other Councils.  Since I was in the Commissioner break out where he was speaking, the conversations I was able to listen to, helped me understand more about how we are all the same.

During the time set aside for the National, Regional and Area Commissioner talk,  it was brought home again on how we as Commissioners are here to be a service to the unit from the District, Council and on up.  Each level of Commissioner is there to help the level below it.   Tico talked about how he came into the National Commissioner role and his journey.

He talked about how the National Commissioner was really just a title before he assumed IMG_3318the office.  Tico explained that while each Unit Commissioner should visit three Units a month, he sees three Councils a month.  Looks like he got in 15 that weekend.  His main point when talking to Wayne Brock, Bob Mazzuca or Rex Tillerson  every time he went past the pictures of the Chief Exec and National President he said Key 2?  It was lost on some of them, but in the end they got it.  Key 3.  Bob, Rex and Tico.  Bob, Wayne and Tico.  Tico runs the unit that is out listening to the Scout Units via Commissioners from the Unit to Regional Area.  The higher up people get, the less they hear.

Tico and others, including Dolly Olson, spoke about how having a Subject Matter Expert is essential in providing Service to Units.   Both Tico and Dolly explained that they have Commissioner Tools experts, Service, IT, Membership and other Experts on their team.  These people allow them to do their job better.  In Tico’s case, he said fly around the US and have fun.

IMG_3321There were two questions that I asked to Tico and the Area and Regional Commissioners.  The first was one I asked at Top Team with the Council District Commissioners.  How to do you explain why Journey to Excellence is needed to a unit that says they do not need to fill it out because they are already doing it?   The answer is what I generally expected, but I got more.  Tico explained that JTE was his idea.  JTE is crafted to listen to the Units and understand what they are doing in a measurable way.  Something that the District, Council, Area and National could track.  Tico stated that the questions change every year based upon feedback.  He stated that if any person had a good suggestion, that he wanted to hear it.

My second question dealt again on JTE, but in the world of Commissioner Tools.  I explained that I am the Council Commissioner Tools Champion and that a lot of the information provided does not make sense, hard to read/input and how does the JTE info bubble up into the reports.  Where is the Dashboard widget that shows Bronze, Silver, Gold status.

The answer  Tico and others provided was good.  A lot of the tools are coming, but should have been implemented awhile ago.  However, the one bit of news that was dropped was amazing.  National will be releasing a Mobile App that is downloaded via Apple iTunes and Google Play by the National Meeting in May 2016 in San Diego.  This will allows everyone to download an App and create a Unit Contact either Simpler or Detailed and upload later.  All Commissioner Tools.  Myself and another Assistant Council Commissioner from Cascade Pacific got all giggly about it.    Tico went on to say that all the legacy Infrastructure will be gone by the end of the year.  This was confirmed by the Bob Timmions who helped bring out the Build an Adventure and supports Scoutbook.

So, how does all of this tie together?

I really got the sense that from Tico to me, people are listening.  The tools put in place are to help National listen to the Units.  Yeah, it is boring administrative work.  Reporting on how a Unit is doing.  But using Journey to Excellence, Unit visits, Commissioner Tools and providing Training to “everyone” the program of Scouting will be supplied to the Nation, Region, Area, Council, District, Unit and to that Scout.  If everyone does their part, the Journey will be a lot less bumpy and a lot more fun will be had.   Do you part, visit the Scout Unit assigned to you.  Do not have one?  Go ask your District Commissioner for a couple of Units.

Posted in Commissioner, postaday, Tico Perez | Tagged | Leave a comment

Troop 150 at 30

IMG_3225Just got home from an evening of fun and celebration with Troop 150.  It is the Troop that Elliot is in.  The Troop is 30 years old as of October 30th.

All four Scoutmasters were there.  Each had a few words to say about their time within the Troop.  Also a brief and colorful history of the Troop and how it began was given.    At one point the Troop had 90 Scouts on the roster.  The most ever Troop 150 took to a Summer Camp was 50 and it was to Camp Easton.

Another bit of info that I find interesting is where and how many times the Troop went to each Summer Camp.  Once to both Camp Fire Mountain and Pupukea (Hawaii), twice to Easton, three times to Camp Parsons & Camp Pioneer, four times to Camp Makualla, twice to Camp Cooper,  five times to Baldwin and Nine to IMG_3220Meriweather.   Troop 150 has been to Philmont several times and once to Seabase. The Troop has also gone on adventures to Victoria and Vancouver BC and into Glacier National Park several times.  The one thing that Troop 150 is known for within the District is the trips to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags in California.   Yes, Troop 150 has many experiences that get remembered over the years.  Scouting is a Game…. Oh, did I say that one year the Troop brought a bowling alley to Summer Camp?

Every Scout Unit has a history and the Adult Leaders work to preserve it and to carry on those traditions while providing the Scouting Program.  It is called Leaving a Legacy.  The Scouts, Scout Leaders and Parents have done just that.   The legacy of Troop 150 is colorful, very rich and a lot of fun.   I can see it within the photos from 1985 that started traditions that happen to this very day.  It is the journey within Scouting that binds and ties us together.IMG_3207

I can personally say that I have spent many hours talking to the Scoutmaster and Charter Org about why Troop 150 does it this way, that way and another way.  I listen to them and seek to understand “WHY”.   I hear the stories.  I have slowly gotten the history and why Troop 150 does what it does.  Tonight, I realized, that I am more apart of that history.  Slowly helping to make it, but also helping to bring it to the Scouts so they can create memories.

So, here is to another 30 years.  Here is to making another 30 years of memories along the Scouting Journey!  October 30th 2045 is approaching fast!  Maybe we can get to Camp Pupukea again?  Besides, Disney is happening again in 2017!  So, that will be fun!

Posted in Blogging, Events, NEWS, postaday | 4 Comments

2015 Journey to Excellence

jte-goldIt is that time of year, within Cascade Pacific, for Re-Charter.  It is also that time to fill out or complete the Journey to Excellence (JTE) paperwork.  When I was the Cubmaster, Pack 221 earned Gold Journey to Excellence with 100% Boyslife twice.  We also earned the Quality Unit Award on twice.  Last year Troop 150 earned Journey to Life Gold with 100% Boyslife.  The first time in a longtime.  Troop 150 is again on track to earn Gold in 2015.

What is Journey to Excellence and why should I really care at all? While Bryan on Scouting has a good blog post about it, I have a few pointers myself.

Each year the National BSA Office tweaks and updates the Journey to Excellence program.  They have to, or there would not be any challenge to it.  Some of the updates are based on recently created programs, others are there to help with overall metrics.   One metric would be to gain new scouts and retain current ones.  Membership within the BSA has been falling in many regions of the United States.   Another Metric is Training.  Not a lot of the Adult Leaders are “Trained” for their position.  Having Trained Adult Leaders helps the Scouts understand the program.  Do you want a frustrated Adult guiding the Scouts?

If the membership is sustaining itself with new members, retaining current with normal advancement of Scouts, then that unit is generally healthy.    It also should show that the Adult Leadership is Trained for their position or in progress of completing it.  For 2015 within the Troop Scorecard there is a Gold for those Units who have at least one person to have attended Wood Badge.  A lot of commitment for any Unit.

So…really. Why is there such a thing?  Think of JTE as your one on one with your boss.  An annual review that happens to make sure you are on the right track and performing as needed.  It also helps point you in directions for improvement.   JTE does not have penalties and you cannot be fired.  Well, you could be.  If performing horribly, the Scouts and parents can leave and the Unit folds.  But, let’s not go there.

There is also other benefits for turning in the JTE Form.  For many Adult Leaders, the ability to earn Adult Awards and Knots helps them along their journey.  I can safely say that when I was a Tiger Den Leader and Cubmaster I had no clue what I needed to do.  After “Googling” for a short time I found the Knots that informed me of the Training and other items I needed to complete.  I blogged about this fact back in 2010.  And yes, I am on track to get the District Committee Key and Scouter Training Key in 2016.

So, is this just for Scout Units?  Nope…Journey to Excellence is also for Districts and Councils.

Taking this up a notch, this is how the Professionals get graded!  Just like your department at work, when the Team wins your boss wins.   A successful unit has a sucessful boss and on up.  In the end, the metrics that bubble up from the Unit to District to Council to Area to National get reflected in how the whole program is working.  People like to see a company succeed and earn awards.  People gravatate to it.  Why go with #2, when #1 is better?

I know that our District, Skyloo, is on the path for GOLD!  Which, it has not been Gold for awhile.  It takes a lot work within the District via Units and people to make this happen.

So, read up more about Journey to Excellence.  It is NOT TOO LATE for 2015.   If you are in Cascade Pacific Council, here is a good link to get started!

Posted in Journey to Excellence, postaday, Wood Badge | Tagged , | 2 Comments

2015 University of Scouting

10168096_765255140165165_569187411622711508_nIt is once again that time of year for the Cascade Pacific Council University of Scouting.  It is also the same time for the Youth to be Trained at Leadership Development Conference.  It is put on by the Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge of the Order of the Arrow.

For the past two years I am one of two Cub scout Co-Chairs that helped arrange and coordinate Cub Scout General Education classes.  It also marks my sixth year in teaching a course.  This year I am teaching the Charter Org Rep course that will actually count for being Fully Trained for the COR position!  After that, all you need is Youth Protection and you as the COR can wear the Trained Patch!

The University of Scouting, while it has some courses that actually count for “Official BSA Training”, the main reason for coming is to add onto what you already know.  The University of Scouting helps to give you an idea on how to better prepare and to expand the program you are working in.   Just like any position at work, there is continuing education that is needed to keep up on skills and to advance.  It is just the same within Scouting.  We are here to better ourselves and provide a better program to the Scouts and the Adults we serve.

If you are a longtime Scoutmaster, it is good to come and see how others provide Scoutmaster Conferences.  If you are new to being in the Varsity Program, it will help you to understand how to be better.  The same for Cubscouts.  With the huge change within the Cubscout Program, there are classes for the New Den Leader & Cubmaster.  As well as what are all the “New Adventures!”  If you have been recently “Called” within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are classes on how to better understand the what the difference is between a Primary and Quorum to Scout Ranks!  These classes will help you translate Boy Scout to LDS!

This last year I took a lot of Cub Scout classes because I am the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner and also Cub Scout Trainer.  Of which, I took two courses on Scouting within the LDS.  I learned so much.

This year, because I was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, I am taking the OA Troop Rep and Adults in the OA courses.  I am the Troop OA Advisor and it is part of my job to help the OA Troop Rep.  Which in our Troop there has not been a lot of activity within the Scouts who where tapped out.  All the current Arrowmen along with myself are just Ordeal.  Several of the Adults including the Scoutmaster are Brotherhood.

There are a lot of other courses that you can sign-up for at the University of Scouting.
Here is a video on how to sign-up as the registration system has changed at Cascade Pacific.

Posted in Training | Tagged , | 2 Comments


IMG_1376It is that time within most every Council starts to sell Popcorn.  Cascade Pacific Council is no different.  This was Elliot when he was a Wolf in Pack 221.

There are many ways to sell Popcorn, and this site will give you a lot of pointers.  I wanted to give you a few pointers myself after going through Popcorn Season a few times.

There are a few things you will need.  First, a cute Cub Scout who wants a Marsh mellow Blaster!  Or whatever the Council is giving as the prize.  Second, you need product.  Yes, the Council has everything you want.  Get it.  But, do not get TOO MUCH.  The more you have and what is not sold has to go back to Council.

Your Treasurer and Popcorn Kernal will thank you for either Selling EVERYTHING or 12023173_10206659310854948_120207026_nnot ordering a lot.  If this is your Pack’s first time in selling Popcorn.  Do not order a lot.

Places to sell.  There are generally three places that you want to focus on selling.
First, you want to get all the neighbors in your area.  Hit the streets that you can ride bikes around.  Be in the area that is close to your Elementary School.  Going outside of your area may get you sales, but people want to know if you live on their street or go to the school.

Second: Stores and Retail locations.  Your District Popcorn Kernal will DSC_5455have a list of places that you can sign-up for to sell at.  Go off that list.  Do not go to locations, and just set-up.  Many other Packs may have already signed up for that area and time.  Many a turf war was started by parents in the parking lot.

Calls to the District Executive follow and those are just no fun.  Some Districts may think that that store is in their area when it is not.  If two units show up at the same time, split the entry ways and make the best of it.

If you have cardboard that you put photos of what the Pack does with the money and also events, bring those.  People like to see what you do.  These boards can be used again during Join Nights and Back to School events.

12041789_10206664034533037_2125795622_nCharter Organizations:  If the Pack is sponsored by a Church or Service Organization, then ask your Charter Org Rep to get time in the area.  Again, you need a cute Scout.

Online sales:  The online promotion of selling has only gotten easier to do.  Yes, you need to include what the Council provides so the order can be processed easier.  This is the time to find every long lost Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Grandfather, Grandmother and if you are still friends your Ex-Girlfriend or Boyfriend.  You know, the one you did not marry!

Another selling tip: If this is your first year in selling.  Keep a copy of the sale sheet.  Use that for next year’s sales.  If you have a sister who is in Girl know the Younger Venture Crew types, get their list.  Sell to them.  I suspect your sister will use your list as well.  It is all to support Scouting!

Say Thank you.  Say Thank you when someone buys and when someone does not.  Smile.    Scouts are Friendly, Kind and Courteous.

Happy Selling!

I big thank you to the Martin Family of Pack 199 in Three Rivers District from the Cascade Pacific Council.  I asked if I could use photos he posted and was graciously given the OK to do so.  The Martin family has two boys in the Pack.  David is the Cubmaster and his wife is the Committee Chair.

Posted in postaday | Tagged , ,

OA Troop Rep & Advisor #DareToDo

icon-oa-troop-representative-adviserI am Troop 150’s Order of the Arrow’s Adviser.  I was just elected by the Troop this Spring and my Ordeal was the June 5th weekend at Camp Cooper.  Two other Scouts were elected by their fellow Scouts as well. There is so much to learn.  But, there is so much fun.  And the whole Ordeal Weekend was just so amazing.  It is not just another patch or handshake.

So, I am on a new path.  I am the Troop Representative Adviser.  I get to help the Troop Rep figure out his path.  Wow, blind leading the blind!

While our Troop has it’s share of Arrowmen, the only one who is Brotherhood is our Scoutmaster.  Several of the other Adult Leaders are Brotherhood, but are not active nor registered.  See the issue?  Notice I did not say Problem.  I am not sure that it is Sash n Dash, but it’s just not going back.  Hence, our starting back to Chapter Meetings and learning more about the Order of the Arrow.

I just sent our impending OA Troop Rep an email with a copy to his Dad and the Scoutmaster with a few bits of advice and an Ask.  I asked him to read the Troop Rep POR, I also asked him to come at short notice to the Chapter Meeting this Thursday Night.  I also explained that once we work through his understanding and commitment to the position, we can move forward to informing the Chapter and getting is Position of Responsibility started.

Both of us have a lot of learning to do.  It will be a great journey.  #DareToDo

Posted in Order of the Arrow | Tagged | 2 Comments