Insight to a National Process


jte-goldI have always been interested in how things work.  Be it mechanical or within an organization or a team.  I like seeing what is happening behind the scene.  Being asked to be part of a team is great.  So far, I have been at the unit, district and council level.  Today, I was able to be on the National level.  Not a huge thing or something that change the world.  But, it was my first glimpse into how things work.

I was contacted by the Scout Executive of Cascade Pacific to be on a Focus group conference call for the 2017 Journey to Excellence.  I was asked to give input on what I liked and did not like about it.  Also asked for suggestions.  Outside of the one National Professional, all attendees were volunteers.  Area Commissioners, Council Commissioners and others.

We all agreed that what was there on the 2016 sheets is good.  We wanted more of a tie into Commissioner Tools via JTE.  Scoutbook is intergrating into many more systems and will start to provide JTE based info.  National will start to funnel more data to Scoutbook for JTE information.  Currently for those units who do do JTE, a lot of calls to the District Executive take place and that info is hard to track down.

There is a training video coming about what JTE is and what it is for. The Training Team is putting that together.  This will help get the word out to the units that just do not do it. It also helps those Councils and Districts that cannot get the word out for various reasons.  Not everyone goes to Roundtable.

One of my suggestions was to include wording about having the Key Three of each unit fully Trained for their position.  It was received well, but  one person pointed out that the Charter Org Rep person  may not feel the need to get Trained or resist or the District just not do the Training.   The JTE is not there to lay down the law of things that you NEED to do.  It is suggestions.  So, Committee Chair was agreed upon with the Scoutmaster/Cubmaster and other Main Leaders.

I also suggested that a Unit Commissioner should be included in the Budget and Planning section.  Again, greeted warmly, but it was pointed out that if a District did not have a UC to provide that it would impact the unit in the negative.  Much like not faulting a Scout due to an Adult’s failure to provide or not to.  So, wording to the affect is to forward an invite to the UC to come to meeting.

Overall, it was fun to see how many other Scouters work at different levels within Scouting to provide a program and processes for all.  Also hearing about things coming down the pipeline is exciting.

This meeting and talking to Tico Perez at the Western Region Training Conference last November, a deeper understanding of what JTE is all about is getting clearer.  It is to help the Unit explain to the District, Council and National understand how the program is working.  It is also to help the Unit have an idea what to do so they can some guidance outside of position specific training on what to do.

The goal is not to achieve Gold, but to better the Unit on and ongoing process.  Not every Scout will attain Eagle.  If that was the case, Eagle would not be as special.  Not all all Units will be Gold.

Finally, did you know that only 10% of all Eagle Scouts earn one Eagle Palm?  So, if there are 50 Thousand Eagles this year, only 5000 earned a Palm.  Want to know more about Eagle Palms?

 

Posted in Goals, Journey to Excellence, postaday, Program & Training | Tagged ,

Capacitor


47009502-illustration-of-a-ham-radio-operator-with-headset-and-talking-on-the-transreceiver-set-inside-circleOver this past weekend (June 4th) myself and another Scouter went to this years Amateur Radio Conference in Seaside, Oregon.  It is called SEAPAC.  I had only been to this conference one other time and it was fun then.

If you do not know what Amateur Radio is, the American Radio Relay League has a good article with more information.  I passed the Tech License in 2006 with my friend Doug Miner and was on my way.  A few years later we both took a weekend course and upgraded to General.  My first callsign was KE7JRE, it is now K7RUB.  My main reason for becoming an Amateur Radio Operator was due to James Kim.

I have written about Ham Radio before and how I use it within Scouting.  Mainly it was to teach the Tiger Cubs within Pack 221 the Communication section for their Badge.  Since the BSA has changed the requirements for the Tiger Rank, there is not a need for my class.

So, what to do?  Well, that has been on my mind for a while.  I have always been interested in Radio at some level.  I am just not very good at all the electrical stuff.  So, it has been an uphill battle for me.  I have several radios.  A Yeasu 8800, VX-7R, 450D, 817ND and a ICOM 208.  I also have several antennas.  So, what does that get me.  Well, two are HF and the rest are VHF/UHF.    The 817ND is my portable HF Rig that is 5watts and teh 450 is my home 100watt unit.  The 8800 is in my car, the VX-7R is the handheld and the 208 is in the house.  I have a lot of firepower.

With this recent trip to SEAPAC, I stumbled upon a class called National Parks on the Air.  Now, I know about Jamboree on the Air and Field Day and the National Jamboree having a Radio Station.  But what is National Parks on the Air.  Simply this: It is the ARRL’s way of celebrating the National Park Service 100th Year.  There is even a Facebook Group for NPOTA!

IMG_1077The gentleman who taught the class is Norm Fusaro, W3IZ.  He was great!  Lots of stories about what to do, what not to do and how to get started.   Watching the Facebook group, it is really very active and a lot of Hams are out there going to a lot of sites.   Over the coming weeks I will be getting my HF Rig configured and ready to Chase a few and see how it works.

IMG_1085The other part of my adventure was based around how to get Radio into my corner of Scouting.  Specifically within Skyloo and the Council.  My friend Russ who came with me also has the same ideas on how to make this happen.  We had a lot of conversations up to this point, but the drive to, from and onsite were pointed to how to make it happen.

One of my sojourns took me to the Multnomah ARESIMG_1080 Trailer that was parked outside the Convention Center.  This proved to be very eye-opening and rewarding.  The Trailer was awesome.  The people there answered all my questions and offered to help as much as they could.  They just want to get Radio out to as many others as they can.  They recognize Scouting and Radio to be a perfect fit.  Russ is on the Clackamas ARES side, so many resources can be had.

I have a lot of work to do which includes a lot of learning and training and getting out and doing.  As I look through the items that I need to know to join Multnomah ARES, there is a lot of training, understanding, field work and advancement to do.  But, it all sounds and looks like Scouting to me.   It is just another Wood Badge ticket waiting to happen.

Posted in Ham Radio, JOTA, JOTI, postaday, signaling, STEM | Tagged , ,

Order of the Arrow Troop Operations


icon-oa-troop-representative-adviserOne of my positions within the Troop is the Ast Scoutmaster for the Order of the Arrow.  I am the advisor for the OA Troop Rep.  I gained this position last year after I was inducted into the OA.

During this past year, I spent time working with one youth on trying to get him to step-up to be the OA Troop Rep.  He ended up being the Patrol Leader for his POR and that is fine.

Our Troop is very much like many within the BSA when it comes to the Order of the Arrow.  A lot of Sash and Dash Scouts who do not complete or even entertain going for their Brotherhood.  We have about 10-13 Scouts who could get their Brotherhood this year.  I am not too sure on why our Troop has not been so active within the local Chapter of the OA.  My overall thought is, it just never has been important enough and no one has put a spotlight on it.

However, during this past Ordeal weekend the Scouts really got a good taste of it and are excited to continue.  Several of them asked about how to get their fellow Scout who could not make it, through.  Two Scouts want to be the Elangomat for an upcoming Ordeal.  They had a few questions that I was able to answer.  That brought smiles to their faces.  Another Scout stated that he wanted to be a ceremonialist within the Chapter.

During the closing dinner and award ceremony the Lodge explained and described many of the other events that are coming up.  Leadership Development Conf, Conclave W-1S, Rendezvous, NAACS and NOAC 2018.  And for this year ARROWCORP 2016. Almost immediately many of the Scouts asked if we are going to Conclave.  I explained that is very possible and would be a lot of fun.

As I pointed out and reminded the Scouts, the first duty within the OA is Service to the Unit.  The OA Troop Rep is there to help the Unit, not just his fellow Arrowmen.  He is part of the PLC and acts like a Troop Guide/Instructor.  Also, he is to go to the OA Chapter Meetings, and bring back info about the Chapter and Lodge.  All Scouts are encouraged to attend meetings and other functions.  As I explained it to the Arrowmen, the OA Troop Rep is like the Patrol Leader for the OA within the Troop.

So, we are off to a good start for this year.  My goal is to get all the OA Events up on the Troop Calendar so the Troop can be aware of them and help enable those Arrowmen to go as they want to.

 

Posted in Order of the Arrow, postaday, Waluga Chapter | Tagged

Ordeal Weekend 2016 #OA442


IMG_0983The weekend of May 20th was Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge Order of the Arrow’s first Ordeal of 2016.  Our Troop elections had six Scouts elected to be “tapped out” during the Skyloo District Camporee.  Myself and a Troop parent were able to transport five of the six Scouts.  The latter had LaCross games all weekend.

I attended last year at Camp Cooper to go through the Ordeal and this year was to seal my membership in the Order of the Arrow for by Brotherhood.  As luck would have it, several Adult Leaders I know were also going through with their Brotherhood. IMG_0951 Rocky (pictured with me) was one of them.  He and I have been showing up to Council events since 2011 since I walked him into Wood Badge.  Very fun to see people all the time!  My other friend was Ray and his son.  Also several others that I kinda knew from afar, but we are all afflicted with being Scouters.  So, it works out.

Obviously without giving much away about the OA Ceremonies and traditions, we all had a great time.   There is a service project for IMG_0948both the Ordeal and Brotherhood.  I was able to choose to work in the kitchen for the weekend.   It was a lot of fun. Again, I met new people.  One person was one of Skyloo’s 2016 District Award of Merit recipient.  Lots of fun to get to know these great people.  You can always use another cook in the kitchen.  It makes everything go easier.  I also helped with other odd jobs within the Dining Hall of Camp Meriwether.   There was a total of 23 Brotherhood members and about 107 Ordeal candidates for the whole weekend.  If you figure about 6 hours on average, that is about 780 hours for all those going through.  IMG_0945That does not include the current OA members, staff and Ceremony Teams from three Districts that help put on the whole weekend.  According to the Lodge email after the fact, the Camp Meriwether Ranger was very happy with all the projects at Meriwether and Clark to help them open for Summer Camp season very soon.  The projects included rebuilding tent platforms and building water stations in campsites.  As well as moving a lot of wood.

Overall, this was a great weekend.  I was able to peer into a program that I really know nothing about.  The Order of the Arrow is a great unknown to me.  I know what the Order IMG_0996of the Arrow is and what it does.  But, that was just from looking in from the outside.  Now, that I am in and by IN I mean Brotherhood, I can start getting a deeper understanding about why I am in the OA.

Granted, there is a whole set of new patches that I can start to buy and collect.  But it goes a lot deeper than that.  I have an obligation to my Troop, the Scouts within the Troop and to the Chapter and Lodge.

In that order.   In an upcoming post, I will explain more about the OA Troop operations as it pertains to my Troop.  I am excited for it all.

WWW

 

Posted in Order of the Arrow, postaday, Waluga Chapter, Wauna La-Mon'tay Lodge | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

World’s Greatest Webelos Den Leader


DSC_6692Ever have that one person that just wants to make you better than you are at something?  I showed up at a Join Night back in 2008 and somehow figured out I wanted to be a Tiger Den Leader.  But I did not know it at the time.  The guy ahead of me in Wolves knew what he was doing.   He attained Eagle Scout back in the Day and now was a Den Leader.  Ok, he knows something.   He showed me a few things and I was amazed at how organized he was.  He planned every meeting and kept really good records.  In Excel Files he made!  The one night in almost June, the current Cubmaster had us all in a meeting and said he was stepping down.  My friend nudged me and said “You would be great!”  Really? Me?  I blame him.

With the five or so years we were in the Pack together, we had a lot of fun.  I never had to worry about him or the Scouts under his care.  He and I along with another parent who was my Wolf & Bear Den Leader figured out how to get all the Scouts the 2010 Awards provided by National and Council.  Coupled with my Wood Badge Ticket we planned it all out.  Every Scout got every Patch!  Better yet…they had  a lot of fun.DSC_6256

I would take many of his ideas of what he did with the Den and use it for other Dens.  He would share all the ideas.  I marveled that he did the Art Beltloop.  Not just painting, but with Clay.

We did take several of the boys in our Dens on outings.  One was to Mt Tabor and we worked with Ham Radio as well as a Nature Hike.  He was great with nature and birds.  I also tagged along to the Wapiti District at the time for their Webelos Woods.  Both of us got our ITOLS, OWLS and BALOO training that weekend.

I always looked to him for inspiration.  I even thought one time he would be great at the Pack Advancement Chair.  Something he deflected all the time.  He was good at that.  Doing what he wanted to do but making sure it was done right.

DSC_6753When his son crossed over to the Troop, we did visit.  I found that he was the Troop Advancement Chair.  Something I reminded him that he did not want to be.  We both laughed.

We kept in contact and we would see each other at Scout functions.  Always at University of Scouting.  I was able to get him a few of the Cubscout Leadership Knots.  Well, he got them, I just put in the paperwork.

On his final year and Pack meeting I was able to give him the Unit Scouter of the Year Award for the Pack for all his work.  He was that type of guy.  He did not seek the limelight, but had a lot of fun.

Today, I found out that he lost his battle with Cancer.  It has hit me like a ton of bricks. He is one of the great Scouters that pushed me to be better.  He pushed me to be the Cubmaster of Pack 221.  He will be missed in so many different and wonderful ways.

I will miss him.  He left a legacy.

Posted in Akela, Goals, postaday

Social Media and Scouting


oldscoutSocial Media and Scouting is a tough thing to understand.  In this digital age, we want to share what is happening or what we are doing.  As well as what we are eating!   I first wrote about Social Media and Scouting for the University of Scouting in 2012 when Jerry Schleining Jr and I put on a course for about three years.  I also wrote about Social Media and Scouting in 2011.

So, what has changed and why talk about it again in 2016?  Well, nothing really has changed since 2011 or 2012.  Yes, there are more platforms and programs that are being used.  The BSA and Order of the Arrow have gotten more active within the world of #Hashtags.  Councils seem be ramping up and pushing out content.  Jerry and I have been working (not too much lately) with Council for Podcasts and other media outlets.

All of this is fine and dandy, but I keep coming back and explaining two to three items when it comes to Social Media and Scouting.  And really just plain Internet Safety.

The first is this, do not put out anything personal on the Interwebs.  Do not give out information that could be used against you or used for Fraud.  Keep it clean and know your audience.  This also goes for teaching your children the hazards of the Internet.  They just do not get it.  

The National BSA has updated a lot of the requirements for all ranks in Scouting.  One of them is The Cyberchip.  This is not just for Scouting, but for all.  While predators are still on the streets looking to abduct kids, they are also online looking for them as well.  You need to watch what your kids are doing online.  Which means monitoring who they play with via Mindcraft and Clash of Clans.  Kids chat on there.  

Secondly: Do not use OPEN Facebook Groups or Pages to display/post stuff about your Scout Unit.  They should be CLOSED.   This is where the National BSA and I will disagree.  The BSA states that it should be OPEN.   Do you want to have photos posted that show your Scout with identifiable information of who they are, what they look like, where they go, what they do open to the public?  Yes, we want to share the fun and excitement for others to see.  Parents want to see what is happening on outings and events.  However most of these events are controlled by Scout Leaders.  We are the ring of saftey around the Scouts.  As part of Youth Protection, we scan and monitor the area and who comes by.  Yes, we intervene when non-Scout Unit people approach the Scouts.  We do ask that they point their camera away or wait until the Scouts leave.  I and other Scout Leaders have done this.  Many people understand and thank us.  It is all part of Youth Protection.

So, Yes, CLOSE the group or page that you moderate.  Also, do not allow tagging of the photos.  That opens up a stream of allowing others to view in.

Only allow those within the Scout Unit to be included.  Once that youth has moved on, remove them from the group and their parents.  If you want, have an alumni page/group and post there.   This will allow people to be updated and in touch with the Unit.

And finally, Digital Communications with Scouts.  The guidelines for most Social Media outlets like Facebook is that it is for 13 years and older.  If I know that a Scout is online and 11 years old and tries to friend me on Facebook, I will not accept.  I generally will mention it to the parent because sometimes they do not know their Scout has an account.  If they do, that is fine.  It is not my place to parent their child in that manner.  

It is my rule for myself, that I do not “Friend” any Scout let alone person under 18 that is not related to me by blood or marriage.  

Since I deal with email communications or via Scoutbook with Scouts, I always will respond with a copy to their parent or the Scoutmaster.  As a Merit Badge Counselor, in Scoutbook a Scout can send me a message via email.  That email via Scoutbook does blind copy the Scouts Parent.  That is something that in testing Scoutbook we found out.  I have to cc his parent or the Scoutmaster in my reply since it was not included in the original email.  

Email communications with a Scout without a copy to an adult is one on one communication.  Many parents do not understand this.

Social Media is a lot different than it was even in 2009 and earlier.  Be careful as to what you allow in and out. Take the BSA Youth Protection course.  Take the Cyber Chip course with your kids.  Even if you are not in Scouting, these resources will help you and others.

 

 

 

Posted in BoyScouts, postaday, Training, youth protection

A Night of Wood Badge 2016


IMG_4077This is the third year for a Wood Badge Dinner.  It was something that I had asked about ever since I went through in 2009.  Now, it is a staple of annual events within Cascade Pacific Council.  The first dinner was actually a Wood Badge ticket item of a Professional at Council.  Now, it is a tradition.

For the past two years I have been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies.  Which, for me, is great fun.  Being a Cubmaster has paid off since I again get to lead a meeting that has a lot of fun.  It really is like a giant Blue & Gold!

This year, I actually put some thought into what I wanted to say and how I wanted to kick off the whole event.  I did not want to have a theme, but I wanted an understanding.

Within Wood Badge, there is a lot of talk of leaving a Legacy and doing something to better yourself, your unit and others.  This is how I started off the night.

“We are all here tonight because we were asked.  Asked by our son to take him to a Cubscout Join Night, asked to be a Leader by a Cubmaster, asked to be a Commissioner by another…we were asked to be here. The Ask is the simplest thing to do, but the hardest to accomplish.  We do not always think about Asking, and reflect back on why I was not Asked.|

“The smallest gesture can spark a life 
Kindle the courage to fight the good fight 
To get the picture look up at any star 
It doesn’t take much light to shine in the dark “

From Doesn’t Take Much Light David G Smith (NOAC 2015 Singer)

I explained that everything starts with an ask.  I recounted a story of how I was not asked to join a Troop.  A Troop that is now celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary.  It has held it’s meetings in a church that I was a member of for many many years, the Scouts camped at a lake that I went to every year and that the Scoutmaster had a Cabin at.  Also, that I saw and knew many of the people within the Troop.  I was only a Wolf for one year in 1976.  I was never asked to be a part of that Troop.

From that though of being asked, next up was the people who have not started the Wood Badge Association of Cascade Pacific Council.  Of, which I signed up that night as a Life Member.  Both Jerry Schleining and Steve Huffman asked everyone to join.  Both explained the reasons behind the Association.  It boils down to promoting Training within the Council and providing the resources to those who need support to make it happen.  This Association is also the sponsor of “A Night of Wood Badge.”  The Patch provided for signing up is shown above.

Food:  I am not sure why I did not take a photo of the food.  It was AWESOME!  Lacey Carroll is a genius and a fantastic Chef.  She is on Staff for one Course this year as Chef.  She was recently awarded the Silver Beaver for her work within Scouting and her volunteer work with other organizations.  I had the honor of being in the kitchen with her last year at Golda’s helping her put on that dinner.  It was a lot of fun.

IMG_4071After dinner, it was time for the beading of seven WoodBadge participants from 2014 and 2015 courses.   As with anything, it was a very special event and both Course Directors put their touches on awarding and presenting the Wood Badge Regalia.

Finally, it was time to wrap up A Night of Wood Badge.  Being the Master of Ceremonies and understanding that everything needed to wrap-up and connect from the beginning, middle and to the end, I had my Cubmaster Minute.  However, I was asked if we could remember a Wood Badger who had passed away.  We took a few moments for Skip Gaudreau, Jr.

I then ended with these words before the Gilwell Song was sung by all.

“Scouting is a journey that takes many paths to many destinations.  Not all are clear, short or known. Tonight we have heard about the beginning, waypoints and what a legacy can be.  It all starts with the smallest gesture that can spark a life.  Scouting never ends, it just adjusts course and keeps moving on.”

There were many stories shared that night, memories made, recounted and friendships made.  It was a good night.

Posted in BoyScouts, cubmaster, Goals, postaday, Wood Badge