Sunday, 28 September 2008

Setting the Example

Leadership in its most basic form is all about setting the example. Setting the example is more than doing just the right thing at the right time. It should involved multiple characteristics in order to be considered a good leader. These characteristics are as follows:

1. Following Instructions: Fulfilling all instructions, laws, rules, and procedures is key to settting the example because it points out to your subordinates that rules and procedures are important and are not items to be taken lightly.

2. Trying Hard: A leader must learn the importance of working hard- as the leader of the group you should be the hardest working member of your group whether it be in scouts or not. If you do not work hard people will believe that you are a slacker and will not trust your judgment. If they do not trust your judgment you will have serious crisis on your hands very quickly. Trust is the foundation to every relationship that is formed.

3. Showing initiative: A good leader knows what to do in order to get a certain job done. He is willing to do tasks without having to be directly told to do those tasks. He also encourages others under him to do the same. He does this willingly and cheerfully.

4. Acting with maturity:A good leader shows good judgment. He must know the two faces of leaders. These two faces are the fo0ling around and the serious face. The fooling around face is for times when it is appropriate to mess around. The serious face is for times when directions and tasks must be accomplished to get to the fun parts of the day. A good leader recognizes the times for each of these faces and acts accordingly. He knows that his personal behavior whether directly or indirectly will always influence other people.

5.Knowing the Job: Generally speaking a leader should have a mastery of the skills to be used in scout but if not he recognizes other people in his group that are masters of those skills. He must
know how to apply the resources of the group in the appropriate manner to get a job done.

6. Keeping a positive attitude: Keeping a positive attitude is vital when serving in a position of power because even if you do not realize it you are always be watched by those in your group. Keeping a positive attitude will maintain the morale of your group and keep you on the good side of each member of the group. Personal frustrations or discouragement should never be apparent to people below you. Every failure should be considered a learning opportunity.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Quotes of the Week

Leadership is not about being soft or nice or purely inclusive or consensus building. The whole point is to make sure the right deicisions happen no matter how difficult or lpainful for the long term greatness of the institution and the achievement of its mission independent of consensus or popularity.

Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture.

"It is not the critic that counts nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at his best knows the triumph of high achievement; and who at his worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Meeting Reviews

September 15, 2008
This meeting went fairly well the primary focus was on orienteering. In our Troop currently we are going to have 4 nights of orienteering work with three being classroom sessions and the fourth being the field session with a course around town. The first night we worked on degrees and directions of a compass, and parts of a compass. it seems like that should not have taken the whole night but it did with the activities and games the leaders came up with for the night. After the regular meeting the PLC group meet for about 30 minutes to work on some leadership development issues. The focus for this night was communications. The reason why I choose this one first was because of the fact that it is one of the most basic skills a leader must master when taking on a serious leadership role in his Troop for the first time. This discussion went okay. In this topic we discussed the callout procedure for the Troop and chain of command. These sem too much like the military concepts but the truth is they are the foundations for having good communication.
September 22, 2008
This meeting was classroom session two of the Troops orienteering instruction. This time we had a review quiz game on degrees/ matching directions and parts of a compass. The majority of people remembered the majority of the information. A few struggled but everything went okay. After that the concept of taking a bearing and pacing was introduced. These are both critical concepts to be able to understand. This again took the whole meeting. The younger scouts especially this time around had a hard time get around the idea that percise degrees and percise bearings are important. It became very evident quickly who was good at be straight and who was bad at keeping a straight line. The leadership decided we will definitely have to spen another night on the concept of bearings and pacings before the field session. This night the leadership concept of the night was Be, Know, and Do. The second concept of the night was a acronym that I call stop-a. The letters stand for:

S- Stop
T- Think
O- Observe
P- Plan
A- Act

These two concepts were given to the leadership to think over the upcoming week. A discussion about one or both of these will occur this coming monday.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Order of the Arrow

Order of the Arrow Ordeal Weekend
September 12 to 14
Well just this weekend Nanuk Lodge which is part of the Great Alaska Council held their annual Fall Ordeal for the new OA candidates. This ordeal we had 3 clans of 7 guys each for a total of 21 candidates. All of them have now become ordeal members in the Order of the Arrow. I along with 6 others guys who are Ordeal level members went for becoming a Brotherhood level member of the Order. All of us passed the interviews, requirements, and sucessfully completed the ceremony. This ordeal in particular was interesting for me due to the fact that even though I was not going through the ordeal process again for granting of membership into the Order I went through the Ordeal to serve as a elagomat. Serving as a elagomat is a very important job due to the fact that you are the person who is incharge of clan of guys who are going through and experience the Ordeal process from the very first time. You must obey all of the rules and tasks the candidates go through during the weekend.

In a later post I am going to work on defining some of the important aspects and principals of the order of the arrow.

Yours in Scouting Service
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616


I can not believe it has been almost four months since the last time I posted something on the blog. I guess I just had a busy summer with work, fun, and scouting all wrapped into one package. Now that school has started again I am going to be more committed to ensuring that their is a entry posted regularly.

Lets just start out with the beginning of the summer and work forward. Summer camp for my Troop was June 29 to July 5. This year we double from last year and ended up with 12 youth and three adults. We even had one scout from out of state staying with our unit. I think that having a scout from a different unit stay with us for a week for summer camp was definitely a unique experience for my guys to participate in. Not only to meet other scouts from another part of the country but to also realize the strengths and weaknesses of each Troop. Each Troop has different traditions which makes them unique but sometimes changing some Troop traditions is a really good idea.

Next on the first weekend of August we had a weekend campout on Friday to saturday. This event went well with opportunities to ride horses and for the guys to just hangout and have fun. We also during this time went down to a lake for a swim. This was a excellent weekend even though we had a really small turnout. In fact it was only 4 youth but this allowed me to do some advanced leadership work since all of the scouts present were nee leaders.

I gues I forgot to mention that all of our Troop youth leaders changed positons. The Senior Patrol leader is now Tyler, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader is Micheal and the two Patrol Leaders are Elijah and Walter. Congragulations on your appointment to these positions, your dedication and service to the unit is greatly appreciated.

After that in September on the 5,6, and 7 we had our annual aquatic weekend. Instead of going to Hidden Lake the Troop took over the cabin and campsite for engineer lake. The weekend went wonderful with 9 youth and 3 adults attending the whole weekend. Thanks to the adult leaders to leant boats/canoes and offerred their time, it could not be done without you. This was the first major campout with lots of youth that the SPL and ASPL attended as leaders since they are fairly new. I believe the leaders needed to be more proactive but I am very happy with the maount of stuff that learned this weekend anyway.

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