Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Leader Vs. Boss

Hopefully the majority of you will be able to realize that there is a difference between a boss and a leader. These words in everyday society are used interchangeably but should because they are most definitely different. Which do you think works best in scouting? I am not going to tell my opinion until after defining the terms using the dictionary. I hope the definitions will make it clear which is the best option but even if they do not, the primary purpose behind this post is to make you see the difference between these commonly misused word.
  1. Boss: to be master of or over; manage; direct; control. to be too domineering and authoritative.
  2. Leader: a person who guides or inspires others. A person who is able to direct the performance or activities of.
Obviously a boss is someone who demands and gets respect through intimidation and fear. I am not saying a boss is always evil but it is still not as effective as leader.

A Leader is somebody who is able to command, inspire, and get the respect of his subordinates based on his behavior and actions.

Remember a boss demands while a leader commands.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

Leading Slackers

One big issue that your scout troop could be facing is dealing with leaders that are slackers. First off lets define the word slacker:
  • Slacker: a person who evades his or her duty or work; shirker.
Being a slacker in scouting is normally okay for the majority of things like advancement and merit badges but when it starts affecting the Troops ability to lead itself with minimum adult interference then it becomes a big problem. The adults are not there to lead the meetings they are there to assist the youth leaders in carrying out their assigned responsibilities. Adults also have to take care of logistics approval and planning and health and safety issues but beyond that the Scouts are responsible for running the Troop.

Slacking in scouting and for that matter in anything you do is not acceptable. May you need to take the following steps in order to ensure the negative behavior stops:
  1. Rethink the whether or not you A) have time for the position, B) are interested in doing the position, and C) if you are needing to work in the position. If there is any hestitation or cloudly areas to the answers of these questions find a adult leader you trust and work through why or why not the leadership position is not working for you.
  2. If rethinking is not enough then maybe you need to take a break from scouting. Taking a break from scouting even while in a leadership position is okay if handled in the right way. It is not okay to just stop showing up to meetings but you should contact your assigned adult advisor and inform him/her you are having problems and need a break. Hopefully the adult will understand, even if he does not at least you were communicating your needs which is the mature think to do.
  3. Set a time frame for when to comeback, don't just say "I will come back in 2 months" instead agree to a specific date and stick to the date.
  4. Return the the program and pick up where you left off.
  5. If after the return the the program you still find you are just being a slacker and nonchalant about scouting then maybe your interests could be changing. Try finding something in scouting you enjoy but if you can not find something you enjoy then pursue other alternatives to ensuring you are enjoying life.
Obviously, number 5 could be seen as very controversial in a organization that is rapidly loosing members but as I always say a small group of dedicated scouts is better than a group that is just wishy-washy about the program.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Koolamunga Test

Long ago, somewhere in Africa, a little place called Koolamunga had a Scout troop but no Cub Pack. When the missionary, John Cristy, sent out word that he was going to start a pack, all the boys who were too young to be Scouts rushed over to join.

John looked out at rows and rows of faces - black, white, brown, yellow, and some so dirty you couldn't tell. It was impossible to start a pack with 40 or 50 Cubs ! "You can't be a Cub until you are eight," he said, "so would everybody younger please go home."

Nobody left. The six and seven-year-olds stood as tall as they could and tried to look tough. John realized he would have to sort them out some other way. So he told them the Cub Law. And then he said, "Next week, we will have an obstacle race. You can all come, but I shall start the pack with the 12 boys who do their best to keep the Law during the race."

A big crowd gathered on race day. The Scouts came along to help John pick his 12 Cubs. John designed an obstacle course so tough that it automatically eliminated the boys who were too young. The others had to run half a kilometer downhill to the river through prickles and a mangrove swamp with knee-deep mud. Then they had to swim across the river. On the other side, they had to climb a steep bank, go along the top, cross over the river again by a fallen tree bridge, and finally climb 300 m up the hill to the finish.

"This is not a race," John told them. "It's a test to see who can really do his best to keep the Cub Law." And he was already sorting them out. Some jabbered away and didn't listen to the rules. One put his foot over the starting line. "Ready, steady, GO!" John shouted, and off they went.

Very soon, some of them were yelling and swearing at the prickles. In the swamp, some gave up, pretending they were hurt. One boy thought he would be clever and sneak along the bank instead of swimming across the river.

A small boy caught his foot in a floating branch and thought it was a crocodile. John didn't blame him for yelling, but noticed a red-headed boy swim back to pull the branch free. Then he saw a white hand shoot out and duck a black head. That settled the white boy's chances, but the black face came up smiling and the boy swam on without complaint. On the tree bridge, there was a good deal of bumping, some by mistake and some by mistake-on- purpose.

Only 20 boys finished the race, and the first 12 home were sure they would be chosen. But the Scouts put aside those who had cheated or taken short cuts, those who had pretended to be hurt, and those who had sworn or lost their temper.

John chose only boys who had done their best to keep the Cub Law. There were 11 of them. For the 12th, he chose a boy named Peter who was watching but hadn't taken part in the race. John knew his mother was ill. She'd asked Peter to look after the younger children to make sure they didn't fall into the river, and he did it without a grumble.

And who do you think he asked to be his sixers ? He chose the red-haired boy who had turned back to help with the crocodile that wasn't a crocodile, and the black boy who came up smiling after being ducked.

And that's how the 1st Koolamunga Pack began. If you'd been there, would you have been one of the 12 chosen ?

Leader Magazine

January, 1989

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W

Friday, 23 January 2009

Quote of the Week

"At the close of life the question will be not how much have you got, but how much have you given; not how much have you won, but how much have you done; not how much have you saved, but how much have you sacrificed; how much have you loved and served, not how much were you honored."
---Nathan C. Schaeffer

"Do not miss the purpose of this life, and do not wait for circumstance to mold or change you fate."
---Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare composed poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"
---Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Things will happen in your life that you can't stop, but that's no reason to shut out the world. There's a purpose for the good and for the bad."
---"Crazy Pete" Sims (Walter Sparrow

It's not where you're from; it's where you're going. It's not what you drive; it's what drives you. It's not what's on you; it's what's in you. It's not what you think; it's what you know."
---Gatorade commercial

"It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on Earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had."
---Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
---Mary Pickford

"When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out."
---David Weatherford

"BUild upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves."
---Joyce C. Lock

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Scout Winter Camping Joys

Klondike Derby:
How much fun can you stand?
By B. James Voorhies
Deseret News Staff

This is a fun winter camping story from the Salt Lake City, Utah evening newspaper called the Deseret News February 5, 1987 AIRPORT SOCKED IN? Snow three feet deep? Winter storm warnings for half the nation? It must be time for the Klondike Derby! What is a Klondike Derby, you might ask? Take 17 Boy Scouts, add 16 sleeping bags, 23 gallons of hot chocolate mix, 31 packages of turkey franks, 27,392 matches, nine pup tents (each minus at least one peg) and several reluctant adults. Multiply this by 20 or 30 groups from all over the area. Throw them together into a cold, narrow canyon usually populated by five head of deer and seven squirrels. Now you have January winter camp with games and fun. It's so fun that it borders on insanity. First, let me define winter camp with 17 Boy Scouts. This is institutionalized masochism. Any adult male who says that he honestly enjoys it is seriously psychotic, lying or being paid handsomely by some father who was too chicken to go himself. And the kids think it is great!

Thursday night the Scoutmaster calls: "Meet me at my house tomorrow night right after school. We leave promptly at 4 p.m. so don't even be a minute late."

Silly man. I bet he really thinks that he can leave at 4 too! The first Boy Scout shows up at 4:30 p.m. and then remembers that he left his food and his coat at home. By 5:30 p.m. we start counting noses and cramming gear in vehicles. It takes about one U-Haul truck per boy to stay overnight. We draw the line at the 25-inch color TV. There's actually room for the TV, but not for the 14 ½ miles of extension cord. The stopping point is clearly chosen: we drive up the gravel canyon until everybody is stuck and we stop and pitch camp. It is now hard dark and the temperature has dropped at least 25 degrees from the valley.

"Will you help me here, Mr. Jones? My mother bought this tent this afternoon on sale and it didn't come with instructions."

"Where are the tent poles, Ritchie?"

"Those funny stick things? I left them home. They were too long too fit in my pack."

And then comes dinner. Someone builds a fire. The fire is started by piling up 15 boxes of kitchen matches for tinder and touching them off with a BIC. They begin the fire building about 6 p.m. By 8:30 they have a fire big enough to cook the food. Every boy brings a can to add to the pot. Nobody has brought a can opener. It's mulligan stew, Russian Roulette style. You haven't lived until you've eaten sauerkraut, candied yams, okra, tamales, bean sprouts, maraschino cherries and Spam poached in smoked oyster sauce. After sampling the stew, most of us opt for weenies and marshmallows carbonized on the end of a plastic-coated hanger. After that delicious feast, the night's festivities begin. Every boy has brought an inner tube or a plastic slide. They may forget food or shoes, but all have the necessities. In a rare flash of insight they build a wall of snow at the base of the hill just before the bank drops off three feet into the creek. For at least three hours, they careen down the hill in the dark, bouncing from tree to tree like some gigantic pinball machine. Finally they convince the Scout Master to try it. He is a little overweight. He doesn't stop when the tube hits the snow wall. The scream is heard at the vacation homes three-and-a-half miles down the canyon. We fathers spend the next two hours around the fire drying out George and swapping tales of our youth - like the time we disassembled our principal's Volkswagen and put it together on the third floor of the high school. The younger boys are out on a snipe hunt and the older ones are pulling pegs on the neighboring camps' tents. We bemoan the fact that the younger generation is so corrupt: a den of juvenile delinquents. No, that was Cub Scouts. Now it's a troop or post of delinquents. About midnight the boys straggle in. We are only missing three: two that fell over a cliff and one that was run down by a snowmobile. Peace and quiet, just the crackling of the fire, the unzipping of sleeping bags and the crunch of snow on the path to the trees as our sons discover the folly of two quarts orange soda each just before bed. The morning begins early: about three o'clock. The neighboring troop who went to bed at 9:30 decide now is the time to practice for the Olympic hog calling gold. They are definitely competitive. As the sky barely lightens, I crawl out to start the morning fire. It is a matter of pride that the first one of our troop up is an old man who should know better. I want them to appreciate, as they drink that first round of hot chocolate, who in this crowd is really tough. I carefully lay my fire scorched cotton and frayed rope ends: next tiny slivers of wood cut especially the night before and wrapped away from the frost, and then larger pieces in graduated sizes for just this purpose. I gently apply my flint and steel to the bundle and then, mouth to infant flame, coax the first blossoming tendrils of red. Joey, who has just stumbled out of his tent, squirts a stream of lighter fluid at my nose. The explosion scorches half the hair off my eyelids, and all what's left on my forehead.

"My grandpa says that Boy Scout juice is the only way to start a campfire."

With the first aroma of hot chocolate, my faith in the resurrection is affirmed. The dead come to life, well, sort of to life. From the scoutmaster's tent we hear the groan of agony,

"These long johns were just fine last night. Now I can't get them above my knees."

... and from the assistant scout master. "It's fine for you to talk, George. Mine are about seven sizes too big."

One of the boys who hung his wet jeans out to dry the night before finds that they are frozen stiff. The thermometer says 11 degrees. He hits the jeans on a tree to soften them up enough to put them on. The left leg falls off. I think to myself.

"We can pay for our next camp doing field tests for Consumer Reports."

The only eggs that are not frozen are those stored in the insulated cooler. The bananas are all frozen; but we find that pan-fried bananas are actually quite tasty. Some of the boys think that they are better with the skins off. Some boys like the skins best and are quite willing to donate the mush in the middle. It all works out. We survey the damage from the morning after the night before: five cases of Montezuma's Revenge, two cases of hypothermia and one acute case of Saturday morning withdrawal. It's the kid who had to leave behind the TV. By 9 o'clock the sky, clear as a bell, is still absent the sun: the canyon we are in is quite deep. The bugle sounds down the road and we assemble for the flag ceremony and the games. There is a uniform inspection. At least two-thirds of our boys have a partial uniform, seven have a shirt, four have trousers, two have neckerchiefs and one has a National Jamboree patch stuck in his ear. One troop who has bused in a half an hour before fresh from town - takes the honors - 23 complete khaki uniforms, spats, green and gold plaid neckerchiefs with apple pie neckerchief slides and red berets, each cocked over the left eye just so. They probably all had a bath, a manicure and a kiss good-bye from their mummies.

"Don't worry Dad, they may look pretty, but we'll mean 'em out in the games!"

First is the fire building contest. Start a fire with sparks and tinder and melt the water in an old sourdough's cup (which looks a lot like a tuna fish can). In the ice there is a message to the judge and you are home free. Our message is in Morse Code. Did you know that you could read Morse Code backwards? Second hike up a hill and find the crazed polar bear (that looks suspiciously like a portable dishwasher box with the word BEAR written on the side), take a compass reading to the council flag in the meadow, pace off the distance and call in an air strike. Third and I quote:
"Your senior patrol leader came down with a terrible rare disease only caught in winter storms. The only cure for this disease is to find these materials in the wild and bring them back in the shortest time:

Cat tail leaf

Dried oak leaf

Mountain mahogany

Dandelion leaf

Douglas fir cone

Twig Red Osier


Dried Maple Leaf

Rose Hip

Juniper leaf



Box Elder Seeds

The only thing that potion would cure is obesity. Last, but not least, is the dog sled race. Each patrol has built a sled using old skis for runners. Some use orange boxes on top, some use 2-inch black pipe. There is one of welded aircraft tubing, one of salvaged barn wood. The boys are obviously the dog sled drivers. They are also the dogs. We race against the red berets. They don't stand a chance. Ten of our boys take on the trail. Our other seven take on the other team. We tackle the red capped driver. He drops the rope. We stomp on the rope. Their sled stops. Their dogs pull mightily. We kindly step off the rope. They all fall in a heap. By that time our team has rounded the turn a hundred yards away and is halfway back. By 11 a.m. the dawn finally comes to our corner of the canyon. I realize that I am going to survive another winter camp. Back home that afternoon, mother asks the boys,

"Did you have fun?"

"Well Marty froze three toes and Homer lost his glasses."

"And Mr. Margrove backed his pickup truck into the creek so half of us had to walk out with our stuff."

"And I put too much water into my pancake batter and it turned to runny soup. It took a real long time to cook."

"And I thought I was going to die last night it was so cold. Look I am still blue."

"I think not dear, those are stains off your new madras shirt. It sounds like a real disaster. You won't want to go again next year. I'm sure."

"No, Mom. It was great! Our troop came in second overall and there were over 200 other scouts there. We want to go again next week."

I believe my boss will make me work all next weekend if I promise to forfeit a vacation day in exchange. I don't think that I can stand that much fun two weeks in a row.

Humor Dose 1

Murphys Laws of Camping
  1. Any stone in a hiking boot migrates to the location of maximum pressure.
  2. Remaining distance to a given campsite remains constant as twilight approaches.
  3. Number of mosquitoes at any given location is inversely proportional to the volume of remaining repellent.
  4. The probability of finding a latrine is one over the number of poison ivy plants per acre.
  5. The square feet of level ground available for tents equals the degrees from horizon of the setting sun.
  6. The need to urinate at night increases in direct relation to the hour past midnight, layers of clothing worn, occupants in your tent, and inches of rain since sunset. Curiously, it increases in 'inverse' relation to the outside temperature.
  7. The ground under shoulders compresses without sunlight while the ground under feet expands.
  8. Rocks and sticks rise above dirt when irritated by tent flooring fabric.
  9. Feet expand when removed from hiking boots. The same law applies to tents and tent bags, clothing and backpacks, and sleeping bags and stuff sacks.
  10. Backpack strap widths decrease with the distance hiked. To compensate, the weight of the backpack increases.
  11. Average local temperature increases with the amount of clothing packed.
  12. Tent stakes come only in the quantity 'N-1' where N is the number of stakes necessary to stake down a tent.
  13. Fuel in sealed bottles spontaneously evaporates.
  14. Fuel in stove reservoirs evaporates 10x as fast as fuel in sealed bottles.
  15. All available humidity and moisture will congregate on match heads.
  16. If no match heads are in the vicinity, all moisture will congregate inside waterproof clothing.
  17. The one new tent on the trip that leaks will be yours.
  18. The side of the tent that leaks will be your side.
  19. All food assumes a common taste and color when freeze-dried.
  20. Divide the number of servings by two when reading the directions for reconstituting anything freeze-dried.
  21. When reading the instructions of a pump-activated water filter, 'hour' should be substituted for 'minute' when reading the average quarts filtered per minute.
  22. A backpack's weight load migrates up and back the longer it is in motion.
  23. All tree branches in a forest grow outward from their respective trunks at exactly the height of your nose. If you are male, tree branches will also grow at groin height.
  24. Swiss Army Knife toothpicks and tweezers evaporate open contact with air.
  25. Rain happens.
  26. Waterproof clothing isn't. (However, it is 100% effective at containing sweat).
  27. Non-stick pans aren't.
  28. Waterproof matches aren't.
  29. One size fits all don't.
  30. Anything bug-proof isn't.
  31. A backpack's weight is not affected by the amount of food eaten out of it.
  32. The minimum temperature rating for any sleeping bag raises as the external temperature lowers.
  33. Ropes holding bear bags stretch.
  34. The loudness of an animal at night grows as the size of the animal shrinks.
  35. The sun sets 47% faster than normal when setting up camp. It sets another 28% faster if rain is eminent.
  36. Of a 25% chance of rain, 100% will fall in your campsite.
  37. When hiking, you take half as many downhil steps as uphill.
  38. 95% of a backpack's contents could have been left at home.
  39. The 5% left at home will be needed.
  40. The memory of misery approaches zero as the memory of joy approaches infinity.
This was borrowed from The Boy Scout Trail Website it can be found here.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

NSJ 2010 Trivia

Did you know that the 1957 Jamboree was second of three Jamborees held at Valley Forge. During this jamboree there was 50,100 scouts and the theme for this jamboree was that of "Onward For My God and My Country"

The 1950 Jamboree held at Valley Forge was featured on the July 24, 1950 cover of LIFE magazine. This jamboree was attended by 47, 163 people.

The 1953 Jamboree held at Irvine Ranch, California featured appearances by
Dorothy Lamour
James Stewart
Roy Rogers
Dale Evans
The Bell Sissters
Danny Kaye
June Allyson
and Others
Approximately 45,401 Scouts attended.

Daniel Carter beard, one of the founders of the BSA< lit the opening campfire of the first national Scout Jamboree in 1937 in front of 27,232 Scouts camped on the mall in Washington DC.

Dwight D Eisenhower has the record for the most presidential visits to the jamboree. In 1950 and 1957 both at Valley Forge and also the 1960 Jamboree in Colorado Springs.

The target National Scout Jamboree was actually two jambores. In 1973 two locations served as jamboree sites: Moraine State park in Pennsylvania and Garragut State park in Idaho. Combined there were over 64,000 scouts in attendance.

The first National Jamboree didn't actually happen. It was scheduled for 1935 in Washington DC but was cancelled due to a polio epidemic. The jamboree was rescheduled and took place in 1937 on the mall in Washington DC.

Here are just a few of the interesting historical Trivia Facts about the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree history and legacy.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Well I have not been able to get online or have access to a computer that would allow me to access my blog. I tried at school but due to the filters and security protocols for student accounts blogs/personal web pages are blocked, which to me is definitely not the worst thing that is out there online but it makes sense in order to preserve the integrity of the network and information being accessed on a school network. So hopefully I will be able to post posts on a more regular basis starting today.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Meeting Review

After Meeting Review
January 12, 2009 Meeting
This meeting our SPL was gone due to a family medical emergency, so our ASPL had to step up and take charge of the meeting. For being in charge of a meeting in a serious sense for the first time by himself he did alright but I realize now that I need to work with him more in order to develop his execution, communication, and improvisation skills. Yes improvisation is a very important skill to learn when becoming a good leader because I leader must be able to react and take control of situations that come up or not going as planned. Learning how to react to these situations is one of the hardest skills to work on because the only way to really develop this skill is to put it in practice and let the leaders fail and succeed on their own. Yes in scouting we let our leaders fail because it teaches them that what will and will not work in that particular situation.

Overall his performance was adequate but he needs to work on trasnitioning activities and keeping control of the group. In order to keep control of a group of most 10 to 13 year olds, a leader must know how to work with this age group. Working with this age group requires lots of patience because this age group tends to be the group that always asks the "why" question. This "why" question should be only answered when it is convient for the leader and the group, sometimes a leader when dealing with this question has to say "because I said so" in a stern but nonthreatening tone to ensure the scout stops asking the question. Also in this age group you can yell until you are blue in the face and you will not make any progress. Instead of yelling just raise your scout sign to get their attention and use peer pressure to make the scouts stop talking. If the scouts waste your time you have the right to waste their time. The last thing is scouting is not suppose to be just a extension of school, so instead of asking perfection, ask and demand the scouts give a reasonable amount of appropriate behavior. Remember scouts are not in scouts to sit through boring classroom sessions, they are there to learn and socialize through the activities and events of the Troop.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

NSJ 2010 Countdown

Only 558 Days Left to to the Start of the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

Don't Miss your opportunity to participate in this centennial Celebration.

Contact your local council as soon as possible.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

NSJ 2010 January 2009 Bulletin

The Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary Jamboree—A Historic Event

It is exciting for all of us to be involved in the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. This historic event will always be remembered by those who attend.

The first Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree was scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., in 1935 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Scouting in America. Unfortunately, the jamboree was canceled due to a polio outbreak in Washington. When the first Jamboree was finally held in 1937, Dan Beard lit the opening campfire using flint and steel. Scouts from all 48 states brought the wood that was used in the campfire. There were some 27,232 Scouts camped on the National Mall under the Washington Monument. Since that time, 16 national jamborees have been held, the last in 2005.

All jamboree groups are currently planning programs and activities for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. Many are having a special recognition to mark the 100th Anniversary. The closing arena show will be unlike any other jamboree arena show in history. It will be big, bold, interactive, and unforgettable! You won’t want to miss it! Plans are to Web cast the show, allowing anyone with Internet access to virtually join in this huge celebration. Councils are already planning one or more gatherings at large local venues that evening to invite Scouts, Scouters, families, alumni, business and community leaders, and supporters to participate. More details on this are forthcoming, and more information on the jamboree celebration plans will be shared with councils in the near future.

A reminder: The first payment of $100 per person is due to the National Council by Jan. 31, 2009. Councils should continue approving youth and adult participants online. Contact the Jamboree Department at 2010jamboree@scouting.org if you have problems. Remember, the primary issue we are having with online registration is that parents are trying to use their son’s myscouting account to register their son for the jamboree. Parents must use their own myscouting account. BSA registration is not required to have a myscouting account.
As of Jan. 1, there will only be 570 days left before the jamboree. Let’s get ready!
Here are the dates of all the Jamborees held since 1937 and attendance.

1935(Canceled)Washington, D.C.
1937Jun 30–Jul 9 Washington, D.C. 27,238
1950Jun 27–Jul 6 Valley Forge, PA 47,163
1953Jul 17–Jul 23 Irvine Ranch, CA 45,401
1957Jul 12–Jul 18 Valley Forge, PA 52,580
1960Jul 22–28 Colorado Springs, CO 56,377
1964Jul 17–Jul 23 Valley Forge, PA 50,960
1969Jul 16–Jul 22 Farragut State Park, ID 34,251
1973Aug 1–Aug 7 Farragut State Park, ID (both jamborees) 73,610
1973Aug 3–Aug 9 Moraine State Park, PA (both jamborees) 73,610
1977Aug 3–Aug 9 Moraine State Park, PA 28,601
1981Jul 29–Aug 4 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 29,765
1985Jul 24–Aug 30 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 32,625
1989Aug 3–Aug 9 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 32,717
1993Aug 4–Aug 10 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 34,449
1997Jul 28–Aug 6 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 36,015
2001Jul 23–Aug 1 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 42,002
2005Jul 25–Aug 3 Fort A.P. Hill, VA 43,000

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

NSJ 2010 December 2008 Bulletin

Jamboree Tours

Anything the Boy Scouts of America does requires promotional effort. Often, council and district activities are successful and well-attended, but many people register late and often try to register “at the door.” That seems to be common in our movement. Unfortunately, there is no “at the door” registration for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

Almost 11,880 youth members have signed up to join us at Fort A.P. Hill in 2010 for our 100th Anniversary Jamboree. That’s almost one-third of our 2010 allocation for youth members. We expect 925 troops, each with 36 youth members and four adult leaders. Encourage those interested to go online now and register.

Once again, the biggest issue with the jamboree application process is the way the MyScouting accounts are being created. As it states on the log-in page of MyScouting, all jamboree applications must be submitted from the account of a parent or guardian. (MyScouting accounts may be created by parents/guardians even if they are not registered with the BSA.) Some accounts are mistakenly being created with the youth’s BSA member ID number in the profile. This will result in an “invalid member ID number” error.

While some councils are close to completing their recruiting efforts, most have not. Council recruiting success stories often revolve around some type of jamboree rally to recruit new participants; however, nothing takes the place of recruiting “one on one” by jamboree adult leaders. The following are some ideas your council may want to use to promote the jamboree.
Use the jamboree promotion video. It’s short, has great pictures of the 2005 Jamboree, and is ideal for use at troop meetings and summer camp. In the video, Boys’ Life’s own Pee Wee Harris is talking to his friend about the jamboree while video highlights of the 2005 Jamboree are being shown. These DVDs were sent to councils in July.

Display or distribute the 2010 Jamboree brochures that were sent to councils in July. Give them to those individuals or parents interested in having their son participate in this great event.
Publish a monthly jamboree newsletter on your council Web page. Each Scout and troop leader should have timely communication about the jamboree. This way, each participant will be well-informed and be the best possible representative of your council and Scouting.

Emphasize program features of the jamboree. Talk about the 100th Anniversary program and how it ties in with the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. “Celebrate 100 years of Scouting.”

To quote Pee Wee Harris: “Come with me Dude! We’ll have a blast!

Information borrow from BSA Jamboree Website.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

NSJ 2010

For those of you who don't know what NSJ is it is the National Scout jamboree. The National Scout Jamboree is hosted by National Council of the Boy Scouts of America is held held every 3 to 5 years. The Last one was held in 2005 at Fort AP Hill, Virginia. The next NSJ is going to be held at For AP Hill, Virginia, in 2010 from July 26 to August 4. This event will bring together approximately 40,000 Scouts and Leaders from across the nation with a few being from outside the United States. To be able to participate in this event you must by 12 years old by July 1, 2010 and not have reached your 18th birthday by August 4, 2010. Youth Staff members get a special staff rate in order to be able to participate in the event. Youth staff must have been born between July 26, 1984 and July 26, 1994. Adult Staff must have been born before July 26, 1984. The youth staff fee will be $397.50 while the adult staff fee will be $795. The participant fee for youth participants and contingent leadership will be determined by your local council. Contact your local council for further contingent information.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

Friday, 9 January 2009

Summer Camp

Many people are probably going to say "What you are already thinking about summer camp, in January, are you crazy". My response to this statement is that in order to ensure a successful summer camp experience for as many scouts as possible, planning for summer camp should ideally in August of the year before camp but at the very least summer camp planning and reminders should start coming out during the January of the year you are attending camp to ensure the following tasks are completed by each family:
  1. Physicals- It is now a requirement to have a physical on a annual basis for all scouts, not matter what age
  2. Medical Forms- Annual Updates for each scout
  3. Troop Permission Slips- Some Troops do one annual Troop permission slip and some do a permission slip on each outing.
  4. Money- Many Scouts have financial difficulties or trouble with coming up with money at the last minute especially during recession years. We are most definitely in a recession.
  5. Dates- The dates of the camp need to be known in order for families to make decisions on other trips and vacations that they may be going on.
This list of tasks is no where complete but the idea is that families have a lot of work to do in order to prepare their son for summer camp. Giving adequate time to parents in regards to this large and very important event ensures that scouts get the most that they can out of the experience.

Remember the saying "Prior planning prevents poor performance".

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Annual Planning Meeting

Annual Planning Meeting
Monday January 5, 2009
For our Troop who has a PLC of four members and then a Troop of only about 6 t 9 more active scouts, I believe along with the rest of the adult leadership that I would be easier to conduct a Annual Planning meeting with the whole Troop. This Annual Planning Meeting is basically a abbreviated version of the Annual Planning Conference that is outlined in the SPL Handbook or can be found in the Scoutmaster Handbook. During this meeting the Troop developed a list of places they want to go and skills that they want to work on. Many the the items they mentioned were annual events that the Troop will participate in anyway.

I do not want you to be confused because National Suggests that some sort of Annual Planning Meeting or Conference be held with only the members of the Patrol Leaders Council and is to take place outside the regular meeting.

Basically in my Troop the adults with the input of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster gave the PLC the goal of determining when the Annual Planning Meeting should occur. We gave the PLC two options, which was to hold it on a weekend without the full Troop present or to hold it during a Troop meeting with all of the Troop members present. The PLC made the decision to hold the event during the Troop meeting citing the fact that our Patrol Leaders, ASPL, and SPL did not truly totally grasp what the Troop wants to do in the coming year.

This decision was the best decision for our small Troop, this decision probably would not work in medium to very large Troops due to the time it would take to get the opinion of each individual in the Troop.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Quote of the Week

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams (1825-1829); 6th US President

Leadership in my opinion is not jsut the ability to demand others to do something. Many people can be demanding and get tasks done, these people are the bosses in the world and there are many of these. The leaders of the world which there are very few who are great leaders are those people who do not demand but are able to inspire others to complete the goal or mission. In order to be a successful leader they must fulfill the idea in the following quote:

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone."
-Author Unknown

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Sunday, 4 January 2009

LNT Master Educator Courses 2009

This Leave No Trace course is designed to teach participants to have the skills and information required to put on a Leave No Trace Trainer Seminar. This Seminar is designed to teach people how to give the LNT information to a wide range of audiences.

In line with Boy Scout initiatives for the year of 2010 the requirement for attendance at the LNT Trainier Seminar for the LNT Master Educator Course has been dropped temporarily. This initiative is designed to get at least 1 Master Educator at each of the over 300 Local Boy Scout Councils by 2010.

Please refer to the Local Council where the course is taking place for further information about that particular course. If it is hosted by one of National Council's High Adventure Base, please contact that High Adventure Base for further information.

Here are the National Council Courses:
  1. Northern Teir High Adventure Base- August 21 to August 26
  2. Philmont High Adventure Base- October 5 to October 10
Here are the Western Region Courses by Local Council:
  1. Willamette Pass, Cascade Mountains, Oregon - Sunday, March 22 to Friday, March 27 - Oregon Trails Council
  2. Camp Sheppard, Mount Rainier National Park - Sunday, August 23 to Friday, August 28 - Chief Seattle Council
  3. Camp Emerald Bay, Catalina Island, California - Sunday, October 10 to Friday, October 16 - Western LA County Council
  4. Northern Lights High Adventure Base - Sunday, June 7 to Friday, June 12 - Midnight Sun Council
  5. Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch, South Dakota - Sunday, May 7 to Friday, May 12 - Black Hills Area Council
Due to the Length Required I will not be posting details for course offered in the Following regions: Central, Southern, and Northeastern Region.

Those regions and further contact information regarding western region courses can be found here.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Troop Lock-in

For Troop 1616 the big holiday event that the Troop decides to put on, on a annual basis is that of the Lock-in. The Lock-in is event where the scouts show up on the evening of the first night and stay up as late as possible and then leave the following morning. This event occurred on January 2 to January 3 2009 and we had nine scouts turn out for this annual event.

Usually most of the Scouts by the end of the event are totally wiped out and ready to crash. We usually have food and play video games. I would have to say that I do not totally agree with the activities list on the agenda but as a senior scout in the Troop I realize that we have to follow the wishes of the PLC to the point that our rules and regulations let us. Video games are probably not a standard scouting activity but in the day and age of computer technology we must be willing to balance totally traditional campouts with activities that take advantage of all of the great technology out there. The one thing that is great about this outing though is to see our scouts develop more personal relationships with the other scouts in our unit.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

One of the leadership positions that is rarely used or if used it is commonly misused is that of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster or JASM. The JASM is a youth leader in the Troop that has the primary purpose of serving as the youth leader and scout advisor. The JASM's primary job is to assist the other leaders in carrying out there responsibility with as little direct contact as possible. This leader should not be the frontlines commander but should be someone who has lots of leadership experience to share with other leaders in order to ensure the Troop runs efficiently. For my Troop in particular the jobs would be as follows:
  1. Assist in the training of the SPL and ASPL. Serve as the SPL/ASPL mentor and give guidance as necessary.
  2. Conduct parts of the meeting as need when called upon by the SPL.
  3. Make sure the Webelos to Scout Transition goes smoothly for new Boy Scouts.
  4. Serve as another point of contact for adults who are not directly involved in Troop operations.
  5. Set annual goals for himself and the rest of the Troop based upon the vision and mission of the Troop at the discretion of the Scoutmaster.
Who Should the JASM have direct contact with:
  1. SM- should be the primary point of contact for this scout. (Please remember we are a small Troop and have very few ASM's to work. If you are in a large Troop then a ASM should be the primary point of contact.
  2. SPL- Always keep the SPL informed of what your assigned mission or task is when apropriate.
  3. Other Youth Leaders- As necessary the JASM will contact other youth leaders based on the asiggnment and goals the JASM is working towards completing.

Requirements for a Scout to be a JASM
  1. Be at least Life Rank. Eagle seems to be the common standard for this position but I believe that Life Rank would suffice for this position.
  2. Have held at least 2 leadership positions. In my opinion in order to have a good and efficient JASM at least one of those 2 positions should have been either SPL or ASPL.
  3. Clear demonstration of a high level of maturity
  4. Clearly demonstrate and live by the principles and values in the Scout Oath and Law.
  5. Have been active in the Troop for at least 2 months prior to the start of the position. Allows the Scout to understand Troop dynamics and methods before having to share these items with other leaders in a understandable manner.
  6. Be recomended and approved by the SPL and SM.
  7. Have attended some form of Junior Leader Training. Junior Leader training could possibly include but is not limited to Troop Junior Leader Training, Council Junior Leader Training, National Youth Leader Training (NYLT), or National Advenced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). NYLT is a council level weeklong youth leader training experience. Contact your Local Scout Office for further information. NAYLE is a advanced youth leadership experience that is usually held at Philmont. Please contact your Scoutmaster and Local Scout Executive for a application and invitation to this training coures.
The position of JASM is not a position in the Troop that can or should be taken lightly. It is a position that will require a person to take on lots of tasks and responsibilities. It is a position that if implemented properly will make the job of the adult leaders much easier if the person chosen for this position is a educated youth leader and is will to take on a leadership position in a serious manner.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

New Year

Happy New Year to all. Hopefully everyone made a new years resolution in each area of their life that they think is important. Those areas for me are Scouts, Family, and School. Making a new years resolution is very important because if we set goals we are more likely to achieve the tasks we want done. A new years resolution in truth is just a beefed up goal. These goals are not short term goals but are long term goals which makes them much harder to stick with.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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