Parent Orientation and Education

One of the responsibilities of the unit advancement coordinator is to instruct parents, guardians, unit leadership, and committee members on appropriate methods to encourage advancement (Guide To Advancement, topic 3.0.0.3). An ideal time to accomplish this would be during one or more of the unit’s parent meetings that are required to meet the Journey to Excellence gold level. Since new Scout parents will be involved, the first of these meetings each year may need to be the most comprehensive, with those later used to “refresh” everyone’s understanding.

The topics for a first meeting might include the following—some of which are best covered by the unit leader and committee chair, and some by the advancement coordinator:

What Scouting is all about: After citing the aims of Scouting, it is a good idea to use terms that parents will understand. Remind them that their wild and wooly six- or eleven-year olds running around in the next room will be the fathers of their grandchildren in not too many years! Though our common goal is for these boys to become men who live their lives by the Scout Oath and Law, we all need to remember that from the boy’s point of view, Scouting has to be fun.

Who the leaders of the unit are: Parents want to know who is involved, so they know where to get help when they volunteer. At a minimum, the unit leader and committee chair should reintroduce themselves and quickly outline how they work together, particularly on advancement matters. At a troop’s parent meeting, the Scoutmaster should introduce the senior patrol leader and let him describe his role.

The language of Scouting: New parents may not be familiar with the terms, “pack,” “den,” “troop,” and “patrol,” much less the relationships between them. Parents need to understand how the pack is organized, or how the troop is boy-run. This is also the time to explain the uniform policy, pointing out how the different badges their sons will earn will reflect their accomplishments.

What is advancement? The unit advancement coordinator should explain the mechanics of advancement. Cub Scout parents should be informed about the key role they play in encouraging their boys, signing off certain requirements, and attending pack meetings to cheer their Cub Scouts on. Boy Scout parents should learn they now have a new role. They no longer sign off requirements, but their continued interest in their son’s progress is no less critical than it was in Cub Scouting. Finally, leaders and parents alike, should be reminded that advancement is a tool we use to make Scouting fun. It is not an end in itself and each boy should advance at his own pace.

Keeping parents informed invites them to become more involved in pack or troop management, which in turn, will keep boys in Scouting longer, giving us more chance to influence their character. Isn’t that what we’re all about?

This article appears on Page 5 of the BSA’s November/December 2014 issue of Advancement News.

Posted in Boy Scouts Cub Scouts Venturing by Dan Gross. Comments Off

Hey Volunteer – THANKS!

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is a chance for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote their contributions to development at local, national and international levels. By merging UN support with a grassroots mandate, IVD is a unique opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations to work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, community groups and the private sector.

IVD was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly through Resolution 40/212 on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on 5 December.

On IVD 2014, we not only celebrate volunteerism in all its facets – but also pay special tribute to people’s participation in making a difference locally, nationally and globally. IVD 2014 highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to: stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development.

On 5 December 2014 join us in recognizing the commitment of all volunteers, and applaud hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to make change happen.

To post/read about volunteer actions all over the world and to download useful tools and information, please visit: http://www.volunteeractioncounts.org/en/ivd-2014/

This article first published on the UN Volunteers Website.

Posted in International by Dan Gross. Comments Off

January Webcasts on the New Cub Scouting Program

As you know, a new Cub Scouting program is launching June 1, 2015 that will be more fun and exciting for boys, and easier to implement for unit leaders. To ensure units are ready to make the transition, a series of webcasts will be hosted in January. The webcasts will outline the coming changes, how to prepare, and when resources will be available.

Although the content will be geared to the roles listed, anyone with an interest in learning about the new Cub Scouting program is welcome to attend.

The sessions will be recorded for later viewing. It is easy to attend! Just navigate your Internet browser to: http://www.livestream.com/bsanationalcouncil and you are ready to view the webcast!

Cubmaster Webcasts

  • Saturday, January 17 at 8:00am (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 3:00pm (Central)

Den Leader Webcasts

  • Saturday, January 17 at 9:30am (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 4:30pm (Central)

LDS-Specific Considerations *

  • Saturday, January 17 at 11:00am (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 6:00pm (Central)

*It is recommended that those interested in the LDS session view one of the role specific sessions first.

Posted in Cub Scouts National Training by Dan Gross. Comments Off

Top Sellers!

Congratulations, Popcorn Top Sellers! Everyone did a great job this year in the Popcorn Sale!

Congratulations, to Pack 328 for selling $18,360 and being the #5 unit in the council!

Top 5 Units:

  • $48,020 Pack 507 Root River
  • $31,308 Pack 393 Polaris
  • $30,495 Pack 208 Southshore
  • $28,025 Pack 570 Gateway
  • $18,360 Pack 328 Fox River

Top 5 Sellers:

  1. $15,305 Connor S. Pack 208 Southshore
  2. $6,145 Tyler S. Pack 507 Root River
  3. $4,425 Ryder B. Pack 507 Root River
  4. $4,015 Trenton H. Pack 206 Lighthouse
  5. $3,710 Danny D. Troop 530 Root River

The Fox River District had an increase overall in the fall sale; these units will be able to offer great program for their Scouts.

The overall Council sale increased as well, thanks to your awesome efforts!

Posted in Boy Scouts Council Links Cub Scouts Venturing by Dan Gross. Comments Off

District Awards – District Dinner 2015

Volunteering for Scouting is a lot of work. And we strive to recognize those volunteers who go above and beyond to help give our youth an outstanding program! But we can’t recognize someone if we don’t know who they are.

101712_2354_2012Distric1.pngEach year we host a District Dinner – a special adults’ only evening out for our Scouters and their spouses.

This year that special dinner will be Thursday February 5th, 2015.

We’re still working out the details, but we’re hoping to have great food and awesome entertainment, as well as many of our best Scouting friends from around the district for great conversation and friendship. Please save the date.

More importantly, we want to recognize those among us who go above and beyond over and over through some very special awards:

  • Lean On Me: Given to a registered leader in your unit, that you can call upon at the last minute, and they will come through.
  • Midas Touch: Given to a registered leader in your unit who seems to make good things happen when they get involved.
  • Silver Dollar: Given to a registered leader in your unit who has helped in a special way, or given an extra effort to help raise funds or resources for their unit, or for scouting in general.
  • Spark Plug: Given to a registered leader who has gone “above and beyond” the duties of his/her position in the unit for at least two years, and has contributed their time helping our district in at least two separate activities.

Last but not least, we also give out the District Award of Merit, a very special award recognized throughout the BSA. It’s the highest honor a district like ours can bestow upon a volunteer, and receiving it is very special indeed. Our past District Award of Merit honorees attend and help us confer the award upon each successive year’s class.

Please consider spending a few minutes nominating those who make a difference in your Scouts’ lives. They will appreciate the recognition. Please take the time to consider our Fox River District awards and the District Award of Merit form.