Wednesday, June 21, 2017


“Eagle Out” Term Banned From Use.

 

Well, if it was up to me I would outlaw the use of the term, “Eagle Out.”

During my career I have had the pleasure of attending hundreds of Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. In most of these an “Eagle Charge” has been presented as part of the program. The following is an excerpt from one such challenge:

“As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to your country and to all mankind. Others will be watching you, expecting you to lead by example. In living up to these obligations, you will bring honor to yourself and to all other Eagle Scouts.

I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the highest level of service to God and your fellow man. So live and serve, that those who know you will be inspired to be and do better. Be among those who dedicate their skills and abilities to the common good.

Lead with a solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship and reverence to God, and you will leave behind a record of which every Scout may be proud.”

By including this charge in the court of honor program, we suggest to the Eagle Scout that there is even more expected of him now. That it is his responsibility to give leadership to his fellow scouts and his community. And yet, contrary to this charge, people frequently use the term, “Eagle Out,” explaining and justifying why a boy ceases to be actively involved in his troop. If I could, I would eliminate the use of the term, “Eagle Out,” and encourage Eagles to give back to their troop by staying involved and to continue to provide leadership to their fellow scouts in weekly meetings, at campouts and especially at summer camp.

 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Lost Webelos!

 

There are currently 539 registered 5th grade Webelos in the Quapaw Area Council.

Unfortunately, 323 of them are not going to join a Boy Scout Troop. That’s correct, the annual statistical average has shown us that only 40 % of our 5th grade Webelos transition into a Boy Scout Troop each year.

When surveyed, the parents report the most common reason for their son not joining a troop is that they, “…were never asked.”

That is 323 boys who joined Scouting wanting to experience the fun and adventure that we promised him and his family. The longer a boy stays in Scouting, the greater impact it has on his character.

If you are an adult leader in a troop or if you occupy another Scouting role, you can have a positive impact on reducing this great loss. Each District Executive can provide a list of 5th grade Webelos in each Cub Scout Pack. A phone call to the parents of each of these Webelos is the best means by which to invite them to a troop and to keep them involved in our great program.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Happy New Year!
As we enter a new year, it is time to recommit ourselves to those things that are the most important to us. One of those is our families. Scouting is a program that promotes and encourages family togetherness, engaging in positive activities that are beneficial to ourselves as well as other people.

In order to achieve a well-balanced life, we must be good managers of our time. Time to be split between family, work, recreation and for us, Scouting. Within Scouting, we must also manage our time in order to be effective. With this thought in mind, I want to repeat my request that each of us consider the role in Scouting which we find most enjoyable and where we feel we can be most helpful in fulfilling our mission. And then, to limit ourselves to serving in that one position.

Doing this will not only benefit our family but also the Scouting program to which we are so devoted. When we occupy multiple positions, we risk not doing either one to the best of our ability. We also risk not giving enough time or attention to our family or our vocation. And also detrimental, we keep other people from becoming involved as volunteers.

For 33 years I have heard the argument, “…there aren’t enough volunteers to fill these roles.” Upon deeper examination I have found in every instance that we simply did not ask enough people to serve.

I hope you have a blessed and productive 2017.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Points Four, Five and Six.


Points Four, Five and Six.

 As Scouts and Scouters we frequently recite the Scout Oath and Law. I did it on the evening of July 18th with others in attendance at an Eagle Court of Honor for Matthew Smith of Troop 391 in White Hall, Arkansas.

 There are twelve points in the Scout Law, all of which we pledge to obey when we recite the Scout Oath. As Bruce Peters explained during his speech at this ceremony, we strive to live up to these ideals but on occasion we fall short as none of us are perfect. And that’s okay. It is our effort to do our best that matters.

 Think of how different the world would be if everyone attempted to obey the Scout Law. Or, how different it would be if everyone just tried to obey points four, five and six, “…Friendly, Courteous, Kind…” Perhaps that would have prevented many of the recent acts of violence committed in our country and around the world.

 As youth and adult members of this great program called Scouting, we must continue to be a shining light for the rest of the world and demonstrate the proper way to treat others with respect, dignity and kindness.

 Let’s do our best to get even more young boys and girls involved in our program and have an even greater positive impact on our communities and our nation.
 
John

Monday, June 27, 2016


TOO MANY HATS!

Too often in Scouting we find ourselves volunteering for more than one position. This is a common occurrence with kind-hearted, generous people who believe strongly in the Scouting program and the benefits it provides for young people and their families.

Upon closer inspection though, we realize that this practice actually does a disservice to the individual, their family and the very Scouts and leaders that they have pledged to serve. To truly do any one district level position effectively and to the best of one's ability, it precludes us from doing another job. If one accepts multiple assignments, something will have to suffer. It might be our family, our vocation, the very jobs we have agreed to perform, or the units and leaders we are supposed to be helping.

Wearing multiple hats also diminishes the number of volunteers who can serve on district committees and commissioner staffs. We are all familiar with the old adage, “Many hands make light work.” More volunteers also means we can accomplish more as a team.

If you currently occupy more than one district level position, I strongly encourage you to determine which one you find most rewarding to you and/or beneficial to the district and reduce your load to just that one assignment.

The most common response to this message is that it is not easy to recruit a sufficient number of volunteers. While that is true, it is also true that we usually don’t ask enough people to fill all positions. Together we can identify and recruit enough people to fill every job. It never hurts to ask!

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

It's Recharter Time! Do you know where your boys are?


It’s recharter time! Do you know where your boys are?

“It is the goal of the Commissioner’s staff to recharter units on time with a minimal loss in membership.”  -A minimal loss is a sign of quality program delivery.

Our council is one of the best in the nation when it comes to recruiting boys into the program. Unfortunately, we have a higher than average rate of losing boys when it comes time to recharter units in the first three months of the year. And we are one of the worst when it comes to transitioning Webelos to Boy Scouts.

We have all heard the statistics, “The longer a boy stays in Scouting, the greater impact it has on his character.” All of us believe in and understand the positive effect the program has on boys. With the problems our nation faces in this day and age, it is important that we do all that we can to keep them involved as long as possible. If a boy has not attended a meeting recently, don’t cross him off the recharter before calling his parent and encouraging them to return and become active again. Many times they just need to know they are wanted and that someone cares about them.

Recharter Processing

In an effort to improve service and to speed up the processing of recharters as well as all membership applications, the council service center will be enforcing a long standing procedure from which we have strayed in recent years.

ALL youth and adult applications for membership as well as recharter papers will only be accepted at the Reservations Department (the half window,) in the lobby of the service center. The council’s Registrar (Johnnie Hooper,) is no longer available to meet with volunteers to accept, receipt or discuss paperwork.

It is the role of the district commissioner’s staff (with support from the District Executive,) to guide and facilitate the recharter process for each of our customers – the “Chartered Partner.”

This group of Commissioned Scouters is responsible to see that units deliver a high quality program to their youth members and to assist and guide the unit leadership through the annual recharter process. When this procedure is properly followed, every unit recharter submitted to the council office will be complete and accurate, facilitating prompt entry.

This will accomplish three important objectives:

1.      It will allow the district to provide prompt and appropriate assistance to unit volunteers in completing and submitting recharters.

2.      Interaction between unit leadership and district leadership will help maintain open lines of communication which are necessary in order for the district to provide necessary, ongoing support to the unit in all matters of programming, (activities and civic service, advancement and recognition, camp promotion and outdoor, leadership training, membership and risk management.)

3.      It will enable the council’s Registration Department to be more timely and efficient in processing the large flow of work that comes during the unit recharter period of January through April and the recruitment period of September through November.

The job of the council’s Registrar is to perform data entry of all youth and adult applications and recharter paperwork. Not to assist in the completion of same. Every minute she spends meeting with someone to discuss their paperwork is a minute taken away from the few hours she has each day to perform her primary task.

Units with questions or needing assistance with their paperwork should contact the Unit Commissioner assigned to their unit. In the absence of a functioning unit commissioner or if you do not know who that person is, contact your district executive. They will put you in touch with the appropriate person. If they do not have a unit commissioner assigned to your unit, they or the district commissioner will personally assist you in completing the recharter process.

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

HELPLESS


HELPLESS

Sometimes when bad things happen on an international level, we find ourselves frustrated feeling that we are unable to do anything to help. Recent events in France, Africa and Belgium are examples of just such occurrences.

In July of this year, our council sent two young men from Helena, Arkansas to the World Jamboree in Japan. A multitude of factors contributed to these young men being able to attend the Jamboree.

·         Generous donors provided the financial resources needed.

·         A chartered partner, the KIPP School Delta provided the meeting place and volunteer leadership needed to run Boy Scout Troop 113 of which both were members.

·         Crowley’s Ridge District Volunteers provided the training for troop leaders and other support service necessary for the troop to operate successfully.

·         Council staff and volunteers worked to secure an agreement from the chartered partner and to recruit adult and youth members.

·         All of these support mechanisms were in place thanks to the time, effort and financial resources devoted by thousands of people like you to the purpose of fulfilling the mission of the Quapaw Area Council.

Upon their return from the World Jamboree, these two young Scouts attended a meeting of the Executive Board of the Quapaw Area Council. During their presentation, they were asked the following question,

“Did you find any group of Scouts from another country to be friendlier than others?”

To which one of them replied, “Every Scout was kind and got along well, like the world should be.”

So the next time you feel “helpless,” remember that the work that you do here has a profound effect that is felt throughout the world.

At this special time of the year, I am extremely THANKFUL for every one of you who gives so generously in so many ways to carry out Scouting’s mission in the Quapaw Area Council.

Happy Thanksgiving

-          John Carman