Sunday, January 18, 2015

“…One More Day.”

I am frequently asked to explain the notation in my email signature that says, “Make today that one more day.” If you think of a loved one who is no longer in your life, perhaps a parent, sibling, spouse or close friend, you have probably thought to yourself, “…what if I could have just one more day with them?”

With that thought in mind, I encourage each of us to find a day in the near future (and preferably on a regular basis) where we consider a loved one who is still in our life, and devote a day to spend with them as that, “…one more day.”

Thank you for your involvement in Scouting as it provides thousands of families ample opportunity to have just such a special day.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So 2015 Is Here! Now what?

It is the goal of our council to provide new and enhanced communications tools to better promote, grow, and improve Scouting throughout the Quapaw Area Council. To accomplish this, and many other goals, the use of new technologies and communication resources will increase, including the formation of our new blog to be known as the QuapawCompass.

As we move into 2015, here are just a few ideas and thoughts related to my vision for the new year.

2014 was a year of great improvement for quality program delivery in the Quapaw Area Council. We saw improvements in youth advancement and camping numbers (both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) as well as leader training. Our council also improved from last place to first place among councils in Area 8 in the percentage of adult leaders having completed Youth Protection Training.  As we head into a new year our council needs us to focus our attention on the following priorities.

Webelos Transition. The longer a boy stays in Scouting, the greater the impact the program will have on his character. We need a concerted effort to make the transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts as easy as possible for Webelos. Introducing the Webelos to the boys in a troop is crucial in making them feel welcome and to ease any fears they might have about joining a troop. This will require the efforts of all leaders to see that Webelos Dens as a group, have an opportunity to visit a Boy Scout Troop meeting and that Scoutmasters visit a pack meeting to be introduced to Webelos parents and leaders. 
School Relations. In recent years we have lost the opportunity to go into many schools and tell boys about the fun of Scouting. An in-school rally will more than double the number of boys that turn out for a Join Scouting Night event. We must act now on a local basis to strengthen the relationship between local Cub Scout Pack leaders and school administrators to ensure future access for recruitment purposes. Pack leaders should to go into schools before March to thank school personnel for their past help and to offer to do service projects that will be of benefit to the school.

Chartered Partner Relations. The recent change in our membership policy caused us to lose several chartered partners who no longer sponsor packs, troops and crews. If we are to serve an increasing number of boys and girls we must first increase the number of chartered partners (the average number of youth in a unit has not changed in 50 years.) The executive staff has visited every Institution Head over the past three months as part of the annual charter renewal process. It is also crucial that local unit leaders (especially the Chartered Organization Representative) make sure that the organization is well-informed of the unit’s activities and that they understand they own the unit.

Thank you. The time and effort you devote to serving young people is greatly appreciated by all of the volunteers and staff who provide support to you and your unit. We look forward to serving with you again in 2015 as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of young Arkansans and their families. 

Happy New Year!


John Carman
Scout Executive / CEO