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.

Monday, June 27, 2016


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.