Showing posts from April, 2018

You get to leave the legacy you want

I was sitting in a dimly lit bar in Lower manhattan alongside several scout leaders. All of us had spent the day at our council’s Training Extravaganza, usually called TreX, and we were reflecting on a fun day of learning and teaching. It was on that stool with a cold beer in hand that I verbalized something I was thinking all day long. 
About eight years ago I took a Scoutmaster training course, even though at that point I had been a volunteer leader for about 17 years and my days as Scoutmaster were long over. But it was invigorating and recharged my battery. I soon joined our district’s training team. And it was great, our team was filled with people from that initial course and run by the guy who ran the course, a former biker/tattoo artist/lead singer nicknamed Hawk. He was, and is, a larger than life character and he got us to teach courses on cold Saturday mornings, on consecutive Wednesday evenings. But he never asked any of us to do things he wouldn’t. Was our training team pa…

My first day as a Den Leader

When it comes to scouting some may say I am an expert in the field. I have led a long and distinguished volunteer career in various positions. I have been honored by my district. I earned the highest award an adult leader can earn, then came back and taught the course, and trained hundreds of youth and adult leaders. But I had never been more freaked out than when I stood before five six-year olds in one of the school’s science labs.
Last spring one of the other dads in my son’s class approached me about possibly starting a Tiger den for our sons and their classmates when they started first grade. I was very enthusiastic about the idea, I had always imagined that my son would follow my footsteps in scouting and hopefully surpassing my success, but most importantly making friendships that are everlasting. I was very clear that I would only be a den leader and was not at all interested in running a pack. With my experience and local reputation there were a lot of places that would want m…

My worst day as a Scouter

I have spent over 9000 days as a Boy Scout leader (9237 as of the writing of this post).  But I know that my worst day as a leader took place around my 200th day.My troop had traveled to an environmental center in Pennsylvania as our annual year-end trip. It was a great time. This was my first year-end trip since my eighteenth birthday, instead of staying in the bungalow with the guys from my old patrol, I had watch duty for one of the bungalows that were housing some of the younger scouts. I was responsible for their well being, I wasn't there to hang out with my buddies and listen to a CD of Flood by They Might be Giants. The center was really great, there was canoeing, swimming, and lots of hiking trails.On the last day, we were there, it was decided that the troop would take a hike through a fossil trail. There were locations to "discover" and excavate fossils. One of the older guys looking at the map realized that there were a series of waterfalls and natural pools …