Showing posts from August, 2018

Can a scout be an atheist? 

I was in a small basement meeting room teaching Den Leader specific training when the subject of religion came up. I think in reference to how we present the religious portions of the program to scouts of different faiths or ones whose families don't practice any particular faith. And then someone said that you “can't be in scouting if your not religious”. I quickly shut down the conversation because it was getting contentious, I needed to start talking about what makes a good campfire story and I was pretty sure if I didn't agree with that point. Fast forward a few years to the Fall of 2017, a week prior the Boy Scouts of America had just announced the family plan, and the Wood badge course I was staffing was just starting weekend 2. One of the participants had quit scouting because of the decision and there was lots of chatter from staffers and participants alike about the situation. Then someone said something that was kind of stunning and really stuck in my head “the n…

Leader Burnout

I remember walking in to a large red and black auditorium. The tables and chairs were set up in a large horseshoe. A short plump man in his signature polo shirt and scout pants leaned on a wooden podium chit chatting with others as he waited to start our monthly roundtable meeting. At this time I had already been an Assistant Scoutmaster for about six years. I started going to roundtable in the months before I would be elevated to scoutmaster at the tender age of 24. As a side note I don't know any 24 year olds who are mature enough or ready enough to be a Scoutmaster. I know I wasn't. These meetings were usually just robust extensions of conversations started at OA chapter meetings and probably at a plenty of other meetings I didn't know about at the time. A semblance of a program, announcements about upcoming events and perhaps some cake. One month, when there was nothing planned. The roundtable commissioner, still leaning on a podium asked for suggestions for upcoming t…