Many people view the New Year as a time of renewal, a time to restart, a time to make changes, and a time to look forward. In the Boy Scout troop, it is a time when we add new members – new scouts and older scouts move up and into leadership positions. Scouting is about having fun and developing the leadership skills a scout will rely on his entire life. Scoutmaster Cat sent this message on New Year’s Eve to all scouts and their families – it his Scoutmaster Minute for the New Year. Happy New Year!
New Year’s Eve – Scoutmaster Minute
There is a fundamental change that happens when a boy leaves Cub Scouts and bridges into Boy Scouts. New boy scouts learn early-on that the responsibility of advancement and the pace of earning merit badges now rests squarely on their own shoulders. Mom and Dad aren’t expected to carry that burden once the boy enters the big leagues. Scouts who are disciplined to set specific, measurable and realistic goals give themselves the best chance of steadily earning merit badges and rank advancement on the path to Eagle. Please, Please, Please don’t wait for the last minute!
With summer camp fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to encourage Scouts to set goals. Careful planning, smart goal-setting and constant encouragement are essential components of goal achievement.
Goal-setting is not solely a tool for earning merit badges and rank advancement. Scouts can set a wide variety of goals that will help them in their journey. While goals are very personal and individual, here are ideas forScouts to consider as they learn this life-long skill:
Short-term goals (achieve in 30 days or less)
1. Plan a month’s worth of Good Turns- 30-days makes a habit for this core value in Scouting
2. Learn two new knots- this essential skill in Scouting takes practice
3. Learn about the Troop leadership positions and decide which one is best for you
4. Organize and re-stock your first-aid kit
5. Teach a younger scout how to correctly fold a flag, then practice, practice, practice
Longer-term goals (achieve in 3-6 months)
1. Help a younger scout earn 1 merit badge and 1 rank advancement
2. Complete any partial merit badge you have
3. Master orienteering- map and compass mastery can be intimidating, yet it’s a vital survival skill
4. Look ahead to your next rank, set a date and make a plan to achieve it
5. Earn enough money in your scout account to buy a scout-related item, just for you
6. Earn a certification- i.e., first aid, cpr, BSA lifeguard
7. Earn an Eagle-required Merit Badge
The number of goals you set is as important as the quality or complexity of the goals.
Setting too many goals can lead to frustration when they aren’t all met. This may lead to an urge to give up all together.
If this all sounds like too much for you, start by setting one near-term and one longer-term goal.
Looking forward to a great 2012 and Troop 35’s 100-year anniversary,