How Facebook’s new privacy policy for teens affects your Scouts, Venturers

Bryan on Scouting

For your Scouts and Venturers on Facebook, the reminder to “think before you post” just got a lot more important.

Yesterday we learned that Facebook has changed its privacy policies for users age 13 to 17, a move with real implications for the social media users in your troop, post, ship, team or crew.

There are two changes you as a Scout leader should be aware of.

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Need an extra set of hands at your den and pack meetings?

As a former Den Chief myself, I know the benefits of this to a Den Leader. They serve as a mentor to the boys and show them fun that sometimes the adults can not demonstrate.

Bryan on Scouting


Silly question. Who couldn’t use some extra help corralling a bunch of rowdy Cub Scouts?

Say hello to your new best friend: the Cub Scout Den Chief. This older Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or Venturer co-leads weekly den meetings, assists at pack meetings and meets regularly with adults to find out when and where he can help the most.

Don’t have one for your den? Let the October 2013 CubCast be your first step in changing that. In the latest installment of the monthly podcast, you’ll hear from Sherry Herzog, a terrific volunteer who set up a den chief training course with the Three Fires Council in St. Charles, Ill.

She’ll explain what a den chief does and why your den needs one ASAP.

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Tuesday Talkback: Balancing family life with commitment to your Scouting family

This past Spring I was interviewed for Scouting Magazine on my ways I balance school work with also being in the Scouts. Hope to share it once it is published!

Bryan on Scouting

Tuesday-TalkbackFor a few lucky Scouters out there, “Scouting family” and “actual family” are synonymous. Their spouse and all their children are actively involved in the program, meaning family time is pretty much all the time.

The rest of us, however, must find a happy balance between those two important commitments.

Pop quiz: Have you ever found yourself shortchanging your family to fulfill a commitment to your pack, troop, team, post, ship or crew? Or maybe you’ve shirked something you agreed to do for your Scouting unit because family responsibilities took over?

The goal here isn’t to criticize your life priorities but to share ways you’ve successfully satisfied both commitments.

For today’s Tuesday Talkback, tell me this: How do you balance your real family with your Scouting family? Leave a comment below.

Here are some more questions to consider: 

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Eagle Scout’s ride across America can inspire your Scouts to stay the course

Bryan on Scouting

Editor’s Note: Have a Scout who’s losing speed as he nears the rank of Eagle Scout? Keep his ride going by sharing with him this guest blog post from Rob Greenfield, an Eagle Scout from Ashland, Wisc., who recently completed a solo bike ride across America.

I think you’ll find in Rob’s writing some great lessons in perseverance and the Scouting spirit. He speaks directly to boys on the path to Eagle, telling them to “keep [their] eye on the prize,” even when others around them might think Scouting isn’t “cool.” Rob did, and look at him now.

Rob also shares thoughts on protecting our earth and how he completed a cross-country bike ride with minimal impact to the planet; he created just two pounds of trash over 104 days! Rob’s writing couldn’t be more timely given the BSA’s new Sustainability merit badge.

I hope you…

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Tuck everlasting: Scout uniform shirts should always be tucked in, BSA says

To me, this has always applied. Just need to reinforce this to the people in my Troop/Pack.

Bryan on Scouting

scout-uniform-4To tuck or not to tuck.

That was the question on the minds of hundreds of parents who have called the BSA headquarters over the past several months.

Their query: Does the Boy Scouts of America require uniform shirts to be tucked in? The questions are specifically referring to field uniforms (known to some by the unofficial name “Class A”) and not activity uniforms (“Class B”).

Problem is there hasn’t been an official policy in the past. The requirement was that the uniform-wearer must be “neat in appearance.” Most packs, troops, and crews interpreted that to mean tucking the shirts in, but a few didn’t.

Now we’ve got our final answer. Read the BSA’s official stance after the jump: 

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Minnesota Venturers try underwater basket weaving — no, seriously

Bryan on Scouting

In Crew 9820, they’re taking the joke of “underwater basket weaving” to new heights.

Or, technically, new depths.

Last weekend, the Minnesota Venturing crew, which specializes in scuba diving, went below the surface in their field uniform shirts, wetsuits and scuba gear. But they weren’t hunting for fascinating fish or awesome artifacts. They were making baskets.

Why? “Because we could,” says crew Advisor Dave Tengdin.

The crew drove to Square Lake in Stillwater, Minn., and made baskets while immersed in 68-degree water.

“Everybody makes jokes about taking classes in underwater basket weaving,” Tengdin told KSTP-TV. “And we figured, you know what? Let’s just have underwater basket weaving.” Next up for the crew: underwater pumpkin carving. Seriously.

Read a little about the origin of “underwater basket weaving” on the Wikipedia page, watch video of the crew’s event here and follow the jump for more photos. 

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Tuesday Talkback: When youth leaders aren’t allowed to make decisions

Bryan on Scouting

Tuesday-TalkbackFather (or Mother) knows best?

Maybe, but that’s not how a Scout troop, Varsity team or Venturing crew is supposed to work.

Scouting is a youth-led, youth-run organization. Your responsibility as an adult leader is to train the young men and women, provide direction, coach and empower. Then you step aside.

That means you’re observing from the back of the room, not barking out orders from the front of it. Scouts and Venturers are free to make mistakes; that’s where real learning happens.

For today’s Tuesday Talkback, tell me this: Do youth leaders make the critical decisions in your unit? If so, how do you prevent adults from taking too big a role? How do you resist the urge to step in? If adults are the leaders in your unit, how can you change that?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts, and let’s have a discussion about the best way…

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High Adventure at the Summit

Good promotional video on new Christen National High Adventure Base at the Summit opening in Summer 2014.

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Non-Scouting related posts too!

I am not just going to post about Scouting thoughts on here. I want to post cool articles or items I find online about the outdoors, my college major, or related to being in college also.

Here are some places I might re-post articles from to start:

Outdoor stories/ tips: or

For college tips: or

Misc.: Outdoor Adventure Professional:

Hoping to find other blogs or articles to re-post here that are interesting.


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Posts #2, 3 on Scouts Worldwide

Here are links to the next two blog posts I have up on Scouts Worldwide website.

#2: The Boy Scouts of America and Fundraising:

#3: Recruiting Techniques to Gain Membership:

Hope you enjoy!

If you have any future ideas on what I should write about, either for Scouts Worldwide or personal topics, let me know!


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