William T Hornaday Awarded to Mike Perkins

Trapper Trails’ Council own William “Mike” Perkins of Tremonton, Utah, was presented the William T. Hornaday National Gold Medal for five decades of conservation and environmental dedication at the National Jamboree on Thursday, July 27th from the BSA’s National Conservation Committee while our National Commissioner Charles Dalhquist decorated him with this rare award. 20292809_1782558691785049_909143559231223958_n
This National award is among the rarest of all Scouting Honors and only been presented 35 times in the last 50 years.  William T. Hornaday was the director of the New York Zoological society that worked on conserving American Resources and saving endangered species early on in the 20th century.
Among the many requirements that were met over a minimum of 20 year time span, Mike was able to create a National Training initiative that was rolled out at Philmont to train local Hornaday advisors around the country. Mike has nearly seven decades devoted to Scouting and nearly half of them here in the Trapper Trails Council.
His example and dedication shines for us all and to learn more about the requirements for youth and adults, click here.
Congratulations Mike for your hard work and dedication!

Dr. Richard Moyle – A Giant Man, A Giant Heart, A Giant of a Scouter

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By Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Although I’m currently on a self-declared “blog-cation” (because of my summer camp adventures at Camp Thunder Ridge), I need to come out of that hibernation to write about my great friend and Scouting mentor, Dr. Richard W. Moyle.  I noticed on a camp break today of the June 18th death of Dr. Richard Moyle.  Richard or “Dick”  as maybe only I called him, was my Scouting District Chairman when I served years ago as the Sr. District Executive of the great Mt. Ogden scouting district in South Ogden.  The district was then a part of the Lake Bonneville Council, and now the Trapper Trails Council.  With his passing, we have lost a giant of a man, a giant heart and a giant of a Scouter.

The Obituary of Dr. Richard W Moyle noted that he has been involved in Scouting for 60 years!  Wow!  How great is that?  And I can attest to the fact that this was not just minor or superficial involvement.  Richard gave his all to anything that he took on.  And that is what he did with Scouting.  He was willing to sacrifice everything as needed to make the Scouting program work for young men.  He was truly a giant in his Scouting service.  He was long-time recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.

Richard also wore the title of “Doctor” through his education.  He was a Geology professor of great renown at Weber State College in Ogden.

I became acquainted with Dick when he agreed to become the Varsity Scouting chairman for the district.  In this role, he worked tirelessly to implement to new Varsity Scouting program when it was a pilot program.  He went at the program with full steam.  He loved the program and wanted to see that all Scouts of our district had opportunity to participate in it.  He recruited a fabulous team of volunteers to deliver the first ever Varsity Scouting adult training program.  His team conducted the first Varsity Scouting Youth Leadership Course.  He was a proponent of the Varsity Scouting Games and had a major impact in their development.  His team was amazing and energized for the program.

Later, Richard willingly accepted the invitation to become our District Chairman.  Again, he worked feverishly to make our Mt. Ogden District the best and greatest in the council.  He caught the vision of what he and we could accomplish together.  And with that vision, he went forward to recruit the right people to do every job.  He was most conscientious in his dedicated efforts.

Our weekly (or more often) Key-3 meetings (with him, me and our district commissioner, Ron Harrison) were a real pleasure.  Dick was so anxious to make us successful.   Nothing brought him down.  He was the epitome of the positive attitude.  Everything that he did was “how can we make this happen?”  I loved his brotherhood and service.

Dick was also a hunter of great renown.  And with his hunting prowess, he would make anything and everything into jerky.  He would often come to me with his latest meat for my tasting.  “Here is some elk,” he would say.  Or, “Here is some bear!”  (That one was a shock!)  And then another shocker:  “Try some squirrel!”

My wife, on hearing of the death of Dick commented:  “He was just the nicest guy!  He was so personable and genuine.”  He and his wife, Belva (a distant Rawson cousin of mine) were so very sweet.  They were so concerned about Lou and me and our family.  We truly loved them!  They were the greatest friends and supporters of us and our growing family.  They came to our every event.  They were there at our baby blessings and all other family events.  And for years afterwards – even after we had long since moved away – he came to our wedding receptions when these were held in the Salt Lake area.

As I served with Dick, I was also the Camp Director up at Camp Bartlett.  Dick had a son, Wayne, and Dick helped me invite and persuade Wayne to join my staff at Bartlett.  Wayne was the life of every campfire program with his rendition of “Ernie”.  And the camp proved beneficial to Wayne and his parents too.  For at the conclusion of camp, we lined up Wayne with my wife’s former roommate from Snow College.  That proved to be “a match made in Heaven” as they courted and were soon married.

When I left the Ogden area – with a Boy Scout transfer to Santa Barbara, California, Dick  presented me with a marble pyramid-shaped monument on which he had engraved my service to the Mt. Ogden District.  This was a wonderful tribute and recognition of our five years together.  I still have and cherish that lasting monument to our district and personal brotherhood.

With the passing of Dr. Richard W. Moyle, we have all lost a giant of a man.  Richard was a man with a giant heart, and a giant love for Scouting and all of its programs – all with the goal of creating the best programs for our Scouts.  We will all miss this giant Scouter and friend, Dr. Richard W. Moyle.  Thanks, Dick …  I am grateful to you and will long remember your strength and commitment to me, and to the Mt. Ogden District!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

Kevin the Scoutblogger Off on Another Scouting Adventure

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

For the past many months, I have enjoyed blogging and sharing with you of my Scouting experiences.  Thanks for putting up with me – and thanks to those of you who have been faithful readers.

My wife, Lou, and I have made it a lifestyle habit of working at Scout camps each summer.  This is made possible because we both work for the schools in Mesa, Arizona.  We both love Scouts and Scouting and serving as we can.  And of course our Arizona heat is another motivating factor.

This summer experience will be a bit interesting since I worked at this same Thunder Ridge camp a full 40 years ago when I was the camp’s Program Director.  So, I may be in for a bit of nostalgia and a few memories.

The Utah National Parks Council – where we will serve this summer – has just posted a blog that talks of my experiences at Thunder Ridge 40 years ago.  If you’d to check out that blog and my full 10-page journal blog of that summer, I’d invite you to check it out:  Camp Thunder Ridge 40 Years ago as seen by then Program Director, Kevin Hunt.

So, we will continue our tradition again this summer.  And as noted, we will be serving for the next two months at Camp Thunder Ridge in southern Utah.  We look forward to this new adventure – even knowing that this year for the first time since we were married – we’ll be in a tent instead of a director’s cabin.  So, that will be a real adventure.  (I am grateful for a wife who puts up with such things from or with me.)

And with our camp plans, and believing that WIFI and the internet will be like every other Scout camp that we have worked in, my opportunities for internet and blogging will likely be quite limited.  So, I may be signing off for a while.  But, if opportunities and WIFI somehow give me opportunity, you may suddenly hear from me again sometime through the summer.  But, since that possibility is unpredictable at this moment, I will just say that I very much enjoy this writing for the Trapper Trails Council and will take it up once again when I can.

But, until then,

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

 

 

 

 

 

Making Older Scout Advancement and Leadership Opportunities Possible

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

We have been talking (in these blogs) about the announced changes in LDS Scouting relative to the older boys.  I have talked extensively about the program planning function and how this will ever be key in creating an effective program for our older youth.  I would like to change gears a bit now to talk about how we might all work together to assist boys ages 14-17 still “be Scouts” and how we might help them become Eagle Scouts.   And I apologize that this blog is a bit longer than it maybe should be.  I will soon head to Scout camp for the summer so my blogging time is a bit limited as I anticipate a summer with little or no internet capabilities.  So, bear with me …  (Read it in installments if needed!)

Admittedly, the new look of older Scout programs will be a rather major challenge for us to face.   But, with our united efforts, it will still be possible.

The Original First Presidency Letter stated: “… Young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout … should be encouraged and supported in their efforts and should be properly registered as Scouts.  Adult leaders who are assisting with merit badges or rank advancement with older boys should also be registered and completed required training.”

Following the announced changes, a Questions and Answers section was added on LDS.org about the upcoming changes.  One question says,

”What if my son is 14 or older and still wants to earn his Eagle Scout? According to LDS Public Affairs, any Latter-day Saint young man over the age of 14 who “desire(s) to continue toward the rank of Eagle will be registered, supported and encouraged.” These young men will need to be registered with the BSA in order to work toward the recognition.”

In the aftermath of the LDS decision about Varsity and Venturing, the Deseret News published statistics that were rather interesting.  These statistical charts showed that the average age of youth achieving the Eagle rank nationally in the BSA is 17.3 years.

The Utah National Parks Council (located in a nearly all LDS Utah council) wrote on this subject and gave other interesting statistics:  “We look forward to providing Scout programs to all interested youth, including those age 14 and older who want to continue participating or are on the trail to Eagle. Of those who earn the Eagle Scout award in our council, 93% complete the requirements at age 14 or older and 67% attain the Eagle rank after age 16.”

Pretty daunting news.  And with the coming changes, this means that we will all have to work harder to make it happen – and probably earlier.  So, what are we to do?  What is to be done?  How can the boys remain as Scouts and how can they achieve their advancement – and particularly the leadership requirements.  All good questions!

Well, I have had a few thoughts on the subject – and which I would like to share with you now.

First …  at the time of the annual BSA rechartering with the Church, the person in charge of completing the charter process should take extra care to contact each and every one of the boys turning 14 after January 1st (and their parents).  (This will be an ongoing question critical in the first year – but to be answered each successive year.)  Each boy should be willing to make a commitment right then about whether or not they want to be Eagle scouts.  And this will be kind of a major decision for them.  Do they want to follow the family and church tradition?  Or are they going to say that they are done and satisfied where they are?  All boys wishing to continue their Scouting connection (and adults who work with them) will still need to recharter with the troop.  That will mean new applications for all older boys.

It is very important that the registration remain current without any break.  If there is a lapse, they may not be able to ensure that they have tenure and leadership for the necessary time.  Boys can’t wait until they are seventeen plus and then suddenly reregister to become a “death-bed eagle” before they turn 18.  One of the saddest days of my life was having to tell a Scout in such a situation that it just was not possible for him to complete his Eagle award requirements before he turned 18.  He was a sad young man.

Another key for the leadership requirement – and tenure – is to remember that the time for these can start as soon as the Scout has earned his Star or Life awards.  Remember too, that a Scout needs to have six months between Star and Life and again from Life to Eagle.  But say a young man gets Life three or four months before his 14th birthday.  That three or four months can count toward the next rank IF the Scout is both registered and in a troop leadership position.  So, it is rather critical to make sure that every young man is in a troop leadership position.   Good record keeping is paramount.

Another key will be working with the council to make sure that all of the current advancement records – from whatever unit – are all transferred to those registered in the troop – after the rechartering decisions.

For many years I have been the advancement chairman for all three units – Scouting, Varsity and Venturing – in my own ward.   And I believe that we have a pretty strong Scouting program and support in our ward.  We have a fabulous 11-year Old Scout leader in Jonathan Nichols.  That guy is a saint!  He has worked overboard to ensure that each boy (who wants to) graduates from his program as a First Class Scout.  And the Scout troop leaders have also been great.  Most of the boys graduate from Deacon/Scouts as Star or Life Scouts.  And then they all struggle to get the other requirements completed.  A few boys get it done about age 15 – which is excellent.  And still, like the National BSA statistics, the majority still get ‘er done when older still.  And this is always a challenge … since by that time, the “fumes” have all kicked in (that’s car fumes and perfumes) and this makes for a major impact on the boys and their advancement.

As I conduct Scout board of reviews for our Scouts, I always ask them two or three questions at the end of each review.  One is “If we pin this badge on you at the court of honor … will you feel that you have EARNED the badge?”  (And discussion follows.)  And the other question (usually just before the “have you earned” question) is “Do YOU WANT to be an Eagle Scout?”  And then there is a follow-up question to that.  It is, “Whose job is it to make you an Eagle Scout?”

This questions kind of shocks some of the newer kids.  We then talk about how parents, leaders, and others can assist them, but in reality, it is their own personal decision to become an Eagle Scout – and it is their own personal duty to take charge and make this happen.

So, in light of the coming changes, it still boils down to this.  Does Johnny, himself, REALLY want to be an Eagle Scout?  And in spite of changes, is he willing to do anything that may be required (even acting independently) to make it happen?  (And we can’t rely simply on over-zealous mothers to make Johnny an Eagle Scout!)

After that decision time, older Scouts can push themselves forward to make it happen.  But, we have seen that often this doesn’t happen on their own.  It will take help from all of us to achieve the goal.

Next then, is that it will probably take a strong advancement person or someone else to help the youth stay on track.  The advancement chair can (as always) continue to encourage and talk with the boys individually in the hall etc. to help motivate and inspire.  Being ready with the updated advancement records of merit badges and rank dates can be very helpful.

That brings us to the subject of how to stay in the troop and how to achieve leadership requirements.

I guess this is a time to share my own personal experience.  I earned my own Eagle Scout award just before I turned age 14 (and so did my four Eagle brothers – and I admit that I didn’t have to be prodded by Mom and others to do it).  As per the church system, I moved up into the next upper level – Venturing Exploring (that was before Varsity Scouting).  In that program we had grandiose plans.  We planned to go to Hawaii.  But, after all of that planning – and a steady diet of basketball – we ultimately didn’t even make it to the giant Arizona metropolis of Sunflower, Arizona.

I lasted only about six months in that do-nothing program.  I then made the choice to go back to the Scout troop and remained there until I went on my mission.  Now, I know that I was a bit unique, but it was a glorious time for me.  I conducted merit badge classes for my younger troop brothers.  I kept the troop records.   I became the troop’s Junior Assistant Scoutmaster – a fabulous title and truly wonderful job for an older Scout.  I served more like an adult in the troop.  I did not report through the SPL but he reported through me to the Scoutmaster.  I have already blogged recently about how I became the catalyst to take our entire troop from Arizona up to the National BSA Jamboree in Farragut, Idaho.  I became the Webelos Leader – and then 11-year old Scout (Blazer) leader when legally too young to do so.  And it was all a grand experience for me – and my fellow Scouts.  I loved the leadership opportunities.

In our upcoming situation, I believe strongly that the Troop Guide position is perfect for some of our LDS older Scouts.  This BSA position counts for Eagle advancement and is actually quite flexible in its job description.  And you can have every boy – if needed – be a Troop Guide.  It is flexible enough that you can use the position – and the boy – to help meet the needs of the older Scout himself – as well as other Scouts in the troop while getting in his own leadership requirement time).

Now you have probably not even heard of this Troop Guide position because it really has not existed in the LDS church – because all of our boys have moved up to Varsity and Venturing at the specific ordination ages – and thus have by-passed the Troop Guide opportunity.

The Troop Guide is a fabulous position but no one knows about it.  The way it works, an older Scout is registered with the troop.  And he is assigned a patrol – either a new-Scout patrol or even an older-boy patrol – or he serves at large in the troop to multiple patrols.  He is an instructor.  He is preassigned specific troop or patrol meetings to teach Scout Skills – or even merit badges.  He does not have to attend every troop meeting but would be there at least once a month – but perhaps more.  (If this is to occur, the troop meetings may need to be on a night other than the Teacher/Priest meetings so that he can go to both – or he would have to miss his Teacher/Priest meetings when assigned as an instructor in the troop.

The Troop Guide can be found with various job descriptions on-line as I found after spending an evening researching it in preparation for this blog.  Again, I believe that it is a flexible position that you can mold any way that you wish.   Here is a description that was written for a Scout with other older Scouts in an older boy patrol.  (And again, every one of the older boys can be Troop Guides and be given specific tasks or roles.)

  • Create activities that are fun and interesting to the older boy patrols.
  • Work with ASM for the Older Boy Program in selecting merit badges to work on at weekend campouts.
  • Attend Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meetings.
  • Prevent harassment of new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Refresh older boy patrols in the basic Scout skills.
  • Regularly attends troop meetings, troop campouts, and troop events during his service period.
  • Set a good example.
  • Enthusiastically wear the Scout Uniform correctly.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show Scout spirit.

The Troop Guide description for an older boy assigned to a New Scout Patrol is very similar:

  • Help all first year Scouts earn advancement requirements through First Class (serving in a role similar to a Cub Scout Den Chief – but assigned to the 11-Year Old or New Scout Parol
  • Help older boys who have not completed First Class – assigned to help specific Scouts needing his individual help (probably on a hike or a meeting separate from the troop.  (Two older Scouts – Troop Guides – could also be assigned together to one or multiple Scouts interested in advancing)
  • Advise patrol leader on his duties and responsibilities at Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) meetings.
  • Attend Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meetings with the New Scout Patrol Leader.
  • Prevent harassment of new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Help Assistant Scoutmaster train new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Guide new Scouts through early troop experiences to help them become comfortable in the troop and the outdoors.
  • Teach basic Scout skills.
  • Regularly attends troop meetings, troop campouts, and troop events during his service period.
  • Set a good example.
  • Enthusiastically wear the Scout Uniform correctly.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show Scout spirit.

So, in summary, the Guide would be a leader kind of between the Patrol Leader and the adult leaders.  He could work specifically with the new Scout patrol – and in this role (kind of like a Den Chief – but to older Scouts) he would teach and train Scouts in specific Scout skills.  He could do this with a group or with a couple of boys on their own.  He could be perfect to work with two or three boys who are behind and need some individual attention.  He could be preassigned to teach specific skills at troop meetings or campouts. If on a camp-out, he should not be there to goof off but again to teach specific skills, be the example, wear the uniform, etc.

If you have a group of these older Scouts, they could be their own patrol in troop meetings and on outings.  Of if you have only a couple of them, let them cook and hang out with the adults.  Plan ahead and give them specific leadership tasks.  With advance notice, they can plan ahead and be prepared to be a true teacher and guide.  The Troop Guide is flexible enough for the troop to kind of custom design a role for each young man – with definite things that they should accomplish in their service – new Scout patrol, scout skills training at troop meetings and/or campouts, or by individual assignment to specific Scouts.

Older Scouts can also attend Scout Camp (again not as a goof off – but as a troop leader).  And older Scouts can also be encouraged to attend NYLT and other youth leadership training opportunities through the council and the troop.

Another idea that I have been toying with is to be a catalyst – to start my own “Super High Flyin’ Eagle Battalion troop.  In such a troop, I could invite any and all older boy Scouts (from all around our town) who very seriously have decided they want to become Eagle Scouts.   I am still thinking of this option since it could be real fun with a team of die-hard dads who loved Scouting and want to give their sons the opportunity to also achieve the Eagle Scout Award.  I haven’t committed to this yet, but it is making me think and dream a bit.

I hope that these ideas may be helpful to you.  I would welcome comments about your own thoughts and how to make a success of the coming opportunities.  Let’s all take a personal interest in the older Scouts and give them opportunities to be true leaders – using the skills and training they have already received as Scouts.  Help each young man customize a plan for his leadership requirements and the growth of him and his fellow Scouts.  It could be exciting!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

 

 

There are a Lot of Great Activity Ideas Awaiting your Discovery

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

We’ve been talking about Program Planning and how it is or should be the central focus of the New LDS plan for older boy programs.  I’ve tried to share the basics of how to develop a planned program for a year or more.  That was a part of Varsity Scouting and Venturing and is even more important as we phase into the new LDS program for Teachers and Priests.

For two or three years now, there have been Young Men activity ideas on the lds.org/youth activities website.  But the question is, have you visited and perused this material.  If you have not done so already, this would be a great time to spend some time there.  The new materials for older boys – as shown at present on the website – reference back to these materials that have been there a while – but are now new again with the current focus.

As both a former Varsity Scout Coach and a Venturing Adviser, I found the material garnered there to be informative and exciting.  There is a plethora of activities that should get any young man (and his advisers) exciting and involved.

I spent some time today reviewing the material and there is some good stuff there.  I highly recommend it.  Here is the link: Great Activity Ideas on lds.org

I found, for instance, a variety of listed categories of program ideas.  These include:

Missionary Work

Future Roles

Temple and Family History

Scouting

Communication and Relationships

Sports, Camping and Outdoors

Worldwide Youth Events

Physical Health

Spiritual Strength

Arts, Music and Dance

Stake and Multi-Stake Activities

Service

So, how is that for a list?  And under each of the above sub-headings, there are listed a multitude – of from five to over twenty – specific activity or program ideas.   So, be sure to drill down under each heading.  I counted over 160 different activities that could be done.  So, if you did one of them every week (which would be a bit challenging), it would take you nearly three years to do them all.  And these are just suggestions to get you thinking.   I am sure that there are many more fun things that you can do together with your Young Men.  If you have the brainstorming session that I refer to in my annual planning material, you and your Young Men could come up with a list equal to or greater to the one on-line – and which allows you to meet the needs of your own young men.  The website also allows you to add some of your successful activities.  So, if you come up with something good, pass it along for others to use.

In your planning, too, it is a good idea to survey your young men.  See what they really want to do and then build your plan around those interests and needs.  And if you have the boy who only has “create a bird list” on his activity board, you sure ought to plan an activity around birding – and let him be the program coordinator for that evening. (And after that, he’ll probably come to the next activity … and then maybe you can put him in charge of something new for another time.)

So, what it really boils down to is that there are a lot of resources and ideas out there for you.  So, don’t wait around for someone to show you a new program.  It is already there.  Get the edge and go for it yourselves.  Why wait for the new calendar year.  Get something going today!

It really isn’t that challenging.  The big thing is to have a planning conference and plan for as long a period as you can.  And as you plan and implement the plan, you will begin to see some really great results.  You will definitely reach the goals and objectives of the new program and you will touch lives as you spend time with the young men.  That’s what it’s all about!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

 

Young Men Program Guidelines – What to do Now?

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Well, the LDS Church recently announced that it will no longer support Varsity Scouting and Venturing for our church older youth.  So, what are you going to do with that news?  What to do now?

Recent changes are coming for Varsity and Venturing youth in the LDS Church.  See my blog of last week entitled:  Major Changes for LDS Varsity Scouts and Venturers.  In that blog, I quoted the Church’s published Teacher and Priest Guidelines which accompanied the First Presidency Letter which announced the changes.  That document provides many basic guidelines for Priest and Teacher activities.  Those guidelines can be the basis for all of your activities and programs for the older boy – now and after January 1, 2018 when the changes become effective.

The “new program” is very simple.  The General Young Men Presidency has given some basic principles to guide our program planning.  They say (on LDS.Org) at that as adult leaders and advisers of young men, our purpose may be summarized as:

[To] Help young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, magnify their priesthood duties, and prepare to fulfill their divine roles.  

So, that is our goal or objective.  Then to achieve that purpose, Young Men leaders are invited to focus on three principles:

  1. Be with them.
  2. Connect them with heaven.
  3. Let them lead.

The General Young Men Presidency then said, “As we apply these principles in our Young Men activities, we will strengthen the young men of the Church.”

If we are going to accomplish these purposes and principles, then we need to plan and implement effective activities for the Young Men.   And that brings us right back to program planning.  It always seems to come back to this.  In order to achieve the stated goals and objectives with our youth, we need to plan activities and events so that we can be with the youth, help connect them with heaven and to let them lead. So, with this in mind, we can’t hit the program planning function hard enough.  It really is the crux of the whole youth program – whether for boys or for girls – or for whatever age.  Program planning is simply the KEY to success.

Also in last week’s blog, I shared some links for program planning.  I again invite you to peruse those.  And as an aide to your program planning, this week, I introduce a simple YOUTH PROGRAM PLANNING WORKSHEET.  (Click on the link and the PDF Excel spreadsheet will open up.) Again, this is quite a simple form.  It is designed to get you through a quarter of the calendar year.   (You can have a quarterly planning meeting – but a better idea would be to stage an Annual Program Planning Conference.   And if you’re planning quarterly, a “rolling” quarter plan is best:  Always be working on three months – this month, next month and the one after that.

To use the form, list the dates (Mutual nights, other nights, and weekends) within the quarter that you want to stage events or activities.  Then define a purpose for the gathering.  Next, choose an activity to be done.  Then put some people in charge of planning and motivating the rest of the group.  And finally, list the best resource for each event.  This could be the Scout Handbook, a merit badge book, the “Faith in God” booklet, the YW “Personal Progress” booklet, or the Youth Activities section at @LDS.ORG.

If you train and motivate and inspire your youth (and the youth leaders of each quorum or group – not the advisers), you can easily plan a full activity program that will be fun and exciting while meeting the program guidelines and objectives as outlined by the church.  And you really don’t have to have a “new program”.  All you need to do is to implement what you already have at your fingertips.  Just start planning and some great things will happen with you and your young men (and/or young ladies).  And in the process, you will have many opportunities to BE WITH THEM, to CONNECT THEM WITH HEAVEN and to LET THEM LEAD.  That’s what it’s all about!  Get planning to do it!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

 

 

The Trapper Trails Council Support For LDS Scouting Units And Families

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The Trapper Trails Council appreciates our longstanding partnership with the LDS Church.  The council remains committed to our partnership with the church, as well as to serving all youth through our many religious, educational, and civic based chartered units.  As a council, we are committed to helping Scouts reach their advancement goals, while strengthening their character development through our core Scouting programs.

LDS wards, families, Scouts, and leaders will continue to have access to many opportunities provided by the council.  These include:

Eagle Scout advancement.  While the church will continue to register all youth ages 11-13 years old in Boy Scouts, those youth who wish to continue working towards their advancement goals may remain registered in their local LDS sponsored troop.  Their trail to Eagle Scout will continue with support from both the council and local leaders.

Access to council sponsored high adventure programs.  The council will continue to make available high adventure programs to all LDS youth over age 14.  YW groups and Teacher and Priest quorums can take advantage of our high adventure programs to meet their needs in a fun, prepared, and safe environment.

Youth conferences.  The council will continue to expand access to its camping properties for LDS youth conferences.  We have the facilities and programs to meet your needs.

Training for adult and youth leaders.  National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) for youth and Wood Badge Training for adults continues.  These are both excellent leadership training opportunities that strengthen participants and provide tools for both unit level success and personal preparation.  And if you want a total family experience, register to attend Encompass Family Camp.  Encompass combines both Wood Badge and NYLT with age appropriate activities for younger children.

Order of the Arrow.  For more than 90 years, the OA has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.

The Trapper Trails Council is fully committed to delivering quality Scouting to the youth of our area.  We look forward to the new opportunities 2018 will bring in our partnership with the LDS Church in helping the church to further their youth development goals.  Together, we will continue our mission “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”