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Alumni Relations
Scouting Alumni

Did you have a family reunion this summer? What about your Scouting family?

When a scout finishes his time with a troop, that is all too often the end of his Scouting experience. He's off to college or work, and no longer has time for Scouting. And, no one ever tells him he's still welcome to come back and visit.

Troops usually put effort into recruiting boys, and then effort into keeping them involved until they turn 18. After a scout ages out, or makes the earlier decision to stop participating, that is often the end of the troop's effort with that person, but maintaining a relationship with past scouts has many benefits for both the troop and scout.
The past scout has contact from home, support when he may feel alone out in the world, and reminders of the values presented in Scouting.
The current scouts learn more about life after high school, see that Scouting values will stay with them, and are shown that their troop cares about them, even outside Scouting.

So, how might your troop better maintain relationships with past scouts?
Scouting Alumni Patch

The BSA is working on improving long-term relationships with past scouts and keeping them involved as adults.

The BSA Scouting Alumni Association offers a patch to new alumni, along with a bunch of other tidbits and quarterly newsletter. There is a cost to be a member.

If you're interested in acquiring another square knot, there is an Alumni Award Knot for scouters that identify, engage, and participate with BSA alumni.

Scout On

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Posted: 14:45 09-18-2014 1116
Never Give Up

It's been 6 years since Heather Dorniden won this 600m collegiate race, but her demonstration of perseverance will never fade.

It might be a bit long for a Scoutmaster Minute, at 2.5 minutes, but I think the message of never giving up no matter what happens is worth it.

At least having this video stored on your phone to share with a scout when he's frustrated with some challenge would be a good bit of encouragement.
To fall from first to last in the blink of an eye and then have the strength to get back up and keep racing - and win - is just inspiring!

Some people quit the race, others get up with a goal of just finishing, but a few push on doing the very best they can until the finish line is crossed.

Scout On

Or, if you prefer a hollywood version...
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Posted: 10:33 09-15-2014 1115
What Weighs Us Down?
lightweight scout backpacking

My Philmont pack started out at 45 pounds in 2005. My long-distance hiking pack now weighs under 25 pounds. You can see the difference in this image.

My time on trail is much more enjoyable and there is nothing I used to carry that I'd still like to have along but don't. Besides picking an interesting location, reducing our burden in the wilds is about the best way to make backpacking more fun - making the experience fun is a key element to a successful scouting program.

What is it that was so heavy and weighed down my pack so much? Well, it was mostly inexperience and obediently following a Philmont checklist.
So, here's a handful of advice to help you move your troop to lighter, more enjoyable, trek adventures.
Since Christmas is looming on the far horizon, and summer is pretty much over, now is a good time for scouts to review their gear and consider what to replace for next year.

A final note - Scouting is an outdoor classroom. We're not here to create super-skilled wilderness experts, but to help boys grow into self-sufficient citizens of strong character. The challenge of becoming an experienced backpacker is just another opportunity for a scout to work on his character, physical abilities, and teamwork. It's ok to carry 40+ pound packs, but a lighter pack opens up many more opportunities and expands the classroom.

Scout On
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Posted: 9:25 09-10-2014 1114
Scouts in the News
Scouting News

Here's a few news blips about Scouts this week. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you'd like to see your scouts "In the News" locally, check out these tips and pointers. We could all use a little good press out there.

Scout On
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Posted: 16:08 09-09-2014 1113
Nature Requirements
Scout nature

Hiking 4 miles just as the sun came up today offered me a cool, crisp, clean, clear hour outside. I was reminded that fall is just around the corner and summer is fading quickly as schools are open and wearing white is now a no-no.

As I was sitting outside at lunch, writing my latest story and noticing this little guy soaking in the sun's warmth on a flower stem, I also thought of all those scouts that have put off their 2nd Class and 1st Class nature requirements over the summer. Depending on where they live, they will soon be in for a difficult time completing them. Identifying 10 wild animals and 10 native plants is still easy to do around here now, but with leafs dropping, birds migrating, animals hibernating, and snow covering the ground, it will be nearly impossible in two months or less.

If you've got scouts hoping to reach 2nd or 1st class before spring, some encouragement to look for animals and plants might be just what they need.

Scout On

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Posted: 15:24 09-02-2014 1111
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