Friday, February 13, 2015

Wood Badging It!



I'm 8 months in with 10 months more to go, at the most.  My time line has me finishing in 4 more months, but the only Constant in Life is Change, and the Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry.  I'm talking about Wood Badge.  

For those that do not know, Wood Badge is the Summit of Adult Leader Training in the Boy Scouts, a course originally designed by Lord Baden-Powell himself and updated over the years to now provide leadership training, team building skills and games, new ways to look at servant leadership and leaving a legacy.  Once the practical portion of the course, a six-day experience designed to replicate the first week long summer camp experience of a real Boy Scout, ends then each participant has 18-months to complete their "ticket", five self-set goals within Scouting, usually serving a particular unit or area.  

My Wood Badge Course, C3-312-14-1, was held at Beaumont Scout Reservation within the Greater St. Louis Area Council, the premier training Scout Camp in the Council.  The course was originally taught at the old Camp Irondale, which was located only about ten miles from where I am now.  As the Camping Chairman for our District, the Ozark Trailblazers District, one of my "ticket" items was to organize a STEM-themed Spring Camporee, that ticket is being worked in earnest, leaving only 2 ticket items to finish, but more on them next time.  The STEM (for Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) Camporee will be held at the old Camp Irondale location, quite by happenstance, the location chosen by the Boy Scout Troop asked to Host the event.  Coincidences are so neat, much like the old saying was in the military, "stick around long enough and you'll run into everyone again"....my first NCO supervisor from my time in Germany, two years after he left Europe, we ran into each other in line at a makeshift PX in Saudi Arabia; my other NCO supervisor from Germany, I'm walking into a local Wal-Mart and there he was, walking out fifteen years after serving together thousands of miles away.  Funny thing is, his family is from Irondale.

Scoutmaster Gene 
Baden's Rowdy Beavers

Venturing Trivia Night


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

KFMO Online Radio News: CUB SCOUTS HOLD EVENT THIS SATURDAY AT MINERAL AREA COLLEGE


  • October 9, 2013
    IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD HAVE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED WITH THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA THE CUB SCOUTS ARE HAVING AN EVENT AT MINERAL AREA COLLEGE SATURDAY THAT WILL GIVE YOU A HANDS ON EXPERIENCE. 

    GENE BANNISTER IS THE CAMPING COMMITTEE CHAIR FOR THE OZARK TRAILBLAZERS DISTRICT, WHICH IS MADE UP OF SIX LOCAL COUNTIES. HE SAYS THE EVENT WILL BE FUN FOR CURRENT CUB SCOUTS AND PERSPECTIVE SCOUTS ALIKE. 

    BANNISTER1    

    BANNISTER SAYS THE CUB SCOUTING DAY 1 EVENT WILL BE HELD IN THE OPEN FIELD ACROSS FROM THE FIELD HOUSE AT MINERAL AREA COLLEGE THIS SATURDAY FROM 9AM TO 1PM. THE COST IS 7 DOLLARS FOR REGISTERED SCOUTS AND 12 DOLLARS FOR UNREGISTERED SCOUTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU CAN FIND THE OZARK TRAILBLAZERS DISTRICT ON FACEBOOK. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2013 Ozark Trailblazers Fall Encampment Video Trailer

The Link is below that will take you to the Facebook page video trailer from our 2013 October Fall District Camporee...from the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the BSA.  Video shot and assembled by ASM Shaun Braswell, Troop 423, Park Hills, Missouri.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Scoutmaster Sunrise

The Morning Sunshine is part of the reason
Why I like to camp,
The birds singing, the air so fresh
But my true Sunshine comes
With the sound of Scout laughter,
Voices full of questions
And minds eager to learn
That's when I experience
My true Scoutmaster Sunshine.  

XV1. Sept. 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New Troop Leader Guidebooks Coming

For years the Scoutmaster Handbook has been  the go-to place to teach a newcomer how to be an effective Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop, but for Assistant Scoutmasters or Troop Committee Members there was no handbook.  
That's about to change. Later this year, the two-volume Troop Leader Guidebook will debut, replacing the Scoutmaster Handbook and offering helpful checklists, quick tips and fresh ideas for both new troop leaders and veteran Scouters.
Scouting magazine contributor Mark Ray wrote Volume 1, while Bob Birkby, author of the latest Boy Scout Handbook, wrote Volume 2. 

Vol. 1: For new troop leaders

Click to enlarge

Mark Ray's Vol. 1 focuses primarily on the needs of the new or relatively inexperienced Boy Scout leader.
These Scouters will have been volunteers for up to three years, are likely assistant Scoutmasters and probably recently crossed over from serving as a Webelos leader or parent.
As such, Volume 1 assumes little or no prior knowledge of the Boy Scout program on the part of the reader. It presents a somewhat simplified picture of Boy Scouting that focuses on the short term — getting through this week's troop meeting, this month's outing and this year's planning conference — rather than the long term, such as planning for growth, establishing a troop vision, and measuring personal and troop success.
In other words, it leaves advanced topics to Volume 2.
Given that its readers are mostly newcomers, this volume's tone is similar to that used in a book for new parents. It reassures readers that everything is really going to be okay. Really.

Vol. 2: Advanced guidance for veteran Scouters

Click to enlarge

Bob Birkby's Volume 2 assumes its readers are ready for the next level.
Here you'll find info like high-adventure planning, working with Scouts with disabilities, conflict resolution, visioning and more.
This volume is for more-seasoned leaders who need fresh ideas. It's an advanced guidebook that will help leaders take their troop's program and operations to a higher level. It will also help leaders keep an established program fresh and exciting so that troops don't fall into the trap of doing the same things year after year.
Look at it this way: Volume 1 replaces the current Scoutmaster Handbook, while Volume 2 offers advanced guidance that's been missing from several editions of the Scoutmaster Handbook.

Behind the scenes

"By the way," Mark tells me, "we changed the name because surveys indicated that many assistant Scoutmasters thought the Scoutmaster Handbook wasn't for them!"
But more than just a new name, the Troop Leader Guidebook represents a new approach to serving all troop leaders. And it happened, as it should, with the input of Scouters like you.
"We held focus groups in the spring of 2012 in the D.C. area (Northeast and Southern Regions), the St. Louis area (Central Region), and the Bay Area (Western Region) to get input on the current handbook and what Scouters wanted to see in the new handbooks," Mark says.
So the two-volume Troop Leader Guidebook is truly designed by Scouters for Scouters. Look for both volumes to be released together later this year.

Friday, August 2, 2013

BLT Training – More than Just a Sandwich

In my feverish, fervent attempt to get notes from last night's Ozark Trailblazers Round Table and Popcorn Kick-Off Dinner, I failed to mention the BLT conversation.  Of course, most people know a BLT is a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich, however in the world of Scouting BLT also stands for Basic Leader Training.  And Les Houston, from Farmington, came up last night to speak about the upcoming Basic Leader Training course, which is being offered the same weekend as Fall Encampment (Camporee). 

The course will introduce new adults to the basic concepts of Scouting; patrol method, position responsibilities, and more.  Each new adult member of a unit (be it committee member, scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster or chartered organization representative) is encouraged to attend.  The training costs $25 and will be held at Camp Lewallen.  If you are interested in attending contact District Training Chair Ken Braun or BLT Ozark Trailblazers Patrol Leader Les Houston.