Monday, December 20, 2010

Scouting 2010

The centennial year for the Boy Scouts of America is almost over. It has been quite eventful for me, with plenty of experiences both good and not-so-good. I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to be involved in Scouting during this time.

In January, we went on a snowshoeing trip. This was perhaps the first activity our Venturing crew had that did not include any of the younger boys. One of my goals when I started was to get the different groups (Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers) to have separate activities. It was also one of our first weekend activities in quite a long time. Holding more weekend activities was one of my Wood Badge ticket items.

We used home-made snowshoes that our ward had made several years ago. By the end of the trip, several of them were broken. We have plans to re-build them in 2011.

Not much happened in February, the official centennial on Feb 8th notwithstanding. Our planned weekend activity fell through, due to not finding a NRA certified range instructor to help.

March, however, had a lot going on. One major achievement was that we finally got our crew officers elected and trained. This was also one of my Wood Badge ticket items and was, for me, a huge step in getting things going.

We also had a District-wide Venturing activity. This was the first one we had had in at least the nearly two years I'd been in Venturing. It was an "autocross." We had a course marked out in traffic cones on a large parking lot. Each Venturer had the opportunity to drive the course and try for the fastest time. The adult adviser had to ride shotgun for each young man. I wish I had a video camera for that front-seat view of the course.

Also in March was the first Court of Honor our Troop/Team/Crew had held in nearly two years. Our committee fell apart after the chairman was called to another position and it still hasn't recovered. I eventually decided that if we were ever going to hold a Court of Honor, then I would have to be the one to plan it.

April found us with two major activities. The first was a statewide Day of Difference when every pack, troop, team, and crew in the state would be doing service projects. We had two boys show up.

The following weekend was a second District Venturing activity. We went shotgun shooting. As much as our young men always talk about wanting to go shooting I was very surprised to have only two come.
Like February, not much happened in May. We planned a fishing trip that fell through because the tour permit didn't get submitted in time. I had delegated that to the dad (and committee member) who was going to be going with us. We needed his insurance information anyway since he would be driving. They got to the Scout office about an hour after it closed just before the weekend. Others may have continued with the trip anyway, but I've been trying to stick to the rules.

In June we conducted the Venturing Leadership Skills Course. We took the crew up the mountain and set up camp. It was a great experience, and the culmination of eight months of hard work for me. It was also the final goal to finish off my Wood Badge Ticket.
The "Blind Triangle" exercise - a lesson in communication
Winners of the Paper Tower contest
Not long after dinner on Friday night, it started to rain. The rain turned to snow Saturday morning, so we came back to town and finished the VLSC at the church.

In July, we marched in the Pioneer Day parade.
It's easy to find me because I'm the only person around who wears the green Venturing uniform.

August and September saw a lot of activities fall through. Did you know that young men get really busy in the summer and don't have time for an overnight camp-out, even though they beg you to take them all year long? I've learned a lot by this point about planning our yearly calendar and I think we've done better for next year.

At the end of September we held another Court of Honor. This one was especially meaningful to me.
In addition to receiving my Wood Badge beads, I was able to present the first Venturing award our crew has ever seen--a religious life Bronze award.
In the 12 years that Venturing has been in existence, there have been about a dozen Bronze awards earned in the two districts served by our local scout office. For comparison, there have been over 24 eagle scouts in 2010 alone for the same area.

In October, we were able to attend the Utah National Parks Council Centennial Camporall.For more information about that, see my earlier post.

In November, I was pleased to sit in on the Eagle Board of Review for one of my young men (the same one who earned is bronze award earlier). Now I need to try to get our committee together to plan an Eagle Court of Honor.

In December, we were able to get certified in CPR.

We also were finally able to get the young men together to plan our calendar for next year. Hopefully we'll be able to make it work.

That leads us to now. All in all, it has been a pretty good year. We've had some success and some failure. We've had some activities work as planned and others completely forgotten about. We've made progress in getting Venturing to work, but we still have a long way to go. But I'm optimistic.

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