Sunday, January 29, 2006

YMP Meeting Success

What a surprise to have all of the Young Men's Presidency show up at a YMP meeting today. I was thrilled to have the Deacons Advisor, Scout Master, Teachers Advisor, Varsity Coach, Venture leader and yes, even a secretary. It was AWESOME!!!!

We talked about each quorum, each Scout, Activities, activation, Meetings, Future plans. It was great. I finally felt like we were a group that was working together for a common goal. I hope they felt the same way. I just need to keep up on these meetings and I think we will feel a brotherhood that I think has been missing.

It's been a great day. Don't get me wrong, we still have issues to overcome but at least all of the leaders are moving ahead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pinewood Derby

Before I came to this assignment the Venture Crew decided to build Pinewood Derby cars. When I heard about this activity I was perplexed at how we could use this activity to further their advancement in DTG and in Venturing. After some searching I found 2 requirements that would fit into this activity. Again, fun with a purpose. We made the Pinewood derby cars as an Art Project. I also found out when the Cub Scouts were going to race their cars and volunteered the Ventures to be the Officials and Judges. These two simple acts helped them pass off two DTG requirements.

Yesterday we fulfilled this task. I had 3 Crew members show up and help with the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Afterwards we raced our cars. I thought it was a great activity and the Venture Crew got to show off their uniforms at the Cub Scout activity. I was also impressed to see one of our Crew member saluting the flag correctly. It was the first time that I have saluted the flag with the full hand salute. I was also excited to see our Adult Crew Leader wearing his Crew uniform too. We looked sharp.

Fun with a Purpose

This last weekend we had a joint activity with young women in our ward. We went skiing. We were going to spend a lot of our budget on this activity so I wanted to make sure we used our time and money wisely. I suggested to all of the Venture Crew that we should be working on a scouting award while we were up there. Because it was a Crew/Scout activity I suggested they all work on the Snow Sports Merit Badge. I handed out the requirements that they would need to complete in order to get the badge. I told each Young Man to come and find me to pass off the award. We followed all of the scouting rules of buddy system and trip permit to make it all official.

On the ski trip I had to Ventures come up to me and ask if I could go up with them and pass off the requirements for the "downhill" ski portion of the Snow Sports Merit Badge. I was happy to go up with them and show them what they needed to do and pass them off. I was impressed that they worked hard to demonstrate each skill. I even took them on a difficult run to get them to work on going down a hill with moguls. They did great!

One day later I was talking with one of the Crew and I was teasing him that I didn't see him once on the hill and that he missed a chance to get that merit badge. The young man turned to me (in front of his parents) and said, "I was really more interested in just having fun". I quickly replied to him, "Wrong Answer".

I need to do a better job at teaching the members of our Crew that each activity has a purpose. We are not just doing this for "FUN", there is a purpose. Fun is a byproduct of the tasks that we are working on. If we do the correct requirements, you will automatically have fun. If you just have fun without a purpose then it will fade away. Fun with a purpose lasts much longer. I will work on getting that idea across on our next activity.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


This next week we will be demonstrating our Pinewood Derby cars at a Cub Scout activity. I am encouraging all of the Ventures to wear their new Crew Uniform to the event. I was really struggling with how I could get the Ventures to wear their uniform to activities. I was talking with my sister over the weekend and she gave me a suggestion. I know it sounds a little "sophmoric" but she thought I might be able to offer a reward for wearing our crew shirts. I don't know what the reward could be but it would have to be something significant to the ventures. Something they would all want to receive. It would also have to be inexpensive so that it would not be too much of a burden on the Crew budget.

So, I am trying to think of items that would motivate our Crew Members into action. Movie Tickets, ski lift tickets, a coin, a staff, a gps. Hummmm, I don't know. I'll keep thinking about it and see if I can come up with something that would fit perfectly into this situation.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Only Half

Well, only half of my leaders attended our meeting. I should have called them all to remind them. So, I didn't have any of the Boy Scout leaders, one Venture leader and 2 Varsity Leaders. I really wanted everyone to be there so we could feel power in numbers and it backfired. It felt more like we were working on our own. Bummer. I need to be better at following up on our meeting schedule. I know I did a good job of communicating te meeting but not on following up and reminding everyone.

The meeting went well otherwise. Not the awesome inspirational meeting I was hoping for. We did come out of it with some great ideas.

Next meeting I will be calling and talking to each leader several times, over and over again to remind them of the meeting. We will get everyone to the next meeting for sure.

Motivating the advisors

Today I will be having a meeting with the advisors to try and get us all marching in the same direction. I want them to catch the vision of how we could be organized and what we should be doing with these boys. Right now, I think we just need the leaders to start being a good example. There have been times when the advisors will not be on their best behavior which causes the boys to follow. I really want the boys to become great men so they need an example to follow. I'm not saying that we can't have fun, the boys will not stay in the program if they don't have fun, but there is a time to have fun and a time to be serious and mature. We just need the leaders to show when and where it is time to be mature.

There is alot of potential in my group of advisors. Two of them have expressed interest in Woodbadge this year. I think it would be a great thing to see them go. I would, however, like them to go with the right attitude and spirit or the experience could be ruined. They need to go with the attitute that they will make the best use of this time and to try and be the best while they are there. Again, have fun but know when to step up and be mature.

Anyway, I'll let you know what happens after the meeting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Success and Failure

Well, I had some success and failure today. For some reason I am dwelling on the bad stuff more than the good.

Our President came through for us and brought pinewood derby cars for everyone. I was very happy and proud that he followed through for us. I do need to recognize him for his efforts. I thought he did great. That was a success.

One of our Venturing Crew finished his Duty to God for Deacons and Teachers and I asked him to bring his books and have them signed off and interviewed by the Bishop. He brought his books and the Bishop interviewed him and he is ready to receive it on Sunday. That was a success.

We didn't have much time after opening exercises to really do any Venturing. I wanted to talk about the Bronze Awards and more about our Crew. I wanted to hand out the Crew Shirts I made and have everyone commit to wearing them. We were so pressed for time I just handed out the shirts and we were off to make our Pinewood Derby Cars. What really was depressing was that one of the Young Men complained about having to wear the shirt. "Do we have to wear these shirts? I'm not wearing this shirt". AARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! I thought they would get with the program once we arrived at our activity to work on our cars. I was hoping that at least the Venture Crew Advisor would wear his. But no, it was just me and one other Venture that wore the shirt. Bummer!!!!

Anyway, I guess I need a little patience. This Venture Crew is starting from scratch so I guess I can't expect them to see the value of uniforms right off the bat. It is like turning the Titanic around. It takes time. I just wish they could see the vision I have of this Crew and what it could be. I just need to do a better job at selling the ideas to the Young Men.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Turn it over to the Young Men

Our Activity this week is to build pinewood derby cars. It was something that the Crew had planned before I became a leader so we will continue with this activity. We thought it would be appropriate to find someone in the "woodworking" field and have him show how to cut out the wood and also a little bit about his career. That way it would feel more like a Venturing activity instead of a cub scout activity.

I told our Crew President to pick up the pinewood derby cars and to find out what we need to get the pinewood derby track. I also talked to our Crew leader and he said he has someone in mind to talk us about woodworking. I'll give out our new Class B uniforms this week and hopefully we won't get them all dirty the first week.

I went and talked to our Crew President to find out how much he knows about Venturing and he really doesn't know anything, so I am thinking of asking someone from the Council to come and talk to the Young Men about Venturing and what awards they can receive.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that our Crew President had designed a couple of logos for our Crew. They were very rough but we can make it work. I'll make sure it happens.

Non of the boys have worked on their eagle projects yet. I was discouraged that non of them had even written down a brief description. I'll have to focus a little more on getting them started. Once they get started I think they will move along.