Demystifying the Den Chief

This January Goldenrod District will be holding a Den Chief training for Boy Scouts throughout the district. This training will give Scouts a chance to learn the skills necessary to serve as a Den Chief for Cub Scout Packs. However, few packs in Goldenrod utilize this resource and much of that may be due to a lack of understanding about the role of the Den Chief in the Cub Scout Pack. This blog post will be am attempt to better explain just where the Den Chief fits into your Cub Scout Pack.

Why have a Den Chief?

  • Cub Scouts often relate better to older boys than to adults. The Den Chief has stories to tell about his adventures as a Boy Scout and his experience as a Cub Scout. By hearing a firsthand account of the fun and excitement that lies ahead a Cub Scout is more likely to continue in the pack and much more likely to cross over to Boy Scouts.
  • They are an asset to the Den Leader. The Den Leader benefits from the training and knowledge that a Den Chief provides. In addition the Den Leader gains another valuable set of hands to assist with den activities.
  • They are an asset to the Cubmaster. Den Chiefs help with pack activities, including songs, skits, games, ceremonies, and much more. In addition the Den Chief’s influence can extent beyond his den and can serve as an example to parents in the pack of the skills and confidence their sons can acquire as they become Boy Scouts.
  • They are a link between the pack and troop.  Successful Scoutmasters know the Den Chief is not only a communications link to the pack and its leadership, but that the Den Chief should be a key participant in planning joint activities between the pack and troop. This helps to strengthen the youth leaderships skills of both the Den Chief and the entire troop, and creates further opportunities for advancement.

What is a Den Chief?

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Matching your membership number

This is what I hope to be the first of many instructional/training videos that I would like to produce to help out with just how to accomplish things online.

For the first one I am keeping it simple and showing how you would match up your membership number to your online myscouting.org profile. So click on the link and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vCr9Drzm0c

Take a look and let me know what you think. Would you like more videos like this? What other topics should be covered in these videos?

The Unit Liability Whatzit?

At this time of year many of our units are working on their annual recharter process. While this can be a stressful time for everyone, I would like to take the time to explain one small portion of it and hopefully clear up some confusion at the same time.

When you complete your unit’s charter, you will get a page that looks something like this: 

Charter Page

On this page there is a line for what is called the “Unit Liability Insurance Fee.” It also lists that the fee is $40.00. There is often some confusion about this fee and what it is for and what it covers, so I figured it might help to take a little time and explain the purpose of this fee and other information about it. 

The Unit Liability Insurance Fee was previously known as the Charter Fee and is used to fund the National Council’s general liability insurance program. Every dime, or 100%, of this fee goes to that fund and it helps to defray the expenses of the general liability insurance program.

So what does this program cover, and why should you care? 

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National Youth Leadership Training

The registration for 2014′s National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) course has officially opened. This course is a great chance for our Scouts to get top-notch leadership training alongside their fellow Scouts, but just what is involved in the NYLT course?

NYLT, or Pahuk Pride as it is known here in Mid-America Council, is a seven-day, high-energy, outdoor youth leadership development adventure. The course will challenge each participant’s mental, physical, and emotional condition.

NYLT is not your typical summer camp. When Scouts arrive at NYLT they will be assigned to a random patrol where they will live, learn, and grow together. The program does not offer field sports, merit badges, or a regular trading post. Scouts are there to learn leadership skills to take back to their Troops, not earn advancements. However, that does not mean the Scouts will not have any fun. Actually it is quite the contrary as this program often fills up quickly due to the number of Scouts who want to participate and the positive experiences they bring back and share with their fellow Scouts.

In addition to the myriad of leadership skills a Scout will bring back from attending NYLT, they will also be eligible to attend the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, or NAYLE. This program is only offered at Philmont Scout Ranch, and gives Scouts the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills in the Philmont Backcountry.

If you have a Scout who is interested in attending 2014′s National Youth Leadership Training, visit the link at the bottom of this post to find out more information. I would also encourage you to talk with others who have attended, or sent a Scout through the program to get a better feel for just what is expected of our Scouts who participate.

Troops are limited to registering only 2 Scouts until February 1st. After than registration is limited only by the number of slots that remain (As of this writing, there were only 96 spots remaining.).Remember, this course fills quickly, so the sooner you register your Scouts the better chance they will have to attend this premier training opportunity.

Have you sent a Scout to NYLT? What kind of experience did he have? Would you recommend it to others?

For more information about NYLT click here or visit the council webpage.

How to Log Journey to Excellence (JTE) Service Hours

As a part of a unit’s Journey to Excellence each pack, troop, and crew are encouraged to participate in service projects, with one each annually benefiting your chartering organization. Bronze, silver, and gold levels can be attained by all, but hours must be logged into the collection site. So where does one go to enter these hours into the system? How do you make sure that your unit gets credit for completing the service hours that they worked so hard completing? Well, the process is actually rather simple, and here’s how you do it.

How to log your JTE service hours:

  • Go to the following website to website to begin the process: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/JourneyToExcellence.aspx
  • Look for the “Journey to Excellence Service Hours Information ” area of the screen. This area has links to both log your service hours and instructions for first time users.
  • To enter your hours, click the”Service hours website” link and log in.
    • If you are a first time user, you will need to set up an account. To do this you will need your Unit ID Number. If you do not know this number (and let’s be honest almost nobody does) then you need to contact either your council office or your District Executive.
  • Use your Unit ID Number to log your hours and to print recognition certificates for your next meeting.

An alternate way to log in your service hours would be through your MyScouting account. Simply click on the “Journey to Excellence” link on the left side of your screen, and it will direct you to the log in page mentioned above.

It’s as simple as that. Be sure to go and log in your unit’s service hours so that you get the recognition your and your Scouts deserve. If you have any questions be sure to contact your District Executive.

Happy Scouting!

A new home for the Goldenrod District Blog!

Welcome everyone to the new home of the Goldenrod District Blog!

Some of you may ask why our district blog needed a new home to begin with when the old one is only a few months old. Well, the hope is that this new home will allow for some more cool features that the other site did not have. This is obviously still a work in progress, and a labor of love. I will work on migrating the posts from the other site to this one so that you will only have to keep track of a single place.

I invite you to poke around, and look at some of the new features of this site. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us, or leave a comment in the comments section.

Enjoy the new site!

Ideal Year of Scouting and how it can work for you

For this blog post, I wanted to take the position of a parent who is new to Scouting. If I were a new parent what would I want to know first about the program. After some thought, I came up with this. I would want to how often they meet, where do they meet, and how much is Scouting going to cost.

To that end I want to explore the Ideal Year of Scouting (IYOS) guidebooks that are produced by our council every year. Their are two different versions for the IYOS, one for Cub Scouts and one for Boy Scouts. Both can be found in the “Useful Forms” section of this blog.

So what is the IYOS Guide? At its heart it is a down-sized project management tool. Some of the benefits that can be obtained from the IYOS Guide are:

• A stronger program for your boys at less personal cost to you

     • More parental involvement

     • More boys camping

     • Better retention

     • More funding with less time spent fundraising

     • Possible elimination out-of-pocket expenses for your parents

     • Enough money to do all of your activities

     • A simpler, easier, and more fun Scouting program

The concept behind the IYOS Guide is broken down into six simple steps. Let’s review those six steps and examine them a little more in-depth now.

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