Friday, August 16, 2013

Reality is Broken. In Scouting too?

B-P said that "scouting is a game with a purpose".  As much as that is so true of boy scouting, it has to be true of Cub Scouting.  With that in mind I started reading "Reality is Broken", by Jane McGonigal.

The book looks at how to make our reality better based on what's been learned by designing games.  Like the new merit badge, that doesn't mean just video games.  It looks at what really makes people like games.  Why do they spend hours playing?  Sometimes as much as a second job.  How can we take those lessons to make our every day work and life better?

I'm reading it thinking about Cub Scouting.  How do we keep it highly engaging for the boy?  How do we keep if fun and engaging for the adults?

I'll post more as I read though it.  Sounds promising!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thank you to two long time Scouters

Last night I attended my old troop's 30th anniversary and the retirement of my Scoutmaster and my Advancement Chair, Darrell and Susy Halverson.  When I was in Cub Scouts 30+ years ago these two were involved with our Cub Scout Pack.  The troop was started two years before their son was old enough to join the troop.  They started with 5 boys in the troop, like many new troops.  The next year I crossed over into it and was one of the 23 boys on the first summer camp trip.

These folks have probably forgotten more about how to do scouting than most Scouters will ever know.  They have been mentors, trainers, on the campouts, doing the paperwork, and encouraging the boys.  I can't say enough about the impact they have had.  I like'd what their son said.  "I think dad always regretted not getting his eagle....well, 44 of them is pretty good."

Thank you Darrell and Susy for all you've done!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Feeling busy and drained?

I ran across an article on being prolific which is an interview with Joss Whedon.  The guy behind things like Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Video Blog, and a little movie called Avengers.  He's made enough stuff I like that I took a look.  What struck me was that he has to do things a bit different than I'm used to since he is in such a creative field.  (I do tech work.)  It also struck me that there are some similarities to pack planning.

Joss has some interesting insights on how to design things creatively.  What struck me was that with creative arts, like cub scout event programs, it is better to do something less then perfect to get it done than it is to perfect it before trying.  That is different than engineering work.  We don't like buildings or bridges failing.  But we can take more risk when putting together a fun program.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Developing Perseverance

Stuff to Blow Your Mind has an interesting podcast on the topic of Willpower.  It has some interesting scientific findings on what affects a person's willpower or the Cub Scout Core Value Perseverance.

It has a lot of implications for Cub Scouting.  The influance of glucose at the moment of temptation is interesting.  They also talk about how a person's experience with the integrity of others will affect their willpower and self disciple.

I think it makes sense that those experiences will affect a person's ability to persevere.  If Billy regularly sees people not following through on what they say, then he will learn not to trust what they say.  As he learns to not trust people's statements about the future, it can extend from not trusting people to not trusting the world.  Why put off the pleasures of today when you don't expect the promises of tomorrow to be fulfilled, even when you do your part?

It makes me realize that to teach perseverance we need to let the boys see people fulfilling what they say they will do.  We have the chance to do that in our activities.  I'd never thought of intentionally including those promises and follow through specificly for teaching self-disciple before.  It would be worth pointing it out to the kids at times just to be sure they make the connection.  It will help to shapre their world view and ability to see the value in perseverance.

That's something that would work from Tigers to Adults.