Welcome to the LDS Scouter Blog. We hope to provide you with valuable information, share useful resources and maybe even improve some attitudes and Ward Scouting programs. The recommended way to use this blog is to start with the post, "Why I started this blog." Then browse through the post titles in the archive (found in the sidebar) for topics of interest.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beginning Boy Scouts

We were asked to review Beginning Boy Scouts by Jeremy C. Reed and Heather R. Reed. We both read it so that you could have the viewpoints of someone who has experience as a Boy Scout and Boy Scout leader and a parent of boys who has no experience in the Boy Scouting program.

From firebirdluver:

I found this book to be an excellent introduction to Boy Scouting. It includes most of the basic “need to know” items and includes references to more in depth material. I would highly recommend this book, even for experienced scouters. Novices will find it to be a good introduction of what is expected of them, as parents, leaders or as a new Boy Scout. I particularly appreciated the sections on the Patrol Method and Adult Leadership. (The individual Boy Scout could easily use this to help improve his troop, because it will tell him what he and his leaders should be doing). This book is a relatively easy read and the format facilitates rapidly looking up a specific points of interest.

From Evenspor:

I thought this was a really good overview of the program. I think many parents would find this a useful resource to understand the program and help them know how they can best help their boys. I think it would also be useful as a continual reference as their boys progress through the ranks. I found the section in the back about the Eagle Scout project to be especially useful. I am really glad we will have this on our shelf as our boys go through Boy Scouts.

I can also see this being useful to leaders, although definitely not a replacement for training. In fact, I felt there could have been more emphasis on training (as you know, I think that is a pretty important part of Scout leadership). It not only gives a good overall picture of how the program is supposed to work, it is full of little tips to help you find that balance between helping the boys and letting them lead.

A few notes about this book: This only covers Boy Scouting, not Cub Scouts, Varsity or Venturing. According to the authors, there will probably be a Cub Scouting book in the future, but Varsity and Venturing books seem unlikely. I inquired about digital versions, and they said there is a possibility of digital format in the future, but right now it is not a guarantee. One disappointment for me was that I felt it could use more editing, but I do not think that would ruin most people's reading experience.

Disclosure: We were provided a copy of the book in exchange for review. We received no other compensation and all opinions are our own.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Until we meet again...

I debated whether to post this, because it is not inspirational or instructional. It is about Scouter camaraderie, though, and it's what's on my mind.

Yesterday there was going to be a Cub Scout Pow Wow in our district. It was to be the first ever in our area. Pow Wows are usually held on the other side of the state where the Council Headquarters are.

It was only going to be a smallish Pow Wow. After a big push, we managed to get 30 people signed up. (About a third of those were from our Quad Pack - yay us). I was excited we were going to get so many trained. I was excited about the class I was teaching. I was excited to be spending the day with my Scouting friends.

They had a good reason to cancel, though. One of the people running the Pow Wow - one of our district training chairs - died unexpectedly Wednesday night. They were going to proceed anyway, but the funeral was scheduled for Saturday, and since most of the training staff was going to be at the funeral, that wouldn't work.

We, unfortunately, weren't able to make it to the funeral due to sickness. It was held in the same building that the Pow Wow would have been in, because that was her ward house. I imagine she was the one who had arranged for the Pow Wow to be there. I heard all her Scouting friends were going in uniform (they asked the Stake President if it would be okay).

I first met Marilyn last year when she was in charge of a district training day we helped with. I liked her right away. She was the first person, besides my husband, that I told my idea about this blog. Then when I got it up and going I sent it to her before anyone else. I had to turn her down recently when she asked me to help with another district training. Then she was the one who gave me my assignment for Pow Wow.

Goodbye, Marilyn. We will get everyone trained another way. We will have another chance to try Pow Wow next year. And I am sure we will have you in our hearts as we do.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Academics and Sports

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is a great way to supplement regular advancement. It gives an opportunity for frequent recognition, which has been shown to better maintain the boys' interest in Scouting.

Many of the requirements for the belt loops and pins match up with things the boys are doing anyway. Here is a list of some possible places to take advantage of overlap. Some of these correspond directly, and some are just related. This list isn't comprehensive. I am sure you will find more ways to combine things. But this should give you a good start. (Note: The list includes Tiger requirements, even though the Church does not sponsor Tiger dens)

Art - Tiger: Elective 15; Wolf: Elective 12; Bear: Elective 9; Webelos: Artist*
Astronomy – Bear: Elective 1, Webelos: Scientist*
Chess – Tiger: Elective 3; Wolf: Achievement 10g; Bear: Achievement 10b; Webelos: Scholar*
Citizenship – Tiger: Achievement 1, Elective 10 or 11, Elective 47; Wolf: Achievement 4e & 4f, Achievement 9b, Achievement 7c & 7f; Bear: Achievement 3a & 3j, Achievement 6a, d, e, f, g; Webelos: Family Member, Citizen*
Collecting – Tiger: Elective 16; Wolf: Achievement 6, Elective 6b; Bear: Achievement 17d, Elective 22; Webelos: Geologist
Communicating – Tiger: Achievement 4, Elective 20; Wolf: Elective 1c, Elective 2, Elective 6, Elective 22c; Bear: Achievement 17a, Achievement 18b & 18f; Webelos: Communicator*
Computers – Wolf: Elective 21; Bear: Achievement 17d, Achievement 18e; Webelos: Communicator*
Disabilities Awareness – Wolf: Elective 6b; Webelos: Communicator
Family Travel – Webelos: Traveler
Geography – Bear: Achievement 17d; Webelos: Traveler*
Geology - Tiger: Elective 16; Wolf: Achievement 6; Bear: Elective 22; Webelos: Geologist*
Good Manners – Tiger: Elective 9; Wolf: Achievement 8, Elective 12f; Bear: Achievement 18e
Heritages – Tiger: Achievement 1; Bear: Achievement 8; Webelos: Family Member*
Language and Culture – Tiger: Elective 3, Elective 16; Wolf: Achievement 6, Achievement 10g, Elective 22; Bear: Achievement 10b, Elective 22; Webelos: Scholar*
Map and Compass – Tiger: Achievement 2; Wolf: Elective 12f; Bear: Elective 23; Webelos: Traveler*
Mathematics – Tiger: Elective 13; Wolf: Elective 21b; Bear: Achievement 9a & 9b Achievement 13; Webelos: Family Member, Engineer* Scholar*
Music – Tiger: Elective 6, Elective 7, Elective 36; Wolf: Elective 11; Bear: Elective 8; Webelos: Showman*
Nutrition – Tiger: Elective 23, Elective 25Wolf: Achievement 8, Elective 12f; Bear: Achievement 9, Achievement 13a; Webelos: Fitness
Pet Care – Tiger: Elective 43; Wolf: Elective 12a & 12f, Elective 14; Bear: Achievement 17d, Elective 16; Webelos: Naturalist
Photography – Wolf: Elective 21b; Bear: Elective 11
Reading and Writing – Wolf: Elective 1a, Elective 6; Bear: Achievement 18
Science – Tiger: Elective 30, Elective 42; Wolf: Achievement 6, Elective 8b & 8c, Elective 15; Bear: Achievement 5d, Elective 4, Elective 15; Webelos: Science*
Video Games – Bear: Achievement 13; Webelos: Family Member
Weather – Tiger: Achievement 5; Bear: Elective 2; Webelos: Scientist*
Wildlife Conservation – Wolf: Elective 13; Bear: Achievement 5; Webelos: Naturalist

Archery – (Day Camp Only) Wolf: Elective 20c, Elective 23e; Bear: Elective 20a
Badminton – Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20a; Bear: Achievement 23b & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Baseball - Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20l; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
Basketball – Wolf: Achievement 1j, Elective 20m; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
BB Gun Shooting – (Day Camp Only) Wolf: Elective 20n; Elective 23e
Bicycling – Tiger: Elective 37; Bear: Achievement 14; Webelos: Sportsman**
Bowling – Wolf: Elective 20g; Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Fishing – Wolf: Elective 19; Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Flag Football - Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20j; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
Golf - Tiger: Elective 35; Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Gymnastics – Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Hiking – All: Leave No Trace Award, Outdoor Activity Award, Wolf: Elective 18b, Elective 23c; Bear: Achievement 12b
Hockey – Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
Horseback Riding – Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Ice Skating – Wolf: Elective 20e; Bear: Achievement 23c, Elective 20c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Kickball - Tiger: Elective 35; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
Marbles - Tiger: Elective 35; Webelos: Sportsman**
Physical Fitness – Wolf: Achievement 1h, Elective 20; Webelos: Athlete* Sportsman**
Roller Skating – Wolf: Elective 20f; Bear: Elective 20e; Webelos: Sportsman**
Skateboarding - Webelos: Sportsman**
Snow Ski and Board Sports – Wolf: Elective 20d; Bear: Achievement 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Soccer - Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20k; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c, Elective 20b; Webelos: Sportsman***
Softball - Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20l; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c;
Webelos: Sportsman***
Swimming – Wolf: Achievement 1h & 1i; Bear: Achievement 23c, Elective 19; Webelos: Aquanaut*
Table Tennis - Wolf: Elective 20a; Bear: Achievement 23b & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Tennis - Tiger: Elective 35; Wolf: Elective 20a; Achievement 23b & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman**
Ultimate - Tiger: Elective 35; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***
Volleyball - Tiger: Elective 35; Bear: Achievement 23a & 23c; Webelos: Sportsman***

* Earning this belt loop as a Webelos is possible requirement for this Activity Badge
**One of the Sportsman requirements is to earn any two individual sports belt loops
***One of the Sportsman requirements is to earn any two team sports belt loops

Sunday, November 6, 2011


7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study‍ it out in your mind; then you must ask‍ me... (
D&C 9:7-8)

We teach our primary children that this applies to the temporal as well as the spiritual. "You can't just pray for God to give you the answers on a test. You need to study first, then pray for help remembering what you studied."

Before sending missionaries out to teach the gospel, we send them to an MTC to receive training, and if it's relevant, to receive a foundation in a new language. Then we rely on the Spirit to guide them as needed.

We know these things, yet we often forget to apply them as adults. Dallin H. Oaks reminded us last year that we should use available medical help and current science in addition to prayer, fasting and priesthood blessings in matters of health.

It is tempting to think, "This is a Church activity, so we'll be safe," or, "I was called and set apart, so I will receive all the inspiration I need," or, "The Lord called me, so that means He feels I am qualified," then to do nothing, save it be to ask for inspiration or for the boys to listen or for the activity to go well and that we'll all be safe.

Get trained. Attend Roundtables. Read the Handbook. Know the rules of Safe Scouting.