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.


Scoutmaster John said...

Another great must-read book for scouters is one by Brad Harris called "Trails To Testimony". I wrote about this one at http://blog.myscoutstuff.org/2010/06/trails-to-testimony-by-brad-harris/

Evenspor said...

I think Trails to Testimony is essential for LDS leaders (and parents). You can read what I wrote about it here:


The two really serve different purposes, and I would recommend them both. Trails to Testimony gives a great picture of what Scouting in the Church can be and why it is such a good program for the Church. The more I learn about Scouting, the more I can see why we use it. (Now if only all wards would use it right.) The other book is more of a "How to" outline. I forgot to mention that it is a general book for all Scouters, but it mentions LDS Scouting throughout, giving examples of how things work in an LDS troop. I get the impression the authors have experience in both LDS troops and traditional troops, which would offer valuable insight. They definitely have a lot of experience to draw from