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I’m considering coming back to scouting after years. I didn’t make make Eagle mostly because of a domestic issue when I was 15, but I served Troop 500, Telluride, CO., as an Assistant Scoutmaster after I turned 18 but before going to college. 

I spent my 20s as a horse riding instructor, my 30s as a location photographer and my 40s onward as a linguist—English teaching, transcription and translation. Because of the horsemanship, photography and English teaching, I didn’t settle down until recently. It occurred to me that the thing I most valued growing up was scouting. What I learned in scouting has served me time and time again from practical knots and orienteering, to first aid, or camp fires in pouring rain. 

I’ve been thinking about getting back into scouting for a while now as a scouter. My principal reasons are that I enjoyed sharing my knowledge in my roles as an instructor and I have a broad catalog of traditional outdoor skills. I would like to make a positive impact in youths’ lives and give back to my community. I believe in scouting and I would like to be part of it. 

I spoke to our local district commissioner but I remain a bit confused about what role I wish to play. In the scouting I grew up with in rural Colorado, most of the Scouters multitasked as MB counselors, leaders and council members. I believe I want a fairly active role. Any input would be appreciated.

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@Nemo, first, welcome. 

With your skills, I’d recommend two areas as you get back into the program:  Merit Badge Counselor and summer camp lodge director. 

Id start by taking training online. Youth protection is absolutely vital these days. 

Enjoy. 

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Welcome to the forum.

2 hours ago, Nemo said:

In the scouting I grew up with in rural Colorado, most of the Scouters multitasked as MB counselors, leaders and council members. I believe I want a fairly active role.

If you're still in rural Colorado, or just not a big city council, this is still the way it goes. If you're like me you'd prefer to work with the scouts. Definitely MB counselor. Find a troop that needs help, which is most troops. I'd start not too much larger. I've seen some people that can't say no and then they get sucked into so much that they burn out and walk away. If you just help a dozen scouts for 7 years then you will have made a huge impact.

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Welcome to the forums! And thanks in advance for all that you'll do for the youth.

Step one: don't say "I didn’t make make Eagle ..." ever again.

Instead, say, "I advanced to ___ rank in my troop." Or, "I aged out as a ___ scout with a smile!"

Any scout, upon hearing you say with pride the rank you earned might begin to think of whatever rank they're at with that same level of pride. Advancement is hard. Scouts need to understand and respect that.

Step two: It definitely sounds like you'd enjoy being a counselor for a number of the outdoor merit badges (Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Horsemanship, etc ...). So, complete youth protection training and do whatever your council wants counselors to do to be registered in good standing. Once you are registered, you will need to work to make sure any other certifications (e.g., Introduction to Oudoor Leader Skills) are added to your training record.

Step three: You might also contact your council training committee to look into helping train other scoutmasters or crew advisors. Also, being available to take photos for camporees and other district/council events could be a huge plus. Visiting troops to talk about your career could be a fun way to spend evenings. You would begin to do that by visiting roundtables and introducing yourself.

Step four: There might be a troop who needs a SM or ASM, but often the schedules and location have to be just right for that to work. Obviously, if you are multilingual, you might want to focus on scouts who don't speak English well.

Obviously, this four step plan is just one of many ways things could work for you. As you meet scouters in your vicinity, the later steps will be revised. So, keep an open mind and you will have an enjoyable adult scouting career!

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Thanks all!

I should mention I’m now in Gresham, OR, work in Portland. 

I enjoyed my role as ASM and believe this might work for starters. I have MB counseled for horsemanship, photography and archery. I am a fluent Spanish speaker and I have also worked with at risk youth in Spain and Chile.

I am of Chilean heritage and like to point out that Chile had the second Scouting program in the world in 1910, founded by Baden Powell himself. Now that I got that bragging point out of the way, 😉, on to business:

I am an avid cyclist & commuter and am very keen to promote best cycling practices for the good of the youth, community and environment. It’s a plus that it’s a silver MB. 

I’m also an avid sea kayaker and likewise am interested in promoting best practices. 

There are a lot of other areas I could counsel, but I’ll start with one or two to see how it goes. I wouldn't want to over commit, and not knowing when to say no.

I find the idea of photographing scouting events intriguing and would be open to that.

I’ve started the Youth Safety modules so I’m on my way. Council meets first Thursday, the Council Commissioner said I should arrive late, 7:30sh to avoid getting bogged down in council business.

 

9 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Welcome to the forums! And thanks in advance for all that you'll do for the youth.

Step one: don't say "I didn’t make make Eagle ..." ever again.

Instead, say, "I advanced to ___ rank in my troop." Or, "I aged out as a ___ scout with a smile!"

Any scout, upon hearing you say with pride the rank you earned might begin to think of whatever rank they're at with that same level of pride. Advancement is hard. Scouts need to understand and respect that.

Step two: It definitely sounds like you'd enjoy being a counselor for a number of the outdoor merit badges (Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Horsemanship, etc ...). So, complete youth protection training and do whatever your council wants counselors to do to be registered in good standing. Once you are registered, you will need to work to make sure any other certifications (e.g., Introduction to Oudoor Leader Skills) are added to your training record.

Step three: You might also contact your council training committee to look into helping train other scoutmasters or crew advisors. Also, being available to take photos for camporees and other district/council events could be a huge plus. Visiting troops to talk about your career could be a fun way to spend evenings. You would begin to do that by visiting roundtables and introducing yourself.

Step four: There might be a troop who needs a SM or ASM, but often the schedules and location have to be just right for that to work. Obviously, if you are multilingual, you might want to focus on scouts who don't speak English well.

Obviously, this four step plan is just one of many ways things could work for you. As you meet scouters in your vicinity, the later steps will be revised. So, keep an open mind and you will have an enjoyable adult scouting career!

 

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3 hours ago, Nemo said:

... I am of Chilean heritage and like to point out that Chile had the second Scouting program in the world in 1910, founded by Baden Powell himself. Now that I got that bragging point out of the way, 😉, ...

I learned your "bragging point" at the Chilean exhibit at World Jamboree this summer! At the opening show, a contingent of scouts from Chile sat behind my troop. They were an awesome group of kids!

Just to push you "out of the box," stay open to advising a venturing crew. Your mix of activities would appeal to older scouts. On the flip side, venturing can be a wild ride. But, let's not get bogged down in those details just yet. Enjoy meeting scouters in your counsel, and let us know what they offer you!

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Definitely shop around for a troop that fits the needs both ways. And as stated, be careful that you don't get over volunteered. I advise easing into things, taking the training online up front so that you know how scouting works these days. Some things remain the same and a lot of other things change over time. All of it is free to take online, so it's a great primer. And it's nice to be able to answer that you've recently retaken a lot of training. If you did your IOLS back in the day, that's fine. Modern IOLS isn't going to teach you anything new, but it might introduce you to others in your area. And it's all about knowing folks and sharing you're excitement. Drop by your district's round table and introduce yourself. It's a great way to meet a lot of folks from a lot of other troops and you might spark some friendships that lead you in. 

But above all, make sure you've got your YPT training done first. Being able to state that you're aware of the awesome responsibility involving working with youth and that you would like to meet folks and their troops is a great step forward. And as stated above, Venturing and other arms of scouting are all wonderful ways to be involved. 

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 I finished the YPT today and must say I really approve of that module. I’m in a much better place now and so I feel free to disclose and discuss, but Scouting gave me the resilience and skills to survive domestic violence, etc.  perpetrated of my stepfather. As mentioned before, I’ve decided to look at coming back to Scouting because I feel that Scouting gave me more than any other youth activity in which I participated and I would like to give back. I felt shy about mentioning it, but part of my reasoning for choosing Scouting was because I could be in a proactive position to help prevent child abuse, something that is very close to my heart. I also chose Scouting because upon reflection, besides a couple high school teachers, the role models I most looked up to growing up were my Webelos leader/ Sunday school teacher—a retired Telluride hard rock miner, and my Scout Masters—a Telluride locksmith/ski patrol (also Sunday school teacher),, and a rancher/school maintenance man. They were the people that made the biggest difference to me and the people I’ve most wanted to be like. 

Not to dwell on the subject too much, but I recently thanked one of them for being there. He actually apologized to me for not being able to do more. He knew my brother and I were getting a too liberal application of the belt and couldn’t do more under Colorado law which had too little definition of child abuse at the time—liberal belting was permitted. I suspected he knew because he stopped letting his son, a best friend, come over. Even though I already held the Scout Master in high esteem, that he was mindful of the belting and trying to do something about it I found reassuring. I guess I’m telling you this story just to let you all know that you can and do make a difference. I’m fully behind the YPT module. I believe all adults that have youth leadership roles could benefit from its training. 

 

11 hours ago, qwazse said:

 

 

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