From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Scouting program mirrors organization’s first efforts

by Father Terence Tully, for the Inland Register

(From the March 22, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Boys leading boys, a type of leadership that combines fun with adventure and goodness, has been a fundamental of Scouting since its founding by Lord Baden Powell in England nearly 100 years ago. It continues to be fundamental today.

In 1907 Baden-Powell invited 21 English boys to the world’s first Boy Scout Camp on an island off the coast of England, which was called Brownsea. The boys were grouped into four patrols, because of the patrol method, another Scouting fundamental.

Patrol members are a team of friends, sometimes competing with other patrols, and learning to achieve through cooperation. Each patrol has its name and logo which can be printed on a pennant and attached to a staff. The larger organization, a Scout troop, is made up of several Scout patrols and the boy leader of the troop is the Senior Patrol Leader elected for a year’s term.

The boy leadership roles are real. The adult leaders such as the Scoutmaster are responsible for teaching the boy leaders their roles and for encouraging and supporting them.

Local Brownsea

In the United States the present-day shaping of boy leaders is a summer camp program for training boy leaders, and is called Brownsea, in memory of Baden-Powell’s original 1907 Scout Camp. The Inland Northwest Council Brownsea is to be held at Camp Cowles, June 23-30, at Diamond Lake, some 60 miles north of Spokane, according to Eagle Scout Thomas Feulner, who served as Senior Patrol Leader of the program last summer. Feulner was the youth leader overseeing the program in which every Scout is placed in some job of responsibility to practice leadership on a patrol or troop level.

The area of the Cowles reservation where Brownsea Scouts will be camping is undeveloped. It lacks the dining hall, the green grass parade ground, the beach, climbing tower, toilet facilities, etc. of other camps at Cowles, and so makes the Brownsea Scouts “pioneers” in a sense and requiring more skills and energy, more helping one another, more calls upon their leadership abilities.

I asked Eagle Scout Feulner to describe in detail the Brownsea activities by which leadership skills are taught. But he said the element of surprise is a key to the program and to publish details would reduce its effectiveness.

He did, however, give me a bare list of some activities:

  • A talk on what leadership skills are.
  • Team building.
  • Games that require initiative in the Scouts who conducts them.
  • Some competing of one patrol with other patrols.
  • Evening campfire program featuring stories that entertain and stir enthusiasm.

Underlying all this is exemplification of the Scout Oath and Scout Law by the young leaders.

Information

For information on the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting and its activities, contact Father Terence Tully, diocesan Scout chaplain, 221 E. Rockwood Blvd., Apt. 308, Spokane, WA 99202-1200, phone (509) 458-7674; or James Burgen, acting chairperson, Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, 3303 W. 8th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204; pager phone (509) 880-5498. Click here for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s web site!


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