BOOK SUMMARY: Scouting leaders want to be successful but often don't know how to do the job. This is a how-to book with real-life success stories and guidelines garnered through 40 years of Scouting Experience and through the observation of hundreds of Scouting units both successful and unsuccessful. The book details 10 keys to a successful Scouting experience for youth and adults.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: This books comes after a life-time of observation of good and bad Scouting units. It summarizes the qualities and characteristics of the Scouting units which have been very successful. This book of inspiration is a must-read book for all current and future leaders within the Boy Scout program.

WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN: This book was written to motivate and inspire all leaders within the vast program of the Boy Scouts of America. The book contains information and material that if followed, will make great units that will in turn, have great impact upon the current and future lives of boys in the program - and in their posterity of generations to come.


10 Keys to Scouting Success and a Lifetime of Joy


COPYRIGHT 1991, 2007 by KEVIN V. HUNT, Scouting Trails




Summary: 10 Keys to Successful Scouting 3












Do you remember your first campout as a boy? What about the smell of that campfire and the brotherhood shared? Do you recall that special leader who was there to make a difference in your life just as you needed him most? Those were great times!

Do you remember when you were selected as leader of that scruffy looking group of rowdy boys? You thought to yourself, "Why me? ... I don't know anything about Scouting! How did I get cornered into this one?" That's what most of us felt when faced with that new challenge but we soon learned that we were in for the time of our lives.

If you were a Scout or if you're now a seasoned volunteer veteran, this book will bring back some of those special memories. If you're a greenhorn or current leader you may here find some helpful hints to assist you in the awesome challenge which now is yours. Whatever your Scouting experience, this book is for you. For simplicity I'll just call you "Mr. Scoutmaster", even though you may serve in many Scouting roles. How's that for generic?

If you're the seasoned veteran, sit back and enjoy. We'll get to you in a minute ... ! If you are the new leader, we better first give you a few helps to get you started. You old timers can listen in too if you wish. Who knows! Maybe we can teach an old dog a new trick or two.

Hold on a moment, Mr. Greenhorn Scoutmaster, ... and don't panic! You can do it! Those first few weeks on the job may be a little traumatic but after that, it's all fun! If you can just make it through the initial shock you'll be great. So take a minute now and get a good breath. ...

There! ... Now that you have relaxed a bit, it's time to get started.

Whether you're a Den Leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Explorer Adviser or even District Executive, you're in for an exciting adventure in Scouting. Congratulations and welcome aboard! You're to be commended, Mr. Scoutmaster, for your willingness to serve. It takes a special kind of person to serve today's young men. You have ahead of you, a heap of work, a few tears, and a lifetime of memories.

Whether you realize it at this point or not, yours is an enviable position. Just think of your potential in the lives of boys! That's right: You now have in your power the opportunity to reach out, to help, to serve. You can be a lasting and powerful influence in the life of a boy. You'll soon be indelibly etched in the lives of many a youth struggling now to become a man. You'll be their hero and their friend forever. Sounds a bit awesome, doesn't it!

I started my own Scouting career at least a hundred years ago as a Cub Scout. Since then I have had some wonderful experiences along the Scouting trail.

A few years ago, I took the initiative to plan a reunion for former Scouting friends from good old Troop 155. It took some effort but I located the addresses for many of those friends I've known along the way and whom I hadn't seen for many years. I decided that while I was at it, I might as well invite everyone whom I could remember being associated with the Troop over the past twenty five years.

Prior to the reunion I wrote to all the guys and invited them to come and share an evening of Scouting nostalgia. I urged everyone to send some of their own Scouting memories for inclusion in a troop history to be presented at the reunion.

There were some skeptics who didn't think the evening would ever come off but with a little work it turned into a fun filled evening loaded with nostalgia. Over 75 people turned out for the grand affair. In the crowd were former Scouts, several of the troop's Scoutmasters, parents, wives and friends.

It was interesting to see how everyone had changed over the years. Some had put on a little weight and a few had lost their hair. For the most part though, we could recognize everyone. Some of the guys were a bit more mellow and refined than had been the case in previous years, but that mischievous spark was still evident in most of the gang.

It was fun also to have our wives there and to show them off to each other I was pleased that my wife really went all out to make herself gorgeous for the evening. I think some of the guys were somewhat surprised that a "fat kid" like me could do so well. I think that all the guys present had done okay in the wife area. There were a few guys that were still bachelors and of course they got ribbed by the rest of us.

We started the evening's festivities with a dinner. We could have assigned the meal and had everyone involved but we decided that we would prepare it all so that no one would have excuse for not coming. We went all out with a delicious barbecue with all the trimmings. Like old times, our former Scoutmaster was willing to give his all and volunteered to provide the meat for the occasion.

After the meal we had everyone stand up to introduce themselves. Each Scout or leader present also got a chance to share some Scouting memories with their introduction of themselves. A lot of war stories were shared. The more stories shared the more fun that evening became.

I shared the history that I had prepared and this seemed to stimulate everyone to thinking of "those good ol' days". The passage of time had made even some of the challenging times seem jolly and exciting. Some of the war stories shared by the troops were a real hoot. Boy, we had some fun times back then in Troop 155.

Some of the wives and parents present learned a few things about their Scout that came as quite a revelation to them. That added to the excitement of the occasion and made for even more laughs.

The special thing about the evening was seeing the progress that each Scout had made in his life. As a leader working with boys it is sometimes difficult in the trauma of the moment to see beyond the rotten dirty-faced kid in green khakis to that same boy as a man.

That night at the reunion, it was evident that Scouting had made a lasting impression on all of us present. For those of us who had served as leaders, the evening became especially meaningful. It was a neat experience to see what Scouting had done in the lives of those rotten little kids of years ago. We finally saw some of the results of our efforts which we had thought at times were fruitless.

Scout after Scout stood and recited the effect that Scouting had had in his life. It was with sincere pride that we could realize our influence upon the men present. That's when those long ago aims of character development, fitness, and citizenship training came together in a grand realization that perhaps we had accomplished some- thing, after all. Suddenly all the effort back then was worth it.

With all the laughs and reminiscing of special moments shared, some of us shed a tear or two. After everyone except Scoutmaster Jim and I had gone, he and I had a quiet moment together. The dishes were done and the place was cleaned up. I tried to get him to divulge the amount of money that he had spent on the meat so that I could pay him and square away the budget.

Jim was his usual generous self and wouldn't give me any monetary figure. (He hasn't changed over all these years!) He always was a little on the emotional side, but it was evident that he'd been especially touched by the special evening we had just experienced. Tears came to his eyes as he blubbered, "How can you put a dollar figure on something like that?" I knew just what he meant. I felt the same way. I had to fight the tear in my own eye.

What a special experience we had enjoyed. All our work and toil and discouragement of the past now had paid off. It was a neat thing to realize our impact on many a boy. My feelings for this great man were even stronger as I realized and appreciated the sacrifice he and others had made for me.

So you see, Mr. Scoutmaster, that's what you have to look forward to!

In retrospect I've learned a few keys which may be helpful to you as you now labor. I would therefore, like to share these keys with you in the hope that they may be beneficial to you.

There are ten keys which I would recommend to you. No matter where serve in Scouting, these keys apply to you. As I look back on my total Scouting experience I see these elements used by all of the successful leaders that I've known.


1. “THE KEY OF TRAINING” -- Become trained so that you can function properly and effectively. A trained leader generally is a good leader.

2. “THE KEY OF TEAMWORK” -- Realize that you can't do it alone. Develop a capable team of parents and others to support and assist you.

3. “THE KEY OF RESOURCES” – There is a lot of support and help out there for you. Use the many resources that are available to you.

4. “THE KEY OF CALENDARING” -- An effective program is best planned at least a year in advance. With your youth leaders and adult team, plan a fun-filled calendar of Scouting activities for the next twelve months.

5. “THE KEY OF YOUTH MOTIVATION” -- Inspire and train your boy leaders to rise to their full leadership potential. Give them opportunities for growth through service in your unit.

6. “THE KEY OF SCOUTING IDEALS” -- Constantly teach the ideals of Scouting. Make the Scout Oath, the Law, Motto, and Slogan come to life with real meaning in the lives of your boys.

7. “THE PATROL METHOD, THE KEY OF SCOUTING” -- Utilize the patrol method in all phases of the program -- the den and pack, the patrol and troop, the squad and team. Be the inspiration and motivation for patrol spirit.

8. “THE KEY OF EXAMPLE” -- Always wear your complete uniform and encourage your boys to do the same. Speak and act as you want your boys to become.

9. “THE KEY OF FRIENDSHIP” -- Show a genuine love and concern for your young men. Take time to be a friend and hero to them.

10. “THE KEY OF JOY IN SERVICE” -- Put your whole heart into the job. Enjoy each scouting moment as it comes and too soon passes.

Well, there you have them: Ten keys, which when used, can open limitless doors to effective programs, eternal friendships and pride in the strength of true Christ-like service. Give the keys a try ... and good Scouting to you!

You're in for a great adventure as you use these keys. Use them as you wear out your life in service for our kids. There will, no doubt, be some discouraging times, but hang in there. Yours is a mission that will help shape the destiny of future generations yet unborn. No one can thank you enough for your desire to serve.

The first of the keys you’ll need for the job is the KEY OF TRAINING! It is vital to your success and that of the program that you be trained in your duties. Generally, a trained leader is a good one! Training will give confidence to you to use the additional keys of teamwork, youth motivation, the patrol method, calendaring, resources, and Scouting ideals.

Training can help you be better in your role of example and friendship and will help you experience the exhilarating joy of service because YOU'LL BE PREPARED!

As a new leader you should receive a very basic job orientation training by the former leader, the commissioner, committee chairman or whoever recruited you. This is such an overview that it is only the “BandAid” to help you survive the first couple of months on the job. You won't get in-depth skills, but will get a synopsis of your duties. Hopefully you'll get just enough (or not enough) to convince you to attend the first available training offered by the local Scout district or council.

As soon as possible--and at all costs--you should plan to attend the basic course. There's no substitute for this vital training. It will not be easy or convenient to attend. It will, in fact, be a real challenge to attend. Whether in Cub Scouting, Scouting, Varsity Scouting or Exploring, the basic training will involve a substantial commitment of time. It will be easy for you to rationalize saying that you don't need the training or that you don't have the time to attend or that it conflicts with your den, troop or team meetings.

Don't allow yourself to fall for these falsehoods that would entice you away from being a good leader. You NEED the training and you NEED to attend. It is the keystone for the future of your program, your success and the development of your boys.

Make basic training a real priority! To say that you don't need the training is foolishness. In my career as both a volunteer and professional Scouter I've attended training for all the different programs at least ten times each. I can honestly say that with every training course I've attended I've gained new ideas, skills, or insights.

Technically you are required to attend only one full training course per program. I think you'll want to keep attending, however. That first time you go, you'll come out with your head swimming. There will be so much that is new that there will be no way you can internalize and implement it after just the one session. By attending the second time you can gain many new skills. You will have been on the job long enough to know how much you don't know.

You say you don't have time? You really don't have time not to go! By building a strong leadership base through initial training you'll save literally hundreds of hours later.

Are you one of those who feels you're indispensable? It may shock you to learn that no one is! The unit can even function for a couple of months without you while you attend the basic training. Surely you've got a parent or a committee member (or even a commissioner or someone from your chartered organization who can "babysit" your guys for the six week's training duration.

With the skills you'll acquire at the training course you can quickly make up for the time lost by your absence.

The basic training will help you see the vision of Scouting's mission, it's Aims, it's ideals and it's methods. You'll return to your unit enthused and ready to DO IT!

After you've been to basic training and after you've spent a year or so applying and practicing what you learned then it's time to go to Wood Badge training. Wood Badge is the ultimate in Scouting's leadership training. Nothing else can match it.

Sometimes I think we veteran Scouters run people off about Wood Badge by keeping it some secretive thing that no one can talk about. As a greenhorn leader myself I felt this aura of secrecy radiating from the old timers. I saw them all polishing their beads and singing, "I used to be a beaver ..." but no one would ever tell me about Wood Badge and what it really is. All they said was, "You must go!" Consequently, I successfully dodged it for years.

Having once experienced Wood Badge I was sorry that I hadn't availed myself of it much earlier. It was one of the truly great experiences of my life.

Since that time I've tried to put new leaders at ease with Wood Badge. Without divulging the exact methods of Wood Badge, I've explained that "Wood Badge is an advanced training which centers on the Patrol Method. As a member of a patrol, you'll be able to experience first-hand, patrol operation, patrol spirit and teamwork. You'll learn of eleven leadership skills like planning, evaluating, and teaching techniques.

"You'll apply these leadership skills within the Wood Badge patrol and troop. As you leave Wood Badge you'll be asked to prepare a 'TICKET', a contract listing ways you'll apply the eleven leadership skills to your home troop, pack or team. You'll then have up to two years to work your 'ticket' and to receive your 'beads' at it's completion."

Now, doesn't that put your mind at ease? That's probably more than you've ever known about Wood Badge. It's a fabulous program! I recommend it highly. You'll return from Wood Badge so full of the [Scouting] Spirit that you'll be hooked forever!

Become trained so that you can function properly and effectively. Remember: A trained leader [generally] is a good leader.

You're in for a great adventure as you become trained and begin to use all of these keys. Use them as you wear out your life in service for our kids. There will, no doubt, be some discouraging times, but hang in there. Yours is a mission that will help shape the destiny of future generations yet unborn. No one can thank you enough for your desire to serve.

So, once again, congratulations, "Mr. Scoutmaster!" Thanks for your desire and your commitment to your boys – the men of tomorrow!

And with that, ... WELCOME ABOARD!

And now it's time to go to work! You have a big job ahead of you, so let's get on with it. Let's take a closer look at each of those ten keys. Get your key chain and let's get started. To obtain a full download copy of this book, contact: Kevin V. Hunt:, (480) 833-4867, or write: Kevin V. Hunt, PO Box 8795, Mesa, AZ 85214