Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Making a NEW New Year's Resolution

While stores and internet ads are now pushing aside the decadent desserts of the holidays, shedding the fleece-lined sweatshirts, putting their snow boots on clearance, and focusing all energies on helping us lose that 20 pounds gained over the Christmas break, this morning I was inspired to eat better, get a little more exercise, and NOT make losing weight my only long-term resolution this year.

Instead, this morning I faced a startling decision: a new year calls for a new goal all together. I was struck by this inspiration after getting onto Blogger for the umpteenth time since our roundtable in December, only to discover I still had no way of editing my blog and adding the latest issue of Cubmaster Pack Picks. And so, begrudgingly, I decided to quit blaming Blogger and try a different route. I ditched my traditional browser of choice, downloaded an entirely different browser, held my breath, and clicked on the icon. Within moments I was on my blog, loading the link to the January 2014 Pack Picks.

From this experience, I received the firm reminder that the internet and digital media are tools for our use, not some mysterious overlords to whom we must bow in submission. Or put another way, it was time to suck it up and be braver with technology.

It's sort of the pot calling the kettle black, really. It hasn't been that long since I first urged my cubmasters to "embrace technology" and let it make their job easier. With the rapidly increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets, there is also an increasing opportunity to embrace a whole fantastic world of digital media. We no longer need to buy one copy of the Guide to Safe Scouting for our pack and then fret about whose car it ended up in and whether we have it for our latest cub scout outing. Instead, with a few clicks, a free digital copy can be quickly loaded onto your device, ready to go wherever you do, the moment you load up your cubs and go. Check out the "Books and Guides" section I have on my blog, as well as all the links down either side column, and you'll quickly discover there is all sorts of great stuff that could live happily on your device, never again more than just a couple of taps away.

My new year's resolution? Try out other browsers, go looking for apps to make my life easier, and -- in one of my stronger moments -- finally give in and try out Windows 8 on the new laptop. Although I may have to break my other long-standing resolution and devour a bar of chocolate before I muster the courage to do that one --