Monthly Archives: October 2008

Sunday Night.. and all is well

The tent is hung and the gear is stored. Another camp out in the books and sealed in the memories of our Scouts… and leaders.

This weekend was our annual Webelos Woods Camp out. Every year we put together a nice event, when I say we, I mean the Troops of the District under the direction of a Webelos Woods committee, during the event the Webelos are encouraged to bring mom or dad and camp with a Boy Scout Troop. Sometimes Webelos dens camp alone, but more often than not the Webelos hook up with a local troop or a troop that they are looking into.
This year we had three Webelos dens camp with our troop. It amounted to a big crowd of plaid wearing, high energy, super scouts.
Needless to say we had a blast. I am extremely proud of the Troop. They started the weekend Friday night by helping the Webelos and their parents get their tents set up. They cooked all the meals for their patrols and invited the Webelos and their parents to eat with them too. They all ate well.. I ate with the patrols too this weekend.
Saturday was a busy day, the boys from the troop provided guides to make sure the Webelos got around to all the stations and earned their beads. They did archery, bb guns, fire building, some pioneering games and of course a visit to their hosts for some awesome cooking.
Noah and Cameron, and Lucas were stand outs this weekend.. they were extremely helpful and helped make the weekend a success for the Webelos.
One of the best parts of the weekend was this morning when James, our Chaplains aide did a fantastic Scouts Own service… totally off the cuff. The whole camp was in attendance. He talked about the choices we make in our lives and that by making the choice to stay in Scouting… we make our lives and the lives of people around us better.
I thought his message was spot on.
We sang a song, he invited me to do a Scoutmasters minute, and we closed with prayer. It was a real nice service.
It was nice to hear the comments about how prepared he was and that he represented our troop well.
The Webelos Woods Committee had asked if we would provide a Chaplains Aide to do the service, we agreed.. they were happy to see the results.
So it was a great weekend that showed us the future of our programs. The Webelos are there and are interested in coming up to the Troop.. I can’t wait to get them on the trail to new adventures.

Have a great Scouting Day!

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Some Leadership lessons from NOLS

The National Outdoor leadership School is a premier organization that teaches leadership using the outdoors as a class room.
It challenges the student to push themselves as they lead others. Critical thinking, skills, and team building are just a part of the course that drives the NOLS and its students to adventure, learning, and what they call the Expedition Behavior.
All of this translates well with the Boy Scouts of America.
Opportunities to take NOLS classes are many and I encourage you to take advantage of local courses. If nothing else, check out a Master Educator course for Leave no Trace.

So leadership the NOLS way…
Here are some of the responsibilities of a Leader, see how many directly translate to the BSA?

1. Help a group set goals and move them toward them safely.

2. Support and help create many strong leaders.
3. Encourage responsibility in each member.
4. Use individual and collective strengths.
5. Engender trust by serving as a role model.
6. Act as a mentor and coach others.
7. Be Accountable.
8. Create a safe environment for learning.

Sounds pretty much like the job description of the Patrol leaders and Senior Patrol Leader. Right?

We can learn a lot when we look outside of the box. Continuing to learn is part of dynamic leadership and when we look around we see opportunities everywhere.

The National Outdoor Leadership School is a fantastic organization, check them out and see what they offer.

Have a Great Scouting Day!
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And further more…

After re reading my last post, in response to a Jambo Interview question, I thought it interesting that as an Adult leader in Scouting…

We should know all that stuff and act like it too.. all the time. Not just when it comes to interviews.. and maybe, just maybe that is the key to a successful interview and program in general. So here are some thoughts on the post that stuck out to me.. and heck I wrote it.

Uniform. One thing that has been stressed a lot in the preparation for the Jambo is the uniform.
Now, I always wear the uniform complete and properly, but it strikes me as odd that many Scout leaders both do not understand the method and do not wear the uniform complete and properly.
So..yeah.. if you do not, check it out and follow the method.

Know the Scout Oath and Law.. and live it. The Scout oath charges us to “DO OUR BEST”. We are not perfect, that’s a fact, but we should at least try… Right?

And I’ll wrap this post up with the scenarios listed. [See the other post]
We should constantly be thinking about the risk and how we manage that risk as we go about the business of our Troop’s program.
Making notes, and keeping a journal aids me in remembering lessons learned.
Go over your notes and come up with the best courses of action for your unit. Share that with the Scouts, it will become invaluable in their leadership development.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Jamboree question

I opened the door.. so here it is:
JC, a reader of the Blog posted a comment it reads;
Any advise for those of us facing the Jambo interview process? “

Well JC, yeah I have some advise… now take it as advise, I can only tell you from my experience.
Our Council did interviews a while back and we are completely staffed already and in the process of training sessions and meetings.

First of all… Be in FULL Uniform. Head to toe. Make sure all of your patches are properly placed and you are not wearing anything “Unauthorized”.
If you are in the “Old Goat or rocking chair Patrol” of your home troop… while that is cute, take it off. The National Jamboree folks are not amused. (at least the folks at our Council weren’t.)
Run a hot iron over the shirt and get a hair cut.

Second. Be early. There was some activity before the actual interview. They took our pictures and had a small meet and greet.

Third. Know what the mission of the National Jamboree is.
“The mission of the jamboree is to provide a diverse group of Scouts and Scouters a meaningful and memorable experience that will instill the lasting values and traditions of Scouting in America, and our highest priority will be to conduct the jamboree in a safe and secure environment. ” – 2005 National Jamboree mission statement.
That will get you in the ball park.

Also know what the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is:
“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

The committee asked us to talk about our role in Scouting. Remember that is all for the boys.
They also asked us scenario questions such as;
What would you do if you are in DC and the bus is getting ready to leave and you are missing a Scout?
That type of stuff. Go over in your head the different situations that you think you may find yourself in.
I used the following list of situations:
1. Hotels
2. Airplanes
3. Museums
4. Camp
5. Tours (The Washington Mall)
6. Amusement park
7. Buses

Now take that and make a list of anything that can happen (go wrong) in those situations.
That prepared me for some of the scenarios.

Finally- If you really want to go to Jamboree as a Adult leader.. Then act like it. Demonstrate the confidence that you are ready to get on the plane tomorrow.
Show them you are Cheerful and ready, smile a lot and talk with confidence.

You will do great!
Hope that helps. Look me up at Jambo!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Hi Ho Hi Ho.. it’s get ready for Jambo!

I just returned from our Contingent “Get to know Ya!” Weekend.
During the weekend, we learned which leaders would be going with which in the 14 Troops that will be attending from the Cascade Pacific Council.
Since I have been selected to go as a Scoutmaster, I was extremely interested in who would be the team members that would make up our Troops Adult leadership. I could not have got a better team.
Dave, Rob, Adam, and I will be a terrific team to get the Scouts to DC and tour, Camp at Jambo, and return safely to home to tell of our outstanding adventure.
I honestly could not be happier with the team.

The lesson of the weekend was that no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the situation, problem or obstacle… working as a team we can do anything.

To be a high performance team, which is what it takes to move 36 Scouts and 4 Adult leaders from the West Coast to the East Coast, tour for a week in our Nations Capital and other historical sites, like Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon, Camp at the Jamboree for a week, and then a trip to Busch Gardens and then back home, is a must.
To get there, the team has got to come together and work well. Understanding who you are in the team is the first step. You must know your role as it applies to the team.
To know your role, you need to understand the job. What is expected of you? What is the job description? Do I have the skills and tools to do the job?
Part of this weekends events was to get to know who we were individually.
To do this we took and assessment. Now I won’t go into the details of the assessment, but suffice it to saw that after I took it… it was like looking in a mirror. The developer of the assessment read me like Boy’s Life.
The point of the tool was to have each leader look at him or herself and how they will complement or hinder the team. It is the Scoutmaster that will have to know the personalities of the leaders with him and how he can best provide PURPOSE, DIRECTION, and MOTIVATION.
Now as luck would have it, Purpose, Direction, and most of all Motivation are not hard to come by when we are talking about National Jamboree. Everyone at the training this weekend not only filled out an application, underwent an interview, was selected and accepted the position, but also is paying lots..and I mean lots of money for this adventure.

The motivation of the trip, showing the boys a part of the Nation that they may not otherwise see, and knowing that they will achieve a mountain top experience for it is all we need.

I will be writing a lot about Jambo. I have a great team, and we are planning for the time of our lives.

If you are on the fence.. get off!!! GO TO JAMBO. The Boy Scouts of America will only turn 100 once. You do not want to miss this opportunity of a life time.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Backpacking Tip of the week

Compliments of our friends at GORP, the GORP gear pro Keith Morton gives us a great tip how to keep your heavy stuff in the top section of your pack.

Fight Gravity’s Drag
Pin a stuff bag inside the pack to stop dense items from gravitating downward.

Murphy’s Law of the Inconvenient Migration of Stuff means that dense items (especially water bottles, hydration systems, large cameras, and fuel) tend to gravitate to the bottom of your pack, especially when the pack is not full and tightly packed. Those are precisely the items that often need to be handy and whose weight should be up high and close to your back between your shoulder blades for easy carrying.
Here’s a simple solution:
Suspend a stuff bag to form a pocket inside the pack at an appropriate height. Attach it with safety pins to the strong internal seam that encircles the top of most packs. That way the pins do not pass through to the outside skin of the pack, and it’s usually easy to push the pins through just the binding tape on the seam.
If you use a waterproof stuff sack, such as Outdoor Research Hydroseal bags (various sizes and prices, http://www.orgear.com/), you have extra protection against a leaking bottle or hydration system wetting the pack contents. Just don’t put the camera in with the water bottle!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Article and photo courtesy of GORP.
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A Solid Foundation

This morning as I watched the morning news, a story about a house in Portland that was sliding down a local hill, hit the headlines.
The news told us that a house in the West hills of Portland began sliding down the hill that it sat on and was currently resting at the bottom. Total loss. I feel terrible for the family.
As a result, all the streets in the area, both at the top of the hill and the bottom of the hill are closed, right during rush hour.. of course. I am sure that the people in traffic do not understand what is going on.

This house was not built on a solid foundation. Soft ground that typically is effected by foul weather. The lack of a solid foundation caused the house to fail and slide, effecting not only the family of the house, but those that have no idea who they are. Passers by and traffic.

Like this house we need to build our character on a solid foundation. We need to use the Scout law to set the foundation of our lives on. This solid set of values will ensure that as you build your life you will be able to weather to storms, the winds, rains, and trials of life.
The Scout law is a firm foundation that will never fail. As you build on your foundation you will effect others in a positive way.

Character is our foundation. The Scout law is what makes it strong.
Build your foundation with the Scout law.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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I’ll take some Webelos to go.. Please.

As much as my Troop is in fact our little Utopia of Scouting… We still have the need to go out and recruit.
It is that time of the year when we are out doing Webelos Den visits and they are coming to us for activities and visits with their parents. This is a fun time. A time when we see the excited faces of these boys as they venture into the unknown, as they prepare to cross over into Boy Scouts and leave their Cub Scout days in the memory bank.

So, I’ll take some Webelos to go.. please. I will take them from their Den and introduce them to a boy that will lead them to adventure. Lead them to new heights, lead them to be leaders.
I’ll take them from arts and crafts and trips to the zoo, to backpacking adventures, caving, climbing, and a life of service.
I’ll take them into Scouting that encourages responsibility and forms character.
Webelos and Cub Scouting served them well… and we can see that. They are motivated and caring, they are driven and willing. They are ready for the next step on their trail.

But we won’t get them all. And that saddens me. Not only will our Troop not get them, but no Troop will get them all. “I won’t let Johnny camp in the rain” one mom said. “Use an ax?” said another. “He plays sports, and that’s what is important to us” a Dad proudly says. And so it goes.. the set up for drop out. And it happens, no matter how much fun the boy is having, no matter how excited he is. But then again, it’s not really what he wants.. it’s all about Mom and Dad. Sports, worries, and a bit of over protection… I can see that. But why not a little more understanding of the program? Do you know our goals? Our goals of Character, Citizenship, and fitness? That sports plays a role in Scouting? That camping in the rain develops skills, teamwork, and confidence? Learning new skills that may help one day in a pinch? But I suppose it is easier to say no.. or not understand what is best… for the Boy.

Well.. I’ll take some Webelos to go..please.. To go with us in Scouting!
Give it a shot.. if you sitting on the fence, I am sure you won’t regret it in the end.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog | 4 Comments

Gilwell Park… Home of Wood Badge

There is a website that is starting up from the Scout Association (SA) in the United Kingdom (England). My friend in England, Nick posted about this on his blog, so I thought I would get the word out to more of our American readers.
That is where it all began, Scouting and then Wood Badge. If you are a Wood Badge graduate then you are a member of the worlds largest Troop. Troop 1 Gilwell.
In late 2008, the SA will be launching an exciting new website for members of 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group (Troop).
The website will include all the latest information about Gilwell Park including any future plans and building work, an array of Gilwell photos, a message board for members, web cams and many other things.
Sign up for their email list and stay in touch with Gilwell. Use this link to get to the site. LINK

I had the pleasure of camping at Gilwell when I was a young Scout. What an experience to be connected to the essentially the birthplace of Scouting.

Check out a cool image from Google Maps of Gilwell.

If you are a member of Gilwell Troop 1, Wood Badge recipient.. Check it out.
Read more about Wood Badge from the Pine Tree Web.

I used to be a Beaver,
And a good old Beaver too.
But now I’ve finished beavering, And I don’t know what to do.
I’m growing old and feeble, And I can Beaver no more.
So I’m going to work my ticket while I can.
Back to Gilwell, happy land, I’m going to work my ticket while I can.

(The Gilwell Song)

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Wood Badge | 4 Comments

“Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” – Lou Holtz

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