Monthly Archives: December 2008

Just some numbers

Another year is coming to a close. The final Court of Honor of the Year is in the books.
The Scouts did as they always do, a great job. They worked hard and achieved their individual Goals.
Tonight at the Court of Honor the boys showed a year in review video. It was hard to pick the pictures, because the whole year was great and the photos showed so much of the troop as they developed. But they did a real nice job.
I’ll try to get the video up to the blog soon.
In the mean time, here are some numbers that stuck out in my mind that spoke to a well rounded troop. A troop that is Boy led and offers a robust program.. it’s no wonder they keep coming back.

So here’s what makes me proud.

2008- from January 1st, 2008 thru December 6th, 2008.

111 Service hours
104 merit badges earned
23 Badges of Rank earned
5 World conservation Awards
53 nights of camping
19 Scouts trained in TLJT
2 trained from NYLT
6 New Scouts joined
5 elected and completed Ordeal in the Order of the Arrow
1 Open house put on by the Scouts
3rd Place in the Fairview Chili on the green cook off (Scout team)
1st Place Scoutmaster Cook off- Camp Baldwin
5th Place Scoutcapades Dutch Oven Cook off… no adult help (only team that did not use Den mothers)

And the list goes on… I can’t express in words how proud I am of these boys.. young men.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Scouting For Food

Today we did our part to help the community by participating in Scouting for Food.
Yes, we collected food, then helped as other units dropped their collections off at our Church.
22 Scouts from our Troop helped carry, stage, weigh, and sort 8000 lbs of food.
Talking with the coordinator this year, she was happy as they met and then exceeded the goal for this year.
“Giving is up” she said, and we are thankful.

As we carried food into the gym, a line formed at the rear of the building were the food pantry is. The amount of food going out is also reaching new highs. At least at their food pantry.

The other night at the Troop meeting, I reminded the Troop of just how lucky they are to be who they are. Waking up in a heated house, never having to miss a meal, and parents that care enough to support Scouting.

Today, as food came in, we took a minute to watch it go out. A truly humbling experience. It really snaps things into perspective. I actually overheard one of the Scouts say “I will never complain again”.

I found this prayer floating around.. Thought it is about time to share it. I have no idea who the original author is, but I am sure that they do not mind it being shared.

A Scouters Thanksgiving Prayer

With Reverence in our Hearts, We, Your many children of many beliefs,United in common purpose,Gather to offer this our humble prayer, In Thanksgiving

As Scouters we are thankful for:
The many gifts and talents given to our fellow Scouters and to our ourselves;
The Freedom we have to join together and as a team accomplish more than any of us could alone.;
The opportunity to be of service to young people, parents, other Scouters and our community;
Our joy at seeing so many young people become excited as they grow and are able to meet challenges;
Being reminded by their ceremonies and legends that he who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest;
And most importantly we are thankful for the gift of knowing that our prayers are heard. We each in our own way take this moment to silently add our own thanksgivings…

With thanks in our hearts we offer our prayers, and ask that you, the great Scoutmaster of all Scouts, be with each of us until we meet again.

Amen

Thank you to all of you that send comments, continue to read the blog, but most importantly…make a difference in the lives of our Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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One Patch

When I was a Scout in Holland, BSA Troop 100, Brunssum, Transatlantic Council in the Charlemagne district, after our first camp out with the other Scouts from Germany, Holland, England, and Canada, our Scoutmaster would award us a little purple patch. It was something I had never seen before.
When I was a Cub Scout in Virginia, we never wore it, and no one I had seen in Scouting ever had it on either.
This patch was called the World Crest, and it was a BSA Award for participating in International activities. All the British Scouts wore it, as did the Canadians. The German boys of our International Community (AFCENT) started wearing it too.
Later, when I returned to the states with my family, I joined a Troop in Louisiana. Little by little the little purple patch started popping up and by 1991 every Scout in the US was wearing this World Crest.

In England, every Scout is presented his “World membership Badge” when he enters Scouting.

The first design of the patch came way back in the 1930′s. It was a badge designed mostly by Baden Powell in his use of the fleur-de-lis signifying the Arrow of the compass and the three points of the Scout Oath.
The emblem as we know it today was adopted in 1955 and is now worn by over 28 million Scouts and Scouters all over the world.

Just one Patch… ties us together in the World Organization of Scouting Movement. Scouts..
How cool is that?

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Backpacking Tip of the Week

Staying with the theme of Winter Backpacking or Camping this week we are going to discuss the camp site.
One of the biggest challenges in a cold weather environment is Wind. It is one thing, like rain or driving snow that you can not change. You have got to learn to adapt to it. By that I mean learn to plan for it and around it. You can put on layers of clothing, a good protective layer that will keep the wind from penetrating and robbing you of valuable warmth.
You need to wind proof your camp site too.
Here are some things that you can do to establish a comfortable campsite in the cold.

First. Avoid low laying valleys, cold air settles in valleys and low ground. Gaining as little as 10 to 15 feet can be all the difference in warmth. If you must camp in low ground, create lower ground. Set up your tent and dig a small trench in the snow in front of your tent, this will allow the cold air to be pulled away from you. Do not put anything in the trench that needs to stay warm.
The trench doubles as a natural chair. You can sit in your tent and put your feet in the trench while you cook or shake out your clothing before getting in the tent.
Also avoid ridges. Ridges provide little or no protection.
Look for natural wind breaks like groves of trees or a huge rock. Build a snow wall if that is all you can find, but get out of the wind.

Second. Look at your Tent. Keep the snow off the roof of your tent. Periodically knock the snow off to avoid to much weight. You do not want the weight of the snow to snap your tent poles. Use your guy lines and keep the tent tight to allow the snow to slide off. Just like in the rain…stake your tent out as tight as possible. You may have to anchor your tent. A water bottle or stick can make a good anchor, you can also buy anchors like the ones pictured here.
But keep your tent tight.

Finally, keep you gear dry and warm.
Fluff up your sleeping bag before getting in it. Sleeping bags store the heat in space between the fibers. Fluff it up to create air pockets.
Keep your Sleeping bag in the water proof stuff sack till you use it.
Sleep with your boots in your tent. Put them in a stuff sack turned inside out or a garbage bag. Throw them in your sleeping bag or under your bag… but keep them in the tent. If your boots get cold…boil up some water and fill your water bottle with it. Throw your water bottle in your boot while you eat breakfast. You will step into nice warm boots.
Note: Never cook inside your tent. If you must, cook it in the vestibule, but never in the tent.
Keep your tent ventilated.. open the windows to reduce the condensation.. and if you do fire up your stove in the vestibule you want the ventilation to keep from passing out.

Keep comfortable in the winter while you are camping. It makes the experience so much better, and the adventure all that more tasty.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Happiness

“The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.”- Lord Robert S.S. Baden Powell of Gilwell, founder of Scouting.

As you prepare for Christmas, give thanks for everything you have and the privileges you have just because of who you are. Help someone else this Christmas by bringing a touch of happiness to them. A smile, a hand, a hot meal, or how ever you see fit. We have a great opportunity to make a difference and bring happiness to the lives of many by working during Scouting for Food.
You know that in our community 1 out of every 17 homes will go hungry tonight. Parents are making sacrifices to keep the heat on and a roof over their heads, and so some will go without food. This, as tragic as it is can be remedied, at least for a time with our Scouting for Food campaign.
It is a fact that even when times are tough and there is uncertainty in the economy, giving still happens, in fact, the tougher the times, the more the giving. People are generous when times are bad. We see this in our FOS contributions, gifts to charities, and during our Scouting for food drive.
Last year our Troop helped with the St. Vincent dePaul food bank, we will help there again this year. The collections of food totalled 7204 lbs. That was a record. I spoke with the St. Vincent dePaul coordinator this week. She is anticipating well over 9000 lbs this year.
That is a wonderful band aid to those in need.

We are blessed to have the ability to help, to be on the giving end.
Baden Powell challenged us to “put happiness in the lives of others”! This is so simple when we remember our Oath and Law and have a Scouting Day.
Once again I was asked why I say that, to which I replied it is an attitude of living the Scout Oath and Law. It is not a dorky saying or catch phrase. It is a simple reminder to have a Scouting Day! A day in which the Scout Oath and Law are driving me. A choice I make to be all that is promised in the Oath and the attitude of living the values of the Scout law. Am I perfect? Heck no.. but remembering that I have this simple phrase to keep my compass straight, well it makes life better, for me and for others. “Putting happiness in the lives of others” as BP said, that is what it is all about, not just when we wear our Scout uniforms, but everyday. And that is why I remember to Have a Great SCOUTING day!

This Saturday is our Annual Scouting For Food Drive… I’ll be there and all the while I will know that we will put happiness in the lives of someone in our own Community. Now that is Scouting!

Have a Great Scouting Day…every day!
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