Monthly Archives: February 2011

>Courtesy

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Courtesy
–noun

1. excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior.
2. a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.
3. indulgence, consent, or acquiescence: a “colonel” by courtesy rather than by right.
4. favor, help, or generosity: The costumes for the play were by courtesy of the local department store.
When we teach our young men to live and act with purpose the Scout Oath and Law we must never forget that we are teaching an coaching these men to be Gentlemen.
A Scout is Courteous.  A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
Last night my family and I went to the movies.  Now, I have a hand full of pet peeves, but the behavior that drives me up the wall is when people are rude or discourteous.  There was a guy and his family sitting next to us.  He decided to talk through the whole movie, not a whisper, full conversation level talking.  I leaned to my son and whispered “and this is what a lack of courtesy looks like”.
Now I am going to make some folks mad here… but I blame parents for a lack of courtesy in their kids.
Parents should demonstrate what it is to be courteous.  When parents show a lack of courtesy, they are telling their kid that this is what right looks like. 
As a Scout leader I see the results of various styles of up bringing.  By and large the Scouts of my Troop are good young men.  I am proud of them and the way they are growing up.  I hope that the lessons that we are teaching them are sinking in and being a solid augmentation of what they get at home.
In Scouts we get Scouts from every walk of life.  Every economic status, every race, every religion, and every form of discipline tested.  They are all good kids with potential, what and how we harness to be is a challenge, but we have been given a great tool.. The Oath and Law.
When you have to lean over and remind your son what Right does not look like, it is the hope of most Dads that they get it.
Courtesy is so simple.  It takes little or no effort at all, yet there are some folks out there that are just plain rude.  I am not sure why, and have very little patients to figure it out.  It is always easier just to do the right thing the first time.. don’t you think?
Anyway, I know the butt head that was at the movies last night does not read this blog… but I wish he did.  His family may be better for it.
So on day whatever of #100daysofscouting… I spent time with my sons today.  That’s all.  Not a great Scouting tale, but it is what it is.  We watched a James Bond movie and went to Home Depot.  Great day.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

The cartoon I used in this post is used by permission. This image may not be used or reproduced in any form without the express permission of the owner. Visit Rich’s web site at http://www.the-cartoonist.com. ©2000 Richard Diesslin.

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>#100daysofscouting -Just a note to Follow

>If you are not following the 21 or so Scouters that are journaling the #100days of Scouting.. Then I would throw a friendly reminder to do so.
Doug Metz is a Scoutmaster, I got to meet him at Jambo this last summer..  He has made it easy for you to follow the #100daysofscouting (including yours truly).
Just go to this link and check it out.. then go to the individual sites and check them out.
LINK
This is a great shot in the arm for Scouting!.. And super motivating too!
Have a Great Scouting Day!.. Now I am off to the movies with my Family.. I’ll post about Red and Green later!

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>SMMBlog and Podcast Voicemail

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Earlier this year I talked about increasing the community as one of my Scouting goals for the year.  I receive a fair amount of emails from listeners of the Podcast and readers of the Blog, and I really love to hear from you. It is great to talk with the listeners and readers and it brings our Scouting circle tighter. 
Many Podcasters and Bloggers have a call in show or services that allow the fans of the show or blog an opportunity to express their opinions, give ideas, share stories, or just say hello.
The readership and downloads of the SMMPodcast and Blog are hanging in there.  Again, I won’t get into numbers, really because they are dropping, but that is ok.. I will still do this because I enjoy it and have got to meet some great Scouters out there doing it.
Anyway.. I have added a Google Voicemail service to the blog and Podcast.   To break it in I want to throw out a question with the hope that we might spark up a conversation.  My idea is that on an upcoming show the voice mails will take center stage.
So here is what you can help me with, Use the link or the number in the column on the left.  Click it or dial 503-308-8297.
Leave a voicemail with a message telling us what you are doing in these next 100 days of Scouting!
As you know there are many bloggers out there that are keeping a log of their Scouting journey.  Share yours with us.  It’s easy and I really want to share your story.
So lets hear from you!
Today on my journey through the #100daysofscouting I completed some preparations for the Red and Green Dinner tomorrow.
Put together my Hawaiian Shirt for the dinner and got the voicemail up on the blog.  I think that is good enough for today.
Don’t forget to call, click, or write.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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>Be Prepared

>Yeah.. along with a bunch of online (some close, some far) Scouting friends we are trying real hard to maintain a daily log of our “Next” 100 days of Scouting.  I have been pretty good at going about it.. but as activities like a Troop camp out etc get in the way.. the blog seems to be so far away from me when it is time for taps at the Scoutmaster Jerry compound.
But a lot goes on daily in the life of this Scouter.  And as one would expect at least some of part of every day is dedicated to something to do with the Troop, Wood Badge, or learning something that has to do with Scouting.  That “some part” may be a 10 minute phone call, or a half hour in a book, but at some point of my day I know that Scouting will creep into the picture.
Today was no exception.  Today we had a “Snow Event” here in the Portland area.  Immediately the new went into full panic mode and traffic ground to a halt.. I think it was so people could watch the beautiful snow flakes falling.  Needless to say, even with all the warnings of impending doom (snow) the general public found itself unprepared to handle it.  Schools closed, offices shut down, and kids frolicked in the snow rejoicing.. until noon… when it all melted.  It snowed again this afternoon.. but by and large it is gone.  Cold weather is the forecast, and we can expect more of the white stuff over the next few days.
As I drove to work this morning I thought about the folks that do not take the time and prepare.  Not just for snow and bad weather, but for everything.  A trip down to the Wal Mart this evening proved my point.  There they were; snow shovels, de icer, antifreeze, and carts full of “get ready to be shut in” stuff.  Waiting till you need it.. then off to the store for emergency supplies.  Unprepared.

Be Prepared… the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.

Robert Baden-Powell

When we got my wife’s car in December we made sure it was prepared.  An emergency kit, flash light, flares, etc.. and more importantly, how to use it all.
I can not tell you how many times I have changed other peoples tires on the way to work, helped a neighbor throw on chains, and assist with a jump start.  Sometimes it drives my family nuts, but something inside me tells me to “Do a good turn” and since I am prepared I feel it is my place to help.
To many times others just drive on by and think to themselves how much it sucks to be the broken down person.
I was driving out to Camp Clark to attend Wood Badge in May of 2005,  Camp Clark is out on the Oregon Coast and about a two and half hour drive from my home.  The route takes you over the Coast range going from the Willamette Valley out to the Oregon Coast.  The road is dark and in parts one lane coming and going.  I had plenty of time to get there, so I was doing the speed limit and enjoying the ride.  There was fellow behind me that had somewhere to be and he had to be there now.  He kept swerving and trying to pass, but because of the road, it was not going to happen till we came to a passing lane.  Finally, his chance came and he blew past me.  As he crested a hill I saw his tail light swerve and brighten.  I approached the top of the hill to find him half in a ditch wheels spinning.  He had hit a deer.  The deer was in the passenger seat with its hooves sticking out of the windshield.
I pulled over and threw on my four ways, got out and ran to the car.  The driver was sitting there obviously in shock.  I looked at him and asked if he was ok.  He turned to me and gave me a blank look of disbelief.  I asked again if he was ok and of he felt any pain.  He look at me for a long time in silence.  Once again I asked if he was ok and if he could hear me.  He nodded his head yes and then turned his head toward me, he lifted his arm and pointed at me.. he said “You have got to be kidding me… A Boy Scout is here to help me!” then he started laughing.  You see I was in my uniform ready for the Wood Badge session and so I had to chuckle myself and relied “Yep.. I am here to help.”
I put out some flares and got on the phone and called 911.  I stayed with the guy until help arrived.  It turned out he was ok, but he thanked me for being there.
It would have been easy to drive on by, but that is not what prepared Scouts (and Scouters) do.

The last couple days have been busy.  Scouting has played its daily role.  For my part in the #100daysofscouting I framed some memorabilia, my father in laws merit badge sash.  I worked on my hiking stave, had to make a new one.  Went to the Scout shop to pick up some patches and certificates and a gift for the out going SPL.  Picked up a cool poster also of all the Scout Handbook editions.

Yesterday.. yeah you guessed it.. it was all about getting prepare for the the big winter storm and taking care of some Philmont business.

Be Prepared!Have a Great Scouting Day!

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>A few thoughts to wrap up the day.

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Tuesday February 22, 2011.  Founders Day and the Anniversary of my marriage.
Founders Day.  Today we celebrate our Founder, Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell.

Born on this day in 1857.  Number 7 of 10 Children.  Chief Scout of the World, founder of the greatest peace movement the world has ever seen.

Today we have a lot to celebrate.  Scouting is alive and well around the world because of the vision of Baden Powell.
This morning I reflected on what being a member of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement means to me.  I had the privilege to be in a BSA troop in the Transatlantic Council.  Being a member of the TAC afforded me many opportunities to participate in International Scouting activities.  Our Troop shared a meeting place with Dutch, German, Canadian, and British Scouts.  We camped together, we sang together, in short, we shared Baden Powells vision of a World Brotherhood.  It was a great time and place to be a Scout.  Today is no exception.  In a world that has the Internet, Skype, and high speed travel.. Being a member of the WOSM is easier than ever to connect with the International Scouting Community.
Wedding Anniversary.  Today marks 19 years of marriage to my lovely wife.  She is tolerant and supportive and understands my passion for Scouting.  I suppose there isn’t much else I can say about that.  She is terrific and I love her.
#100daysofscouting:
Well today among other things (a bit more important) I still managed to get some things done.
Got our first payment off to Philmont.  But not until I called down to Philmont Scout Ranch and talked to a great lady named Betty at Camping reservations.  She answered some questions I had about our Trek next year and was very helpful.  Thanks Betty.
I am glad that our Troop is going to send two crews down to Philmont next year for a Mountain top experience backpacking in the Philmont Scout Ranch Back country.

Went to the Scout office for signatures on the Trek application and ended up chatting with some good Scout friends.. then off to the Scout Shop to pick up a few things for the Red and Green Dinner this Saturday.
Had to get new SPL and ASPL patches for the changing of positions coming up at the dinner.
Then it was back home for a final edit and clean up of Show #78 of the SMMPodcast.  In this show we talk about keeping all of your Scouts engaged in the program as well as some talk about Founders day.
Then it was off to Dinner with my lovely wife to celebrate her putting up with me for 19 years.
All in all.. A Great Scouting Day!  Hope you had one also!

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>The harder the challenge

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The harder the challenge the sweeter the reward.. I grew up with that little phrase deeply embedded in my brain and this weekend the Scouts of my Troop learned a bit about it.
Friday night we camped at the trail head of Barlow Pass Road and the PCT.  The temperature was dropping fast and the wind was whipping.  It was a struggle to get the tents up and gear stored, but they managed and even found time to throw a Frisbee around, that was tough against a wind also, but it was not going to stop a good time.
Saturday morning we awoke to snow drifts on our tents and chilly temps, and the wind was worse than the night before.  Breakfast was cooked, tents dropped and packs packed.  We put our snow shoes on and hit the trail.  Unfortunately, the first two miles of this section of the PCT are exposed as you cross a ridge.  The wind pounded us from about 9:30 AM to 12:45 when we finally crossed the ridge to the west side heading into Frog lake.  We ducked over the ridge line and into some trees, it seemed like a different world.  And a great place to have lunch.
The hiking was slow all morning, pack adjustments needed to be made, the wind was messing with anything that was not tucked away and the snow was blown and icy… But on the west side we had powdery snow and no wind.  And the hiking after lunch picked up and the pace was great.  We made it into camp around 3:50 PM.. a long time to get 5.5 miles.  Camp was set up quickly and out came the Frisbee.  A little exploring around the camp site and it was time to get dinner started and prepare for the long night ahead.
By 8 o’clock camp was quiet and the Scouts had all made it into the comfort of their sleeping bags.  A quick once around the camp and off to bed with me.
We woke up to light snow falling and chilly temperatures on Sunday.. ate breakfast dropped camp and hiked out to the cars.
The hardship of that hike in the wind test the Scouts of my Troop.. all they talked about on Sunday was how tough that was.  They all made it and did it well.  They tested themselves against the elements and won.
That challenge yielded the sweet reward to knowledge. They know they can do it.  They know that because of training and great attitudes they can accomplish anything.
So that is the recap for the last couple of Scouting days.. staying with the #100daysofscouting theme.
I am real proud of the young men in my Troop.  It’s going to be another great Scouting Week.!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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>"Scouts Honor"

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“Cross my heart and Hope to die” was second only to “Scouts Honor” when I was a kid.  And you know those words meant something and no matter who you were.. Scout or Non Scout.. those words stuck like glue to the person making the proclamation.  It meant that what was about to be said.. or what had just been said was the truth, the whole truth.. and nothin’ but the truth… Scouts Honor.
The other day I was on my way to work and one of the DJ’s of the morning drive show said “Scouts Honor” after he told a story.. much to the ribbing of his co hosts, he defended his story and they all had a laugh.
I thought to myself that I had not heard that in a long time.  Then today at work I over heard a couple co workers talking about an amazing ski run on the mountain… the story abruptly ended with “Scouts Honor.. I’m telling the truth!”  And that pretty much ended the discussion.  I mean.. what can trump “Scouts Honor”?

When we were kids, and no I am not going to say it was a simpler time and that the world was a better place… but when we were kids I think innocents was easier to come by.  I think that among the coming of age and testing the waters also came a time that we understood that a mans word is a mans word and we all started with the general thought that people were Trustworthy until proven otherwise.
One of my customers and I were talking today about the cost of dishonesty.
We don’t give it much thought these days, because by and large we assume that most people are dishonest.  I mean the examples are all around us.  We see cheating and dishonesty on TV, there are more Cop shows and overly dramatic “Reality TV” programs than ever.  We can’t trust politicians, the Churches seem to be in a constant fight for credibility and the Schools.. well I won’t even start with them.  Needless to say there seems to be an overwhelming case of moral bankruptcy that could easily be fixed by owning “Scouts Honor”.
This older gentleman shared with me that back when he was a kid they never locked their house… they never had to chain up their bike at the pool, you could leave a pie on the window seal to cool, and that kind of stuff.  He never feared walking in his neineighborhood at night and if the porch light was on your house was as safe as Ft. Knox.  “Scouts Honor”
Now, we have to lock everything, to include a password on your phone.  You have to worry about who’s on the neighborhood watch, and an unlocked door is an invitation for someone to rob you.
I talked to a friend of mine that was burglarized last year.  He ended up going to trial over it and the defendant stated that if the door was locked he would not have broke in..so it was the home owners fault for leaving the door unsecured.  Incredible… But what does this have to do with Scouts Honor?
Everything.
Just think of how things would be if everyone.. or at least two thirds of everyone believed in “Scouts Honor” and what it means.
 It means that you try to live your life being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.  I can not think of one thing that is bad about that.. Scouts Honor.
When I heard that on the radio the other day I wondered how many other folks caught that and if they had the same thought I had.
I Can only wonder.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

#100daysofscouting RECAP 10/100
Did some Wood Badge home work.
Packed my pack for this weekends Camp out.
Talked with two parents about the camp out and some suggested gear.
Wrote on the blog.. twice.
Signed some more blue cards (COH coming up)

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>Stop and smell the roses (9/100)

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There has been a lot of discussion lately about how much time and the toll Scouting takes on the life of a Scouter.  And while this is true in some cases, I think it is all about priorities and taking the time to stop and smell the roses.
For most of us, we have a family that goes along with our Scouting life.  Kids in the program, wife that is supportive or even a part of it.  But then there are the cases that the spouse does not really understand, or the kids have all grown and gone.  But Scouting remains.
We all do this for one reason or another, mostly because we see the value added to the youth of America.  Simply put.  Scouting does good things.
As you hang around Scouting long enough you develop friendships and parts of the program that you just fall in love with.  Being part of the Training team in your district or council.  Working at Pow Wow or Scouting University that kind of thing.
For others Scouting goes deeper, it is not only an activity but a passion.  Collections, meetings, friendships, and keeping their finger in every piece of the pie.  I used to be that guy, now the passion is still there, so is the collection, and certainly the friendships.. but I learned a few years back that every piece of the pie did not need my finger in it.. I needed to stop and smell the roses.. my family.
My family is the most important thing in my life.  Yes the most important.  I am blessed that they are all in Scouting and understand my passion for the program, but Scouting is made up of wonderful people and it was time to let other wonderful people get their fingers soaked in the flavors of Scouting.  I pulled a few of my fingers out.
Balance is the key and every once in a while it is important to remember to smell those roses.  It makes you a better Scouter.  Am I ever leaving Scouting.  No, I don’t think so.  There is so much added value in this program and I am passionate about it.  I love the people that have become life long friends and I enjoy teaching, coaching, and training Americas young men.  So no.. I don’t have to leave Scouting.. I just need to maintain balance and smell the roses.

Yesterday was another Wood Badge study day.  I went shopping for my food for this weekends Troop camp out and signed Blue cards.  That was it for day 9 of #100daysofscouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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>Physical Development Merit Badge

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In an effort to learn something new every day I have been a quest to learn more about some merit badges.  I have a sash that belonged to my Father in Law.  The merit badges are mostly Type D and E merit badges, so they range from 1942 to 1960.  They are interesting merit badges to be sure and fun to compare with the merit badges of today.
Monday night a Scout in my Troop brought in his Dad’s old merit badge sash.  They are all Type C merit badges (1936 to 1946).  He had framed them and on the back identified all the badges except one.  He could not find it.  I told him I would check my collections, literature, and of course the Internet.
My first search was via good ol Google.  Nothing.
Second, I went to eBay and a few other well known websites for Scouting history and historical information.  I saw the badge, but it was never identified.
Then, I went to the place I should have started.  My Boy Scout Handbook collection.  I pulled out my 1942 handbook.. and right there on the XII is the merit badge.  The Personal Development merit badge. 
So here is what I learned about it.
It was a merit badge from 1914 to 1952.  In 1952 it was replaced by the Personal Fitness merit badge.
Here are the requirements for completion of the badge.
1.  Produce satisfactory evidence of habitual good posture.
2.  Have no remediable physical defects uncorrected.
3.  Produce satisfactory evidence of daily practice of hygienic habits and a thorough knowledge of a standard book on hygiene.
4.  Pass three of the tests, according to his weight in the Athletics Merit Badge Schedule.
5.  Demonstrate proper form in running, high jump, hurdle and shot-put.
6.  Make up a daily drill of ten exercises for Scouts, giving proper exercise for the whole body; present evidence of having practiced this daily for six months and having taught the same to two or more boys for a period of three months.
7.  Demonstrate reasonable efficiency in two outdoor games requiring physical development; give evidence of having taught at least ten Scout games to a group of boys, and know ten more.
Habitual good posture?  Well that would be a tough one for a bunch of the guys in my Troop…
Any way it was interesting to learn about a merit badge from the past.
I am a believer in that you can’t move forward without knowing the past.  History is fascinating to me and the history of our Scouting heritage is a subject near and dear to my heart.
So for the rest of the evening…
Do some podcast work.
Study my Wood badge syllabus for a little bit.
Family time.
Well.. I suppose that would be a wrap on day 8 of #100daysofscouting.
Have a Great Scouting day!

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>#100daysofscouting – Day 7 Advancement

>Day 7 of the #100daysofscouting project ended at our Troop meeting last night.  Final preparations for this weekends camp out and Scoutmaster minute that left many of the Scouts wondering if they were ever going to be Eagle Scouts.
Ok let me explain…
Advancement is but one of the methods of Scouting.  Just one, an important one… yeah, I guess, I mean being an Eagle Scout will open doors for you down the road and the advancement process is designed to work the Scout through a series of skills and challenges that prepare him for the “real world”.  Sitting on Boards of Review prepares him for interviews and social interactions with other adults.  Service projects prepare him to give back to his community and understand selflessness.
BUT-
If a Scout participates in his unit fully, and never advances is he not going to get some of that?  Is his Scouting experience going to be a total loss?  Will he be considered a failure? 
My point last night was that the advancements number one goal is to teach the Scout responsibility.  It is the Scouts responsibility to get it done.. not the Scoutmasters, not the Committee chair.. it is up to the Scout to become and Eagle Scout… he will get lots of help along the way.. but it is up to him to do the work, seek the help, and then present himself for advancement.
If they are going to wait for me to hold their hand.. well.. then they can count of finishing their Scouting career a Tenderfoot.. (we get them that far).
Harsh?
You see, in life there are winners and losers.  Young men that choose to be in Scouts are winners.  They are setting themselves up with skills, attitudes, and competencies that will help them get through life.  IF they take advantage of Scouting they can do wonderful things.  High Adventure opportunities, service, skills, and a whole lot of fun.  But they need to do it.. it can not be handed to them.. that’s not how it works in real life.
Well.. that was day 7.  I had 11 parents come up to me after the meeting and thank me for saying what I said in the Scoutmaster Minute.
What today will bring… who knows.. it is sure to be another Great Scouting Day!  Have one!

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