I am a big advocate of the Leave No Trace program. We spend a great deal of time in our Troop teaching and coaching the Leave No Trace principles and and the Outdoor ethic.
I stumbled on this video from our friends at the National Park Service and thought I would share.
This video shows a great perspective on why we need Leave No Trace.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Winter Camping? Do you?
It’s a yes or no question.. but what I really want to know is this:
If you camp in the winter (with your Troop), what kind of training do you do to prepare?
What kind of gear do you have and and/or modify to have great winter camping experiences?
If you answered NO.. why?
Have a Great Scouting Day!
The last couple of days have been days that were inspiring for me. Inspiring in a couple of ways, lets start with Veterans Day.
Our High School held its first ever “Living History Day” on Wednesday. This was a day in which the entire school honored Veterans from all era’s. Inspiring because of the hard work and dedication the student body put into the event. Along with a coordinator, the students of the largest high school in the state put on a class A event. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan were invited and in attendance. They decorated the school with massive American flags and lined the street leading to the high school with hundreds of flags. A local military museum had an old WW I tank in display as well as a 1910 Taxi from France. The National Guard had some displays of current equipment, but it was the student body that really highlighted the experience.
The culinary class put out a nice spread of coffee and baked goods and made a wonderful lunch. The JROTC cadets provided escorts that lead Veterans into the classrooms for 2 hours to talk with and answer questions from the students. The student body dressed in shirts and ties and the girls wore nice outfits in honor of the special guests.
I was extremely impressed with the questions asked in the classrooms that I had the pleasure of being invited to. At the end of the school day they held an assembly. Because the school is so large they can not get the entire student body in one place at the same time, plus all of the Veterans, so the Freshman met in the small gym and listened to speakers from a number of conflicts. The sophomores met in the performing arts center with a Holocaust survivor. This brave man made a great impression on the kids. His story was that of perseverance and will.
The Juniors and Seniors met in the main gym with the bulk of the Veterans. One of the Tuskegee Airman gave a speech on making your mark in the world and both challenged and inspired the students. There were recognitions of the services and some of the individuals that were in the gym that truly left a mark with their service. I appreciate all the hard work that the students put into this event. I was told by one of my son’s friends that is on the student council that the student government as well as many clubs and sports teams spent the better part of a week preparing for the event. The day and night before, they stayed at the school and many slept at the school until the final details were complete.
I am proud of these kids.
The second part of this weeks inspiration came on the Football field last night. Now, if you follow this blog you know that I love football. I think that every one should participate in some team sport. I may into that at another time, but for the sake of this post, lets just say that team sports develop in young people values and ethics that when coupled with Scouting, round them out in their growth and make them better people. The Reynolds Raider Football team has been a program that has struggled for many years. They have gone season after season without a winning record, there has been little pride in the program and the student body has been patient, but not very supportive. Last year the school hired a new head coach that brought not only a new and exciting offense to the team, but a new attitude to the team in which the team meant more than the individual. It has been a real slow go and last year the team won only one game. Which given the previous years was an accomplishment.
This year the team has been sparked by an enthusiastic group of underclassmen and a solid core of Seniors. What they lacked in skills and strength, they made up for in heart and grit. Game after game, they went out and never gave up. They won two games in the regular season this year. Yes, only two games, but they scored a lot of points and in the games they lost, the margin was very tight, loosing one game in overtime. The Oregon Student Sports Association (OSAA) has a unique playoff system in which the top teams get an automatic bid into the playoffs while the bottom teams are given one chance to “make it” into the playoffs to fill the remaining spots in the bracket. they call this a “Play in” game. The Raiders played in one of these games last Friday. With no time left on the clock and down by 7 points, they scored a touchdown. The coach decided to test his young men. It was win or lose and the ball was placed for the point after. They were going for 2 to win the game or go home.
A quick pass in the corner of the end zone and the Reynolds Raiders entered the Play offs for the first time in seven years!
Last night was that first play off game. Lined up against the number one team in the State the challenge was great. This would test the team in more ways than just making plays.
The Lake Oswego Lakers are a great team. They are undefeated and possess all the skill, team work, and an established program that keeps them at the top of the brackets year after year. Surely a game that would be easy to give up on, but the Raiders took the field last night and stood toe to toe with the best. They saw how the number one team could move the ball at will and how a team that is dedicated to winning could impose themselves on anyone that lined up.
But here is the inspiring part, did the Raiders quit? Give up and allow themselves to be taken out of the game? NO. In fact, they came out and fought hard on the field. They passed the ball with precision and pressured the Lakers and made them earn their points. Mistakes were made and at the end of the game it was not close, but the Raiders kept their heads up and learned from the experience. The Lakers knew that playing against a 3 and 7 team should not have been a challenge, but showed a lot of class and respect for our team. This too was a great lesson for our team. Winning with class and having respect for your opponent.
Heart and dedication is building a football program at our High School. Next will be better, and the year after will be better yet because of these young men on the field.
As you all are also aware, Josh my youngest son, is the Starting Quarterback for the varsity team. He is only a Sophomore and had a great season. Last night facing number one, he threw for a touchdown and ran for one. Those were the Raiders only two scores in the game. He finished his first Varsity season with many great accomplishments including throwing 22 touchdown passes and well over 2150 yards of passing. He helped take his team to their first playoff game and is part of the core that will move the team to future success.
The final inspiration of the week came on Thursday night when our oldest son met with the District Advancement chairman and his team with his Eagle packet. His application is in, paperwork complete, and now waiting on his Board of Review.
An accomplishment that I never achieved as a kid. His hard work, dynamic leadership, and will to finish has earned him the right to join the ranks of those we call Eagle Scouts. I am so proud of him and inspired by his work. He turns 18 on Tuesday and Monday starts his final season Wrestling for Reynolds High School. His hard work in Scouting, School, and on the wrestling mat has brought him many success and set him up for success in the future.
This has been an inspirational week for me. Inspiration from youth! I am sure we will be in good hands in the future if what I saw this week and what I see almost everyday is any indication.
Be inspired.. take a look at the kids around you.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
He who knows not and knows not he know not; he is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not and knows he knows not; he is simple- teach him.
He who knows not and knows no he knows; he is asleep- wake him.
He who knows not and knows he kn0ws; he is wise – follow him.
It is our job as Scouters, especiall Scoutmasters to know. It is our function to teach, coach, train and mentor the young in our units. Doing this they will gain knowledge and will know. They will become wise. And then Leaders.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
The internet, I think you all agree is a great thing. Right? It has opened up the Scouting World literally. I mean, think about it, when I was a Scout I can remember thinking how great it was to participate in Jamboree on the Air. Going to our meeting hall where one of our Assistant Scoutmasters had set up his HAM Radio. We dialed in and talked to Scouts from about 6 other country’s that day. It was the coolest.
But now we just hop online and open up Skype or a chat window, and our Scouting world closes in and through our head phones or speakers we are talking with Scouters all over the place.
I spent the better part of an hour last night chatting with a Scoutmaster in Wisconsin.. I am sure you know who that is.
The other day while we taught our Social Media class we stressed the point that the internet and social media is here to stay, we don’t what form it is going to take next year, but right now we have Blogs, Podcasts, Google +, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few. In our units we use combinations of some or all of these tools to communicate within and outside of our unit. The important thing to remember, especially when we are talking about our Scouts using these outlets, is to monitor it.
Set up permissions. Only allow your unit to access some things on the Troop web site.
Restrict passwords. Give them out, but change them as large groups of people rotate in and out of the unit.
Keep your eye out for spam, rude comments, and un solicited visitors. This is important. It’s ok to shut out some ones opinion on YOUR site.
Be honest and transparent in your communications. Tell Scouting’s Story in a positive light. Leave your negative comments in a journal under your bed. You may have had a bad experience, but don’t share it with the rest of the world… it’s not good for Scouting.
Watch the youth of your unit and how they use the media. They are good at it and they use it a lot more than us. That’s a good thing, but monitor it. The Scouting stuff should always reinforce the values of the Scout Oath and Law and should never be taken out of the context of Scouting.
The internet is a great thing, but like everything, needs to be watched.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a trainer at our Councils Program and Training Conference.. PTC. I was asked to help teach a class on using Social Media and Websites with my Wood Badge buddy Adam. Then Jackie this years Coordinator asked if I would want to teach something else. I taught two sessions on the Scoutmaster Conference. A subject that I am not only familiar with, but passionate about. My good friend Larry helped me out with that, in all honesty, all I did was the talking. He did a great job getting the material from the National syllabus and putting it all together in a Powerpoint presentation.
Both of the classes went real well and were very well received. The social media class went a lot better than I thought. It seems that as we discussed the options out there and how we use social media the audience seemed to warm up to the idea that social media and electronic communication is here to stay.
When it comes to social media and electronic communication I always go back to what Bob Mazzuca, our Chief Scout Executive said, ” We have to take Scouting where the Scouts are.” And they are on the internet, on their smart phones, and communicating rather effectively with other media outlets.
Our media class centered on communication to and within the unit. It was nice that Adam is a Cub Scouter and so he brought the Pack perspective to the discussion. I on the other hand represented Boy leadership and how the Scouts use social media in the daily function of the Troop.
We talked about the Do’s and Don’ts of using Web sites, Twitter, Google + and Facebook focusing a lot of attention on who should and should not use these outlets. Most of this discussion came down to permissions and monitoring of the communications being sent at every level.
We did two sessions of this class and in both, the participants had great questions and moved the discussion along with enthusiasm and interest. It was nice to see the diversity of the groups meaning, participants from every level of Scouting, ages, and genders. I hope that we made everyone comfortable with social media and how it can be used in Scouting to not only communicate to each other, but to tell Scouting’s Story in a positive light.
The class on the Scoutmaster Conference was equally received. A lot of interest among the Scoutmasters and soon to be Scoutmasters that attended. I recorded one of the sessions, so I will see how that turned out and post it as a podcast.
So until I get that cleaned up and ready, I think I will leave that subject for another post.
All in all I had a great time at the PTC this year and will be an instructor again next year. It was really great to see all my Wood Badge friends… almost like going to a family reunion. We had dinner together last night and my head still hurts from laughing so much.
I like the idea of combining the Cub Scout Pow Wow and the Advancement extravaganza. I don’t know what the turn out in numbers was yesterday, but at a glance it seemed as if there were at least 400 participants yesterday. As this program grows I can see the numbers go up also. It is a great venue for training, fun, seeing program ideas, and fellowship.
Good job Cascade Pacific council! We’ll do it again next year!
You can read another perspective on this at Scouter Adams Blog. He’s my Troop Guide buddy and we had a ball yesterday together teaching fellow Scouters!
Have a Great Scouting Day!