Welcome Back, In this show we talk about a new Charter, My Son’s Eagle Award, and Christmas.
The music at the end of the show is provided by the Reynolds High School Symphony and Winds Ensemble playing “What Child is this”. It is recorded live from their Winter concert. My daughter plays Clarinet in the band and they are very good.
Enjoy the Show and the music.
Please leave feedback, drop us an email or shoot a tweet.. let us know what you think and how we are doing.
This show is sponsored by Badge Magic, without their help.. merit badges would not have been on John’s sash for the BOR.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Great Scouting Day!
As my son’s worked to earn their genealogy Merit Badge they learned a lot about our family and as politically incorrect as it sounds, Our People.
My dad has become a real student of our family history, he has spent the better part of 2 decades researching, studying, and collecting information on our family and the heritage that it has. For us it is not just about the family, but a people that collectively made up the community in which our family worshiped, worked, and raised generations.
There is an organization called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. They are a people that have a long and rich history, that many are unfamiliar with. Locally, Concordia University has dedicated a large library and research center for the AHSGR.
Places like this are great opportunities for Scouts to learn about their genealogy.
Having said that.. another less known historical fact, this event in history had a major effect on my family.
Today is “Remembrance Day”, when 70 years ago Dictator Joseph Stalin effected the mass Deportation of 1.3 Million Ethnic Germans living in Russia. In 1941 he began the Mass Deportation of our people to Labor camps in Siberia and Central Asia.
The “Volga Germans, Unserer Leute” (Our People) were interned or murdered in 1941, few made it to the Gulags.
Jakob, Georg, Adam and Philipp Schleining were Killed on 15 Feb 42 in our Ancestral village of Norka, along with hundreds more of our relatives and Neighbors.
”Remember Us” were the watch word they left us in letters, messages and pleas as they were deported; “Denken sie daran uns”. (Remember us).
Help your Scouts know their heritage.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
My twins are 18 and are getting close to graduating from High School. The other night they brought home a form for documenting Community service. In our State there is a requirement to perform 8 hours of community service. I agree with this requirement, I think it, at a minimum forces today’s youth to at least understand the need for volunteerism and service.
So why am I blogging about this? Well, this was real easy for us as we document all the service our Scouts do. I mean, heck.. just to get to the rank of Life Scout the Scout will have completed at least 12 hours of service to his community. Now add in all the rest of the service he will do in the course of a year and the graduation requirements are met with ease.
In the last two years I have had to go back into our troop documents and produce service records for graduating Seniors. This becomes a real important part of the graduates record for the School. I have talked with our High School about this requirement, one of the counselors said that they appreciate those Seniors that were or are Boy Scouts. It sure helps them out in understanding the need for service.
Our family participates in the Relay for Life each year, and our High School is a host for the relay annually. Our youngest son (Life Scout) is on the committee for the School Relay program. The spirit of service has been grown in them from a very early age and I am happy that they now, without Dad or Mom pushing, asking, or even encouraging, they find ways to be of service. Now if we could get them to clean their rooms…
Service is an important part of Scouting going all the way back to its beginnings. The Lone Scout in the story of William D. Boyce lost in the London Fog, Food drives, Scrap metal drives during WW II, Goodwill/Good Turn, not to mention all the countless hours that Troops spend on local projects that benefit their communities, Charter Partners, and Wilderness areas.
Service has always been one of the Hallmarks of Scouting. Even providing service within the Troop in leadership positions plays a major role in developing the spirit of service in our Scouts. It is in this spirit that our young men start the habit of being in service to others. I think that when they understand the importance of this, it will last them a life time.
Every year Scouts all over conduct Scouting for Food drives. This is a great way to get in the community and do a great service to those that truly in need, but we can take that a step further. Our Troop does the food drive, then helps sort, box, and store the food in our local food bank. As this happens they all see the direct impact of their work on the drive. As the food drive is always on a Saturday, the Scouts get the opportunity to see those in need arrive to collect the much needed food. It is a sad that there is a need, but the fact of the matter is that there is. We do not parade the Scouts around to get an eye full, but the behind the scenes glimpse that they do get is enough to instill in them the want to do more.
So I think it is a great thing that our Schools require service to the community as part of their graduation. I think it a even greater that the Boy Scouts maintain service as one of its core values.
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.
Welcome Back! In this show you will listen in on a class I taught at our Councils Program and Training Conference. This class is on the Scoutmaster Conference. I used the National Supplemental training on the subject and if you would like to follow along with the slides from the class you can download them HERE.
The Program and Training Conference in our Council is a great event to improve your leadership skills, find new ways to provide a Quality program and learn more about our Scouting world.
I was asked to teach this year, as were most of the folks on Wood Badge Staff. It was a great experience and I hope to be asked again next year. It was a great opportunity to meet more Scouters from within our Council and expand our network.
Thanks for all the feedback and comments lately! I really appreciate it. As we get closer to show #100 I can feel the excitement growing in me to get more out and keep up the work of both the blog and the podcast!
Thanks for listening. Leave us some feedback and enjoy the show. 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!
Today my oldest son completed his Eagle Project. It’s all over but the paperwork now… But today was a day of reflection for me. On our way to my Dads house to put the final touches on the project, John and I went to breakfast at the biscuits Cafe. We talked about college, the project, and the up coming camp out.
I am sure the discussion was great, but the whole time that I sat there with this young man, I could not help but think about when he joined Cub Scouts. It was a great adventure, me rediscovering Scouting and everything new and exciting for him. That Tiger year was all about him and I getting into and back into Scouting. His Pinewood Derby car that year was super cool. It was painted orange with tiger stripes and could not have been any slower. But he had fun chasing the cars down the track. We learned a lot that year.
The First time John and I went backpacking I took him and his little brother on a little two mile trip up to Memaloose Lake. John and Josh hit the trail with enthusiasm and bright eyes. It was chilly that weekend and I suppose I did not do a great job of planning for the elevation gain. We got up to the camp site and set up our tent. All three of us fit in the tent, pretty much the last time that happened. We went on an exploring hike once we got camp set up and I tought them both how to start a fire and how to cook a backpacking meal. Right after dinner it started to snow… yeah Snow.. It was only September and it was snowing. We ducked into the tent and told jokes. Josh showed off his talent for being able to crawl into his sleeping bag head first, turn around, and come out the shoulder end. We laughed, played cards, and then it was time for dessert. I carried up Freeze dried Ice cream sandwiches. They were awful, but we ate them and laughed that we were eating ice cream sandwiches in the snow.
John has become a great backpacker since and him and I have had some memorable times on the trail together.
He was my SPL for the National Jamboree and demonstrated leadership beyond anything that I could ever expect.
Today, as he wrapped up his Eagle Scout service project, I watched as he let out a deep breath. I could see the accomplishment in his body language. He turns 18 in about 17 days, and I am proud that he got it finished.
Who ever says the Scoutmasters son gets special treatment has never met John. He has worked hard and completed more than he ever thought he would in Scouting.
During breakfast this morning, he said he would like to stay on as an Assistant Scoutmaster. He is exactly what we are looking for and what we need in Scouting.
It seems like so long ago that we worked together on his first Pinewood Derby car.. having him tell me what to do today in finishing up his Eagle Project made me more proud than he will ever know.
Tonight, under the leadership of the new SPL and a handful of Patrol Leaders and interested Scouts, the Troop finalized its Annual Plan. This years planning seemed to take a bit longer, but looking back at the last few years, the goal has always been to get it completed by the end of September. The Committee chair sat in on this years plan, she gave the boys the nod at the end of the plan suggesting that it was all “doable”. As I guided the new SPL through the process, it became obvious that he is in need of more training.. and that’s a good thing, he is ready, but him and I will be spending some quality time together developing leadership skills.
Having said that the plan is outstanding! I am really happy with it and look forward to one heck of a year of adventurous Scouting!
Caving at Dead Horse cave, backpacking a section of the new Oregon Coast trail, a kayak float down the McKenzie river, making Pulk sleds and snowshoeing a section of the Historic Barlow trail, a sweet backpack trip up to Table Mountain in the Gorge just to name a few of the trips planned. By the end of the session the Scouts were on 9 foot hover and ready for the coming year. It was all I could do to keep them from not getting to deep into the weeds, but the excitement was clear.
We talked a little about our Journey to Excellence and what elements they would be helping with. Recruiting and retention will not be an issue. We have put 2 new Scouts in during September and 6 more will be crossing over in November. This on top of the group that will be crossing in February and March. We plan on dropping some Scouts that have decided to remain inactive, and we will be moving two young men into Assistant Scoutmaster positions as they are about to turn 18. I am glad that they are not taking their Eagle and running.
So now its up to the Scouts to work toward their next rank and keep camping. This will be a great year of Scouting.
With the trip to Philmont just around the corner and all the new Scouts in the Troop, the buzz is contagious, you can feel it in the room. We have 41 Scouts on the “active” roster and growing.
I suppose tonight the SPL and his PLC saw a light at the end of the planning tunnel. When they got the idea that what they were producing was going to a fantastic year of Scouting it became less a chore and more like seeing the camp ground after a long day on the trail.
I am real proud of those guys, they put in the work and are seeing the results of their dedication and persistance.
I am sure we will be talking a lot more about this in the coming months.
Monday night I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young man and talking with him about his up coming Eagle Board of Review. The Scoutmaster conference went well.. but then again, shouldn’t it? After all this is his seventh conference, he has completed all the work and at seventeen years old, the Scout is pretty much used to talking to me.
We discussed his application and made sure all the paper work was in order. We talked about how the board of review would go and things that I thought would help him articulate his goals to the board. We spent a little time talking about some of the types of questions that might be asked, but by and large it was a time for me to just sit and talk with a young man that has become an Eagle Scout.
In my post on becoming an Eagle at 13 I received a comment from “the other Scoutmaster Jerry”. In his comment he states “I hear a lot of noise about A, B, or C type Eagles, but have never met an Eagle that did not, at some point of his life, own up to his accomplishment. All Eagles will eventually realize that they are living their life by twelve words.” And I agree with this.. this is the hope of every Scoutmaster I think. As we sit and talk with a Scout during that Scoutmaster Conference, even for the ranks leading up to Eagle, it is my hope that one day they will be good men. Men that live the Oath and Law in their daily lives. After all, earning the Eagle award is not about a patch, right? It is about accomplishment, achievement, and leadership. It is about becoming one that is worthy of the honor. It really is about what you become.
I still can not answer the age question, and you know, I guess I don’t have to.. the BSA has answered it for me, and while I can have an opinion. It is not about me.. it is a young man becoming an Eagle Scout, further, becoming a valued member of the community.
Monday night as I put pen to a good Scouts book and initialed the completion of his Scoutmaster Conference, I asked him what he thought his obligation would be as an Eagle Scout. He spoke about giving back, about living up to the reputation of what it means to be an Eagle Scout. I thought that was interesting. We talked about what the public knows about Scouting. They know we camp and they know Eagle Scout. That is for certain. They will talk about helping old ladies across the street and they will have an understanding of the values that are learned through the Oath and Law. But when you talk about Eagle Scouts they immediately know that it is special.
As I have grown as a Scoutmaster, I too have a better understanding about what it means to become an Eagle Scout.. no matter the age, I think that by and large Jerry is right, they grow into the responsibility, they develop a stronger consciousness about what it means to wear the highest honor in Boy Scouts, and they try to live up to it. Do they stumble, sure, but deep inside being an Eagle Scout is something that can never be taken away and will always be a part of their lives.
I am proud of our Scouts that achieve this honor, it makes me even happier to know that they have earned it and have become an Eagle Scout.
Funny how time fly’s when you’re having fun. This week has been an amazing week of Scouting and thus, I have not been on the computer much at all. The Outdoor channel is currently filming Scouts from my Troop on an amazing adventure for the series Scouting for Adventure.
Last night I sat down with the Key 3 of our District, we had a little meeting on the changes we were going to make in the coming year. The conversation turned to advancement. The subject “young Eagle Scouts”.
Now before I go any further, let me tell you what the Boy Scouts say on the subject.
YOU MAY NOT ADD TO NOR TAKE AWAY FROM ANY REQUIREMENT. PERIOD.
So having said that if a Scout completes all of the requirements and has everything signed off properly.. well then.. he’s an Eagle Scout.
Now some will argue.. and have, that a 13-year-old is too young to be an Eagle Scout. After all, we are looking for a young man who has DEMONSTRATED Leadership, a young man who has been an ACTIVE member of his Troop, a Scout that is KNOWLEDGEABLE in skills etc. These are all super valid points and I agree whole heartedly. Now, here is the rub. Has a 13-year-old done all of that.. I mean really done it all. Sure he may have served as a Patrol leader in a New Scout Patrol. Went to one summer camp and earned a bunch of merit badges, and can do the basics that got him to First class, but has he developed enough to truly test his leadership at the Troop level? Has he been that active?
I don’t know.
The other argument against is the maturity level of the young man. At 13 is he mature enough to understand his responsibility as an Eagle Scout?
I don’t know.
An argument for young Eagle Scouts is that they now can spend more time in the Troop as an Eagle Scout. Ok.. I buy that.
But I don’t know.
You see, boy develop at different rates and stages. They are all different. I know some 13 year olds that act 18 and some 18 year olds that act 12… so that is not a good measure. I know some young Scouts that develop the skills at a much faster rate than some of the older Scouts.. so that is not a good measure.
So here is the bottom line in my opinion. Becoming an Eagle Scout is not an excercise in passing through gates. Becoming and Eagle Scout is all about BECOMING the Eagle, developing leadership skills, demonstrating the skills of Scouting, and learning about the world around him. The way I see it is that the young man must participate in five Scoutmaster conferences before his conference for Eagle. IF the Scoutmaster and the Scout have not had these discussions during those conferences, IF the Scoutmaster has failed to mentor and coach the Scout along and develop him, IF the Scoutmaster has signed off the book and in good consciousness said that everything was alright.. then the Scout should be an Eagle Scout.
So having said that…. a 13-year-old Eagle Scout? I have not had one in my Troop.. and it’s not because any adult has thrown up a road block. If the book says to demonstrate.. the Scout demonstrates, if the book says to show, the Scout shows, if the book says to explain, the Scout explains. If he does not do it correctly.. it does not get signed off.
If the book says to serve in a leadership role for 6 months.. then the Scout is expected to actually serve in that role. And during the Scoutmaster conference explain what he did while in that leadership position.
You see the road to Eagle is not meant to be hard, but it is meant to allow the Scout to navigate the program and develop. You become an Eagle Scout over the course of the journey.
There are obstacles to over come and challenges to face, that is the way the program is set up. Can it be done by 13, I suppose. But at the end of the day, does the Scout get a patch out of it.. or a life experience?
I don’t have the answer here, the book does. I can only give you my take on the subject.
I am curious to know what you think. Drop us some feedback, leave a comment, or shoot an email! Have a Great Scouting Day!