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I’m Calling you out!

hoseAt our Troop meeting last night we got into a good discussion about “kids these days”.  I contend that the kids are no different, they are still kids.  The world is the same.  It still spins and the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
I know that all of you have seen those posts on Facebook, you know the ones that say something like;
If you remember drinking from a hose, playing outside till the street lights came on, playing Cowboys and Indians, having dirt clod fights, standing on the swing set, getting a bloody nose because you spun on the merry-go-round to fast, than you are were part of this or that generation..  Hit like and Share.. you know… that post.
Well, who is it that posts and shares that.  WE DO.  We, the adults that are raising kids today.  SO…
I’m calling you out.
The world has not changed.. WE DID.  We got soft and now won’t let our kids do what we did… but we find comfort in sharing that hypocritical garbage on Facebook.
LET YOUR BOYS BE BOYS or stop posting that stuff.
We got into a discussion about “The Greatest Generation” the other day.  What made them great.  The world at that time was a scary place.  We came out of worse economic times, a World War and then another one.  We saw mass murder and a generation of young Americans scared for life by what they experienced in their war.
I contend that this generation should be the Greater.  But we will not let them.
We fill them full of pills, we hand our participation ribbons and try as hard as possible not to hurt their feelings.  We keep them in a bubble and never let them explore their world.  We set limits and boundaries and teach them to add by counting dots not numbers.  We preach that the world is their oyster but never let them get in the water.
We are hypocrites.  This generation will never be great because we won’t let them.
We send them off to fight in a war that no one wants to win.  What is the message.  I don’t care about politics.. we fight to win.. or don’t go.   Tyranny is Tyranny, Nazi or Taliban.. they are the same enemy so lets win, just like we did in 1945.  That winning helped shape the generation.
Let them drink from a hose and get skinned knees.  It only hurts for a while.
I once heard a Sergeant of mine tell us that “pain is temporary, being a loser is a life sentence.”  It comes done to the character of the generation.  WE are growing that generation and I find it unacceptable.
So.. what are we going to do about it.  Nothing.  We will hit like and maybe share… but at the end of the day, we will shelter, over protect, and dump a gallon of hand sanitizer on our sons and buy them a new video game.  What’s the worse thing that can happen there?
Crime is no worse, the woods are still the woods, creepy people are still out there as they always have been, and the world is not coming to an end any time soon.
I’m calling you out!  What are you going to do?
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Just a Quick note to the Blog Followers.

1450824_244807472343666_426054249_nI just hit ‘Publish’ on my latest post and thought that I needed to drop a quick note to all of the followers of the blog.
As you may have noticed, I went from daily posts to more random, less frequent posts lately.  There is no lack of interest or passion.  I am just busier than heck right now and the blog had to take a back seat.
As you should know if you have been following, our youngest Son, Josh is graduating from High School this week.  Now under normal circumstances that would mean family coming into town, parties and of course the graduation ceremony itself.
With Josh being recruited to play college football it has also meant long rides down to California where he will be attended college, time spent on the phone with coaches, getting him into the School, dorms etc.  Football players are required to take Summer term also as they are on campus practicing.  So we have gone from 0 to 60 in days.
I do not want to sound like I am complaining, but this process is not an easy one.
For Josh there was a lot of uncertainty as to where he would be going to School.  While his classmates all filled out college applications early in the year, most being accepted as early as April, Josh had to wait to see which college was going to take him to be on the football team.  In most cases this process can go right up to graduation.  We were luckier in that we had a month to get it all done.
In talking with other parents that are going through this and college coaches we have learned the reality is that there just are not a lot of Division 1 athletes out there.  You know the guys that you hear about on ESPN or go on to get full rides at Notre Dame.  There are thousands of high school football players that will never play another game after high school.  So between Div 1AA, II, III, NAIA, and JC there is a ton of competition for those limited roster spots.  It only takes a visit, an injury, or a phone call for everything to change at the last-minute of your high school life that will impact where you go, if you go, and what you will do next.
For us as a family this has been stressful and exciting at the same time.  Josh landed in a good spot.  Today, he is not a DIV 1 athlete, like most of the high school players around the nation.  That is reality, but his dream and opportunity live on and he has the chance of one day being that guy that made his dream come true.
So the blog has suffered a little in this period of transition as we have done what we can to move our son forward.
I am still working my blog ticket.. and it is coming along, slow but sure.
Thanks for your patience and your comments.
Thanks for hanging in there.
Thanks for coming back, again and again.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Liberty

soldiersalute
Our Nation remembers today those that have given for our Country.  Their motives all different, their sacrifice great.
John F. Kennedy once said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
That is in the heart of those that serve and have served.  Articulated in many ways, but there just the same.
God Bless those that serve and have served, especially on this Memorial Day.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Memorial Day 2014

bluestarEach passing year brings new or rekindled emotions as we enter the Memorial Day weekend.  This past year I have sparked new interest in my status as a Veteran as I have renewed some friendships with men that I served with long ago and have taken a look at my career as a soldier and the what that all means now that I am removed from that part of my life.
What I have learned more than anything else is that the bonds and at a risk of sounding cliché, the brotherhood shared with the men that I served with are lasting.
This morning I watched a TED talk.  The subject was “Why Veterans miss war”.  I thought, this guy must be out of his mind.  The speaker is Sebastian Junger, he was an “embed” that is what we called embedded reporters, those reporters that become a part of a unit through the time of their deployment.  Junger was embedded with a unit in Afghanistan, a unit made famous by the documentary “Restrepo”.  Junger followed the 2nd Platoon B Company 503rd Infantry of the 173rd Airborne.  Again, I thought this guy was an absolute nut case, but I thought to myself; “Well, I’ve seen the movie and it tells the story of pretty much what any Infantry Platoon is like, so I’ll listen to his talk”.  His point is that they do not miss the battle, they don’t miss the conditions or the locations.  What they miss when they get home is the brotherhood.  The idea that there is no one in our daily lives that will ever understand the bond and the love that we have for one another.  The absolute trust that this man to my left and the man to my right love me enough to give their life for me.  They know that in their daily contacts there is no one that will do that in Anytown, USA.  That bond is left on the battlefield, in the FOB (Forward Operating Base), in the camp.  They will never have that contact again in the context that it belongs and so they miss war.
My war-time experience was a little different in that by the time the Army saw fit to send me to war, I had progressed through the ranks and now was in a position at the Battalion level.  680 soldiers in our care, the Commander and I knew that beyond good decision-making our soldiers were in the hands of those men directly to their left and right.  This is a weird position to be in as we knew what it took to be at those squad and platoon levels, but now were removed to a certain extent from “their world”.  The brotherhood and bond though in an Infantry Battalion remains the same.  My love for those soldiers was and ever will be deep and true.
As the Senior Non Commissioned Officer of the Battalion it was my charge to ensure that the NCO’s of the Battalion were trained and ready to serve their men.  I can remember the day before we deployed to Iraq I called all of the NCO’s of the Battalion together.  From the Team Leaders all the way up through the First Sergeants.  I shared some thoughts about leadership and keys that will get up through the next year.  The final thought was simple.  Love your men.  When you love them you will serve them.  Know that you will not be able to shelter them or put a bullet proof force field around them, but every decision you make, every move that take, you need to put them ahead of yourself.  That bond of trust and love made us successful.  It was not easy and not without pain and decent, but the NCO’s of my Battalion understood that no matter the mission, the circumstances, or the decision, we would take care of our soldiers.
It’s weird to look a man in the eye and wish him well as he is about to leave the safety of the FOB and enter bad guy country.  Could that the last time you see him?  I had many close friends that I served with, men that at one time or another we developed friendships and bonds that proved painful on days that we knew would be bad.  One such soldier was Scott Shobert.  Scott and I served for years together, he always being in a subordinate role.  Squad leader when I was a First Sergeant etc.  Scott later became a Sergeant Major also and is now retired.  One evening Shobert was taking his Platoon out on a patrol to set an ambush along a know route that the insurgents used to move supplies.  They also knew that this route was used by US forces to move supplies in and out of Baghdad.  On this particular evening there was a weird feeling flowing through the camp and the platoon seems a bit antsy.  I talked with Scott before they mounted up.  He had his platoon doing Pre Combat checks and he turned to me and smiled.  “We’ll be alright Sergeant Major” he said.  “I know” I said.  As he jumped into the back of the 5 ton, the last man to load, I reached up and shock his hand.  That weird feeling that I may not see him again.  It was that moment that I really got it.  That feeling of brotherhood.  The Battalion Commander walked up and said that he wanted someone from HQ to have eyes on the ambush that night, there was a container with US equipment broke down in the area and it was pretty high on the priority list that we care for it.
I told the Commander that I would go.  My driver and I got ready and followed the Patrol out and joined them.  The rest of the company moved into that area later in the night and the ambush was set.  As we lay there in tall grass overlooking the ambush site, I could hear the nervous energy coming from the men of the support by fire position.  Chewing gum like it was the last piece on earth savoring each and every chew.  One soldier looked at and asked what the hell I was doing there.  I told him that I was there to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid.  He smiled at me and said “yes mom”.. we let out a quiet chuckle.
What happened the rest of that night doesn’t really matter and surely does not need to be shared in this context.  The point is that is what I miss.  So I suppose Junger is right.  We do miss it.
On the other hand.  This Memorial Day, I think about all the men that I served with, especially those that rest eternally in the Great Assembly area.
I fly a Blue Star Banner in my window at my house.  This is the same Blue Star Banner that my wife flew for me.  Now it serves my neighborhood as a reminder that my Son is serving and will one day answer the call.  Today, he is developing that bond that I know so well.  Today, my son is a part of the Brotherhood of Infantrymen, like me that know what it means to look left and right and commit to never, ever letting that man down.  That is something that does not exist here.  There are people in our neighborhood that do not know what the banner means, they don’t understand why my flag fly’s proud in the front yard.  They will never know.  They say “Thank you for your service”, but for the most part do it because they are supposed to now a days.
goldstarThere is a woman in our community that flies a Gold Star Banner at her home.  Her husband was one of my Soldiers.
This Memorial day, I think of him.  Staff Sergeant Brad Lindsey.  Killed in Action.
I can honestly tell you that I never want to trade my Blue Star for a Gold one… but this day.. above all others we Honor those that bear the burden of that Gold Star and remember the Soldier that the Star represents.
This Memorial Day Weekend stop for 10 minutes and remember.  It is impossible in America today not to be effected by the loss of a Soldier.  In every community, in every Town, City, and State of our Country we have felt the sting of the loss of a Soldier.
The only day of my Army career that I ever shed a tear was at the funeral of Lindsey.  His loss hurt me deep.  He was a good man, he was a great husband and father.  He was my radio operator when I was a First Sergeant and proved himself a good Soldier.
Take time and thank them, Honor them, talk to the living, and pray for dead.  Most of all Love them.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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A great time for Scouting…

I mean now of course.. I am not one to wish for that simpler time, we can’t have that back.  What we can do is keep Scouting the way it is supposed to be.  Fun, Adventurous, and an organization that builds up men.
I stumbled on this neat video, thought I’d share it.  Imagine if we could just get back to the basics and deliver the promise of Scouting the way it should be.
Enjoy.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Reflection

reflectionIt is always a great idea to take time a do some reflection.  I do not want to get to deep here, but reflection is a big part of learning and getting better.
We do reflections after Scouting activities, games, events, and circumstances that put us in a position in which decisions are made and out comes may be different.
Sunday I had the pleasure of presenting a class at the current Wood Badge Course.  When I walked in I was greeted by my Wood Badge friends and of course we all shared a laugh and a story or two.
Before I left, my good friend Steve handed me a piece of paper.  On it was a couple reflections that they used the previous night after the “Game of Life” was played.  Now for those of you that have been to Wood Badge, you know what I am talking about, for those of you that have not yet gone… well I will not spoil it for you other than to maybe give you a nice thought to remember as you go through your daily “Game of Life”.
It is from an anonymous source so I have no idea where it originated, but it works.
In life we do things.  Some we wish we had never done.  Some we wish we could replay a million times over in our heads, but they all make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us.  If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are.  So just live, make mistakes, have wonderful memories, but never ever second guess who you are or where you have been.. And most importantly where it is you are going.
I would only add that Character will be your underlying guide.  With Character you never need to second guess.
This is why we teach and hold dear our Scout Oath and Law.
Just a little reflection.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Oath and Law | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A 1000 Thank You’s!

thank-youThank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you… a thousand times thank you!!!
Today.. Easter Sunday the Scoutmaster Minute Blog reached 1000 Followers!!!
Thank you all that come here and participate in this community.
I hope that I can continue to help deliver the promise of Scouting and not let you faithful readers of the blog down.
Thank you for telling your friends, sharing the blog, and hanging out here in my little campsite on the internet!
This mile stone is significant in that it lets me know that the blog is growing and helping folks deliver the promise in their own areas of Scouting.  It is reaching people who are looking for ways to develop Character and Leadership in young people, and it is a place to come to get tips and ideas for your next outdoor adventure.
Thank you.
I can not thank you enough for this validation that the blog is alive!  Lets keep sharing it and see if we can keep growing our online Scouting community!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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He is Risen!

He is risenI just wanted to take this moment in your life to wish you a very Blessed Easter.
It is in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have Hope.
His Life, Death, and Resurrection is perhaps the most significant historical event in the world.  For the believer and non believer alike this day changed the world.
Today as we celebrate with wonderful meals and time spent with family let this be a reminder of the example set by our Lord.  Being a Selfless Servant Leader.
Have a Wonderful Easter. 

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Scouting family takes pilgrimage to Baden-Powell’s grave in Kenya

Scoutmaster Jerry:

Fantastic Trip..

Originally posted on Bryan on Scouting:

Tracing the life of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell takes you not only to his birthplace in London but also to Kenya, where he spent the last few years of his life.

My recent trip to London and Gilwell Park, provenance of the Wood Badge training course, inspired Idaho Scouter Steve Jung to share photos and stories from a similar Scouting pilgrimage.

And I’m sure glad he shared.

The Jung family traveled to Kenya, the East African nation where B-P died on Jan. 8, 1941, at age 83. His grave is now a national monument.

Steve, along with his wife, Becky, and daughter, Anna, visited B-P’s final resting place, the cemetery museum and his home in Nyeri, Kenya.

“Our trip to Kenya was a most memorable one,” Steve says. “We did some backcountry hiking and a lot of touring. We went caving and places most public  people don’t go or know about. Just a terrific trip.”

See…

View original 591 more words

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The Road

roadsI can not remember where or who I heard this from, but I recalled a quote the other day that I thought was a good way of illustrating our job as Scout leaders and parents.
“We are not building roads for our children, we are building children for the roads.”
Essentially it is saying that we can lay out everything to make life easy for our kids or we can prepared them for the road of life, which we all know is not easy.
When I thought about this quote, it got me to thinking about some of the ways we discuss our Scouting programs.  As you all know I am a fan of traditional Scouting and doing things the right way.  I am not a fan of giving everyone a trophy and I know that not every Scout will be an Eagle Scout… nor should they be.  If they have been properly trained in their young lives to work hard, then they will reap the rewards of hard work.
The road of life is difficult and only made easier by getting on it and traveling.  Know that it is hard, but stay the course.  The beauty of the road is that you get to pick your destination.   You can pick the path of least resistance and when you get there you will find that it took you to a place a fewer rewards.  You can get on the highway of success and its direction will lead you to the world of Success.  But you need to know that there will be detours and pot holes, but if you negotiate them, you will be successful.
So as Scout leaders and parents we need to encourage our children to take that road and prepare them for the detours and pot holes.  We do not need to drive them there with the knowledge of the location of the pot holes and hardships.  You can build the road, nice and smooth.  Pave it with gold and make it a fast lane for your child, but he will not get the most out of it and will fail to learn lessons along the way.
On the other hand, we can train him up to set a course, know how to go around a detour and take it slow on a pot hole filled road.  He will learn and develop and by the time he gets where he is going he will be a man who you will be proud of.
Last night at Round table I had a little chat with a Scouter about Eagle Scouts.  He made the comment that every Scout should be an Eagle Scout and that the sooner they get it, the better.
Again, I thought about the road.  Did we build the road for the Scout or did we build the Scout for the road.  I don’t know the answer in his particular case, but how many Eagle Scouts have we seen that are not prepared for the road.  I personally can tell you that I have seen many.  While I am proud of their accomplishment, I wonder if we as Scouters are not quick to reward and less enthusiastic to take the time and build that young man.
The road of life is a tough one.  We owe it to our children and our Scouts to build them ready for the road of life.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Motto, Oath and Law, Scout, Scouting, Scoutmaster minute, Skills, Values | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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