respect

Test of Three

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher
 came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, I need to tell you what I just heard about one of your students!”
 “Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”
 “Test of Three?”
 “That’s correct,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a
moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”  “No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.” “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”  “No, on the contrary…”
 “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”
 The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.   Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
 “No, not really…”   “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?   The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.
 This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
As Scouts we need to be mindful of who we talk about and why we talk about them.  Your words are powerful and unless they meet the test of three, they may be hurtful.  Think before you talk, take a minute to engage the test.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Leadership, respect, Values | Leave a comment

…and Morally Straight.

What do we mean when we talk about “Morally Straight”?  How do we explain that to our Scouts when our Scouts come from many different backgrounds, family dynamics, and religious beliefs?
Simply put, a Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.
We had a situation in my troop recently where a concerned parent approached us because her son had been Googling “Questionable” subjects.  In the discussion, it became clear that this new Scout had heard some words and ideas from an older Scout and decided to ask google rather than mom and dad what it meant.
Now before we go on, it should be said that the older Scout has had a talking to and this is the message that not only he got, but a great opportunity for me to share “Morally Straight” with the Troop.
You see, as a Scout we make a promise to keep ourselves, among other things, Morally Straight.
That means that we do our very best to stay clean in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  IF we think nasty thoughts, then we may want to take action on them.  IF we say nasty things, then we violate the promises we make in the oath and law.  And if we are nasty in our deeds or what we do, we chip away at our character.
Most of what we are talking about is how we act towards women.  It is truly the mark of a good man to treat women with respect and dignity.  Being morally straight drives how we treat the ladies of our lives.  How a man loves and treats his wife is perhaps the most important lesson that he can ever teach his children.  How men treat women in general is a real test to what the character is of that man.  If we are thinking about women in a less than respectful way, then we will show that in our actions and our words.  Women are not “Chicks”, they are not objects to be googled.  They should be held in high regard and treated well.
So if you find yourself searching the internet with less than moral intentions, or find yourself telling jokes that paint a nasty picture of women, or if you find yourself acting on something that popular culture has deemed acceptable, but you know in your heart that it is not morally straight.. stop. 
Never make yourself a liar.  You make a promise when you say the Scout Oath.  This promise is binding among men of character.  You will lose that when you act without being morally straight.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Oath and Law, respect, Scouts, Values | 8 Comments

Feathers

There once was two young Indian braves that were best of friends.  They grew together, hunting, playing, and learning to be men in the tribe.  Over time, both of these men caught the eye of a young women in the tribe, and they both began to try to win her heart.
As time went on, the young women favored one over the other and they began to court.  This angered the other friend and he began to speak of his friend in ways that ultimately destroyed their friendship and the honor of young man preparing to be married.  He said vicious things about his family, he talked about this character in ways that ruined the reputation of the brave.
One day as the two former friends passed, he noticed that he had truly hurt him, a tear was in his eye.  The brave that slandered his fellow tribesman ran to the Wiseman of the tribe.
He asked the Wiseman if there was any way to repair the damage that had been done.
The Wiseman instructed him to go and climb to the highest peak, there he would find the nest of an Eagle.  In that nest would be feathers, he was to gather up all of the feathers and bring them back to the village.
The young brave set off of the journey to the highest peak.  Days upon days, he walked, always thinking about the things that he had done.  He reached the mountain and began to climb until he finally found the nest on the peak.  He gathered the feathers and started his journey back to the village.
He was greeted at the village gate by the Wiseman.  “I have done as you instructed” he declared showing the feathers.
“Good, now return to the peak and let the feathers go.. let them fly to the North and the South, the East and West” said the Wiseman. 
And so the brave turned and started his second journey to the peak.  He arrived at the mountain top and let loose the feathers.  They blew in every direction.
Upon returning to the village, the brave once again was greeted by the Wiseman.  “I have let loose all the feathered and they have blown across the land” said the brave.  “Good, my son, now go and pick up all of the feathers that you have scattered” the Wiseman replied.  “That is impossible, I can never find, nor pick up all of the feathers that I have spread across the country side.  There are to many, and I do not know where they have gone.”
“Such are your words” the Wiseman began, “Once you loose your words, like the ringing of a bell or the letting go of the feathers, you can never take them back or collect them again.  They are gone, in the wind, and where they land you will never know.  Hurtful words and words that bring pain and disrepute can never be taken back, so if you are to spread your words, make sure they are good and helpful.  Words that heal and are friendly.” 
The words of the Wiseman are so true.  Words mean nothing, until they touch the ears of the listener.  Make them count.
Think before you talk and be watchful of how you speak.
All of us can learn from this message, I have.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, comments, Ideals, Oath and Law, respect, stories | Leave a comment

One Door Closes

It is said that when one door closes.. another door opens.  Much as one chapter of a book leads to the next chapter we had a door closed last night opening the door or moving on to the next chapter in the history of our Troop.
Last night when I arrived at our Troop meeting, I was greeted by our Charter Organization Representative and another member of the Knights of Columbus.  They were friendly and said that they were paying the Troop a visit.   After I had met with a few Scouts that showed up early, they asked if I had a minute before the meeting started.  “Certainly” I said.  We went into a private meeting room.  I thought this was a great time to talk about all the great things that the Troop has been doing and to give him an updated calender of the 2012 Troop events.  So I started in with how we were doing on recruiting and advancement, then went on to talk about our run for “Troop of the Year” kind of going over our Journey to Excellence Score card.
About half way through my impromptu presentation, the COR asked if we could talk about recharter.  “Of course, I would love to talk about recharter” after all,  our recharter packet is due to the District on Wednesday.  They said that the Knights had discussed and voted to renew our Charter.  “That’s great I said.. we would hate to lose the charter partner after 8 great years”.  Well, they said.. no problem, we are going to sign the charter.. HOWEVER…  Yep.. here it comes.. the slamming of the door…
“The Knights” they started… “Voted to renew the charter, but you can no longer meet in the Knights Hall.”  My jaw hit the floor.. “WHAT?”
“Well, we [the Knights] held a discussion, and the Knights felt like you [the Scouts] no longer needed the Hall.”
“What the heck does that mean?”  I asked.  I was completely dumbfounded.  The more I asked why, the deeper and deeper the COR and Brother Knight hummed and Haa’d and danced around giving me an honest answer.
I think it is fair for me to say at this time, that I have been a Knight for 19 years.  I loyally served the Knights of Columbus as Grand Knight for several terms and as District Deputy for a term, not to mention being the Scoutmaster for the most successful program the Knights Council has.
They went on to say that we could still use the basement to store “all our gear”.. to which I replied, “What gear?”  They said, that this was the best they could do and unfortunately there was nothing else they could do for us.  Then they said, but we really want to recharter you.
I asked them what for… if we have no place to meet, we don’t need you.  As much as you are done with us, we also must be done with you…
Part of the responsibility of the CO is to “Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved”  Here are the Chartered Organization Responsibilities”
By receiving a charter from the Boy Scouts of America, the chartered organization agrees to:

  • Conduct Scouting in accordance with its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the BSA.
  • Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families.
  • Appoint a chartered organization representative who is a member of the organization and will represent it to the Scouting district and council, serving as a voting member of each.
  • Select a unit committee of parents and members of the organization who will screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization’s leadership standards as well as the BSA’s standards.
  • Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved.
  • Encourage the units to participate in outdoor experiences.

At that point I heard the Scout Oath being recited, so I thanked them for the 8 good years and told them I had to get out to the meeting.  They asked me not to be mad or upset.  I told them that I was not mad, nor was I upset, I was disappointed in them, in the organization that I thought had a dedication to both youth and community.  I was disappointed that they could feel that this was the “right thing to do”.  I am disappointed in the Knights for displacing their Troop.  I told them that I was not mad and that this would be all that needs to be said.  They told me that we had till the 1st of the year.  I told them that in 24 hours we will have another Chartering Partner and they could rest assured that nothing will slow our program down and the Scouts will not be impacted by their decision.
One door closes… another door opens.
Today, I received many phone calls discussing the situation and it appears we already have a new place.  A bigger, better facility, and a Chartering Partner that values the Scouting Program.
We have not locked anything in yet, we have feelers out to two other organizations so we want to keep the options open.  After all we have 30 days to make the move.  We did have the Knights sign to get the charter in on time, but the Council knows we will be changing in the very near future.
Another door opens.
I am amazed at how our Troop committee mobilized in this effort.  Last night before the end of the meeting, they had a plan of action in place and things were on the move.  The Assistant Scoutmasters were already making calls and seeking the new location.  Today calls went out and we spent a good amount of time exchanging notes and discussions.  We are the move and not looking back.
One of the mom’s of the Troop has already volunteered to take the Charter Organization name off the flag.  Yes, they said we take everything with us.  They want nothing.
So the door is open, another chapter begins in the life of our Troop.
Last night I have to admit I was mad, disappointed, and upset that this chapter had closed.  But today is a new day and a new chapter, a fork in the trail.. the path to a new adventure.
One Door closed.. another Opened Wide!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, comments, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, respect, Scouting, Service, Values | 11 Comments

LNT v. The Outdoor Code

Last night I sat with a couple Scouts, they just crossed over on Friday and were having their Scoutmaster Conference for their Scout Badge.  I love this first conference, it is a great way to learn about the new Scout and a little about where he comes from.  What amazes me is how open they are in that first conference.  They always have questions and for the most part, they are anxious to get to Eagle.
Last night as one of these young men recited the Outdoor Code, he stopped and asked if he could ask a question.  I said sure… so he asked, “Why do we need the Outdoor Code when you make us know the Leave No Trace stuff?”  I thought for a minute and told him that I would have to get back to him with a good answer.
I wanted to give him the pat answer of how the Outdoor Code is in the book and is a requirement, but then I thought that Leave No Trace is also in the book and a Second Class Requirement.  So that one doesn’t work.  So I was thinking, why do we need both.
Lets review.
The Outdoor Code:
As an American, I will do my best to -
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.
Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Respect Wildlife
Be Considerate of Other Visitors

The LNT program is obviously more in depth and covers every type of camping… The Outdoor Code is more of a pledge or promise.
The LNT program are not just rules, but part of the whole outdoor program.  It is a skill set and an attitude.
The Outdoor Code is the promise that we make to live as a steward of the land.
I still do not have a great answer.  I suppose that in the final analysis if I had a vote, I would just go with the Leave No Trace program.  The Outdoor code, while traditional and easy to remember does very little with our Scouts to develop the attitude of stewardship and responsibility that is required for us in the wilderness and front country alike.
So I think when it comes down to giving this Scout and answer next Monday, its going to be a program vs. a code and how we use it to make a difference and protect our land.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, Ideals, Leave no trace, respect, Scoutmaster conference, Skills, Values | 2 Comments

Inspiration

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.
<DAD MOMENT>
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.
</DAD MOMENT>
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!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, Competition, Ideals, Leadership, Patriotism, respect, Service, teamwork | Leave a comment

The BigFoot Challenge

As we move into the Fall season Scout Troops everywhere are packing into the woods for great adventures.  Winter will soon be here and so Fall is a great time to reinforce the Leave No Trace Principles with the Scouts (and Adults) of your unit.
No matter what style of camping your Troop does the principles of Leave No Trace apply.
LNT.org is a great resource for you if you are just learning Leave No Trace or just need to brush up or see whats going on in the organization.
One of the cool things that LNT.org has is the Bigfoot Challenge.  Check it out using the link.
The idea of the program is reducing your footprint.
Last year at the National Jamboree I made a commitment to do the Bigfoot challenge and have been teaching, coaching, and mentoring our Scouts to Leave No Trace.  Part of our challenge was to get a Leave No Trace Trainer in the Troop… yes.. the youth position.  The BSA has added a lot of Enhancements to its Leave No Trace Program and every unit should be taking advantage of it.
So back to the Bigfoot challenge…  The challenge simply asks that we do simple acts of environmental activism.. now this does no mean that you have to wear tie die or sandles.. but it does mean, in a Scouting context, that we act responsibly in the outdoors and are good stewards of our environment, particularly the outdoors that we enjoy when we go camping.
Simple little things like teaching our Scouts how to better plan and prepare to reduce the amount of trace we take out into the woods, using the “Bearmuda” triangle when setting up camp to reduce impact and animal issues, better ways to clean up dishes and cookware, using the patrol method to reduce to impact of large groups.
The Bigfoot Challenge also offers the change to win prizes.. and wait for it… Yes there is a patch available at the LNT.org website.
So take the Bigfoot challenge…
Teach a Scout, Be an example, Join Leave No Trace and remember to reduce your footprint.. after all Bigfoot has been doing it for years!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, Ideals, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Leave no trace, Methods, Patrol Method, planning, respect, Skills, training, Values | Leave a comment

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Climbing, Cooking, Good Turn Daily, High Adventure, Ideals, Jamboree, Journey to Excellence, Just fun, Leadership, Leave no trace, Motto, Oath and Law, respect, Scout, Scout Law, Scouting, Scouts, Service, Skills, stories | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2011

Memorial Day has always been a day that our family observed beyond the BBQ and long weekend event.  My Dad was a career soldier and served in Vietnam, and having lost many of his friends there, Memorial Day had special meaning.  My Grandfather served in World War II and honored that generation of American Warrior that gave so much for the cause of freedom.
But Memorial Day took on a new or at least a special meaning to me once I returned from Iraq… and more so once I retired from the Army.
It was a hot early morning 18 miles south of Baghdad, I was returning with a Patrol from B CO.  We had been patrolling a sector looking for insurgents that had been placing IED’s along MSR Tampa, the main supply route in and out of Baghdad.
We had turned the corner and were on the side road that led into our camp when all of a sudden the whole world came unglued.  An RPG hit the HUMMV in the lead of the convoy flipping it over.  The young soldier in the turret’s name is SPC Wright.  He was severely wounded.  The driver and co driver were shaken up pretty bad.  The patrol dismounted and returned fire, in what seemed like an hour (it was actually about 2 minutes) it was all over.  The insurgents fled.
Now this was not the first time we had engaged the enemy in and around our sector, but this day was the day that we really did not want to make contact.. we were heading home in a few days.  Specialist Wright lay on the ground surrounded by medics covered in blood and transmission fluid from the HUMMV.  I was looking down at the young man, he was only 20 at the time.  His eyes stared at me and he asked me if he was ok.  “You’ll be fine” I told him.  The medic handed me an IV bag and I held it up as they opened it up to a full drip.  “Am I going to die Sergeant Major?” he asked.  “Not today” I told him.  The Blackhawk with the big red cross on it arrived and we loaded him in.  As he flew away I thought that this day would be one I never forget.  I had seen death, destruction, and what the worst in human nature could do to other humans, but this was close.  When we got back to the states I saw Wright, he is alive a well.  He told me that all he could remember of that day was me standing over him telling him he would be ok.
Today we remember all of the men and women that paid in full for our Freedom.  I lost a dear friend, SSG Brad Lindsey in the fight against Global Terrorism.  He was a soldier in my company when I was a First Sergeant.  He was my radio operator.  On his second tour in the Global War on Terror he was killed in Action in Afghanistan.  It was a hurt that I will never forget.
We have all been touched by the loss of a service member.  So today, unfortunately is the one day that we all choose to remember.
So enjoy the BBQ, have a great day off… but some time today, look to the heavens (cause that’s where they are) and say thanks to those that paid the price for our freedom.

Last Thursday, the Scouts of my Troop, and the Scouts of the entire Thunderbird District placed a Flag on every head stone at the Willamette National Cemetery.  A few hours of our Scouts showing that they really care and an opportunity to reinforce in this next generation the idea that freedom has a price and someone has to pay it.
I hope to God that none of the Scouts of my Troop ever have to go off to war.  But I never want them to forget the men and women that did.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Ideals, Memorial Day, Patriotism, respect, Service | 3 Comments

I Believe

Yesterday I received an email from a fellow named Thom in PA.  I won’t post his email here, but the jest of it was that he challenged the idea that the Boy Scouts of America should be inclusive of all religion.  His argument is that the Boy Scouts started as a Christian organization sighting the writings of Baden Powell on the subject.  He said that what I talked about in Show # 83 about accepting all is not accurate and that Christianity is the only “True” religion.
While I do not want to engage in a debate on religion, I did think it necessary to state where I stand in this issue.. and possibly reinforce the BSA’s stand on religion.
BSA first.
“The Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America maintain that no boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God. Scouting is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion. Membership in a religious organization is not required.
Scouting respects the convictions of those who exercise their constitutional freedom to practice religion as individuals without formal membership in organized religious groups. In all cases religious instruction is the responsibility of the parents or guardians of the Scout and the religious institution to which a Scout belongs. It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that the religious organization or institution with which a Scout is connected shall give definitive attention to his religious life.”
We as Scout leaders are to encourage a Scout to explore their faith and recognize their duty to God.  The Scout pledges a “Duty to God” in the Oath, but does not define who or what that God is.  That is up to the individual Scout and his family.
OK, now here is my take.
First of all.. I believe in One God, I believe in his son Jesus Christ who was born of the virgin Mary.  I believe that he was delivered by the Father to take away the sins of the world.  I believe that he was crucified, he died, he was buried, and that he rose from the dead to sit at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge us.  I believe that a church house is not the only place to find and talk to God.  I believe that God has many names, but he is still God.  You may call him God, or Allah,Yahweh, Brahman, Bhagavan, Waheguru, you can call him Tian Zhu, or Shangdi, I don’t care.. he is still God and will answer (in his time) when you call.
I believe that God gave us free will and what we do with that will determine our final destiny.  I do believe in heaven and hell and that when you do whats right you end up in heaven.  I believe in forgiveness and Karma and that both are healthy and both can hurt.  I believe that the Boy Scouts teach young men (and women) to always do whats right.
I believe that no matter what church you call your own, that they all teach basically the same thing and that is the Golden Rule.   “Do unto others as you would have done to you”.  Treat others with compassion, respect, dignity, and love.  I think that the twelve points of the Scout law lead you to the Golden Rule.  Is it a wonder that Reverent is last then?
I don’t think you need religion to teach you that, but since it is there, why not learn from it.
I believe that there are bad people in the world that do bad things, some of them are preachers, teachers, and youth leaders.  Some are politicians and businessmen, all of them excercise that free will that we have been given and all of them will be introduced to karma and will be judged in the end.
I believe that a mans character is precious and should be safeguarded.  It can be given away and never gotten back, but the way to maintain that character is by doing the right thing.. always.  That is what I believe.
I believe that getting out in the wilderness brings me closer to my God.  I know that I have had better talks with him there than in any church.  I am Catholic, and believe what I have learned in the church, but I know that the Church is governed by man.. and that can be a problem sometimes.  I think the church as an institution try to do good things and bring people closer to God, some times it does not seem that way, but the true test is that she has remained for over 2000 years, so something must be right.
I believe that God is who YOU want him, her, or what ever to be.  It is many trails that lead to the same location.
The bottom line Thom in PA… Who are you to judge?  Who are you to tell a young boy that he can not be a Boy Scout because he calls God Allah?  Who are you to exclude a young man because he does not go to your church or he does not prescribe to Christianity?  Who are you to say that the Bible is the only Holy Book?  The Torah had been around long before the Bible.  And what about that Golden Rule?  They have found documentation referring to it dating 1600 years before Christ in Ancient Egypt.
I guess what I am saying is that we are not the ones that need to be defining who God is and what God is.  We all believe, and it is up to the individual to decide what that is.
The BSA does not define God, nor should they.  We have the Oath and the Law and the free will to practice what we preach in that regard.. and you know what.  It all leads to GOOD, and in God’s eyes.. that’s ok.
He told me so.

Have a Blessed Easter everyone.. and a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Oath and Law, respect, Scout Law, Values | Tags: | 2 Comments

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