Scout Law

To be a Man

I had a nice talk the other night with a friend of mine, a long time Scout and Scouter.  I enjoy our talks because they typically get to the heart of what Scouting is all about.  We were talking about the Aims of Scouting, you know… Citizenship, Character, and Fitness.. but the conversation turned to a theme that has flowed throughout Scouting since its inception in 1907, and really before that as Baden Powell put together the frame work of the organization that would become Scouting.
The idea that we as Scout leaders have a job to do, while we teach and coach these young men camping skills, character, and life skills in general, we are also tasked with teaching them to be men.  Yes MEN.  This may seem obvious and some may ask where I would find that in Scouting literature, and you may not find it.  But look at the program, since the beginning.  It has always been about the virtues or manliness.  As I grew up my Dad tought me to be a man.  And that is not to say just a member of the species.  Respect, Honor, Duty, Courtesy.. those types of things.  Standing up for what is right, defending the weak, treating women with respect, treating everyone with dignity and compassion.  Having a strong heart and faith and exercising both your brain and your brawn when the right situation for them came up. 
I was allowed as a boy to be a boy and explore and grow.  To take risk and learn.  This allowed me to become a man.  Scouting was a major part of that.  It tought me the Scout Law and Oath, great rules for all men to live by.  These rules and promises were consistent with my faith and upbringing and as a result I was not conflicted in the direction that I should go to become a man.  I had great role models.  Teachers, Coaches, Scout leaders, and my Dad, who through there collective actions thought me to be a man.
Now it is my turn, as a Dad and a Scoutmaster to teach young men those qualities of being a man.  It is the job of the Scoutmaster as he teaches Character, Citizenship, and Fitness to add to that manliness.  He does this through his actions and example.
I love this poem and have shared it on many occasions with our young men. 
IF
by  Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds worth of distance run — Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

Bring them up right!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Ideals, Leadership, Methods, respect, Scout Law, Service, Skills, Values | Leave a comment

Lesson in Civility

Recently Skynews reported in an article “10 things that we can learn from Japan”  I thought this was interesting, because beyond the obvious it is a look in the mirror, a way to judge ourselves and the culture in which we are raising our kids.  Not so long ago we witnessed the tragedy of Katrina in New Orleans.  As much as the hurricane left a path of destruction, the pain came from seeing how our fellow man treated one another.  The Rodney King riots is another example.  We can debate justice another time, but the actions following the verdict were just a terrible, if not more than the beating of Rodney King.  In our country we burn cars in the street and vandalize after a sports team wins a championship.. my goodness.. what are we?
Look at natural disasters that have devastated parts of our world and see what man does in its aftermath.  Haiti?  New Orleans?  Los Angels?  Japan?  Take a look at a part of the article about the recent devastation in Japan and use it to measure ourselves as a Nation.. as a World.

1. THE  CALM-  Not a single visual of  chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.
2. THE  DIGNITY-  Disciplined queues for water  and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture. Their patience is  admirable and praiseworthy.
3. THE  ABILITY-  The incredible architects, for  instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall. 
4. THE GRACE  (Selflessness)-  People  bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get  something. 
5. THE  ORDER-  No looting in shops. No  honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just  understanding.
6. THE  SACRIFICE-  Fifty workers stayed back to  pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?
 7. THE  TENDERNESS-  Restaurants cut prices. An  unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the  weak.
 8. THE  TRAINING-  The old and the children, everyone  knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.
 9. THE  MEDIA-  They showed magnificent  restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage. Most of  all – NO POLITICIANS TRYING TO GET CHEAP MILEAGE.
10. THE  CONSCIENCE-  When the power went off in a  store, people put things back on the shelves and left  quietly.

Now I am not saying the heroic and wonderful things have not happened in our darkest hours, but by and large, we have a lot to learn about civility and humanity.  Whats this got to do with a Scouting Blog.
Read the Oath and Law and see how well the Japanese measure up to it.
Just an observation from one Scouter that wants to be better.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Good Turn Daily, Ideals, Oath and Law, respect, Scout Law, Values | 1 Comment

>A moment of your time

>

The other day I was out and about and I ended up in the check out line at a local store.  There was an elderly gentleman in line ahead of me waiting patiently as the check out clerk seemed to be struggling a bit.
It was one of the weird situations where no one really talks, let alone makes eye contact.  I was thumbing through some notes on my iPhone when I looked up and there he was.. making eye contact with me, the elderly man was staring at me with a puzzled look on his face.  I smiled and said “Hey, how ya doing?”  He nodded his head and replied “very well, thank you for asking.”  He asked what I had there in my hand and why young people can’t seem to live without “all these devices”?  I told him it was my phone and it really has made my life more organized.  He told me that when he was a young man, he carried a little note book and it did the same thing at a tenth of the cost.  I laughed, as did he and then he asked what was so important that it had my attention in the check out line.  I told him I was reviewing the roster of my Scout Troop for the up coming camp out.  He said “Really?  You can do that?  I told him “Sure, would you like to see?”  We moved up a few steps in line and I showed him the roster, then some pictures from the National Jamboree, and then a few other cool apps, like the one you can see the stars and planets with.  He was amazed and a great conversation started.  He told me that he had been in Scouts back in the 40’s and 50’s and was a Scoutmaster till he had to go off to war in Korea.  He said that he had been to the Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1950.  “It was the biggest thing I ever did in Scouting” he said.  I shared with him my Jamboree experience of last year and told him it too was the biggest thing I have ever done in Scouting.  Well, the conversation went on till it was finally his turn to check out.  The clerk had a button on that read “IN TRAINING”.  She was very apologetic and fumbled to get everything in the mans bag.  He walked away and it was my turn to check out.  I smiled at her and told her that it was fine on about the fifth time she glanced at me and said “sorry”.  I assured her that she was not the first person to have worn a “IN TRAINING” button and that it was going to be ok.  She said thanks and gave me my change.
I walked out of the store to find the elderly man sitting on a bench.  I asked if everything was ok?  He said it was, and that he was just waiting on the bus to take him back to the retirement home.  I asked if he needed company.  He did not want to bother.. I told him I had nothing but time.  We sat and talked for about 20 minutes, he told me his wife had passed a few years back and now he just kinda wanders through his last days.  He shared some fond memories of his Scouting days and time he spent with his sons camping, he said he missed those days and wished he could go back in time.  He was all alone, yeah, the retirement home was nice and had a great staff, but most of the old folks just played cards and took naps.. I laughed.  And the bus arrived.  He shook my hand, smiled and got on the bus.  As he drove away, he looked out the window and gave me a Scout salute.  He had a big grin on his face.
Heading to my truck I could not help but smile and think about what a great guy that was.  Some ones Dad, Uncle, Grandpa.. A veteran, a Scout, a great guy.
You know, Doing a good turn each day might just mean giving someone a moment of your time.  It made his day I am sure… because it sure did make mine.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Good Turn Daily, Scout Law, Scouting, Scoutmaster minute | 5 Comments

“Each day I examine myself on three counts: whether or not I am loyal to those in whose behalf I act; whether or not I am trustworthy in my dealings with friends; whether or not I practice what is imparted.”
— Tseng Tzu


Thought this was worth passing on. Found it in my Franklin Planner. A great way of waking up every morning and setting a course for your day. Also a great way to lay your head down at night and reflect on your life of Character.
It seems that the Scout Law is not just for Scouts…

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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A Scout is….

Just words… Right?
If you have not listened to the two mp3 files in the previous posts.. STOP now and listen to them, then come back and read this one.

There are times in your life that you hear something, smell something, see something, that causes you to pause and evaluate. Either a memory or a feeling, or a way in which you want something to be.
Stumbling on the speeches by Rabbi Hyman and Admiral Carmona and hearing their message got me to thinking about Character and more specifically what makes up Character.
All organizations have what they call their Core Values. They are the set of Values that are to shape the people in the organization. Shape their attitudes and character to make the organization and those in it better. It is a simple philosophy that calls for the people in the organization to do what is right.
When I was in the Army, we were taught from the first day the Core Values of the Army. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
These Values became a part of everyday life and a set of rules that we held each other in account with. They were shared by all, weather you came to the Army with them, or established your core once you got there. These values became the foundation of our lives. It drove us to never let the organization down and to do our best in everything we did. The values are a set of virtues that we adopted as a group that asked us to have Honor and Courage and to do what is right.
The Marines summed it up with “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) with their Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. They share the same values which motivate a group to do what is right, not just for themselves, but more importantly for those around them. What are they faithful to? To the Marines? To the Country? To Each other? The answer… all of the above.
There is an understanding in the Core Values that there is something greater than themselves. That the good of the group and those that they serve are more important and deserve greater attention than person needs and wants.
Major Corporations also present a set of Core Values within their organizations. And they too are established to set a path for the members of the organization to succeed, to serve, and to share in living a life which guides them to do right.
For example, UPS’s values of integrity, diligence, innovation, courtesy, promptness, reliability and, yes, even appearance are the yardsticks by which every employee, product, and decision is measured.
And when the employees or members of an organization embrace the values, the people and organization are better.
And so it is within Scouting. From the beginning, Baden Powell taught the Scouts and Scout leaders the Values of Service, of Honor, of Duty to God and Country. Today we continue to teach and live the Values found within the Scout Oath and Law.
We ask that each member of our organization practice in their daily lives the core values of Duty to God and Country, to live the Scout Law, to help other people at all times and to keep the promises made about themselves; to keep themselves physically Strong, mentally awake, and morally Straight.
The Values that shape us a Scouts and Scouters; Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent cause the member to live a decent life. A life of service to others and a life that directs them to do what is right.
Weather they are found in the Army, the Marines, UPS, or the Boy Scouts of America, Core Values are the foundation, the building blocks, the bedrock of an organization and its members.
When those values are learned, developed, and practiced, the organization is better and the people within it become people of strong Character. And that leads others to respect and admiration.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, Oath and Law, Scout Law, Values | Leave a comment

Content of Character

Ok.. this may be taking the easy way out.. but when you hear something that makes you sit up and listen you need to pay attention… and share it.

Rabbi Peter Hyman
Chairman, National Jewish Committee on Scouting

“The twelfth point of the Scout law is not just about theology. It is also about community. We are a community united by a set of values, reflected on a breathtaking sea of diversity, and those values reveal our character. In our reaching up to God, we find ourselves standing closer to one another. This is the profound lesson that we, the Boy Scouts of America, teach the world.”

Listen to his speech at the National Meetings of the Boy Scouts of America.
Take the 26 minutes and hear Rabbi Peter Hyman talk about Reverence and Content of Character.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, Scout Law | Leave a comment

Trustworthy

This last weekend we learned a little more about Trustworthy.
Trustworthy often is interpreted as telling the truth and being able to be trusted in a truthful kind of way.
Trustworthy is extended in ourselves also in trusting each other not only being truthful, but physically too.
We learned to trust each other on belay this weekend, literally putting your safety in the hands of another. We learned to trust our knots and gear. We snapped a caribiner on a rope and onto our harness and walked off a cliff. That takes trust. You have got to be able to trust the folks that set up the climbing area. Did they hook everything up right?
So trustworthy does not stop at telling the truth. It extends to our inner trust of others and of things we use.
There are people in our lives that will never have the level of trust that our Scouts learned this weekend, and they will be better for it forever.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Credibility

The age old story of the boy that cried wolf is timeless and speaks to us regarding credibility, it essentially goes like this:

A young boy in a small village felt that he never received attention. So one day as he was tending to the sheep, he cried out that a wolf was nearing the herd. This alarmed the village and they ran to the aid of the boy and the herd.
Upon arriving, the villagers found no wolf, just the boy and the sheep. They asked if there was a wolf, the boy replied that, no… not really, he thought he may have seen a wolf.. but there was no wolf.
The next day, the same scenario played out in the fields just outside of the village. The young boy again, tending to the flock cried out WOLF…WOLF… and again the people of the village came to the aid of the young boy and the flock of sheep.
Again they found no wolf, no harmed sheep, and the young boy alone. They asked the boy where the wolf was and again he replied that there really was no wolf.
The third day as the young boy watched over the sheep, a wolf appeared and began to attack the flock. The young boy in a panic yelled WOLF..WOLF!!.. no one came. The wolf continued to wreck havoc on the flock and the boy continued to yell.. WOLF… WOLF!!! Still no one from the village came to the rescue.
The wolf took the sheep it wanted and left the boy and flock. The young boy returned to the village with the remainder of the sheep. The owner inquired as to why there were missing sheep. To which the young boy told the story of the wolf that attacked the herd. The young boy asked why no one came when he cried Wolf?
The old man who owned the sheep replied that they did not believe the boy. That for two days the boy cried wolf when there was none. The boy had lost the trust of the villagers. On the third day when the wolf actually came, the people of the village did not want to waste their time running to a emergency that was not real.
The young boy has lost credibility with the people of the town.

We too can loose our credibility when we are not living the Scout Oath and Law. When we are not Trustworthy and Loyal. When we fail to be Courteous and Kind. When we are not Thrifty and Reverent.
These parts of the Scout law are visible to others and demonstrate to others how we live our lives. They build credibility. We loose that credibility when we stray from the values of the Oath and Law.

It takes a lot to earn credibility and Trust… it can vanish in a minute.
Be careful with yours, you may need it when the wolves of our lives attack and we need help.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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In Case you have not heard…

In this year of political debate, economic ups and downs, and politicians stump jumping to get your vote…
Wouldn’t be nice if we could see a politician that shared our values, our beliefs, our commitment.
Wouldn’t be nice if just one of the politicians demonstrated that he was Trustworthy, Loyal, helpful.
Wouldn’t be nice if we could count on the process to be Courteous and Kind.
Wouldn’t it be nice if those that have been chosen to lead were obedient.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see a genuine cheerful spirit and not just the obligatory perma -grin.
Wouldn’t be nice if they were thrifty just like the rest of us. Brave enough to make the right choice. Clean in thought and deed and of course Reverent to our creator.

Just think of the picture our politicians would paint if they just lived by 12 simple values. Just think of how much greater our Country would be if we could count on them to act like we would like them too.. in short.. like Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Scout Law | 1 Comment

A Scout is Thrifty

…With his time.

Time Management is an important part of life and Scouting.
You hear to many people say that they don’t have enough time in their day… I would say that they do not prioritize and plan well.
You see as we go through life we pick and choose how to spend our time. We dedicate time to those things that we first must do, like work and school, and then we prioritize based on our interests, hobbies and the things that we like to do.
We choose to participate or not in activities, groups, sports, and entertainment. But we always have time. What we do with that time is up to us and our priorities.

I dedicate what some people see as an excessive amount of time to Scouting. That may or may not be true, based on priorities.
I believe that Scouting is good and worth my time. Scouting is family time. Scouting produces good men, and I feel that if I make a contribution to that end, I have done something good for my Community and Nation. So Scouting is high on my list of priorities.. and therefore I make time for it.
Faith, Family, Taking care of my family financially (work), and Scouting are high on my list… So I make time for it.
When asked if I can undertake a task or assist on a committee, I make a choice to participate or not. I do not say that my plate is full or I don’t have the time, because that would not be true. I fill my plate to level that I want to. Free time is a priority too, and so I make sure that there is some of that in my life. It is more important for us to be honest and tell someone that you are not interested, rather than to say you don’t have time. You have time, but the task they are asking you to help with may not be a priority…right now.
Scouts are Thrifty with their time. They manage it and prioritize it.

You take the time to read this blog..why? Because Scouting is important to you.. I write it for the same reason.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Scout Law | Leave a comment

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