Scout

Bad Week as a Scouter

lifepinI should start by saying no one got hurt, no one died, and no one is going to jail…
It was August and we were heading home from Philmont Scout Ranch.  Our two crews from the Troop stopped in Grand Junction, Colorado to eat at the Golden Corral Buffet, a restaurant that our Scouts came to love on the trip down to Philmont.  I sat at a table with a handful of older Scouts and one in particular, I will call him Phil.  Phil was a life Scout and a real active member of the Troop.  Phil is a Senior in High School now, but at the time was enjoying his summer and just had a great time at Philmont.  Phil has a little brother in the Troop that is real motivated and did a great job in pushing Phil to get going on advancement and taking a more active role in the Troop.  So Phil and I started talking about his 18th Birthday and soon it would be on us.  We talked about his goals and what he was planning on doing after high school.  He stated that he was planning on joining the Army.  Immediately I had some advice for him and we started talking about wrapping up his last requirements for Eagle.  He had 8 months till he turned 18 and if he got going, he could knock out those last merit badges and focus on his Eagle Project.
About a month ago Phil decided that he really wanted to earn his Eagle rank.  So, we started looking into how he could finish the merit badges and get the project rolling.  Phil showed moments of absolute motivation and effort that I wish all our Scouts had in them.  He also showed moments of “let it ride”.  He fell into the trap of Maxing the minimum.  Last week he got some critical merit badges complete and his Eagle Project approved.  This week he hit a road block when he discovered that he was going to have a challenge that time would not allow him to over come.  Tonight, he decided, along with discussion with his Dad and then me, that he could not finish before he turns 18 on Sunday.
Tonight I went to his home and sat and talked with him, his brother, and his Dad.  We talked about the lessons learned through this process and that although he will not be an Eagle Scout, he has learned much from Scouting and that he is a better person for it.  I shared with him that I am not an Eagle Scout.. in much the same fashion, I ran out of time when I was approaching my 18th birthday.  I to joined the Army and turned 18 while in Basic Training.  Instead of Eagle Scout, I earned Private First Class.  All was not lost though.. the things that I learned in Scouting made me a successful soldier and in 24 months I achieved the rank of Sergeant.  I shared all of this with Phil to reinforce that even though he can’t be an Eagle Scout he can take what Scouting gave him and what he learned and earned and apply it for the rest of his life.
Over the past few weeks and in particular the last few days, I have done everything that I can possibly do to assist this young man in becoming an Eagle Scout.  I have looked for loop holes and work arounds and at the end of the day the lesson learned is that there is a process and that process needs to be done right.  No short cuts, no loop holes, and no work arounds.  With every thing we had we tried, we could not help the Scout that waited.
This is the first time I have ever had to look a young man in the eye and say that I am sorry he can not be an Eagle Scout.  This is the first time that we have run the course and not succeeded.  Not that the Scout is a failure, but that the Scout did not finish in time.
I am exhausted.  This young man has worked hard, but he started to late to get motivated and get it done.  I have seen a strong work ethic emerge in this young man and I hope that he learned that when he puts his mind to it, he can and will be successful.  This short fall is not the end of the world and a great lesson in life.
He’s going to keep working on his project so it will benefit the community.  That is a great thing.  His service will be lasting, something he learned along the way in Scouting.
What I have learned in this process is that I need to do a better job of setting the Scouts up.  I will not do the work, nor will I nag the Scout.. but what I will do, and what our Troop will do from this day forward is simple.  On their 17th birthday we will sit down with the Scout and his progress record.  We will explain the process and encourage them to start getting real serious if they want to be an Eagle Scout.  They will have 365 day notice that time is running out.  They will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what they need to finish and we will give them the tools to be successful.  What they do with it from there is up to them.
I will not scramble like this again.  I will not get in a position of working merit badges with a Scout 3 days before his 18th birthday.  It is not the way the process is designed and does not demonstrate what it takes to be an Eagle Scout.
I feel real bad for Phil.  I wish he was planning an Eagle Court of Honor right now.  What I know for sure is that Phil has learn some valuable life lessons this last month and I feel that he will go on to do great things with his life because of it.  I certainly hope so.
Scouting was real good for Phil.  He did well.  He just came up short.  That’s life.. as hard as that is to hear.  What he does with that knowledge is up to him now.
I gave him a coin tonight, it is the coin that I was allowed to have made when I became a Command Sergeant Major.  I can’t award him the Eagle Medal, but the coin is to serve to him as a reminder of hard work and dedication and the rewards for effort.  I am not an Eagle Scout, but I made it to the very top in the Army, so can he… if he wants to.
This has been a bad week for me in Scouting… but one that I learned alot and I hope that Phil did to.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Ideals, Methods, Philmont, planning, Scout, Scoutmaster conference, Values | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Merit Badge mania

I have always been a Scoutmaster that encourages advancement and using all of the methods of Scouting.  I have always put a priority on the Scouts having fun, seeking new adventures and in the process, rank, merit badges, and other goodies will happen.  And for the better part of 8 years, this has seemed to be the status quo of our troop.  Good participation at camp outs, doing lots of cool activities and in the process, Scouts earned merit badges and rank.  UNTIL NOW.
For some reason, some of which I don’t have a problem with the Council has decided that merit badges should fall in the hands of committees and project teams.  In an effort to gain and maintain relationships with big corporations and learning centers in the Portland metro area a premium has been placed on merit badge days and work shops.
Rather than do it the old-fashioned way where as a Scout develops an interest in a subject or understands that he needs the merit badge for advancement, comes to his unit leader and asks for a blue card and the number to the nearest counselor and then he begins work on the badge.  Upon completion, the Scout(or the counselor) returns the blue card and the Scout is presented with the badge.  The Council has now provided opportunities for a Scout to just sign up on-line for a badge, show up for a day and complete the badge, many times without the parent unit knowing he has plans to work on it.  This bugs me a bit.
The other thing that bugs me about this program is that racking up merit badges seems to have taken front seat to other Scouting programs within the unit.  Scouts will sign up and pay online to go to a merit badge hand out rather than participate in a troop activity.  I think this is wrong.
Like I said, the traditional way of working and earning merit badges has worked just fine for the better part of 8 years.  Scouts have shown interest and they have earned the badges without placing too much emphasis on them other than for advancement.
Until Now.  It seems that the latest batch of Scouts (Parents) seem to think that merit badges are the end all be all.  They are cranking out merit badges at a pace that will land them all in Boy’s Life for setting merit badge records.  I don’t know where this comes from and I don’t know exactly when the switch was flicked.  What I do know is that I think it is sending the wrong message to the Scout.  I think the parents should remove themselves from the merit badge game and allow their son to have fun in Scouting and earn them the right way.
I upset some parents (new parents) last month when I gave the Summer camp speech and told the Scouts to not worry about merit badge but to make sure they had fun at summer camp.  Some of the Scouts listened and did have a great time at camp, while others wasted no time in earning merit badges for the sake of earning merit badges.  A quick look at the list of merit badges earned at summer camp tell the story, no Eagle required badges earned (they take all week), but many “filler badges were worked and earned.
So our Tenderfoot Scouts will soon have loaded merit badge sashes and no cool stories, no great memories, and will still not be any closer to the next rank.  But their parents will be happy that they get to see Tommy Tenderfoot at the Court of Honor get lots of stuff.
What I am afraid of is the council creating a “participation ribbon” environment.  Where everyone is a winner and no one has to work hard for what they get.  A patch for the patches sake is far less worth having than one earned.
Not every Scout will be an Eagle Scout and not every Eagle Scout earned all 250 or so merit badges. 
I asked the Scouts the other night how important the merit badges were to them.  My little poll did not tell the story that the amount of merit badges would suggest.  Nor the fact that they are all rushing to work merit badges at the Council sponsored events.  Which could only lead me to one conclusion.  The parents need to get their own sashes.
Merit badges will come when the time and interest is right.  They should never take priority over Troop events, and the Council should stay out of it.
My 2 cents, you know I am interested in hearing yours.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, blog, comments, Methods, Scout, Skills | 17 Comments

Where worlds meet

For those of you that have followed the blog for any given time, you know that I am a fan of sports.  I believe that sports do great things in the lives of youth and I also believe that there is room for sports, scouts, academics, and a normal life for our youth.  I actually think that when youth participate in sports and scouts they become better young men and women.
This last weekend was spent watching my oldest son wrestle at a tournament with the High School wrestling team.  John did real well this weekend, and as I sat and watched, and for those of you that have been to wrestling tourney’s.. you know that it is an all day affair.  You have lots of time to sit and watch, think, write, or do as I do.. people watch.
I typically get into lengthy discussions with other parents.  This year has been interesting as John is a Senior and many of the parents we hang out with we have known since the boys were all in kindergarten.  So the discussions quickly turn to how amazed we are about our boys, future plans, college, and “do you remember when” subjects.  This last weekend we got into a discussion about one of the boys that I have known since he was 7.  He was in Cub Scouts with John, but when the time came to cross over, he made the choice not to continue with Scouting.  He turned out to be a great young man and is a good friend of my daughters. 
One of the other dads sitting with us said that his son had to drop out of Scouts because of athletics.  He could not do both as Scouting and sports don’t mix.
I had to ask why he thought that way.  The answer I got did not make sense to me.  He said that Scouting was more for kids that were intellectual and could not make it in sports.  He added that scouting takes too much time away from sports practice and social time. <insert record scratch>
I made mention that both of my boys were in scouts and they both are athletes, and they both are A’s and B’s students, and both have a good social life.  He said it was the exception not the rule.  Then I told him of the Scouts in my troop.  In my Troop there are football players, baseball players, wrestlers, water polo, swim team, lacrosse, soccer, and golf team members.  Of those guys, they are active in the Troop and are all either Eagle Scouts or well on their way to becoming and Eagle Scout.  All of them are good students and very active with their Schools.  Members of Student government or clubs, and are all really good young men.
Again, he said we are the exception not the rule.  So I had to ask.. why do you suppose that is?
I believe that young men that play organized sports learn valuable life lessons.  They learn team work and working with others.  They learn that the team comes first and individual egos should be left at home.  They learn that hard work produces great things and that when you lose you learn.  They learn that effort pays off and that collective effort will eventually win.
I believe that sports push young men to stay fit and sports develop in them a sense of committment and accountability.  The individual is driven to be there for his team mates, he understands that without every one pitching in and moving toward the same goal the team will not be a success.
I think far to many times parents and Scout leaders can not get past the old “Jock” stereotype. 
Speaking strictly for my family Sports and Scouting go hand and hand.  Sports and Scouting complement one another and help round out our kids.  Add to Sports and Scouting good family values, strong faith, and a host of friends that have the same interests, and we have been blessed with three awesome kids.
The boys John and Josh have been active in both Scouting and Sports since they could be.  Josh started playing Football in 3rd Grade.  John and Josh both run Track and played Soccer.  John took to Wrestling, Josh stuck with Football and Track.  Katelyn played Soccer and volleyball for the Nike Club league team.  She is talented in Band and is a great student academically.  She tried Girl Scouts, but could not fit in with their click.  So she stuck to a supportive role in her brothers Scouting lives.
The point here is that all three are great kids and sports and scouts have played a great role in that.  It has meant long weekends, lots of travel time, and spending money on the kids activities rather than ourselves, but the result is that we have a great family life and kids that are healthy, smart, and ready for life.
Sports gave them confidence, good attitudes, and drive to accomplish anything.  Scouting does much of this and more, but when the two worlds meet a great young person comes out the other end.
So this Dad that does not see the value in both.. or that its one or the other.. well, I think that comes from parents that see the hassle, Scout leaders that see the competition, and youth that go along with what they say.
Parents need to be supportive of a young man that wants to do sports and scouting.  They need to make a committment to their son that doing both is possible.  Scout leaders need to understand the value in having an athlete in their troop.  They too need to be committed to the Scout and his needs and interests.  Scouting and Sports can work together.
I am proud of the Scouts of my Troop that take the time to be athletes.  I admire their dedication and committment, and I tell them that during Scoutmaster conferences or when they have an achievement on or off the playing field. 
Here is what I know for sure.
It’s not 100% so I am not saying this for effect…
Young men that are Scouts and Athletes are better students, better leaders, are better fit, and have a higher confidence level.  They stick it out to the end and do not let their Troop or their team mates down.
I’ll take that any day!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

*By the way.. the picture on this post.. Gerald R. Ford,  39th President, Eagle Scout, Football player at the University of Michigan 1933

Categories: Advancement, blog, Character, Citizenship, comments, Ideals, Leadership, Scout, teamwork, Values | 6 Comments

Challenge

This past weekend our Troops plan was to float a portion of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon.  We all knew going into this activity that there was risk as well as the opportunity to challenge our selves.  What we could never plan for was how well the Scouts did in the adventure leading to the adventure.
The Big River Campground is three and half hours away from our meeting hall, so we left a little earlier than we typically do to give us time in the day light to set up camp and relax for the night.
An hour out of town one of the cars in the convey starts “acting up”, so we pulled over, checked out and pushed on.  Two hours into the trip that same car came to its final leg in a town called Madras.  The car was finished, could not move.  So we parked it and started planning on first how to recover the car and then second how to keep moving to camp.  We decided to leave the car where it sat, right behind the Sonic.  The owner was kind enough to let us keep it there.  The next part was a bit more of a challenge.  We had to transport 4 Scouts and a Driver to Sunriver… another hour and half.
We squeezed one more small Scout into a seat belt and left the remainder at the Sonic with the driver.  The rest of the Troop moved on to the campground.
On the return to the Sonic from the campground one of the ASMs that was the shuttle car struck a deer on the highway.  The deer was extremely hurt and so a call to 911 sent the State Police to the scene.  They took car of the deer filled a report and the ASM was on his way back to Madras.  Not a scratch on his car.
They loaded up the car and turned around heading to camp.  By the time they arrived in camp it was 3 AM.
So where are the Scouts during all of this… well most of them do what all Scouts do when they get in the car… sleep.  But what was surprising was the first year Scouts that proved that they wanted to be helpful.  They volunteered to stay back.  They helped unload, move and reload gear, they seemed to be everywhere doing everything.  Hats off to them.
The adventure on the water was amazing.  We floated the river returning back to camp around 6:30 PM.  Needless to say spending a day on the river, a lot of the boys having a limited amount of sleep made for a real quiet night in camp on Saturday.
On the way home we rearranged all the kayaks and stopped into Madras to get the broken down car.  We got it into the boat trailer, again the Scouts of the Troop giving 100% in chipping in to help as went and got the Troop Cheese Burgers and Fries.
We ate and returned home.  Stories to tell and adventure had by all.
That’s what its all about.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, canoe, Character, High Adventure, Scout, teamwork | 1 Comment

Whats the Main thing

Monday night another young man joined our Troop.  He is a 6th grader, never been in Scouts before and looking for adventure.  I met him and his parents and he joined right into the gathering activity fitting in with his new Patrol mates as if he’d been in the Troop for years.  His parents had some concern, I mean, what parent wouldn’t be a bit aprehensive about send their son off with strangers.  In the course of our conversation I asked them what they wanted their son to get out of Scouting.  Fun, life lessons, adventures?  What was it that they considered when they brought their kid to us?
The first thing they talked about was their boy growing to be a bit more responsible and independant.  Then they talked about life skills and fun.  They understood that in Scouting their son will develop leadership and responsibility.  They asked about service to others and character building.  In short.. they asked all the right questions.
They want their boy to one day earn his Eagle award, but that was not the main thing.  They want him to have fun with a group of young men that have a common interest and shared values.

You see, sometimes we get so caught up in merit badge extravagangzas and how many seat belts we need for a camp out that we forget that main thing.  What is it?  Citizenship, Character, and Fitness.  The program is centered on those three things and when you keep them in the middle and build your unit around that… well it grows, its active, and it a fun place to be.  The other night at our Troop meeting we welcomed a new Scout.  He is number 41 on the roster.  We have had our share of gains and losses, but in the end they come back to a fun unit that is full of adventure, fun, and lessons for life.  all of that wrapped up in the main thing. 
As our new parents watched as the Scouts did a Kayak relay in the parking lot Monday night, they commented on how friendly the Scouts were and how they all seemed to be a good group of boys.  Thats the character of our unit, and it comes from staying focused on the main thing.  The rest will come. 

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Ideals, Leadership, Methods, Scout, Values | 1 Comment

The age of an Eagle?

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.
RIGHT?
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!

Categories: Advancement, blog, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Methods, Scout, Scouting, Scoutmaster conference, Service, Skills, Summer Camp, Values | 6 Comments

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

The First Scoutmaster Conference

A young man sits across from you at a table, he is new to the Troop and seeking that first badge.. the Scout Badge.  He sheepishly asked for a Scoutmaster conference, and now he is stepping off on the Trail to Eagle.  The first Scoutmaster conference as a Boy Scout can be an intimidating one.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Here are three easy steps to making a great first Scoutmaster Conference.. for you and the Scout.
First.  Relax.. both of you.  This is a great opportunity Mr. Scoutmaster NOT to be the stoic figure looming in the back of the room, this is a great chance to make a first impression to the Scout that you really care about him and the Troop.  So relax, smile, and have fun with it.
Second.  Help.  It’s ok to coach a bit when the Scout stumbles on the Scout Oath or Law.. its ok to talk him through the Outdoor code.  He will get it.  If its not tonight.. well then there are 6 more opportunities for him to master it.  This is the Scout badge.. Not Eagle.  Set the tone of learning and perfection will come.
Third.  Encourage..  The Scout is new, he’s nervous, and he is looking to you for something that prior to this meeting his Den leader or Mom and Dad have given him.  He is looking for praise and accomplishment, and for maybe the first time he is doing it on his own.  Encourage him to think about his answers and assist him when needed, he will get it.  Encourage him at this first meeting to be an active part of his Patrol and Troop and to take advantage of everything Scouting has to offer.
Over simplify the process for a Scout to earn that Joining badge.  That’s what it is.  Don’t add to it, don’t take away from it.  Just keep it simple and have fun with it.  Its Scouts after all.. just Scouts.
Your Day 3 Health tip:
Get fit with friends or family.
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike ride or hiking, with a group each week.  This is a great one to try with your Patrols or Troop.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Advancement, Motto, Oath and Law, Scout, Scout Law, Scouting | Tags: | 1 Comment

Over Sensitive???

As you know I am a sports fan, and because of the nature of my work (Yeah.. I need to work to fund my Scouting habit). I listen to Sports Talk radio.
This week we have been bombarded by the sports media on the subject of sensitivity regarding comments made by a reporter for the Golf Channel. You can read about here, I am not going to recap it for you.
But this got our local afternoon sports talk show talking about the responsibility of athletes and those in the public eye (actors and the like) to speak out on social issues.
They took a poll today asking the Portland audience what they thought as well as taking comments on the air.
Well this got me to thinking about the subject and of course how it can be applied or should be applied in a Scouting context.

So here is my 2 and 1/2 cents.

First- I do not think that those in public eye need to comment. For the most part I do not think actors and actresses and athletes are qualified to speak on behalf of a group of people. African American Basketball players are not a microcosm of the African American community and therefore do not have the expert training and development to force social change. They are entitled to their opinion and have the right to express it. But, because an athlete says it, does not make it the gospel truth. Same goes for actors. Brad Pitt is not the worlds premier expert on social issues. He has a platform from which he can speak that may not be made accessible to those of us not in the lime light, but I do not expect social change to start with him.

Second- The issue of race constantly is brought to the table. Yes the comment made by Kelly Tilghman was not appropriate, but now we are getting into the sensitivity issue.
Let me take just a few sentences to qualify that remark.
My family is from Germany via Russia. This year we found out about unbelievable, unspeakable atrocities that happened to Germans from Russia, my family included. Germans that were conscripted by Catherine the Great to work Russian land, were rounded up and sent to Siberia and other locations to work camps, later many of them were mass murdered, because they were German. The remainder lived in Russia as slaves of the new government and lived lives in hard labor and meaningless existences. I suppose I am lucky that my ancestors got out before they were rounded up. 5 of my great, great, great Uncles were not so lucky, and we have the documentation to show when and where they were murdered.
Here is the point. When I hear the word Siberia, I do not run and hide, get upset, or fear for my life.
No one has been “Lynched” in America in Generations. No one has been shackled to a ship and forced into Slavery in America in Generation, in fact… there is not an African American in America today that is a slave or knows first hand anyone living that was one. And by first hand I mean can pay the person a visit and have a chat about their experience.
Yes African Americans paid an unnecessary price and have endured unspeakable tragedy, and for that I feel nothing but the most pain in my heart for them. But it is 2008 and we need to move on. Was that not the purpose of the Civil Rights movement?
We have spent the better part of 30 years trying to heal wounds and make things better. We honor those that fought, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and the like have made contributions to America that we are eternally in debt for. But the fact that we can not seem to move on and progress worries me.
Every time someone says something stupid, should we not chalk it up to stupidity and move on. I think we as a nation are smarter now than ever before and should be able to apply a common sense approach and discern what is hateful and what is stupid.
Kelly Tilghman said something stupid. She is a friend of Tiger Woods, and did not have the least bit of hate in her comment. She was suspended by Fox and will spend the rest of her life in the shadow of her comment. And yeah… you reap what you sow. But why does Al Sharpton need to stand up and play the race card. Tiger does not seem to care.. and the comment was directed at him, not the African America community.

Over sensitivity will never allow us to move on. We should never forget the past, and always apply the lessons learned. Slavery of any race is horrible and a violation of all human rights. But we do not have slaves in America now and a “Word” will not bring it back. Using the word “Lynch” in the context of a golf game is not going to insight gangs of hooded cowards to round up people and hang them.. this is just a ridiculous thought.
I understand that it offends some people… but why? It’s a word, much like any other. If you are offended by it, it is because you refuse to move on. Easy for me to say… NO. But in the context of America today it is a safe thing to say. We do not live under the threat of such things. And I highly doubt given the sensitivity of our American people, we will ever see that again. And that is a good thing. It means America is trying to move on. Not forget, not discount, not make light of, but move on to being a better Nation where we are “not judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character”.

Third- The context of Scouting and this issue.
Real simple. The Scout Oath and Law will not allow it.
To truly be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent a person must live the values contained within. A friendly person will not harm another or do things to slander or hate. One that is kind and obedient will put others concerns and needs before themselves. It takes bravery to stand up for what is right. A clean heart and mind will not allow for hateful expression, and a Reverent person believes in the golden rule of “Doing unto others…”

As I listened over the past few days, I worried about this. Sure we should talk about it, it is how we move on. But it also seems that making everything an “Issue” just keeps us in a stagnate mode spinning in a circle that allows for no upward movement socially.

I am just a Scoutmaster, with an opinion like everyone else. Some agree with me, some do not. But what you can not disagree with is the fact that what I do is teach and expect young men, those young men that one day will be the heart beat of our social conscience leading our country in the future, to learn and live by a set of values that are good and right.
And at the end of the Good and Right always win!
We prove that over and over, just look at our history. We may take too much time to figure it out, but in the end we learn and do our best to make it right.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Scout | Leave a comment

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