And I feel fine…
I can’t seem to get that REM song out of my head today… I wonder why?
In the wake of all the hubbub surrounding today being the end of the world I thought it interesting when my youngest son asked the question about whats going to happen. I told him that we really don’t have anything to worry about. If its the end, its the end and you just have to justify your life to yourself and your God. Now not to get into the whole “End times” thing… but really.. I’m certainly not going to worry about something that I have little or no control over.
OK.. here comes the point…
Live your life to the fullest and never let a day go by that you regret.
In 1987 I lost my little brother to a tragic accident. I had the opportunity go through the entire process of dealing with that loss. And knowing what I know now and looking back on the decisions that I made then.. no regrets to live my life every day like it was my last. Now I can honestly say that I have not been able to daily.. but the older I get.. the more important this simple philosophy becomes.
Today I am helping with my sons Relay for Life team. We are heading off to a fundraiser breakfast and then an all night relay at the High School. There has been way too much cancer in my family.. and if this event does something to help, well, I’m in! A lot of people would only read it passing in the paper. But this is important.. to me and my son… and so we participate.
Just like Scouting, its important to all those young men and women that come and go through the program. We teach them life skills and attitudes that will last them a life time. The things that we teach will eventually result in citizens that make ethical choices throughout their life times. This will leave a lasting impact on what they do in life and how they live it. I hope that they will live ev every day like it is their last too. With no regrets.
So if it all ends today… I will see all you great Scouters on Gilwell.. the Happy Land. You will find me there!
I take all this “end of the world” stuff with a grain of salt… so I am not giving up my quest for better health…
Here is todays healthy tip: #100daysStrong
Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
There are many attributes that are common to all that lead. Business leaders, Military leaders,Pastors, Scout Leaders.. you get the point.
Of those attributes there are 4 that all leaders need to have to be effective in their leading toward the High Performance team. They are competence, Committment, Courage, and Compassion.
Competence because no one wants to follow a knuckle head that does not know what he is doing. Its that simple, you need to know how to lead and you need to know or at least understand what the task is and how to complete it to get other to follow you. Now you don’t have to be an expert, but you need to be competent enough to surround yourself with those that do know how and then use their strength to enhance your weakness.
Committment. You must be committed to both the task and those that you lead. If you lack committment, those that follow you will mirror you level and you will never be a high performance team. You need to be committed enough to get to know how to do the task, that means get educated. You need to be committed to the needs of those you lead. You need to be committed to the reason for the task and the desired outcome. We make commitments daily in leading our families, our Scout units, and working at our jobs. You know, the jobs that pay for our Scouting hobby.
Courage. A Scout is Brave. Sometimes doing the right thing is not the most popular and the leader is always the one that gets either the evil eye or the attitudes when he makes decisions that are not popular. Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do, so you must be courageous in decision making. You may not be the most popular, but in the end you will have done the right thing and your team will be better for it.
And Finally, Compassion. Meeting the needs of those you lead takes a lot of compassion. You need to know your people and what makes them tick. To be an effective communicator and leader, you need to be able to dedicate time and energy to getting to know the folks you lead. This way you can feel what they do and react to why they may be done, up, or somewhere in between. To be a high performance team you need to understand the needs of the led and they will appreciate you as the leader for it. Genuine caring leadership is the best way to move to High Performance status.
Well there you go 4 solid attributes of the leader. Have them and you will be effective, don’t have them and you will have to settle for second best.
Speaking of second best, our Troop worked on Pioneering tonight at the meeting. They built the Gateway that they are going to assemble at Camporee. The JASM set a challenge for the patrols, the Patrol that had the best knots would all get an i pad. The younger guys one and here is their prize!
Yeah, we have a lot of fun in our Troop. They all had a great laugh and then we closed with Vespers!
Thanks for all the feedback lately. I really appreciate the comments and emails, keep them coming.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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!
Last night I held the final Scoutmaster Conference for a group of Webelos that will crossing over next week. The last Scout came to our meeting and asked for a conference to finish his Arrow of Light requirements.
I love doing these conferences, I get to learn a little about the new Scout and they get to know me a bit too. But most of all I am impressed with the preparation they all put into this. I suppose the campaign hat may give them butter flies, but they all have done exceptionally well.
So last night I went through the standard list of questions including, knowing the Scout Oath and Law, the hand shake, salute, motto, etc. When I asked about the Scout Oath, the Scout raised his arm and presented a crisp Scout sign and began to rattle off the Scout Oath. When he finished I asked him what he had just said. He raised his arm and again rattled off the Oath. I then asked again, “no… what did you just say?” “The Scout Oath” he replied. I agreed and then asked, “But what did you say when you said the Oath?” He answered that he was making a promise. RIGHT! He knew that the Oath is a promise we make to ourselves and to others. Then we got into the meat and potatoes. I asked him if he knew what duties he had as a result of making the promise? He said yes. And I knew from his smile that he did in fact understand the three duties of the Scout Oath. He quickly pointed to his three raised fingers and said; “Duty to God and Country, Duty to others, and Duty to myself”. He got it.
I think at times we just rattle off the Scout Oath and skip by its meaning and forget about the duties that we promise to uphold in saying the Oath. I think that in our Monday evening ritual of the Pledge and Oath, we loose the meaning of the words in the Oath. We are in a hurry to move to fun and skills that we do not take the time to listen to each other as we pledge on our Honor that we will live up to our Duty to God and Country, other people, and our selves.
The next time you say the Oath… slow down and give it some thought. It is a powerful thing to give your Honor, so you should make it count.
A good friend of mine shared this with me. I am unsure of the original author, so I am giving credit to anonymous.
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: “Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.
The Theme for this years Friends of Scouting Campaign is “Scouting Changes Lives”. And that is a fact.. unarguably a fact.
Scouting offers those life changing moments, moments that shape our young men, build character, and most of all provide for lasting memories.
Some of the older guys in the Troop are getting to that point were Scouting may not look to cool to their friends. This is were the life changing happens. Providing a relevant program for them is critical, keeping them engaged in Scouting paramount. As I gave this thought, I thought about the poem “The Road Less Traveled” and how it fit for our young men today. Talk about relevance..
Lets encourage our young men to take that road less traveled. While it may not be cool or popular the rewards of the Scouting trail are many and differences are beyond belief.
ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
by Robert Frost
This was delivered to us at Roud Table on Thursday night by our District Commissioner and dear friend of mine. Thanks Bob.
I thought I’d share it with you.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help to keep my honor bright
And teach me that integrity of character is my most priceless possession.
Grant that I may do my best today,
And strive to do even better tommorrow.
Teach me that duty is a friend and not an enemy,
And help me face even the most disagreeable task cheerfully.
Give me the faith to understand my purpose and life,
Open my mind to the truth and fill my heart with love.
I am thankful for all the blessings you have bestowed upon my country.
Help me to do my duty to my country and
To know that a good nation must be made from good men.
Help me to remember my obligation to obey the Scout Law,
And give me understanding, so that it is more than mere words.
May I never tire of the joy of helping other people or
Look the Other way when someone is in need.
You have given me the gift of a body,
Make me wise enough to keep it health,
That I might serve better.
You are the source of all wisdom,
Help me to have an alert mind,
Teach me to think,
And help me to learn discipline.
In all that I do and in every challenge I face,
Help me to know the difference between right and wrong,
And lead me in obedience on a straight path to a worthy goal.
By Michael F. Bowman