The Patrol is, like the ideals, the foundation of the Troop. The Patrol is where the Scout learns citizenship, it is where they practice democracy, leadership, and teamwork. It is where they find companionship, life long friendships, and a place where they belong. The Patrol is unit of Scouting. Whether for work or play, the Patrol is where Scouting happens!
In the Patrol you have democracy on the small-scale. The boys choose the leader they would like to follow, they plan their own activities and take part in activities planned at the Troop level. When they plan, they execute those activities together.
In a good Patrol, Scout spirit is steadily at work, prompting the participation of each Scout. The 1947 Handbook for Scoutmasters says, “The life in the Patrol creates in its Scouts a strong feeling of comradeship, of obedience to a common cause, and the willingness to help and share so necessary in life.”
The Patrol eats together, camps together, cheers together, and pulls together when the going gets tough. They share the joy of accomplishment, and put their heads together when they fail. They learn together and assist one another in their Scoutcraft and other skills.
The Patrol elects its own leadership. This is an important part of Patrol life. The decisions the Patrol makes in choosing its leadership is up to them and should not be influenced. The Patrol Leader grows as a leader and the rest of the Patrol develops strong skills at being good followers. Soon ever Scout gets his turn, and he will reap the benefits of good followers when he steps up to lead.
The Patrol leader is part of the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC). They run the Troop. Using the Patrol Method, the Patrol Leaders Council will make decisions that have the best interest in the Troop in mind. They will push the Patrols in directions of adventure, service, and committment to the Troop. The PLC along with help from the Scoutmaster is heart of the Patrol Method. When Baden Powell spoke of the Patrol Leaders Council he said, “… is not so much to save trouble for the Scoutmaster as to give responsibility to the boy- since this is the very best way of all means of developing character.”
I am a firm believer that the Patrol is the heart beat of the Troop. Patrols that demonstrate spirit and enthusiasm tend to be great Patrols and have a lot of fun getting the most out of Scouting.
A note on the Patrol method. There are NO ADULTS in Patrols. Adults do not participate with Patrols and aside from the Scoutmaster have no say in the Patrol Leaders Council. The Patrol method is not always pretty. It takes on many shapes and sizes and the level of struggle will vary from Patrol to Patrol. It is important for the Senior Patrol Leader to tackle as many of those struggles as possible. He, after all is the leader that Patrol Leaders look to for the answer.
I have a pet peeve about adults calling themselves a Patrol in the Troop setting (outside of Wood Badge of course). The Patrol method is to be led, practiced, and perfected by young men.
Give them a chance to run their Troop. This is an important method, with out the Patrol method you do not have Scouting. Have a Great Scouting Day!
Welcome back to the SMMPodcast, we dusted off the mic and got back to talking Scouting! We are trying out a new segment.. “The Mobile Thought”.. In this show, we talk about Reverence, Troop Elections, and Youth Leadership.
Hope you enjoy the show. Let me know what you think. Have a Great Scouting Day! Direct LINK
At last nights Roundtable I was pleased to see a great turn out in the Boy Scout break out. Last nights attraction was Camporee and what units can do to get ready for it. We had about a half hour left so I thought it would be worth our while to talk a little District talk with the leaders that took their time to be at the break out.
Now first of all.. I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again.. at Roundtable we typically are preaching to the choir, but there were plenty of newer faces in the room, so putting on my District Chairman hat, I stepped up front and spent a few minutes sharing some district news, reported back a little on the District Journey to Excellence Score card, and made myself available for questions. Summer camp. This became a big subject last night. There are way to many units that still have not reported a summer camp sign up for this year. It is a fact that Scouts that attend summer camp stay in Scouting longer. We looked at the numbers. Only 1/3 of the scouts signed up for our council camps are from our council. That means that lots of units from outside of our council are flowing into our camps. That’s a great thing, except to say, that means that lots of Scouts in our council are not going to summer camp. Retention. Summer camp leads us to retention. IF lots of Scouts are not going to summer camp, then its no wonder why they are not staying in Scouting. Our numbers show that we are doing well crossing Webelos into Boy Scouts, and we are doing a great job getting boys to join Scouts “off the street”. But we are not doing the best we can to keep them in Scouting. It is no surprise that boys leave the program when they are not engaged. If they are not having fun, or participating fully in Scouting, they will leave. I mean, why stay? Program. Back when I was a new Scoutmaster, a mentor of mine shared with me that regardless of everything else the key to a successful unit is the program. He said Program, Program, Program! I have shared this here before to, my “Field of Dream” philosophy. If you build the program, they will come.. and stay. Monthly camp outs, Summer camp attendance, advancement focus, service opportunities all add up to great program. Youth leadership that is driven to lead to the next adventure keeps them excited and wanting more. A solid program at the unit level is the answer to most if not all of the problems we face in the Scouting movement.
Which brought me to the final point of the evening. What is the role of the Council and the District? Resourcing. It is not the role of the Council or the District to run units. They are there to assist in the administrative tasks, financial opportunities, and resourcing of program (materials, camps, etc). I think too many people wait around for the Council or District to do things for them. The unit is where Scouting happens. It is where Scouts become men of character, good citizens, and discover fitness. If you wait around for the council to do that, you will never be a successful unit. The council and district can not build you a program that is successful. They can assist with the resources that will help your success… but wait around and you will fail.
A question came up about the DE and his role. Again, he is a resource manager. He is there to raise funds, develop relationships in the community to build and grow scouting. He is there to assist units in training, growing, and ensuring that the promise of Scouting is being delivered in those units. But wait for him to do the work at the unit. You will fail. This is not a bad thing. This is the way Scouting was designed. Scouting is owned and operated by the volunteers that care to serve our youth. Bottom line. We are Scouting and we Deliver the Promise. We, the volunteer. Our District committee is made up of volunteers, our Council committee is made up of volunteers, but more importantly, our units, Packs, Troops, and Crews are made up of thousands of volunteers that every single day do something to deliver the promise of Scouting to the great kids that come seeking fun and adventure.
It was great to be able to talk with some of those volunteers last night. As I looked at the room and saw the faces of the BSA, people that really care. I know that all is well. The numbers are the numbers, and they will come around. The people care and will do what ever it takes to develop those programs to make Scouting the greatest.
Last weekend I sat down with a rather large group of brand new Scouts. Most of them came from the ranks of Cub Scouts, but some had not and so getting into the habit of saying oaths and pledges for the most part is something to get used to. We pledge to do our best, we say the Scout Oath and Law, and we learn and pledge to be good stewards with the principles of leave no trace and the Outdoor code.
Now, the fellows that had earned their Arrow of light did a real nice job with the Oath and Law, new others picked it up alright, but they all struggled with the Outdoor code.
Some told me that they never heard of it, while others said that they just did not spend time learning it. That’s ok I told them, in Boy Scouts not only will you learn it, but you will live it.
It’s a simple pledge, that I fear to many Scouts and Scouters take either lightly or not at all. I have heard Scoutmasters that say, we have leave no trace, why do we need the Outdoor code.
Well for starters, its simple and easy to learn. IF it is simple and easy to learn, it’s more than likely something the Scouts will use.
I teach the Scouts the 4 C’s. Careful with fire, Clean in my outdoor manners, Considerate of others, and Conservation minded.
OK.. Careful with fire.. we all get that. Clean.. yeah, we know to pick up after ourselves and leave it better than we find it, Considerate of others… that can be a challenge sometimes, but we know when quiet time is, and we know how to camp in smaller groups etc. But Conservation minded? This is a concept that many of the young men did not seem to grab ahold of. They know about the environment, after all, that’s all they hear about in the Schools and on TV. How we are running out of water, there are no more trees, and that we are all going to fry because of global warming.. errr.. climate change.
Well that is a real hard sell here in Oregon.. lots of trees, plenty of water, and it seems that the temps are never going to rise. Anyway… we all know about being Environmentally aware, so what is with this conservation minded thing?
I consider myself a conservationist. I believe that the outdoors is there for us to enjoy… but we need to take care of it. I believe in being a good steward of the land and our resources. Like the loggers here in Oregon and around the US.. for every tree they cut down they plant 11 more. This is good stewardship. Instead of blazing trails, we stay on established trails and we do not create new trails by cutting through switch backs. We stay out of sensitive growth areas, we do not harm the land with fires when we don’t need them, we pack it in and pack it out. We take fewer cars on outings. Yeah, we fill every seatbelt before we add a car to the list, does this mean that some adult do not get to go.. sometimes, but it is all apart of how we can do our share to be conservation minded.
And then there is the service. We repair trails, we clean up our nature area, we learn about the land we camp in and how we impact it. Conserving what we have and not wasting our land, water, and other natural resources is being conservation minded.
It is when I sit with the new Scouts that I have an opportunity to share the BSA’s view point on this and teach them the outdoor code. It is simple and easy to use. I learn alot about them, and they learn alot about why we pledge the things we pledge. Have a Great Scouting Day!
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!
I just spent the better part of the morning volunteering in my wifes classroom… well I shouldn’t say in the classroom.. in the swimming pool. Each Friday during the fall and winter months the class, along with a number of other classes go swimming at the Middle School’s pool.
I love to spend some time with her class, they are all real great kids with special needs. The range is so huge that I don’t even know how they do it daily. They always love to have male volunteers come in, it make the locker/changing room transition a bit easier on the teachers.
We swam, played and had a good time. I helped with a couple little guys and we had fun with some float pads and making it a point to get the teachers as wet as possible.
So how is this going to tie into Scouting? Well I suppose the entire point here is that we all have needs. Food, Safety, and most of all love. We all remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.. right? I think far to many times labels are placed on individuals that have adverse impacts on their lives. As I watched these kids splash around in the pool, they are normal.. whatever that means. Then I watched them as we rode the bus back to the school. I wonder what is going on in their heads. There is something trapped or repressed that is in there, but for what ever the reason they are at a road block in the mind.
And this is how it is with some of our Scouts. I have shared before the fact that there are a few autistic boys in my troop. And though I have no formal training with this, I have learned one sure thing. They are boys that need Food, Safety, and Love or belonging. That is where we have taken the approach that every Scout is a Scout. We treat them all the same. We do not allow labels to be stamped on them and we give them all the same opportunity to be successful. The beauty of Scouting is that we get to decide what that success is going to look like. In the School system these kids are developing “Life Skills” and then it is all about hoping for the best once they move on.
Now I know that my wife and the other teachers of these kids with special needs are doing wonderful things every day, and demonstrate their love for these kids above and beyond that of any teacher I have met. I am amazed and in awe of how they do it everyday.
Our family volunteers with Special Olympics each year, it does not take a PhD to know that given Love we make them all normal. Have a Great Scouting Day!
My twins are 18 and are getting close to graduating from High School. The other night they brought home a form for documenting Community service. In our State there is a requirement to perform 8 hours of community service. I agree with this requirement, I think it, at a minimum forces today’s youth to at least understand the need for volunteerism and service.
So why am I blogging about this? Well, this was real easy for us as we document all the service our Scouts do. I mean, heck.. just to get to the rank of Life Scout the Scout will have completed at least 12 hours of service to his community. Now add in all the rest of the service he will do in the course of a year and the graduation requirements are met with ease.
In the last two years I have had to go back into our troop documents and produce service records for graduating Seniors. This becomes a real important part of the graduates record for the School. I have talked with our High School about this requirement, one of the counselors said that they appreciate those Seniors that were or are Boy Scouts. It sure helps them out in understanding the need for service.
Our family participates in the Relay for Life each year, and our High School is a host for the relay annually. Our youngest son (Life Scout) is on the committee for the School Relay program. The spirit of service has been grown in them from a very early age and I am happy that they now, without Dad or Mom pushing, asking, or even encouraging, they find ways to be of service. Now if we could get them to clean their rooms…
Service is an important part of Scouting going all the way back to its beginnings. The Lone Scout in the story of William D. Boyce lost in the London Fog, Food drives, Scrap metal drives during WW II, Goodwill/Good Turn, not to mention all the countless hours that Troops spend on local projects that benefit their communities, Charter Partners, and Wilderness areas.
Service has always been one of the Hallmarks of Scouting. Even providing service within the Troop in leadership positions plays a major role in developing the spirit of service in our Scouts. It is in this spirit that our young men start the habit of being in service to others. I think that when they understand the importance of this, it will last them a life time.
Every year Scouts all over conduct Scouting for Food drives. This is a great way to get in the community and do a great service to those that truly in need, but we can take that a step further. Our Troop does the food drive, then helps sort, box, and store the food in our local food bank. As this happens they all see the direct impact of their work on the drive. As the food drive is always on a Saturday, the Scouts get the opportunity to see those in need arrive to collect the much needed food. It is a sad that there is a need, but the fact of the matter is that there is. We do not parade the Scouts around to get an eye full, but the behind the scenes glimpse that they do get is enough to instill in them the want to do more.
So I think it is a great thing that our Schools require service to the community as part of their graduation. I think it a even greater that the Boy Scouts maintain service as one of its core values.
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.
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.
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.
It has been 11 days since I last posted.. Announcing a winner to the SMMPhoto contest. 11 days since I have really sat at the computer and gave the time to jot something down of significance. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are great ways to let the world know about our minute by minute world changing activities like loosing pounds, winning an online chess game, or showing off a wonderful sunrise, the Blog to me is not that forum and I reserve the time for the blog to share something I think worth sharing.
With that.. 11 days have gone by since anything of significance.. unless I count the great time that I have been enjoying over the last two weeks.
Spending time with the Patrol Leaders Council last week, preparing for a Kayak trip down the Deschutes River with the Troop this coming weekend, wrapping up the final details for our newest Eagle Scout, playing golf and shaving a few strokes off the long game.
Its Football season, and that absorbs lots of my attention. My youngest son stepped on the Football field on September 2nd under the lights of the stadium and made his starting debut as the Quarterback of the Reynolds High School Raiders.. he’s only a Sophomore and over the last two weeks he has made a name for himself on the field demonstrating that passion and hard work will pay huge rewards on the field.
School has started and now the house is once again full of friends, home work, and the drama of school life as 2 Seniors and a Sophomore kicked off yet another academic year. Eagle Projects, Band practice, Football, and conditioning for the upcoming Wrestling season have taken over the lazy days of summer.
Time spent with family and friends have kept me away from the computer and surfing the web, and you know it felt great.
This morning my two buddies and I played a great round of golf. We walked the course joking and making fun of each others game. It was a great time spent with friends. As we walked the course we talked a little about how life has changed since 2001. Our kids have grown up a lot, our jobs never changed, our families got bigger, and aside from an all expense paid trip to Iraq and the loss of some good people, our lives up here in the Northwest really just went on. We have really felt the impact of watching ground zero transform into a monument. Besides the visit to the Pentagon during the National Jamboree, the pain felt in Washington DC did not ripple its way out West.
This week there has been a lot of build up about the anniversary of September the 11th. A tragic day in the history of America but what are we supposed to do. I propose we never forget about what happened, but not just what happened, but who did it and why. We should never forget it and never forgive it. We should fight these distributors of terror, these cowards that have no honor, every day until they are all gone.
One of the ways we fight them is by not letting them disrupt our way of life and our will to be free. We when compromise and dismiss the fact that these terrible beasts are out there to hurt us we let them win. We need to fight and fight and fight. I will fight them every day. I will never forgive them and never forget what they have done to my country. And most of all.. I will not let them win.
If this offends you.. I am don’t know what to tell you… I am not sorry.
What these animals did to our Country is no different than what the Japanese did on December 7th, 1941. And we destroyed them. We won.
We have to make this 10th Anniversary of the 2001 Attack on America a resolution to win.
So remember where you where that day. Remember how you felt. Remember the lives lost, the damage done.. then resolve to get on with our lives and win this war on terror. I AM NOT AFRAID!
To make this Scout like.. a Scout is Brave.. a Scout is Loyal.. and a Scout makes a promise to do his duty to GOD and COUNTRY.
Monday night I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young man and talking with him about his up coming Eagle Board of Review. The Scoutmaster conference went well.. but then again, shouldn’t it? After all this is his seventh conference, he has completed all the work and at seventeen years old, the Scout is pretty much used to talking to me.
We discussed his application and made sure all the paper work was in order. We talked about how the board of review would go and things that I thought would help him articulate his goals to the board. We spent a little time talking about some of the types of questions that might be asked, but by and large it was a time for me to just sit and talk with a young man that has become an Eagle Scout.
In my post on becoming an Eagle at 13 I received a comment from “the other Scoutmaster Jerry”. In his comment he states “I hear a lot of noise about A, B, or C type Eagles, but have never met an Eagle that did not, at some point of his life, own up to his accomplishment. All Eagles will eventually realize that they are living their life by twelve words.” And I agree with this.. this is the hope of every Scoutmaster I think. As we sit and talk with a Scout during that Scoutmaster Conference, even for the ranks leading up to Eagle, it is my hope that one day they will be good men. Men that live the Oath and Law in their daily lives. After all, earning the Eagle award is not about a patch, right? It is about accomplishment, achievement, and leadership. It is about becoming one that is worthy of the honor. It really is about what you become.
I still can not answer the age question, and you know, I guess I don’t have to.. the BSA has answered it for me, and while I can have an opinion. It is not about me.. it is a young man becoming an Eagle Scout, further, becoming a valued member of the community.
Monday night as I put pen to a good Scouts book and initialed the completion of his Scoutmaster Conference, I asked him what he thought his obligation would be as an Eagle Scout. He spoke about giving back, about living up to the reputation of what it means to be an Eagle Scout. I thought that was interesting. We talked about what the public knows about Scouting. They know we camp and they know Eagle Scout. That is for certain. They will talk about helping old ladies across the street and they will have an understanding of the values that are learned through the Oath and Law. But when you talk about Eagle Scouts they immediately know that it is special.
As I have grown as a Scoutmaster, I too have a better understanding about what it means to become an Eagle Scout.. no matter the age, I think that by and large Jerry is right, they grow into the responsibility, they develop a stronger consciousness about what it means to wear the highest honor in Boy Scouts, and they try to live up to it. Do they stumble, sure, but deep inside being an Eagle Scout is something that can never be taken away and will always be a part of their lives.
I am proud of our Scouts that achieve this honor, it makes me even happier to know that they have earned it and have become an Eagle Scout.