The wrapping paper is thrown all about, smiles on every face. Hope everyone got what they wanted or needed and the smell of Christmas cooking is filling the air.
I wanted to take just a minute and share my Christmas wishes to you all.
Christmas for me is a special time. Enjoying the time with my family is by far more precious than any gift that can be wrapped. The time that I get to share watching the kids open their gifts, sharing in their joy and company is the very best that life can offer.
I have had the pleasure of spending far to many Christmas’s away from my family. Georgia, Alaska, and Iraq just to name a few of the wonderful locations that Christmas morning was spent without loved ones. Those Christmas’s are the times that I really understood the value of family. It’s when you don’t have them around that you realize just how special they are.
This year as we celebrate our Christmas we celebrate with the heaviness in our hearts that next Christmas our oldest son may not be with us to celebrate. John leaves in two weeks to serve our country in the Army. And while I am extremely proud of him and know that he will serve with honor and pride, we are going to miss him dearly.
So this year, we make the most of the time spent with him and the whole family.
So the giving of gifts and the exchange of Christmas wishes are always met with the blessing of our family.
From my family to yours.
Merry Christmas! I hope you got some new gear and are ready for the new year!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
The wrapping paper is thrown all about, smiles on every face. Hope everyone got what they wanted or needed and the smell of Christmas cooking is filling the air.
Today was our annual Scouting for Food Campaign. The Scouts of the Cascade Pacific Council canvassed neighborhoods and collected the much need food that will stock the shelves for distribution in our area. There is a great need and the Scouts today did their part to meet that need.
Today, the Scouts of the Cascade Pacific Council sent a Message of Peace.
Here is a short video of Troop 664 in the Thunderbird District, my Troop, and how they made an impact on our community today.
Special Thanks to Bryce, Ben, and Parker for helping in the presentation of this video.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
For those of you that have been to Wood Badge you understand the great training, the lasting friendships, and the spirit of Scouting that comes in every Wood Badge course. You get idea that every Scout deserves a trained leader and that in Wood Badge you are participating in the Advanced Leadership Course of the Boy Scouts of America. You understand the committment that it takes in time and money to seek out the best training and then follow-up that training by spending up to a year and half working a ticket designed to make Scouting better for the youth we serve. You get all of that.
So why should a Scouter go to Wood Badge. Yes, it’s all of the stuff previously stated but it’s a lot more than that.
Why Wood Badge? Well for starters it is the best Scout leader training the BSA has. No matter at which level you serve in Scouting, Wood Badge has something for you. Whether you are the Chief Scout Executive or a Den Leader, Wood Badge will teach you how to provide a great program for our Scouts starting with why we do this thing called Scouting. The Wood Badge experience gives you insight to the World of Scouting, not just your little piece. It reinforces methods and Aims and gets all Scouters on the same sheet of music, and yep, you will be singing a lot!
Wood Badge allows you the much-needed opportunity to step back into the hiking boots of a Scout and be that Scout as he experiences Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and is introduced to Venture Scouts. You get to learn like a Scout learns and in doing so you become a better communicator and teacher. You learn to train and lead using the EDGE method. I think you will find that this method satisfies every learning style and will assist you in sharpening your leadership skills.
Wood Badge sends you back to you unit with a song in your heart, a smile on your face, and a mission to make Scouting better.
The training at Wood Badge will make you a better Scouter, a better Spouse, a better employee when you use the tools taught in the course. It gives you perspective on everything in your life and a method to work you future plans in and out of Scouting. The Wood Badge training is world-class and is used in corporate America and in organizations big and small.
So why Wood Badge? Well, for one thing, it is our direct link to Baden Powell’s training of Scouters. The methods may have been refined, the uniforms certainly are different, and Scouting has changed with the times, but the Wood Badge is the Wood Badge and our history and tradition in Scouting is brought full circle in the Wood Badge experience.
When Baden Powell held the first Scoutmaster Training at Gilwell, he organized the participants into Patrols. This is the foundation of a Boy Scout Troop and BP understood that we learn by doing and do it with our Patrol. During the Wood Badge course the instruction all leads to doing. Within the Patrol, the participants work together to become a high performance team. Once this is realized, the experience can be taken back and applied in the Scouters unit.
Wood Badge has four specific objectives and as a result of attending Wood Badge, participants will be able to:
First, View Scouting globally, as a family of interrelated, values-based programs that provide age-appropriate activities for youth.
Second. Recognize the contemporary leadership concepts utilized in corporate America and leading government organizations that are relevant to our values-based movement.
Third, Apply the skills they learn from their participation as a member of a successful working team.
And finally, Revitalize their commitment by sharing in an overall inspirational experience that helps provide Scouting with the leadership it needs to accomplish its mission on an ongoing basis.
So Why Wood Badge? Back when I became a new Scouter helping out with my oldest son’s Pack I was invited to go to Wood Badge. I did not give it too much thought, after all, I was just a Cub Scout Den Leader, why do I need more training? Then I became a Cubmaster, and again, an invitation to Wood Badge was extended. A group of Scouters that were (and still are) super active in the District kept encouraging me to go to Wood Badge. They kept telling me that this “Mountain Top” Scouting experience was something that I really needed to attend. And again, I blew it off thinking that everything was going great in the Pack and I really didn’t need more leadership training. In 2004 I became a Scoutmaster, and again the same group of Scouters encouraged me to get to Wood Badge. I went to a Wood Badge dinner in January of 2005. It was a gathering to recognize Wood Badge participants that had completed their tickets and introduce Wood Badge to prospective participants. My wife and I went and enjoyed the evening. The room was filled with the most enthusiastic Scouters I have ever seen. They were from every corner of the council and represented every level of Scouting. Toward the end of the program a Scouter stood in front of the crowd and asked if “There were any Beavers in the house?” At first I thought he was referring to the Oregon State Beavers.. but what happened next sealed the deal for me. About a dozen Scouters stood up and broke out in song, when they were finished, the whole room (well those Scouters with beads on) stood and sang. They all sat down and about another dozen different Scouters stood and sang a verse about Bobwhites.. and so it went till the whole room was singing. The staffers closed out the song and everyone began hugging and shaking hands and there was nothing but smiles and laughter in the room. I sat there with my wife with a big grin on my face. My wife looked at me and said.. “Well… go sign up.” And that night I registered for the next course.
I participated in WE1-492-1-05 and was placed in the Beaver Patrol. I did have a “Mountain Top” experience and took all I learned back to my Troop. In 2009 I was asked to be on Staff. I had to turn it down because I was over extended as not only the Scoutmaster of my Troop, but the Scoutmaster of a Troop heading to the National Jamboree. In late 2010, I was asked again to be on staff for the 2011 course and I immediately said yes. I served as a Troop guide for W1-492-11 and as I have shared with my fellow Troop guides and the mighty Buffalo Patrol, “I had a great experience when I went to Wood Badge, I fell in love with Wood Badge on staff.” Early this year I was asked again to staff a Wood Badge course. And again, I said yes.
The people who attend Wood Badge and those that staff Wood Badge are the greatest Scouters out there. Their dedication to Scouting and the youth we serve is second to none. Their committment to training and making the Scouting organization better is beyond compare.
So Why Wood Badge? Why Not?
If you have been invited to attend Wood Badge, please consider it. You will not regret it. If you are concerned about time and money. Contact your local Wood Badge staff, ask at your next roundtable, there are ways to get you into the next course. The benefits of Wood Badge outweigh the excuses not to go. You are a dedicated Scouter, I know this, because you waste you time reading my blog. SO if you have not been to Wood Badge.. GO! And you will have a great experience. I promise.
If you are a Wood Badger… What’s your Critter? Leave a comment and share your Wood Badge story.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
When I was a young boy, my family instilled in me the value of being helpful. By my parents example they showed us how to be of service to our community, to our church, and to our neighbors. They were active in social functions that typically came with a cause. My Dad is a pretty good handy man and would often drag me to helping those that needed cabinets fixed or other repairs. We spent the better part of the spring of 1979 working in a Monastery doing odds and ends and the pay was great. Onion Soup.
I never once heard my Dad complain or ask for compensation for anything he ever did. It was just a part of the deal. Even to this day my parents are advocates for helping other people at all times.
And so as I grew up this attitude of service has stayed with me. In church they always ask of people to give their time, talents, and treasure. I always jokes that my treasure is limited but my time is free.. oh.. and limited talent too.
And so it is in Scouting. Saturday at our Program and Training conference I sat in and listened to a discussion about Friends of Scouting. The presenter asked the question why do we or why do we not give to FOS? A few answers went around the room. “To attain Presidential status and get free camping”, “To get a patch”, ‘To get the free advancement patches for our unit” were just a few. The common theme.. To Get.
Most people Give to Get. And that is the wrong approach when giving. We give for the program. We give so that our Council can maintain its outreach programs, maintain the camps we enjoy, and provide program for those that maybe would otherwise be left out. We should not give because we get something in return, we give because we can.
Back in 2008 I had the good fortune to give to the Council’s endowment through the James E. West Fellowship. Many Scouters half-joking could not resist to tease that I bought a knot. It was and is not about the knot. After thoughtful discussion with my wife, we decided that we could afford in our budget to give the $1000 over the year to help our Scouting programs. Knowing where the money goes was important to me and knowing that all of it would be used for bettering Scouting programs in our Council was the answer I needed. So we gave. Yes, we got a knot, but that knot to me is a demonstration, just like my parents showing me how to give and be of service, people who know and understand what the James E. West Fellowship is see that I am a servant leader. I wear it to be an example of giving. I put my money where my mouth is.
Many families take advantage of all that Scouting has to offer. We teach that “A Scout is Thrifty” and he pay’s his own way. But many families make excuses that the economy is bad, or we can’t afford this or that. I understand that times are tough, but times get tougher when we make bad choices. This may offend, but tough times are tougher when we make a choice to be lazy, wait for hand outs, or not accept our part in whatever it is that you value. Time and time again I hear Scout parents talk about how expensive Scouting can be. How much did you pay for those cigarettes? The average price of a pack of smokes today is $4 to $6. For the $60 spent on a carton of cigarettes you could send your kid to camp in a month. But who am I to tell you how to spend you money? The fact is, smokers value it over other things. No one needs to smoke, they make a choice to smoke. But for the money they literally burn, they could help their son have a great Scouting experience. Now, I’m picking on smokers here, why? Because they are the easy targets. You can see the dollars physically being burned with them and I can’t help but pick that out when they say they can’t afford Scouting. Truth be told, It pisses me off when they make excuses about money then light up a cigarette. I wonder about priorities and that obviously they are being selfish. That goes for lots of things. How many times do you eat out a week. I know for my family that’s at least a $40 to $50 trip. So you limit that activity and use the money for something better. I’m not suggesting that a night out is not called for here and there… but isn’t Scouting worth it?
Dollar for dollar you will not find a better value than Scouting. If you believe that, and make an effort to support that, than doing what it takes to keep it going should be a priority of yours. If not, then keep letting others do it for you…and the beauty is that you can expect everything that is offered.
I give, and expect nothing.
I love the Scouting movement and think that there is no better place for our young people to learn and practice what they learn to be productive members of our Country. Learning skills, teaching, practicing leadership, developing a sense of citizenship, and becoming men and women that value Character and understand that it certainly does matter.
I do this without pay or the expectation of compensation. My reward comes in seeing these kids grow up.
The fact of the matter is that to do this it costs and who better to provide than people who know and understand the value of the program?
But why expect something in return? Is that the spirit of giving? I have heard it said that “The only thing that take with you is what you leave behind”. I saw a great example of this in August down at the Philmont Scout Ranch. Now I do not think that I will ever be a millionaire, and I don’t think that I will ever be donating major tracks of land to the Boy Scouts of America. But what I do know is that my time is free, my talents are available, and my treasure, well I give what I can. And I think that is all one can ask for. With no strings attached, and nothing expected in return.. We give.
I am once again on the Wood Badge staff, and once again I give of time and talent, and I am sure some of the treasury will be spent. This is something that between my wife and I we have decided is good. It is good for us, it is good for those that come to the course, and it is good for Scouting. We both understand that the value of Scouting is greater than any dollar amount. The program is greater than any one leader. Scouting is life changing and worth every penny, every hour, and everyone’s talent.
Give. Not to Get, but because it is part of being a servant leader.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Yesterday I participated in a great Scouting Day. Our Annual Program and Training Conference was held yesterday at the Scouthridge high School. I am not sure how many Scouters participated, but there where many. I got the feeling that there were more than last year. There were classes ranging in topic from Songs and Skits to High Adventure. There was a nice midway that hosted a booths from the Scout Shop to Pampered Chef. For you Dutch Oven cooks out there, Pampered Chef has some real nice stuff. Anyway, there was a lot to see and do and I was happy to see that Boy Scout leader participation was up.
You see we used to have a couple of opportunities for Scouters in the Council to gather and get some training and program ideas. We used to have an Advancement extravaganza, this was primarily for the Boy Scout Program. And we used to have a fun event called Pow Wow. It was geared for Cub Scouters, but a real fun day of training and gathering of ideas. Last year the two programs were combined into the Program and Training Conference. I believe it was an idea borrowed from the Chief Seattle Council. So last year was the first time that I was asked to teach and so I did. I was invited back this year. Scouter Adam and I held a couple of sessions on using Social media for your unit and I taught Scouters about the Scoutmaster Conference, one of my most favorite subjects in Scouting.
I did two sessions of the SM Conference and they seemed to be received well. What I find interesting is the different views on BSA policy and the way in which Scouters interpret the BSA training. You see this in the way people ask questions and share their opinion on one issue or another. Now I am not saying this is always a bad thing, especially when they are looking for the right answer or the right way to do something, but it still drives home the point that Training and doing training right is important.
Mike Walton from the USSSP was a guest presenter this year. He flew out from Minnesota to share some thoughts of up coming changes in the BSA and did a joint session with our Councils CFO. It was an interesting session to say the least. I say that in a real good way because Jason and Mike both told it straight yesterday, and for those of you that have read this blog for anytime, you know that’s what I like and that’s how I do it. They shared thoughts of current issues, you know the homosexual thing, and they talked a lot about money in Scouting. I loved the comments about how people tend to blame “Council” for many of the problems, issues with their units, and financial woes. Jason asked “who is the council?” You see the majority of Scouting volunteers equate the “Council” with the support desk, the DE’s, and the people who never seem to stop asking for money. But, the answer is that WE Volunteers are “THE COUNCIL”. Too many units, Scouters, and other volunteers fail to take matters into their own hands when problem solving for their units, yes there are times when we need the support of the DE or the support desk, but to blame Council for every problem we have in our Scouting world is laughable. It was refreshing to hear it out loud yesterday by both the volunteer and the professional.
I spent a fair amount of time hanging out with the Wood Badge crowd yesterday. Recruiting for the upcoming course and spreading the word about great Scouting training. Again it was nice to see how many Scouters showed interest in Wood Badge and it looks like we are going to have another full class, just based on interest. Registration opened yesterday too, so we will see how quick the class fill up.
Yesterday was a fun day of hanging out with Scouting friends, sharing ideas, and helping Scouters deliver the promise.
Like yesterday was for me, and bid you Have a Great Scouting Day!
Time to stir the pot again and call out those Scouters that choose to be Patrol leaders, Mommy/Daddy Coddlers, baby sitters, in short.. those that don’t do it right.
Yep.. I’m gonna piss some folks off with this one and to be honest. If the shoe fits wear it.
I am going to preface all of this by saying in our Troop we have kids with ADD, ADHD, Autism in many spectrums, ADOS, OCD, etc…
The reason I must say that is because we don’t treat any of them different. They are expected to be Scouts. They do the work, they learn, they participate, and they don’t have their moms and dads hovering over them. Nope they have a Troop guide or a Patrol Leader that expects them to be part of the team.
They eat, sleep, play, and work as part of their patrol. That is the way it is supposed to be. We don’t let the moms and dads camp with the patrols when they go. They stay with the adults. They are not part of the program, they are just there for the fresh air. And some of them are in the Order of the Arrow.
So this morning I got an email from one of my ASMs. He is down at the Conclave for our OA Section. The Order of the Arrow, you know, Scouting’s honor society. Anyway, his email was simple.. he asked; “The OA is Scouting’s honor society right?” Those that have demonstrated their ability to be considered an honored camper, one that is dedicated to serve, and a Scout that has been chosen by his peers as someone who represents values found in the Oath and Law. Right?
Well, I suppose not any more, at least according what he witnessed down at Conclave. Dad’s hovering over Scouts to make sure they got out of their tents. Rolling up the sleeping bag for the Scout? Making sure the Scouts clean up after themselves? Now th is is minor stuff I guess, but what I know for sure is that when minor stuff happens, so does major stuff.
Now, I am a Brotherhood member of the OA. And very proud to say so. I consider it an honor to have been chosen to be a member. I also expect other members to act in accordance with the values and attitudes set forth by the Order of the Arrow.
Here is what I think the problem is. Too many people are just getting in. There are no secret clubs within the BSA, but if we are going to call the OA Scouting’s Honor Society.. well then lets act like it. Lets be selective on who gets in. Why not honored campers or Scouts… it is not for everyone.
I see this at ordeal weekends. The candidates are supposed to spend a day laboring in silence. This is not a suggestion, it is asked of the candidate so they can spend time-serving and thinking about a life of service. I don’t want to give too much away here, you may want to go through the ceremony one day… but I can’t tell you how many times I have asked Scouts and Scouters to remain silent explaining to them the reasons only to get a roll of the eyes and “Whatever dude”.
So how does this get fixed. The Scoutmaster.
The Scoutmaster sets the ballot for the annual election. The youth vote on the candidates, but the Scoutmaster sets the ballot for those eligible.
Just because a Scout meets the criteria of being 1st Class, 15 nights of camping with 6 of which are at resident camp does not gain him entry into the Order of the Arrow. Sorry, but true.
So Scoutmasters hold the key to making sure that honored Scouts get into the Order. This makes the OA stronger. At least it will take on the appearance of an Honor Society.
I am glad that kids that make “C’s” are not in the National Honor Society. I am glad that you must have good grades to get in. I am glad that not everyone that trys out for the Varsity Football team make it. I am glad that not every Scout will be an Eagle. Do I want them all to try, yes. But I am glad that only 4% will make it. It makes it special. Sometimes, less is more. When there is less there is harder work to get to it. If it is Scouts goal to be an Eagle Scout he needs to work hard for it. If he wants to get into the OA, he will demonstrate leadership, service, and living the Scout Oath and Law before he gets elected. If he wants to be on the varsity Football team, he will hit the weights, run, and practice all summer to get there. If he wants to be on the honor roll, he will study hard. He will work for it. None of it will be given to him.
When I was in the Army, I was promoted to Command Sergeant Major at the age of 36. I worked real hard, went to all the right Schools, and applied my self. On any given day in the United States Army there are only 550 Sergeants Major. I was one of them. It was an honor to be the Sergeant Major of an Infantry Battalion. And it was an honor to be counted among the 550 other Sergeants Major that put themselves in that position.
So it is with anything that is deserving of the title “Honor”. Not everyone gets a participation ribbon in life. And when we push Scouts through, or allow the nature of organizations to be less for the sake of having more we tear away at the organization.
So when we see mom and dad rolling up sleeping bags or hovering to make sure that Franky First Class gets to meals on time, we have failed. We have failed the Scout and we have failed the organization. It is no longer an honor. It’s just another weekend in a tent.
Ok.. I know you have an opinion, I gave you mine, lets hear it. Please leave a comment.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
“Philmont does something to people—it is not something that can be put into words easily. Something ‘‘gets into your blood.’’ A love for the land, the atmosphere, the people—all these work together in you to make Philmont an experience that you can never forget. The base of that experience is the presence of God—an awareness that all we have and all we offer to others comes from God. The brotherhood that we share as God’s children and as Scouts brings us to a sense of peace, a feeling that in some strange way, everything is all right. In that sense, we can call Philmont a ‘‘Scouting Paradise,’’ a glimpse of that ‘‘Paradise’’ all of us are called to and will one day experience.”
This passage is taken from the Chaplains Aide booklet “Eagles Soaring High”. It is the passage that leads to the Day 9 relection. Since we were on a Short Trek, our Chaplains aid skipped around a bit, so that the reflections matched up with the places that we were on the trail.
The title of the relection is “Country that I love”. So for those of you playing along at home. The reflections center around the Philmont grace and the Philmont Hymn.
What I found impressive at Philmont was the never-ending use of the theme. A love of Philmont. It echoed in every part of the trek. The Wilderness Pledge not only reinforced the ideas of Leave No Trace and Good Stewardship, but a willingness to protect Philmont. The Tour of the Philmont Villa tells the story of Waite Phillips and his generosity to the Scouts. It concludes with the question, although never spoken, but what will you leave behind? How will your generosity manifest? The Philmont grace reminds us of the good things that we have in life and that we need to be thankful for everything that has been given to us. The conservation project leaves not only our mark on Philmont, but makes it better for Scouts that will one day pass on the trail that we lay before them, just as Scouts before us groomed the trail so that our Philmont experience was just that much better. And the daily devotions led by the Chaplains Aide remind us as we sit among the Aspen and Purple Mountains that Philmont is greater than ourselves and truly is Scouting’s Paradise.
So when the passage tells us that “Philmont does something to people”… it certainly does.
I can honestly say that I have left Philmont, but Philmont has not left me. Now it’s back to the daily grind and loving being back home with my family, but the Whispering of the pines still echo in my mind.
So what does Philmont do to people? It changes them in many ways. Some of the changes may not happen for a while, some came home different, but everyone changed. They all tested themselves in one way or another. They all found strength on the trail. They all learned a skill or sharpened one. They all found peace in the mountain. They all had a great adventure.
Some fell in love with Philmont right away, while others took the whole trek, some are even still reflecting on how Philmont has made a change in their lives. And yep, some still resist the whisper, but it’s there.
I am fortunate to have been able to go to Philmont, I am fortunate to be a Scoutmaster, and I am lucky to have walked the Country that I love. Some of the Scouts find it hard to think beyond the next climb, they find it difficult to open their eyes and ears to what is around them. The ‘coolest’ of Scouts will hear the whisper of the pines… it’s just a matter of time. For the seven Scouts of 810-N2 and the other Advisor, I know we changed. I find myself whistling the Philmont hymn and I catch myself singing ‘the Tooth of time’s been chewin’ on me’ as I go about my daily life. I have relived the climb up to Shaefers peak and laugh to myself when I think about our Burro racing team at Harlan. The walk in the rain from Ute Gulch into Cimarroncito and the bear sighting just outside of Hunting lodge all bring a smile to my face. But I knew we had changed when I watched the crew as they sang the Philmont hymn at the closing campfire. The mood was somber, but the look of satisfaction as they all sang together for the last time as a crew. The next morning as they proudly wore their Arrowhead award, being marked among the Scouts that have completed a Philmont trek! Yep, they changed.
I look forward to watching these Scouts grow and take what they learned at Philmont and use it in life and in our Troop. They are better people for the experience and I know that Philmont is a part of them.
If you have never been.. go… if you have been.. you know what I mean.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
As some of you may know, but now you all will… My oldest son, John, the Eagle Scout made a huge decision recently to put college on hold and follow in his Dad’s footsteps and join the Army. Not just join the Army, but do exactly what I did in the Army. Airborne Ranger.
While I am proud of him and excited for the adventures that await him, and know that there will be many. My heart, like that of any father wants him to be safe. I have served my time in combat and know what it is like. And as much as I loved my time in the Army and know that he will do well, I don’t want him to get hurt.
Having said that, it causes me to reflect on Baden Powell’s intent for Scouting. A World organization for peace. It is with that thought that this morning I stumbled on the BSA’s “Messenger for Peace” Site and thought to myself.. if only this works. My son (and your son’s and daughters) would not have to go to war.
I am on board with this. Check it out and see what you can do to be a messenger of peace.
From the BSA Website:
In 1920, just two years after the most terrible war the world had ever known, 8,000 Scouts from 34 countries came together for the first world jamboree. At the closing ceremony, Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell called on participants to carry the spirit of the jamboree home “so that we may help to develop peace and happiness in the world and goodwill among all Scouts.”
The Scouts of the world have been answering that call for more than 90 years.Today, Scouts in dozens of countries are working for peace by solving conflicts in their schools, building links between divided communities, teaching their peers about health and wellness, and repairing environmental damage. To recognize their efforts—and to inspire more young men and women to help Scouting create a better world—the World Scout Committee has launched the Messengers of Peace initiative. The Boy Scouts of America is proud to join this effort in 2012.
How can BSA units participate? All they have to do is go online and register the MOP-related community service projects (including Eagle Scout projects) they undertake. Doing so adds pins to a global Messengers of Peace map, which Scouts from around the world can click on to learn how their fellow Scouts are making a difference.
Scouts who complete MOP projects will be eligible for a special recognition: a ring patch that goes around the World Crest. That patch will symbolize their participation in an ever-widening circle of Scouts who are not just visualizing world peace but are helping to make it a reality.
The Scouts of the world have always been a powerful force for good. This initiative lets us celebrate what our Scouts have already accomplished and inspire them to accomplish even more. Please join us as we work together to create a better world.
There is a cool recognition for this program also. You can read more about it on the Byan on Scouting Blog.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
As everyone that reads this blog knows, the BSA’s new(er) slogan is as the title reads… “Prepared. For Life”. I have often stayed away from advertising gimmicks and jingles.. “An Army of One”, and “Be all that you can Be” come to mind. But this one hit home as I thought about how Scouting does impact our lives. Yesterday was my first day back from vacation and so I spent a little time catching up on emails, reading my favorite blogs, and cleaning camping gear. My good buddy Adam posted a piece about his vacation last week. It is a great article and illustrated just how Scouting is Preparing us for life.
I was and I suppose still am reluctant to tell this story in light of Adams blog post, but once again I find myself in need of sharing this wonderful thing called Scouting.
Last week we spent at Glacier National Park. If you have never been.. GO! It is truly an amazing place. So as you can imagine when I go camping I go prepared. We are ready to sustain for a week in comfort and have a good time out in the woods. This time was no exception. Since it was family time, I went a lot heavier than I am used to, the big cabin tent, the big stove, the coolers etc. But I still had my day pack which had my 10 essentials in it and since we were in Glacier NP, a canister of Bear spray.
One afternoon as we sat in camp, a scream came from the road in front of our camp site. The boys were throwing a football around and one fell. HE ran straight into our site crying. Why our site and not to his parents.. I don’t know. Maybe instinct told him that I had just completed the Wilderness First Aid course, or that I was a Scoutmaster, or he had no idea where he was.. either way.. here he ran into our site bleeding from the hand.
I had him sit down and told him to look me in the eyes. Josh, my youngest son, had already got to my day pack and retrieved the first aid kit. I told this youngster to relax and that he was going to be fine. His alligator tears started to dry and I just kept talking to him. Found out that in three days he would be turning 9 years old and that he was from Canada.
All the while I gloved up and started treating his cut. He had fallen on his hand and took a good layer or two of skin off his palm. Cleaning the area and bandaging with non stick pads I was done with the bleeding part. Then I started looking for possible fracture. He asked why I was poking and pressing on his wrist and hand.. I told him I wanted to make sure he was ok. He was. Right about that time, his dad came into our camp. He said he had heard the scream and started heading in this direction. I told what I had done and that I think everything is going to be ok, keep it clean and if he needed I would change the dressing the next day.
He saw the Scouting stickers on the back of my truck and made a comment about them stating that his son had run to the right place. “Who else would be ready to anything”, he said referring to the stickers.
So all of this got me to thinking about just how we Prepare our Scouts for life.
It’s not just first aid and camping skills, but as the mission statement states, Making ethical choice throughout their lives.
I often talk in this blog about character and making choices. Being fit and healthy, being of service to others, and of course skills that will help them get through life.
Scouting is a great platform for this learning, discovery, and practice of the life skills that these young men will need as they go through it. Being Prepared for as Baden Powell said.. Anything.
So it’s not just about camping and fun. It truly is a game with a purpose and all of us should remember what that purpose it. This new(er) slogan.. Prepared. For Life. Is the Boy Scouts of America mission statement in three words. It is our call to action as Scouters. It is what we are here for.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Selfless Service has been a main stay of the Scouting movement. It is the desire to serve others. It is the motivation to “So unto others…” It is essentially the Scouting way.
The value of Selfless service is important more than ever in our society. Today the world revolves around “Me”. Everything for “Me”. Self gratification, the need to be served, the entitlement that most people feel they deserve. Last week as I helped teach at the High School I saw this in many of the students. “What is the world going to do for me when I walk out of High School?” Instead of looking forward and seeing the opportunities to serve.
Service need not be in the military, it does not have to come in the form of social work or police and fire. Service comes from within each and every one of us to do good.
Volunteerism is a big thing right now in our country. Most major corporations have some sort of “Volunteer” opportunities to get out into the community and do good. UPS, the company I work for has a program called ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’. It is a program that goes out and does work on people’s houses, yards, and cleans up neighborhoods that are in dire need of a good scrubbing. UPS also asks that employees that do volunteer work on their own log those volunteer hours with the company. It probably gets the company an award or something at the end of the year, but the point is that the push is there to get out and do good. We see it on TV all the time, campaigns that call us to “Give an hour” or “Live United”.
In Scouting we just make a promise to “Help other people at all times” That’s all.
Yesterday as we placed all those flags I could not help but think of the great opportunity and habit that we are forming in our Scouts. Habits of service. To be selfless in the act of serving. The meaning rings true when placing a flag on the grave of a soldier. Not to get to overly dramatic, but that is the ultimate call to selflessly serve. The knowledge that one day you could pay in full for some one else.
At the top of the hill at Willamette National Cemetery is 4 head stones, much like the rest, but these are inlaid in gold and have a special marker above the name. These are the 4 individuals that understood selfless service above and beyond that of the average soldier. They may have just been in the wrong or right place at the wrong or right time, but either way, these for men were awarded the Medal of Honor. The act which earned them the highest award in our Nation comes down to this. They were in a situation that when faced with a choice, they chose to serve their buddy. It always comes down to this. Citation after citation for the Medal of Honor, it always reads the same. They stood out above and at the end of the day it was to help one of their own get out of a sticky situation, rescue their comrade, hold of the enemy till help could arrive, move fallen soldiers in the midst of hostile action. SELFLESS SERVICE.
Now I am sure that not one of the recipients of the Medal of Honor would tell you he wants it or tried to earn it. They will all tell you that they were just doing their job… they were just serving their buddy or doing their duty. And I am not suggesting that we strive to earn the Medal of Honor.
Building in our young people a love for service is what I am suggesting. The need to be of service is a great one and we need to instill in our young people a willingness to go above and beyond what the TV asks and corporations suggest as levels of service. To truly serve our neighbor, our community, our country.
Selfless Service is a must in our world today.
Have a Great Scouting Day!