Again with the reset subject.
Yesterday, I did some major work on the YouTube channel. I am phasing out the old channel, which became a real pain switching back and forth between accounts… so it’s all in one nice bundle now.
Like I said before, most of the videos will post here on the blog also, but not all.
So here is the trailer for the new and improved channel… same old me.. but new focus for 2014!
Stay tuned friends… I have a great give away coming up! Just wrapped up the details yesterday… Look for details this weekend!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: blog, camp skills, Camping, comments, gear, Hammock, High Adventure, Journey to Excellence, Just fun, Leadership, Leave no trace, Methods, Motto, Oath and Law, Order of the Arrow, Patrol Method, Philmont, reviews, Scouting, Scoutmaster minute, Service, Skills, stories, technology, training, Values, Winter Camping
Tags: blog, gear, Scoutmaster minute, Youtube
A few weeks back, I talked about resetting. Resetting the blog and the YouTube channel.
Well.. Today is New Years Day.. and the reset has begun.
I am posting a video and also letting you know that I have entered a 30 day blog challenge designed to improve the blog and increase readership.
I am going to be asking YOU to help me. All you need to do is keep reading the blog, telling a friend to check out the blog and subscribe. I am NOT doing this for money. There is NOT one penny coming my way in this. I am doing it to help deliver the promise of Scouting and to share my love for the outdoors… that’s it… no other motive or gain.
I think that this form of media is strong and far reaching and I want to be a part of it to tell the story of Scouting. Help me out.
So here is the first video of the year. Its about backpacking lanterns. I hope you enjoy it.. look for more to come… and after you watch it here on the blog.. subscribe to the YouTube channel also if you want. To me the blog is more important and you will be getting the videos here anyway.
What kind of lantern is in your pack. Leave a comment and let us know!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: blog, camp skills, Camping, comments, gear, Hammock, Just fun, Leave no trace, reviews, Scouts, Winter Camping
Tags: backpacking, blog, lanterns, Scouting blog
I know that the blog, once again, has taken a back seat to this crazy thing called life. I suppose an apology would sound nice, but hey, we all have lives I assume.
This week has been a real moving one for me and I want to share it. Once we get through this first part, the rest is going to make sense in the context of this blog and my Scouting world.
On Tuesday, my wife and I participated in what is called “Challenge Day” at our High School. Our youngest son participated last year and it really made a difference in his life. So much so that he asked to be on the Challenge Crew staff for this year. He was accepted and has been on the Challenge crew for the high school this year.
At our high school, they offer the Challenge day to the Junior class. Now there is an “opt out” for those students that do not want to participate, but for those that do take the day and participate it is an eye opening, life changing event. Not just an impact on the lives of the participant, but, if it is received by the participant, it will impact the whole school and community.
Challenge is a program that asks the participant to open their eyes and their heart and see how behavior effects people. Name calling, neglect,, bullying, race, gender, all of that come to play in how we treat one another. OK Jerry, we all know that… No.. No we don’t. We hear it, we say it, but we don’t live it. We assume that we treat people with respect and dignity, but we really don’t. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself… honestly am I? I suppose the bottom line is that we all can do better.
I was an adult leader for a small group “family”. When I say adult leader.. I really mean adult participant. We went through everything with the students. In my group we had 3 males and 2 females (myself included with the group). I got to hear their story and the stories of many of the kids in the room, there were about 150. My heart broke when I listened to some of the kids open up and share the pain and hurt they feel every day.
Being abandoned by their parents, abuse, neglect, and dealing with families struggling with addiction.
Towards the end of the day there was an activity called “Crossing the Line”. Two long stripes of tape were placed on the floor and the entire room stood on one side of the tape. As a category was called out, if it applied to you, you crossed the line and turned and faced the rest of the participants. The idea was to demonstrate that no one is alone, and pain and hurt is not unique to you… we all feel it and the impact is great.
“Have you lost a loved one to a violent act?”
“Have you ever been a victim of a violent act?”
“Have you lost a loved one to cancer or another illness?”
“Have you been effected by addiction?”
The list went on and on… and large groups of kids and adults crossed the line and returned… many crossing several times.
At the end the facilitator asked that everyone seriously think about the next category and then she said “If you have been allowed to be a child…cross the line”.
My heart sank as I looked around at all of the kids standing that did not move. Better than half of the room could not cross the line.
The say ended with healing and affirmations that this class would make a difference. The buck stops here. As they left the room, they made a commitment to make a change, not only in their School, but in their community… and it starts with how we look and treat people.
So what does all of this mean? There is way to much pain in our communities. We need to make a difference.
Baden Powell called for us to be a movement of peace. Are we? Does a patch on our uniform make us agents of that peace?
I am blessed,
I have a great family. I have fantastic loving kids. I grew up in a house with both parents that still to this day love me. My kids have never had need and have always been loved. We are a family of huggers,. My life is good.
So what? Is a blog going to make a difference? Nope, I am just sharing.. what you do with it is up to you.
I think it is time that we all reevaluate what we are really doing to be messengers of peace. I would suggest that we forget about global problems and focus on what is right outside of your front door. If we all do that then the global issue will right itself. Our Government can’t get it’s own house in order.. I don’t want it screwing up mine. WE need to make a difference. WE… US…
We start by adding this as part of our Junior Leader training. We adults start by living the Scout Oath and Law.. Daily. We reinforce our values in everything we do in Scouting and we invite all young people to join our adventure.
There is a big push to get leaders trained. We need to train them right. We need to make sure that all of the methods are being used in Scouting. It is through those methods that we will achieve our goals or aims… not to crank out Eagle Scouts.. but to have good young men that are great citizens and everything that the word citizen means. Men of Character that are fit.
I looked at the room on Tuesday and saw a lack of all of that somewhere along the line. Crapping parents, teachers that looked the other way, friends that are afraid to be friends. Scouting is designed to change that… but we don’t. It’s easier just to camp and call it good. We need to take the time and teach our boys to be men.
So… here we are. What is the blog going to do?
Leadership posts that direct that sort of change.
Gear reviews that encourage adventure.
Tips and techniques to make Scouting better… as I see it.
I have been away a lot from the blog recently. I have been freeing up parts of my life that did not really matter. The blog really matters to me and I think that it helps.
I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and family and I am blessed to have great readers of this blog.
Thanks so very much.
Think about the tag line.. “Have a Great Scouting Day” What does that mean and why do I close with that? A Scouting day is one in which we live the Scout Oath and Law. One that we are prepared and looking for the opportunity to “Help other people” It is a promise that we make daily to not just be in Scouting but allow Scouting to be in us. It’s more than Monday night meetings, it is how we live.
Think about that for a moment and see where you are.
You can learn more about Challenge day at www.challengeday.org Continue reading
This is my 1000th Blog Post!!!
To Celebrate I am having a Giveaway…
Watch the video for details but here is the bottom line…
Click the Like Button for this post.
Leave a Comment for this post.
That’s all you have to do to get your name in for a chance to win!
I will draw a name at random and will announce the winner on Tuesday March the 12th.
Thank you for visiting the blog, especially those of you that subscribe.
I look forward to many more posts sharing my love for the outdoors, Scouting, and life!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Its been a few days since my keyboard and I sat together and jotted down some thoughts… It’s been a long week and a pretty eventful one at that.
Monday we had our weekly Troop meeting, and to be honest.. I have no idea how it went. I was upstairs with a group of parents and a couple of the Assistant Scoutmasters showing what is expected in the type of gear our Scouts should have. In particular the winter gear that we need to see on the next couple camp outs. I thought it went well. It can be an overwhelming discussion to some parents and I try to keep it simple and show the parent that you don’t have to take out a loan to get the right gear. I reinforced with the parents that is about the Right gear and Not a lot of gear. To many grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles feel the need to get all the cool gadgets for their Scout and not the right stuff. Anyway, that went pretty good and I think will be an annual thing with all of the new Scout parents.
Tuesday, I got an email from a reader that really made my week. The reader called me an opinionated a**. That’s ok, I can live with that.. what really got me was the reader said that “someone who gets paid from the Boy Scouts of America should watch what I say”. Now that’s where I draw the line. There are many good Professional Scouters out there.. but I’m not one of them. I pay to do this thing called Scouting and like it. I have not worked a day in my life in the employment of the Boy Scouts of America… nope.. I’m just a Scoutmaster, a run of the mill volunteer. And yep.. I am an opinionated a**… but it’s my blog and so unless I am spouting off nonsense contrary to Scouting’s Values and methods… ahhh.. it’s just not worth the time. But thanks for that nice email and I appreciate your comments… Kill ‘em with kindness my dad always said.
Wednesday I replaced the continuous ridge line on my tarp. I ordered 50 ft. of 1.55 mm Z-line spectra cord from zpacks.com. This stuff is amazing! It will hold 200 lbs.. not that I will ever have that much weight on my tarp.. but what it really did was cut weight. The old continuous ridge line was Nite ize cord. It is really good stuff too and I like the reflective taping in it.. but the Spectra is super light and tough. I only need 25 ft for the ridge line.. so I configured it like I had the old set up and went from 38 grams of line to 18 grams. Considerable weight savings.. and I am going to need it to get to my goal base weight of 16 lbs.
Thursday my kids ordered (with my help) a birthday gift for me. They ordered me a Solo Stove. I got a tracking number Thursday night and it will be here on Tuesday.. more to come on that one.
And here we are Friday night. I am getting my uniform together for tomorrows Trainers EDGE class. I am helping on the staff. Looks like I am teaching and being a guide throughout the day. It should be a great Scouting day!
I’m not sure if what I am about to say is for public consumption yet.. but I’m going to tell you anyway. I got an email the other day from Chris, our partner with PTC Media. Actually he is the leader of our network, but anyway, after months and months of no contact, Chris sent an email to all of the show hosts of PTC Media stating that essentially we are done.
The network will remain up and available so folks can listen to the shows, but so far as the future. Well, PTC has run its course. So what does that mean for me and my podcast. Well, after all the great feedback I received I did promise to keep it going. I will do one more show on the PTC network and then my affiliation there will be over. I will look for a server or a way that I can run a podcast from the blog but in the mean time I will continue to blog and produce the videos. For those of you that came to the blog via the podcast, please know that the blog was here first and has always been that medium that I have preferred. It was the blog that got the attention of Steve and an introduction to Chris and then a podcast. So the blog (which I pay for) will remain unchanged.
I want to thank everyone that supported PTC Media for the last 8 years and in particular my show. I hope that I can find the time and passion to put more out.
I thank Chris for given me the opportunity and the forum to talk about Scouting! It was a real fun ride and along the way I have personally met many of you and have developed some great friendships. Again.. nothing really will change in that regard.
Well, time to go and get a good nights sleep… I get to hang out with Phil and Adam tomorrow and I am sure I will need all the rest I can get.
Thanks for letting me get random with you. After all… I’m just an opinionated a**!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: #52to16, Backpacking, blog, camp skills, gear, Ideals, Just fun, Leadership, Methods, Oath and Law, podcast, respect, Scoutmaster minute, Skills, stories, Values, Winter Camping
Tags: backpacking, blog, opinion, podcast, PTCMedia, scout parents, Values, zpacks.com
If you are reading this.. well then you have properly been directed to the new home of The SMMBlog.
I moved the domain to wordpress for various reasons, but the bottom line is it is working.
Much of the “old stuff” is moved, but please be patient while I play with themes and widgets and work to making this a blog worth reading. As is this blog.. I too am a work in progress.
Thanks for your continued support of the SMMBlog and podcast. I hope you like the new format. Stay tuned for more great content.
Have a Great Scouting Day!