Month: December 2007

Quitters and Success

Quitters never Win and Winners never Quit!” – Vince Lombardi
Once you quit… you will quit again…and again, it will become part of your character“- unknown
There’s only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that’s if we quit.” -unknown
Once you learn to quit…it becomes a habit“- Vince Lombardi
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

Now this may go against the grain of modern popular thinking, but I still believe that you can never quit. As stated in the quotes above, quitting is directly related to success and failure. In life, I believe that failure is not an option. Because failing means that you gave up.. you quit.
You can make mistakes, you can get knocked down… but you must get back up to be a success in life.
Winning is everything! Yes it is… that does not mean you score more or make more money, or have a bigger house. Winning in life is achieving your goals and accomplishing tasks. That is winning. And you will never win if you give up or quit.

As we are in the mode of making resolutions for the new year, many people say.. I need to quit this or that in the new year. Lets take eating right as an example.
Do you need to quit eating junk… or do you need to start eating good food?
You may need to loose weight, do you do this by quiting the junk food, or eating right?
You see it may give you the same result, but coming at it from a successful mindset rather than a quitters mindset may make a bigger difference. If I want to be successful at eating better foods, then it will cause me to plan better meals, watch what I eat when dining out, maybe throw in some exercise, and start sharping my mind.
On the other hand if I am just going to quit eating junk..then that is all I will do.

I agree with Vince Lombardi… “Once you learn to becomes a habit“. Once you get used to quitting it becomes easier and easier to quit. You quit on something small, and then the next time the situation gets to tough.. you quit again.. and again…and again.
This will lead you to failure in the long run.

Boy Scouts do not quit. They try and try again. You may have set backs and stumble, but the test of your character is measured by the amount of times you get back up and try again.
This is success.

Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”- Thomas Edison

The Scout Law tells us to be Brave, it takes a certain amount of bravery not to give up.

I will leave you with one final quote from a man that has inspired many. Jimmy Valvano, in a speech given at the 1993 ESPY awards gave an inspirational speech about never giving up.
Toward the end of the speech he said “DON’T GIVE UP..DON’T EVER GIVE UP!” That is the motto of the Jimmy V foundation. It is centered on finding a cure for Cancer, but the theme resonates in our daily lives of achieving success!

Happy Scouting!

2008 is just around the corner

And in a flash its done… The presents are all given and gotten, unwrapped and the trash is full. Bellies are aching from too much food and the thought of Christmas leftovers make the stomach turn.
Now it is time to start over. 2008 is literally around the corner. It is time to make resolutions, but first we need to look back at 2007 and realize what we need to make the coming year better.
Yes it is time to look at what we need to Start, Stop, and Continue to make 2008 a great year, not just in Scouting, but in our lives away from tan shirts and red tabs.

But there is the good rub, we don’t, nor should we separate the two. Scouting has given us the tools for a great 2008 (I’m sure you didn’t see this coming).

Yes, that’s right… THE SCOUT OATH AND LAW!

We had an interesting week leading up to Christmas. Our house was broken into and burglarized. Luckily no one was home and nothing of significance was taken.. it was all just stuff. But the fact that a person entered my house and violated my “Free space” really got me thinking about why?

We can assume many things, but the short answer is the person that came into my house and took our things had no respect, no values.
The person did not respect the fact that we work hard for the things we have. And if we need more, we work harder. We don’t steal to increase our wealth, we earn it.
The person does not understand values. Values found in the Scout Law. Values like being Trustworthy, Kind, Loyal, Obedient, Thrifty, Brave, Reverent, and so on. No this person does not understand those values and surely does not live them. Boy, did this person need Scouting.

So I started to think about 2008… What do I want to make better? How do I want to feel as I write preparing for 2009? What do I need to Start, Stop, and Continue?

And the short answer is live the Scout Law better… Daily. If I do that… EVERYTHING else will fall into place… Everything.

Think about that as you prepare this week to enter into 2008.
I think that if we all lived the Oath and Law, it will be a terrific 2008, not just for us, but for those around us.

Happy Scouting!

This Christmas the youngt men of Troop 664 put together a gift box to send to the soldiers serving in Iraq. They sent candy, magazines, handy wipes, Christmas Cards, and other stuff the Troops like. They also put together this video and decided to share it on YouTube. A disk of the video went in the box to Iraq.

Merry Christmas to all our Soldiers serving at home and abroad.

And Merry Christmas to you!

Happy Scouting!

Its hard to find a wise man

Today we put up the Nativity scene at the Church. Kyle, Parker, John and Josh did a nice job this year setting it up.
Once the Nativity was set up we noticed a Wise man was missing. We have not seen him since last year, so we had to go on a search for a wise man. Immediately thoughts went to where to find a wise man. They of course turned to the Scoutmaster.
Nope, he was not the wise man they sought, Assistant Scoutmasters on the scene couldn’t help either.
Where to find a wise man?

Well he finally was found, right were we put him. And after some repairs to a broken hand and a paint touch up. The wise man joined his two companions on the journey to the Christ child.

We find wise men in our daily lives. The search for our wise man, while funny, took us to the back of our church where he is currently standing.
A Scout is Reverent. Reverence to our God and the things he created.
It is Christmas time. A time of rebirth in many ways, a time to start over, a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. A time when we take stock in our lives and see what we can do to emulate our Saviour.
God gave Jesus to us as a gift. A gift that ultimately took away the sins of the world. A gift that keeps on giving.

So for just a minute, forget about the malls, the parties, and the over commitment of shopping and dressing up in fancy clothes. Think about why we celebrate Christmas. Give thanks for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Weather you are a believer or not, Jesus Christ, the man, changed our world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, changed everything! A part of the continued gift.

Merry Christmas and Happy Scouting!

The Christmas Truce of 1914 (THEY BECAME WISE MEN)

On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. Though Germany readily agreed, the other powers refused.
Even without a cessation of war for Christmas, family and friends of the soldiers wanted to make their loved ones’ Christmas special. They sent packages filled with letters, warm clothing, food, cigarettes, and medications. Yet what especially made Christmas at the front seem like Christmas were the troves of small Christmas trees.

On Christmas Eve, many German soldiers put up their Christmas trees, decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Hundreds of Christmas trees lighted the German trenches. The British soldiers could see the lights but it took them a few minutes to figure out what they were from. British lookouts reported the anomalies to their superiors. Could this be a trick? British soldiers were ordered not to fire but to watch them closely. Instead of trickery, the British soldiers heard many of the Germans celebrating.

Time and again during the course of that day, the Eve of Christmas, there were wafted towards us from the trenches opposite the sounds of singing and merry-making, and occasionally the guttural tones of a German were to be heard shouting out lustily, ‘A happy Christmas to you Englishmen!’ Only too glad to show that the sentiments were reciprocated, back would go the response from a thick-set Clydesider, ‘Same to you, Fritz, but dinna o’er eat yourself wi’ they sausages!

In other areas, the two sides exchanged Christmas carols.
“They finished their carol and we thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The first Noël’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on. First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘Adeste Fidéles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war”

Read more about the Christmas Truce.

2007 Year in Review

Reflecting back on the Scouting year that was 2007 I came to conclusion that we are a pretty busy Troop.
So let me take just a minute or two and share with you the 2007 year in review.

The boys from the Order of the Arrow kicked the year off by participating in an inter tribal Pow Wow up on Scouters Mountain. The following weekend the Troop learned the valuable skill of selective listening as we watched as Nick and Ely debuted their new smash hit “We are all gonna Die” Lucky for us they became one hit wonders that weekend and discovered that they in fact survived to enjoy egg Mcmuffins with the rest of us.
As is our annual custom we had a great turn out for Junior leader Training and a lock in to end January, a much need fun time to put the Cold Camp behind us.

February we celebrated Scout Sunday and held a Luau to celebrate the BSA’s birthday. The Assistant Scoutmasters showed off their new Campaign hats that night… now we are Scouting!February took us to Camp Meriwether where we were introduced to a new part of clothing.. Sally’s (the section of your pants from the cuff to just below the knee) were discovered and from then on we tried to keep them dry. It was a cold and wet weekend on the coast, but the humor at the campfire was dry and warm. Rob got his first taste on the Scouting Lampoon and took it well.. he’s a keeper.
Finally in February we started on a Journey to Wallowa. The saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step was etched into us in February.

March found us paddling our Canoes on a windy Cullaby lake. We learned that you need the bigger guys up front in the wind…. We also learned that Joel and Cameron on a windy lake makes for cookies in a canoe. Another great weekend at Royce Finel.. That’s why we keep going back. This was our Third trip to Royce Finel and the first time we need two trailers of Canoes.. We are starting to get big.

April lifted us up onto the backs of horses. We spent another wet weekend at Butte Creek for what was the best and worst day of riding. I’m not sure who led us up onto that windy ridge, but it was not me.. My horse was so cold it asked me for my rain gear. The following weekend, once we dried out all the young Scouts went to the Pioneering Merit Badge weekend. Our Scouts did exceptionally well.

May we tested our skills at the District Camporee at Martha Creek field. Eric and Kyle were tapped out by the Order of the Arrow. I don’t remember much about Camporee this year.. Onion Smothered Pork chops keep passing through my mind though! Camporee went well. Kyle entertained the entire district with his galloping on a Patrol flag and as usual a good time was had by all.
May was perhaps the best Service project of the year also. Placing flags on the head stones up at the Willamette National Cemetery. Even though they ran out of flags in our section, I think the Scouts got a better appreciation for the sacrifice of the many men and women that are eternally at rest in the field of honor. We showed our colors again assisting the Gresham hero’s memorial committee with a color guard. The boys really did a great job. I am extremely proud of them.
May took us out to a snowy Wallowa to check out the camp. We learned a lot out there. And I still have those wheat pancakes and little smokies in my stomach.

In June we strapped on our headlamps and took a hike in the Ape caves. June was the only “Perfect weather” month of the year. Camping at the Cougar Campsite right on the lake was a Rockwell moment for us. A perfect camp out. In June we also helped out the Gresham Hero’s memorial again with their Ride for hero’s rally. The community surly knows Troop 664.

In July we began our first real High adventure program. A hand full of Scouts from all the Patrols started the Backpacking Merit badge. A Trip to Eagle Creek and Bonneville dam took us under the Columbia River and a great look at the power it has. July we took some real big steps.. Not only on the trail for the merit badge, but in our Journey to Wallowa. The plan was coming together, resourcing and staffing and selecting merit badges. Summer Camp was right around the corner and the 11th hour jitters were starting to set in. Range masters were trained, CPR Training was conducted, shopping lists changed 25 times, merit badge lists were chopped and edited, and the great debate on how we were going to get 900 pounds of stuff across the state started.

August finally got here. On the 2nd of August the Advanced party arrived and a call from the ranch announced that it was “Show time”. We moved the Troop to the other side of the state for 10 days of the best summer camp ever. We won’t go into that again, but let’s just say it was the high light of the year. I think we can all agree.

So how do you top that? In September you Back pack 25 miles on the historic Barlow Road trail.. I was surprised when the majority of the Troop signed up to spend the Labor Day weekend with me hiking through some of the most beautiful country in America. Kent amused us by eating spaghetti from a strainer with a big spoon. John and Kyle provided a gut splitting laugh when they produced coconuts from their backpacks and gave us a sampling of Monty Pythons Holy Grail. I am thankful no one fell off of the bridge we stopped at for lunch.. That was just plain funny.

October we broke out the rain gear for another cold and wet weekend at Butte Creek. The Scouts were to participate in a Pioneering Challenge which ended up being canceled, but at least we showed up with two teams. The OA tribe set their sights on teaching first aid to Webelos Scouts that weekend, and even managed to get one of them to pass out. I of course had to test my skill at Chubby bunny. I believe the bar has been set at 13. Guys you can explain that one to your parents later.

November has to be one of my all time favorite camp outs in the Troop. We ventured off to Camp Cooper for a no holds barred Cook off. Back packing style, camp stove preparation, and Dutch ovens. The Scouts did a fantastic job with preparation, planning, and throwing down some of the best camp food I have seen in awhile. The Food network would have been impressed. We woke to snow on Sunday, but the taste of Falcon Pork Roast still lingered.. mmmmm.

As you can see it has been another great year. We accomplished a lot this year and had a great time doing it. Let me share some numbers with you as we wrap up the year in review.

In total there were 22 camping opportunities this year. That includes Troop Camp outs, Order of the Arrow events, and Adult training camp outs. Given the 21 active Scouts and 14 active adults that is a total of 866 nights of camping..
We held 55 meetings of one type or another.
We did 8 service projects totaling 345.5 hours of service.
We earned 103 merit badges.
We awarded 29 badges of rank.
8 Scouts earned more than one rank over the year. 5 earned their First Class this year.

Troop 664 is active and progressing well. Wrapping up our 4th year we can say that we have set a course of success for the future.