Month: June 2008

Developing the Patrol at Camp.

The Patrol method is at the foundation of Scouting. It is through the Patrol method that execute everything else in attaining the three Aims of Scouting; Character Development, Citizenship, and Physical fitness.
The Patrol method is practiced in the outdoors and the best opportunity for success can be found at Summer Camp. Camp offers the structure and program that builds the Scouts skills it also provides for the Patrol to spend time together. This is important as over a six day venture they will learn about each other, they will eat together, sleep together, test one another and themselves and learn to give and take. This strengthens the bond of the Patrol. It tests citizenship, developing skills to cooperate and concede. Summer camp forces decisions to be made. Merit badges, free time, and camp wide programs enhance the process of decision making. Patrols are encouraged at camp to develop as a Team. It takes every Scout in the Patrol to work on advancement, participate in programs, and pitch in with their Patrol and Troop to earn Honor Patrol and Honor Troop. This tests the Scouts Character. Does he put his Patrol before himself? Does he selflessly pitch in and understand the goal of the Patrol? Staying at camp for six days will test these in each and every Scout.
As the Patrol enjoys the week at camp, they practice the other methods to reach the Aims too. They are uniformed, even in an activity uniform, they keep each other in line and look the part of a Patrol. They develop their adult interaction, working both with counselors and unit leaders. The Scouts of the Patrol live daily the ideals of Scouting found in the Scout Law, Oath, Motto, and Slogan and hold one another in account.
They work towards advancement, helping each other along the way, encouraging those that need to work on the Trail to First Class to take advantage of the station. By the end of the week they have all grown and have watched each other grow. The Patrol leader develops more leadership skills and his Patrol should have learned by his example. Leadership that will last a life time and make the Patrol better for years.The outdoor experience found at summer camp is invaluable. There is no substitute for the program which takes a captive patrol of excited Scouts and allows them to play the game with a purpose. The Patrol that goes to Summer camp together will experience a life long thrill that will develop them and make them better Scouts. The Scouts that camp as a Patrol learn lessons that will become the foundation of everything in their lives. Character, Citizenship, and Fitness (Physical, mental, and emotional).
The Patrol method is the foundation of Scouting. It is in the Patrols that Troops are formed and kept alive. It is in Patrols that Scouting lives, breaths and grows. It is Patrols that Summer camp is elevated to a teaching and learning experience that carve into the Scout everything great about Scouting.
“The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.'”
—Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder

Have a Great Scouting Day!

It’s all about the Journey

Often times we get so wrapped up in the where we are going that we forget about how we are getting there.
We make plans for sending our kids to college, we forget about their high school life.
We plan for jobs and adulthood, we forget about friends and living.
We work to complete the requirements for the Eagle Award, we forget about the great camp outs, the times spent with friends, and the many life lessons that are learned.
We get so wrapped up in where we are going, what our goals are that we loose focus on the beauty of the trail that we are traveling on.

This last weekend, we had a shake down back pack trip with the Troop. Nothing to hard or long, 6 miles from one campground to the next, some pretty nice climbs, and some painful down hill stretches, but the hike was nothing to go down in the backpacking hall of fame.
We started out with a goal in mind to check gear, get things tight and fitting right, and then find our way (map and compass) to the next camp site.
With this goal in mind, we set out. After the first half mile, we had made adjustments to gear, repacked two backpacks, tightened up boots, and cross leveled some gear. The new Scouts were doing great, heads down they began to climb the first ridge that would lead us to trails unknown, but in the direction we needed to venture to find our way to the Tollgate campground.
As we crested the first ridge, day light peeked from the tall pine trees. A hard trail, compass check, we were heading in the right direction.
Then no more trail… we missed the Flag Mt. Trail… or did we?
Yep.. turn around and there it was… and climb.
Climbing up the next two miles to the summit of Flag Mountain there she was, in all her beauty, Mt. Hood. A view that if you were to busy huffing and puffing, or too excited by the sight of a cozy downhill slope, you missed it. Clouds parted and there she stood, in all her splendor. I could not help but think about the first sight of the Pioneers as they gazed on the magnificent Mountain. Lewis and Clark as they first saw Mt. Hood as they came through the Gorge. These thoughts took away all the pain of the climb. I snapped a few pictures and grabbed the first two Scouts that came whizzing by ready to launch into the downhill section.
Look!!! Mt. Hood!
“Jerry, we see that mountain everyday.”
Yes.. but not from Flag Mountain we don’t… and then it hit me. We had focused on the destination.. and not the Journey.
We spent to much time worrying about the next camp and not the view of the trail, the mountain, the Rhododendron bushes, the smell of the pine, the rush of the river below, the snap of twigs on the trail… we missed it.
We had focused on the destination and not the Journey, and it made me think, we missed it. Are we missing it elsewhere?

Are the Scouts enjoying their Scouting experience or are they moving so quickly to Eagle that they don’t remember funny stories from summer camps gone by, they don’t have a nickname because they never got caught in a wierd position on a camp out singing in an outhouse or flipping over a log because their pack was to heavy.. or getting chased by racoons.
Are the Scouts learning, or just trying to pass the test?
Are we seeing the forest for the trees?
Are we missing the Journey?

It caused me to pause and appreciate what we have, it was a time to focus on the Journey.
Saturday night in camp, we reflected on the day. I asked about the trek, the moments on the trail. What had the Scouts seen, heard, and remembered from the day?
What did they get out of the Journey? A campsite?

We reflected.

Reflect on your Troops Journey, your personal Journey. Enjoy the Journey, it will make the Destination all that much better.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Is the Price Right?

“You can buy people’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you can not buy enthusiasm…you cannot buy loyalty…you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You must earn these.”

-Clarence Francis

I share this quote with you today to demonstrate leadership, Character, and the willingness to follow.
In leadership and Character the leader must motivate those he leads by providing purpose and direction. In the business world that motivation may come in the form of dollars, but more often than not, employees that are satisfied with their leaders will work for less. Like the quote states.. “you cannot buy” those things that shape character. Loyalty, Devotion (also known as Duty), and enthusiasm- translate that to motivation.
The leader must recognize that people, even though some might disagree, cannot and will not be bought.
Money will never buy character, in fact, those that look for character on the shelves of a store will never find it. They will never earn it, and they will never be seen as one with it.
Those that let themselves be bought also will not find true character. It is in the act of being purchased that one looses his character via the virtues of loyalty and duty.

I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again…over and over again…
Character is something that you earn and keep. Once you give it away, you can not get it back. Once you give up your character earning it back is virtually impossible as you will have given up the core of your values. Once those values are known to be gone, those that associate with you will not be so quick to reconstitute your character status.

You cannot be purchased, and you cannot purchase that which makes you a man. Character.

You must earn it.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Celebrating, Sportsmanship… and class

As most of the world knows the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA Championship last night.
The Celtics surely wanted to win the game more than the Lakers as the game was a blow out.
The played with skill and precision coming from a 4 pt deficit in the first to leading and never looking back. Watching the game I thought, now that is a great basketball team. They spread the ball around, there seemed to be no selfish play. The coach made the appropriate substitution’s to let even the rookies get playing time in what would be a great moment in their lives.
For an hour I sat and watched what was shaping up to be a moment to share with the Scouts on team work and selflessness. And then they won.

Immediately the true colors of the players came to light, now I’m not talking about all of them, certainly Ray Allen and Paul Pierce showed the class that is demonstrated by the Doc Rivers their coach, but Garnett, the vocal leader of the team… well he got just that..Vocal. I am glad that the ABC booth was ready as a rash of profanities spouted from his mouth as he celebrated.
Was their a need for that. I don’t think so, but then that’s the way he is. That’s not a show. That is a lack of class.
I love to see a winning team thank the opposition after a game. The competition, the battle, the game, this is why they play, right? Well that and lots of money. But watching the post game, players from both sides embraced and wished each other well, all the while Garnett continued his celebration, at one point hugging Bill Russel and saying “I GOT MINE”.
Now I am not trying to bash on K G.. he is an incredible Basketball player.
My point here is that in victory there should be class, Sportsmanship, and yeah Celebrating… but celebrate with your team… it is a total victory when the team wins. The Boston Celtics won last night as a team. Kevin Garnett scored 26 points of the 131, he led his team emotionally and on the court. But at the end of the evening, as the team celebrated I can not get the picture of a selfish classes man in the spot light.
I thought to myself well it is a moment to share with our Scouts. An example of team work, and sportsmanship. An example of class and a lack there of.

Congratulations to the Celtics. They dominated the game and went out with class as a team. Exceptions to every rule apply, but they don’t have to. And the test of a true victor is class.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Still Proud and not afraid to talk about it!

Yet another Ordeal Weekend has come and gone. No matter how many times I go, no matter how much I work with the Scouts of our Order of the Arrow Chapter, no matter what, they [the Scouts of the Order of the Arrow]… STILL make me proud.

A note to Scoutmasters… If you do not have active members of the OA in your Troop, you are missing out on the opportunities for both your Scouts, and your Troop, to see leadership and dedicated service in action.

As well as the ceremonies of the Ordeal Weekend, the Scouts work hard to prepare the Scout camps for the summer camp season. This weekend, due to extreme weather at Camp Pioneer, the Scouts of the Cascade Pacific Councils Wuana La’Montay Lodge moved to Butte Creek Scout Ranch. It was the first time in 10 years the OA had conducted an Ordeal weekend at the camp, and the timing could not have been better. Butte Creek is a Cub Scout (Webelos) camp with horse riding opportunities, BB Guns, Archery and the whole camp experience. The Scouts remain in camp for a 4 day, 3 night experience that is designed to prepare them for the leap to Boy Scouting.
Butte Creek does not get a lot of attention by the OA, due to the Cub Scout nature of the Camp and a robust staff of Wranglers that work the ranch on a regular basis.
This year due to the harsh and prolonged winter, the camp took a beating. Tent platforms were a wreck, weeds and brush had over grown, and general camp maintenance was the order of the day.
The Order of Arrow was there to meet the need. Cheerfully the OA went into action. A list that filled a 10X8 white board of tasks to be completed and repairs needed showed the Scouts that much work was to be done.
One by one the items on the list were crossed off, until the remainder of the list read.. “OPEN CAMP FOR SCOUTS…THANKS OA!”

The Scouts had rose to the occasion and got it done.
Pride.. yep that makes you feel great.. not just me, but the Scouts that accomplished the work.

And then there’s the Ceremonies…
Our Chapter..the Great Thunderbird Chapter, held Pre Ordeal, Ordeal, and Brotherhood Ceremonies. We certified a hand full of Scouts in their parts and provided some memorable ceremonies for the new candidates .. Arrowmen.
The site was perfect, the lodge went up and the site constructed by the scouts. Practices started and fine tuned parts lead to some of the best ceremonies I have seen.

An added bonus…

Josh, my youngest son and Arrowmen of 2 weeks, got his first shot at ceremonies. The older guys got him in some regalia, and he stood guard over the coveted sashes of the Ordeal. A bit part, but he got to dress and feel like part of the team. This is a great way to get them and keep the Scouts active and involved in the Chapter, the OA, and Scouting.

I can never say it enough.. these Scouts make me so proud to be a part of Scouting.
They give me such hope for everything that is great about our program and reassures me that Scouting is relevant, fun, and produces great results in the Scouts and camps we serve.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Risk Management – Show #14

In light of recent events that have rocked, once again, the Scouting community. Show #14 of my podcast is dedicated to Risk Management.
Risk Management is a process during the planning and preparation phase of any activity that must be done.

By minimizing or reducing the risk we encounter on activities, simple things like the cars we drive in to on coming weather patterns need to be considered to ensure the safety of our Scouts.
There is no way that we can take away all of the risk, and that is ok, as long as we have done our best to implement plans to reduce the impact and severity of the risk.Never take a chance with a Scouts life.
Enjoy the show. Leave some feedback, I am curious to know what you all think.

Standard Podcast [33:59m] mp3 format
Show resources

Have a Great Scouting Day!