Month: June 2008

The Test of Cheerful Service

We are well into “Ordeal Season”. Lodges all over America are conducting Ordeal weekends for new Arrowmen and those that are converting their membership to Brotherhood.
In this process we test (Ordeal) those that have been chosen by their peers as worthy of membership in Scoutings Society of Honored Campers.
During the ordeal the candidates are asked to deprive themselves of certain things they take for granted for. In doing this they set aside comfort and selfishness for the good of others.
This teaches the candidate that there are things in this world that are more important than selfish needs and comfort. It also demonstrates that a Cheerful spirit can accomplish anything when the heart and mind are willing.
Cheerfully the candidates work to better Scout camps. They work hard and in the end see the results of their labor. It is especially nice to go back to a camp that they worked and see the look of pride on their faces as they explain that they were the ones that made it better.
Not to be boastful, but pride in doing a job that benefited the whole Scout camp.
This test of Cheerful Service is then asked to be brought back to their Troops so that they can serve those that had chosen them. This sometimes can be the hardest task, but again, with a Cheerful spirit and a willing heart and mind, this too can become a reality.

Welcome to all the new Arrowmen. Continue to seek the Arrow within you.
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Have a Great Scouting Day!

We are Family…

Lets all sing it together now…

Ok.. lets not. But I want to talk a bit about our Scouting family.
Last night I was honored by being the Master of Ceremonies at our Annual District Recognition Dinner. As I introduced speakers, presenters and moved the program along, I could not help but think about the great group of people I had the privilege of being with.
Looking over the crowd I saw my friends and family. I can honestly say that there was not one person in the room that I could not call a friend.

As is with most districts, there are a core group of folks that seem to have their fingers in the proverbial “District pie”. Since I can be counted in that number, it was fun to see my friends recognized for their dedication to Scouts and Scouting. It was an honor to present the District Award of Merit to a great friend and dedicated Scouter. A Scouter that just last year was honored along with his family as our family of the Year.
And that got me to thinking about this family thing.

We all come from different backgrounds, heritages, and careers. But we what have in common bonds us tighter than any other group, save the Veterans community.
We are bound by ideals, values, and the willingness to serve.
We are bound by the idea that family is at the heart of our community. That Duty is not a buzz word, that our relationship with our God is paramount in our daily lives.
We believe that through Scouting we make a difference, starting in our Troops, spreading to our Communities, and into our Nation. We make a difference by raising, training, and mentoring young men to be good men, husbands, fathers, citizens.

These people that I hang out with in Scouting are family. At our core is service. To one another and to always help other people. These are people that make my life better, just by being a part of it. These are people that genuinely care about the future of our young men. These are people that I can trust, that I can share with, that I can count on, not only when the tan shirts are on, but all the time.

These are my friends. They say that birds of a feather flock together, and so it is with families.
The Scouting family is just that. Across the world and in our community, Scouters flock together to provide a wonderful service to our Scouts.
I am so blessed and honored to be apart of the Scouting family.

As I say.. and I have one every day…

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Every Scout Deserves a Trained Leader…

A great discussion tonight at our District meeting prompted some thought.
We got to the point of the meeting where we talked about Trained leaders within the District.
I am not going to share those numbers, but lets say that across the board in the Scouting Program we have an issue with getting Registered leaders to training.

So there is the topic.. Why do registered leaders not attend training? And what can we do to get them there.
I think it is not to much to ask for a registered leader to attend training. If a person understands the value of the Scouting program, then there should be no problem getting folks to training.
But sometimes it is hard to get people to truly understand the value of Scouting.. or better yet, the value of a trained leader within the Scouting Program.
The comment came up about all of us being volunteers and there is no way that we can force or make someone go to training, and while that is true, there seems to be an obligation to the youth in the program to provide trained leaders for their Scouting experience. Again, if you understand what Scouting offers, then training is a no brainer. But what about the new Tiger Cub parents? In most cases these are new parents to Scouting. Many have never been associated with Scouting. They got a flyer and came to a join night, now they are registered leaders. What do they know about Scouting?
Well, its a catch 22. They don’t know much, because they are not trained. They are not trained, because they don’t know (in most cases) that they need training.
You know… I can read online, buy a book at the Scout shop, and pretty much figure out this Scouting thing. Right? I suppose that could be true, but skipping out on training you loose to much.
Training provides consistency from leader to leader. Training provides resources, not only the book stuff, but the advantage of Scout leaders that are the trainers with their vast knowledge and experience. I do not think that is over rated.
Training provides a foundation from which leaders build. It opens the doors to the many facets of the Scouting program.
It encourages more training… WHAT!!!! MORE TRAINING!!!
Yep, more training! There are so many training supplements designed to enhance your units experience, and then there is Wood Badge.
But again, for those of us that understand the value of trained leaders… this is a no brainer. We get trained and stay trained for the boys. Like the slogan says, Every Scout deserves a trained leader.
Volunteer or not, you need to understand that this is all about the Scouts.
In my last post I discussed time. If you really believe that there is value in Scouting, and that the boys deserve trained leaders, and that trained leaders provide a better Scouting program.. then you will get trained and encourage the rest of the leaders around you to get and stay trained.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

A Scout is Thrifty

…With his time.

Time Management is an important part of life and Scouting.
You hear to many people say that they don’t have enough time in their day… I would say that they do not prioritize and plan well.
You see as we go through life we pick and choose how to spend our time. We dedicate time to those things that we first must do, like work and school, and then we prioritize based on our interests, hobbies and the things that we like to do.
We choose to participate or not in activities, groups, sports, and entertainment. But we always have time. What we do with that time is up to us and our priorities.

I dedicate what some people see as an excessive amount of time to Scouting. That may or may not be true, based on priorities.
I believe that Scouting is good and worth my time. Scouting is family time. Scouting produces good men, and I feel that if I make a contribution to that end, I have done something good for my Community and Nation. So Scouting is high on my list of priorities.. and therefore I make time for it.
Faith, Family, Taking care of my family financially (work), and Scouting are high on my list… So I make time for it.
When asked if I can undertake a task or assist on a committee, I make a choice to participate or not. I do not say that my plate is full or I don’t have the time, because that would not be true. I fill my plate to level that I want to. Free time is a priority too, and so I make sure that there is some of that in my life. It is more important for us to be honest and tell someone that you are not interested, rather than to say you don’t have time. You have time, but the task they are asking you to help with may not be a priority…right now.
Scouts are Thrifty with their time. They manage it and prioritize it.

You take the time to read this blog..why? Because Scouting is important to you.. I write it for the same reason.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Unity

Today before we left another great Order of the Arrow ordeal there was a Scouts Own Service.
During that service, a Scout that led the Scouts Own service talked about unity.
He read a short story about George Washington at Valley Forge. He spoke about a near riot that occurred between the soldiers of the Continental Army. They were frustrated at the long winter and the lack of “Victories” against the Army of the King.
The point of the story was that George Washington quelled the riot by getting in the mix and physically separating individuals. Then once the fight has stopped he spoke to his men explaining that we [the Army] could not, and would never achieve victory if they remained divided in purpose. They would have to gain a unity of purpose. They would have to stand together and move in one direction. They had to have unity in their purpose to start the nation. A house divided will certainly fall… and so you must by unified.

And so it is within the Boy Scouts of America. We must be united in our purpose. United in our values and ideals. Our Scouts should be united in the Law and Oath. They must understand our promise to help other people at all times. They need to be united in our duty to God and Country.
Our Patrols stand united in moving the patrol in a direction of success. The Patrol, united by a common set of values and ideals, a clear purpose, and boy led direction can achieve anything they set out to accomplish.

Unity. We must have it to succeed in Scouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!