Month: October 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho.. it’s get ready for Jambo!

I just returned from our Contingent “Get to know Ya!” Weekend.
During the weekend, we learned which leaders would be going with which in the 14 Troops that will be attending from the Cascade Pacific Council.
Since I have been selected to go as a Scoutmaster, I was extremely interested in who would be the team members that would make up our Troops Adult leadership. I could not have got a better team.
Dave, Rob, Adam, and I will be a terrific team to get the Scouts to DC and tour, Camp at Jambo, and return safely to home to tell of our outstanding adventure.
I honestly could not be happier with the team.

The lesson of the weekend was that no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the situation, problem or obstacle… working as a team we can do anything.

To be a high performance team, which is what it takes to move 36 Scouts and 4 Adult leaders from the West Coast to the East Coast, tour for a week in our Nations Capital and other historical sites, like Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon, Camp at the Jamboree for a week, and then a trip to Busch Gardens and then back home, is a must.
To get there, the team has got to come together and work well. Understanding who you are in the team is the first step. You must know your role as it applies to the team.
To know your role, you need to understand the job. What is expected of you? What is the job description? Do I have the skills and tools to do the job?
Part of this weekends events was to get to know who we were individually.
To do this we took and assessment. Now I won’t go into the details of the assessment, but suffice it to saw that after I took it… it was like looking in a mirror. The developer of the assessment read me like Boy’s Life.
The point of the tool was to have each leader look at him or herself and how they will complement or hinder the team. It is the Scoutmaster that will have to know the personalities of the leaders with him and how he can best provide PURPOSE, DIRECTION, and MOTIVATION.
Now as luck would have it, Purpose, Direction, and most of all Motivation are not hard to come by when we are talking about National Jamboree. Everyone at the training this weekend not only filled out an application, underwent an interview, was selected and accepted the position, but also is paying lots..and I mean lots of money for this adventure.

The motivation of the trip, showing the boys a part of the Nation that they may not otherwise see, and knowing that they will achieve a mountain top experience for it is all we need.

I will be writing a lot about Jambo. I have a great team, and we are planning for the time of our lives.

If you are on the fence.. get off!!! GO TO JAMBO. The Boy Scouts of America will only turn 100 once. You do not want to miss this opportunity of a life time.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Backpacking Tip of the week

Compliments of our friends at GORP, the GORP gear pro Keith Morton gives us a great tip how to keep your heavy stuff in the top section of your pack.

Fight Gravity’s Drag
Pin a stuff bag inside the pack to stop dense items from gravitating downward.

Murphy’s Law of the Inconvenient Migration of Stuff means that dense items (especially water bottles, hydration systems, large cameras, and fuel) tend to gravitate to the bottom of your pack, especially when the pack is not full and tightly packed. Those are precisely the items that often need to be handy and whose weight should be up high and close to your back between your shoulder blades for easy carrying.
Here’s a simple solution:
Suspend a stuff bag to form a pocket inside the pack at an appropriate height. Attach it with safety pins to the strong internal seam that encircles the top of most packs. That way the pins do not pass through to the outside skin of the pack, and it’s usually easy to push the pins through just the binding tape on the seam.
If you use a waterproof stuff sack, such as Outdoor Research Hydroseal bags (various sizes and prices, http://www.orgear.com/), you have extra protection against a leaking bottle or hydration system wetting the pack contents. Just don’t put the camera in with the water bottle!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Article and photo courtesy of GORP.

A Solid Foundation

This morning as I watched the morning news, a story about a house in Portland that was sliding down a local hill, hit the headlines.
The news told us that a house in the West hills of Portland began sliding down the hill that it sat on and was currently resting at the bottom. Total loss. I feel terrible for the family.
As a result, all the streets in the area, both at the top of the hill and the bottom of the hill are closed, right during rush hour.. of course. I am sure that the people in traffic do not understand what is going on.

This house was not built on a solid foundation. Soft ground that typically is effected by foul weather. The lack of a solid foundation caused the house to fail and slide, effecting not only the family of the house, but those that have no idea who they are. Passers by and traffic.

Like this house we need to build our character on a solid foundation. We need to use the Scout law to set the foundation of our lives on. This solid set of values will ensure that as you build your life you will be able to weather to storms, the winds, rains, and trials of life.
The Scout law is a firm foundation that will never fail. As you build on your foundation you will effect others in a positive way.

Character is our foundation. The Scout law is what makes it strong.
Build your foundation with the Scout law.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

I’ll take some Webelos to go.. Please.

As much as my Troop is in fact our little Utopia of Scouting… We still have the need to go out and recruit.
It is that time of the year when we are out doing Webelos Den visits and they are coming to us for activities and visits with their parents. This is a fun time. A time when we see the excited faces of these boys as they venture into the unknown, as they prepare to cross over into Boy Scouts and leave their Cub Scout days in the memory bank.

So, I’ll take some Webelos to go.. please. I will take them from their Den and introduce them to a boy that will lead them to adventure. Lead them to new heights, lead them to be leaders.
I’ll take them from arts and crafts and trips to the zoo, to backpacking adventures, caving, climbing, and a life of service.
I’ll take them into Scouting that encourages responsibility and forms character.
Webelos and Cub Scouting served them well… and we can see that. They are motivated and caring, they are driven and willing. They are ready for the next step on their trail.

But we won’t get them all. And that saddens me. Not only will our Troop not get them, but no Troop will get them all. “I won’t let Johnny camp in the rain” one mom said. “Use an ax?” said another. “He plays sports, and that’s what is important to us” a Dad proudly says. And so it goes.. the set up for drop out. And it happens, no matter how much fun the boy is having, no matter how excited he is. But then again, it’s not really what he wants.. it’s all about Mom and Dad. Sports, worries, and a bit of over protection… I can see that. But why not a little more understanding of the program? Do you know our goals? Our goals of Character, Citizenship, and fitness? That sports plays a role in Scouting? That camping in the rain develops skills, teamwork, and confidence? Learning new skills that may help one day in a pinch? But I suppose it is easier to say no.. or not understand what is best… for the Boy.

Well.. I’ll take some Webelos to go..please.. To go with us in Scouting!
Give it a shot.. if you sitting on the fence, I am sure you won’t regret it in the end.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Gilwell Park… Home of Wood Badge

There is a website that is starting up from the Scout Association (SA) in the United Kingdom (England). My friend in England, Nick posted about this on his blog, so I thought I would get the word out to more of our American readers.
That is where it all began, Scouting and then Wood Badge. If you are a Wood Badge graduate then you are a member of the worlds largest Troop. Troop 1 Gilwell.
In late 2008, the SA will be launching an exciting new website for members of 1st Gilwell Park Scout Group (Troop).
The website will include all the latest information about Gilwell Park including any future plans and building work, an array of Gilwell photos, a message board for members, web cams and many other things.
Sign up for their email list and stay in touch with Gilwell. Use this link to get to the site. LINK

I had the pleasure of camping at Gilwell when I was a young Scout. What an experience to be connected to the essentially the birthplace of Scouting.

Check out a cool image from Google Maps of Gilwell.

If you are a member of Gilwell Troop 1, Wood Badge recipient.. Check it out.
Read more about Wood Badge from the Pine Tree Web.

I used to be a Beaver,
And a good old Beaver too.
But now I’ve finished beavering, And I don’t know what to do.
I’m growing old and feeble, And I can Beaver no more.
So I’m going to work my ticket while I can.
Back to Gilwell, happy land, I’m going to work my ticket while I can.

(The Gilwell Song)

Have a Great Scouting Day!

A Happy Life- Communication

“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”- Fred Rogers

So I posted a little while ago BP’s farewell message to the Scouts of the World.
The other day, my good friend Steve, from Melrose Scouting Podcasts posted a new video featuring Buttons in which Buttons recited the message from our Founder.
I watched it and while I was listening I closed my eyes and actually heard what was being said.
And of all of the words that were spoken, it was the message about living a happy life that really resonated with me.
It really is that simple.

“But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn come to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout promise always”- BP

Over the last couple days I have been dealing with the questions by the anonymous reader… and I am not going to rehash that… but what it has done to me is ask the question, Why are some people that unhappy?
And then if they are unhappy… why take it out on the rest of us?

Leaving the world a better place by making others happy is Scout like. A simple smile, a helping hand, a cheerful word.
I watched a documentary about Fred Rogers last weekend. You know Mr. Rogers. The underlying message was about Fred Rogers and his belief in passing on joy. That he would always try and leave a person happy. Something as simple as changing his philosophy regarding communicating with other people. I won’t detail the entire documentary, but I would like to share the simple communication technique that I learned.
It is simple. Instead of of talking TO someone.. ask to talk WITH them.
When you talk WITH someone, you complete the circle of communication. The Sender and Receiver are both involved in the message.
This makes the communication personal and as a result the message will be received better and both parties leave feeling better about what they talked about.
In leadership when we talk TO someone, we limit the communication to Sender/Receiver.
This limits the response for receiver leaving that person in a position of inferiority.
How does that make them feel? I would venture to guess not better than before the communication started.

So if our intent is to leave the world better… happier… we need to change our style of communication. Even in leadership we can leave those we lead better.. simply by communication.

So why are people so unhappy? What does all of this have to do with unhappy people?
I think that somewhere along the way, they were not communicated to effectively or they do not feel that they are being communicated to in a way that makes them feel worth.
My anonymous friend may or may not fit in that category. It sounds like he or she may not be in the best Scouting situation, and maybe that is due to a lack of communication. I don’t know, I can only guess. Like I said in one of my earlier posts, I am dealing with the same information that is limited due to the nature of time and space on the net.

I would just ask that we all do a better job communicating. Allowing comments opens up that communication so we can talk WITH one another instead of TO.

Help make the world a better place.. make it a happy place for our Scouts and each other.

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”- Fred Rogers

Have a HAPPY Great Scouting Day!