Month: November 2008

The Eagle Reserve Initiative

I am not one to just promote something for the sake of promotion.. and since I don’t get paid to do this Scouting stuff when I do promote something, it is because I believe in it and think it is worth while and worth passing on.

I received an email from Alvin Townley, the author of “Legacy of Honor”. You will notice that it is on by bookshelf. Great book and worth the read. If you have not read it… please do. Again, I have no dog in the fight, just read the book.

Alvin has a new book coming out in 2009. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. But the email prompted me to check out his website again. I had not been in a long time. As I perused the site I came upon a section called the “Eagle Reserve Initiative”.
Basically he is call all Eagle Scouts to give back. Great idea.

He writes on the web site;
“In my travels across the country, I’ve heard again and again that Eagle Scouts of my generation want to give back to Scouting, but serving as a traditional weekly leader often doesn’t suit our situation in life. I’ve also seen that many troops lack the outdoor skill and leadership to provide their Scouts with the high adventure so crucial to a good experience.
So, we attacked both problems and developed a program where a group of Eagle Scouts can help chaperon a local troop on a camping trip, once a year.
The pilot took place outside Atlanta in Fall 2008 and the Eagle Reserve program is being rolled out nationwide. We just need Eagles to volunteer to get back into their element and go camping with their friends…and take along a group of Scouts.
This is our generation’s chance to give back and create this Movement’s future.”

Learn more about this great program at the Legacy of Honor website.

I think Alvin Townely has truly grasped the concept and true spirit of being an Eagle Scout.
Less about ink on a resume, more about giving back and demonstrating Scout Spirit throughout your life time.
Thanks Alvin, I appreciate what you do.

Mike Rowe, Eagle Scout

As most of you are already aware, Mike Rowe, host of the TV series Dirty Jobs posted a great letter on his blog.
My good buddy Steve posted something about it, as did a new friend in Scouting Jeff
You can read their posts here: STEVE and JEFF.

There is not much I can add that has not been said, I would encourage you not only to check out my friends blogs, but also the blog of Mike Rowe.

I think Mikes response was spot on! I only hope the young man got the point and earned…yes EARNED his Eagle award!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Scoutmaster Minute Podcast Show #25

Troop Junior Leader Training. A valuable tool to give the Youth leaders of your troop. A must do every year to insure you have effective leaders that can provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.
This show is a discussion of how our Troop (Troop 664) conducts TJLT annually.

Listen or Download here

Standard Podcast [27:09m] mp3 format

This show is Sponsored by Badge Magic.
The Scoutmaster Minute is Hosted by

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Lots of Flavors

Yesterday we held our first ever Open House. In the past recruiting has come easy, and for the most part it still is. You see, “If you build it…they come”. Yeah, I am referring to a solid Scouting program. If you build a good program, the word gets out and the Scouts come.
This year, however, we thought it would be a good idea to open our doors and show our Troops flavor. Not with the expectation of getting more boys to join, but to show our program and allow them to make the decision. We also thought it would be a good idea to help some of those Webelos that were looking at wrapping up those last few requirements for their Arrow of Light.

So we put together a nice package that accomplished many goals.
First, introduce the troop. Second, help the Webelos, and Finally recruit, if not to our Troop, but then to another troop that would fit the Scout and his families needs in Scouting.

Now we view Scout Troops as Ice cream with many flavors. Our troop is Rocky road. Other troops may be vanilla, chocolate, or cookies and cream, none of them better than the others, just different. Some folks like chocolate better than vanilla, and some like nuts in their ice cream. each flavor is great when that is what you like. And that is what we sell. We sell our flavor. We do not try to be better than anyone else, we do not try to offer what others offer, other than then what is outlined in the BSA program. We all know that troops are different, but we also know that there are certain things that all troops have in common. We offer all the common things, but do it with our flavor.

We had a good turn out, I would not say it was fantastic, but I think that no matter what Troop those boys go to, they will have fun, but more importantly, they will stay in Scouting.
And with that we all win.

Will we do it again.. I am sure we will. Will we change our flavor… probably not… not just to get turn out at an open house. We love rocky road, the Scouts like it and come back every Monday to get more. Is it the nuts? Is it the marshmallow? Or is the chocolate?

All of the above.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Gay’s, Gun’s, and God…

Yesterday I had the pleasure of defending the Boy Scouts of America, well it was not to hard to do as the BSA’s program pretty much speaks for itself, but none the less I found myself standing in the check out line of a local store on my way to Round table. I was proudly wearing my uniform patiently waiting as the clerk once again called for a price check.
A lady behind me commented on the new uniform and how it was not a “Flashy” as the red tabbed and numbered shirt. She asked if it was a down play to not look as “Scouty” (what ever that means).
I explained that I really was not part of the decision making process, but I thought the intent was to be more “Outdoorsy” To blend in, not in a camouflage way, but more subdued, like the camping gear we use (See Leave no trace).
She said that her was a Cub Scout, but they had to remove him from the program because of the issues that the BSA would not flex on.
Fully knowing were this was going, and not trying to get into it, I smiled and nodded and said that was too bad.
She poked again asking why the BSA was so inflexible, forcing young boys to believe in God. I replied that the BSA does not force anyone to do anything. The BSA just believes that for a young man to make ethical decisions throughout his lifetime that there should be a foundation of faith, any faith. It is not restricted to God, it could be Alla or Buddha, or a Tree. But an understanding that a Higher power has gifted us these great things on Earth so that we can be good stewards of it, that we live by the Golden rule, that we should be Reverent is an important part of a Scouts foundation.
As I could see that it was not sinking in, I again turned and waited as another price check was called for.
She then poked and asked… well what about Gays? I asked her, what about them? The BSA does not want Gay’s in the program she said. I tried to explain to her that the Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. Scouting’s position with respect to homosexual conduct accords with the moral positions of many millions of Americans and with religious denominations to which a majority of Americans belong. Because of these views, the Boy Scouts of America believes that a known homosexual is not an appropriate role model of the Scout Oath and Law for boys.
She asked if I thought that was discrimination, and I answered, it sure is, and I think it is an appropriate way to discriminate as I want my own Sons to have role models that are consistent with our faith base and family values.
Then she said…yeah well.. I did not want my kid around guns. They are harmful and the Boy Scouts should not be gloryfing guns and killing.
I asked were she thought the BSA did that? There is not Hunting Merit badge, we only shoot at targets (Paper targets), and safety is paramount on the BSA’s ranges. I told her that in all my time, I have never had to pry on to a range, but have had to kick them off so others can get a shot.
The BSA teaches respect and safety of firearms. That it is ok to participate in Shooting sports, and that by teaching and encouraging proper fire arm safety, we actually reduce the risk of those guns turning into something harmful.
She said, well I just don’t like guns…why can’t the Boy Scouts just be flexible?

At that point I had finally reached the checkout and was feeling pretty good about the way the BSA looked. A few other ears were now in the conversation and so I parted ways saying, the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that welcomes everyone that wants to participate in ITS program, the program that encourages values and character. A program that wants its Scouts to be safe and provided with positive role models. An organization that wants a young man to grow up with an understanding of servant leadership and that he can see that model of servant leadership in our God.
The BSA is flexible… it’s may not be your cup of tea if you can’t live the values set out in the program. There are other opportunities for your son, the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Police Activities Leagues etc. Maybe the Boy Scouts just was not for you.

She stood and stared for a moment, and simply said, I guess not.
I told her to have a Great evening and we parted ways. My oldest son, who was with me, asked what her problem was? I told him that she just did not get it. He smiled and we left.

Scouting is for everyone. Everyone that believes in the Oath and Law and that the world would be better if there were more Scouts.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Backpacking Tip of the Week

Backpacking puts you out into the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.. away from cars and phones and immediate care.

It is important that we enter the wilderness area with a solid foundation of camping skills.
First Aid, Fire building, Orienteering and most important Common sense.

As we entering the winter months it is always worth revisiting common first aid issues.

So this weeks Backpack tip is about Common signs of Cold weather injuries.

Common cold weather injuries when backpacking are Hypothermia, Frost Bite, and Frost Nip.

Symptoms of hypothermia are:
Signs and symptoms include: Shivering, Slurred speech, Abnormally slow breathing, Cold, pale skin, Loss of coordination, Fatigue, lethargy or apathy, Confusion or memory loss.
To treat a Scout with hypothermia, first move the person out of the cold. If going indoors isn’t possible, protect the person from the wind, cover his head, and insulate his body from the cold ground.
Remove wet clothing. Replace wet things with a warm, dry covering.
Don’t apply direct heat. Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp to warm the victim. Instead, apply warm compresses to the neck, chest wall and groin. Don’t attempt to warm the arms and legs. Heat applied to the arms and legs forces cold blood back toward the heart, lungs and brain, causing the core body temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
Offer warm drinks like hot chocolate or even just warm water, unless the person is vomiting.
Don’t massage or rub the person. Handle people with hypothermia gently, because they’re at risk of cardiac arrest. Monitor breathing, be prepared to administer CPR.

The key is prevention. Stay dry, change your socks often and when you do get wet, change right away.

When exposed to very cold temperatures, skin and underlying tissues may freeze, resulting in frostbite. The areas most likely to be affected by frostbite are your hands, feet, nose and ears.
You can identify frostbite by the hard, pale and cold quality of skin that has been exposed to the cold. As the area thaws, the flesh becomes red and painful.
If your fingers, ears or other areas suffer frostbite:
Get out of the cold.
Warm your hands by tucking them under your arms. If your nose, ears or face is frostbitten, warm the area by covering it with dry, gloved hands.
Don’t rub the affected area. Never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
If there’s any chance of refreezing, don’t thaw out the affected areas. If they’re already thawed out, wrap them up so they don’t refreeze.
Get emergency medical help if numbness remains during warming. If you can’t get help immediately, warm severely frostbitten hands or feet in warm — not hot — water. You can warm other frostbitten areas, such as your nose, cheeks or ears, by covering them with your warm hands or by applying warm cloths.

Recognizing the symptoms of Hypothermia and Frost bite will keep you and your buddies safe. Cold weather injuries are painful and can result in loss of limbs, fingers, and death. Prevention of these symptoms, knowing how to prevent falling victim to the cold can save your life.

Your experiences camping in the winter can fun and enjoyable.. as long as you are watchful for cold weather injuries. Don’t let the cold scare you off.


Have a Great Scouting Day!