Month: December 2008

A call to action

Yesterday was our annual family Christmas Party. It was a nice gathering, but this year it took on a little bit more meaning for me.

As we gathered for this annual event I could not help but think about the generations of our family that have gathered in years past, and looking to the future.. what will we do. My two son’s are the last two “Name sakes”. They are only teen agers… so we are not rushing things, but they carry the name..and the Christmas parties in the future.

As I caught up with cousins and relatives that I have not seen since last Christmas I began to listen to the stories about days gone by, about Uncle’s that have long since past and the Grandparents that my children will never meet. As we reminisced about Christmas parties past and the funny things that have happened over our relatively short life times I thought we need to write this stuff down, or better yet… get it on video. And we had an AH HA moment.
So next time we gather at a family event, I will have the Digital Video camera set up in what my cousin called the “Confessional Room” and we will invite everyone to tell a story to the camera.
This way we will capture our family as they are and for generations to come they will be able to see Uncles and Aunts, and Grandparents sharing life as they knew it. this is not an original thought, and I am sure that many of you already are doing this…but it’s my blog…so humor me…
But this is a Call to action. I was overwhelmed with the idea that my kids have never and will never met my Grandparents. I want their kids to at least get to know my parents, but if they can never meet them in person, at least we can say…this is your Great Granddad.. he was a heck of guy. Or… you remember that story I told you about….. well this is him.
Families are precious, no matter what economic status, what part of the country, or what ethnic background… families are all we have in the end and we need to preserve their traditions, their heritage, and their stories.
I think we all need to look at our families and enjoy what they bring, what they have given, and where they are going. But take the time this year…don’t wait. Write down the stories or video tape those that may not be around in the future.
Over Thanksgiving my parents converted some old 8mm tape to DVD. We watched some old footage of my sister, brother, and me, when we were real young. I was glad that the tape existed as we lost my brother 20 years ago. My kids have never seen him other than in pictures. But here he was moving on the screen. Precious.

So.. here is your call to action.. Document your families, not for you, but for the next generation.
This is also a good idea to pass on to your Scouts. I am certain that there is a Merit Badge out there that this could help with.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Let’s Get Physical.. Physical

According to latest research findings teenage obesity in America is increasing drastically. The rates at which teenage obesity is increasing are stunning. About 15%, to give exact figures 9 million teens in America below 15 years are obese. This figure is almost three times the teen obesity figures in 1980.
There are several teenage obesity causes. The main reasons for teenage obesity are – overeating and less activity or inactivity.
Now I don’t know about you, but I think this is crazy. Inactivity?
How does that happen?
I hate to play the “When I was a kid” card, but I can’t remember me as a boy being “inactive”. It seemed we were always doing something. Scouting enhanced the activity of course and I think that has a lot to do with how I grew up. But to say that 9 million teenagers in America are obese due to over eating and lack of activity is criminal.
The effects of obesity are great and if we want healthy adults we need to start with the youngsters. If 15% are obese now..they will surely be obese when they are older.

I know that all of you (in America) get and read Scouting Magazine, and for those of you that do not you can check it out online. I thought it was interesting and appropriate that Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, has challenged all of us in Scouting to “Get Physical” with his Active Outdoor Challenge. My disappointment with this is it took up a business card section in the latest Scouting Magazine. But it is worthy and a good program.
Here are the requirements of the Challenge:
1. Get your Scout Outside and Active for 12 monthly activities.

That’s it! Here are some ideas that are suggested in Scouting Magazine:
Sailing, Kayaking, Climbing, Backpacking, Orienteering, Rollerblading, Canoeing, Caving, and Sledding. Camporee’s and Service Projects don’t count. But getting there does.. So backpack your way to camporee… incorporate a hike or bike trip to the service project.

There is a cool patch that you can receive after completing the 12 month plan. I think it is a good start in combating obesity at the troop level.
To many of our Scouts show up out of shape and on the road to obesity. We need to help the parents out by providing those Outdoor activities that will at least help them grow to healthy men.

In the Scout Oath we promise ourselves to be “Physically Strong”. That’s not all muscle. It is total health and Getting Physical in our programs helps every Scout keep his promise.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Merry Christmas -2008

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

Merry Christmas!

A State of Emergency

We have had a major winter storm blow through our area this week. Lots of snow and ice have dumped on the metro area literally shutting down the city.
Yesterday, the Mayor of Gresham…yes… Gresham… declared a State of Emergency due to the weather.
Now I admit, I have never seen a December in Oregon quit like this one, but a State of Emergency?
Here’s the bottom line. BE PREPARED!
Sunday, our Troop was scheduled to set up the Nativity scene in the back of the church, as we do every year.
Saturday and into early Sunday morning, the phone began to ring. “Are we still setting up the manger?”
Yes we are.
And low and behold there were Scouts and Scouters in the back of the church at 11:30 on Sunday making ready to set up the Nativity scene.
We shoveled our way out, put on chains if needed, bundled up, and made our way to the church. We even assisted Father in getting his chains on and getting his car out of a jam.
We were prepared for the conditions, understood that life had to go on, and made it happen.
Yesterday, the city was in panic. Emergency services slowed, business’s shut their doors, and last minute shoppers frantically rattled the doors of shops with “CLOSED DUE TO THE WINTER STORM” signs on them.

Shelters are packed, soup kitchens are at capacity, I am glad we gathered all that food during Scouting for Food just a few short weeks ago.
It seems to me that we all need to just BE PREPARED a bit more. I keep getting asked about “What if your power goes out?”… “What about the heat?”….”Can you get around in this mess?”.

Yes. We are prepared. It is not an emergency. It is snow. If we all were better prepared then we can adapt and move on. The city clearly did not see the same forecast as the rest of us, they got caught with their pants down and now are reacting rather than working the plan of preparedness.

The boy’s went to the garage last night and pulled down the Emergency preparedness boxes they made when they worked the Merit Badge. They wanted to make sure everything was still there. Canned foods, a backpacking stove, flashlights with good batteries, etc.
They are prepared.

A state of emergency was declared yesterday because it snowed… or … no one was prepared.

Lesson learned folks.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The BP Journey

As if blogging on the Scoutmaster Minute was not enough. I am going to try to journal my Backpacking adventures also.
Today I started a new blog called the BP Journey. It will be my journal of backpacking. Tips, trips, and fun backpacking stuff.
No, I won’t stop my Backpacking tips of the week here, but you might just find them at the BP Journey also… plus more.

Hope you like it.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The 27th show of the Scoutmaster Minute Podcast is up and ready for download. It is my Christmas greeting to all the faithful dedicated listeners of the Scoutmaster Minute Podcast and readers of the Blog.
It has been a great year of Scouting!

Merry Christmas everyone!
And have a Great Scouting Day!

Listen or Download Here

Standard Podcast [4:15 m] mp3 format
The Scoutmaster Minute is Hosted by

The Commissioners Corner

The other night I was asked by my good Scouting friend in Green Bay to be a guest on his New podcast.
Shawn is a Unit Commissioner in the Voyageur District of the Bay Lakes Council, as well as the Dad of a couple Cub Scouts and a little cub buddy.
Shawn maintains a good blog which address’s issues that are effected by the Commissioner corps, mainly units.
I was glad to hear that he decided to get into the podcast arena, as there are really no Scouting podcasts that center its focus on commissioner issues.

Shawn had another guest on the show, he friend and ADC of his District, Keith. Keith is a worldly Scouter and has experience in the program that makes us all look like rookies.
The shows topic was Webelos to Scout transition. A subject near and dear to me.
It looks like we went long, and so Shawn is running it in two parts, or at least making two shows out of it.

You can give it a listen by clicking on the link. The Commissioners Corner Podcast.
You can also check out his blog, if you have not already done so at The Commissioners Corner Blog.

It is a pleasure to have such great friends in Scouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!