Month: December 2008

Good ending to a day

If you have followed the blog for any length of time, you know a couple “Non Scouting” things about me. First, I am a huge Football fan, and second, I can’t stand the way professional athletes throw their status around and set terrible examples.
And just when you think it is safe to go back in the water… Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens stumble back into the lime light with bone head decisions and drama. Great if that’s what you want from your sports figures, but the fact that all day long sports talk radio could not seem to get off of the subject.
Last night Tim Tebow of the University of Florida restored hope when he was awarded the Maxwell award for colleges most outstanding player for the second time (only the second player in history to recieve this award twice), well deserved. But what impressed me was when he was called to the stage to receive the Disney Spirit Award. Given annually to college football’s most inspirational figure. As I watched ESPN as they presented his giving attitude and how, unlike other Florida College students, Tim spent his Spring break in the Philippines on a humanitarian mission instead of partying it up on South Beach.
He truly is the kind of young man that we could use in Sports these days. I did not hear to much about that on the radio today, it seems that talking about how a bone head who shot him self in a strip club is far more interesting, and how a loud mouth, selfish receiver is unhappy with the number of catches he gets must be head line news. I won’t bang on the media here, because they only air what we have told them we want to hear… but it sure would be nice to see a great story like Tebow receiving the Spirit Award.

But all was right in my little corner of America tonight. I had the privilege of attending one of my Scouts “Holiday Concerts” tonight. And No he’s not my son, but I was invited to attend, so I went. This Scout just made Second Class on Sunday, a rank that really tested him and demonstrated that he was willing to do the hard work. He plays the violin in the 6th grade orchestra, and he’s pretty good too. I sat with his parents and when he turned to look at them and saw me sitting there, he waved at me and smiled.
I could not help but feel pride in his accomplishments. The orchestra played a number of Christmas songs and wrapped up the show with We wish you a Merry Christmas.
After the show his parents and I met him in the lobby of the Performing Arts center. He thanked me for coming and asked if I could see him up on the stage. “Of course I did.. you did well.. I am proud of you”, I said to him and thanked him for inviting me. He told me I was welcome to come to any of his concerts. I am happy that I am worthy of being a part of his life.

All the thoughts of T.O and Plaxico seemed minimal after the concert. What really mattered was an 11 year boy playing the violin in his 6th grade orchestra. It won’t be on the news, and more than likely won’t make the head lines in tomorrows paper. But it was a great ending to the day.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Laughter… really the best Medicine

What medicine works fast, cures the blues, lowers blood pressure and much more?
What medicine can be found anywhere, can be shared with friends- you actually want to it to be addicting- and it’s totally free?

Share a joke with your friends. If you hear laughter, ask whats so funny. Laughter is contagious. It brings people closer together, lightens up a too serious moment and makes us feel good. But it’s more than that.
Laughter is a powerful medicine that comes with many health benefits. It’s good for your heart, gives your body a healthy workout, improves brain function and is a great stress buster.

At the company I work for, we often talk about Stress reduction. Studies have shown that laughter is one of the best stress reducers we know of.
What a better stress buster than a good hearty laugh.

Here are some other stress busters (we can all use them this time of year)
1. Stare at people through the lines of a fork and pretend they are in jail.

2. Count how many minutes it takes to stare at the phone before it rings. This one does not work at my house.. they phone does not stop ringing.
3. Bill your Doctor for the time spent in the waiting room.
4. Write a message to your doctor on your hip so he can see it during the next exam.

A study from the Center of Preventative Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that laughter may help prevent heart disease. In the study, participants with heart disease were less likely to laugh at something funny, or even embarrassing. Living a life with less laughter apparently has its consequences. While it is not yet known exactly how laughter protects the heart, studies have connected mental stress to increased chances of fat and cholesterol build up.

Laughter has also been linked to lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. After a good laugh, you tend to breathe more deeply and send oxygen rich blood throughout your body.
The best part is you will experience a state of relaxation, which can help you get a good nights sleep… All stress reducers.

So whats this got to do with Scouting. First. There should be no stress in Scouting. It’s a game with a purpose. Second. Laughter is a part of Scouting. He who tells you otherwise forgot about the Cheerful part of the Law.

To keep my self Physically Strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Well.. you can do this with Laughter!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Backpacking tip of Week

For the Backpacking tip this week.. I want to share a recipe with you.
Borrowed from, it is a great tasting, easy recipe that will warm you up while filling you up.
Check out more recipes at this site. I have been trying these and I must say.. YUM!
So give this and other recipes a try…

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Giving and getting… Less?

Sitting here this morning watching the morning news, having a cup a coffee, and there was a report on Christmas giving.
The point of the story was that the economy sucked. Well… if you have a pulse and believe absolutely everything you hear..sure it sucks… So lets go with that.

And just when you thought the story was taking you down the path of doom and gloom, two ladies appeared on the screen and they were talking about going with less, but giving More.
Giving more to those that need it and going with less under their own trees. I thought now there is someone that gets it.
I had a conversation with one of my customers yesterday about charitable giving and how this year in particular it seems that giving is up. I think that people are finally realizing that those that have should be grateful and maybe, especially during the Christmas season, share a little.
Now, I won’t get political, because I am all about Capitalism and believe that we all should work hard for what we get, but you sometimes we all struggle and need a little help.
My customer was telling me his wife works for a non profit and that giving was down for some non profits. We concluded that it was because of the nature of some of them. For example, the United Way is not getting as much these days. Well is it because they support Planned Parenthood and other questionable organizations? People are being more selective about where their hard earned money goes.
Scouting is seeing an increase in giving. People realize the value they get for their buck in Scouting.
This weekend we saw a huge increase in the amount of food given during Scouting for Food. It warmed the heart.
So back to the ladies on the news this morning.
They were suggesting that, especially those that have older kids, could possibly just go with less presents this year, share gifts, or look at that special gift and call it good. Take the rest of the Christmas budget and look at charitable giving.
Good Idea.
I believe that is the spirit of the season…right?
I mean, Christ was a gift from the Father, no flashy XBox or new Car.. just a baby in a manger.
Christ is the gift that keeps on giving. God gave us his son, and then the son gave his life for us. Surely we can give a little to something that means a lot to us.
Take care of your families, charity starts at home. Then look outside your doors and take care of your neighbor.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Golden Rule?

I had a talk with a good friend of mine about a sermon he heard at his church on Sunday.
The Pastor of his Church gave a talk about the “Golden Rule” and how it is supposed to guide our lives. The preacher had a problem with peoples understanding of the rule and in particular why people did not understand it and live it.
Why, said the preacher, do people fail to understand that simply living within the rule of “Doing unto others…” makes the whole world a better place.
The more we talked I thought about this topic and applied it [as always] to Scouting. I had the same question? Why, don’t they understand?

And then it hit me. I can fix all the worlds problems with 12 words.
Yeah.. you know what they are. Starts with Trustworthy… ends with Reverent.
SO… Why is the world the way it is???

Lazy, Greedy, Selfish, Self absorbed, Arrogant, Mean, Stupid, Lack of Knowledge…
Almost sounds like a group of Dwarfs waiting on Snow White…
Why don’t people just see the forest for the trees? It is so simple.
Why cant we be Trustworthy?
Why cant we be Loyal?
What do we gain by not being helpful?
What would happen if we were actually friendly to people, other than their friends?
Wouldn’t it be better if we all were more Obedient?

I think you get the point. It’s the same old song.. different verse, same chorus.
So why not? Why can’t we live the Scout Law? Are we not aware of the impact it can have on our world?
Are we so self absorbed that we forget about those around us?
Are we so arrogant that we can not get past our self to be helpful?

You know, we can turn the economy around by being Thrifty.
We can help the environment by being clean.

We can solve crime by being obedient, Brave, and Trustworthy… and loyal to each other.
No one needs to be hungry because we are kind. No one needs to be cold because we are cheerful and helpful.

But it only works IF everyone lived it.
There was a guy.. about 2008 years ago that called us to Love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Pretty darn simple, but I guess it’s just to hard.
Man is just not meant to have it easy. But, ever since Adam took a bite from that apple, we have been learning.
Thank goodness some of us understand and want to.

The Scout Law.. Live it like you would have others live it.
Just think about what a great world this would be.

I long for the day… But its been 2008 years since the golden rule hit the scene and it still meets resistance.
The Scout law may need some time to catch on too.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Just some numbers

Another year is coming to a close. The final Court of Honor of the Year is in the books.
The Scouts did as they always do, a great job. They worked hard and achieved their individual Goals.
Tonight at the Court of Honor the boys showed a year in review video. It was hard to pick the pictures, because the whole year was great and the photos showed so much of the troop as they developed. But they did a real nice job.
I’ll try to get the video up to the blog soon.
In the mean time, here are some numbers that stuck out in my mind that spoke to a well rounded troop. A troop that is Boy led and offers a robust program.. it’s no wonder they keep coming back.

So here’s what makes me proud.

2008- from January 1st, 2008 thru December 6th, 2008.

111 Service hours
104 merit badges earned
23 Badges of Rank earned
5 World conservation Awards
53 nights of camping
19 Scouts trained in TLJT
2 trained from NYLT
6 New Scouts joined
5 elected and completed Ordeal in the Order of the Arrow
1 Open house put on by the Scouts
3rd Place in the Fairview Chili on the green cook off (Scout team)
1st Place Scoutmaster Cook off- Camp Baldwin
5th Place Scoutcapades Dutch Oven Cook off… no adult help (only team that did not use Den mothers)

And the list goes on… I can’t express in words how proud I am of these boys.. young men.

Have a Great Scouting Day!