Month: February 2009

January Winter camp out

Well- I was not sure I wanted to get into Video Blogging or video journaling.. but after shooting a few videos.. I think it is a fun way to share.
So here’s the deal.
I am not going to shoot videos just for the sake of getting videos on the internet..
I will post video journals of camp outs, back packing treks and gear reviews, introductions etc.

So here it is.. Video number 1. A little video journal of our recent Winter campout.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The "Not so new" Centennial Uniform

While the “New” uniform has not been fully integrated yet, and what I mean by that is that not everyone has one, it is fair to say that it is here and it is here to stay. And my personal opinion, now that I have been wearing mine for a few months. I love it.

What I am having a hard time with is the resistance of some leaders when it comes to the uniform. It seems that there is a group of “leaders” that resist change for the sake of change.

Overheard at Round table: “I won’t buy the new uniform until they make me”, “the new uniform does not fit right and looks shabby, why can’t they go back to the old green uniform with the red piping?”, and finally, it costs too much… I’m going to buy a couple “old Shirts” so I can keep wearing them instead.”

WOW… are you kidding me?
First off no one will ever make you buy a uniform. But I would suggest you wear one if you are a leader. Something about setting an example. I mean, it is a method and all.
Second. “Looks Shabby”?? There is a real neat tool… invented ooohhh… way back when. Called an Iron. When used with and Ironing Board, presses the shabby out of pretty much anything.
Besides, the new uniform is designed to be used by the active Scout. In the outdoors. They (the BSA) finally got the uniform right for that. The new uniform has a look of active and adventure… it prompts the wearer to get out and get busy. If you are not doing that, well then I would take a look at your annual plan and adjust accordingly.
And finally. Cost? Not as bad as made out to be. And buying old shirts to spite the new ones…
I don’t even have a comment that I can post and keep it positive. I would suggest a small dose of growing up.

Ok.. so this post is somewhat of a rant.. and I apologize for that. Here is my point Scouts and Scouters…

We belong to the worlds greatest organization. There are 5 million Scouts and Scouters in the United States alone. That suggests to me that there is something good going on here. So to resist change for changes sake is counter productive.
Yes, I like the new uniform, I think it has been a long time coming and the BSA should have done it sooner. I also understand that timing is everything and rolling out the uniform in time for the 2010 Anniversary celebration was a good call. I am actually glad we have it now, so we can have the opportunity to convert old uniforms to the new in time for Jamboree and other Anniversary activities.
I am a Scout leader, and with that comes the responsibility of promoting the program. The uniform, like it or not, is part of that program.
I have no problem with leaders that do not want to rush out and buy one. But keep your comments to yourself, especially in public and around Scouts. They feed off of your negative attitude and it tears at the program. The program I love.

I was at a crossover the other night. 6 new boys entered my troop. They all have the “Old” tan shirt. One of the moms asked me if they had to run out and buy the new shirt. The answer was simply no. I suggested they wait till next year when they have outgrown their current shirt.
She asked if it was ok to buy an “old” shirt now for next year… and I asked why?
She didn’t really know, but told me that a leader suggested they stay with the old shirt as long as possible. I had to ask her again…why? She told me that the leader she talked to said the new uniform would never last and the BSA would change it right after Jamboree.
I suggested to her that she stop listening to the leader, he was giving her bad information, and it seemed that he just did not like the new uniform.
It is that kind of attitude that tears at the fabric (no pun intended) of the BSA and Scout organizations around the world.
We belong to the BSA. Wear your uniform with pride. Follow the guidance set forth in the program and remember to do right by the Scouts.

Change is good.

**Oh by the way… in so far as the uniform is “Not here to stay”…
Here is the new Uniform inspection sheet. I think we all should just get used to it.
I love it.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Plus 6

Last night we welcomed 6 new Scouts into our Troop. The Scouts from our Troop that make up our Order of the Arrow “Tribe” put on a heck of a ceremony. They always do, but last night was special.
Last nights team was literally put together Tuesday night due to scheduling conflicts and the like. Two new Arrowmen from the troop put together regalia and studied lines and pulled off perhaps the most amazing Cross over ceremony I have seen. From start to finish, top to bottom, these 5 young men held the crowd in the palm of their hands and made a memorable experience not only for those 6 Scouts entering our Troop, but the families that looked on from their seats.

Nerves were jumping as the OA members dressed in a class room down the hall. A smattering of feathers, leather, wool and beads filled the room as well as pacing young men going over their lines “just one more time”.
When the beat of the drum called them to the stage, a transformation occurred as “Silver Arrow” called the crowds attention and bid them greetings on behalf of all of the Scouts from the Tribe of 664.
And so it went… line after line, gesture upon gesture, the Webelos Scouts sat in amazement as they were inducted into the brotherhood of the Arrow of Light and became members of a new tribe, a new band of brothers in Boy Scouting.

It was a night I will not soon forget. I am so proud of these boys. They exemplified everything that is good in Scouting. They were Loyal and Brave, Courteous and Kind, Helpful and friendly and they just did a fantastic job.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Crossing the Green Line

You know that I love sporting analogies…
In baseball the Coach or Manager always has to remember the “White Line”.
The “White Line” is the base line that the manager is not supposed to cross the white line during the course of the game. The players on the field play the game and the manger coaches, makes adjustments, and gives advise from the dugout. He sends in signals and on occasion leaves the dugout to make a pitching change or settle down the pitcher.

When I was a Scout, our SPL was a total jock. He was a star football player, wrestler, and baseball stud. I remember he used to call the area where the Scoutmaster and the Assistants camped the other side of the “Green Line”.
He and the Scoutmaster would often remind one another that there was a line there .. a line that the Scoutmaster was aware of and that he only crossed when needed. When he needed to settle down the SPL or make a change that effected the troop.

I had not thought about that until our last troop election. I looked on as our new SPL took control of the Troop. As the Troop grows and the Scouts develop in skills and leadership, we Scoutmasters need to know where the green line is. And we need to be aware that crossing it can move the youth leaders a step back in their development. Stepping over the green line when it is not needed or warranted chisels away at the Boy led foundation.

Knowing that there is that Green line is an important part of the Scoutmaster/ SPL relationship.
It is a great part that allows the Scout to lead and grow.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


In the great Northwest where I live, I met a mountain man and he knew how to get many things done with very little resources. He had almost nothing to work with, but accomplished great things. Whether the task was to build a fire underwater or stop a waterfall from falling, it seemed he could take care of it. I was so amazed to see the things he could do, I finally asked him how he did it. He told me that a long time ago, he had found a magical solution to nearly all challenges that came along.
He said it was all contained in a single, ancient word that had mystic powers. When you understand the meaning of the word, it unleashes immense strength and abilities; it makes your mind more clear; it makes your imagination run wild with ideas. Well, of course, I could hardly contain myself and I just had to know what this powerful magic was. I pleaded with him to tell me and he finally agreed. He said the word is, ‘YAGODDAWANNA’.
In order to accomplish anything, whether it is small or big, easy or difficult, trivial or of utmost importance, in order to be successful, you’ve got to want to do it. To earn good grades, you gotta wanna earn them. To become an Eagle Scout, ya godda wanna be one.
The main reason people don’t succeed at something is because they don’t really want it bad enough. By really wanting something, you come up with ideas, make plans, and then do it. Remember, to do something YaGoddaWanna do it.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Hiking Stick

The hiking Stick or Stave or staff traditionally has been a part of Scouting. Baden Powell talked of the hiking stick and its many uses when he started the Scouting Movement.
The Hiking stick is made of strong wood, not just any old stick, it is solid and steadfast.
It provides stability on the trail. When climbing it gives you a lift, when descending it takes the load off and when the trail is smooth and easy, it is a companion.
The hiking stick is usually adorned with a compass to help guide the hiker along the way, it keeps the hiker heading in the right direction and always knows which way is true.
A lot of times a whistle hangs from the hiking stick. A tool to alert others of danger or get attention in times of distress.
The hiking stick is a place where we can show other hiker where we have been, a reminder of the good times on the trail, and memories of some of the hardships that got us where we are today.

The hiking stick is a great metaphor in our lives.
We all need a good hiking stick, weather that is a solid piece of hickory or titanium trekking poles, we all need something to hold onto, something that guides us and helps us along the trail of life.
That stability and support that makes our climbs fun and our descents easy and the smooth times a pleasure to walk through.
Find yourself a good hiking stick.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

*just a note: The picture for this post shows me with a big stick, it’s not the hiking stick I use, it was just laying around that day, but made a great “Lean On” stick.
What you do see in the picture however are other people. And those people are my real life “hiking stick”. Next to me is one of my Assistant Scoutmasters John. He’s my go to guy and a dear friend. Then there is the short fellow, that’s my youngest son. It is he and his brother that got me back into and keep me in Scouting. Then the man in Red with the red hat, he is my Dad. Perhaps the single most important person in my life that has shaped me, and always a good “lean on”. And finally in the picture is my Mom. I can never say enough about her.
The folks in this picture are truly my hiking stick that helps me get through life.
Not pictured are my Wife, my Son, and many other friends that help prop me up and keep the trail smooth.