Monthly Archives: June 2009

I will never apologize for…

There is a great little book available called The Scoutmaster Minute, Your handbook for inspiring moments by Ron Wendel.

I like this little book, fits well in the pack and it has saved my bacon a time or two when I needed something quick at a camp fire or at the end of a meeting.  I am not here to sell the book, but it is worth the six bucks.
At times I like to scan the pages and see the inspirational quotes or comments from the authors on area of Scouting that seem to hit home with our Troop.  That I have a peeve for “Rediscovering” that which someone else has done a fantastic job communicating.
Tonight, in particular I stumbled upon one that I use and added to.
I goes like this;
We all make mistakes. We all say or do things that sooner or later we come to regret.  Here are some things that we will never be sorry for.
Thinking before acting,
Hearing before judging,
Forging your enemies,
Being candid and frank, 
Helping a fallen brother,
Being honest in business,
Thinking before speaking,
Being loyal to your church,
Standing by your principles,
Stopping your ears to gossip,
Bridling a slanderous tongue,
Harboring only pure thoughts,
Sympathizing with the afflicted,
Being courteous and kind to all.
Author Unknown.
Who ever the author is or was certainly knew a thing or two about Scouting.  Rereading this I see the Scout law woven in its words.  And I will never be sorry or apologize for living the Scout law.
I don’t have to.  If I live the Law daily, it will guide me to do the right thing, and when you do the right thing, you never have to apologize.
This weekend, we watched as one of the “News shows” did an expose on why politicians cheat on their wives.  They spent the better part of an hour discussing the who’s, what’s and why’s of this “problem”.  The answer is simple.  These politicians have no Character.  Bottom line.. period.  They have to apologize because they lack Character, they lack the moral compass found in the Scout law.  They lack the ability to judge their actions based on a simple set of values.
Scouting reenforces the values of the Scout law and sets our young men up to never have to apologize for a lack of Character.
I will never apologize for living the Scout law.  It does not make me a nerd or a geek, it does not make me un cool or a pansy… it makes me a man of Character.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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To Keep myself Physically Fit

Now I don’t know what has happened to boys.. and you before you think I am going to rant about video games and MTV.. stop.   But I wonder when we stopped being physically fit.

I remember as a kid there were not to many “Heavy kids”.  We ran, jumped, climbed, and rode our bikes all over the place.  
In Scouts, we hiked, biked, canoed and seemed to always be doing something active.  I can remember every troop meeting doing something physical, weather that was playing a game or riding our bikes to and from our Scout house.
Last Monday we helped a group of Scouts complete the physical fitness requirement for Tenderfoot.  I was, and am always amazed at how out of shape our kids are.  Do they not take PE in School anymore?  It seems to me that just by being a kid with all the running and playing you do.. how can you be out of shape?
We are a backpacking troop and the good news there is that anyone can do it, but it sure helps to be in shape.  Most of that is mental.  But watching some of the Scouts doing sit ups this Monday… well it made me wonder what the kids today are doing.
I own a Wii and an X Box, but they are not the center of my house.  I guess those two items have become babysitters in some cases, where as my mom would tell us to get outside and play.
I enjoy a house that my kids like to bring there friends to.  They play games on the X Box, but are limited to the amount of time they spend on it.. then it is “grab the football and get outside”!
We make a promise in the Scout Oath to keep ourselves Physically Fit.  Your own personal limitations will apply, the Boy Scouts want you to do your personal best.  What the Scouts also realize is that when you keep yourself physically fit you are healthy and when you are healthy you have a better life.
Scouting impacts us all in many ways.. if it is a promise to be fit that motivates a young man to be healthy then we win in Scouting.
Your troops activities should push the Scouts to try new things, be adventurous, and test the limits of their physical fitness.  The Scouts will have a lot more fun then sitting in a class room cranking out merit badges, and they will benefit by being more physically fit.
I don’t know what happened, and I am not one to buy a bunch of excuses.. just get them outside and let them play.  Playing keeps them fit.  Bumps and bruises from a good hard game of ball are not a bad thing and you will see a healthier son in the end.
Get out and play….
And Have a Great Scouting Day!
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Words To Live By

These 12 little words… they can make a difference in your life.

Have a Great Scouting Day!
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Recipe of the Week

Not that this is a regular segment …but I had to make the title catchy…

But here is my recipe of the week,  can’t remember where I got it, more than likely from our friends at Trail
Try this one. You will love it.
Teriyaki Chicken
1 cup dry instant rice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 pgk honey
2 pgk soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 can or pouch of chicken
Before camp, mix all dry ingredients at home.  Store in a zip lock bag.
At Camp, boil water, add rice mixture.  After the rice is cooked, stir in Chicken, honey, and sauce.  This makes 1 serving, so do the math and multiply for your size of group.
See a video of me making this recipe on my YouTube channel.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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In business numbers are everything.. in Scouting… well not so much, but when it comes to impact… I guess a number can demonstrate that you are in fact making a small impact and spreading the word, helping others to deliver the promise of Scouting.

I started podcasting sometime last year, I was asked and joined the PTC media network.  PTC media is made up of three Scouters that just really love Scouting.  Chris has a Cub Scout background, he is in Texas.  Steve is a Scoutmaster in Minnesota, he has many years of experience and brings a twist to the network with a cool puppet named Buttons the Radical Boy Scout.  And then there is me.  I have had my share of Cub Scouting and am well versed in the Boy Scout program.  Together we have 4 podcasts that we produce independently.  The result is a fan base of Scouts and Scouters and those that maintain relationships in the Scouting movement.  The result is that there are people out there that love to listen to our Shows.. and for that we are truly thankful.  We do not make money doing this.. we do it because we love it.
I rarely keep up with the numbers of the show.  I know that I have done 35 shows to date and have received mountains of emails about them.  But tonight I was chatting with a fellow Scouting podcaster and blogger Shawn from Wisconsin, we were talking about the numbers and so I looked it up and got shocked to learn that the Scoutmaster minute is actually making an impact.. or at least people are listening.
Over the 35 shows I have received 68,689 downloads of the shows.  To me that is exciting and amazing!  
I just want to thank everyone that downloads and listens to the show.  I appreciate it and it makes me want to do more to help deliver the promise of Scouting!
Thanks again everyone!!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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The Scoutmaster Minute Podcast

A new Show is out.  The final part of my 3 part series on Leave No Trace.

You can get more information and down the show here.  Or you can download and listen to the show by clicking here.
Either way.. enjoy the show.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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Quote from BP

I love this one.  Our Founder truly was a man of vision and insight.

“We only have a short time to live, so it is essential to do things that are worthwhile and to do them now.”  
~  Lord Robert Baden-Powell
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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Happy Fathers Day

Today is Fathers day, ties will be given, maybe a new tool or handy gadget, a gift hand made by loving hands.  Today we honor our fathers.  Have a BBQ and be nice to dear old dad.

I tend to look at fathers day this year from the prospective of the father.
While niceties are being exchanged and gifts given, I am thankful to be a dad.  I can think of no greater responsibility on this planet than the one given to me on November 15th 1993, the day I became the father of twins.  
Everything in life changes when you become a dad, I will say for the record, everything gets better.  Yeah, there are challenges along the way.  There are hardships to endure, emotions to deal with, and burdens to bear, all a part of being a dad.  At some point you ask yourself am I good enough?  Do I possess what it takes to be a good teacher, role model, provider?  You look into the eyes of your little boy and wonder if one day he will be a great man.  What beauty you hold in your arms when your daughter looks up at you and smiles.  Comfort.
And then before you know it, they are teen agers and you ask yourself again, do I have what it takes to get this young man through high school and into life?  Have I done everything that I can to prepare this young lady to be proper.  Is this young man going to do great things?
Today, I am proud to be a dad, I would not trade it for all the money on earth.  While there are challenges and obstacles that fatherhood throws your way, it all comes down to the love you have for those kids and the love that is returned, especially on fathers day.
God Bless all of you Dad’s out there that are doing it right.  You know who you are.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs (ch. XXII, v. 6)

Happy Fathers Day!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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At what point are meat balls not enough?

As Scouts develop and grow they acquire skills and better their camping techniques.  They learn through the Start, Stop, and Continue process and each and every camp out they get better and better.  

Well, we would hope so.  You all know that old adage, “You can lead a horse to water…”  Well, I have come to believe that it is true.  With a few exceptions, I mean to say that.. you can lead that horse to water.. but you have to motivate him to drink.  And so it is with our Scouts.  We teach them, guide them, and coach them… but I will not do it for them.
So what motivates them?  The other thing that I have come to believe is that one day in all of them a light goes on… lets call that light motivation.  When it comes to cooking on camp outs, it is that point when meat balls are not enough.
It is the point when a Scout realizes that being lazy will never getting anything accomplished, and when taking the easy way does not satisfy them.  It is that point when they look around and see those that have already had to light come on and want to be like them.  Until then however.. meatballs are enough.
I recently had a discussion with a few of the parents of boys in my troop that were not happy with the way their Scout was eating on camp outs.  Valid concerns I assure you.  But the answer was not going to be found by asking the Scoutmaster.  The answer could be found in their planning (which is checked by an ASM).  The answer could be found in the Scout that did the shopping and food prep.  The answer could be found in how much did they bring home (Un prepared food because “We did not feel like cooking).  The answer was not in lack of instruction, coaching, and leadership.  The answer was in laziness and lack of “Wantto”.
We take the boys out prepared, what they do within their patrols during meal times is pretty much up to them.  There has never been a Scout that died of hunger on a weekend camp out and the sooner they get tired of meat balls… the sooner they will get better.
We have seen in this in the last three age groups of our Scouts.  they start off great… taper off.. then get tired of the crappy food and become great camp cooks.  The light goes on and they get it.  And that was my answer to concerned Mom and Dad.. one day they will get it.  And you will know… as will I.  Until then, we coach, teach, and mentor and they cook meatballs.
So be it.  We all learn.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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Rules or Reminders

A Scout can be Trusted, a Scout is Trustworthy.

Rule or Reminder?
IF I am a person of character, a person that has grown with a set of Values, then do I need a rule to tell me to be Trustworthy?  Ok.. so if I did not grow up with said values… do I still need a rule to be Trustworthy?  How about Friendly, kind, and obedient?  Rules or reminders?
Do I need a rule that tells me not to steal?  Not to kill?  Not to Lie?
Or do I need a reminder every once in a while to keep me on track.
I am amazed at how many rules and regulations we have in our world, many of which are just a waste of paper and ink.  What is amazing about it is that we have to have them because for whatever reason people tend to break them.  Some where along the way we as a society drifted away from the simple rule of “Doing unto others as we would have done to us”.  I believe they call it the “Golden Rule”.
How simple it would be if we all just lived by that simple rule.
How simple it would be if we all just were Trustworthy and loyal to each other.  Obedient and Cheerful?  Kind and Courteous?  The world would be so much a better place and we would not need so many rules.
When my Troop does any activity, weather that is a meeting or a camp out, a back pack trip or a trek in canoes, we have 1 set of rules… starts with Trustworthy, ends with reverent.  The rest seems to take care of itself.  Burdening them with rules for this and that are as ridiculous as the amount of laws and regulations our government imposes… and for what?  The results are not that good, just look at the courts.  
But look at a well run Scout Troop.  12 words, values, rules, reminders of how we should live our lives.
Enough said.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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