Month: June 2009

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!

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!

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!


Not that I am a number watcher.. BUT…

I wanted to say thank you to all of you that read and share the Scoutmaster Minute.
The numbers do not mean a thing as I do this out of a love for Scouting, as you can see there are no adds that shoot money my way…
But it does go to show that we in the Scouting community do love and care for Scouting.
As of today I noticed that the Scoutmaster minute crossed the 30,000 mark.
So to celebrate.. I am off to our Troops Court of Honor!
Looking at the Pie Chart… its also cool how International the Scoutmaster Minute has become.
Just in the last week we have had 149 visitors from the US, 7 from the UK, 5 from Belgium, 2 from Germany, 2 from Canada, and 1 from the Philippines.
Thanks again everyone and Have a Great Scouting Day!

Bear Grylls- Chief Scout

Recently Bear Grylls was appointed as the new Chief Scout of the British Scouting Association.  For those of us on this side of the pond, this is not a significant news item, except that most everyone I talk to about it seems to think that he will impart his “Survival antics” from the TV show into the Scouting Association.  I personally think that is highly unlikely.
I found this video from the British Scouting Association on you tube, and thought it was worth sharing.
I am not one to criticize our leadership, but I wonder if Mr. Mazzucca would do what Bear does in this video.  If so.. My hats off to him.
I think what Mr. Grylls says in the video is interesting too.. in a nut shell the business of Scouting is Fun.. not business.
hmmmm… just a thought.
Enjoy the video.  I did.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


I am a fan of the Ask Andy column at the US Scouting Service Project.  Andy’s no nonsense, straight answers are just up my ally.

I was reading his May 26th column and chanced upon this gem.
Giving all the credit where it is due.. to Andy, I want to share this with you.  The reason is simply this is right on and a philosophy that I have held to from day one as a Scoutmaster.
Enjoy, I did.
Dear Andy,

My son’s in a high-achieving troop, with five to eight Eagles a year, great leaders, great program, huge fund-raising successes, friendly parents, and no complainers.  He’s about to go on his third campout with the troop.  In the first two, everyone cooked together—Scouts and parents.  The very first one was a Webelos-as-guests, plus “electronics.”  The second was a new Scout weekend.  For these first two, it looked like the parents pretty much did all the cooking.  When I asked who’s buying food for the adult leaders, for this third campout, I learned that the adults “scavenge” off the patrols that their sons are in.  This is a new one on.  What do you think?  I’m really pretty unsure. (Bob White)

Here’s the deal about Boy Scouts and the out-of-doors: Boy Scouts hike and camp as Boy Scouts.  This is not “Webelos III Family Camping.”  Boys of this age need to grow, and to form peer relationships, to individuate themselves, and to gain a sense of competence and independence.  This absolutely cannot occur in a “family camping” environment.

If parents come along, they should be camping separately from the Scouts–literally out of sight and out of ear-shot.  If they cook, they cook for themselves, with their own food.  They don’t “mooch” from the Scouts, or cook for them, or have any interactions with them.  The Scouts and their Scoutmaster and an assistant (may be an ASM, a parent, or a committee member) are together, but any “extra” parents should be making themselves invisible.

A “Jamboree Troop” is a “model troop,” from which we can draw lessons. There are four patrols of eight, one Senior Patrol Leader, perhaps one or two ASPLs, and four adults: Scoutmaster and three ASMs.  That’s it.  Patrols cook and clean up for themselves, lead themselves, plan for themselves, and carry out daily activities for themselves.  The four adults aren’t the “leaders,” they’re the wallpaper, or safety-nets, if you will.  All troops need to be organized in this general fashion.

Parents stay away.  They pitch their tents away from the Scouts and do whatever they do during the day away from the Scouts.  This is not a “Dad n’ Lad” activity–That went the way of the buggy whips of Cub Scouting, and should no longer be present.

Any troop that doesn’t do it this way is ultimately crippling their Scouts by keeping them subservient and “small.”  Boy Scouting cuts those apron-strings, and keeps ’em cut.

How “separate” should any accompanying parents be from their sons, while camping? (BW)

How separate?  How’s this: If the Scouts and the parents don’t see one another from dawn till after dinner, that would be just about right.  Boys and young men of Boy Scout age need to assert their independence and their reliance on one another without Dad and Mom “hovering.”

Thanks Andy!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

BSA and You Tube

OK.. so I know that most of you have already been there and seen it…

But I just spent some time watching the BSA You tube channel and the new “Words to live by” campaign.
I like it.  I think it is a great way of presenting Scouts and Scouting and I’ll say that I think the BSA did it well.
Check out the You tube channel.

Have a Great Scouting Day!