Month: July 2009

Scoutmaster Minute Contest

As you all know I am a huge fan of backpacking and camping in general!  This month the Scoutmaster minute Visitors have a chance to win a $25 coupon code for, which includes free FedEx Ground Shipping!
About the Prize:
The good folks over at have offered up this month’s prize which is a $25 coupon code and free FedEx Ground Shipping!
If you haven’t checked out yet, they offer a wide selection of Boy Scouts of America® Officially Licensed Products. Most products are discounted from the item’s list price and they guarantee your satisfaction 100%.
How do I enter?
To enter you need to do the following:
Send Scoutmaster Jerry your best Backpacking Tip or recipe.  He will review it and/or cook it.  IF he uses your tip or recipe on his blog you win!  The winning tip or recipe will also be a segment on an upcoming podcast.
The more entries.. the better your chance to win.
Don’t hesitate to enter if you are not an avid backpacker, I’ll take any camping tip or recipe… I love to camp!
Send your tip or recipe to Scoutmaster Jerry at Put “CONTEST” in the subject line.
Good Luck and tell your friends to visit and have a shot at this fantastic prize.
A special thanks to for providing the prize and their support of and the scoutmaster minute podcast!
The contest will run from August 1st, 2009 through August 30th, 2009.  This was going to be a two week contest, but since I am at Summer Camp for a week in August.. I thought we would run the whole month. 
One (1) winner will be selected and announced here at the Scoutmaster Minute Blog.  
Sorry, only entries from the United States will be accepted on this one due to shipping restraints.  Odds of winning depend on how many entries your submit and if they make it in my backpack!  (Everyone has an even shot)
Good Luck and Have a Great Scouting Day!

Core Values

As Parents we try to raise our children with a set of values.  We derive those values from our families, our church, and the way in which we were raised.  Important things like respecting our elders, being trustworthy, not stealing, and how we manage our money and things.

We learn as a youth the important things that will help us live long and prosperous lives.  We learn the lessons on how we should treat one another and how to act in our community.  We develop our sense of loyalty to the Nation when we stand with our parents at a Parade and watch as our Dads stand and remove their hats placing their hands over their heart.
The values that we learn as a child, we pass on to our children, and so it goes.  We perpetuate the values of our families and the Nation is stronger for it.
I can remember as a young boy listening as my Dad talked about character and how we should act.  That I should never hit a women and that I should always tell the truth.  That I should use clean language and that it was important for me to always be helpful.  He taught me lessons that I now teach my sons and daughter.  The lessons that I learned as a youth have made me the man I am today and I can look back and pin point where they came from.
Troop 100 in Brunssum Holland and Troop 124 at Ft. Polk Louisiana were training grounds for character, citizenship, and fitness for me.  I took those values that I learned at home and saw them applied through the Scout Oath and Law.  I was able to see my values put to the test as a Patrol leader and Senior Patrol Leader.  I was given the opportunity to succeed and become a young man in those years of Scouting.
Scouting’s core values found in the Oath, the Law, and the mission statement are timeless.  They have not changed or waviered for 100 years.. and why?  Because they are the values that shape and build good young men (and women).
Being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent are values that can make or break a man.  They are the values that lead to being a good citizen, a father that cares, and a friend that is helpful to his community.  They are a set of values that sit at the core of the man and make him do right.
Scouting’s core values are as timeless and relevant as ever and they have proven to stand every test.  It is what “Right Looks like”.  Values.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Scoutmaster Minute Podcast

Show 39 is out and I am really excited about it.

tinnyIn this show Scoutmaster Jerry invites Tinny from Minibull design into the Scoutmaster Minute for a discussion on Alcohol Stoves.

Join us and learn more about ultra light backpacking stoves.  An effecient, light, and unique way of cooking in the back country.

Tinny shares his insights and expertise on these fantastic little stoves and how well they become an addition to our Scouts backpacks.

Standard Podcast format MP3 [44:53m]

Listen or Download here

Have a Great Scouting Day!

New Patch

The BSA just rolled out a new patch for the Centennial celebration.  I was down at the local Scout Shop and saw this new emblem.  I was surprised that I had not heard much about this even though I am a Scoutmaster for the National Jamboree contingent.   Anyway…

The new patch is a ring that is sewn around the World Scout Crest Patch.
We all can start wearing it right away.. and I encourage it!  It is not a must.. but 100 years of Scouting in America is something to celebrate.  So lets celebrate with a new patch.. after all we all love patches!!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Discipline and Supervision

I recently posted my 38th Podcast.  I was joined by Shawn from Wisconsin, we spent about 50 minutes talking about Unit discipline.  The point of the show was to discuss how we maintain discipline in our units and what constitutes a disciplined unit.

Now, many people think that discipline is all about punishment.  I have a different view all together.  Yes, punishment can be a consequence of a lack of discipline, but disciplined units are those that know what right looks like.
Those are units that are consistent in their teaching, application, and practice of the Scout Oath and Law.  
I recently re certified, or took the training for Safety Afloat and Safe Swim.  It is no surprise that when we talk about safety when swimming and boating the first thing that is discussed is the safety sandwich.  The “Bread” of the sandwich is Supervision and Discipline.
When we talk about disciplined units we see units that have good leadership.  Leadership at both the youth and adult levels.  Units that have a consistent message of living the Scout Oath and Law.  The only real rules a Scout troop needs.
Junior Leaders that are taught what right looks like and how they can be examples of right make the building of a disciplined unit an easy task.  But the message has got to be right.  Adult leaders can not waiver or bend the Scout Law and Oath to meet their needs.  They need to understand and implement the Scouting program as promised in the mission statement of the BSA.  
Discipline and Supervision are the brackets of not only a safe program, but a program that offers fun and adventure.  The goals of each unit should include having fun.  Fun never comes when Scouts are getting hurt or there is a lack of discipline in the unit.  Punishment aside, when Scouts understand that their actions will drive the path of discipline and the unit and the results will determine weather or not they are having fun, the unit is better for it.
Disciplined units don’t march around and do push ups.. they have fun, they are allowed to explore and be adventurous, they not overly supervised and have Youth leaders that really run the Troop.   Supervision and Discipline are critical.  Get trained and learn more, but don’t confuse discipline for punishment.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

You can lead a horse to water….

But you need to motivate him to drink.

Recently we had a fantastic camp out on the gorgeous Oregon Coast.  During that camp out we held a contest or competition on cooking a backpacking dinner.  The Scouts were judged on planning, preparation, presentation and cooking, and clean up.  It was not that the scouts of our troop never ate, but we have seen in recent months a decline in the planning and preparation of their meals.  So we motivated them by holding a contest.  And it worked.
The Contest proved that when motivated, by whatever… because we never told them what the prize was… the Scout could and would do anything, and correctly.
The Troop came out on the trip with not only the meal being judged, but all of their meals perfectly planned and executed.  They had taken the extra time to prepare the meals, getting ride of extra trash, pre mixing, and bagging the meals for easy preparation in camp.  They showed up with meals that were not only easy to cook and clean up, up hearty and tasty too.  The meals met all of the expectations of the leaders of our Troop and why we held this simple contest. 
Oh the winners… they will be announced at the Court of Honor after Summer camp.  Nothing like a little suspense to keep things fresh.
But it proved my point.. you can lead a horse to water.. but you need to motivate him to drink.  With the right motivation a Scout can do anything.  It is the leaders job to provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation to his unit.  Doing that will ensure success in any task and lead to a unit that is prepared, motivated, and having fun!
Have a Great Scouting Day!