Monthly Archives: September 2009

20 Questions

An avid listener of the Scoutmaster minute Podcast wants behind the curtain.  In a email, the listener asked me to do a show on questions.
SOOOOO.. here we go… we are going to do 20 questions.
ASK… whatever you want and I will answer them.  Ask about me, about Scouting, about backpacking or camping.. whatever..
The first 20 questions that I receive will get answered.
EMAIL your questions to  Put “20 Questions” in the Subject line.
Look for the show to come out soon!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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And on the 6th Day…

God created Football.
Yes fans its Saturday in the fall and time to settle in for football.  As I laid out this season, which games I could not miss, the teams that have the best shot at a National title, and interesting story lines, I got caught up in what Football really is.  It is a metaphor of life.
You see in order to make a run at the National Championship you need to have a great team.  Teams are made up of individuals that have a vision, a goal, and a way to get there.  The sum is greater than the parts on a team, but it takes indivuals pulling together with a single purpose to achieve their goal of winning.
For the individual Football is a challenge, a test.  It pushes the player to limits that his body and mind must endure to achieve the goal.  This a test of his will and character.
The individual player must recogonize that being a part of the team is more important than individual stats and fame.  Along the way the player is going to be hit, knocked down, and stomped on.  It is what he does next that is the test.  When he pops back up and makes his way to the huddle, dusts himself off and readies himself for the next play he demonstrates his will.. his character.  And it does not matter how many times he is knocked down.. what matters is how many times he picks himself up, shakes it off and moves on.
In life we are knocked down and tested every day.  Weather it is family strife, financial woes, or just every day drama at work, how we pick our selves up is the important part.
How we act as a member of a team, a patrol, a group of Scout leaders, or a family, that is what is important.  Setting goals and achieving success as a team is what we will use to measure ourselves one day.
So when God created football on the 6th day.. he created the metaphor for life…. Like Scouting it is a game with a purpose, how you play that game is up to you and if you play it right, you will be a Champion.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Mountain Hardwear Koa 55 review

Here is a quick review of my new Pack.  The Mountain Hardwear Koa 55.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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A testament of Character

Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy.” – Joe Paterno
I am a self proclaimed Football freak.  I love to watch Football, especially when my son is on the field.  This weekend I was blessed with watching some good football games, my son’s team won in a shut out against a team that was supposed to blow them away.
The character part comes in the sportsmanship that was displayed by both teams.  On one hand the team that was beat demonstrated their true colors.  You see it can be said that your true character is brought out when times are the toughest.  In loosing, do you understand that you were out played or matched?  Did you put forth your very best effort and help your team have a fighting chance?  Or did you give up on your team mates, did you lack that understanding that only one team can walk away the winner?
I watched as my sons team, the clear under dog, played their hearts out.  They, as they say “Left it all on the field”.  They helped the opposing team get up, they shook hands at the end of the game and quietly left the field with out dancing or celebrating.  Not that some celebration is ok, but they saw as the other team left the field throwing their helmets and cursing one another.  It was a small glimps into the true character of the team and the individuals of the team.  As I sat in the stands clapping for a game well played I watched as the parents of the loosing team demonstrated those same actions.  I even heard parents bad mouthing their own sons.
Our team is from a smaller community, boys that have played football together since the 3rd grade.  Their coaches are good men, they teach the boys how to play the game right.  There is so much more than just touchdowns and tackles, there is sportsmanship and winning and loosing with class.  It is nice to have coaches that share the same values of our community and the families that are in it.  Clearly lost in the community that our boys played in on Saturday.
It’s not the first time that I have seen this, but looking at it on Saturday it made me think about the character or lack of character that these young men were developing.  You don’t have to be a Boy Scout to figure out where this will all lead.
You can draw your own conclusions.  But I am proud of our boys.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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New from the Scoutmaster Minute

I have started a new Mini Podcast.  These podcasts will be tips, recipes, and Scoutmaster Shorts.  This podcast is not replacing the Scoutmaster Minute Podcast, but a way that I can get short tips and stuff out for  people to enjoy.  So far the feed back is great on the the first two tips.
Let me know what you think.
Look for the tips at or at the Scoutmaster Minute podcast site , you can find that in the column on the left of the blog.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Example? Character? Leadership?

In today’s paper there was a disturbing article about 5 Coaches from a High School in Portland that seem to  forgotten that they have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to their behavior.
One of the men was the Basketball coach, it seems that he has an affliction for drinking and driving, and when charged with DUII finds nothing wrong with his actions.
One of the men was the Baseball coach, it seems he lacks the basic knowledge of time and place and appropriate venues.  He decided to take a few of his high school players to a strip club in Las Vegas over Spring break.
Finally, the last three… lets call them “Gentlemen” were arrested together after a night on the town.  They were so disorderly that they had to be pepper sprayed and placed in Detox.
So what do they all have in common other than working at the same School and have a certain lack of Character?  Well.. I really don’t know.. but what else do we really need to know?
You see, I believe that I have an obligation as a person that works with youth to watch my actions.
Before anyone jumps on me.. No… I am no angel.. But I have never been in Jail, in the Newspaper for questionable acts, or seen in public in a less than desirable way.
Why.. because I can’t.  There are families that count on me to be a man of Character.  I am a Scoutmaster.   There are Scouts that count on me to walk the talk.  It would be easy to teach values and then turn my back on them, but what is the lesson.. that what is good for goose is not good for the gander?
And that is the point.  People that take it upon themselves to be in a position that requires being a role model should act like it.  Coaches, teachers, Scout leaders, Pastors, and youth leaders should understand that everything they do is under the microscope.  Right or Wrong.. that is the way it is… Like it or not.
We have to be aware of our time and place.  I have been to social events, sports everts were beer is available and emotions run wild.  It is my job to be aware of where I am and what I am doing.  I was at such an event recently.  I had a beer, I enjoy one every once in a while.  About half way through the event one of my Scouts and his parents showed up and said hello.  They could tell that I was having a good time, and that I was in no way out of control.  We talked for a bit and even talked about some patrons that were displaying out of control behavior.  There son said that he never imagined that I drank beer.  I had to tell him that it was ok to have one on occassion, but you have to be responsible.
I take it very serious how I am looked at while in public.  I would never want to be a black eye to the BSA or my Troop.. but more important, I want to maintain the relationship of trust that I have with the families of the Scouts that are in my care.
So what about these Coaches.. they all need to check themselves.  They have a lack of Character and are not the examples that they are supposed to be.  If my son played in their teams, I would be extremely upset and look for replacements.
Be a good Example!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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The Scoutmaster Minute Podcast Show #40

In this show Scoutmaster Jerry tackles a couple great topics.

First, we talk about when Scouting Manifests itself in our Scouts.  Then we talk about Podcasting and Social Media, we wrap it up with where the heck has Scoutmaster Jerry been?  For more info and to listen in.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the Scoutmaster Minute Podcast.

Listen or Download Here

Standard mp3 Format [14:56m]

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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I wanna Hero…

I consider myself pretty lucky.  I received an email today from the mother of one of my Scouts.  I appears that her son was to write an essay at School.  She forwarded the essay to me.  I would like to share it with you.

In my opinion a hero is someone who helps others.   A hero could be anybody.  It could be someone you look up to like a brother or a sister.  Someone who taught you something like a school teacher or a mentor of some kind.  You could be a hero, I could be a hero. Heroes are not born they are made.
My Scoutmaster is my hero.  He taught me many things.  Many of which I will use and take with me later in life.   For example he taught me how to live honestly, serve selflessly and help others.  He went out of his way to teach me this without being asked.   A hero goes out of their way to help others.   Am I a hero?  I don’t know.  To some I might be, to others I might not be. It doesn’t matter if I am a hero or not, it’s what I do in my life to prove that I am.  Some times I go out of my way to help others, but I have never done anything too extraordinary.  I mainly open doors to be nice, I have never put my life on the line to help others nor have I helped someone to live better.  There are many things I could do to be a hero at this point in my life.  I could save an infant from a burning building.   I could stop someone from robbing an elderly citizen.  I could push a man aside from getting hit by a bus.   These are all things I could do. Whether or not I choose to do them is my choice.   Some of these things may never happen. Anyone can be a hero, but only few choose to do so. When will your opportunity come and what will it be?   Only time will tell.   But what I can tell you now, is that when my opportunity rolls around I’ll take it.   Will you?
Thanks Ely.. I appreciate it.  And he is spot on.  Weather you want to call it being a Hero or just living the Scout Oath and Law.  Being called a hero is in the eye of the beholder so to speak.  We use the term these days loosely, but as it was pointed out to me one evening.. “Everyone has a hero or is a hero to someone.”  And the definition is up to those that have that relationship.
We teach our Scouts about Character.  Having strong Character will lead you to opportunities to be a hero.
Thanks again Ely.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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An Honored Veteran

On our last Backpacking Trip we took along with us some honored Veterans.  They had served their country with honor and dignity for years and it was fitting to take them on this last adventure for their retirement.

The Scouts built a really nice fire, got it hot and established a nice bed of coals.  When the time was right we all stood around the fire and talked about our friend.. Old Glory.
This massing of cloth, red, white, and blue, the stars fading and a little tattered here and there had served for many years.  It flew on a flag pole day and night, it had a light on it when the sun went down and came inside when the weather got really bad.  the house it stood watch over was in a pleasant neighborhood, much like any other.  Where kids played and lawns were mowed on Saturday mornings.  Where garage sales brought strangers into the neighborhood, but they were friendly.  A place were lawn signs supported their favorite candidate and Friday nights saw the community supporting the high school football team.
This honored Veteran stood tall and steadfast.  He never flinched.  He never disgraced that which he represented, He was proud and asked for nothing in return.
It was my turn to talk about our guest.  I talked about him being a symbol of my home.  I spoke of one of his brothers that flew over our camp in Iraq.  A beacon that led me to safety each day.  A banner that greeted me when I got home, and a flag that makes me proud when I see it waving in the breeze.  It is a flag that seems to appear when things are great, waving in parades and standing as a sentinel as a reminder that we are America.  It is always there when things get tough to.  Today is September 11th.  8 years ago after we were attacked.. it was the flag that brought this country together.  Flags were everywhere.. on cars.. houses.. and on t-shirts.  Old Glory was the symbol that connected an America that just got smacked in the face.
We unfolded our friend and gave him a final salute.  He was laid to rest in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  He served his Country well.
God Bless America.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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An Absolute Gem

The Scouting News Blog posted a great video today.  You need to check it out.

Love it!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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