Month: September 2009

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!

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!

When do I get results?

I was talking to a couple parents of Scouts in my Troop the other night when the discussion led to when they would see the results of Scouting in their sons?

It made me think a little about just when Scouting manifests itself in our boys, or the boys that pass through our Troops.  
The answer is not a simple one because it is dependant on the young man and the situations that he finds himself as he negotiates life.
I shared with the parents that Scouting did not manifest itself in me until I was in my 20’s and away from home.  I realized what Scouting had taught me, skills like map and compass, first aid, and cooking.  I took Scouting’s values with me when I entered the Army and developed a better understanding of loyalty and obedience.  As I became an adult I understood those values and demonstrated them more frequently.  I could see that between the up bringing of my family and the things I learned in Scouting, I was becoming the man that my Scoutmaster had hoped we all would become.
And now I am a Scoutmaster and I have that same hope for the boys in my Troop.  I see development of skills every time we go camping.  I see a strong sense of citizenship when we retire flags and participate in civic events as a troop.  As these boys grow physically I see them getting stronger and in better shape.  I can see how they do better each time we hike and that what was hard last year is no longer a daunting task.
So when does Scouting manifest in our boys?  I don’t know.. but I do know that it does.. some day.. some time.. it will.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

I love it!!

The readers and listeners of the Scoutmaster Minute are the greatest on Earth.  I announced the winners of my first contest this morning.  This evening I received 50 emails requesting the winning recipes.. I am going to be doing a segment on an upcoming podcast as well as a video. 

But I won’t keep you in suspense… 
Here are the winners.
TACO SALAD RICE (backpacking recipe)
1 lb hamburger
1 pkt taco seasoning
1 can black beans
1 can whole kernel corn
3 cups minute rice
1 lb shredded cheese
1 small container sour cream
Salsa – small jar or individual serving cups Water.
At home:
Brown hamburger and add taco seasoning as directed. 
At camp:
Add taco meat to a medium pot.  Drain the corn and add to the pot.  
Partially drain the beans and add to the pot.  Mix and heat.
Prepare the rice as directed.
To serve:
Serve up a portion of rice, add meat/bean/corn mixture and top with cheese, sour cream and salsa. Could also crunch up corn chips or Doritos on top.


1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom (or celery or chicken) soup

1 cans milk

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (if desired)

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced into about 1/8” thick slices

4 large red potatoes, sliced thin

1 small yellow onion, sliced thin

2 cups (if desired) shredded cheddar cheese



1.       Line the Dutch oven with foil and preheat the Dutch Oven to 375°F using 18 briquettes on the top and 9 on the bottom (for a 12” Dutch oven. For a 10” oven, use 16 on top and 7 on the bottom) . 

2.       In a large mixing bowl, mix together the soup, milk, garlic, mustard, and pepper. 

3.       Stir in potatoes and kielbasa. 

4.       Pour the mixture into the Dutch oven.

5.       Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, rotating the oven and the lid 90° every 15 minutes. 

6.      Add the shredded cheese (if desired) and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

EnEnjoy… I did!

HaHave a Great Scouting Day!


Drum role please….

I have selected the winners of the First ever Scoutmaster Minute Tip and recipe contest.
First of all, I must say thank you to everyone that submitted a tip or recipe.  They were all really good tips and the recipes.. well, you folks won me over.. took it to my soft spot.. the tummy.
I would like to do this again in the future it was real fun.
The winners of the contest are two recipes, like I said.. the tips were great, but the eats were better.  
The winners will be receiving via email a coupon code good for $25 at for some great Scouting products.
And here are your winners.
John F. Malachowski– Scoutmaster, Troop 27 with his Dutch Oven Kielbasa Potato bake.
And Jay Lash, Committee Chair Troop 47 – Vinton, IA with a backpacking recipe that is fantastic- He did not give it a name, but it is a great Taco Salad!
Congratulations to the both of you.
Again thanks for all the entry’s it was a fun contest and we will do it again.
A special thanks also to for sponsoring this contest and providing the great prize.
Have a Great Scouting Day!