Month: May 2011

To Keep myself Physically Strong..

That point in the Scout Oath that is often over looked.. said real fast to get to “Mentally Awake.. Morally Straight”.  Yep, I’m calling you out!  But just as the old adage says.. when you point a finger, three are pointing back at you.
I consider myself in good shape, and I am with in the Height and Weight limits to go to Philmont, but you know I could always do better.
It is a peeve of mine when Scout leaders preach fitness and then are not fit.  I understand, and have compassion for those volunteers that have medical conditions and physical aliments that they have to live with, really I feel bad for those people.  But on the other hand, what example of physical fitness are they modeling for the young men and women in Scouting?  Now, I do not expect all Scout leaders to the poster child on the wall of a local gym, but I would expect them to be able to at least keep up and practice what they preach.
Many well intentioned Scouters give lots and lots to Scouting.  I had a friend that recently passed away.  He was way to young to go, but health issues plagued him.  Diabetes, circulation problems, heart issues, and yes he was extremely overweight.  He was a dear friend and tried to do everything he could in Scouting.  He would attend Summer camp, he was as active as he could be in the Order of the Arrow, he was a great merit badge counselor, but when he tried to go to Arrow Corps 5 he was turned down because of his weight.  And as much as is pains me to say it… rightly so… he was a liability that the BSA could not afford.  What if something would go wrong out in the middle of Shasta?  I felt bad for him, but then on the other hand, his weight was his problem and no one put it on but him.  He could control it.  He used to be a strong, fit man.  A fire fighter, a backpacker, and very active.  Then came the weight and down went the activity and everything else.  I never want to be “that guy”. 
I think it is very important that we try as hard as we can to be the model of fitness, especially when around our Scouts.  They should see us eating healthy, not smoking and discouraging tobacco use, we should be active and take a look in the mirror once in a while to see what you look like in uniform.
Remember.. three fingers pointing back here.  We could all do better.
Which brings me to the point.  Scoutsigns has done it again!  #100daysStong is the next 100 days of blogging, this time its all about YOU and getting yourself Physically Fit.. oh and along the way encouraging fitness in your units!  I am on board with this effort.. I could always better myself, I have Philmont coming up next summer and I need to be in top shape to keep up with the crews we are taking.  As we get older, we should not slow down, nature will set its course, but we do have ways to stay on top of it and fight back a bit.
So, here we go #100daysStrong, lets see how we can be Physically Strong and live that part of the Promise!
DAY 1.
Eat healthy and stay away from Pop.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Second 100

Today marks the last day of the second 100 days of Scouting blog campaign.  But as I thought about it, I remembered back to what my good friend Mike Walton who at the beginning of the #100daysofscouting blog campaign wrote about the first one.  And that was “I live Scouting everyday”.
Now we bl0ggers like to share our thoughts, ideas, and sometimes just ramblings about Scouting and just because we are now 200 days into blogging about it through this online blog event.  I agree with Mike in that we all do live Scouting everyday and so lets just talk about it, write about, and show the world that Scouting is alive!
Its my hope that all the great Scouting bloggers out there keep it.. call it what you want, but just keep sharing.  I have been doing this blog since 2007, far more that 200 days and it has always been about my adventure in Scouting.  Sharing the dream and helping to deliver the promise of Scouting.  It is also my hope then that we continue to grow our Online Scouting community and we all share the adventure, the challenge, the leadership that is so evident in our blogs.
#100daysofscouting.. its been fun.  So my challenge to you is to keep those blogs going.  Give feedback to the blogs you read, and keep our Online Scouting community alive, and Live Scouting everyday!
I apologize that there will be no podcast out today… I intended to record while at Wood Badge, but for those of you that know what it is to be a Troop Guide.. well there is just no time.  And so I will get back on track next week with some great Scouting programming. 
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Getting what you want!

Values, Mission, Goals…. at the fore front of my mind right now as I assist a group of new Wood Badgers in the working of their tickets…
Tickets?  In Scouting, if you are not familiar with Wood Badge then this is a foreign concept.  Simply put.. it is working goals to fulfill your mission.
OK.. enough already, we just want to go camping and sell Popcorn!!!  What is it with this Values, Mission stuff?
Well, we are all heading somewhere, right?  We all have an idea of what we want our Scouting units to look like… right?  Well how do you get there?
Enough of the cryptic talk.. lets talk about your vision.
First.. what is it that you believe in?  What makes you tick?  Answer these two questions carefully.  A good personal assessment of your values is an important part in establishing your Vision en route to your mission.  You need to be honest and really know who you are before you can effect others.  So what is important to you?  Faith, Family, Values like those found in the Scout Oath and Law.
Figure this out and write it down.. not just words, but why its important to you?  Write it down.
Now that you have a better understanding of who you are and why its time to find out what you want.  What do you want out of life, your family, your work, Scouting, health, and hobbies?  In short, what do you want our of your life?  You may want to be financially independent, have a richer faith life, loose 10 lbs or become a teacher.  The sky is limit and you and you alone are the only one that can set the course to reach it.
So do you know what you want?  Write it down.  If you are like me, you will have a list of the things that you want.  Things that you want to change, do, get better at, and impact in your life.  Pick 1.. yep, just 1.  Write it down.
Now, lets go get it.  But first.. you need to throw away all obstacles, the first of which is your idea that you cant do it.  What ever you want.. you will have.. if you want it and are willing to work for it.  So write it down and lets go get it!
Make a list of 5 things that you MUST do to get what you wrote down.  Not 4, not 7.. 5 things that will lead you to your want.. Oh and by the way.. lets start calling “your want” “YOUR MISSION”.  Here is an example:
I want to develop a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District.  That is the mission.
So 5 things that I need to do to get what I want.
1.  Find out if there is a current plan in place and identify the short falls in the plan.
To do this I will talk with current District advancement chairman and Webelos to Scout transition volunteers to find plan or documentation.
I will do this in the next 30 days, this needs to be completed by June 20th.
2.  Knowing the short falls of the current plan (assuming there is one) I will rewrite the plan with the objective of increasing the crossover percentage by 30%.
To do this I will write a plan that will be distributed to all Packs and Troops in the District.  This plan will outline methods of contacting Packs and Troops within the District, obstacles to over come in the process, and ways to build relationships between units.
I will have the plan complete in the next 60 days.  This goal will be complete by July 20th.
3.  At the August Roundtable, I will present the plan at the Webelos Den Leader break out.  I will distribute copies of the plan at the time and field questions and concerns about the plan.
To ensure a good turn out at the break out I will make contact with Packs through the District emailing system.
This will be completed after the August Roundtable and the emails will go out in the Thundering News Flash in July.
4.  Make contact with Packs that have a low crossover rate and Troops that are not maintaining steady growth.
To complete this goal I will get last years data on troop new Scout registrations and Pack Cross overs.  I will call those units and set up a time to meet with unit leadership to offer assistance in increasing their crossover/ recruiting percentage. 
I will accomplish this by November 2011.
5.  Assess plan and make adjustments to the plan based on Troop and Pack receptive nature and amount of prospective Webelos Scouts that plan on crossing to a Troop.
To do this we will contact Webelos Dens and ask that they fill out Boy Scout applications at time of Troop Visits.  Once a Troop has been identified as the Troop that they are planning on going to, an application will be filled out and reported.
This will be completed by February 2012. 

This simple, measurable, specific outline of 5 goals to reach the mission of developing a training program for Webelos Scout leaders and Troop Committee’s to increase crossover numbers in our District can be accomplished if I work at it and not allow road blocks to stop my progress.  I must be willing to work it to the end.
This outline can be worked for anything in my life.  To lose weight, get healthy, find a deeper understanding of my faith, be a better husband and father, well.. anything.
This is what we Wood Badgers call a Ticket.
It is a great assessment tool and a way to ensure success in anything that you do.  Remember when you are setting your Goals to use the SMART tool.  Specific, measurable, Attainable, relevant, and Time based.  Use it and you will be and do whatever you want.
I promise.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Gilwell a place in the heart

Home from the most emotionally charged Scouting event I have every seen.  Wood Badge course W1-492-11 has left Gilwell and are now working their tickets.  The ax has been pulled from the log and the staff is either home or on their way home.
I will write more later about this amazing chapter in my life, but for now, I need to relax and process the emotions, the joy, and the fact that now the Buffalo Patrol (and the 7 patrols of the course) are embarking on a journey to leave a Legacy that will profoundly impact their lives and the lives of many Scouts and Scouters around them.  They have dropped a pebble in their pond… who will the ripple hit?

Gilwell will never leave my heart… that is where Gilwell lives.

Have a Great Scouting Day!