Monthly Archives: June 2011

Giving it all away

Character is something that I talk about a lot with the Scouts of my Troop.  It is a subject worth discussion often with these young men that are influenced by popular culture, peers, and sports figures.  Now, if you have read this blog for any period of time, you know that I am a huge fan of Football, especially College Football… so it is no surprise that when I heard the news yesterday about USC loosing their 2004 National Title it was going to have to be worked into the Scoutmaster Minute.
The stripping of USC ’04 Title is a great example of what a lack of character will get you.
Again, when you have Character… there is no one on the planet that can take it from you… you can certainly give it away, and once you do, you will never get it back.  And a lack of Character will get you in trouble in the long run.
USC gave away their Character.  They knew what was going on and made a choice to do nothing about it.  They cheated.  Now I say they because we are talking about an institutional problem.  One player and a coach that seemed to look the other way and break the rules.  They are a part of the problem and the University chose to remain a power house in the NCAA rather than do the right thing.  The price.  7 years later they are stripped of the title.  They lost Scholarships for incoming students, and they are now left out of 3 years worth the chances to win another title.  All because of a lack of character, character by the way they will never get back.
You see, they may win another National title years from now.. and Football player will still want to go to that University, but in my eyes.. and the eyes of many, they lack Character and always will.
As Scouts we have a guide that will never let us give it all away.  A guide that will never allow us to cheat.  You can’t cheat as long as you are Trustworthy,Loyal and obedient.  You can’t hurt when you are Friendly, Courteous, Helpful, and Kind.  You will do the right thing as long as you remain Brave and Reverent. 
The Scout Law is a great foundation of Character.  It will keep you from Giving it all away!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, Oath and Law, Scout Law, Scoutmaster minute, Scouts, teamwork, Values | Leave a comment

This weeks Poll

Categories: blog | 2 Comments

Prepared For Life

Here is a video I dug up that I think speaks to the core of where we are heading for the next 100 years of Scouting!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Categories: blog, Character, Citizenship, Climbing, Cooking, Good Turn Daily, High Adventure, Ideals, Jamboree, Journey to Excellence, Just fun, Leadership, Leave no trace, Motto, Oath and Law, respect, Scout, Scout Law, Scouting, Scouts, Service, Skills, stories | Leave a comment

Within my Power

Everyone that is a volunteer or has ever volunteered has heard the quote“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like, but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.”
But did you know that this famous quote is from a Scouter?  Well, it is and it first appeared in the October 1950 issue of Scouting Magazine.  That’s right, the author was a man named Forest E. Witcraft (1894 – 1967).  He was a scholar, teacher, and Boy Scout administrator.
The other night at our District Dinner a Scoutmaster and friend of mine shared the story in it’s entirety with the Scouters of our District.  Peter sent it to me in the form of a comment on the blog, but I thought it would be a better post, that way it would not get skipped over.
So here it is.  The name of the article as it appeared in October 1950 is called “Within my Power”.  Enjoy!

Within My Power
by Forest E. Witcraft

I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated. I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.
Yet I may someday mould destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.
A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.
These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.
All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.
A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, comments, Ideals | 1 Comment

Standing on the shoulders of Giants

When I became a new Scoutmaster a good friend took me aside and gave me some great advice.  He told me that its all about the Troop program.  We were building a Troop from scratch and so he assured me that if we built a great program, the Scouts would come and we would have a troop that would do great things.
That was 7 years ago.  We built a great program and as the Scouts got older they all added to that program building it stronger and stronger each year.  Annually our District, like every other District in the BSA hosts their District Dinner or Annual Awards Banquet.  For the past 4 years Troops 174, 544, and my Troop (664) have been competing for the Troop of the Year.. Trading off between the three of us, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, typically separated by 1 or points between Troops.  My Troop has never been number one.. until now.
Last year Troop 174 won the top honors and we came in a very close second.  There was a 3 point spread between 1st and 3rd place.  This year there was a 4 point spread between 1st and 4th place and once again the three Troops were in the hunt.  When they announced that Troop 544 was third place, I immediately thought.. “Well, we got second again this year”, then they announced that 174 was the runner up.  My committee chair looked over at me and we smiled.  “And the Troop of the Year is 664!” our Awards chair announced.  7 years of building and working with our Scouts to build this program and here it is the Troop of the Year for our District.
I am proud of the work that the Scouts have done, the support of a fantastic committee, and the dedication of some great Assistant Scoutmasters that made this all happen.
It all started with a Giant helping me get started.  Thanks

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: planning, Service, teamwork | 1 Comment

Boy Scout Training

I just took a peek at the current results of the Poll on Training… and I think it is right where I thought it would be.  “Leaving us wanting More”.
We talked a lot about training at the annual meetings and just how bad it needs to be upgraded and changed.
I think that the BSA is on mark by requiring its leaders to be trained.  But the training needs to be more specific to the leaders job and it needs to provide the information that is going to do two things.
First.  Help the leader better serve youth.  Training needs to include sessions on mentoring, coaching, and dealing with youth with special needs.  The training needs to included “Train the Trainer” sessions, giving the leader skills to train youth leaders.  And the training needs to tackle issues that help the leader work with developing young men.
Second.  The training needs to address specific BSA policy so we are all providing the same program (delivery methods may vary).
Current BSA training is geared to serve the lowest common denominator.  We need to move away from this philosophy in training and train those leaders that we really want working with our youth.  Now, before I get hate mail.. I honestly think that Chartering Partners need to be selective in who they allow to be leaders.  I understand that it is hard to say no to a volunteer.. but lets not forget what we are trying to accomplish here.  These are the youth that we want leading America one day, yes this is “only Scouting”, but we are working with young men in their formative years.  We need to be carefull how we are training them and teaching them to be men.  The wrong leader can leave the Scout with a bad Scouting experience.
Boy Scout training does leave us wanting more.
Lets take Wood Badge for example.  Wood Badge should not be a training event that you attend 5, 10, 15 years along the training continuum.  It should be training right after a Scout leader completes his or her basic course.  They would get a lot more out of it I think.
Advanced training should then focus on skills, techniques, and should be delivered in Workshop formats.
Let me know what you think.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Skills, training | 2 Comments

SMMPodcast # 87 – Annual Meetings

Welcome back to this weeks SMMPodcast.  This week I share some thoughts about the 2011 Annual Meetings of the Boy Scouts of America.  It was a fantastic experience.
This weeks Podcast is sponsored by The Other Scoutmaster’s Handbook.
A couple take home points from the meetings. 1.  Use the Journey to Excellence.  2. If what you are doing does not directly impact the youth we serve.  Stop Doing it.  Listen in as I share my thoughts.
You can listen or Download the show here SMMPodcast # 87

Leave feedback, comments, or suggestions by emailing me, or dropping a comment here on the blog.  Don’t forget to visit us on iTunes and leave a review… it only makes Scouting get a better rating in a world that really needs it!
Have A Great Scouting Day!

Categories: comments, Journey to Excellence, podcast | Leave a comment

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