Month: July 2011

SMMPodcast Show #90

This is the “Tweet3” Show.  A few weeks back I asked you all to send in your questions via Twitter or email.  Anything you wanted to know, Scouting related, personal… whatever.  Well, this is the show that you helped make.
I would love to make the “Tweet3” a regular segment in the show in the future.  So keep your “Tweet3” questions coming.
This show is sponsored by my good friends at
I hope you enjoy the show.  Please leave some feedback, comments, or a nice rating on iTunes.
You can also listen to the show on Stitcher now!  So get your free download for your smart phone and enjoy all the PTCMedia podcasts on Stitcher.
And of course if you want the direct download for the show.. here it is—> SHOW 90

Have a Great Scouting Day!

The age of an Eagle?

Funny how time fly’s when you’re having fun.  This week has been an amazing week of Scouting and thus, I have not been on the computer much at all.  The Outdoor channel is currently filming Scouts from my Troop on an amazing adventure for the series Scouting for Adventure
Last night I sat down with the Key 3 of our District, we had a little meeting on the changes we were going to make in the coming year.  The conversation turned to advancement.  The subject “young Eagle Scouts”.
Now before I go any further, let me tell you what the Boy Scouts say on the subject.
So having said that if a Scout completes all of the requirements and has everything signed off properly.. well then.. he’s an Eagle Scout.
Now some will argue.. and have, that a 13-year-old is too young to be an Eagle Scout.  After all, we are looking for a young man who has DEMONSTRATED Leadership, a young man who has been an ACTIVE member of his Troop, a Scout that is KNOWLEDGEABLE in skills etc.  These are all super valid points and I agree whole heartedly.  Now, here is the rub.  Has a 13-year-old done all of that.. I mean really done it all.  Sure he may have served as a Patrol leader in a New Scout Patrol.  Went to one summer camp and earned a bunch of merit badges, and can do the basics that got him to First class, but has he developed enough to truly test his leadership at the Troop level?  Has he been that active?
I don’t know.
The other argument against is the maturity level of the young man.  At 13 is he mature enough to understand his responsibility as an Eagle Scout?
I don’t know.
An argument for young Eagle Scouts is that they now can spend more time in the Troop as an Eagle Scout.  Ok.. I buy that.
But I don’t know.
You see, boy develop at different rates and stages.  They are all different.  I know some 13 year olds that act 18 and some 18 year olds that act 12… so that is not a good measure.  I know some young Scouts that develop the skills at a much faster rate than some of the older Scouts.. so that is not a good measure.
So here is the bottom line in my opinion.  Becoming an Eagle Scout is not an excercise in passing through gates.  Becoming and Eagle Scout is all about BECOMING the Eagle, developing leadership skills, demonstrating the skills of Scouting, and learning about the world around him.  The way I see it is that the young man must participate in five Scoutmaster conferences before his conference for Eagle.  IF the Scoutmaster and the Scout have not had these discussions during those conferences, IF the Scoutmaster has failed to mentor and coach the Scout along and develop him, IF the Scoutmaster has signed off the book and in good consciousness said that everything was alright.. then the Scout should be an Eagle Scout.
So having said that…. a 13-year-old Eagle Scout?  I have not had one in my Troop.. and it’s not because any adult has thrown up a road block.  If the book says to demonstrate.. the Scout demonstrates, if the book says to show, the Scout shows, if the book says to explain, the Scout explains.  If he does not do it correctly.. it does not get signed off.
If the book says to serve in a leadership role for 6 months.. then the Scout is expected to actually serve in that role.  And during the Scoutmaster conference explain what he did while in that leadership position.
You see the road to Eagle is not meant to be hard, but it is meant to allow the Scout to navigate the program and develop.  You become an Eagle Scout over the course of the journey.
There are obstacles to over come and challenges to face, that is the way the program is set up.  Can it be done by 13, I suppose.  But at the end of the day, does the Scout get a patch out of it.. or a life experience?
I don’t have the answer here, the book does.  I can only give you my take on the subject.
I am curious to know what you think.  Drop us some feedback, leave a comment, or shoot an email!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Troop Information Board

I am sure that most if not all of you have a nice information board that you use to attract prospective Scouts and their families.  You break it out on recruit nights and open houses, take along to community events, and generally show it off when ever the opportunities arise.
Well, tomorrow we have a crew from the Outdoor channel coming to hang out with our Troop for a week.  They will be taking some of our Scouts on a week long adventure.  This is a huge opportunity for our Troop, our Council, and the Boy Scouts of America to show Scouts and Scouting and tell our story!  We are honored to have been chosen.
But this also became a good time to update our information board.
So, after yard work and some tinkering with the hammock.. I updated (completely overhauled) our information board.
We keep ours up all the time in the Knights of Columbus meeting Hall.  This way our Charter Org. can see what we are up to and know that we are doing the right thing.
With the Troop of the Year trophy sitting prominently in the hall, as well as the Pack of the Year trophy, the Knights sponsored Cub Scout Pack won this year also, having Scouting out front is exactly where we want to be.
If you have an information board, what kind of stuff is on it?  Let us know, drop a comment in the comments section, an email, or feel free to leave a voice mail by calling 503-308-8297.






Have a Great Scouting Day!

DIY underquilt for the hammock

I have been working on some DIY gear lately.. not really because I have the need to make my own stuff, more because I wanted the challenge of making it.
I took an old synthetic sleeping bag that was rated at 10 degrees.  The zipper is broke and the boys got new bags, so this was a prime candidate to be cut in half.
I cut the bag in half and sewed the edges closed.  I cut out the zipper and sewed a grosgrain ribbon edge along the sides.
I ran shock cord through the grosgrain edge to run to the suspension of the hammock.
All in all this works well.  I still have some tinkering to do with the ends.. maybe another piece of cord to draw the ends closed.  I need to work on the hang also, as the Hennessy Hammock has the asymmetrical hang.  I made some adjustments last night moving the shock cord over the rear guy line, this kept the foot end of the under quilt in place.  The shoulder area seemed to stay put until I rolled over onto my side, then I could feel it slide under me.  I am sure the fix is in the way I have the shock cord running to the suspension line.
The entire project cost me $12 for the shock cord and the grosgrain ribbon.   That’s about $130 cheaper than buying a new one.
I slept in it last night until I got too hot and instead of just reaching under and pushing it aside, I went into the house and slept in my own bed.  I love the hammock… but c’mom… my bed…
Good project.. think I may get into more DIY stuff.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Poll results – Summer camp

The results are in for the “What do you do at Summer camp” Poll.

And it looks like 68% of you participate in Adult Programs.  26% of you just hang out with a good book and pretty much the rest of you get in the Scouts way (6%). 
OK..  this is for the 6 percenters out there… STOP IT!!!  Summer camp is not for you to get in their way!  Get on board with the 68% that are doing it right!
There are many options for you at summer camp.. none of which call for you to get in the way.
Have a great summer camp.. but let the Scouts do the same.
If I have offended those of you in the 6%… page 170 of the new Scout Handbook will assist you in treating for shock.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

…our sacred honor

The last line of the Declaration of Independence is often over shadowed by the rest of this powerful document.
As the Declaration begins, our founding Fathers set down a path that was treasonous to the crown.  As they, point by point outlined the reasons to declare Independence from the crown, they were driven deeper and deeper into certain trouble.  Knowing the committment that they had for the cause of freedom they write; And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” 
They knew full well that in the end this declaration was the nails that would seal their coffins.  They pledged their sacred Honor.
Well what does that mean?  Honor means to be fair, to be accountable, to maintain integrity in one’s beliefs and actions, to be a credit to.  Yes, by definition our founding Fathers demonstrated a great deal of honor.
When we pledge the Scout Oath, we start by saying “On my Honor”…  But do we have the same level of committment that our founding Fathers had.. at least intellectually?  When we make a promise, do we keep it?  When we say that “On my honor, I will do my best”.. do we?  Are we accountable for our actions, do we maintain integrity in our beliefs?  Are we a credit to our families, our organizations and our selves?  These are questions that I wonder if the founding Fathers contemplated as they sat and wrote the declaration.  I wonder if they had trust that each and every one of the signers understood and believed as they did.  Deep in my mind I think the answer is yes.  Another time and place maybe?  No, I don’t think so.  I think that Honor is just as alive today as it was on the 4th of July in 1776. 
What I do think is that we don’t hold each other as accountable in its practice.
When our Scouts raise that right hand and say the Scout Oath.. it’s not just words that get the meeting started, it is our sacred honor.  It is a promise, a pledge, an Oath that means something.
Have a Safe Independence Day Weekend!  Think about where we would have been had these brave men not pledged their Sacred Honor.
Have a Great Scouting Day!