Month: November 2011

Gear Junky

As you all aware I am a gear junky… It’s time to replace my old MSR Whisperlite stove.  I have had it since the mid ’80’s and it has served me well.  But its time for something new and improved.  I am looking at the Soto Muka Stove.  There are some great features of this stove that really appeal to me.
So it is on my Christmas list.  I sure hope my wife subscribes to my blog…

So, hopefully after Christmas I can do a good review on this great piece of gear.  Hint, Hint!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

One Door Closes

It is said that when one door closes.. another door opens.  Much as one chapter of a book leads to the next chapter we had a door closed last night opening the door or moving on to the next chapter in the history of our Troop.
Last night when I arrived at our Troop meeting, I was greeted by our Charter Organization Representative and another member of the Knights of Columbus.  They were friendly and said that they were paying the Troop a visit.   After I had met with a few Scouts that showed up early, they asked if I had a minute before the meeting started.  “Certainly” I said.  We went into a private meeting room.  I thought this was a great time to talk about all the great things that the Troop has been doing and to give him an updated calender of the 2012 Troop events.  So I started in with how we were doing on recruiting and advancement, then went on to talk about our run for “Troop of the Year” kind of going over our Journey to Excellence Score card.
About half way through my impromptu presentation, the COR asked if we could talk about recharter.  “Of course, I would love to talk about recharter” after all,  our recharter packet is due to the District on Wednesday.  They said that the Knights had discussed and voted to renew our Charter.  “That’s great I said.. we would hate to lose the charter partner after 8 great years”.  Well, they said.. no problem, we are going to sign the charter.. HOWEVER…  Yep.. here it comes.. the slamming of the door…
“The Knights” they started… “Voted to renew the charter, but you can no longer meet in the Knights Hall.”  My jaw hit the floor.. “WHAT?”
“Well, we [the Knights] held a discussion, and the Knights felt like you [the Scouts] no longer needed the Hall.”
“What the heck does that mean?”  I asked.  I was completely dumbfounded.  The more I asked why, the deeper and deeper the COR and Brother Knight hummed and Haa’d and danced around giving me an honest answer.
I think it is fair for me to say at this time, that I have been a Knight for 19 years.  I loyally served the Knights of Columbus as Grand Knight for several terms and as District Deputy for a term, not to mention being the Scoutmaster for the most successful program the Knights Council has.
They went on to say that we could still use the basement to store “all our gear”.. to which I replied, “What gear?”  They said, that this was the best they could do and unfortunately there was nothing else they could do for us.  Then they said, but we really want to recharter you.
I asked them what for… if we have no place to meet, we don’t need you.  As much as you are done with us, we also must be done with you…
Part of the responsibility of the CO is to “Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved”  Here are the Chartered Organization Responsibilities”
By receiving a charter from the Boy Scouts of America, the chartered organization agrees to:

  • Conduct Scouting in accordance with its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the BSA.
  • Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families.
  • Appoint a chartered organization representative who is a member of the organization and will represent it to the Scouting district and council, serving as a voting member of each.
  • Select a unit committee of parents and members of the organization who will screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization’s leadership standards as well as the BSA’s standards.
  • Provide adequate and secure facilities for Scouting units to meet on a regular schedule with time and place reserved.
  • Encourage the units to participate in outdoor experiences.

At that point I heard the Scout Oath being recited, so I thanked them for the 8 good years and told them I had to get out to the meeting.  They asked me not to be mad or upset.  I told them that I was not mad, nor was I upset, I was disappointed in them, in the organization that I thought had a dedication to both youth and community.  I was disappointed that they could feel that this was the “right thing to do”.  I am disappointed in the Knights for displacing their Troop.  I told them that I was not mad and that this would be all that needs to be said.  They told me that we had till the 1st of the year.  I told them that in 24 hours we will have another Chartering Partner and they could rest assured that nothing will slow our program down and the Scouts will not be impacted by their decision.
One door closes… another door opens.
Today, I received many phone calls discussing the situation and it appears we already have a new place.  A bigger, better facility, and a Chartering Partner that values the Scouting Program.
We have not locked anything in yet, we have feelers out to two other organizations so we want to keep the options open.  After all we have 30 days to make the move.  We did have the Knights sign to get the charter in on time, but the Council knows we will be changing in the very near future.
Another door opens.
I am amazed at how our Troop committee mobilized in this effort.  Last night before the end of the meeting, they had a plan of action in place and things were on the move.  The Assistant Scoutmasters were already making calls and seeking the new location.  Today calls went out and we spent a good amount of time exchanging notes and discussions.  We are the move and not looking back.
One of the mom’s of the Troop has already volunteered to take the Charter Organization name off the flag.  Yes, they said we take everything with us.  They want nothing.
So the door is open, another chapter begins in the life of our Troop.
Last night I have to admit I was mad, disappointed, and upset that this chapter had closed.  But today is a new day and a new chapter, a fork in the trail.. the path to a new adventure.
One Door closed.. another Opened Wide!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Genealogy Merit Badge

As my son’s worked to earn their genealogy Merit Badge they learned a lot about our family and as politically incorrect as it sounds, Our People.
My dad has become a real student of our family history, he has spent the better part of 2 decades researching, studying, and collecting information on our family and the heritage that it has.  For us it is not just about the family, but a people that collectively made up the community in which our family worshiped, worked, and raised generations.
There is an organization called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.  They are a people that have a long and rich history, that many are unfamiliar with.  Locally, Concordia University has dedicated a large library and research center for the AHSGR.
Places like this are great opportunities for Scouts to learn about their genealogy.
Having said that.. another less known historical fact, this event in history had a major effect on my family.
Today is “Remembrance Day”, when 70 years ago Dictator Joseph Stalin effected the mass Deportation of 1.3 Million Ethnic Germans living in Russia. In 1941 he began the Mass Deportation of our people to Labor camps in Siberia and Central Asia.
 The “Volga Germans, Unserer Leute” (Our People) were interned or murdered in 1941, few made it to the Gulags.
 Jakob, Georg, Adam and Philipp Schleining were Killed on 15 Feb 42 in our Ancestral village of Norka, along with hundreds more of our relatives and Neighbors.
 “Remember Us” were the watch word they left us in letters, messages and pleas as they were deported;  “Denken sie daran uns”.   (Remember us).
Help your Scouts know their heritage.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Thanksgiving 2011

Today as we gather together with friends and family to celebrate yet another year that we all have been so fortunate and blessed, let us reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.  The list is long my friends.  In today’s world, of uncertain economic strength, world conflicts, and governments gone wild, look back on you and your family.  Though we may not all be wealthy, we are rich.  We may not be powerful, but we have more influence than Kings and Presidents.  We may not have a mansion, but a roof over our heads surrounded by the ones we love is a palace in the heart.
My friends, on this Thanksgiving day.  Be Thankful.

The Philmont Grace

For Food, For Raiment, For Life, For Opportunity, For Friendship, For Fellowship

We thank Thee, O Lord.

Amen.

HAVE A GREAT SCOUTING DAY!

Video: Dead Horse Camp out

Last weekend our Troop went caving up at the Dead Horse Cave.  We had a great time.  Here is a little video of mostly the adult Scouters of the Troop.  Sorry, it was way to dark in the cave to get real good video.
Enjoy!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

SMMPodcast #98 Gear Q&A

Welcome back, in this show we answer a listeners email on gear.  It is a peek into some of the gear I take and why.
Hope you enjoy the show.
I am looking for help with the 100th Show.. drop a voice mail to the SMMVoicemail Box by calling 503.308.8297 or you can email me a recorded voice message.  I really want you to be a part my 100th Show.. so get your voice message in.
Thank you all for your continued support and listening.
This show is sponsored by the Boy Scout Store
Have a Great Scouting Day!