Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Boy Scout Creed

Within minutes of the last post being published I got an email asking for the contents of the “Boy Scout Creed” pictured in the post.
Here is the complete text of the “Boy Scout Creed” by Ludvig S. Dale

To be trustworthy in all things.  Loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind.  To learn obedience and practise cheerfulness and Thrift.  To be brave, clean and reverent.  Above all to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.  To “Be Prepared” at all times to do my duty to God and my country, and to do a Good Turn to someone every Day.

Ludvig S. Dale was the National Recruiting Officer for the Boy Scouts of America in 1914.

I love to see these older pictures and learn about Scouting’s rich history.  Makes the future of Scouting so much brighter.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Oath and Law, Values | Leave a comment

Inquiring minds want to know…

As always, the conversations that we have with our Scouts are so telling and rekindle hope that these young men are going to bring so much to our future.  Last night I told the Troop of our pending move.  I did not want to get into the weeds with the boys, but made an open invitation to both the Scouts and their Parents that if they wanted to talk about our situation I would love to sit with them and discuss the matter.
A few parents came up after the meeting and asked about the move and why, and then gave us a vote of confidence and assured us that we were doing the right thing.  Then the best part of the night happened.  Two new Scouts asked if they could have a Scoutmaster Conference.. one of those “Stop the World” conferences that we promise we can have any place, any time.
These two Scouts crossed over into the Troop in November.  They wanted to know if I could share with them the reason why we were asked to leave.  They wanted to know if the Troop was going to be ok and if I was going to stay.
The discussion led me to talking to them about principles and values.  You see, I told them, this issue has become one of integrity.   We believe as Boy Scouts (and Scouters) that to be good men, we must have integrity.  We find that in the 12 points of the Scout Law and the Promise that we make when we say the Scout Oath.
A man of integrity must be Trustworthy.  This is the bedrock of forming values.  Without Trust and Honesty you can go no further in a relationship.  These two Scouts wanted an honest answer and I could only give them the answer (s) that I was given.  I asked them what they thought about the explanation.  Neither one thought it was sufficient and did not understand why were asked to leave.  I then explained that arguing or debating a principle issue can only really be done effectively when both parties have principles strong enough to fight for or debate about.
Here is where the discussion really got good.  We talked about where these principles come from.  Church, Family, Beliefs, The Scout Oath and Law.   They explained to me what they thought of principles and shared with me their values and how they got them.  They come from good homes, parents that care about them and desire the very best for them.  They have learned in their short 11 years to be kind, respectful, and inquisitive.  They are curious about how things work in their world.
We sat for about 25 minutes and talked about the current issue as well as their goals and dreams in Scouting.  I really appreciate the Scouts and their candor.  I was happy that they took the time to learn more and that they are not afraid to ask when they feel the need to know.
These guys are going to go far in Scouting and life.  Having discussions like last night are really why I love being a Scoutmaster.
When was the last time you really sat and talked with a Scout?
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, comments, Ideals, Oath and Law, Scoutmaster conference, Values | Leave a comment

Scouts Own

“Where two or more are gathered in his name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20)
This passage has been stuck in my mind and my heart for some time now.  You see, Church to me is less in the building as it is in the community and in the heart and mind of the believer.  I was dragged into a debate the other day about salvation and church.  I won’t recreate the debate here, but the gist of it was that a coworker of mine seemed to think that if you did not attend one specific church, well than.. you are doomed.
The basis of his argument tended toward the brick and mortar of the church, and in my opinion, less with the matters of the heart.  We agreed on each and every point that should lead us to a good life and a possible salvation, but in the end could not come to resolution on which building we should worship in.
I shared with him the idea that I did not need a church house to be “saved”.  I have everything I need in my heart and mind.  Well this blew his mind.  I talked to him about Scouts own services… held in the woods.  “Can’t be done” he said.. “No substitute for ‘the real thing'” he went on.  I told him that I am a lot more connected with my God when we are out in the woods than I ever have been sitting in the pews at church.  Watching as our young Chaplains Aide conducts the Scouts own service is more spiritual to me than hearing someone go on and on about how I should live my life and oh by the way.. dig deep when the collection plate comes around.
I have heard wisdom beyond their years come from a Scout as he talks about what living the Scout Law means.  I have seen as both young and old men tear up at the sight of Gods majesty as we reflect on his power and wonder sitting at a vista along the trail.  I know God and He knows me and He gets to decide who joins him in heaven.
I have sung praise in snow banks and got on my knees in prayer led by a Scout that does not recite a prayer, but talks to Our Father from the heart.  This is Church… this is where I know God.
We were on a camp out one gorgeous Spring when our Chaplains aide spoke the words, “Where two or more are gathered in his name, there am I among them”.  I looked at one of the Assistant Scoutmasters that was standing next to me, we nodded in agreement.  I then panned the group of Scouts that sat quietly listening to their friend talk about a Scout being Reverent.  I honestly felt the presence of my God right there.
Now I am not saying that churches are not an important part of people’s lives.  But Brick and Mortar buildings only stand to facilitate what goes on inside them.
My coworker is a good Christian man, I am sure that his heart is in the right place.  But sometimes don’t you think the mind should follow.
My sister and I talked the other night about church.  We were both raised in a family that never missed a Sunday.  We believe and participate fully in the sacraments.  As we have aged, we both have spent less time in the building, but our faith has grown stronger.  It was interesting to talk with her about how she feels about this.  There is some guilt about not being in the building, but fundamentally we both feel stronger in our faith.
I suppose I have separated my faith from the business of the church.  I can’t stand the politics and the drama, I refuse to participate in a show.  I want spiritual food and I find that within the context of the Scouts own and my relationship with our Lord.  I have heard some churches refer to the “personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour”.. I have one of them, do I need the building or is two or more of us gathered in His name enough?
It is a debate in the mind now, one that I seem to be winning.  I believe.. sometimes I think the show that runs at 8 and 11 on First street misses the point sometimes.  It’s not a curtain call, its our spiritual well-being that I seek.  I find it in the woods.
This is a heavy topic, I want to know what you think, how you feel.  I don’t want to debate you… but I am interesting in hearing your take on this issue.  Leave a comment.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Scout Law, Values | 6 Comments

Can’t or Won’t?

It’s that time of the year again, when we talk about Troop budgets, recharter, and PLC meetings to execute another great year of Scouting.
The other night at our Troop’s committee meeting we looked deep into our budget to see where we could save the Scouts some money.  The discussion led to us never willing to compromise our program because of money.  If we need it, we will find a way to get it.
It was then that I heard a parent say that some of the boy’s “Can’t” come up with that kind of money.  I reminded them that a Scout is Thrifty and that the money is there.. they need to go get it.  Any Scout that fails to participate in Candy sales, Pop corn sales, and Wreath sales, should never complain about not having money.  We have Scouts in the Troop that go out every year and sell enough popcorn to pay their way, if one can.. they all can.
I refuse to buy into the idea that “Times are tough” and so there are no resources out there.  BULL.  We do not live in the most wealthy community.. and still retail spending is up 20% from last year.  Unemployment is down significantly, and yes there are other Scouts that get it done.
So it’s a matter of “Can’t or Won’t”. 
I never allow a Scout to say they “Can’t” do something.  They CAN DO anything they want to.. they need to try and they need to put their minds in a condition that never allows them to give up.  If one person says no to Popcorn, then keep asking the next 10 people that come by.
“Can’t” is not acceptable.  In the world we live in you can do what ever you set you mind to.  Failing yourself when you say “I Can’t” becomes habitual.
Parents that tell their kids that they “Can’t” do a certain thing are not helping.  I have seen to many parents that will not let their kids try.  No matter the condition, “Can’t” is unacceptable.
I have a few autistic Scouts in my Troop.  They CAN do anything they want to.  The sky is the limit.. NOT Autism.
When they try and succeed.. they win and that builds confidence in them.
So when I hear a Scout or the Parent of a Scout say that they can’t afford something, I have to ask.. “Can’t or Won’t”.  There are too many ways for a Scouts to pay his way through Scouting.
Mowing Lawns, Raking leaves, Shoveling Snow, selling Popcorn, Wreaths, or what ever your Troop does, Baby sitting, collecting cans and scrap metal, walking dogs, painting fences, the list goes on and on… and by the way.. this list is a list of some of the things that Scouts in my Troop do to pay their way.
So you Can’t or you Won’t… which is it?

Henry Ford once said, “whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right!”


Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: blog, Character, Ideals, Scout Law, Values | 2 Comments

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