img_2625Welcome to the Scoutmaster Minute Blog.  The blog started back in 2007, an experiment to document my Scouting life as well as practice (or at least stay sharp) with my writing.
The blog’s tag line “Helping to Deliver the Promise of Scouting” is important to me.  I believe that every Scout deserves the very best in adult leadership that will provide opportunities and adventures.  The promise of Scouting keeps them coming back for more.
I love to teach and coach our young men as they move through Scouting.  Seeing them develop leadership and sharpen skills keeps me coming back for more.
The Scout leaders of today have a challenging task.  I want to help them be successful, in turn, our Scouts will see success and grow to great men.

A little about me.
I have been in Scouting all my life.  I started as a Cub Scout in the National Capitol Area Council in Virginia.  From there we moved to Holland where I moved up to Boy Scouts.  Scouting in the Transatlantic Council was a blessing and full of great adventures.  We moved to Louisiana and I continued my Scouting Adventures in the Calcasieu Area Council.  It was there that I learned backpacking and really developed leadership.
Flash forward… many years.  My oldest son brought home a flyer, like most “Scout join night” flyers, but this one invited MY son to join Scouting.  And we did.  A few years later, his younger brother joined Scouting.. and the rest, as they say is history.
Since becoming a Scouter I have had many fantastic Scouting experiences.  Being the Scoutmaster of Troop 664 in the Thunderbird District, Cascade Pacific Council since 2004 has become a passion of mine.
I had the amazing opportunity to serve as a Jamboree Scoutmaster in 2010 for the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary.  Taking Troop 720 to Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia was a spectacular highlight of my Scouting career.
In 2012 I was selected to represent our Council at the National Meetings of the Boy Scouts of America in San Diego.  An event that I will never forget.


At the National Meeting’s of the BSA in San Diego, CA.

In 2015 I was selected to be an advisor within our Order of the Arrow Lodge to attend the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University.  Again, an experience that proved to be phenomenal.  Being a part the Order of the Arrows 100th Anniversary celebration added to my many Scouting experiences shared with some of the best Scouts I have had the pleasure of serving.
Wood Badge has been another element of my Scouting life that has shaped me and brought me to a better understanding of Scouting’s mission and goals.  It is also a big part of who I have become as a man.
I attended Wood Badge in 2005.  I had my first staffing experience in Wood Badge in 2011 when I served as a Troop Guide.  It was a great experience.  I was asked again to staff in 2013 where I served our Scouters as the Troops Assistant Scoutmaster of Logistics.  It put me in a new role and I learned more about the in’s and out’s of the Wood Badge program.
In 2015 I was once again asked to serve on the Wood Badge staff, this time as the Assistant Scribe.  Again, I was challenged to do something out of my comfort zone and as we developed the staff and served on course, I again learned to appreciate Wood Badge even more.  The following year (2016) I was asked to serve as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Program on our staff.  This opportunity put me deep into the syllabus and again a better understanding of what Wood Badge is designed to accomplish in the legacy building of Scout leaders within their units.
I was selected to be a Course Director/ Scoutmaster for a course in 2017.  I am deep into the planning of that course right now and much of my Scouting world is consumed with it.  That’s a good thing.

On the shirt resume`
I have been awarded the Silver Beaver(2010), the District Award of Merit (2007), the Scoutmaster Key (2007), the Scoutmaster training award, the NESA Scoutmaster Award of Merit (2006), the Cubmaster Award, Cub Scouter Award, Webelos Den Leader award, Community Organization Award, William D. Boyce Award, Jame E. West Fellowship, and I still wear (in the form of a knot) my Arrow of Light.
I am a Vigil Honor member in the Order of the Arrow and am in my 13th year as a Scoutmaster.

I am a collector of Scouting memorabilia.
I am married with three great kids.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

7 Responses to About

  1. Elwyn Custer says:

    A question if you please,
    What are your thoughts on a pet being allowed to attend a Boy Scout Campout, a family campout, etc.
    Elwyn Custer
    Troop 65 Committee Member
    Last Frontier Council

    • Elwyn,
      I don’t have a problem with a pet, like a dog, on a camp out as long as the pet is not a focus. In wilderness area that pet will be a ‘heartbeat” and if it will take the place of a youth in Wilderness area where you are only allowed to have 12 in a party.. then no.
      I would also caution to make sure pets are allowed in the area you are camping.
      In so far as family camping.. I don’t have an opinion as my troop does not family camp.
      Again, I think the bottom line is whether or not the pet is a distraction or not.
      This has never been an issue with us, the Scouts of my troop tend to keep their families and pets at home.

      Thanks for the question.


  2. Chris says:

    While your feelings about pets maybe common among most Scouts and Scouters you may want to concider this excert from the BSA website…

    Animals on Campouts
    Q. Can we bring animals or pets on campouts?
    A. No, animals or pets are not part of tours or activities in Scouting. This does not preclude merit badge programs where specific animals are part of the merit badge (Horsemanship, Mammal Study, Reptile and Amphibian Study, etc.). The preface to the Guide to Safe Scouting states that, “In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.”
    Hope this helps

    ASM Tr615 Evans,GA

    • I am not sure that “Not having a problem with it” would be considered as my feelings on the issue. We have never had a pet come on a camp out so it has never been an issue. I agree with the BSA policy on pets. I do know that (at least out here) many Scouts and their families have hunting dogs and I have seen them on camp outs within other Troops in our area. I have also seen dogs at summer camp that belong to camp directors etc.
      In so far as pets in my Troop. It has not happened, no one has ever asked, and I can’t see it happening any time soon.
      I would only add that as I stated in my previous answer, as long as the pet is not the focus or a distraction, I don’t see the big deal. But the BSA has weighed in on the issue and their policy will be enforced.
      I think the BSA’s policy as you have stated is a bit of a stretch.. I see an overly concerned mom envolved in that one.
      Just my opinion there.
      Thanks for the comment.

  3. David Cowan, SM says:

    consider making the site searchable

  4. Malinda Senanayake says:

    Dear brother Scout,

    I am absolutely stunned by the amount of effort you have put in to this great venture. And I bow to you with respect.I am a scout master in Sri Lanka a land far away, though we have a slightly different program the core is absolutely the same. I would be happy to mail you our national badge, hopefully it would be quite an addition to your collection.

    Please do drop me your postal address and I will have a few badges shipped as time permits.
    keep up the good work.

    Thank you

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