Author: Scoutmaster Jerry

Fresh

img_2859As this new Journey begins I thought it was time for a new look.. a fresh start.. that feeling you have when you change your socks before a long hike, you know, it feels warm on your feet, clean, and cozy.
With my renewed sense of enthusiasm, focused direction, and vision for the next 24 months or so I felt the need to clean up the blog and step off on the journey fresh.
In the header picture I put a saying that has become somewhat of a mantra in our Wood Badge circles.. “The Journey is the Thing!”.  It is not about the “stuff” or the little things that bog us down, it is about the experience of our journey.  On the Wood Badge course, in our Troops, and in our lives it is all about the journey.
We set benchmarks and way points that help us find our way or create places where we stop and reflect.  At those points we create and share memories and bookmarks of our journey.. but it is always about the journey.
Too many times we rush to an end only to find.. the end.  What is next?  We see that in our Scouts.  They race to achieve a rank or merit badge, but then what?  What did we learn, what did we accomplish, who did we effect, what was the legacy that will looked back on?  Did we do the “Thing” just to do the “thing”?  Or was there something more important that we may have missed.  We we look at the journey we see a greater vision of were we want to go, what we want to look like, what our legacy will be.  We can chart a course to making our time on life’s trail worth walking.
Now, I don’t want to sound to lofty or like I am making an attempt at being the next guru.. but I am suggesting that we take a closer look at our journey and understand that while we fill our lives with “things” or “Stuff”.. in the end the things and stuff will only become snap shots along the way of the journey.. mostly forgotten when it gets replaced with the next “thing” or collection of “stuff”.
The journey is the thing.  It is important that we do not loose focus on the importance of having a life that is legacy driven and more meaningful.
Don’t run out and get rid of your stuff… make them a meaningful part of the journey.
Look at the trail you find yourself on and ask yourself is the Journey the thing?  If not, what can I do to change that?
Your vision is powerful and will be life changing for you and those around you.  Make sure to be laser focused on the Journey.  It is the thing.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Represent

Tonight I had the pleasure of sitting behind a young man as his advocate at his Eagle Scout Board of Review.  I have sat behind many young men as they answered questions and talked to tEaglecourthe board about leadership and their Scouting experience.  Each time as we prepare to walk in to the board, I give them a bit of advice or encouragement.  I always say to the young man, “Represent your family and our Troop well.”  They never disappoint.
By the time they get to the Eagle Board there is not much else to say.  They have the skills, they are good leaders, and they have demonstrated all that it takes to be called an Eagle Scout.
Being an Eagle Scout at that point is not as much about what they have done, but what they are about to do in their lives.  All of the skills, the leadership development, the projects, the camping, and being apart of a team has shaped them.  It has made them a young man that certainly represents themselves and their families well.
The board looks at the young man as representative of his Troop.  They spend an hour with a young man as see how effective the Troop uses the methods and how well the Aims of Scouting are being achieved in the unit.  The Eagle Candidate becomes the measure of a successful Scouting program and representative of all that is great about Scouting.
Tonight was no exception.  Our young man tonight represented us all well.
One of the things that I love about the Eagle Board of Review is the “outside” members of the board.  Those members of the board from within the community, the Scouts Church or School or from Dad’s work.  For many of them, they are unfamiliar with Scouting or Scouting’s programs.  They know that Scouts help old ladies across the street, but after an hour sitting with our young men, they learn what Scouting is really all about.  They see leadership in action, they see growth of our young men, they see friendship and teamwork.  They are introduced to programs that build memories and skills.  They get a first hand look at how cool our Scouts really think Scouting is.  They get to see the Scouting experience manifested in a young man that will soon be a valuable member of our community.  It is a great representation of Scouting.
I am proud of all of the young men that have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in our unit.  I know that they earned it and it means a great deal to them and us.  They represent us all well.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

I’m Back

readywaveAfter about a year off.. The Blog is back!.. Now I don’t expect you all to jump up and down and praise the Scouting gods. And.. I’m not going to give a long explanation as to why I took some much needed time away.. lets just say.. The blog was not a priority lately.
So here is what is going on…
First. Life is good.. Life is REAL Good!
Second. Over the past year we have been launching a program within my unit and within the Cascade Pacific Council called Vertical Scouting. I will post more about this later.. but it is a fantastic way of growing units, keeping youth in Scouting longer, and promoting the full spectrum of Scouting programs. It is working well and being received well within the Council. More on that later.
And Third. Wood Badge! I staffed again this summer. Assistant Scoutmaster for Program for W1-492-16-1. It was a week long course, the first time our Council has done a week long course in many years. That took a lot of time and energy.. but it was fantastic. At the end of the Course it was announced that I will be a Course Director for Wood Badge in 2017. I have know this for some time, but have not been able to share that information till now. And so this journey begins.
This is where the Blog is going to kick off.
The blog.. for the most part for the next year is going to focus on the journey that is W1-492-17-2.. my course!
Needless to say, I am excited and humbled that I have been chosen. This is a big thing for me. I love the Wood Badge program and understand the lasting impact it has in the Scouting world.. in the real world also for that matter.
So.. I’m back. You can expect frequent posts and yep.. more video also as I share this new chapter in my life.
Thanks for hanging in there. I notice that even though I stopped.. you all didn’t. Subscriptions continued to come it. I am thankful of each and everyone of you that read the blog.
I am sorry if I disappointed you by shutting it down for a bit. Truly I am.

Thanks again!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

A super busy Weekend

febhoodHere’s the recap:
First,  Friday night the Troop headed to the CPC’s winter lodge for a great night of fun.  We stayed the night at the lodge and on Saturday morning ventured out to White River for a night in the snow.
Once we got the Troop over to White River I had to get off the mountain to meet my wife and pick up our new RV travel trailer.  We got it home and then it was time to change and head to Pack 717’s Blue and Gold dinner.  I was invited for two reasons, first to speak about Friends of Scouting and launch their campaign.  And second, I was there to greet 8 young Scouts as they crossed from Cub Scouts into our Troop.  The Blue and Gold went long, but it was a very nice evening.
After the Blue and Gold, I changed back into my cold weather gear and headed back to White River up on Mt. Hood and met up with the Troop (camping already in progress).
I got my hammock set up and fell into a deep sleep.
We woke up this morning to a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, packed and headed home.
Final part of the weekend was taking my lovely wife out to dinner to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary.  I am blessed.
Thanks for hanging with the blog!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Creating separation

4-PercentOnce a Scout meets the requirements for First Class the focus changes from basic skills development to discovering all that Scouting has to offer, service, and leadership.
The Scout will discover Scouting through the merit badge program, high adventure bases, Jamboree’s and being an active member of his Troop.  Often times his participation in high adventure increases once he has developed the skills and is a little more mature and taking on greater responsibilities in the unit.
But it is in leadership that the Scout starts to separate himself from the pack.  When a Scout sits with me for his First Class and Star conferences I explain to him that it is important to begin that separation from the crowd.  I am not suggesting that they leave, I am encouraging them to stand out.
Only 4 percent of all Scouts that stay in our program will earn the Eagle award.  Only 4%.  So it is important for a Scout that wants to earn his Eagle award to stand out from the other 96%.  There is a difference in those young men.  Not everyone is supposed to get their Eagle.  It takes dedication and effort and a willingness to serve and lead.  The Scout that does not separate will not stand out in leadership and service.  They need not go above and beyond.. they only need to meet the standard, but the standard [when kept] is high… by design.
While I want all of my Scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle, I find it more important that they have a well rounded Scouting experience.  I want to them to demonstrate sound leadership and develop the heart of a servant.  In the world in which we find ourselves.. that is a stand out person.  We can teach the value of merit and working for what you get.  We can reverse the cycle of “participation trophies” and meaningless activity. The Scout that learns about the value of setting goals, working hard, and making a choice to be better than average is a young man that is separating himself from his peers to be a better man.
Creating separation is an important part of achieving goals and being a better man.  It is easy to go with the flow and maintain mediocrity.  It is another thing to actually do your very best and make a choice to make a difference.
Encourage your Scouts to stand out.. separate from the pack.. be better.
Thanks for hanging out on the blog.. let me know what you think.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Ads

A quick word about the ads that are in the sidebar of the blog.
I have had a few questions asking about the ads in the sidebar of the blog… well.. not so much questions, but concerns that I am monetizing the blog or making a profit off of it. Well, rest assured I am not making money on this blog..
I reached out to the three companies that I have ads for.  ClassB.com, Tatogear, and Solostove.  ClassB and Tatogear are companies owned and operated by Scouters.  Solo Stove is a product that I whole heartily endorse.   While I have received products from all three, I am not making money on them.  I do have a affiliate account with Solo Stove, but the truth is I can not access it and so have not seen any payment from them is over a year.  When I was getting my percentage from the “Click throughs” I was buying stoves to give away.
I do not want the blog to turn into a bulletin board.. but I am willing to endorse and place ads on the blog.  If you have a company that does Scouting related business and gear.. I would entertain placing, testing, reviewing, and endorsing you and your company or product.
No, I am not monetizing my blog or YouTube channel.
By the way.. like, subscribe, and share the blog, youtube channel, and facebook site.  Also follow me on Twitter.. always looking for ways to connect.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Starting Scouting’s Story

In this weeks Vlog we start the discussion on telling Scouting’s story.
I am a huge believer in setting the rules for how our story is told, shared, and promoted.
We live in a great time for communicating what Scouting is all about.  The people, places, and adventures of Scouting can be shared now with the click of a mouse, swipe on a phone, and instant pictures.
Let me know how you share Scouting’s story.. we all are a part of the story.. share it.
Have a Great Scouting Day!