Archive for January, 2010

Hometown Paper Profiles Eagle Project

January 29, 2010
Reprinted with permission of the Murray County News.

By: Sheila Crowley
Murray County News Staffwriter
January 27, 2010

Alex Peterson, son of Dave and Ann, Slayton, has earned the highest rank in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout.

The Eagle Rank recognizes a Scout’s hard work and dedication to learn skills and provide service.  To earn the Eagle, a Scout must have:
* Been active in their Troop
* Demonstrate Scout Spirit
* Earn at least 21 merit badges
* Served in Troop leadership positions
* Complete an Eagle Scout Leadership Project
* Completed a District Board of Review
All before their 18th birthday.

Alex’s project was intended to control noxious weeds and mitigate the risk of wildfire to the historic park structures.  Minnesota Homeland Security has identified wildfire as a serious hazard in the Lake Shetek area.

The Leadership Project starts with the Scout developing an idea benefiting their community.  The Scout plans the work, secures approvals and funding, and leads the team completing the project. When the project is done, the Scout reports back to the sponsoring organization and their troop.  After completing an Eagle Leadership Project, a Scout will know a bit better what it takes to get things done out in the real world.

He met with End O Line park manager, Gene Short, to discuss the possible project there. Alex visited the site several times to spray noxious weeds and on Saturday, October 24th obtained assistance from fellow scout members, friends and other adult volunteers. They worked throughout the day removing dead debris and prepared the area for a mixture of prairie grasses and wildflowers. The Department of Natural Resources helped fund 75 percent of the grasses and wildflowers while the End O Line park picked up the remaining 25%.

Kids join Scouting for different reasons.  Some want to learn how to camp and hike and get by in the outdoors.  Some want to earn ranks and recognition.  All try to be prepared for anything life throws our way.

The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service. The award is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well-maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so.

Peterson credits the scouting program for helping him appreciate the outdoors and developing his leadership skills along the way through various opportunities in the program.



Tall Tales

January 27, 2010

Come one, come all!  Join us on the Cub Scouts’ Bear Trail, in the Country group, as we tackle Achievement 4, Tall Tales.

“What we mean by ‘tall tales’ in the Bear Handbook are stories, customs, songs, and sayings from our American past…. American folklore is told in stories and songs, some true and some told in a way to make the story better.”

Requirement 4a: Tell in your own words what folklore is. List some folklore stories, folk songs, or historical legends from your own state or part of the country.  Play the Folklore Match Game on page 48.

Who wouldn’t want to read or hear or sing about Bigfoot and the Pony Express, Minnesota’s Paul Bunyan and New Mexico’s Pecos Bill?

How about Rip Van Winkle, Hiawatha, Charlie Parkhurst (who?), the Lost Dutchman mine, Johnny Appleseed, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and John Henry?

What IS the story with Zorro and El Dorado?  Barbara Fitchie and Old Stormalong are new to me.  But I’ve heard many a tall tale starring Ichabod Crane, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, King Kamehameha, and Casey Jones.  Why, we’ve even got a trail here in Minnesota named after that brave engineer of the Old 638.

Requirement 4b: Name at least five stories about American folklore.  Point out on a United States map where they happened.

Requirement 4c: Read two folklore stories and tell your favorite one to your den.


After 100 years of Scouting, the founders of this great movement have also entered into the realm of folklore.  Scouting magazine this month has some great short profiles of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, Ernest Thompson Seton, William D. Boyce, Green Bar Bill and more of the men who have made Scouting what it is.  I hope that in the next Centennial our own Scouts live on among the stories of their sons and daughters.

Have fun, folks!


Update: Fixed the map. This post still gets many hits off Google search. If anybody has ideas, feel free to comment!

Scoutmaster Minute—Our Spiritual Compass

January 24, 2010

For Scouts on a hike or a canoe trip, a compass is an important tool. Because it gives you a stable reference point (magnetic north), you can set a course and follow it. As long as your compass is accurate and you don’t damage it, it will serve you faithfully—if you trust it.

Our faith or spirituality is something like that. We have a point of reference that does not change: God. And we have a compass, so to speak, in our relationship with God. It’s something we have learned and continue to learn about, just as we learn to use a compass properly.

We use our spirituality and faith to get us through this grand journey we call life. If we are prepared to trust the things we have learned about God, our spirituality can Guide us through the joys and the temptation of life. We can use it to show us what service we can give and what potential dangers to stay away from. We can use it to guide us in our friendships, in our work, in what we say to people and about people, in how we treat our natural world.

I hope you can join us Sunday 7 February 2010, for a special Centennial Scout Sunday Service, followed by our Eagle Court of Honor.

(adapted from p.15 in BSA Troop Program Resources)

Do Your Best

January 18, 2010

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr could have been a Scout leader, since here he is telling us to ‘Do Your Best’. Saw this on Seth Godin’s Blog. Regular pithy observations, somewhere between Tweets & proper-length blogs.

Scoutmaster Minute—What Does It Mean To Be “A Scout”

January 10, 2010

Everyone joins Scouts for different reasons. The thrill of adventure in the Great Outdoors. Earning ranks and badges. Having fun with our friends.

But what does it mean when you say “I am a Scout”?

We know what the Scout Oath or Promise says:

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

And we know what the Scout Law says:

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

We know the Scout Motto:

Be Prepared

We know the Scout Slogan:

Do a Good Turn daily.

And we know the Outdoor Code:

As an American, I will do my best to
Be clean in my outdoor manners,
Be careful with fire,
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation-minded.

But what does that mean?

As we start 2010, the 100th year of the Boy Scouts of America, think about what it means to you to be a Scout. Think about how you “Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life”. Let’s talk this year about how your Patrol and Troop can help you be the best Scout you can be.


JohnScout 2009 Posts

January 1, 2010
Headlines from 2009 on JohnScout 2.0

This was the first year for the JohnScout blog.   A big thank you to everybody who has taken the time to read and comment.  I tried a couple different platforms and themes, so I hope the format works for you.  I don’t pretend to know the answers to Scouting’s questions.  This is just a tool to help us all find a better way to True North.

  • Busiest Day: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
  • Busiest Month: ~500 during November 2009
  • Top Referral site: (Thanks, Josh! Hope you can get back to blogging soon)
  • Top Outbound clicks: (That’s [Liberal] Scoutmaster on the blogroll, well thought entries even if I don’t often agree with his perspective)

Top Posts for the year:


Scout Camp—The Movie

Centennial Audiorally Next Thursday!


SM Minute—The Twins


New River, New Adventures: The Summit National Scout Reserve Unveiled

Qualities of leadership stamped into Boy Scouts

Scoutmaster Minute—The Station

A Stamp to Celebrate Scouting

Scoutmaster Minute—Our Flag


Lions Club Scouting Service Award

Scouting for Food & Sight

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout Is Considerate

Scouting for Food Week Proclamation

HP VP tells Forbes his Scouting Story

Relief of Maefking Camporee

Scoutmaster Minute—Look At The Turtle


Scoutmaster Minute—Everybody’s Canoe

Cub Scout Uniform Patches

RIP William Sparkman (edited 11.09)

Always A New Adventure

Scoutmaster Minute—The Golden Windows

Almost heaven, West Virginia?


Scoutmaster Minute—Leadership Secrets of Crazy Horse

Scoutmaster Minute—Big Slough

Scoutmaster Minute—Words Behind the Words


Leave No Trace on the EDGE of your Next Rank


Gone to Camp

Medal of Merit for St. Paul Scout


Ditch Walk

Scoutmaster Minute—Matches

Bridge to Adventure

Lone Scout Goes to Summer Camp

Radio Merit Badge

Scout-O-Rama + Camp-O-Ree = Camp-O-Rama


A Sioux Elder on the Petroglyphs

Scoutmaster Minute-The Goose Story

Scoutmaster Minute-Which Path?

Cooking in Camp


Cub Scout Lock In

John Hope Franklin, Boy Scout

Scoutmaster Minute- The High Cost of Getting Even

Lower Sioux Agency changes hands

Scoutmaster Minute—The New Scout

BALOO Training

The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook

Scoutmaster Minute: Giving


Trip to Alaska! Klondike Derby 2009

Resources on Native American Culture in Southwest Minnesota (A Woodbadge Ticket)

Turtle Audio

Turtle Island

Scoutmaster Minute: Twelfth-Point Minute

Scout Week Poster

Third Law of the Pinewood Derby

Second Law of the Pinewood Derby

First Law of the Pinewood Derby

Scout Sunday


Waite Phillips On Leadership

Scout in Chief

EXTRA Curriculars

Ice Fishing Derby

JohnScout is a work in progress

Be Prepared