Archive for November, 2010

SM Minute—Whose Job Is It?

November 28, 2010

Scoutmaster Minute—Whose Job Is It? (for the PLC)

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This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.  Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it.  But Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


(from Troop Program Resources, p. 16)



Tall Tale, the movie

November 22, 2010

My post about the Bear Cub Folklore achievement has been fairly popular this year.  Not sure if I just hit on a SEO strategy with the ample Tall Tales name-dropping (Paul Bunyan, Casey Jones, Hiawatha, and all their friends).  Anyway, I really enjoyed this den activity.

One of our previous Pack leaders bought Disney’s movie Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill (with Patrick Swayze) and donated the video to the Bear Den.  (John Henry’s even brought into the story.)  I split it up into two den meetings, between talking about the characters in the handbook.  I didn’t get the feeling our boys had been exposed to these stories in school, which kind of made me a bit sad.  This stuff is Americana, not just our shared history but our shared imagination.

Now I’m not usually a fan of TV-as-baby-sitter programming, but in this case none of my cubs had seen it, and they really seemed to enjoy it.  Maybe you can find it on sale this holiday season.



SM Minute—Why Are You in Scouting?

November 21, 2010

Scoutmaster Minute—Why Are You in Scouting?

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You know, there are more than a million Scouts in our country.   I wonder how many of them will stay in Scouting and climb to the top, don’t you?

So many boys and girls enter Scouting for just one reason—to have fun.  If you think that’s the only reason you’re in Scouting, believe me, there are other good reasons, too.

Sure Scouting is fun.  But a lot of other things are fun, too.  If you’re just looking for fun, you can play all kinds of games, go to the movies, watch television—or a thousand other things.

Scouting must be more than just fun for you.  It must be a way of life, a law and an oath to which you are loyal.  Unless you try to live Scouting, you’ll find that other kinds of fun are easier and you’ll quit.  The loyal Scout is dedicated to the Scout Oath and the 12 points of the Scout Law.  He had a deeper reason for sticking than just having fun.  He sees the importance of learning the Scout skills, of developing himself so that he can be prepared to face anything that comes.  He wants to grow to be a real man.  That’s why he’s loyal.  That’s why he sticks.

I hope you won’t ever quit until you’re up before a court of honor some day to get your Eagle Scout Badge.  It was one of the biggest days of my whole life.  It will be one of the biggest days in yours, too.

(adapted from p.10 in BSA Troop Program Resources)


SM Minute—Climbing the Mountain

November 7, 2010
Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), founder of ...

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Climbing the Mountain,

by Ernest Thompson Seton

A far way from here there was an Indian village in the shadow of a high mountain towering up out of the desert. It was considered a great feat to climb this mountain, so that all the boys of the village were eager to attempt it. One day the Chief said:

“Now, boys, you may all go today and try to climb the mountain. Start right after breakfast and go each of you as far as you can. Then when you are tired, come back, but let each one bring me a twig from the place where he turned.”

Away they went, full of hope, each feeling that he surely could reach the top.

But soon a fat, pudgy boy came slowly back and in his hand he held out to the Chief a leaf of cactus.

The Chief smiled and said

“My boy, you did not reach the foot of the mountain; you did not even get across the desert.”

Later a second boy returned. He carried a twig of sagebrush.

“Well,” said the Chief,

“you reached the mountain’s foot, but you did not climb upwards.”

The next had a cottonwood spray.

“Good,” said the Chief,

“you got up as far as the springs.”

Another came later with some buckthorn. The Chief smiled when he saw it, and spoke:

“You were climbing; you were up to the first slide rock.”

Later in the afternoon one arrived with a cedar spray, and the old man said,

“Well done. You went half-way up.”

An hour afterwards, one came with a sprig of pine. To him the Chief said,

“Good; you went to the third belt, you made three-quarters of the climb.”

The sun was low when the last returned. He was a tall, splendid boy of noble character. His hand was empty as he approached the Chief, but his countenance was radiant, and he said,

“My father, there were no trees where I got to–I saw no twigs, but I saw the Shining Sea.”

Now the old man’s face glowed, too, as he said aloud and almost sang.

“I knew it! When I looked at your face, I knew it. You have been to the top. You need no twigs for token. It is written in your eyes, and rings in your voice. My boy, you have felt the uplift, you have seen the glory of the mountain.”

Oh, Scout, keep this in mind, then–the badges we offer for attainment are not “prizes”—they are merely tokens of what you have done, of where you have been. They are mere twigs from the trail to show how far you got in climbing up the mountain.


Adapted from