Archive for the 'Stuff' Category

Taking a Break

December 31, 2013

Thanks for visiting JohnScout blog.  I’ve been a Scout, and then a Scouter, off and on since 1976.  Sometimes I’m really, really active, as I have been the last few years that my boys have been working their way up thru their Packs and Troops.  Other times I go do something else for awhile, then come back refreshed.  I expect one of those times is coming on.

Please feel free to comment on posts, or catch up on Twitter @JohnScout.

And now, may the great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with you until we meet again.



JohnScout 2012 in review

December 30, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

JohnScout 2011 Year in Review

January 9, 2012

Yes, Scouters, JohnScout didn’t fall off a cliff without 2-deep leadership.  Just been a bit pre-occupied with Rechartering two units (Internet Recharter hates me!), helping my den of Webelos Cubs complete their Arrow of Light, and a bit of distraction that is Presidential politics.  What a year 2011 was, a great year for the Boy Scouts of America, our local BSA council & district, troop and pack, and all the volunteers that make Scouting happen.  The JohnScout WordPress numbers tell us:

  • Busiest Month: 1,521 visitors for an average 49 per day in October, a new high on both counts.
  • Busiest Day:  June 5, 2011, 131 views.  Don’t y’all have better things to do on a summer Sunday?
  • Top Referral site:  Google found us, I guess…
  • Top Search Terms:  “Crazy Horse Monument” and “Scoutmaster minute court of honor”.  Last year’s frenzy of Bechtel Reserve searches subsided dramatically.
  • Top (not-search-engine) Referral site:  Twitter
  • Top (not-search-engine nor twitter) Referral site:  Scoutmaster CG narrowly edged out Minnesota’s own Melrose Troop 68.  Thanks, Scouters!
  • Had twice as many hits this year as last year, which was twice the year before that. And again, it helps when I actually POST original content.

Top posts of the year:

One thing I notice may have something to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  I started titling my “Scoutmaster Minute” posts shorter, as “SM Minute”, to save space in the title line.  Figured that would be handy, plus show more of the topic in search results.  However, the longer titles consistently score higher in search. Hmmm, seem to have out-thought myself on that one.


Merry Christmas!


SM Minute—The Strong Link


SM Minute—Three Uniforms

Dutch Oven Cooking—Swamped Pig Pork Chops

SM Minute—A Simple Cloth and a Common Thread


SM Minute—A Good Turn

SM Minute—When the World Stopped Turning

Dutch Oven Cooking: Fiesta Omelet


Boy Scouts Didn’t Hand Out Badges for Trying

The Marrow of Life


Camp Wilderness: Going Home Again


Ripley Rendezvous 2011


Privacy, Safety and Names of Scouts in a Public Forum


SM Minute—Losing Your Temper


SM Minute—Orion’s Belt


A Scouting Movement, not a Program

Erickson earns rank of Eagle Scout


SM Minute—Twelfth-Point

SM Minute—Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Prepared. For Life.

JohnScout 2010 Posts


JohnScout 2010 Posts

January 1, 2011

Centennial of Scouting railroad engine

Headlines from 2010 on JohnScout 2.0

This was my 2nd year for the JohnScout blog.  As we say in Scouting, “Do Your Best”, and although I know sometimes I could do better I hope I have done my best for the time and resources available.

My objective for the blog is to share some of what my Pack, Troop and District are doing locally (our local Crew all went away to college this year, but I try to pay attention to other Venturing activities).  I try to watch for interesting ideas from other Scouters across the country (and the World brotherhood of Scouting).  This year I had fun sharing in some of the Centennial of Scouting activities going on across the nation as well.

Every now and then I use the blog to sound off, to vent some steam on the bureaucracy of the BSA and the petty slings and arrows of the dysfunctional mainstream pop culture.  I try not to do that too often, but I am increasingly frustrated with all the paperwork that drives away good volunteers and interferes with helping boys become men in the spirit of True North.

So with that in mind, I am, as always, yours in Scouting,
John S.

  • Busiest Month: 717 site visits during October 2010; average 24 visits per day in November.
  • Top Referral site: (even after Josh got hacked and stopped updating content)
  • Second Top Referral site:  Minnesota’s own A Scoutmaster’s Blog (Melrose Troop 68)
  • Top Search Terms:  “bechtel family national scout reserve”
  • Top Outbound Clicks:  American Folklore graphic (See Tall Tales below)
  • Had twice as many hits this year as last (of course it helps when I actually POST original content).

Top posts for the year:


Centennial of Scouting: SM Minutes on the Scout Oath and Scout Law

Boys’ Life, 1977


SM Minute—Whose Job Is It?

Tall Tale, the movie

SM Minute—Why Are You in Scouting?

SM Minute—Climbing the Mountain


SM Minute—A Scout is Reverent

SM Minute—A Scout is Clean


BSA One-Stop Forms Shop

SM Minute—A Scout is Brave

SM Minute—The Outdoor Code


SM Minute—A Scout is Thrifty

A Scout is Clean… Except When He Gets Dirty

Ask Andy: A Reader’s Digest version of Wood Badge


SM Minute—A Scout is Cheerful


Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Obedient

Don Kasak, 1935-2010, Scouter Extraordinary


Come Visit My Grave

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Kind

Northern Tier, If You Dare

Selling Out


Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Courteous

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Friendly

Spring Camporee: Rails on the Prairie


Zulu Toss Game

Scoutmaster Minute—Court of Honor

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Helpful


Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Loyal

Scoutmaster Minute—A Scout is Trustworthy

Scoutmaster Minute—The Scout Salute and Handshake


Hometown Paper Profiles Eagle Project

Tall Tales

Scoutmaster Minute—Our Spiritual Compass

Do Your Best

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

JohnScout 2009 Posts



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



Scout Camp—The Movie

December 7, 2009

We got our packet from summer camp and it got me thinking.  Thinking about everything we wanted to get done this year, and haven’t got done with half the school year just about behind us.  Thinking about everything we’ve got planned for the rest of winter and the spring to come.  Wondering how we’ll ever get it all accomplished, and how we might fit just one more camp out in.

I hope you’ve heard the buzz on Scout Camp—The Movie.  Now, I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m thinking it’s a good addition to any Scout’s (or Scouter’s) XMas list.  And the preview, well, it’s a good way to get my mind off the season’s first Blizzard warning.  Summer camp will be here before you know it….. I hope.


Qualities of leadership stamped into Boy Scouts | Medill | Washington

November 15, 2009

Qualities of leadership stamped into Boy Scouts | Medill | Washington

Posted using ShareThis

HP VP tells Forbes his Scouting Story

October 13, 2009

Hewlett-Packard CTO & VP Phil McKinney is an Eagle Scout who is still giving back to Scouting. Here’s his Scouting Story:

During a previous interview session I did with Kym McNicholas at Forbes, I mentioned that we had to be done at a specific time as I had to take my Boy Scout troop on a campout that weekend. Kym become intrigued with my involvement with Boy Scouts and asked if she and cameraman could attend one of the troop meetings.

There’s an interesting message here, and maybe a warning. His 3-week final dash to Eagle sounds much too familiar to me. Well done!

EXTRA Curriculars

January 18, 2009

They’re called “Extra-Curricular” sports for a reason.  The bankrupt Minneapolis Star-Tribune stirs up trouble with an article today:

School sports now a Minnesota luxury?

“Cut from the team” means something different in these economic times. Extracurricular activities are hurting.

The economic crunch is coming to high school sports.

Faced with budget problems, some schools are raising fees while cutting back on equipment, transportation and other expenses. Others are voluntarily cutting back on the number of games their teams play.

In early February, the Minnesota State High School League could decide to make reduced schedules mandatory starting in the 2009-10 school year as a way to save money.

Administrators use words like “bleak” and “troubling” to describe the outlook for high school activities….

My wife disagrees with me vehemently on the role of sports in school.  She is quiet persuasive.  For kids that are not on the Honor Role, eligibility for sports can be an incentive to sit through the drudgery of a public school education.

And truth be told, yes, I do agree that rising activity fees means it can be very difficult for middle class kids to participate throughout the year.  My wife’s kids play softball, baseball, basketball, and football; they participate in cheer leading and choir.  On top of their hefty activity fees, parents are expected to pay to get into games and concerts (yes, they charge for high school and junior high choir concerts, too).

I also agree: a well-rounded education requires a broad exposure to the arts and sciences in addition to core academics.

I am a long-time participant and advocate of Scouting for youth.  It is a game with a purpose.  However, it would never occur to me to ask the taxpayers of Minnesota to help pay for our Scouting adventure.

Scouting isn’t cheap, but there is value in Scouting and a Scout is Thrifty.  We try to work with families to give our young men the opportunity to earn their way.  We sell popcorn and wreaths.  We work during the County Fair.  Our parents dig deep to send their own sons to summer camp each year and the community supports our Council programs with Friends of Scouting.

In difficult times, we may have to say No.  Sorry, not this year.  I would love to send our Scout to the centennial National Jamboree next year.  That’s not likely to happen no matter how much popcorn he sells.  In times like these, we need to work harder, plan better, save more.  Get back to basics.  Do your best.

JohnScout is a work in progress

January 15, 2009

My primary blog is over at JC  JohnScout is a work in progress, an experiment and a playground.  I’m trying out this and that and the other thing. It’s also a place to aggregate some scouting links, comment on scout stuff and conservation of the great outdoors, and occasionally blow off steam at folks who would denigrate the greatest youth leadership organization this side of your church.

Let me know if you like what you see, or don’t.