Physically Strong, Mentally Awake, Morally Straight

February 24, 2013

On my honor I will do my best…
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

The BSA National Executive Board has re-opened the can of worms that is our national membership standards.  What a PR disaster.  The atheists and moral relativists of the left haven’t been able to destroy Scouting from the outside, so now they’re trying it from the inside.

What is the BSA’s current membership policy?

“The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.”

“While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

The argument seems to be that sexual orientation is wholly genetic.  The science is far from certain, but for argument’s sake accept the gambit.  We shouldn’t discriminate against people solely on the basis of their draw from the gene pool, should we?

The problem is, we are all dealt a random sample of genetics, but how we act on those genetics defines our character.  Some of us are overweight and some of us can’t swim.  Some of us are slow learners and some of us would just rather not.  Some of us are morally challenged.

  • The Scout Oath promises that a Scout will be “physically strong”.  Physical strength is based on genetics, modified by the personal character to exercise.  Scouts must pass physical fitness requirements (including passing the swim test) for First Class Rank, Physical Fitness & Swimming-Biking-Hiking merit badges for Eagle.  Scouters must pass the swim test to go on the water, and meet stringent height-weight standards to participate in backcountry adventures.  Yet we don’t hear the peanut gallery screaming about how we discriminate against Fat People.
  • The Scout Oath promises that a Scout will be “mentally awake”.  Intelligence is based on genetics, modified by the personal character to study and apply oneself.  I’ve met many Scouts, and more Scouters, who are on mental nap-time.  Yet we don’t hear the peanut gallery yelling about how we need to dumb down our program in the interest of self esteem (although I expect they are out there).
  • The Scout Oath promises that a Scout will be “morally straight”.  Perhaps that is based on genetics, but it is also modified by personal character in which we choose how we apply ourselves.

As a practical matter, however the mucky-mucks at BSA HQ work this out—if they stand strong or cave into outside interests—I don’t expect it will make much difference to the local unit.  We’ll deal with it.

However, the entire episode tarnishes us.  As Scouts, we’re supposed to be braver, smarter, better than average.  We are no better than average when we bend our standards to be more popular with the “in crowd”.

If anyone would like to voice their opinion directly to National please forward to feedback@scouting.org

.


Pocket Flag Eagle Project

February 15, 2013

Pocket Flags Eagle Project

How’s this for an Eagle Scout Leadership Project?  Scout Greg D of Troop 116 (Chartered to the First Presbyterian Church of Cheyenne) here in Longs Peak Council BSA is organizing a service project at the Cheyenne Depot to provide 900 folded US pocket flags to members of the military from Wyoming.

Sounds like a great way to spend a winter Sunday afternoon.

.


Scouts on Ice

January 24, 2013
Roundtable Commissioner Paul Horn with Zach S of Pack 25, Slayton http://www.murraycountynews.net/default.asp?storyid=60112&secid=105

Roundtable Commissioner Paul Horn with Zach S of Pack 25, Slayton

Sioux Council’s Buffalo Ridge District back home hosted an Ice Fishing Derby once again this month, attracting Packs and Troops from across Southwest Minnesota and South Central South Dakota.  As the Murray County News reported:

Those on the ice that day kept busy chasing their wind driven equipment across the lake.

Boy Scout Camp Shetek near Currie hosted the event where 9 Cub Scouts, 14 Boy Scouts and 19 adults participated.

Some years we had good fishing. Other years we just had good fun.  Either way it’s one more option to get the boys (and boys at heart) out into the Great Outdoors between Christmas and Klondike Derby.

.


JohnScout 2012 in review

December 30, 2012

The WordPress.com 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.


Always Room at the Scouting Inn

December 22, 2012

en: Ideal Scout Statue by Robert Tait McKenzie...

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. -Luke 2:7

Did you recruit a new Scout today?

No?  Are you sure?

Like the original Unknown Scout in the London fog, every day each of us who are Scouts and Scouters represent Scouting and the BSA (or WOSM organization of your choice), in uniform or not.  At school or at work, on service projects or just puttering around the neighborhood.  When people know you’re a Scout, they judge all of Scouting by your actions.  When people don’t know you’re a Scout, each person you meet is a potential Scout/Scouter or supporter.

As I related in my last post, my family recently moved to a new city/state/Council, so my boys and I have been looking for a new troop(s).  In a time of transition like this, we faced (and are still working through) many decision points regarding participation in Scouting.  The boys, being at different ages and ranks, have their own interests and concerns–even whether or not to continue in Scouting at all.  So we poked around on the Council website looking for local Troop and Crew info.  I visited Roundtable to see which units were active.  I asked around when we got to town to see if anybody knew any Scouters… and we visited several meetings to see where the boys felt they could fit in.  In each case, someone had the opportunity to extend a welcoming hand… or not.

Not only does everybody win in the game of Scouting, but there’s also always more room for more players.  While Mary & Joseph were turned away from the Inn so long ago, there’s always room in Scouting for families who want to live by the Scout Oath & Law.  And every day, each and every one of us invite new Scouts in, whether we know it or not, by how we live the Scout Oath and Law.  Do you live On Your Honor?  Are you Courteous and Kind?  Have you Done A Good Daily?

There are no strangers to Scouting, only friends we haven’t met yet.

Merry Christmas.

.


Everybody Wins in the Game of Scouting

November 30, 2012

Lions Park Scout House

Competition is a good thing.  We learn new skills and new solutions, then hone them further, through practice and competition. We compete on the basketball court and football field.  We compete in school and in our careers.

We recently moved to a new state and my sons have been visiting troops here.  Each troop is a bit different, with a different mix of boys—different ages, different schools, different interests—as well as each a different mix of adults.  One may tend towards canoeing, another towards hiking, another more towards service projects.

No one troop does everything “according to Baden-Powell”, but every troop, I believe, delivers the promise of Scouting as best they can.  Each troop finds their “thing”, or they find it hard to find members.  Every day, our Troops compete, not just for new Scouts but for the time and attention of each and every boy and adult leader on our rosters.

It seems the Intelligencia is determined to stamp out competition, believing it hurts our children’s self-esteem when they can’t win every game.  Life is competition… but Scouting is unique among most games our children play.  Only 5 boys can play on a basketball team at one time; 9 boys on a baseball team; 11 boys on a football team.  How many boys can play on the Scouting team?  All of ’em, 4-8 in a patrol, as many patrols as you can fit.  As Baden-Powell told us, “It is important to arrange games and competition so that all Scouts of the troop take part.”  Everybody wins in the game of Scouting.

.


Scoutmaster Minute—Pride and Goodbyes

October 2, 2012
Longs Peak Council

Longs Peak Council (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SM Minute—Pride and Goodbyes

“I’m proud of you guys.”

That’s all I could squeak out Sunday night in my final Scoutmaster Minute for Troop 25, Sioux Council, BSA.

See, I found a new job, back in Longs Peak Council of Colorado and Wyoming.  I like what I do professionally, but this is a great opportunity.  Frankly, it’s harder to leave behind my Troop after 5 years as Scoutmaster than my job of 8 years.  Maybe that’s because I’m satisfied my work is done at my job, but there is so much I still wanted to accomplish with the boys in my troop.

I am proud of my guys.  The boys my wife & I started into Tiger Cubs 8 years ago are filling out the Patrol Leaders Council now.  Brodie and Nathan and Matt have grown through Wolves and Bears and Webelos, and are all First Class or Star Scouts now.  Zach and Dylan are close behind, and my younger son earned his Tenderfoot at Summer Camp this year.

I was planning to talk about all the fun and adventures we’ve had the past 5 years—summer camp at Lewis & Clark and Camp Wilderness and winter camps at Lake Shetek.  Klondike Derby and Ice Fishing Derby, hikes at state parks and swamping canoes among the leeches.  All I could squeak out was, “I’m proud of you guys”

It’s easier knowing I’ve got—we’ve got—great Assistant Scoutmasters and Troop Committee members ready to step up.  I kept my Troop Committee Chair in the loop when I applied for a new position (he agreed to be a reference), and we talked it out ahead of time.  Our new Scoutmaster is ready for a seamless transition, and I will be eternally grateful for that.

So yes, Scouts and Scouters, I am proud of you.  I’ll be scouting campsites up in the Big Horn mountains.  Keep your Tour Permits up to date and we’ll see you Back at Gilwell.

.


SM Minute—Bull’s Eye

September 23, 2012

Barn

Scoutmaster Minute—Bull’s Eye

Many years ago a young man traveling through the countryside noticed that on many of the barns was a large bull’s-eye painted on it with an arrow squarely in the center of the target. He thought he would like to meet the great archer, and asked around until he found out the name of the man, who lived in a nearby village.

He introduced himself, and asked the archer for a demonstration of his great skills. “Sure,” said the archer, and they walked to the outskirts of town to a barn. He carried his bow and a quiver of arrows and several buckets of paint and some brushes. He selected a barn site, and carefully took aim at the barn, and hit it squarely in the middle. Then he walked up to the arrow, and carefully painted the bull’s-eye around the arrow.

He then proudly stood back and admired his work.

The moral of the story is to not be misled by things as they sometimes appear. Often, things are not as they seem.

.

(from Troop Program Resources, pp.19-20)

.


National Preparedness Month

September 20, 2012

September is a good time to work with our Scouts—Pack, Troop, or Crew—on being prepared during National Preparedness Month.  Expand on the Bear Law Enforcement Activity with FEMA resources.  Ask your PLC to refresh the Troop on basic First Aid Skills or work on Wilderness First Aid for the backcountry.  Bring in your First Aid and Emergency Preparedness merit badge counselors.  Ask your leaders to take the online BSA Hazardous Weather training.

Be Prepared.

NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH: YOUR FAMILY PLAN

Main Content

Release date:
SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
Release Number:
R6-12-143

DENTON, Texas – September is National Preparedness Month. Putting together a family preparedness plan for disasters or emergencies can serve you well in any circumstance. Whether you are facing a severe weather event, a fire in your home, a hazardous materials incident in the neighborhood, or any other emergency, it’s a good idea to plan in advance.

  • Talk to your family members about preparedness and how to respond calmly to emergencies. Discuss what you would need to do to shelter in place, leave your home or evacuate your city.
  • Identify two meeting places, one near your home and one away from the neighborhood in the event family members cannot return to the house.
  • Post emergency phone numbers beside the telephone. Teach children how to call 911.
  • Choose a friend or relative out-of-state whom all family members will telephone to check in. The out-of-state relative can relay messages. When evacuating, notify relatives and friends about your plans. Be familiar with designated evacuation routes leading out of town.
  • Draw a home floor plan and choose at least two escape routes. Make sure you know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit, including water, non-perishable food, important documents, radio and flashlight with extra batteries, extra eye glasses, medications and special needs products for babies and the elderly.
  • Make plans for family members or neighbors with special needs, as well as for care of pets.

During National Preparedness Month, and throughout the year, FEMA and the Ad Council invites everyone to prepare in advance for all types of natural disasters. The Ready Campaign’s websites (ready.gov and listo.gov) and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide free emergency preparedness information and resources available in English and Spanish.

###

Related articles

.

Claiming my Technorati: XDRKBRXMPMQD


Scoutmaster Minute—Peer Pressure

September 16, 2012
Scouting

Scouting (Photo credit: omer_k)

SM Minute—Peer Pressure

Now that we have a couple weeks of school under our belts, I hope each of you have made some new friends. Why don’t you invite one to our next Troop meeting, or campout?

Good friends ask you to do good things, like going fishing, or on a hike.  Some so-called friends, though, don’t have your best interests in mind.  Let’s look at page 61 in your Scout Handbook again:

Real friends will not ask you to do anything that could put you at risk.  If those who say they are your friends are smoking,drinking, using drugs, watching pornography, using profanity, or doing anything else that is unwise, you don’t have to go along with them. You might need to look for new friends who are interested in healtheir activities. Don’t worry, they are out there.  Be true to your values, and you will find them.

Remember, a Scout is Friendly and Loyal, but a Scout is also Trustworthy and Clean.

.