Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

We see it all the time on campouts; especially when they cover Wilderness Survival.  We teach the boys to be resourceful.  Be Prepared.  Think things through and be ready to think on their feet.

I have a bragging moment on my oldest son that made me proud to be his mom, and one of his scout leaders.  This doesn’t even tie directly to scouting, but it was a great story to hear told to me and one I want to share with you.

My son, and one of our other scouts are good friends; so much so, that the other boy is at my home almost daily.  It was no surprise that when he wanted to return to his seasonal job at a local ‘haunted house’ that my kid was eager to go with him.

His friend had no problem getting hired because he was a return worker and they knew his abilities and enthusiasm.  But when it came to my son, the manager apologized as he told him that unfortunately, his staff was full, and he wouldn’t be able to hire him.  My son thanked him and turned to walk away, while disappointed, with his head held high.  After walking twenty or so feet, he turned around and marched right back to the manager.  “OK, then I’ll volunteer.”

The manager took a hard look at my son and asked him, “So you want to work here bad enough that you’d volunteer?”

“Yes”, he replied. The manager smiled broadly at him before telling him he was hired.

Since then, both boys have been at my husband’s shop tearing through scraps and welding (under supervision of course) together their costumes to better scare the guests with.

See!  They do learn something.  Granted, it isn’t community service, but he realizes he can obtain his goals without rewards.  All the work we put into these scouts is worth it when they face the real world and use the resourceful tendencies that we teach them.


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Our troop met with a shock a few weeks ago.  We met as usual at our charter church, only to find out that it was going to be renovated… beginning in two days.  It meant a couple of things to our troop.  Most immediate, we needed to find another place to meet.  Secondly, and patiently being waited for, we would receive a new, and improved, meeting space.

With five weeks to completion, we  have been meeting at a local volunteer fire station.  Our troop is grateful for their kindness.    Even so, Dorothy said it best, “There’s no place like home.”  It’s kind of like a long visit to family.  You know you’re welcome there, but everyone is kept to their best behavior and can’t quite be themselves.  In our case, it means the boys can’t move about as freely, and more importantly, can’t go outside as they are used to for some recreation each meeting.

They’ll persevere, I have no doubt.  But as we go into recruiting season, it will make things a bit tougher.  That’s ok.  It just means we’ll need to be more creative.

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Leadership is the keynote to sucess-but leadership is difficult to define and leaders are difficult to find. I have frequently stated that “any ass can be a commander and a trained man may often make an instructor; but a leader is more like the poet-born, not manufactured”.
There are four essential points to look for in a leader:
1. He must have wholehearted faith and belief in the rightness of his cause.
2. He must have a cheery, energetic personality, with sympathy and friendly understanding of his followers.
3. He must have confidence in himself through knowing his job.
4. What he preaches he must himself practise.
The essential of leadership might, in telegraphic brevity, be summed up as “comradeship and competence.
“The Scouter”, November 1936

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Before I can take on the task of getting the troop and crew pumped up about geocaching, I have to master it.   Ok, I have to at least have a better idea of what I am doing.  I have tried to get prepared by glancing through my book on geocaching (Scout Shop), training (thanks Todd!), and research on geocaching.com where I found a set of 8 caches within, literally, a mile of my house.  My son is going to take on today’s adventure with me and we are not coming home until we’ve found at least three of them.  Should I tell him that?  Nah.  I’m really excited about it.  Today’s the day I am going to be successful.  I’m sure of it.  :: gulp ::

In preparation, I am setting up a backpack to be sure we’ll have everything we need.

GPS (Garmin Oregon 300)       Print outs from geocaching.com
Water bottles                          Long Pants (learned that the hard way)
Small 1st Aid Kit                       Hiking Boots (to protect our feet)
Bug Spray                                Camera (for proof of this day)
Snack (could take a while)       Non-food Goodies to take one, leave one
Pen                                          Paper (in case of damaged/full logs)

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On this day, let’s not forget that behind every great man… young that he might be… stands a woman.

The Legend of the Rose

from Troop 893, Richmond, VA

[This is a nice touch. It can be read by another Eagle’s mother and then the Eagle recipient presents his mother with 7 red roses.]

Throughout Scouting’s history, the rose has been associated with the presentation of the Eagle.

The path of a boy from Scout To Eagle is long and often times hard. He does not travel the “Trail To Eagle” alone. Many people have been involved with him in his process.

There is one person in particular that is honored in addition to the Eagle Scout, that person is his mother.

From that first overnight camp-out to the pinning on of his Eagle, she has shared the adventures of Scouting with her son in a special way.

With her guidance and encouragement, she has helped her son achieve a goal many fail to reach.

She has watched her son mature from a young boy to a young man with a purpose to his life.

She has been there to share his excitement of camping and hiking with his brother scouts. She has washed load after load of duty clothes brought home from camping trips. Most important of all, she has been there for her son when the going got rough and spirits low, as only a mother can. Her love has been an important ingredient in her son’s achievement.

We honor her today with the presentation of seven red roses, each rose a symbol of rank in the seven ranks of Scouting.

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OK, so there I stand… blankly staring at an arsenal of cooking gear in the middle of REI.  I know I talked about going to stores who have nature friendly staff, but you never know when a fellow shopper can be a huge attribute.

Since I didn’t say his real name before, I’ll continue in the same vein.  I ran into our good friend Elvis.  He is just awesome.  I even told him that he has missed his calling and that he should be selling camping gear.  I’ve never seen someone get so excited about the different elements of cooking equipment.  Granted, I’m glad he is, because I learned a lot!  I did convince him to shop around for the best price though since he didn’t ‘really’ need that frying pan for this weekend’s mini-hike.  Let’s hope that doesn’t come back to haunt me.

Perhaps my favorite part was when he gave me a demo on how a great big sleeping bag could be stuffed into that tiny little stuff sack.  Elvis prevailed, and I bought two.  The real test will come when I try to get my pillow in there.  Elvis said it will fit, so I’m confident I’ll succeed.

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Refrain from nagging or complaining or scolding. Instead, give your scout a reason to cherish your time together.

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