Archive for the ‘Scouting in Life’ Category

Tonight, our Troop Committee Chair presented a talk to the scout leaders who attended the Boy Scout Round Table on Genealogy.  Unfortunately I missed it but I am eager to get the details from him.  Buffalo Eagle gave me a list of the links he presented so they could be added at the bottom of this entry.  You’ll find many of the usuals, but there are a few that aren’t mainstream.

I have a huge desire to spark our troops interest in this merit badge.  As with any counselor, it is largely because I personally partake in this research for my own family.  I also think that in this era of kids who don’t seem to think too far past the last text to come into their phone, that they need a gentle reminder of how hard their ancestors worked to get them the technology and lives they enjoy.

While I’m personally more than happy to do the leg work and walk though cemeteries, I’m not sure how much they will want to do.  I would love to have those of you who read this reply with how you have approached this merit badge.

Clayton Geneaological Library of Houston-www.sparc.hpl.lib.tex.us/hpl/clayton.html
Library of Congress- chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/
Royal and Nobal genealogical data- www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/genealogy/GEDCOM.html


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A Hundred Years From Now

…..It will not matter what my bank account was,

The sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove….

but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a CHILD

Mike  made a difference in the life of hundreds of young men, young women, and in the life of many adults as well through Scouting.

We are all going to miss you….

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This is a great article that was run in the December 6th, 2009 edition of the Houston Chronicle.  Thanks go out to Michelle, who is the proud mom of one of our Eagles, Casey, for finding this gem.

Learning Life’s Lessons On Path To Eagle Scout by Chase Untermeyer

One of Houston’s leading citizens, bearing a name found on many a cherished local institution, once told me, “I’d rather my son became an Eagle Scout than win the Heisman Trophy.”

Though sometimes people may chide a clean-living man by calling him “an Eagle Scout,” my friend’s sincere respect for those who actually reached the highest rank of Boy Scouting is more typical. There is special distinction in the honor that lasts a lifetime, not just a young man’s teenage years.

One reason is the phenomenal roster of prominent American men who were Eagle Scouts. The list includes the late President Gerald Ford, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Commerce Secretary and former Washington state governor Gary Locke, Gov. Rick Perry, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, five serving U.S. senators, and astronauts Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, and Guy Bluford.

Eagles comprise one of every eight students at the Naval and Air Force academies and one out of every five cadets at West Point. (The academies add together Eagles and those who received the Gold Award, the highest Girl Scout rank, so these numbers are approximations.)

And the list goes on through every community in the country. For example, when 50 years ago this month I received the Eagle Scout award, so did Houston land developer and tort reform leader Richard W. Weekley.

The principal reason it’s a distinction to become an Eagle Scout is because it requires a young man to set a significant goal for himself; make out a plan to achieve it; and then execute that plan, earning 21 merit badges and performing a service project along the way. Few adults, and even fewer teenage males, ever accomplish as much. It shows a future employer or dean of admissions or voter that the man before them is a doer, qualitatively ahead of those who may have been successful in school or sports but who lacked a very special life credit.

On those occasions when I’ve spoken at a court of honor, the ceremony at which Eagle Scout awards are presented, I’ve of course praised the recipients for having the dream and the drive to get where they are. But I’ve chiefly aimed my remarks at the other Scouts present, telling them that they can become Eagles, too, if they set for themselves the same worthy target and work hard to reach it.

The phenomenon that’s occurred after every one of these courts of honor, during the cookie-and-punch reception, is that several fathers have come up to me and said something like, “I’m sorry I never made Eagle; I only got as far as Star” or that they regretted dropping out of scouting altogether.

Why would these grown men, many with successful careers and families, make such a confession to a stranger? I believe it was because they felt they had missed out on something truly important in their lives, something they could have achieved with the right motivation and effort.

I am grateful to my parents for encouraging me — though at times it seemed like nagging — to strive to become an Eagle Scout. Once I became my own motivator, they supported me in every way. There are few things more valuable that a parent can do for a son. Compared with this, all desirable ends — from making the varsity to making the bed — pale in life-long importance.

Looking back, I viewed becoming an Eagle Scout as my job, akin to going to school. And when that job was completed, I moved on to other things. (I also never again went camping voluntarily. This classic Scout pleasure was something I gladly let others enjoy.) Whatever task I faced, the skills brought to bear in “making Eagle” — goal-setting, plan-making and relentless execution — were employed again and again.

In sum, the young man who becomes an Eagle Scout sets himself apart from the crowd of his contemporaries. He is already well on his way to adulthood, with all its challenges and all its potential rewards.

Untermeyer, now a Houston businessman, is a former Texas state legislator and federal official.

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Christmas Cards


That does not work. Walter Reed will not forward them.

Instead, use the Holiday Mail for Heroes program of the American Red Cross. Red Cross program is here:


Cards must be received by Dec 7th.

Address is:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456




When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to : A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20307-5001 If you like this idea, re-post it. Merry Christmas!!! 

This came from one of my friends on facebook. I think I’ll step it up and have our Scouts in the Troop do this as well.

Let’s thank them for their sacrifice and wish them a Merry Christmas!

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In Boy Scouts character is built, so maybe we need bright yellow caution signs with Character Under Construction in big bold letters on them. Character is built by guiding the boys to live by the scout oath and scout law. One word missing from both that is equally important is respect. If we have no respect for ourselves, family, friends or our community, then the words in the scout oath and law are meaningless. As scout leaders we help build character by teaching scouts to not just memorize the oath and law, but to learn and live by them. I’m always asking scouts during a scoutmaster conference to explain how they live by the scout oath and law. I usually get the standard answers like, “I’m clean, I take showers every day, and I’m trustworthy, my dog trust that I’ll feed him”, so we discuss it a little more.

As leaders we need to post our yellow under construction signs and let our communities know we have

Character Under Construction.

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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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In honor of the anniversary of the first moon walk … did you know that of the 12 men to physically walk on the moon’s surface, 11 were involved in Scouting? In fact, of the 312 astronauts since 1959, 179 were Scouts or have been active in Scouting: 39 Eagle, 25 Life, 14 Star, 26 First Class, 17 Second Class, 13 Tenderfoot, three Explorers, 27 Cub Scouts, 10 Webelos Scouts, and 5 unknown.

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