As you can tell from the uniform I wear, there are medals and knots and stars, each of which has a meaning. But tonight I wear a patch which may not seem like one of such meaning, yet it has some of the most profound meanings of all.
To look at, it appears like ones that so many of you young men wear. It is a patch from a District Camporee, with a date of 1970 on it. One of the meanings from this patch is that it was the first Boy Scout campout that I ever went on. That weekend was just me and my patrol leader. And that is special by itself.
But another meaning of this patch relates to one of our scout laws. The Scout law I am talking about is bravery.
The Scout law tells us that a Scout is Brave.
So what is Bravery?
Well the Scout handbook tells us that; "A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him."
The handbook goes on to say; "saving lives is not the only test of bravery. You are brave every time you do what is right in spite of what other might say. You are brave when you speak the truth and when you admit a mistake and apologize for it. And you show courage when you defend the rights of others."
You don't need a medal to be brave, you don't need ribbons and articles in the paper. Bravery comes from deep inside. It is the voice within you that calls you to do the right thing.
On that particular campout, in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, over 100 Scouts were enjoying their camping, when the word of “Fire” swept thru the campsites. EVERY SINGLE scout stopped what we were doing, picked up tools and water, and started towards the fire. Most of us didn’t get to the site of the fire before word passed that the fire was out. (I saw the site of the fire later, a grass field was burned off, and about a 10 foot strip of trees burned.)
Another way to put it is: Bravery is doing what you have to do, because other options are unacceptable.
About 15 years ago, I was put in a bad position. A doctor arrived at my bedside and told me that I had Cancer. I had two choices, I could either fight it or I could give up. One of those choices was unacceptable. Some people call the other choice “Brave”.
19-May / minute
Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th birthday. During those 100 years 100 million youths have entered scouting. Think of all those boys enjoying camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Think of all the service projects and good deeds those scouts completed. Think of all the people, schools, churches and communities that benefited from those good deeds.
Scouting was brought to America in 1909 by William D. Boyce. He was traveling in London one evening and got lost in one of London's infamous fogs. A scout noticed Mr. Boyce was having trouble finding his way, and asked if he could help. Mr. Boyce asked for directions, but the scout offered to take Mr. Boyce to to his destination. When they reached the correct address Mr. Boyce offered the scout a tip. The scout refused stating that taking the money was against his Scout Oath. William Boyce was so impressed by that one lone scout that he brought scouting to the United States.
That one good turn not only brought scouting to America, but ballooned into hundreds of millions of scouts performing hundreds of millions of good turns.
Imagine the one good turn you do today blossoming into millions of good turns affecting millions of people. One person CAN make a difference.
31-Mar / minute
Q: What word in the dictionary is always spelled wrong?
Q: What question can you never truthfully answer 'Yes'?
A: Are you asleep?
Q: Which is the quietest sport?
A: Bowling - you can hear a pin drop.
08-May / minute
As we approach the Centennial of Scouting, I reflect back on alot of the writings and speeches of Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Mikes okay, but I want to be like BADEN! I thinks there is greater value in BP than Micheal Jordon. You don't see nearly as much in the news about MJ and he is still alive. There are over 52 million archived pages on the internet that mention BP and just a little over 2.1 million for MJ.
100 years from now how many people will be quoting MJ?? Tens of thousands of people quote BP everyday.
Teach the heritage of Scouting to your new leaders and all of your Scouts. The traditions are alive and frankly, most of them haven't changed much. Seek out "retired" Scouts and talk to them, and invite them to come talk to your Packs and Troops.
Make memories for Scouts both young and old. Scouts never actually retire, the just continue to "Do their Best". Bring them back into the fold. Create a District Friends of Scouting "Retired Council and Honors Unit". Do something for those who left tracks behind that you have chosen to follow. Help get them back on the trail. Keep the Tradition alive for Tommorrow, because that is when Tradition truely Meets Tommorrow.
11-Sep / minute
"Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I'll show you a poorly uniformed leader." Robert Baden-Powell
Talk about hitting the nail on the head! I saw this during 25 years of military service. The leaders, at every level will set the tone and pace for their unit... and even more so, for their boys. BP knew that well uniformed professional looking leaders always seemed to be more sucessful. Part of that is sparked by their display of confidence and part from the confidence of others in them.
Next, sound professional, educate yourself, seek training... even training this isn't required of your position. Take enrichment courses, fellowship with other scouters, especially senior, seasoned scouters. Rehearse what you are planning to do. You will display a confidence that will make those around you want to "be like you".
11-Sep / minute
We finish all of our Scoutmasters Minutes with this benidiction. (with both hands raised above the head start saying ) "AND NOW,(droping the hands to straight out in front of you and moving them in a back and forth motion coninue) MAY THE GREAT MASTER OF ALL SCOUTS (now place you right hand over your heart)BE WITH US UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN (now point at someone and say) THANK YOU!
16-Feb / minute
We have all heard of it. Organized Chaos. Sometimes, I will admit, organized chaos can be fun. However, organized chaos should be the exception, not the rule.
Organized chaos is still, after all, chaos. Boys and parents can spot chaos and even though the boys may enjoy it, the parent probably will not. If you are the one who is in charge of the "organized chaos", you have to ask yourself... "How can I change this?"
It's called planning. And it isn't that hard to do. Use the program helps, ask senior leaders, talk to your parents.
Use your parents as a resource for the boys. That parent talent survey... look them over from time to time. Most people will help, if you ask them.
I know I'm not the smartest person I know, but I try to utilized everyone I can to provide the best program possible for the Scouts. Plan, task organize, coordinate and then execute. After the execution of the task, evaluate what you have done or have those around you evaluate it. What was good? What was bad? How can we make it better?
And from Chaos, He created order..... be a creator.
11-Sep / minute