A Scout is helpful, but check first

kettledude_250A Scout is helpful. It’s the third point of the Scout Law. And to help other people at all times is part of the Scout Oath.

Scouts help others every day. Service is part of our rank requirements, and troops and packs do service projects regularly. Service to an organization outside of Scouting is a requirement for Eagle.

As the holiday season approaches, we find ourselves helping out in many ways – collecting food and clothing for the needy, staffing holiday shops at hospitals and churches, caroling in nursing homes and running errands for senior citizens.

You might think that helping with one of the most visible and iconic service projects in America would be right up our alley. Continue reading “A Scout is helpful, but check first”

A Scout(master) is Brave

The Scout LawThe tenth point of the Scout Law, A Scout is Brave, is often explained as

He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

We frequently have conversations with our Scouts about the Scout Law and advise them to live the values in the Oath and Law in their everyday lives as well as when within a Scouting context.

The same applies to Scouters, of course, but top leaders (including both the Scoutmaster and committee chair) should take this one to heart.

We often get tossed around by parents (and sometimes other leaders) who think they may know of ways to “improve” the Scouting program. Continue reading “A Scout(master) is Brave”

A Scout is Kind – even when you don’t expect it

gossip_200Over cracker barrel one Saturday night at a campout a couple years ago, as the boys were off at their patrol sites getting ready for lights out, we adults were talking about our boys. We had been watching them from a distance all day as they went about their daily tasks, and I mentioned that it was great to watch my son going about the business of camping with his patrol, helping to instruct and signing off the younger boys from other patrols, and working with his patrol to get their meals cooked and the kitchen cleaned up.

One of the other dads happened to mention that he’d seen his son in action from a distance too, but in another way. Continue reading “A Scout is Kind – even when you don’t expect it”

Let boys be boys!

cheerfulboyplaying_200For  most kids, play dates can be fun. You get dropped off at a friend’s house, play a few games, maybe have lunch or a snack that Mom prepared, the go play in the backyard, watch TV or play video games, then get picked up and go back home. Sounds like fun, right? But for a lot of people, what they fondly remember were long days spent playing with friends in an unstructured manner. You’d go to the park and swing on the big swingset, roam the neighborhood, ride bikes all over town, sneak into the kitchen and cook some hot dogs for lunch, then just hang out and build a fort in the backyard with things you’d find in the garage. Continue reading “Let boys be boys!”

Breaking bad habits

sittingwithlaptop_200A generation ago, a major shakeup took place in American culture. Up until then, many Americans participated in a very common activity, part of our everyday lives. Almost every public figure, especially in the relatively new medium of television, did it, from Edward R. Murrow and Groucho Marx to, believe it or not, Santa Claus. That activity was Continue reading “Breaking bad habits”