Monthly Archives: February 2011

Day 21 – Anxious Times

Day 21 was another pretty quiet day on the Scouting front.  Our Troop only holds meetings twice a month (first and third Mondays) so today was a non-Scouting day is that respect.  I did a few things, however.

I looked at using Google Sites for a Troop site.  Not sure if I like it yet or not.  Seems like if you want a site that looks even halfway good you need to put quite a bit of time into it, and I’m not sure I want to do that at this point.  Our Troop already has a page on our church’s site, so I have to decide if it’s worth it.  If someone knows how to make it easier, let me know!

Placed our order for Troopmaster Web.  Hopefully we get it set up this week sometime, because I’m pretty anxious to try it and see how it works.  I’ll be more than happy to let you all know once I can get my hands on it.

Talked to two Scouts today as they would like me to sign their applications for National Honor Society.  Worked it out with them that I’ll sign both of them tomorrow evening at the church, since I”ll be there all evening for Cub Scouts and my long range planning committee meeting.

I’m also getting anxious to get rolling on all the ideas and plans that are in place for the Troop.  We’ve got a solid plan to get the newer Scouts focused and advancing – and we also have a pretty good plan to get our community and church more involved and active in our Troop.  I need to have patience for both, but sometimes it isn’t very easy to do.

Yours In Scouting

– K.


Physical Fitness – Day 19

The BSA has been pushing physical fitness recently.  It’s especially noticeable in their latest and greatest health form.  There are now strict guidelines for height/weight limits, and are apparently being strictly enforced.  We recently had a Scout that wasn’t allowed to participate in a High Adventure base because of his weight.  Although I completely agree with the BSA on stressing physical fitness, it seems they went from one extreme to the other.

For high adventure, I totally understand.  You’re going to be farther away from emergency help if needed, and so the less risk there is of an issue, the better.  You’ll also be pushing yourself harder than usual so having some weight restrictions is understandable.  However, there seems to be no distinction between high adventure and your everyday run of the mill scout outing.  I’m referring to summer camp, specifically.

See, I’m not what you would call slim.  I have what you might want to call the ‘Scoutmaster’ shape.  Now, I’m not saying I’m out of shape completely – but I could use some work to be sure.  My main concern is how one day it was A-OK to be in the shape I’m currently in, and now it’s not.  Give me some time, eh?  Give us all some time, please?  I’m trying to slim down – and it’s working, but come on – how about a little transition?  Someone recently pointed out that our National Scout Executive isn’t what you’d call ‘Philmont ready’.  Shouldn’t he be setting the first and best example?

Ok, I’m done ranting for now.  I’m working on losing weight and getting into shape.  I’m doing it for the boys, and for my family.  I’m hoping to set the example for the boys in our Troop – I just wish they’d have let us work towards it for non-high adventure stuff.

Yesterday – did nothing Scouting!  Went to dinner and a movie with 4/5ths of my family.  Fun evening!

Today – did a little work in Troopmaster – worked out when to sign the recharter with our Committee Chair – and wrote this blog.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend everyone!

Day 17 – Camps, Camps and more Camps!

Tomahawk Scout Reservation Patch Yesterday was a busy day for me and Scouting.  It was mostly just downloading documents and getting all of my ducks in a row.  We’ve got three major camping events coming up, and I need to be on top of them all.

I downloaded Base Camp reservation form.  We’re planning on rock climbing, archery, ropes course and my favorite – Space Shuttle simulator!  What’s Base Camp?  Here:

I’m putting together info on Base Camp, Ripley Rendezvous and Tomahawk – lists of known costs, when they’re due – and other costs that we haven’t figured out yet (food, transportation, etc).  We may need to fund-raise for some of these.

Had to conduct a little damage control from the chartered organization post the other day.  Our Scout Executive reads this blog and became concerned about the Troop and the Chartered Organization.  Rest assured, we’re all doing fine, and I’m working on things to make our relationship stronger.  But how cool is it that our Scout Executive reads this?  Love it!

Bummed out that  our Troop won’t be participating in this year’s Klondike Derby.  We only had 4 boys show up to the meeting and they decided that 4 wasn’t enough to go.  I’ll try and get a patch still, somehow.  Will spend Saturday with the family for some long-needed time together.

I missed my first Commissioner/District meeting for our new District – had my daughter’s band concert which was excellent!  I’m very proud of the hard work they put into that program, and it shows!  Great job guys and gals!

Scout on!

Day 16 – All’s Quiet on the Scouting Front

The ScoutmasterDay 16 has been a fairly quiet day in my Scouting world.  That’s ok.  Tonight is the first night this week I’ve been home before 8:30pm – all Scouting stuff.  The only thing I wound up doing was discussing fundraising for a few upcoming events with the Mrs. and passing them on to our Committee Chair.

I want to thank those that gave their opinions yesterday on my Chartered Org. situation.  I appreciate everyone’s opinion and think I have a plan in place to make both the Troop and our church stronger.  If you still want to comment on it, feel free.

Gonna spend the rest of the evening NOT talking or doing anything Scout related if I can help it.  I hope the rest of you get these opportunities as well, as I feel they are very important to keep a healthy balance.

Finding the Mission – Day 14

The Barnum Community United Methodist Church has been the Chartered Organization for Troop 169 for 3 years now.  The Troop is very thankful for the support the church gives us, but there are many times where it seems like we’ve just not connected correctly with them.  I say that because I see, hear and read about how many Troops have some awesome support from their Chartered Organization, and I don’t see that happening with ours.

Talking with some of the elders in the church, most of them are of the belief that Boy Scouts is just camping.  I think that this misconception is what is causing this disconnect.  And I’m pretty certain that the majority of the blame for that falls squarely on my shoulders.  When I approached the church about chartering the Troop, I didn’t do a very good job of explaining just what we do in Boy Scouts or how we can be considered a mission or ministry.  Trouble is, I’m still not totally sure how to go about it, so we can move closer to a working and supportive relationship.  I know we teach camping skills, but we also teach morals, character development, and leadership skills.  I realize I’m preaching to the choir here, so I’ll leave it at that.

I’m hoping that there’s some of you out there that might be able to point me in a good direction.  Please, if you have literature, a website, or just some general advice to help close the obvious gap between the Troop and the church, I would really appreciate it.  I would love to be one of the units to be able to brag about how wonderful the support from our Charter Org is!  Don’t get me wrong, our church is doing what it promised to do, and for that I can not complain.  I would just like to see our relationship grow and become stronger.

As far as what I did today for Scouts:

  • I downloaded the leader’s guide and sub-camp information for Tomahawk Scout Reservation.
  • Talked with our Committee Chair about Troop finances.
  • I attended and participated in our Pack’s Blue and Gold banquet.  We crossed one of three Webelos 2’s over into the Troop.  Very thankful we crossed one over, we didn’t expect any this year!

Day 14 – 100 Days of Scouting / Tour Plan

Day 14 – Today has been a day of recouping from our annual Arctic Blast weekend.  Unfortunately work doesn’t really let me recoup, but such is life.  On today’s plate as far as Scouting goes, all I have scheduled is a Klondike Derby prep meeting that is replacing our typical Troop meeting tonight.  This is the first year I’m concerned if we’ll have enough boys wanting to go for even one sled team (we’ve usually had 2 sleds go in the past).
The new ‘Tour Plan’ is quickly approaching.  Has anyone gotten any training or instructions from their Council on this?  I have not heard a peep from our local Council besides that it’s going to replace the current tour permits.  Does anyone else find it funny (and sad) that the online tour permit application will be no more and we have to go back to submitting them on paper?  I really liked being able to fill out a tour permit online and just print it off at home.  Don’t understand the backwards step the BSA is taking there…maybe it will all come to light soon.

100 Days of Scouting – Day 13

I’ve missed day 11 and 12 – and for good reason!  I was busy doing what Scoutmasters do best – being out with the Troop on an outing!  So this one might be a little long, but I’m sure you can all understand.

Day 11 – Wound up leaving work early as I wasn’t feeling well (lots of stuff going around).  Went home and rested.  Had to run to town to find a converter for my truck so the lights on the Troop trailer would work.  I apparently haven’t hauled it with my truck yet – didn’t really realize that.  Met the rest of the guys at 6pm, and headed off to Camp Barnum.  With the recent warm weather we’ve had, the driveway to camp was all ice, and pretty tricky to get all the way up to the cabin.  Once we were there, though, it was a great time.  Friday night, the boys unpacked, played games and had a few snacks.  Got the duty roster set up and the rest of the weekend’s schedule figured out.  Typical Friday night fare for this camp, really.

Day 12 – Got up and the boys made build your own egg mcmuffin-like breakfast sandwiches.  Then it was free time.  Typically at Arctic Blast, that means sliding down the steep hills around the area, but with the recent warm weather – they were either lacking snow or were all ice and full of bumps.  So, they tried to hit the hills, but wound up just playing in what snow was left as the hills hurt just too much.  Lunch was home made chicken noodle dumpling soup.  It was fantastic!  Very hearty and rib-sticking and just the thing to get us through the rest of the day until dinner time.  The boys practiced some morse code for the upcoming Klondike Derby (see pic) and also worked on some advancement.  Then it was back outside for more free time, until one of the boys took an ice chunk to the face, it then it was time to come in and practice some practical first aid.  After that, we practiced lashings – and prepared for dinner.  They boys chose to do a Mexican theme –  so we had tacos and Mexican baked potatoes.  After dinner it was campfire time – and while the boys were getting the fire going, our Committee Chair whipped up a couple of chocolate cakes and topped them with cherry pie filling.  A wonderful treat for the evening!  Some boys were in bed by 10 – others stayed up later and were just talking – so I let them stay up later than usual.

Day 13 – Started out with the threat of some nasty winter weather approaching, but we didn’t see any signs of it so we chose to stick with our plan for the day and have a decent breakfast then pack up and head home.  Everyone was moving a little slower this morning as all the ice and outside fun was even tougher on the boys this year.   French toast and bacon for breakfast.  We then packed up, cleaned the cabin and prepared to head out.  Scary moment when I turned the trailer around – tried to stop on the icy driveway and just kept on going.  I finally got the truck to stop – as I had to make it back to the cabin to lock it up.  Everyone saw what happened, and stayed back even farther on the way out of the driveway.  Got home to a sick wife – and have been doing what I can to make her feel better since.

I’m tired.  Had a great time though, and am proud of all the boys in the Troop who came.  Everyone under First Class got things signed off in the their books (if they remembered to bring them).  I also got to have some good conversations with our Committee Chair on ideas for improving and keeping the Troop a viable and well-oiled operation.  I hope some of you had similar Scouting experiences this weekend as well!  It was really nice to have the ‘outing’ in Scouting this weekend!

100 Days of Scouting – Day 10

Day 10 –

  • My wife decided to join all of us on the #100DaysofScouting journey!  We’re the first Scouting couple to do it, and it may prove really interesting!  You’ll also notice that we do have differing opinions on certain topics, but we generally work pretty well together in Scouting.  Her blog is here:
  • Tonight, we’re giving our second FOS presentation to a local Cub Scout Pack.  We were invited already, and the we were asked to do this, so the whole family is coming tonight.  Good food, for sure!  I should have more bugs worked out of my presentation as well, so hopefully that translates into more donations.  – UPDATE – The FOS went really well!  Great job Pack 180 on your donations!
  • Got a call last night and found out that we will have one boy crossing over from the local Pack!  That’s one more than we anticipated, and he’ll be starting his Boy Scout journey by joining us at the Klondike Derby later this month.  Very excited and happy about that!

I”ll be away from technology this weekend as I will be with my Troop at Camp Newman for our annual ‘Arctic Blast’ extravaganza.  Fun in the snow, with a little teaching and training mixed in.  I will update either on Sunday or Monday.  Happy Scouting everyone!

100 Days of Scouting – Day 9

Day 9:

  • Received the keys for Camp Newman today and paid for the weekend rental.
  • Received the FOS ‘box’ with all of the info for tomorrow’s Blue and Gold.
  • Discussed with our committee via email on how we want to proceed with the sharing of Troopmaster data.
  • Received my newest position patch – see picture 🙂 .  Might have to sew tonight!
  • Installed Troopledger and have been reading how to use it…

FOS – (I won’t ask you for money, I swear)

FOS LogoStop!  First off, I swear I won’t ask you for any money in this post!  Honest.  So it’s safe to keep reading.

That seems to be how the majority of Scouting parents feel when I step up for the 5 minute spiel I give at the Blue and Gold banquets.  Like ‘oh boy, here c0mes that guy representing the Council asking for money’.  Well yea, I am representing the Council when I’m doing my FOS speech, but that seems to cause most folks to think I don’t know or understand how it really is in Scouting.  Well, I beg to differ.  I’m a Scoutmaster in a rural area – I get it.

Scouting Magazine had a good ‘Front Line Stuff’ about this  – here’s the article:  I don’t know how well these ideas would work in my neck of the woods, though.  My Council wants me to keep it short and sweet.  Which, I understand – but at the same time, how can I get my point across to these people that this FOS stuff is actually very important if they don’t want to see the Council costs passed on to us time and time again?  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I just answered my own question!

I have to give my second FOS presentation tomorrow night.  I think I might just try that approach.  I’m also going to try and challenge each family to give something  – no matter the size.  I need to make sure it doesn’t sound like I’m begging, though.  If you have any good ideas on how to successfully approach parents on FOS, I’d sure appreciate it.  I’ll update the results in one of my 100 Day of Scouting posts.