Tag Archives: Physical Fitness

A Time To Reflect, A Time To Refocus


2011 is in the books.  All in all, I’d say it was a good year.  It had it’s ups and downs, but on the whole I’d say it was a good one.  As we pass into this new year, I’d like to take some time and reflect on some Scouting things, and also look ahead at what’s to come.

A Time To Reflect:

First off, 2011 was my first attempt at blogging.  The 100 Days of Scouting thing got me into this whole blogging / twitter-ing stuff.  I have made many contacts and friends through these technologies, and for that I am most grateful.  Some of the ideas, information and suggestions I have gotten over the last year have greatly helped not only myself, but my unit, my District and my Council.  It’s like we’re one big Roundtable sometimes, isn’t it?

Secondly, there was the #CSPSwap.  I have a whole bunch of awesome CSP patches from all over the country now, and I hope that we can do it again sometime this year!  On a side note, I know that I owe a few of you folks some CSP’s still.  I haven’t forgotten who I owe patches to, and I will still get them to you – sooner than later I hope.

Our unit is currently in the process of recharter.  I’m not sure how we’ll pan out for the Journey To Excellence, but I think we’ll score high enough to at least get Bronze, if not Silver.  We look good on paper – but in practice I feel we have a long way to go.  This last year, I learned quite a bit about how a boy-led Troop is supposed to work.  For the past 6+ years, I have held too tightly to the reigns of the Troop (including planning, decisions and just about ever facet).  I’m learning to let go, let mistakes happen, let learning begin.  Training the boys isn’t about standing up in front of the Scouts and droning on and on about something.  It’s about letting them figure out what resources they need to learn a skill, and how to procure those resources.  It’s about asking the right questions.  Questions that lead them to discover the answers for themselves.
I have to admit – this is the toughest thing I’ve done this year.  And it’s caused a little bit of strife with some of the adult leadership.  Some feel there needs to be more adult-provided structure.  Maybe they are right.  I just don’t know, and we’ll have to see how things go.

I became one of the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioners for our District.   I took my training, and am still learning and trying to come up with ways to make Roundtables something people want to attend.  It’s not easy.  And – it’s not my top priority.  Being Scoutmaster trumps being Roundtable Commissioner and I feel that at times, the Roundtable programming suffers for it.  It’s about finding a balance, and I’m still working on it.

Speaking of our District – our Council re-organized our Districts from 8 down to 2 very large Districts.  They had a contest to re-name each District – any the name I submitted was selected for my District!  We’re now part of the Northern Trails District of the Voyageurs Area Council, and I had a little something to do with the name.  Way cool, huh?

A Time To Refocus:

A new  year brings new opportunities.  Here are a few of the things I’m looking forward to so far in 2012:

We just held Troop elections – which means we have some new leaders and some returning leaders.  I’m looking forward to being able to train them using the new ILST.  It looks promising, and I hope to be able to use as much of it as I can to help these young men understand and start down their journey to becoming leaders.  It’s as much a learning process for me as it is for the Scouts.

We have a pretty good group of Webelos 2’s (or, should I say Arrow of Light Scouts?) possibly crossing over in late February or early March.  We could sure use a good influx of Scouts and just as importantly – new adults.  Our Committee is very, very thin right now and we need some people to step up and fill some important positions.  Hopefully we can get it all worked out and our Committee can, dare I say, start to do what a Troop Committee should do.

Summer Camp.  The possibility exists that a brand-new Troop in our area is going to piggyback with us to summer camp this year.  Our first year, we piggybacked with another local Troop to help us figure out the whole camp thing.  Time to pay it back – and to make it even better – their Scoutmaster and I used to be in the same Troop years ago!  I’m really looking forward to helping them down the right path so they can be a strong, boy-led Troop as well!

Blogging – I hope that I can blog more consistently this year.  Not sure I’ll do the 100 Days of Scouting or not – depends if it happens.  I feel like I lost all my steam after it last year, and I just didn’t give the blog enough of my time.  Granted, I got pretty burnt out on Scouting at one point this last year – and that definitely affected whether or not I wanted to write about it.  So I may try to pace myself more this year and see how it goes.

I have submitted my application to be an adult leader for the 2013 National Jamboree.  Our Council hasn’t picked any adult leaders yet, so I don’t know if I’m in or not.  If I do get picked there is one thing I know I have to do:  lose weight and get in shape.  I know I can do it, and it would be a great incentive to me to get my butt off the chair and moving and eating better.  Getting healthier is one of my goals for the year, but being part of the contingent would really light a fire under me.  (So if anyone from the Jamboree Committee is reading this….*ahem*).

I could go on and on about what I’d love to see…..but when it really all boils down to it – what I really want for 2012 is for everyone in my family (and extended Scouting/church family as well) to be healthy, happy and safe.

Feel free to share your hopes/dreams (dare I say resolution).  I’d love to hear what you are most looking forward to!

Here’s to the new year!


Base Camp


Last Sunday, our Troop spent the day at Northern Star Council’s newest camp – Base Camp.  From their website:  “It is designed as a place – “Where expeditions begin” –  to introduce young people from all communities to the type of activities that are core elements of Scouting and our “learning by doing” approach to non-formal education. Young people of all ages and backgrounds can experience the adventures of Scouting right in the heart of the metro area.”

We had 9 boys and 4 adults take part in the day’s fun activities.  So that’s 13 people total, and we had the place to ourselves.  2 staff members with us all day and an extra staffer was with us during the high ropes portion of the day.  We started off with indoor archery.  The first 6 or 8 rounds were your typical archery – just shooting arrows at the targets.  Then they spiced it up a bit and gave us a few different challenges – like trying to get one arrow in each color on the target, and placing paper cups and balloons on the targets to see if we could hit them.

Then it was off to the rock wall.  Seemed to be the most anticipated thing of the day – and many of the older boys ate this up.  I was impressed to see that all of the boys had been climbing already, and they all worked as teams very well together.  Lots of encouragement, and lots of help to find the right hand and foot holds.

Lunch time was pizza – and all but 3 pieces remained.  The Mrs. and I debated on how many to order, and I’m glad we kept it at 6 pizzas (I over-order most of the time).  By this time in the day, the boys were getting a little tired both physically and mentally, so lunch and a breather was a great idea.

After lunch it was time to hit the high ropes course.  This is indoors as well, and during this time is when the tornado hit the Minneapolis area.  Our director for the day, Karl, had this ‘deer in headlights’ look as he approached me to inform me of the weather situation, and if it moved any closer to us, we’d have to get the kids off the course quickly and into the designated storm shelter.  No big whoop, just like summer camp, really.  We wound up not having to do it, but we were ready to just in case.

Finally, it was time for the Space Shuttle simulator.  Being the space geek that I am, I was really looking forward to this.  Sadly, it was the most disappointing thing we did all day.  Very little instruction, and we all came out of it feeling like we didn’t gain a thing from it.  The staff seemed to think the software was goofed up, and I sure hope so for their sake.  But, you live and you learn.  I really doubt if we return to Base Camp that they’ll want to do this part over.

We were then treated to an unplanned bike ride around Fort Snelling.  The weather had cleared up, and it was a beautiful afternoon for a bike ride.  The bikes provided were very nice, and we didn’t really bike all that far.  It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful day, however.

Rock Wall at Base Camp

To recap, I would have to say that Base Camp is definitely worth the cost.  (Cost is based on what activities you want to do, and whether or not you need them to be staffed – see their website for details.)  All of us, including the adults, had a great time.  What’s not to like about it?  You’re basically getting to do most of the things that are the highlights of summer camp, closer to home and anytime of the year.  I think this place is going to wind up on our annual planning agenda in August.  A HUGE thank you to the Mrs. for setting all of this up – I hope you can come with if we go again, I think you’ll love it too.

http://www.explorebasecamp.org/


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!