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Fitness and Scout Leaders

If you have been around Scouting very long, you know that the three core objectives in BSA’s program are developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness. The last of these three often gets short-shrift, especially in the adult leader ranks where example is important.

No, I’m not being critical of paunchy old Commissioners or Scouters with shirt buttons dangerously close to becoming airborne missiles.  Far from it.  Like many, I know all too well how age and gravity work.   Grin.

The thing is, we need to set the example if we expect Scouts to take fitness seriously and it would be wonderful to keep great leaders longer.  Nothing is sadder than to learn that a highly respected and skilled Scout leader and friend had to quit Scouting or died because of  a heart attack after battling high blood pressure and obesity.

I know it is a hard thing to make changes that are healthier and that fighting the bulge is no easy task – trust me I really do.  But old dogs do learn new tricks and so I’m thankful that a friend shared a great free publication with me from the National Institute of Health that his doctor recommended.   The publication is “Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH” (DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension).  This publication is available online for free at

The publication includes some great recipes for healthier meals that might even work for the Old Goats Patrol in your Troop.  Take a look at the section called “Recipes for Heart Health” and you’ll find some tasty ideas.  If that isn’t enough to get you started, there are books like  The DASH Diet Action Plan that provide meal plans and many more recipes. And yes, there is an app for that, if you have an iPhone.   Check out MyDASHDiet.

Caveat – I’m not a doctor or a health care professional.  I’m just an old paunchy Commish looking for ways to make better choices.  Please follow the directions from your health care providers and consult with them about your own health issues.




About NetCommish

Michael F. Bowman is Vice President for Services and Board Member, U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. He has served as the primary webmaster for the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. since 1997 and has operated the NetCommish web site since 1994. More information about The NetCommish
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