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Tough Scouting on TV

This just came in via email from NESA

Calling On All Eagle Scouts
Your Eagle Eyes Are Needed!

It’s fiercely competitive—the consummate outdoor adventure.

Watch “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?” featuring an awesome, elite team of Scouts taking on adult challengers each Monday on the National Geographic Channel. Cheer on your fellow Scouts by tuning in each week at 7 p.m. Central/ 8 p.m. Eastern time through April 8.

More than 439,000 households tuned in for the premiere on March 4. That’s 439,000 households in communities across the country seeing the fun and excitement of Scouting!

You can count on the Scouts to give their “civilian” challengers a run for their money! It’s all in good—but not necessarily clean, fun. A variety of adventurous, Scout-based activities (which include being covered in mud) proves this is no day at the spa! Five more episodes await your viewing pleasure. Watch it, DVR it, tell your friends about it!

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Scouts Rap to Sell Chocolate

You can order fudge from this enterprising Boy Scout Troop at Hey, even if you are on a special diet, you can order it for gifts!

Regardless of whether you order or not, the Troop deserves a virtual pat on the back for an outstanding video.

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Supporting Scouting

I saw this today in my in box and thought it worth sharing – there are some great points here. NCAC asked recipients to share the message and so I am. Credit goes to NCAC for the content below:

A Special Bulletin from National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

NCAC’s E-Source: Keeping you in the loop

On Thursday we gave thanks. On Black Friday we sought the sales. And on Cyber Monday we shopped ‘til our fingers dropped. Today…called “Giving Tuesday” by some…opens the holiday giving season.

In that spirit, we present to you…

5 Reasons NOT To Support Scouting This Holiday Season

5. Scouting is just for well-to-do families from the suburbs.

Scouting serves young people and families in rural, urban and suburban areas. Some Scouting units support themselves through dues and fundraising while others receive support from generous individuals and organizations in the community. NCAC is dedicated to ensuring all who want to participate in Scouting have that opportunity. Last year, the Council provided more than $32,000 in scholarships for inner city youth to go to summer camp, where many have their first experience in the great outdoors.

4. Scouting is old-fashioned and doesn’t teach youth the skills they need to succeed today.

The values of the Scout Oath and Law are timeless and will always be relevant as the Scouting program continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s young people. NCAC recently launched BSA’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initative to help get young people excited about learning the skills – through merit badges such as Environmental Science, Architecture, Computers, Robotics, Invention, Programming and Digital Technology – that they need to compete in our global marketplace.

3. Boy Scouts is an all volunteer organization, so there’s no need for my donation.

Scouting is a volunteer-led organization, with countless hours dedicated after work and on weekends by volunteers. Supporting them on a daily basis are Scouting professionals who engage community organizations as chartered partners, recruit youth members and volunteers, organize activities, set up training opportunities, assist with paperwork and seek contributions from the community to maintain and grow the program. NCAC is blessed to have more than 21,100 registered adult volunteers supported by 75 Scouting professionals serving more than 56,400 local youth. But they can’t do it alone. It truly takes the community – individuals and organizations – to make Scouting happen.

2. My Pinewood Derby was not a good experience.

The Pinewood Derby is an iconic part of Scouting and one that many Scouting alumni remember for the rest of their lives…some more fondly than others. Through activities like the Pinewood Derby, Klondike Derby and Raingutter Regatta, NCAC teaches young people valuable lessons about craftsmanship, sportsmanship and how to work on a project from start to finish. Win or lose, these activities help mold their character and create lasting memories.

1. Everyone knows that one person can’t make a difference.

Yes, you can! In fact, one person reaching out to help is often the only thing that can make a difference. Our Scouts learn from the Scout Law “to help other people at all times.” Lead by example. With your support, NCAC can keep its commitment to ensure that every young person who wants to take part in Scouting has that opportunity.

We all know there are many good reasons TO give to Scouting.

Scouting transforms lives. And as our community demographics and the needs of today’s youth change – as the need for Scouting grows – so too does NCAC’s need for your leadership, participation and support.

Forward this email to your friends, family, co-workers and business associates. Be proud of the organization that you support and ask others to join you in ensuring that our high-quality, volunteer-led, character-driven program continues to offer young people the adventure and personal growth that can only be found through Scouting.

Give today and know that your gift will ensure young people learn the values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – which will never go out of style and will always be relevant.

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Thanksgiving Day – Scouter’s Prayer


With reverance in our hearts,

We, Your many children of many beliefs,

United in common purpose,

Gather to offer this our humble prayer,

In Thanksgiving:

As Scouters we are thankful for:

The many gifts and talents given to our fellow Scouters,

and to ourselves;

The freedom we have to join together and as a team

accomplish more than any of us could alone;

The opportunity to be of service to young people,

parents, other Scouters and our community;

Our joy at seeing so many young people become excited

as they grow and are able to meet challenges;

Being reminded by their ceremonies and legends

that he who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest;

And most importantly we are thankful for the gift

of knowing that our prayers are heard.

We each in own way take this moment to silently

add our own thanksgivings . . . (pause)

With thanks in our hearts we offer our prayers

and ask that You, the Great Scoutmaster of All Scouts,

be with each of us until we meet again.


By Michael F. Bowman

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Wonderful Scouting Themed Birthday Card

Two vendors offer this greeting card online for under $5.00 USD. The image is wonderful and sure reminds me of Scouting experiences in the 1960’s.

Greeting Card

Check them out at:


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Author Unknown

The Great Master was creating Scout Leaders. It was His sixth day of ‘overtime’ and He knew that this was a terrific responsibility for Scout leaders would touch the lives of so many impressionable young men. An angel appeared to Him and said, “You are taking a long time to figure this one out.”

“Yes,” said the Great Master, ” but have you read the expectations on this order?”

… must stand above all Scouts, yet be on their level.
… must be able to do 180 things not connected with the project at hand.
… must run on coffee and Dutch Oven leftovers.
… must communicate vital knowledge to all Scouts daily and be right most of the time.
… must have more time for others than for herself/himself.
… must have a smile that can endure through bad days, poor weather, problematic boys, and well meaning parents.
… must go on leading Scouts when parents question every move and others are not supportive.
… must have 6 pair of hands.

“Six pair of hands, ” said the angel, “that’s impossible”

“Well, ” said the Great Master, ” it is not the hands that are the problem. It is the three pairs of eyes that are presenting the most difficulty!”

The angel looked incredulous, ” Three pairs of eyes…on a standard model?”

The Great Master nodded His head, ” One pair can see a Scout for what he is and not what others have labeled him as. Another pair of eyes is in the back of the Scout leader’s head to see what should not be seen, but what must be known. The eyes in the front are only to look at the Scout as he/she ‘acts out’ in order to reflect, ” I understand and I still believe in you”, without so much as saying a word to the boy.”

“Great Master, ” said the angel, ” this is a very large project and I think you should work on it tomorrow”.

“I can’t,” said the Great Master, ” for I have come very close to creating something much like Myself. I have one that attends activities when he/she is sick…..instructs a group of Scouts that do not want to learn….has a special place in his/her heart for boys who are not his/her own ….understands the struggles of those who have difficulty….never takes the Scouts for granted…”

The angel looked closely at the model the Lord was creating. “It is too soft-hearted, ” said the angel.

“Yes,” said the Great Master, ” but also tough, You can not imagine what this leader can endure or do, if necessary”.

“Can this Scout leader think?” asked the angel.

“Not only think,” said the Great Master,. “but reason and compromise.”

The angel came closer to have a better look at the model and ran his finger over the leader’s cheek.

“Well, Great Master,” said the angel, your job looks fine but there is a leak. I told you that you were putting too much into this model. You can not imagine the stress that will be placed upon the Scout leader.”

The Great Master moved in closer and lifted the drop of moisture from the leader’s cheek. It shone and glistened in the light.

“It is not a leak,” He said, “It is a tear.”

“A tear? What is that?” asked the angel, “What is a tear for?”

The Great Master replied with great thought, ” It is for the joy and pride of seeing a Scout accomplish even the smallest achievement. It is for the loneliness of Scouts who have a hard time fitting in and it is for compassion for the feelings of their parents. It comes from the pain of not being able to reach some boys and the disappointment those boys feel in themselves. It comes often when a leader has been with a patrol of Scouts for
seven years and must say good-bye to those Scouts and get ready to welcome a patrol of new young Scouts.”

“My, ” said the angel, ” The tear thing is a great idea…You are a genius!!”

The Great Master looked somber, “I didn’t put it there.”

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Campfire Wisdom

Too Small To Make A Difference?

I’m not sure who originated the quote and have seen it attributed to many, but the message sure is thought provoking. It just might be a wonderfully short Scoutmaster minute at the end of a camping day when the Scouts are too tired for something longer.

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Winter Camping

For Scout Troops braving the cold of winter, this video from the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program’s OPTIK program may be of more than just passing interest. The video presents some great tips for staying warm in extreme temperatures.

YouTube Description:

An explanation of the time-tested Northern Tier Sleeping System. Northern Tier crews regularly face temperatures lower than -20 degrees Fahrenheit – this is the system they use to handle those extreme temperatures. In addition to keeping the sleeper warm, this sleeping system also prevents gear from freezing during the night and, in some cases, will help gear dry out.

For more great videos from Norther Tier, check out the Northern Tier YouTube Channel.

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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.



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