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Sometimes, It Takes A Swift Kick

If you havn’t heard me say the following three things you will….  I say them alot.  And here’s why.

Every Scout CAN become an Eagle.

Inside of Every Scout there is an Eagle waiting to reveal himself.

Sometimes, you have to Kick the Eagles out of the nest.

Here’s why!


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There Is No Try, There Is Only Do

In the Scout Oath and Law you should notice everything is in the positive…  “A Scout is…” is the refrain in the Scout Law.  Our Scouts are positively affirming what they want and need to become…  “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent”.

And in the Scout Oath not only are the affirmations always in the positive, but in the verb of action.   “I will do my best, to do my duty”…

Yoda said it best…  “There is no try, only Do, or Do Not”

Scouts Do…  They don’t try.  They simply do.  They don’t try to hike five miles, they do hike five miles.  They don’t try to cook while on a campout, they do it.  They don’t try to do anything.  They simply are expected to do.

Not because they don’t try, they do try.  But in everything they are trying they are positively doing things.  And it’s simply doing what they think they can’t, and they do, our Scouts learn they can do anything.

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Have Fun and Focus

Scouts, it’s getting to be “Scout Season”.  Where alot of Scout Activities happen all in a row.  Just look at our schedule!

And as we come into the “Scout Season” this is my time to give you a little advice.

Don’t “sweat” the Merit Badges.  Don’t “sweat” the rank advancements.  Be smart about your choices and taking advantage of your opportunities for both Merit Badges and Rank Advancement.  But don’t “sweat” it either.

“Scout Season” is where there is alot of work and opportunity for both Rank Advancement and Merit Badges occurs.   But don’t forget to have a little downtime and funtime planned along with your Merit Badge and Rank Advancement opportunities.

For Summer Camp you will be choosing the Merit Badges you will work on at Camp.  Choose wisely.  Choose Merit Badges that you are interested in AND will help you advance to earning your Eagle.  Choose more than just one or two.  But also make sure you have a little time for yourself as well.  Time to have fun.  Time to play a little ball, take a nap, read a book, play some chess, talk with your fellow Scouts, meet other Scouts from around the Camp.

Have Fun!  Plan for Fun!  And Focus on the Merit Badges you really want and need.

In the end, it’s not who’s sash has the most badges.  It’s the fun, friends, and growth as a Scout you have along the way to being recognized as the Eagles I think you all can be.



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Be Prepared

Published on February 6, 2013 by in Uncategorized

The Scout Motto, BE PREPARED, means you are always ready to do your duty in body and mind.  And since you never know what’s going to happen in the future, it’s your duty to Be Prepared for anything.

Scouting’s founder, Robert Baden Powell urged all Scouts to be prepared in Body, and Mind.

And being organized.  Knowing what you need to do to Be Prepared requires Planning.  A modification of a common reminder of the importance of Planning is to “Never forget the 6 P’s”…

Prior, Proper Planning Prevents Pee Poor Performance

Being prepared is the critical first step for any outdoor outing. But prior planning is also a critical first step to getting good grades and being successful in school.  For keeping your bedroom clean.  For having the right clothes clean and ready for a Scouting Event, or, Church on Sunday.

The good part about Planning and Being Prepared is that you can start right now and be ahead of 99% of the people you know.  Most people don’t plan and arn’t prepared.  Taking the first step is important in this endeavour.   Don’t make the mistake of procrastination. Plan, prepare, and execute. Don’t make the mistake of putting things off until the last minute, then being disappointed when the result of your poor effort is a poor result.

Some of the best learning experiences we have all had are a result of our own mistakes, failures, or lack of planning.  In other words, not being prepared.  Do a little Prior Proper Planning and Be Prepared, for Life.


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A Scout is Reverent

Published on January 30, 2013 by in Uncategorized

This has been a busy month for us. Starting the New Year, getting ready for and having a terrific Klondike, and on Saturday is Merit Badge Acadamy.

In the Bible, in Genesis, it is stated that “On the Seventh Day, God Rested”. Which is kind of how it feels after a whirlwind January for our Troop. New Year, to Preperation, to Klondike to Merit Badge Academy.

And the 12th point of the Scout Law states “A Scout is Reverent”

It’s been a big month. A busy month. And now we have the opportunity to thank our Chartering Organization by attending services with them in their Church. On Sunday, Feb 3rd, we get our own opportunity for “A day of rest” and to honor the Scout Law by showing that truly, “A Scout is Reverent”.

So we’ll meet up on Saturday for Merit Badge Acadamy, and then we’ll see you all on Sunday Morning at the Longbranch Baptist Church to share services and fellowship with our Chartering Organization.

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Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

Published on January 23, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Do you know the name of the trophy given to the NFL Superbowl winner each year?

It’s the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Named in honor of the venerable coach of the Green Bay Packers in the early days of the NFL. He is a legendary figure known for his development of modern coaching, individual motivation, and excellent tactical skills.

Coach Lombardi famously stated that “Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect… Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”. Which is another way of saying that simply repeating something over and over isn’t enough. You’ve got to get it right, repeatedly, in practice.

This weekend is our Winter Klondike. You’ve honed your skills in knot tying, First Aid, Scout Knowledge, Lashings, etc., and all of you have done each of the skills needed. We’ve camped together and worked together as Patrols, and as a Troop. This is when we get to put all those pieces together for the first time.

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

This is your first event together as a Troop and I don’t expect our Patrols to “win it all”. And, in reality, I don’t really care how we place as individual Patrols, and as a Troop. But what I do care about is that each and every Scout treats this as the equivalent of a football “Full Pads, Full Speed” practice. It’s where we are going to take everything you’ve been working on since last August and put it all together for the first time. It’s time for a Perfect Practice.

So, we’ll see you all tomorrow to head out and have a great weekend of fun with Troops from around the Big Muddy District.

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Jaques Pepin’ is a Scout at Heart

Do you ever watch Jaques Pepin’ on PBS or Create? Watching his blazingly fast knife skills as he goes thru an onion faster than a food processor?

Jaques Pepin’ is a Scout at Heart. Why, you ask?

Watch one of his shows. His TV kitchen is nice, but not completely neat. His knives are at the ready. His spatula, spoons, and ingredients are close at hand. His cutting board is clean and his pots and pans are on the stove ready to go. French Chefs call this Mise-en-place (pronounced in a nearly German way as “miz on plas”). Or, in English, “Everything in place”.

Sound familiar? It’s the Culinary version of Be Prepared.

Jaques Pepin’ also turned down becoming the White House Chef for President Kennedy because (although he had been the Head Chef for three French Presidents) he didn’t think himself worthy. He went to work for Howard Johnson’s for 10 years instead. Then he had restaurants in New York. All before becoming a TV Chef.

Jaques Pepin’ is a Scout at Heart. He’s Prepared. Brave (after a car accident in the early 70s he had a miraculous recovery due in no small part to his refusal to do anything but recover fully). Clean (ever see a Chef with a filthy kitchen). Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly…

Jaques Pepin’ is a Scout at Heart. Just like hundreds, if not thousands, of other people you may see on TV. They don’t get the big headlines like someone who abuses dogs, does drugs, is boastful, or just desperate for a headline. But they’re there. And you can tell the difference between a “poser” and someone who is a Scout at Heart by paying just a little attention to how they do things, and if how they do things shows that they are honoring the Scout Oath and Law in their own lives.

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Scouts Live Life to the Fullest

It’s the “easy way out” to say all the wrong things, for the wrong reasons this week.  But, Scouts do the hard things, the tough things, the difficult things, for a reason.

Because it’s the hard, tough, difficult things that make us all better.  Give us more joy.  Make us better people.

Last week in Connecticut we lost members of five families involved in Scouting.  And for these five families we can only offer our support and prayers.

If there is a lesson for you, the Scouts of Troop 286, it is this.

We never know how long we have on this earth.  And for the potential for a long and productive life that is a blessing to you and all around you we work hard, play hard, learn much, and have fun.  We life life to the fullest.  And if our time is short.  If we should pass sooner, rather than later, we Scouts live our lives to the fullest.  We work hard, play hard, learn much, and have fun.  Because by walking the trail we walk.  Doing the hard things, the tough things, the difficult things, our lives, and our family and friends lives, are better because of it.


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It’s Not A Race…

Sometimes does it seem like things are going too fast?  That Halloween was last week, Thanksgiving yesterday, and Christmas is tomorrow?  That it’s all “go go go”?

Well, Scouting is kinda like that, if you let it.  But with all the “run, run, run” you need to take just enough time for the “fun, fun, fun”!

You see, Scouts, we charge hard because it’s FUN to charge hard.  We climb towers, go rappelling, visit the target range, camp, and camp some more, because it’s FUN! And if you think back…  Just a little bit… You won’t remember everything from every thing we do.  But you will remember the FUN.

Scouting isn’t a race.  It’s not about getting your Eagle next week.  It’s about earning your Eagle and having fun mixed in all the way.

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Everyone Has Hero Potential

Published on November 8, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Scouts!  A Minute About Being A Hero…

From what we see in TV Shows, Movies, Video Games, you would think that spotting a Hero would be easy.  Is it?

But TV, and Movies, and Video Games arn’t real!  The reality is that heroes and heroines come in all shapes and sizes, and ages.

Need proof?  How about the fact that in 2011, the Boy Scout of America awarded 13 Honor Medals with Crossed Palms, 31 Honor Medals, and 121 Heroism Awards!  That’s 165 people whose families can point and say “That Scout is My Hero”!

A hero does the right thing at the right time. A hero acts when it really counts. The heroic act is not boastful or flashy.  They don’t make heroic declarations about valor, honor, or great skill.  A hero doesn’t “freak out” when something unexpected happens.  In the middle of a mess they recognize what needs to be done, and they just do it.

Not because it’s heroic.  Not for a medal.  Not for a point on their resume.  They simply do it because it’s the right thing to do, at the right time, to help someone else.

Would you like to know the secret of how to be a hero?  Now pay attention closely.  This is a difficult thing.  A hard thing.  A tough thing.

Be Prepared!

You see, being a hero is simply a matter of being prepared when others arn’t.  To have learned how to tie that sturdy bowline knot.  To be able to lash together a few limbs.  To know basic first aid.  To learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver..  To understand where you are and to be able to navigate your way to where you need to be.  To understand when some situation is too dangerous and to back off and not do what you intended to.

All of these things prepare you to possibly be a hero to someone in need. And you can’t be a hero if your not prepared.



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