Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Mountains Are the Means, The Man Is The End

In August of 2006 four determined Scout leaders and seven anxious boys set out with big plans to backpack 55 miles across the spine of the High Uintas.  On day two it became painfully obvious that lack of adequate conditioning, experience and preparation would cut the distance far short of the intended goal.  With disappointment the leaders resorted to one of their bailout strategies and arranged for a pickup at a closer, more accessible trail head on the same planned exit day, but 25 miles shy of the original destination. The leaders' hopes for earning the "50 Miler" award were quietly dashed, however, they kept their discouragement from the boys.  The rest of the trip was focused on fishing, exploring, outdoor skills and camp firesides. The leaders initially felt they had failed the boys -- until they overheard those young men sharing stories and recalling with joy and satisfaction the events of that trip.

Walter Bonatti, the famed Italian mountain climber, explorer and journalist who was the first to climb the North Face of the Matterhorn in winter wisely said: "The mountains are the means, the man is the end. The idea is to improve the man, not to reach the top."  As we plan and execute our "Super Activities" for next year, keep Bonatti's words in mind.  Our activities might not always go as planned, but the plan really should be improving the young men.

Written by: J Ralls - District 18 Ventures

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Magnifying Your Calling as an Aaronic Priesthood Leader

There is no more significant work in this world than the preparation of boys to become men of capacity, of strength, of integrity, who are qualified to live productive and meaningful lives.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, April 1985, p. 76)
You have been called to an holy calling—to serve as an Aaronic Priesthood leader. Through your calling you are in a position to influence for good the future missionaries, husbands, fathers, and leaders of the Church. You can ignite the spark of testimony within a young man that will light his path for the rest of his life. Your righteous influence can be felt for generations. Many people will be blessed when you magnify your calling in the Aaronic Priesthood.
When properly cultivated, you have within you two immense powers that can soften every heart, uplift every soul, and enlighten every mind of the young men under your stewardship. When it comes to working with your boys these powers will help you see what otherwise you may not have seen, hear what you may not have heard, and know what you would not have known without these gifts.

Cub Corner October 2014

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Cub-O-Ree and Webelos Night last month. We had over 1,000 scouts and leaders combined at the two days. That is impressive! Thanks for making a fantastic event! We look forward to next year!

I want to share one of my favorite Cubmaster Minutes. This month’s Cub Scout Core Value is Citizenship and this Cubmaster Minute is about our flag. Our country’s flag is made up of thousands of individual threads and stitches. None of them separately is anything more than a thread or stitch, but put them together and they make a flag. Each tiny thread joins all the others to do its job. Our country is made up of millions of individual people, like you and me. Separately we may not accomplish much, but if we join together, work together, and stick together, we can move the world. Let’s work to be united and help our country.

Upcoming Events
·       10/9/14 Roundtable @ 12242 S 2700 W
·       10/27/14 - 10/30/14 Haunted Woods at Camp Tracy
·       11/8/14 College of Cub Scouting
·       11/13/14 Roundtable @ 12242 S 2700 W
·       11/21/14 Holiday Auction
·       12/11/14 Roundtable @ 12242 S 2700 W – Cookie Exchange
·       1/8/2015 Roundtable @ 12345 S 2700 W – Blue and Gold (Dinner Provided)

·       Sign up for email reminders and information. 


Putting the Magic in Scouting

If you had a magic wand, would you use it to make the Scouting program better and more fun for youth so they stayed in Scouting longer, so it had a larger impact on their lives? What if the same magic wand made leadership roles easier and more rewarding, and also led to better retention among adult volunteers? Would using that magic wand be a top priority?

Well, such a magic wand does exist—in the form of the training program for volunteer leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.

Common sense tells us training is important, and research shows the importance of trained leaders. In the early days of the Boy Scouts of America, our first Chief Scout Executive James E. West was asked what the three greatest needs of the new movement were.  He replied, “Training, training, and training.” That is still true today.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joining the Exclusive Group of Order of the Arrow

We all enjoy being a part of exclusive groups.  If we graduated with 4.0 GPA or if we were on a championship sports team we tell everyone about it and we look back with pride.  One of the most exclusive groups in scouting is the Order of the Arrow.  Last year there were fewer new members of the Order of the Arrow than there were new Eagle Scouts.  The process of joining the OA begins by having an Election at your unit.  At an Election, current OA members come and explain the Ordere of the Arrow including the minimum requirements and the values of the OA.  The boy members of the troop or team elect who they feel qualify from their unit.  After being elected the new candidate must then attend an Ordeal.  The next Ordeal will be October 10-11th. Which is the last Ordeal of 2014.  

When we come to your unit to do the election, we’d like to add value and be of service to you and your unit by running your program for that evening with activities that will give your boys a flavor of what the OA is about and maybe teach some leadership skills.  The OA and district leadership are working on a special pin that will be given out to the boys of the units that allow us to do this.  There are only a few weeks before the October Ordeal so hurry.  My contact information is below. 

You can be of service to the OA.  The Order of the Arrow meets the same time and building as Roundtable, if you are coming to Roundtable and there are Arrowmen in your troop or team, give them a ride or encourage them to come on their own.  Our activities are a mix of fun, service and crafts.  This month we are playing dodgeball, in October we are planning a service project, in November we plan on a craft night where we will work on some indian regalia.   

Yours in Brotherhood,
Mark Kirkham
Order of the Arrow Chapter Advisor

Varsity Scouts September 2014: Now She Is A Teacher

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher  at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten.  On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she  removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids  entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.  
'Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?'

She  replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.' They  thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.' 'No,' she said. 'Maybe it's our behavior.' She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so,  they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken  all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha  said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.' 
By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW

Author: Unknown

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Commissioners Corner: Accountability & Responsibility

“A people that values its privileges above its principle soon loses both”

This is a speech given by President Dwight D. Eisenhower back in 1953

“My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads,

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.

My fellow citizens:

The world and we have passed the midway point of a century of continuing challenge. We sense with all our faculties that forces of good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history.

This fact defines the meaning of this day. We are summoned by this honored and historic ceremony to witness more than the act of one citizen swearing his oath of service, in the presence of God. We are called as a people to give testimony in the sight of the world to our faith that the future shall belong to the free.

Since this century's beginning, a time of tempest has seemed to come upon the continents of the earth. Masses of Asia have awakened to strike off shackles of the past. Great nations of Europe have fought their bloodiest wars. Thrones have toppled and their vast empires have disappeared. New nations have been born.

For our own country, it has been a time of recurring trial. We have grown in power and in responsibility. We have passed through the anxieties of depression and of war to a summit unmatched in man's history. Seeking to secure peace in the world, we have had to fight through the forests of the Argonne, to the shores of Iwo Jima, and to the cold mountains of Korea.

In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding, we beseech God's guidance. We summon all our knowledge of the past and we scan all signs of the future. We bring all our wit and all our will to meet the question:

How far have we come in man's long pilgrimage from darkness toward light? Are we nearing the light—a day of freedom and of peace for all mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us?”

Our boys aren’t going off to war in foreign county to fight, but we are at war. A war of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, right vs. wrong.Scouting can help our young men by following the Scout Oath, with the Scout Oath a Scout is engaged to do his best to obey the Scout law. The main principles are;

Duty to God

Duty to others

Duty to self


The Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best 

To do my duty to God and my country 

and to obey the Scout Law; 

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, 

mentally awake, and morally straight.


Living each day by the 12 points of the Scout Law: 

The Scout Law is a personal code of living to guide the way each Scout lives his life. It is not a repression of faults, so was not framed as a list of prohibitions. It states what good form is and what is expected of a Scout. The Scout Law is at the heart of the Scout method

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, 

courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, 

brave, clean, and reverent.

The Scouting Slogan “Do a good turn daily”  

The good deed is a key component of the law and promise. Baden-Powell felt this is the main duty God asks for, and fulfilling our duty to others makes us happy, which fulfills the duty to ourselves. The point is not so much the deed itself, which could be minor, but to teach the Scout to always pay attention and recognize if he could help someone. As we help and serve others we are reminded of the ultimate example of service by Jesus Christ. When we serve others unselfishly we are truly rewarded for that service.

This does not mean that you should do just one Good Turn during the day and then stop. It means you should always be looking for extra opportunities to help others, quietly and without boasting. Remember that a Good Turn is an act of kindness, not just something you do because it is good manners. Good Turns should be done for family, friends, adults, children, and especially for those that are not able to do the task themselves.

We need to prepare these young men for life, and the responsibilities that will come their way. Leaders plan and prepare your actives that follow the Scouting Aims and Methods,  

Scouting Aims:

Character Development

Citizenship Training

Mentall and Physical Fitness


Scouting Methods:

The Ideals

The Patrol Method

The Outdoors


Association with Adults

Personal Growth

Leadership Development

The Uniform

All Scout Masters, Varsity Coaches and Venturing Advisers as you follow the Scouting Aims and Methods you will become a hero to the young men you serve and this is for everyone involved in Scouting: A Hero is an ordinary person who sees a need, and is willing to sacrifice and suffer for another person who is willing but unable to do it for himself. There are many heroes around us. Many of these heroes are ordinary people who unselfishly give of themselves to provide comfort and aid to those in need.


Men of the mountain, Men of the plain

Who drink of fountain, Of suffering and pain.

Men of valor, And men of might

Who live every hour, To do what is right.

Men of wisdom, And men of strength

Who cherish freedom, And guard it at length.

Men who talk, And men who do

Who show by their walk, That their word is ture.

With there I care, To place my name

But I must dare, To live the same