Thursday, December 11, 2014

Silent Night

It was December 23, 1818, in the small town of Oberndorf, in the Austrian Alps near Salzburg. That the organ in the small Church of St. Nicholas' wasn't working and would not be repaired before Christmas. (Note: some versions of the story point to mice as the problem; others say rust was the culprit) Because the church organ was out of commission, the assistant pastor Josef Mohr wondered what they could do for the Christmas Eve Service. 
He pondered about the problem that night as he trudged through the forest to visit a woodchopper’s wife who had just had a baby. It was late when he arrived at this humble home & in the light of the fire he saw the young mother with her new born babe. This reminded him of Mary and her Baby who was born in a stable in Bethlehem. On the way home he saw from the hilltop, the peaceful silent snow-covered town. It was so beautiful in the majestic star light of that wintry night. He pondered on the scripture found in.

Luke 2:8-11
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Words of a poem began to form in Joseph Mohr’s mind: “Silent night, holy night
He decided that these words might make a good carol for the Christmas Eve service just hours away. Even after he arrived home, the words continued to flow. It was almost daybreak when he finished writing them down.
The problem was that he didn't have any music to go with these graceful words. So, after he awoke, Mohr went to see his best friend Franz Gruber, who taught school and played the church organ. Gruber only had a few hours to come up with a melody which could be sung with a guitar. However, by that evening, Gruber had composed the holy music that would complement the poem. They now had a Christmas carol that could be sung without the organ.
On Christmas Eve, the little Oberndorf congregation heard Gruber and Mohr sing their new composition accompanied by the guitar.

Weeks later, well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived in Oberndorf to fix the organ in the old church. When Mauracher finished, he stepped back to let Gruber test the instrument. When Gruber sat down, his fingers began playing the simple melody he had written for Mohr's Christmas poem. Deeply impressed, Mauracher took copies of the music and words of "Silent Night" back to his home in the Alpine village, Kapfing. There, two well-known families of singers — the Rainers and the Strassers — heard it. Captivated by "Silent Night," both groups put the new song into their Christmas season repertoire.

The Strasser sisters spread the carol across northern Europe. In 1834, they performed "Silent Night" for King Frederick William IV of Prussia, and he then ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas Eve.

Twenty years after "Silent Night" was written, the Rainers brought the song to the United States, singing it (in German) at the Alexander Hamilton Monument located outside New York City's Trinity Church.

In 1863, nearly fifty years after being first sung in German, "Silent Night" was translated into English (by either Jane Campbell or John Young). Today the words of "Silent Night" are sung in more than 300 different languages around the world and is perhaps the most well-known Christmas song.

Stille Nacht (GERMAN) 
1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Alles schläft; einsam wacht Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar, Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! 

2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'. Jesus in deiner Geburt!

3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Die der Welt Heil gebracht, Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn, Jesum in Menschengestalt! 

4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Wo sich heut alle Macht Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß. Jesus die Völker der Welt!

5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Lange schon uns bedacht, Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit, Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! 

6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht! Hirten erst kundgemacht  Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah. "Jesus der Retter ist da!

Growing a Troop

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.  For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.  The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

We desire all young men to participate in Scouting and to receive the benefits associated with this great organization.  In a recent basic training for Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, there were several questions about how to run the patrol method in smaller troops.  That discussion naturally led to recruiting.  While many of our Scout troops are geographically limited, there are usually several boys who are not participating in Scouts.  Maybe they aren't members of the local Church sponsoring the troop, or haven't been involved previously through Cub Scouts.  These young men are often an untapped resource and would benefit from all that Scouting offers. 

The best way to identify these young men is to ask your patrol leaders' council to help you identify those who live in the area who aren't coming to Scouts.  You may be surprised who they know from school, from playing in the neighborhood, or from participation on sports teams.  Once potential recruits are identified, there are several approaches to inviting them to participate.  Adult leaders can go and visit with the young man and his parents, discuss the local troop's upcoming events, and invite participation.  Another approach is to have members of the patrol leaders' council invite the young man to start attending troop meetings and campouts.  This is often more effective and can be followed up by adult leaders visiting with the parents.  Either way, don't hesitate to reach out and continue to reach out to all boys in your area.  This will help your troop grow in numbers as well as leadership experience.  And may provide an opportunity to a boy that will change his life.

Cub Corner December 2014

For those who don’t know, there are changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Beginning in June 2015, all cubs will begin using a new program designed to bring out the adventures in scouting. This month, I want to highlight the things that are staying the same. Let’s start with the familiar and then we can move from there.

First, we are keeping the same uniforms. Boys will still wear blue shirts, Webelos can still wear either blue or khaki, and leaders will wear khaki. Ladies, if you prefer the yellow shirt, you can still wear the yellow shirt. Pants, belts, hats, neckerchiefs, etc. will all still be around. I think we can all be grateful that we don’t need to go spend a bunch of money on a new uniform.

Second, we are keeping the same ranks. There will still be a Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light rank. The requirements are changing, but we’ll get into that another time.

Third, cubs will still use the Cub Scout salute, the Cub Handshake, the Cub Scout Sign, and the Cub Scout Motto. We are still trying to “Do Your Best” in everything we do in Cubs.
Fourth, ages and den/pack structure will stay the same.
Lastly, the FUN will still be there.

See, the program isn’t completely different. We have our comfort zone. Next month, I’ll dive into some of the new things.
I plan to highlight parts of the changes each month in my Cub Corner. This is going to be a fun new adventure for all of us. Let’s get on board!

Upcoming Events
  • 12/11/14 - Cookie Exchange Roundtable @ 12242 S 2700 W
  • 1/8/2015 - BLUE & GOLD Roundtable @ 13768 S 6400 W (Dinner Provided)
  • 1/20/15 - Council Cub Country Preview Meeting at Camp Tracy Lodge
  • 2/1/15 - Cub Camp registration opens
  • 2/12/15 - Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
  • 3/12/15 - Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
  • 3/14/15 - Utah Scout Expo ticket sales kickoff

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shooting Sports - What Your Must Know

Important things all scout leaders must know before planning a Shooting Sports related activity:

1: File a tour plan!  The only time a tour plan is not required for a shooting activity is if it is council or district event.  Otherwise a tour plan is required even if it is happening within council boundaries. If a council office staff member says you do not need to file a tour plan, they are wrong.  See and search for Tour and Activity Plan FAQ. 

2: Each youth must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian.

Cub Corner November 2014

For those who don’t know, there are changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Beginning in June 2015, all cubs will begin using a new program designed to bring out the adventures in scouting. I know, a lot of people hate changes. It isn’t fun to change. Why do we need to change this program? Membership in the Boy Scouts of America is down nationwide. Here in Salt Lake, things are a little brighter as we are growing, but we need to capture the attention of boys in a world where there are a lot of distractions.

Did you know that there have been changes to the Cub Scouts about every 10 years since the program was introduced? In 1930, the Cub Scout program started with 9 year-old Wolves, 10 year-old Bears, and 11 year-old Lions. Women were only allowed to serve as “Den Mothers” and the Cub Promise included the phrase “to be square.” In the 1940’s, we changed ages, allowing 8 year-olds to join. In the 1950’s, the Webelos rank was added (for Wolf, Bear, Lion, and Scout), as was the pinewood derby. In the 1960’s, the Lion rank disappeared and was replaced by a new Webelos program. The 1970’s added the Arrow of Light rank. The 1980’s added the Tiger Cubs, drastically changed the Bear rank, and introduced knots for the leaders. In the 1990’s the Academic and Sports Belt Loop Program was added. The 2000’s brought the latest batch of changes introducing the books that we use now in Cubs.

A Mother's Sacrifice

After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman's house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supporting by an object. The collapsed house had crushed her back and her head.

With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman's body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.

He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his hand through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body. Suddenly, he screamed with excitement, "A child! There is a child!"

Boy Scouts - Tracking

“I wish I could go West and join the Indians so that I should have no lessons to learn,” said an unhappy small boy who could discover no atom of sense or purpose in any one of the three R’s.

“You never made a greater mistake,” said the scribe, “for the young Indians have many hard lessons from their earliest days – hard lessons and hard punishments.  With them the dread penalty of failure is ‘go hungry till you win,’ and no harder task have they than their reading lesson.  Not twenty-six characters are to be learned in this exercise, but one thousand; not clear straight print are they, but dim, washed-out, crooked traces; not in-doors on comfortable chairs, with a patient teacher always near, but out in the forest, often alone and in every kind of weather, they slowly decipher their letters and read sentences of the oldest writing on earth – a style so old that the hieroglyphics of Egypt, the cylinders of Nippur, and the drawings of the cave men are as a thing of today in comparison – the one universal script – the tracks in the dust, mud, or snow.