Check out this page from Troop 151 in Indian Trail, NC for a great discussion of what is meant by demonstrating Scout spirit in your daily life.
Disney CEO Michael Eisner wrote about his camp experience as a youth for "The Scouting Way" by Sandra and Jeff Schwartz (2001), that his "core values were shaped in the crucible of those camp summers." Here are the virtues he lists as the most important lessons of his life:
- helping the other fellow even as you learned the tools of self-reliance
- being a good winner, but an even better loser
- learning to survive, gracefully and without complaint, under challenging conditions
The lessons we learn in Scouts may be the most important in our lives, too!
In another post from Roger Darlington, the father of a later successful corporate executive (Steve Ross who founded the New Your Cosmos soccer team,) taught him:
"In life there are those who work all day, those who dream all day, and those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. Go into the third category because there is virtually no competition."
"Once In A Lifetime - The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos" by Gavin Newsham, as found on the blog Roger Darlington's World
This is the time of year when we bring new Scouts into the troop. (We have a few here tonight. Congratulations on your Arrow of Light, and welcome to Troop 45.)
I want you to reflect for just a minute on how you felt when you were joining the troop at ten or eleven years old. You were probably a little afraid, but it was exciting to be around the older boys - you weren't even in middle school yet, and you got to hang out with high-schoolers: play games, go camping and hiking, and learn how to make fires and use axes. You probably thought "I'd like to be just like one or another of those guys."
Well, now YOU are the big boys. You're the guy the new Scouts are going to look up to - to learn how to stay warm and dry in the outdoors, how to give first aid, and what Scout spirit means. They will look at you as examples of how to become young men.
Every one of them has something to offer – something that makes him unique. One of them might turn out to be your lifelong friend. So my challenge for you over the next couple of months is to get to know the new guys. Learn their names. Find out what they’re good at, and teach them your favorite stuff about Scouting.
Consider this thought from the great writer Maya Angelou: We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.
Life is busier than ever for most of us. This little story shows that there is more than one way to achieve the things that are most important to us, and highlights the need to recognize what those important things are!
Robert Service captured the spirit of the outdoorsman in so much of his work. This little poem expresses the hope that heaven itself will be as peaceful as the backwoods campsite as the fire fades and we go to sleep.
Congratulations to our newly elected leaders. In 2001 a man named Jim Collins published a book called “Good to Great.” By carefully studying a few companies that had consistently outperformed all others over a long period of time, he discovered an interesting similarity in their leaders. Collins invented a model he called “level 5 leadership.”
The level 5 leader, as distinguished from an effective leader or competent manager, “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will.” He knows what needs to be done, and does whatever it takes to succeed, but is never boastful, giving credit for success to others, and taking responsibility for failure on himself. To the level 5 leader, the success fo the organization is more important than personal gain.
All of you are potential leaders. Think about what it means to have a great patrol, and then do what you need to do to help make it happen. You will gain far more that way than if you focus on your next personal goal.
_Elections are coming up at our next meeting (January 23). We will pick an SPL, three ASPLs, and patrol leaders for each patrol. These are the Scouts who represent you on the PLC and make the decisions that determine whether our meetings and activities are GREAT or dull.
So be sure to show up and vote for the Scouts who you think will do the best job.
_Christmas and Hanukkah are for the most people the most joyful holidays of the year. The holiday parties, the exchange of gifts, and the brilliant lights of the Christmas trees, not to mention a much needed break from school, make a guy glad to be alive.
Sometimes we forget that these holidays are really religious festivals. It's well to remember that the real holiday spirit is cast by the Star of Bethlehem and the Hanukkah candles, reminding us of those precious miracles in our faith traditions.
In the 12th point of the Scout Law we say that a Scout is reverent. The spirit of reverence is not always solemn, and not just for the sabbath. Remember why we celebrate these holidays and spread the joy with your daily good turn. You can wish others “Happy Hanukkah” or “Merry Christmas” without worrying too much about offending them.
Now remembering that a Scout is reverent, let's close with the Scout benediction.
Based on Scoutmaster Minute #8: Holiday Spirit, Transatlantic Council, http://www.tac-bsa.org.