Monday, February 28, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 21

Cinematography Merit Badge

[Kind of interesting that Cinematography was the badge for the day after the Oscars...]

Today is going well.  Took a lot of the weekend off--little Twitter, less email--and have a slightly overwhelming mount of stuff to catch up on.

But that's OK.  There is good work to do, and I'm a lucky man to have found a "hobby" that I can give my all.

Today I:
  • Updated the pack's YahooGroup main page for the March theme: Compassion.  The Academic belt loop is Disabilities Awareness and the Sports belt loop is Kickball, in case you were wondering.
  • Updated the troop's YahooGroup main page for their March theme: Pioneering, pages 25-34. (BTW, all 3 volumes of these themes are worth downloading and keeping on hand for ideas.)
  • Filed a tour permit--last time before the new tour plan comes out tomorrow, with the longer lead times.
  • Selected the sites I'd like to visit for as part of a Camp Visitation Team.
  • Updated the list of Scouters doing the 100!

My Scouting day began with observing a cedar waxwing three feet outside my window.  Before Scouting it was a "pretty bird".  Thanks to Scouting, it is now a cedar waxwing.  Do you find Scouting adding quality to your non-Scouting life?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 20

Chemistry Merit Badge

20% of any goal is a good start.

If you began the 100 Days of Scouting project on the anniversary of Scouting, today is 20% mark.  One-fifth of the days are done, and it is a good point to reflect.

I've become aware of how routine some of my Scouting has become.  Meeting plans for the Wolf Den, keeping up with the troop, scheduling in my district and council meetings...all good, but some of the shine is wearing off.

I'm not keeping my eye on the ball, keeping it exciting for ME as well as the Scouts.  One of the things I always tell other parents is that Scouting is even more fun as an adult.  And I mean it.

Time to review what I'm doing, and make a commitment to bring a little more fun for me back into the process.  It's good for the boys already, but making it more fun for me will keep it sharper for them.

Today I:
  • Spent a little over an hour going through the first half of the Personal Management merit badge with a Scout.  We should be able to finish this up in one more meeting.
  • Calculated the total miles I drove for Scouting in 2010 for my taxes.  Holy Mackerel!  Just a hair under 6000 miles in my 1992 Dodge 15 passenger van.  No wonder "The Beast" looks like it does!  She's tired!
  • Spent a couple of hours going through Lowe's, Walmart and Tractor Supply getting ideas for things we could do, use or buy for Scouting.  Trailer isn't quite as bad as I'd thought...rabbit hutches...bird feeders...PVC swords...
I'm pleased with where I am, and glad that I can still see the holes that need filling in my efforts.  Comfortable is good...too comfortable isn't.  What holes are in your program, and what are you going to do about it?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 19

Canoeing Merit Badge

A Saturday at home is a rare thing.

And rarer yet, my wife asked me if I've thought about...gulp...doing some more Scouting.

Seems our District Chairman is looking for some new blood for the district committee.  I'm not sure how I could help, but if she doesn't mind me going...I'll add it to my calendar for a couple of months to see where it goes.

Today I:
The rest of the day was spent at the park playing on the playground, watching a local lacrosse practice, having a picnic and watching Mary Poppins with the little ones.  Recharging is important in Scouting.  Did you relax today?

Friday, February 25, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 18

Camping Merit Badge

Woke up at 4:30 this AM to hit the gym.  It is quiet and doesn't interfere with my family job Scouting.  Lines are pretty short when you are the only one there.

Which is good--no one wants to see a "Scoutmaster build" running...

So why am I doing this?  Scouting.

Scouting has made me aware on every backpacking and camping trip that I'm not in the shape I should be to do this job.  I hear the "old guys" complain that they don't camp with their troops anymore because they are "too old" to sleep on the ground.  I see the exhaustion in the Scouts faces after 10 miles on the very flat C and O Canal.

Part of my job is to be a role model.  So time to step up to the plate...pushing it away might help, too!

Today I:
  • Earned $5 for the Scouts by converting our bank statements to an electronic version.  (Bank promo.)  Feeling very green in the process, too.
  • Updated the troop and pack YahooGroups with March program information.
  • Worked on my calendar for being a BSA Camp Appraiser.
  • Congratulated another Scouter on taking on the role of District Popcorn Chairman ("Kernel").  I did that for 3 years, and it is a big job.
  • Collected--finally!--all of my markers, crayons, pencils, erasers, scissors and more into a convenient container to use with my Wolf den.
Scouters come in all shapes and sizes...and so is the work they do for Scouting!  Step up and help get the job done...even if you have to work on that "physically strong" part.  What did you make happen for Scouting today?  Post a comment or tweet it to me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 17

Bugling Merit Badge

Thinking a lot about the 100 Days of Scouting project today.

I get feedback via Twitter and email from other Scouters who are enjoying the activity.  Made me start thinking about some other ways to take the 100 Days approach in other areas of my life.

The process makes you focus, each and every day on the subject at hand.  How would this work for exercise for those of us with a "Scoutmaster build"?  What would it do for the family relationships in your life, especially those with "Scout widow(er)s"?

The whole point of this project is to change lives...and that might include my own.

Today I:
  • Posted about a council fundraiser online via blog, Facebook and Twitter.  Thank you Trail's End for helping some of my Scouts afford summer camp.
  • Updated "The List" of 100 Days of Scouting participants--24 now.  Just amazing.
  • Received a letter letting me know that I will be getting something special at a Scouting dinner soon...that was out of the blue.
  • Swapped voicemail with another Scouter about helping with a Chaplain's Aide training he would like to do.
  • Helped my Wolf complete another iteration of project we did at a den meeting a couple of weeks ago--making book jackets (second page).
More rain and wind coming on strong for the next two days, but my Scouting parade isn't being rained on!  How about yours?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 16

Bird Study Merit Badge

Wednesday's are usually hectic...den/pack and troop meetings.

Tonight we had originally planned a Board of Review for the troop, following the Cub Scout's Blue and Gold.

Patrol Leader's Council cancelled the BOR, since no one is ready.  Then the weather cancelled our Blue and Gold (we follow the public schools' cancellation calendar to avoid confusion).

So today, I ended up being like fish out of water--what am I supposed to do to fill the time?

Today I:
  • Spoke with a Scout who was home about his Personal Management merit badge, and scheduled a time to review with him in between Masses on Sunday.
  • Swapped email with another Scout about Citizenship in the Nation merit badge.  School must be closed for these guys to have time during a Wednesday to contact me!
  • Discussed religious emblem with one of our few non-Catholic families.  Their pastor will need some additional training and resources.
  • Confirmed second adult attending our campout in the March.
Now to enjoy a Wednesday evening at is always the weirdest thing!  What would you do with a night off from Scouting?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 15

Basketry Merit Badge

Today has kind of flown by, and I've kept my eye out for Scouting opportunities (tried really hard not to say, "Scouting for opportunities"...)

We've had ice and snow to get in the way, and if they cancel school tomorrow, our Blue and Gold will be postponed a week, too.

Today I:
  • Swapped email with the Arlington Catholic Committee on Scouting to shore up the details for ordering our religious emblem materials.
  • Spoke to our pack's Webelos Den Leader--he confirmed all 5 of them will get their Webelos Scout rank tomorrow night--weather permitting.  Trip to the Scout Store tomorrow.
  • Still have to pick up the plates, silverware, napkins and drinks for our Blue and Gold sometime tonight.
  • Followed up on replacing the flag at our church--they bought the flag for us to do the ceremony (and retire the old one) but the clips are damaged and need to be replaced.
  • Been catching up on a lot of 100 Days of Scouting posts!  Wow, you folks are inspiring!
What kinds of Scouting do you get done when the weather is bad?  How do you handle cancellations--just do it next week or totally reschedule?

Monday, February 21, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 14

Backpacking Merit Badge

Well, today sure wasn't what I had planned.

We've gone from a couple of 70 degree days last week to snow and ice tonight.  Lots of email work today, to keep my Scouts moving along.

Today I:
  • Set a date and notified all of the parents in our pack and troop about the religious emblems programs.  Although most of them are Roman Catholic, there are a few others and it took some work to locate their programs.
  • Sent a note to the troop that the Board of Review scheduled for Wednesday is cancelled (by the Patrol Leaders Council).  Looks like no one is ready to advance yet, but two are a merit badge away from Star and Life.
  • Helped a Scouter on Twitter locate the devices for repeated earning of the Youth Religious Emblem.
  • Climbed on my soapbox at Cub-Scout-Talk about year-round Scouting, not just a couple of summer activities.
Reading email is a great source of Scouting education and ideas.  Read a great one today:  have Cub Scouts plant a garden and use it as a weekly meeting place over the summer to weed, pick and play around.  Immeasurable opportunity for learning and growing.  What seeds of Scouting did you plant today? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 13

Aviation Merit Badge

Wow, really tired today!

It is always that way after a campout.  The first night I never sleep well, and since it was called on account of severe weather, I didn't get to make it up the second night.  Coming back home, you fall into your normal no extra sleep then either.

OK, I did doze in front of the TV for a few minutes....

Today I:
  • Started cleaning out the van from the camping trip.
  • Loaded all of the leftover Scout items into large trash bags to take to the Patrol Leaders Council tonight.
  • Emailed a pdf copy of the Pioneering theme from the Troop Program Features to the entire troop to help them get excited about March's official theme.
  • Attended PLC--first order of business before turning the meeting over to the SPL was do deliver the bags of leftover stuff (hatchet, ski pants from December trip, socks, etc.) that were cleaned out of the van and have the patrol leaders sort it out to bring to Wednesday's meeting.  Made quite an impression--it was a lot of stuff.

Exactly the kind of Scouting I needed today--moved us along and didn't take too much out of me.  Hopefully a little extra sleep tonight!  Do you sleep well after Scouting?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 12

Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge

OK, so today didn't go as planned.

After a long night of high winds--30-40 mph--I checked the weather (loving my new smartphone!) and found not only a new "wind advisory" but that it was expected to get worse during the day, with gusts of 60 mph.

No fires, couldn't keep stoves lit, and now dangerous.

Yes, we called it a day and got everyone delivered to their homes safely.

Today I:
  • Made the call:  we bugged out!  Rarely have to do this, but sometimes circumstances call for it.
  • Helped a couple of Scouts buy breakfast at McDonalds.
  • Spoke to a Scout who is trying to finish off Personal Management before the Board of Review on Wednesday.

The rest of the day was unexpectedly free.  Do your Scouting plans ever get interrupted?

Friday, February 18, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 11

Athletics Merit Badge

OK, lots to be excited about today.

Yep, camping trip with the troop.  Securing the sites (always an adventure in the free campground in our nearby National Forest).  Setting up tents.  Getting food going in the dark.  Settling down the Scouts before a big day Saturday.

Quiet call of a bugle to end the day.


Today I:
  • Got out early and set up a tent quickly in each campsite we'll need.  We try to keep one patrol per campsite to maximize the amount of Scouting they do as a patrol.  Adults get yet another site.  Unfortunately, no way to get this done with the Scouts--if we waited until later, high risk of sites being taken already.  The trade-off for "free".
  • Took a certain Wolf grocery shopping, and let him help make the choices for this weekend--hot dogs (of course), stuffing with chicken for lunch, onion bagels and sausage patties for breakfast, trail mix and a bag of marshmallows (mostly for him).
  • Printed out the Hiking belt loop requirements.
  • Loaded firewood, cleaned out the van, froze the food we'll need tomorrow and Sunday to keep it cold.
Maybe the greatest thing we do is get those Scouts out into the woods.  Whether a Tiger or an Eagle, I know very few Scouts who don't love the chance to be out there, playing pokey-in-the-fire. Are you camping this weekend?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 10

Today I:
  • Placed an order with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting for their Rosary Patch Program.
  • Spoke with parents who very supportive of their Boy Scout...and maybe a little too helpful. ;-)
  • Updated the 100 Days list of participants again--22 now!  I'm very excited about the new folks joining us.  We are already at 400% of last year's participants--and I think folks are enjoying the exercise.
  • Helped a very excited Wolf go over his "equipment list" for this weekend's camping trip.
Some days are simple and straightforward--and Scouting can be the same way.  Nothing elaborate, just checklist items to clear the to-do list for the day.  How's your Scouting to-do list looking?  If you read this far, enter a comment and we'll have a drawing for something special at the end of the 100 Days.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 9

Wednesday again--and super busy!  All of the sunshine pouring in my window is not helping either...

It is almost as though my company can remotely sense that this is a busy night for Scouting.  But that is part of the rush of excitement that will propel me through the meetings tonight!

Today I:
  • Prepared details for Wolf Den Meeting 12 tonight.
  • Reminded Scouts to drop off tents tonight at the troop meeting so I can secure their free camping spots.  Yes, it means early Friday morning I'll be setting up a tent in each of 4 camping areas in our local national forest campground.  The spaces go quickly, and I think the superior weather we are having right now will drive other campers out of the woodwork!  Otherwise, they are expected to survive on their own.
  • Worked out payment plan to cover a couple of Scouts in a family that is struggling right now.
  • Contacted Stadri Emblems to see what they can offer us for 100 Days of Scouting participants.  We are up to 20 participants now, and I'm excited to help reward them for the hard work.
  • Replacing the US flag in front of our church tonight with the Cub Scouts.  The troop will retire the old one properly this weekend.
  • Seized the moment--a "Dad" moment that is.  For The Flood this weekend, I'll primarily just hang out in case an adult is actually needed while the Boy Scouts run their I invited my Wolf to come out and keep me company.  He gets to do this about once or twice a year, and I get to be a hero.  Hiking belt loop might be a good activity...
  • Helping a Scout out with his Camping merit badge after tonight's meeting.
  • Scout account deposit made at the bank.
Today is a great example of how our Scouting universe intersects with others: businesses, our church and charter organization, family and the larger Scouting organization.  Whether it is helping retire a flag, thanking volunteers, or earning a belt loop, we touch lives all the time.  What did you do today?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 8

Architecture Merit Badge

Great day!

Back from a St. Valentine's Day mini-vacation, and caught back up on the scads of email and work that built up in a day-and-a-half.  Scouting never rests though, marching along whether we are plugged in or not!

Today I:
  • Discussed Camping merit badge work with a Scout for Wednesday night after the meeting.
  • Discussed Leatherwork merit badge with a Dad who wants his son to finish it...
  • Provided feedback for a meeting that I won't be able to make tomorrow night after all.  It will be a great project, so I hope a better night is found so that I can participate!
  • Caught up on my tweets, blogs and emails for 100 Days of Scouting.  You guys have been busy!
Cannot stress how difficult it is some days to squeeze in the Scouting needed to make it all happen.  Camping, paperwork, phone all adds up the busy life of a Scouter.  What extra mile did you take today?  

Monday, February 14, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 7

Archery Merit Badge

[OK, how appropriate for Archery to be the image for St. Valentine's Day?  Think Cupid!]

Today was busy spending time with my wife of forever--29 years of marriage this summer.

In a way, it was a great way to thank her for all of the time spent on Scouting.  We figured it out last year, that if every campout, meeting night and day of summer camp were added up, it is just like leaving on New Years and coming back for Memorial Day weekend.

That is a lot of commitment from my wife--and it sure isn't always easy.

Today I:
  • Spoke to a Scout who has been absent for awhile (ski club meets at school the same night for 6 weeks)--he wanted to confirm that he can still come on the campout.  Yep!
  • Added a reminder for next year's Pinewood Derby to my Google Calendar--have a policeman show up to write the Cub Scouts tickets for speeding!  Great idea from Cub-Scout-Talk YahooGroup.  If you don't belong, click and join.  Free and full of great ideas.
Today had a higher priority even than Scouting--family.  They are often connected, but family deserves some special attention.  A happy spouse makes a happy Scouter!  Did you take care of St. Valentine's Day today?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 6

Archaeology Merit Badge

A quiet day today, preparing for a quick St. Valentine's Day trip tomorrow.

The calendar was actually clear today of Scouting commitments--in fact the whole weekend was.  Pretty unusual event around here.  None of us really knew what to do instead! ;-)

Today I:
  • Made sure my Friends of Scouting speaker will be available for the Blue and Gold this week.
  • Scheduled a Board of Review.
  • Notified the troop that there will be a BOR next week if anyone needs it.
  • Emailed the fellow doing the hiring for summer camp this year about when my son (finally old enough to be a CIT--counselor-in-training) needs to report for training, prior to our Cub Resident camp weeks.
My time commitment today was short, but will make a big impact in the lives of a bunch of Scouts--my own son included.  What did you do today in the life of a boy?  Share in the comments below.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 5

Animal Science Merit Badge

Nice day out today, prematurely warm.

Spent a lot of time out looking at my garden, cleaning up the area in between the square-foot boxes, and adding more leaves to add to the rot.

So what does that have to do with Scouting?


Today I:
  • Spent time thinking about the direction of our program, and admitting holes that need filling.
  • Cleaned up some of the loose ends that have been hanging out there--getting Scout Sunday patches tallied, clearing out old Scout related email, and checking the calendar for the week.
  • Confirmed my extra adult for the campout--and released another who was in a bind with his schedule.

Plenty of new material added to our Scouting, and it will need to sit and rot for awhile before any good comes from it.  What Scout gardening did you tend to today?

Friday, February 11, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 4

American Labor Merit Badge

100 Days of Scouting is off to a great start.  Seventeen people are far!  Rumors of others out there...we'll see.

The first weekend of the program is coming up, and is usually a hurdle to cross.  I know it is for me--squeezing in a little Scouting and time for blogging while I'm trying to catch up with the rest of my life is a real challenge.  I'll definitely keep an eye out for the easy opportunities!

Today I:

  • Reminded a parent about their unpaid annual fees and dues--never a fun conversation to have, but important.  A Scout is thrifty.
  • Advised a Scout that our campout next weekend would be a great chance to continue his efforts on the Wilderness Survival merit badge.
  • Looked over the Pet Care belt loop for my own Wolf.
  • Updated the list of Scouters on the 100 Days of Scouting project--pretty exciting!
  • Updated the pack and troop YahooGroup main pages--a monthly housekeeping task.  Added two new family email addresses to them, also.
  • Advertised to my Cub Scout families and other Scouters that Lowe's has a great program for youth 5-11 building projects a couple of times a month for free.  We will definitely be there tomorrow!
  • Added a number of new blogs and Scouters to my reading list and followed a lot of new folks on Twitter...all from the 100 Days of Scouting project.
I'm still hoping a Scout, a professional Scouter, a Scouting vendor (like @classb) and even an international Scouter will join us.  What are your hopes for Scouting?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 3

American Heritage Merit Badge

I was looking for a little adventure today, and found this guy: @SamuelHGardner

Think you have goals?  12500 mile hike in one year.  Never been done.

Think you have struggles?  First 4600 miles is the North Country Trail.  In winter.  It's only been done once.

Puts my whole two-hour long round-trip drive to Roundtable tonight in perspective...

Today I:
  • Hopefully convinced a Scouter to join us on the 100 Days of Scouting project.
  • Updated the list of Scouters already committed to doing the 100 Days of Scouting.  16 officially right now, already at least twice the number from last year.
  • Providing transportation to three Boy Scouts who want to attend the district OA meeting tonight.
  • Attending Roundtable.
  • Provided feedback on logistics issues around district times and meeting places (pitched one mega-meeting night a month, instead of two).
  • Trying to help a new Scout family grow in their comfort of Scouting so their son can go camping...;-)
While we root for Mr. Gardner (man, I hope he was a Boy Scout!), let's get to work on forming the young men and (Venturing) women we have influence over right now.  Did you step up today?  Tell us about it on Twitter or in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 2

American Cultures Merit Badge

Wednesday is still the most hectic Scouting day of my week.

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, email, calendar corrections, meeting plans, trips to the store, and merit badge counseling.  Oh...and blogging, confirming appointments for other Scouting events, Blue and Gold get the idea.

But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Today I:
  • Confirmed a meeting next week to discuss creating "video roundtable" (can't wait!).
  • Emailed Cub Scout families to remind them that the Blue and Gold is in two weeks.
  • Made a list of special folks to invite to the Blue and Gold--our parish priest, the office staff, our district executive, our COR and the head of our sponsoring organization, the Knights of Columbus.
  • Pulled together Wolf Den Meeting #11--my youngest son's den, so I wear two hats in the pack.  Shoot me.
  • Located water purification items for tonights troop meeting, per the SPLs request.  Tablets, boiling, filtering...
  • Posted a list of 100 Days of Scouting participants (thanks all!).
  • Responded to last minute request to start counseling Citizenship in the Nation tonight.
I'm sure there is more...there is always more!  

It's only an hour a how are you spending it?  Who in Scouting will directly benefit from today's work?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2nd 100 Days of Scouting: Day 1

American Business Merit Badge

Today begins the 2nd Annual 100 Days of Scouting.

Happy Birthday to us!

I've already heard from Scouters who have kicked off their own blogs to participate in this year's event.

Read them, offer comments, share the experience...and maybe even join us!

Today I:
  • Spoke to our Senior Patrol Leader about our camping trip next weekend--The Flood, and our skills work on water purification for tomorrow night's meeting.  He wants me to test those working on the Wilderness Survival merit badge.
  • Confirmed OA meeting and District's annual Fireside Chat with our Scout Executive.
  • Emailed Arrowmen in the troop to offer them a ride.
  • Blogged on Scoutsigns!  Man, that felt good!

I've waited all year to get back to 100 Days of Scouting.  Please post comments to let me know what you think, your ideas and how it impacts you.  What have you done for Scouting today?

Monday, February 7, 2011


Tomorrow is a big day.

Scouts--and Scouters--all over America will celebrate the birthday of Scouting.  101 years strong and already taking on a new century.

It is also the beginning of 100 Days of Scouting.  Tomorrow is Day 1, where each and every day I will log in what I've done for Scouting that day.

Every day...for 100 days.

For those of you who have been around, this is the second year of the program.

And there are a number of you who will be joining me.  I know of at least 4 other Scouters (and maybe one Scout) who have decided to step up and share this journey with their readers.  Collectively, we will list hundreds and hundreds of good deeds.

Maybe you:

So much to do, so little time.  But you have to do something, every day.

Follow us.  Get ideas.  Read about it on Twitter (#100DaysofScouting).

Or even better...join us.