“Be Prepared… the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.”
Proper Planning Prevent Poor Performance. We drill this in to scouts over and over again, and you think I’d be done talking about it, but I’m not. Make no mistake, this concept applies to all facets of your life, from your career to your home life to your chosen extracurricular activities. Although with scouts we tend to drill it in over planning meetings and preparing for outings. Why? Because these things happen regularly, the leadership role is always pivoting to new scouts, and the lesson needs to be learned over again. Want to have a great Skill Session, Inter-patrol activity, Game or Closing at your meeting? 5P, that’s all. The meeting is on the calendar, in most cases months in advance, feel free to set a long range goal of having a special speaker or presentation. On the weekend before Greenbar, do some research about a new inter-patrol activity. Want to have a great time at 19 Oaks with a special meal or big tent or fun activity (because it’s only a 3 mile hike), 5P. It’s amazing how a little effort in advance can make such a big difference in outcome. I think about the time on the scout dad’s though to bring an ice cold watermelon in his day bag for one of our hikes. Wow, was everyone surprised and happy. It was just a watermelon, stored I the fridge overnight, but thinking in advance to do it and bring, that was huge all the smiles it earned. Small effort for planning, huge rewards in the execution.
“An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.”
A Scoutmaster asked his troop to define character. One Scout said character is “thinking good thoughts,” and another said it is “ being a good citizen.” Another said character is having good morals, and another said it is “being honest and courageous.” A young Scout held up his hand and when called upon said, “Character is what you do when nobody’s looking.”
What do you think this Scoutmaster minute really means? What is so important about behavior that present even when you are not being observed? I think the answer is, that how you act, when you think no one is looking, is your true character, for better or worse. I’m pretty certain all of us, at least everyone I know, can always improve on our character. If you want to see what yours is like, have a look when no one else is, and think about what you observe.
Aim at Something High
“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they might fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.”
That quote is from Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. Remember the troop shoot at the rifle range this past summer? You hit the target only if you aimed at it. Well, Thoreau realized that this is true in life, also. Whatever your goals are, you won’t achieve them unless you aim for them. You might completely miss the mark on your first few shots, but as you practice and gain knowledge, and experience, and control, you’ll become a better marksman, able to consistently hit your target.
And set a high goal for yourself. Those who have reached the rank of Eagle Scout in this troop will tell you that they decided early to aim for Scouting’s highest rank, and then they kept that target in their sights until they hit it.
Baden Powell Quote:
The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.