Scouts are always learning, and the adult leaders and parents are as well. As part of our rechartering, the troop is reviewing our records, and this is a good time to get caught up on your training! All parents, even if you’re not officially registered as a committee member, or other volunteer should take the Youth Protection Training course online (at my.scouting.org) every year. While any parent is welcome on any trip, it’s important that everyone understand the rules that we have in place to protect everyone – both youth and adults. While you’re at the site, there’s plenty of other good training to do – take a look!
With the start of Fall, Troop 26 is back in the swing of things, and the new leadership and Court of Honor reminds me of a topic that you should be thinking about in terms of your advancement in Scouting. While fall is busy with school, sports, lobster season, and holidays, finishing up your next rank often goes to a back burner. Let’s see where this can be a problem: Say you’re a Star Scout, just about at Life, and you get elected to a leadership position in February. You then finish up your Life rank in March – so you’re in good shape, right?! NO!! When you finish your leadership term in August – you’ll only have done 5 months of leadership as a Life Scout – not six! You’re one month short – so now you have to do a second six month term to get that last month for your Life rank.
Now, that’s not to say doing leadership is a bad thing – in fact, you should be wanting to do it, since it’s your troop, and it’s only as good as you make it! However, we have had several scouts who are closing in on Eagle, and their 18’th birthday, only to be almost caught in this trap of missing a few weeks of leadership. Sure, it’s only a few weeks, and you might think we could look the other way – but what’s the right (and easy) way to do it is for you just to stay on top of the timing of your advancement! Just check with a Scoutmaster if you want to see how you’re doing on advancement – we’re here to help. A bonus might be to see some Eagles finish up early enough to hang around the troop for a while before heading off to new adventures!!
Poem – Sermons We See
By Edgar Guest
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.
Edgar Albert Guest
A little boy came knocking at my Scout room door,
An awfully little fellow, just twelve and no more.
His eyes danced as he watched my gang at rowdy play.
“I would like to be a Scout,” he said, “I’m 12 just yesterday.”
In the weeks to come he found his place, a trim young Scout he made.
The tests he passed with eagerness, a thorough job sure paid.
The oath, the laws, the knots and flag were taken to his heart.
A better man he was sure to be though he’d just begun to start.
By the candle-lighted darkness I watched his round face beam
As the oath and law he pledged to keep – just like a prayer it seemed.
The years to come were happy ones as we followed on the trail
that greater men had laid for us, far up where eagles sail.
I watched him grow from boy to man, the days were far too few,
To try and teach the important things that Scouting said were true.
He thanked me once for what I did so many years ago.
It was not his thanks that paid me because he did not know
that greater thanks he’d given me a thousand times before
by his dancing eyes and smiling face – could one ask for more?
There are other boys a-knocking, I must invite them in.
Please, God, give me strength to make them better men.
Buch Burshears, Scoutmaster, Koshare Indian Dancers, La Junta, Colorado
In the last Newsletter, I wrote the story of a young eagle who thought he was a chicken. That young eagle would have remained a “chicken” except that a grown Eagle came by to help him fulfill his potential. We all need somebody to take an interest in us and believe that we can be greater and better than we are today. For some of us, that is our parents and family. But think back on the story – in that story, it was not a parent or family member who helped that young eagle discover his true potential; it wasn’t even a friend. It was a grown Eagle, someone who had learned do the things that eagles do and was ready to teach someone else. An older scout can make a huge difference in the life of a younger scout. All you have to do is take an interest in the younger scout and teach them the things that older scouts and older Scouters have taught you. You can make all the difference between a young eagle continuing to think that they are a chicken and one who grows into a majestic, high-flying eagle!