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!!
One of the goals of Scouting is physical fitness, and we’ve been paying special attention to it this month. It’s fun to test yourself against standards to see how fit you are and to compete against other Scouts in fitness games and contests. Bit there is a more important reason for all this physical activity. It’s to make you fit for life. If you become physically fit now, the chances are you will be physically fit when you reach full manhood. You should remember though, that physical fitness is not just being strong and athletic. It’s also knowing how to take care of your body – what to fit it, how much rest it needs, and what not to put into it. I’m thinking, of course, of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco smoke. Probably you’ll face a lot of pressure in the next few years to try drugs, smoking, and alcohol. No doubt some of you already have. Some guys you think of as friends will actually tell you that trying drugs is cool. Actually, it’s about as cool as sticking your hand in a campfire. Don’t learn that the hard way. Stay away from drugs and drinking and stay fit for life.
Believe – Whether you believe you can do something or can’t do something, you’re right.
Stars To Steer By:
I want you all to look at the stars tonight.
Sailors learned thousands of years ago that the positions of the stars were always the same in relation to each other, and that you could always find them in the same places in the sky, depending on the time of night and the time of year.
The stars were always there,… regular and predictable. The sea may change, a ship may change, captains may change, but the stars never did. A sailor could steer his ship by them and never have to worry about getting lost.
Stars are sort of like values in that way. We have a lot of stars in scouting’s sky–the twelve points of the scout law. The Scout Oath has some stars in it, and what about our motto? That’s a star too, and our slogan?
A poet once wrote, “Give me a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”
Remember that scouting’s values are like the stars, —and if you always set your course by them, you’re not likely to get lost.