Sunday, 30 December 2007

Why Do I choose to be a Leader for the Scouting Movement

Why Am I a Leader?

I'm not a Scout Leader for the easy hours, high pay, parents' gratitude, power or prestige.
Scouting is definitely not and never will be only a hour a week commitment if you are truly fulfilling your duties as a leader. Yeah we all will joke about how long scout takes out of us on a weekly basis. For me personally the meeting maybe be scheduled for 1.5 hours but for me I usually end up have a two hour meeting. Then sometime during the week on one or multiple occassions I am on the phone for a average of 30 minutes per week. Then working on one of the continually going scout projects that I have usually will take another 4 hours out of my week. So the minium that I spend for scouting per week is 6.5 hours and that does not include weeks I have a service project or campout. That may be a minium that I figured out but the true number is about 15 hours per week. You may not believe it but it is true.

I'm a Leader because I want the world for other scout whether or they are related to me.
Yeah I know that even though I have a huge potential I may never change the world but a scout that I have influenced could grow up with the nurturing provided in the scouting environment to create a radical new idea. I may be foster the next hero or I could end up fostering the next super villian of the world, so I must always watch what I am doing even when I think no body is looking.

A world they can share and help shape: a world of love and laughter where they can show compassion.
Compassion is such a wonderful gift when humanity has learned how to use it. In scouting we have the ability to teach young boys just like me the great joy of laughter. Laughter to me allows me to temporarily escape reality and delve into my own perfect world. Laughing about something instead of just getting made at a subordinate can be the greatest tool in arsenal when you appropriately. I can not give you a textbook definition for when it is appropriate to use the tool but I am sure you can figure it out for yourself.

I want to help them learn to finish anything they start and do it well and to guide them to know their self-worth with a deeper understanding of themselves.
Society has grown to become a quitter society and I am definitely guilty of just getting up and walking away from my problems instead of facing them straight on. If their is a skill that I could perfect in my self and others that would be developing self confidence in all areas of life, even the ones that make you freak out at the mention of their name. Being a quitter will dig you deeper into a hole that you will not be able to get out of. I know that some habits you just want to give up and get rid of but to me the appropriate word is not quitting the habit it is erasing the habit from your memory.

I want to help shape men and women who have strength of character and are sensitive to the needs of others.
One of the hardest areas in my life to deal with and for other teens to deal with is that of being sensitive to the needs of others, especially of those who are close to us. Instead of playing the blame, lets first stop, back away from the situation you are involved in, and develop a appropriate solution. When examining the situation remember to try to understand where the other person is coming from and why he/she believes what they do. Also do not let society step on your character. Stand up for what you think is right even if you are standing alone because as soon as you submit to the other person's idea, the sooner you loose track of who you truly are.

I want them to be the best they can be - whether as career people or tradesmen, young adults who are the hearts of the family.
Whatever you are doing or are going to do in your life, do it to the best of your ability. Doing something to the best of your ability means that you are putting your mind and all of your heart into meeting the objective or overcoming the obstacle. we as the leaders of the scout movement are here to support you in whatever activities you choose even if it means that you are not a very active scout. we must respect your wishes and you should respect ours to the best of your ability as well.

In giving my time and myself I reap rewards far beyond what I give. I receive a better world for my children and future generations.
To me the rewards can not be sorted into a monetary value. If someone tried to put a price tag on the rewards of me being a leader in this movement, their is no sum of money that could be brought forward to replace the feeling I get when I am leading, learning, and teaching as a scout leader. Every leader and follower in this world can allows learn a new skill, you must just have a open mind and heart. Allow the opportunity to learn to rush in and embrace it no matter what happens.

I'm a Scout Leader because I care.

Hopefully this makes sense and you are not thinking that I am just trying to sound smart as a teenager.

Yours in scouting
Mark W
Troop 1616
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Final Countdown to 2008 Begins Now

Wow 2007 has come and gone so quickly but instead of dwelling in 2007 lets lot to 2008 and make that a year to remember for our units. Yes the holidays are a time to think about family and have a temporary break from the struggle of weekly meetings but this does not mean that we have a right to just drop everything scouting for these two weeks of holiday. A lot of people just end up spending their time in their home town at home.

For your new years resolution lets make a commitment to our Scouting Units to make a difference and reach a certain milestone by the end of the year. personally for my unit I am making a commitment to develop youth leader training for a small troop because I want the other youth leaders to develop their skills. By helping them develop their leadership potential I am not only teaching them about themselves but I am giving myself that rights I said ME a OPPORTUNITY to DEVELOP MY OWN POTENTIAL CAPABILITIES. Learning by improving my unit is definitely something I strive for.

You may be thinking that I am acting like i have all the answers for every little problem my unit encounters but the truth is that I do not know the solution to every problem but until I experience the situation or task I will never know if I have a big enough toolbox to solve the problem. I am not talking about I tool box full of maintenance tools but a toolbox of traits, abilities, and skills that can be used to deal with "People Problems". Every person that the leader meets and is incharge of is going to have a problem that is hard to deal with in the eyes of the leader.

Hopefully I did not bore you too long and hopefully you think I am on the right track with the ideas of the scouting movement. Please feel free to comment on this post. As long as it does not include too much slander I will approve it for public viewing.

Until next time, have a wonderful holiday season and the best of luck in 2008

Yours in Scouting
Mark W
Troop 1616
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Here is a great story about scouts who are willing to give themselves to service in others and shows what the "Spirit of Christmas" really is. Here is a like to the video and the story.


Or you can can read the story below:

A group of boy scouts have done a very good deed for a Philadelphia family who lost their home to fire last Sunday.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 444 armed themselves with gifts. Led by Santa, the boys marched down Shoal Creek Drive.

Their mission was to turn the Dunphy family's holiday tragedy into a Christmas they'll never forget.

"It was so wonderful. The people have been so amazing," Janet Dunphy said.

The Dunphy's Somerton home burned down a week ago and with it went all the family's gifts and belongings.

"You see it on the news, happening to somebody else, you just don't expect that it could happen to you and your family. It's been very devastating," Michael Dunphy said.

"We were going to sell wreaths to make money to get a trailer, but when we heard about this, we thought this would be a better cause for the money to go to," Bob Sharkus of Troop 444 said.

These scouts certainly understand the spirit of the holidays. They sacrificed to make this Christmas better for the less fortunate.

"It was really nice. It's really what Christmas is all about," Sharkus said.

"They really made this special," Janet Dunphy said.

This is what Scouts in Action can accomplish. We all have the power to make a difference in this world but it requires action not inaction to make a change for the better. Scouting is such a powerful movement no matter what others try to say about it. Keep your head strong and stick with it. The program is well worth the effort.

Yours in Scouting
Mark W.
Troop 1616
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Community Service

Why is community service such a hard concept to teach scouts in today's society. Is there something wrong with the approach we use to promote community service is is that we are not doing are jobs in making a service project sound appealing. I have been on probably more than 50 service projects in my scouting career. Service projects to me are not a big deal. Let me let you in on a small truth that I believe is true no matter what other people say, SERVICE PROJECTS ARE A FUN AND ENTERTAINING EXPERIENCE. I can not count the number of times that I have laughed about some joke a another volunteer or a participant has made to me and the truth is that unless you are at that event you will never experience that laughing matter. Service projects are designed to not only teach you about giving back to your community but they help you develop several areas in your life that are important.

One of those areas is spelled right on in the Scout Oath and It has to do with the three duties that can be associated with this set of words. The first duty is duty to god and country. No matter what religion I have run into in my sixteen years of living I have never been able to experience a religion that did have a god or godlike figure that did not promote giving your time and talents to others. The second part of the firs duty is that of duty to your country and a responsible citizens everyday we are called to make a commitment by the leaders of this world to create a future of positive influence by helping those who are less fortunate than us. Remember a service project does not have to have a large scope like a Eagle Project hast but could be a simple task that could take you a maximum of 5 minutes to complete. The amount of time does not matter, it matters what your intentions are going into the project. Our second duty is that of duty to others and by making the world a better place for someone or something is definitely fulfilling of your duty to others. To me fulfilling this duty of others makes my heart beat true and proud to know that I have been able to make a difference in someone else's life.

Our founder Baden Powell was once asked by another scout "What should we be prepared for" and I can tell you that you must be prepared for everything possible in your life. Being prepared related to service projects means that you are willing and ready to give your time and talents when asked by your Troop, another organization, or a friend. I know that we are not going to be able to do every service project that comes our way but remember that a little can go a long way when we are talking about giving back to others.

Our slogan as a Boy Scout in the United states is that of:
"Do a Good Turn Daily"
Now I know that each one you are going to say that a Good turn can be a small simple item like saying something to cheer someone up, to bring hope into your lives but I am here to tell you that is not the original intent. I believe that the original intent was to get scouts and leaders to become active role models in their community by giving back at a community function.

Here is the last item that I believe that service projects accomplish and that is it gives us as scouts a good opportunity to be able to increase our numbers of scouts and volunteers in the Troop by being out in the community. By being out in the community we are making it easier for people to come and question about what scouting is about and how to become involved. Remember that you are never to old to get involved with scouting. You can get involved with scouting from the age you are in kindergarten all the way up until you did. This recruitment aspect goes along with what National Says is a good public relations campagain. Have this public relations campaign is very important to be able to ensure the successful growth and prosperity of this wonderful organization.

Hopefully I did not ramble too much on one aspect.

Yours in Scouting
Mark West
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Scout Spirit

Scouting Spirit what is it and why is it so hard to teach to scouts when the first join the scouting program. What are the various levels of scout spirit can demostrate towards others. Why is scout spirit so important when dealing with the other community members you are bound to run into while wearing your uniform.

Scout spirit to me is about living up to your obligation. Your obligation for Boy Scouts in particular are set by the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. This obligation is something that you have to be willing to agree to and take to hear if you are going to get the most out of the scouting program as possible. Getting the most out of the program is accomplished by ensuring that you are a active participant and behave in appropriate ways that are defined by your leaders whether they are youth or adults and your obligation. But now the question becomes why is the obligation so important to our program. Our obligation defines who we are and what we stand for. Each person has a unique way of looking at what the Boy Scout movement is there for. I agree with National in the fact that we are trying to educate today's youth in making decisions that are morally and ehtically correct. Working on developing your spirit and your definition of what spirit is will continually change as the years you spend involved with the program move on.

Next defining what I like to call the levels of scouting spirit. To me their are four differnet levels that represent various levels of commiment. The first level is what I like to refer to as the beginner level because this is the level where you are introduced to the concept by becoming involved in a Unit. This level is where you start thinking of what it means to be scout but you are not questioned very often about your beliefs of the program because you have not had some experiences that will allow you to make justifiable decisions about the program. At level one you are willing to accept what the scout oath and law stands for. Level two is what I like to refer to as the denial stage. These levels of development do not necessarily represent the order in which the scout will follow. This stage of denial usually happens after the scout has settled in the Troop and learns that scouting is not just fun and games but is also work. This may occur in young or old scouts. Denial usually consists of the person wanting to challenge what the ideals of the program stand for. They are torn between wanting to follow the ideals because the rest of the Troop wants them to and wanting to lead a normal life and forget the high moral standards of the scouting program. This temptation of wnating to forget these standards of behavior is usually brought up by peers or other environmental conditions. The third level is the level that most scouts will achieve in their scouting career. These people usually stop scouting once they become a adult but the ideals still influence their behavior on a daily basis because of the fact that they realize that scouting teaches high moral standards and lifelong skills to scouts that can be used in any aspect of life. The four level is for those who become overly passionate about scouting and become obessesed with acting how the Scouting ideals demand from them. This obesesion becomes obvious over time because of how much these people are willing to put on the line to stand up for the ideals that they believe in. These are the people who will on a weekly basis are able to put in over 10 hours during that period of time. They also have no problem with putting in this much time because of the fact that they realize that the program must continue to thrive if others are to recieve the benefits of the scouting program.

Hopefully this all made sense about What scout spirit is all about.

Yours in Scouting
Mark West
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

Thursday, 18 October 2007


Hello and I welcome all to the Scoutingmaniac Blog. My passion and lifelong activity will and always has been anything to do with scouting. I have been involved in or attempted pretty much every division of the Boy Scouts of America that I can participate in as a youth member. I am currently sixteen years old and have had my Eagle for almost a year and a half. I have been involved with scouting now for 11 years. The primary purpose of this blog is going to be to share ideas of what I think is important in the scouting program. I know right now everyone is think that a sixteen year old kid can not make a reasonable and educational blog but I am here to tell you that if you ask any experience scoutmaster they will say that one of the primary ways that they use to continue to develop their leadership and scouting abilities is looking to their youth members. These are the type of people who have learned to get past the stereotypes which are totally untrue. These stereotypes are the types of things that cause the world the most grief and problems. Stereotyping will not be supported here. Yes there are certain teens who could not make reasonable conclusions on ideas and methods of the scouting program. These teens who are not able to make these reasonable conclusions are usually the people who either (A) dislike the scouting program or (B) have not had the opportunity to be put in a leadership position. I would also have to say that when I look at the new scouts of the Troop there is so much potential there.

OK now that I have established what I believe about sterotypes lets move on to discuss more of my scouting background. I started in Pack 456 in Littleton Colorado where I went all the way through Cub Scouts. Then I move on to Troop 456 in Littleton Colorado were I earned my Tenderfoot and Second Class. After living in Littleton for a while I moved to Castle Rock, Colorado where I earned the Ranks of First Class through Eagle with a Bronze Palm with Troop 780. I would have to say that I definitely learned the most about scouting and leadership in Troop 780. In Troop 780 I earned the Boy Scout and Venturing Catholic Religious Emblems, earn several Formation Oriented Religious Awards including the Saint Tarcisius, Rosary patches (all four), International Catholic Scouting Awareness Award, and have been involved in Religious Emblems promotion for my faith and the rest of the faiths that have a Religious Emblems Program.

While in Troop 780 My Troop elected me to go through the Ordeal process for the Order of the Arrow. I went through my ordeal when I was involved in Troop 1616 in Soldotna Alaska. I am a current member of Nanuk Lodge of the Great Alaska Council.
I have also become a trained chaplain Aide through the Denver Area Council course. I have also gone through Troop level Junior Leader Training twice. Have served as a instructor for a Troop Junior Leader Training Course. Attended the Trainer Development Conference Training.

If there are any more questions about my background please feel free to respond to this post.

Yours in Scouting
Mark West

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