Posts Tagged ‘good turn’


kindergarden funThe regular meeting of Boy Scout Troop 68 began its usual way Monday night. The Scouts had an opening and then began the skill development session of the meeting. The theme was the Scout Law. It was time to review the twelve points and their meanings. Daniel, a Life Scout, lead the discussion. Scoutmaster Jim finished it by informing the Scouts they would have the chance to use several of these points during a good turn that would happen in several minutes.

The troop meets at St. Mary’s School gym during the cold weather months, October through April. Monday night was the first meeting for this season held at the gym. The principal of the school had asked the scoutmaster if the troop could help with a little project. A meeting for the Kindergarten children and their parents was also being held at the school that evening. The teacher was hoping for several minutes to meet with the parents alone. Could the Boy Scouts keep these young children entertained for ten minutes during that meeting?

When Mr. Doyle escorted the small students into the gym the Boy Scouts where ready to begin the game session. I thought there would be maybe a dozen kids, but they kept coming in. More and more. The line stopped when 24 Kindergarteners walked into the gym. You could tell several of them were a little frightened by the big Boy Scouts. We did not let them think about it before breaking them up into five smaller groups and starting the game.

It was a very simple game. The kids took turns rolling balls into three bowling pins, trying to knock them over. The Boy Scouts acted as the pin setters, the ball return, and the helpers to lead the youngsters to do well. The Scouts were quite excited. When one of the little ones knocked all three pins over the older boys were the first ones to cheer and get a high five from the successful youngster. Several of the youngsters were really getting into the game. A few stayed a little shy and reserved. I think they all had fun. To tell the truth, after a few minutes it was hard to tell who was having more fun, the Boy Scouts or the Kindergarteners.

I immediately saw the photo opportunity going on so I quickly grabbed my iPad. I was busy snapping photos and even took a couple videos. I look forward to sharing the photos with the troop and the school.

After the children left and the meeting returned to normal, the scoutmaster gathered the Scouts and held a short discussion about what just occurred. Which points of the Scout Law did the Scouts practice during this visit? How did they feel about playing with this age group? Was it a good Good Turn?

I think the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 will remember this evening for quite awhile.

christmasscoutsMerry Christmas everyone! It is time for my favorite Scouting themed Christmas story – The Christmas Scout.

In spite of the fun and laughter, 13-year-old Frank Wilson was not happy. It was true he had received all the presents he wanted. And he enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve reunions with relatives for the purpose of exchanging gifts and good wishes. But, Frank was not happy because this was his first Christmas without his brother, Steve, who during the year, had been killed by a reckless driver.

Frank missed his brother and the close companionship they had together. Frank said good-bye to his relatives and explained to his parents that he was leaving a little early to see a friend; and from there he could walk home. Since it was cold outside, Frank put on his new plaid jacket. It was his FAVORITE gift. He placed the other presents on his new sled. Then Frank headed out, hoping to find the patrol leader of his Boy Scout troop. Frank always felt understood by him. Though rich in wisdom, he lived in the Flats, the section of town where most of the poor lived, and his patrol leader did odd jobs to help support his family.

To Frank’s disappointment, his friend was not at home. As Frank hiked down the street toward home, he caught glimpses of trees and decorations in many of the small houses. Then, through one front window, he glimpsed a shabby room with limp stockings hanging over an empty fireplace. A woman was seated nearby . . . weeping. The stockings reminded him of the way he and his brother had always hung theirs side by side. The next morning, they would be bursting with presents.

A sudden thought struck Frank : he had not done his ‘good deed’ for the day. Before the impulse passed, he knocked on the door. ‘Yes?’ the sad voice of the woman asked. ‘May I come in?’ asked Frank. ‘You are very welcome,’ she said, seeing his sled full of gifts, and assuming he was making a collection, ‘but I have no food or gifts for you. I have nothing for my own children.’

‘That’s not why I am here,’ Frank replied. ‘Please choose whatever presents you would like for your children from the sled.’

‘Why, God bless you!’ the amazed woman answered gratefully. She selected some candies, a game, the toy airplane and a puzzle. When she took the Scout flashlight, Frank almost cried out. Finally, the stockings were full.

‘Won’t you tell me your name?’ she asked, as Frank was leaving.

‘Just call me the Christmas Scout,’ he replied.

The visit left Frank touched, and with an unexpected flicker of joy in his heart. He understood that his sorrow was not the only sorrow in the world. Before he left the Flats, he had given away the remainder of his gifts. The plaid jacket had gone to a shivering boy.

Now Frank trudged homeward, cold and uneasy. How could he explain to his parents that he had given his presents away? ‘Where are your presents, son?’ asked his father as Frank entered the house.

Frank answered, ‘I gave them away.’

‘The airplane from Aunt Susan? Your coat from Grandma? Your flashlight? We thought you were happy with your gifts.’

‘I was very happy,’ the boy answered quietly.

‘But Frank, how could you be so impulsive?’ his mother asked. ‘How will we explain to the relatives who spent so much time and gave so much love shopping for you?’

His father was firm. ‘You made your choice, Frank. We cannot afford any more presents.’

With his brother gone, and his family disappointed in him, Frank suddenly felt dreadfully alone. He had not expected a reward for his generosity, for he knew that a good deed always should be its own reward. It would be tarnished otherwise. So he did not want his gifts back; however he wondered if he would ever again truly recapture joy in his life. He thought he had this evening, but it had been fleeting. Frank thought of his brother, and sobbed himself to sleep.

The next morning, he came downstairs to find his parents listening to Christmas music on the radio. Then the announcer spoke: ‘Merry Christmas, everybody! The nicest Christmas story we have this morning comes from the Flats. A crippled boy down there has a new sled this morning, another youngster has a fine plaid jacket, and several families report that their children were made happy last night by gifts from a teenage boy who simply called himself the Christmas Scout. No one could identify him, but the children of the Flats claim that the Christmas Scout was a personal representative of old Santa Claus himself.’

Frank felt his father’s arms go around his shoulders, and he saw his mother smiling through her tears. ‘Why didn’t you tell us? We didn’t understand. We are so proud of you, son.’

The carols came over the air again filling the room with music: ‘. . .Praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on Earth.’

ScoutingForFood2013The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have completed another Scouting For Food drive this morning, October 5th. The Scouts began shortly after 9:00 am and finished about an hour later. (Melrose is not a very big town.) The troop has been participating in this national Good Turn since it began in 1985.

In past years the council gave troops and packs Scouting For Food plastic bags which were handed out around town one week before the food drive. This year, things were a little different. The council gave out door hangers to hang on the door knobs of homes. There were not any untied white bags floating around town this year.

 

The Scouts and methods may change, but the purpose of the drive stays the same.

Today is the fifth day of the 100 Days of Scouting program. What do I write about? Hmmmmm. How about a quick shout out to Boy Scout Troop 68′s Charter Organization? For over thirty years the Melrose VFW Post 7050 has supported our Scouting program. They have been the troop’s sponsor since it began in December 1979.

Last night I received a phone call from Jim, the post commander. The VFW has had some tough times during the last few year and is in the process of selling its building. Jim needed to move boxes of records and stuff and was wondering if I could get a couple Boy Scouts to help. “That might be a bit tough on a Friday night”, I replied, “but I could give you a hand.” The only thing I was going to do was to post a podcast to the website. I met him at the building and it did not take long for the two of us to load his truck, unload his truck at another storage place, and load it a second time. We were done within an hour and I was able to do my good turn for the day.

How many other troops out there are sponsored by a VFW post?

Okay. I usually do not cover sporting events in this blog but I just watched a couple of videos that really show how a community can come together and do a super sized service project. As we all know, Boy Scouts love their service projects, but it was simply amazing to see this.

According to an article on Yahoo Sports: While tossing hats onto the ice when a player scores three goals might be hockey’s most famous tossing tradition, it simply doesn’t compare to the Technicolor grandeur of 23,096 teddy bears and other stuffed animals blanketing the rink as they did at the Calgary Hitmen game on Sunday. For 16 years the Hitmen, who were co-owned by and named after former WWF champion Bret Hart, have held a Teddy Bear Toss to benefit over 50 charities in Alberta that work with children. On Monday, after the 23,000-strong toss, the players hand-delivered teddy bears to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Read the article at http://tinyurl.com/2eh7l4q

“Totally awesome”, as a furry friend of mine would say.

The Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs of the Central Minnesota Council held their annual Scouting For Food Drive on Saturday, October 9. Thousands of Scouts, leaders, and parents assisted in making this event a success. It is hard to believe that this “national good turn” began way back in 1988, twenty two years ago.

Pack 68 and Troop 68 of Melrose used to share in the work for the drive. The pack would distribute the bags one Saturday, and the troop would pick up the bags the next Saturday. Unfortunately, the pack has fallen on hard times and does not have the membership to distribute the bags, so it has fallen on the troop to distribute them and pick them up again. And unfortunately, the troop is down to eight boys so we were not able to distribute the bags over the whole community either.

Does that mean we had a terrible food drive? No way. We collected over 520 pounds worth of food and items. It is not the best drive we have ever held, but it is certainly not the worse drive either. The food shelf was happy to receive the food. It really helped to fill up their shelves which were looking a little bare this time of year. (The picture shows the Boy Scouts with some of the food collected this year.)

Has your pack and troop already conducted their food drives? How much food did you collect?

In the previous post to A Scoutmaster’s Blog, I wrote about the local American Legion’s Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags, and the Boy Scouts’ participation in the ceremony. Mel-TV, our local community television access station, was on hand to film the event. The station’s co-ordinator was kind enough to let me borrow the video tape so that I could make a podcast video from it. I edited the footage down and added photographs that I took during the event.


Even though I edited out some footage I did not feel was needed, the video was still a bit longer than I would have liked it to be. But I wanted to be sure to include the whole ceremony and add several of the pictures. I would be curious to know if your Boy Scouts have participated in such a ceremony, and what their part was during it.

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The Melrose Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were recently invited to participate in a United Sates flag disposal ceremony by the local American Legion. Three of our six Boy Scouts were able to attend, along with one of the Girl Scouts.

The ceremony began shortly before dusk. Members of five American Legion clubs were in attendance, along with some local citizens who brought flags to be retired. The ceremony was very dignified. Unfortunately, due to the wind and my location, I was not able to hear much of what was being said.
The Scout’s part of the ceremony was to unload the flags from the vehicle and present them to the American Legion members who inspected the flags before their final disposal into the fire barrel. The Scouts were also allowed to place a few flags into the barrel, which I think helped to bring the impact of the ceremony closer to home.
The local media was also in attendance. The Melrose Beacon and the Sauk Centre Herald sent reporters. The local television cable access station, Mel-TV, was on hand to videotape the event. I look forward to seeing if the Boy Scouts made it into any pictures posted in the newspapers or were captured on the video.