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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. Using the neckerchief to teach the Scout Oath

    That's great! But sadly I am not in fact Mr. Herrholz; I was actually just quoting his words, but I suppose I didn't make that clear enough in that post. My apologies! I am just a young scouter from Southern California. But John Herrhoz, whomever he is, deserves credit indeed - the story is a wonderful teaching resource and I think he has a good sense of how to make Scouting meaningful and relevant. Hopefully someday I can enjoy the honorable level of credentials you and he share!
  2. Using the neckerchief to teach the Scout Oath

    I LOVE those big neckers! My father made our troop a big batch of them when I was a Scout but I didn't appreciate them much at the time; now I need to find a plaid that matches the official Webelos neckerchief so that I can enjoy the luxuries of the real deal while still matching my Webelos Scouts in their uniforms. :-)
  3. Has the OA Lost It's Luster?

    Well, I have to say, the Order really came through for me the other week. I had sent a flurry of e-mails trying to reach to OA to see if they would perform an Arrow of Light and bridging ceremony for the boys in my Den who had all earned the AofL together, and I was worried they wouldn't pull through. But a few days before, they contacted me and said they would come, and from then on were wonderful about communicating to me what they had planned, what they needed, and what they would present. The night of the ceremony, they were there on time, they were exceptionally well-prepared, and the two Arrowmen who performed the ceremony were FANTASTIC. They had their legends memorized, they were dressed magnificently, they had a really ingenious fake fire that in the dim-lighting really set the mood, and the overall presentation was PERFECT. My boys felt extra-special (we haven't had anything like this in years), the parents were impressed, and they even stayed late to pose for pictures with whomever wanted them. They gave information to the Scouters about future ceremonies, and the whole thing was perfect as I could ever have hoped. Now my boys are anxious to be inducted into the Order when they are old enough, and the fact that I am and Arrowman (the only one in my pack) is suddenly a respected and admired part of my scouting resume. So ... wow. This has certainly improved their image in my eyes and heart. As soon as my scheduling allows, I think I will start getting more involved in OofA events in my area so that when my boys are old enough to be members, I can be ready to be involved with them!
  4. A great adventure, or just mundane

    I think so much of what makes an adventure really just depends on letting the boys go their own way and being excited about what they find. I took my three Webelos on a geocaching adventure for their Camper adventure requirement. All I did was hand them a device and showed them how it worked, and then followed them as we walked through the park in our neighborhood to find it. We live in ultra-suburban Orange County, CA, but there is a lot of space here to wander, and most boys don't realize how much wildlife is right here in our own backyards. As we wandered around the park, I pointed out the various birds in the neighborhood by their calls, a few animal tracks and what they meant, and the different kinds of trees that grow in the area. Nothing fancy, but stuff that most people probably pass by. We spent maybe three hours outside looking for the geocache around trees and rocks and the little bridge by the creek, but never found it. Well, as we walked home, the boys were asking questions about everything - what kind of bird is that calling? What kind of flower is that? Could deer live in this area? How come the possums don't get eaten by dogs? Luckily I knew enough woodcraft to answer all their questions, but what things I didn't know, they were excited to study and learn about at the library the next day (which I was sure to plan as a follow-up activity). They didn't care that we couldn't find the geocache - they were just thrilled to have a better understanding of the world they lived in and to explore their neighborhood with new eyes. It was an adventure for them - they had fun, they learned new things, and their world, even just their neighborhood, was suddenly a little bigger and a little more exciting. All I did was follow them around, point out the cool stuff, and answer their questions as best I could. As one boy told me, "I lived by this park for years and I never knew there was anything interesting here! Now I wanna (sic) come every day at different times and see what else I can find!" That to me is what an adventure should be.
  5. Goodbye Camporees, WFW's hello SAW's?

    I just feel bad that people look at school like it's a bad thing. I adored school as a child, and most of my boys like it as well. This would have been far more engaging for me than the endless, and pointless camp outs where we went out into the woods and did nothing. My mind felt like it was atrophying on those outings. If I had had the chance to go to something like this when I was a Scout, I would have been thrilled. Not all boys crave constant activity and high adventure; I never did. But I did love learning in controlled, comfortable environments. Today's boys are used to being indoors; in their information generation they succeed better at receiving information this way than we think. Should it replace camporees and patrol events? Goodness no; they need to get out and play too. Of course. But one or two of these a year can be a huge benefit to boys that don't always have the opportunity to earn badges that might interest them but that require resources or connections they don't have. Every Scout is different. Just as some thrive in the outdoors competing with other patrols and pioneering in the wild, others thrive in a classroom with information and interaction with professionals in various vocations. The key is balance. Scouting's ideals and purpose can remain the same as they always have while still leaving room for adaptation to new needs and goals amongst the young men of this generation. One or two events like these, supplemented by the natural, healthy stream of outdoor adventures and camporee-type experiences, only go towards producing better yields of well-balanced Scouts who can become better men AND advance through the ranks. Advancement can't be allowed to be perceived as bad, nor can school, nor can any of these things. They can all support and promote each other, if we will just let them.
  6. Has the OA Lost It's Luster?

    Well, I am curious to see how our Pack Meeting goes on Thursday. I finally got a hold of our local OA chapter and they are going to come and do the Arrow of Light Ceremony AND the bridging ceremony for my Den's boys, and I am interested in seeing what they come up with. I was frustrated about their communication issues (which have been going on for months now), but now that they have been keeping in touch about the ceremony and explained what I can expect, I am reserving judgement until they get a chance to prove themselves this week. To be honest, I was never sure of the OA's purpose or nature as a Scout. I was inducted as a naïve 14-year-old back in 1997, went through the Ordeal - and never heard anything more from my chapter after that. Pretty sad. For years I actually thought the sash was just some special award, and had no idea it was an organization unto itself. This seems to have been an issue ever since then. I am now in the very same chapter and lodge that I was first brought into as a kid, and they haven't improved their communication much since then from what I can tell. BUT: we will see - if they put on a good ceremony for my boys this week, it will certainly go far towards improving their image in my eyes. I am all about giving things another shot, and I think that when it is well-run and well-organized, the Order of the Arrow can be one of the better parts of the Scouting experience. I just hope that by the time my Webelos are old enough to be a part of it, they will have improved their organization and program.
  7. Using the neckerchief to teach the Scout Oath

    I found it! The more I read it the more I love it, and I will practice this for a few days so that my Webelos can get the full meaning of these powerful ideas. Especially with one boy crossing over this week and getting his new Boy Scout neckerchief, this is wonderful, timely stuff here. I quote in full: "My first Scoutmaster taught the importance of the Scout Oath and Law using the Neckerchief. He would hold the open neckerchief in his hands and remind the young scouts of what was the last item of clothing they put on when they were getting dressed for the meeting: the neckerchief. He said that it was no coincidence that the neckerchief had 3 sides, just like the three parts of the Scout oath. He would run a side through his fingers and say "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God ..." The first and longest side is to remind you of your long standing duty to God. This whole side is hidden from view, just as your faith is deep inside you. But without that faith, there is no strength for the rest. Holding on to the neckerchief by the point, he would run the next side through his fingers and say "To help other people at all times ..." This shorter side is to remind you of your duty to help others. Remember, it is some of this duty that shows to others, just like a part of this side of your neckerchief shows. So do your duty to others well so that people might see the good works you do in the name of Scouting. The last side also shows. He would say "To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." This last side is your duty to your self. This shows to others as well. They will know that by seeing your uniform; you are a young man who is physically fit, has a strong moral foundation, and who is not apt to fall into the temptations of drugs and alcohol. He would then say that this was a means by which we could remember the Scout Oath, every time we got dressed in uniform. He also gave us a means by which to remember the Scout Law. While wrapping the neckerchief up for wear, he said to wrap it tight in small twists, 12 in fact, and to repeat the 12 points of the Scout Law as you did so. Then as you placed your neckerchief around your neck for wear, the elements of the Scout Oath and Law were with you. They were in fact part of you. I hope my rambling remembrances of Mr. Clinton Cooper Troop 6 Nashua, N.H. from 1969 can be used by some. It is a memory that I have used through out my scouting career and have shared with Scouts and Scouters. John Herrholz, Massabesic District Commissioner Daniel Webster Council, New Hampshire" I love this teaching tool. There is so much that can be illustrated with this simple garment. I could add that doing our duty to our Country can be considered as fitting into all of these three; we obey God by honoring this nation He helped establish, we help others by preserving and participating in our great democracy, and we preserve our own honor by defending and upholding the ideals of the Constitution. I might incorporate that into the folds of the neckerchief. I might also add that the two ends that hang from the neck can remind us of Truth and Knowledge, like the two stars on the Scouting emblem. And so much more! I think if I break it up over a few weeks I should have my inspirational minutes covered till Christmas! Tee hee
  8. Hey fellow scouters! I have a question that has been vexing me all night, and I need some help gathering information so I can gain a clearer understanding of BSA guidelines regarding flag ceremonies. As I have related in other threads, I have worked hard to save my struggling Cub Pack by encouraging them to build Den identity and unity amongst the boys. In my own Den, the boys have worked really hard to create a wonderful Den flag, and they are proud of it, as am I. They rally to it, they care for it, and they really do see it as a symbol of their achievements and successes. For the past few months, the flag has been displayed at our pack meetings, always with proper respect to our nation's flag being held paramount, and I stress over and over the proper treatment of the American flag during the flag ceremonies. Our flag is displayed to the audience's left as it should be, and it is kept on a pole that is intentionally quite a bit shorter than that of the U.S. ensign. But despite this, I was recently asked not to have our flag displayed, as it would be "disrespectful" to the American flag, and that it should only be used in our private den meetings. Next month we are in charge of the flag ceremony, and my Webelos have been working extra hard to master their steps so that the flags cross in front of the audience, American flag passing in front (of course) and then being posted to the audience's left, or the flag's own right, as per official protocol. But now I have another den leader feeling that it is inappropriate for our den flag to be a part of that ceremony. I am willing to change my plans if it means following official protocol, and I am willing to change my views with sufficient evidence, but I thought it was perfectly appropriate to include the den flag as long as we followed the correct procedures during the ceremony itself. I was even told by one leader that since we are a den, and not a patrol, we could not consider the den flag being used. I don't think a single parent in our audience will notice if it's right or wrong since frankly, having a flag ceremony done correctly in the first place will be a new experience for them. But it's important to me to do it right so that my boys learn correct procedures now before they become Boy Scouts. Can anybody help me find the official BSA stance on den/patrol flags being used in flag ceremonies? Can I include ours with a clear conscience, or should I quickly correct our course before we unwittingly break U.S. code? Thanks.
  9. Flag protocols - what to do with Den/Patrol flags

    Thanks MattR, I suppose I should have noted that yes, at our pack meetings we always have an audience AND a speaker, so it always goes on the left - at our meetings. Thanks for noting that important clause. And thanks to everybody; I knew I would get the help I needed here! Quazse, you asked where our pack flag was. Funny thing is, I have asked that since I was made the Webelos leader almost a year ago. It seems the closest thing we have is a flag more than 20 years old that has our correct pack number on it, but bears a name for our chartered organization that was actually dropped around that same time when our organizations boundaries changed. So until I can convince the committee to spend the money on a new one, all we have is the U.S. Flag and our den flag. I love the idea of all the dens coming up with their flags too ... but again, mine is the only den that has one so far. We only just found somebody to be a Wolves leader and a Bears leader, and there is a lot of catching up for them to do. I doubt den flags are even on their radar yet since they still haven't even bought their uniforms yet. As for the other pack that we do our pack meetings with (our numbers are small so we combine with them for all pack events), they don't have any flags whatsoever, and don't seem to want any either (it was a leader from that pack that asked me not to do it). SO, I think I will bring my den flag up with the national flag, but have it then sit with the boys in the audience for the duration of the meeting. That way they still have their flag on display but no parents or leaders will feel bothered by it. Since all the boys in my den are receiving the Arrow of Light at this meeting, I want to make sure their den's emblem is made as prominent as I can.
  10. Has the OA Lost It's Luster?

    All I know is that when I tried to renew my membership with the OA, it took me no less than 6 MONTHS of e-mails and phone calls and pushing and shoving just to find somebody to accept my dues. I was trying to give them money, and it took me 6 months?! And now I have been submitting one request after another for an OA Arrow of Light Ceremony to be done at a future pack meeting, which they advertise with bells and whistles on their webpage, to no avail. I have great respect for the purpose, history, and traditions of the OA. I have been an Arrowman for almost 20 years. But I am sadly frustrated by the slothfulness of my local chapter; I pray we are an exception still and not yet the general rule.
  11. Using the neckerchief to teach the Scout Oath

    If a little example like rolling the neckerchief becomes symbolism, then I can see how it could become a little too arcane for comfort, especially for Cub Scouts. But I do think it is wise teaching to make connections between ideas and the more tangible world around them. I like the idea of using the neckerchief as a tool to help them comprehend concepts such as duty and honor. Those can be hard for young boys to conceptualize, but they respond to concrete examples that draw what they see toward what they can then understand. I did a simplified version of it with my Webelos Scouts when I first started as Den Leader, and a mother recently related to me that I have one boy who, bless his heart, washes and irons his neckerchief all by himself every week so that it will fold neatly and fit nicely around his neck every week. He asked me to go over the folding a few times with him just so he could watch how I do it, and his mom tells me he now folds it carefully before putting it on every week, and then folds it nicely when he puts it away after the meeting. I did the same thing when I was a Scout his age. It's a small behavior, but it shows me that he really thinks about what it all means, and what Scouting is meant to do for him. All of my boys in fact fold them neatly now, and they really take pride in how nice they look and how many people compliment them. They look unified, but what's more, they feel unified. It's absolutely heartwarming to see the Scouting program guiding these boys to grow into good, kind, and strong men.
  12. What are y'all doing this fall?

    OCTOBER - all of my Webelos Scouts are earning their Arrow of Light at our monthly Pack Meeting! Plus to earn the Maestro Adventure pin, they are putting on a Den Talent Show for their parents and families NOVEMBER - the SPACE DERBY! I am in charge of running it too, so expect me to be asking for advice about it in a new thread sometime soon. Also Scouting for Food DECEMBER - our annual Pack Caroling Activity to elderly and sick friends of our pack in our community :-)
  13. Using the neckerchief to teach the Scout Oath

    Yeah I wish they were bigger now too. My father could easily sew a big one for me but as a Webelos Leader I feel the boys like seeing me wear the same plaid they are wearing. But if I ever move on the the older programs ...
  14. Interpreter Strips ?

    Ah that's way cool; my Sindarin is better than my Quenya, lol.
  15. Who Among Us Wears a Smokey Bear/Campaign hat?

    I am halfway towards my goal of saving up enough for a campaign hat ... I think they are so cool! And fortunately my local Scout Shop has a big enough stock of them for me to find the right size without having to guess. :-)
  16. Interpreter Strips ?

    I was reading through old thread (so I apologive for diggin this up), but official BSA policy states that 3 is the maximum number. I wear Spanish and French, though I admit I wish I could add an Elvish patch, lol.
  17. Origin of the Eagle Pledge and Eagle Charges

    Two were in the same troop, the others in different units. The ones I attended were basically glorified Courts of Honor featuring only one or two Scouts. The basic format was almost always: - Opening ceremonies (Flag Ceremony, Invocation, Scout Oath and Law) - Invitation to the "Eagle's Nest" (where they invite anybody in the audience who has earned the rank of Eagle to sit in some chairs that have been put in a front corner of the hall (does anybody else do this?)) - A brief and often diluted review of the Eagle Requirements - "An "introduction" of the Eagle Scout (he's not a candidate anymore, is he? once he has passed his Eagle Board of review, from that moment he is an Eagle Scout - isn't that right?) that basically goes "Filiberto, come up here. Filiberto is a great kid; I've known him a long time and ... we're real proud of him." And that's about it. - A long and drawn out powerpoint slide show with loud and cheesy music telling his entire life story which takes around 15 - 20 minutes - A "guest speaker" (usually just somebody from the chartered Organization assigned to offer some words) - Another sappy powerpoint with various pictures of eagles and flags and random 'inspiring images' of ... well, of anything really, from Boy Scouts to firemen to teachers to puppies ... I am never sure what their purpose is - The presentation of the award (as in, they call up the Scout and his parents to more or less say "congratulations Billy!" He then gives his parents their pins, pictures are taken, and that's basically it) - A closing Scoutmaster's Minute (if that) - The colors are retrieved, there is a benediction, and then lots of refreshments I will be honest, they can be pretty dry affairs. I know mine was not very fancy either, although I must also add that as a kid I was never eager for undue attention, so I preferred something more understated, although it was certainly more dignified that these long multi-media powerpoint selfie-festivals we get nowadays. I don't know; I feel they shouldn't be overdone either, but at the same time they should feel ... special. It's a hard balance to find I imagine. I agree that simplicity has more gravitas and dignity than the birthday party/wedding reception type events I have sometimes encountered, but we still want them to feel like they have earned something to remember. I would love to attend one that is really well-done someday. I know I make sure my Webelos Scouts get a really nice Arrow of Light Ceremony; I wish I could give the Eagle Scouts something similar, but for now they are not under my stewardship.
  18. Origin of the Eagle Pledge and Eagle Charges

    Until I read this thread today I had never so much as heard of and "Eagle Pledge/Charge/Oath/Monologue" or whatever. Of the five Courts of Honor I have attended this year, none have had anything like this, nor did I at my own. Is this an official BSA element that I missed? I would have thought such a thing would be included in the Official BSA Handbook ...
  19. New leader in California!

    Hey everybody! So, I was called on to be the Webelos leader for my local Pack, and to be the best leader possible I have spent the past 6 months reading everything I can about Scouting, including every edition of the handbook, all the Cub Scout books, every online resource I can find, and whatever books they have at the Scout Shop. I am a fast reader and love to do it, so I have had a BLAST eating up every policy and fact and discourse on Scouting I could find, and I am ALWAYS looking to learn more and find new ideas. I found this forum and have loved reading other people's ideas, thoughts, and opinions, and seeing how the world of Scouting manifests itself in the lives of leaders and kids everywhere. So ... who am I? I am a 32 year old single guy living in South Orange County, CA, right in the place I grew up. I was a very active and proper boy scout as a kid, got my Eagle at 15, and now I am working with the same Pack/Troop that I was a part of, with is huge fun. (I found an old craft I made in our Scout closet! Which shows how rarely they clean that thing out) I am a teacher by profession, and I am as comfortable teaching preschool as I am high school, so I guess I was doomed to be thrust back into scouting from the start of college, ha ha. I ADORE working with kids and youth, and I am fortunate to have time enough in my life to devote a huge portion of my time and energy to them. I am a reader and a writer, am deeply invested in the arts, and I am the first to admit that I am not a major outdoorsman, but I have all the skills a Scout needs to survive in the wild. I am an avid birder and hobby naturalist, and I LOVE arts and crafts. I should show you all our Den Flag some time! As far as my scouting background goes, my mother is from South America (the Latin part, from Bolivia) and my father is of British descent (the Scot part - Clan Ross). Dad earned his Life, but could never finish the lifesaving merit badge (he was a frail kid), so he wanted to make sure his sons got their Eagles. Mother came to the US as a girl, but as soon as my older brother turned 8 she threw herself into the Cub Scouting program and has been with it ever since. She is basically the Queen of Scouting now. Not only did her three sons all receive their Eagles before high school, but as the Life to Eagle Coordinator for our district she helped more than 200 scouts get their Eagles over the years, and she now oversees all new scout patrols in our chartered organization. As a surprise for her, I am currently trying to see that she gets proper recognition for her life of service by applying for her to get either District recognition or, if possible, the Silver Beaver. This November will be 30 years since she first registered as a Scouter! I practically devour any new information I can find that will help make our program better. I am only the Webelos Den Leader for now, but I see the sorry state of our Wolf/Bear program, and look ahead to our weak Boy Scout troop, and I see I have a lot to do to help motivate our leaders to get the boys feeling ownership of a program they can be proud of. I will definitely be asking for help and ideas as I face up to the mountain of work that lies ahead of me! Thanks for being a great resource that I am eager to draw from!
  20. Around the world, how cold do you go?

    Well, we are way down in Southern California just a mile or so from the water, so ... yeah. Last year our Troop had to drive for 5 hours to get to a mountain far enough inland + tall enough to get snowfall so they could actually do a "winter camp-out." And even then, there was only an inch or so of snow. The pitfalls of paradise I guess, lol. We get to do a lot of beach camping though!
  21. Build a Better World Requried Adventure

    With my Den, I simply had them read the requirements from the book, then asked "what are some easy service projects you have been a part of that we could do together?" One of them had been part of a clothing drive recently, so I just asked leading questions to help them put it together. "When could we do this?" "How will we let families know?" "Where will we take the clothes?" After a few questions THEY were the ones figuring out the logistics and I could just sit back and catch up on signing their books. They had it all organized really quickly, and at the Pack Meeting where they ran the drive, we didn't get many donations, but the boys were proud that they had put together the whole activity themselves, and were thrilled by how grateful the people at Salvation Army were when we brought in the clothing. All I had to do was ask a few logistical questions to get it going, and the boys took care of the rest.
  22. First of all, a warning: This is a long story! It's important I think, but maybe take a nap and eat something before diving in, tee hee. I wanted to share an experience I have had over the past few months that has proven to me the tremendous power of Baden-Powell's vision when he formulated for boys what we now call the Patrol Method. It has helped me as a leader, and it has recently saved scouting for a young friend of mine in a way that has touched his family profoundly. I hope it helps somebody else to capture the spirit of what the Patrol Method can do for young men. As a Webelos leader, I worked with my boys on the Scouting Adventure adventure (haha) where it has them use the Patrol Method for a month to prepare them for being Boy Scouts themselves. So I set to work on it with gusto, beginning with the story of Baden-Powell on Brownsea Island. I told the boys how the first thing they did, before camping, starting a fire, learning lore, or whatever - was to be put into groups and given their names - the Curlews, the Bulls, the Ravens, and the Wolves. They each came up with a flag and a call, and that was their identity for the duration of the camp - the first patrol names. I read them the oart of the original handbook where he describes how important it is to find an animal or totem that represents their groups' character and identity, and then showed them every patrol patch available from Scoutstuff and ClassB. They picked a really sharp-looking archer patch, called themselves the Merry Archers, made up their call, and ran with it - everything we do now is archer themed, they have all bought books on Robin Hood that they read constantly, and the Arrow of Light has become the Holy Grail for them - all of them will receive it before they have been in the program more than 7 months. The success has been tremendous. But, that's not the end of this story. We meet in the same building as the Boy Scouts, and at the same time. While our Webelos Den is having all kinds of success, the Scout Troop has been ... well, lacking. They camp pretty often, but don't DO anything, and advancement is not really emphasized, so we haven't turned out many eagles in the past few years. The boys haven't had much excitement, and they lose a lot of their members after a couple of years. One boy in particular has been struggling; he has a rough family life, is a relatively new scout, and has NOT enjoyed camping at all. He is a suburban kid who just hasn't be taught the skills needed to make camping fun, and as Scout Camp approached, he was starting to dread it. I am a friend of all the boys in the Troop, so I had a lot of them coming to me to tell me of their frustrations or what few successes they have had. Meanwhile, my struggling friend has seen my den, with our Flag and patrol emblems and den cheer, and has often asked me "why don't Boy Scouts get to have all that cool stuff?" See, their Scoutmaster has explained to me that those things "don't matter" and that they just "get in the way of getting out in the mud." Hmm, I thought, how can I help this Troop? I have a vested interest in it, since it happens to be the same troop I was in as a Boy Scout. SO. I told my young troubled friend, "you know, you CAN and SHOULD have all this stuff, and more! YOU BOYS lead the Patrol, not the Scoutmaster. If you want a Patrol Name, CHOOSE ONE! I will help." I have never seen such magic in a boy before .He got so excited that he, on his own time, went online and went through all the different patches he could find. He asked me to send him pictures of patrol flags and samples of patrol yells, He asked me questions about the history of the Patrol Method and of Scouting in general. And he begged his Scoutmaster to let them spend time on their emblem For THREE MONTHS this kid begged and whined and cajoled, until two weeks ago, the Scoutmaster finally said "FINE! If you go to the Scout Store and buy them yourself, you can pick the name and get some patches." While the boy's grandparents took him to buy the patches the next day, I went to the Scout Committee and explained how wonderful it would be if they could put some money towards reimbursing him and paying just a bit for materials for the flag. And then I found out that NONE OF THEM had so much as HEARD of patrol names or flags or anything, and they went WILD over the idea! (much to our good Scoutmaster's consternation) So the boy was repaid and came back with patches of a knight in shining armor, and then asked my father (a professional tailor) if he could possibly make them a Patrol Flag before Scout Camp - the next week. I was asked to design it, which I happily agreed to. This kid was THRILLED. Suddenly, Scouting was an adventure for him! He wasn't just a Scout, he was one of what he named the KNIGHTS OF LIGHT and came up with a cute (okay, not cute, COOL) patrol yell and everything. Well, two days ago, the night before he left for Scout Camp out on Catalina Island, he came by to pick up with flag my Dad and I created after working on it night and day to finish it in time. A grand, black and white shield tapestry with the Knight emblem emblazoned on the front, with their motto and a giant Eagle Scout patch on the back. When he saw it, this kid was so excited for Scout Camp he couldn't contain himself. I made him Keeper and Herald of the Flag, and told him to guard it with honor during his week at camp. He was so proud. And his grandparents were thrilled. They told he how his whole attitude had changed, and how much he now looked forward to going to camp as part of the great Knights of Light patrol, and how excited he was to see other patrols too. And I was shown a picture of him, with his Patrol, holding up his patrol flag and smiling ear to ear. All of them were amazed at their new ensign fluttering in the wind, and they have eaten up their new identity with zeal and gusto. IF you have yet to witness the effect these little things can have on your Scouts, TRY IT. This friend of mine went from hating scouts to loving it, because the Patrol Method gave him IDENTITY, RESPONSABILITY, and MOTIVATION. It empowered him to take ownership of his scouting experience, and helped him find new meaning in the program. The Patrol Method WORKS. Let your boys use it! Post Script: Would it be inappropriate for him to wear the Honor Guard patch as the keeper of the sacred Patrol Flag? I guess it would be, but I wish there was an official position the specifically related to the keeping of the flag's honor. Quartermaster just doesn't fit, lol.
  23. The Power of Names: Why the Method Works

    I think I got it! Here is the Boy Scout Troop with the flag I designed, completed by my father. It's done with black and white denim, is machine-washable, and on the back it has one of the jumbo patches from the scout store sewn in (the Eagle scout rank patch). It also has their Patrol Call embroidered into the back - "Knights of Light - We Do What's Right!" The image of the knight on the front is an exact copy of the image on their patrol patch. Now all the boys have to do it create a flagpole for it and start winning award ribbons to attach to it! Forgive the blur; I figured I should avoid putting pictures of others without permission, and besides, it's the flag I want to show (though even that turned out blurry, haha). You can, however, see the state our uniforms are in right now. As in, not good. Much to do! Sadly my young friend from the story I shared didn't use enough sunscreen at camp (I live in South Orange County, CA; they spent the week on Catalina Island) so the poor guy was in bed with heat exhaustion for a few days during camp, but he says he is still excited to display the flag and add awards to it from now on. Lucky for him I am the Merit Badge Counselor for a few of the badges he didn't finish, but still, you win some, you lose some!
  24. Den Flags

    Well, I am TRYING to post a picture, but it's turning out to be very difficult! Once I figure out how it works, I will post it here!
  25. Denner cords~who pays?

    I try to make sure my Denners actually have a share in the running of our meetings, so wearing the cords actually indicates a legitimate role in our group. We have a full flag ceremony and uniform inspection every week, both of which the chosen young Denner leads and conducts. He also chooses who will give our opening and closing prayers, administers the Scout Law and Oath, and makes any announcements. When I do have to make last minute changes to our plans, I clear it with both the Denner and the boys to make sure it meets their approval. The Denner also helps me decide what adventures to work on next. I figure it's a good way to teach them how to run a meeting so that someday, when they are in Boy Scouts, they will feel comfortable leading meetings and conducting business in their own patrols. Since they are still Cub Scouts, I will occasionally point out ways they can lead more effectively, but I NEVER usurp the role of the Denner in conducting the basic activities of our Den. That would be depriving them of their chance to lead and learn.