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----------------------------------------------------------------------Prayer before a sapling



Last Wednesday, at our weekly after-school scout meeting, I was observing my unit being led through an obstacle course by some zealous senior scouts. Imagine 18 Cub and Boy scouts in full khaki tans and campaign covers (Smokey bear hats) crawling through 5 foot prairie grass and climbing over log cabins!


While this was going on an older boy who had left my troop last year approached me and struck up a friendly conversation. He told me about how he had just got done quitting the school marching band and how he had decided to concentrate on his studies. He felt kind of sore about quitting something but felt good about having the freedom to pursue other things. He was taking private voice lessons with a locally famous instructor. He was enjoying Science and Mathematics.

(You have to understand that this kid was one of my favorite scouts. He was in my unit for five years. He played a fife in one Memorial Day parade, and had been the senior patrol leader his last year. It truly broke my heart when he moved on from scouts. But seeing him smiling there, six foot tall and brimming with self confidence - I can tell you it made my month!)


I had to cut short our conversation and say my good byes to him when I realized my scouts had gotten about a hundred yards away and were about to move out of site. I jogged up and found them all kneeling on the ground. They were up to something.


As I approached them they all started making the sign of the cross. They had been praying- but why I wondered. Then it struck me when I noticed the young sapling they were surrounding. They had come upon the tree that had been dedicated two years before to Mrs. R.


Mrs. R had been my younger sons' pre-school teacher. She had succumbed to Meningitis and had died a horrific death in a matter of 72 hours. Our unit had been asked by school officials to perform some form of ceremony to pay tribute to her (A day after her death!) on the Monday when everyone had returned to school from Easter break.


I had called up all my scouts that Sunday evening to give them the word (My unit had 35 members then). They all brought their full uniforms to school and put them on and we met at the flag pole in front of the school at 9:30. It's quite a site to see 35 scouts in the tan shirts and green pants with the campaign covers lined up in neat rows - snapping to attention. The other kids in the school had never seen our scouts up close like this. It was an amazing morning. Everyone was in shock over the death of so young and beautiful a woman. She was the coach of the high school cheerleading squad - who had famously stood up the year before to a group of cheerleaders who insisted on doing vulgar cheers and moves. Mrs. R had stuck to her guns, and when the cheerleaders would not get in line she ejected them from the team. This caused quite a controversy in the local papers. Mrs. R was to many parents a hero. Now this principled citizen, mother, and popular pre-school teacher and coach- was dead. And the entire Catholic elementary and junior high were present, along with parents, priests, local officials, and family members of the deceased.


My troop ceremoniously lowered the flag to half mast as we played taps on the scout trumpet. After taps we played Amazing Grace. Everyone wept it seemed. My scouts should at attention the entire time and snapped flawless salutes. We then raised the flag. The scouts learned a great lesson that day. They were prepared for something that they never realized they were preparing for. They gave that day of darkness a beauty- decorum- civility- and respect- that only those Boy Scouts could. They realized that they were delivering something needed and special. And 35 boys saw things different after that morning. Things like this can only happen in the Boy Scouts.


This memory came rushing back to me as I watched the boys making the sign of the cross. They saw me coming and quickly got up and the SPL began barking orders and they all proceeded to jog off to Bunker Hill for their favorite Game of Paratrooper and Enemy Scout. (A game of hide and seek in the heavy bush on Bunker Hill- I often add extra element of excitement and G-I-Joe atmosphere by screaming orders in a shrill German Voice at the hidden paratroopers- you wouldn't believe the stuff they crawl into to get hidden from their Nazi trackers!).


Later that evening I asked my youngest son- who is now a scout in the unit - who it was that had the idea to have the scouts pray at Mrs. R's tree. He told me that it was his older brother - but that all the boys loved the idea and were happy to pray at her tree. She had been pre-school teacher to nearly all of my unit. I have been afraid to speak to my older son about this. I am still a little in awe about the whole thing.


For five years our troop and pack (we are a consolidated unit) has ended every meeting with a talk about our role as Christian men and American citizens. Our motto is "Miles Christi Sum" (I am a soldier of Christ). Our unit's focus is on sacrifice, heroism, duty to our parents, and to God's mandates to love others. My scouts are trained to see their Christian beliefs and their scouting law as a powerful union: One strengthens and fortifies the other. We talk about super heroes and real heroes and how it relates to our Christian beliefs. My boys have met with many veterans of four different wars. They have ringed the Salvation Army bells in front of the local Wal-Mart while singing Christmas carols (very badly). For four consecutive years they have been asked to hold the banners for the AMVETS in the Veterans Day parade, and to fire our mobile potato cannons in the reading of the dead in front of the courthouse.


It seems that all this training has been paying off. I am witnessing some of the results that the work that me and my scout fathers and ASMs and senior scout leaders have been having on the boys. It is the best feeling in the world.


I believe that if you are a Christian, then you know that you must have faith that God will make things right. If you are a Christian you also know that you must act and do what is right by God. Being a scoutmaster has been for me the highest and most rewarding calling I could ever have imagined.


I would suggest that a scoutmaster should never shrink from putting his Christian faith into his scouting as much as he saw fit. That he should pray for guidance on this. It is the Holy Spirit that acts through us. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our voice. Jesus was the model of how a man should live his life. I can bear witness to the fact that the results of steadfastness to Christian principles in our Scouting Unit have yielded amazing results. And doing so is in keeping with making our Nation strong and good.


Good Luck Scoutmaster- and Gods Speed!


Semper Paratus!





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Here is one our units founding documents. It helped me when I first began running thunit to stay focused on the big picture of what our ultimate ends should be. We used this on our promotional material.



"A good boy is a blessing from God... A resourceful boy is a blessing to the world... A True Scout strives to be both."


What should a scout be prepared for? Our Unit's Prayer:


"Oh Lord, may you always find me ready to serve others. Allow me the strength to work hard in my scout-craft, Lord, with the knowledge that this toil may prepare me for the time when I'm called into your agency, having that ultimate of privileges: to be the answer to someone else's prayer."


Our Scouting unit is dedicated to building on the foundations of our Catholic education and American citizenship. Our goal is to make our boys into disciplined and resourceful young men aware of our nation's unique place in history and appreciative of the supreme sacrifice so many of our citizens have made and continue to make in the fight to spread and protect liberty. We strive to instill in our boys mental and physical strength, moral clarity, and those personal disciplines that will strengthen their character, improve their conduct, and thus add to the overall quality of our school, community, and the future.


Our brand of Scouting is dedicated to introducing boys to the virtues of Catholic American Manhood. Scouting insists on boys being gentlemanly, resourceful, morally straight, and helpful citizens. We teach the boys ways to tap into their inner resources and spiritual center, as well as teach them how to master their environment and how to interact with their fellow citizens as upright, fearless, and noble people.









Recently, while on a Boy Scout camp out, my seven year old son was asked by some older scouts what sports he played. He said he had played soccer and tennis, and was thinking about golf lessons. The older boys said No, I mean what --Manly sportsare you going to play - like basketball, football, or baseball?


This got me thinking about Boy Scouting, Sports, and Man hood.


Sports can undoubtedly be excellent for boys on many levels, not the least of which is that they teach boys the lessons of teamwork, physical fitness, the joy of competition, and ideally (but less often the case) the demonstration of humility in victory and grace in defeat. There is no question that sports can improve the physical animal in the boy and instill in them a fighting spirit and many life lessons But sports dont insure a boys manly development. I make a big distinction between a Real Man and the full grown male animal because it is this distinction that will make or break the human race.


It should be patently obvious that to put our faith in sports ability to be the sole developer of the higher man is a disastrously imbecilic gamble. History teaches us that athleticism is morally, ethically, and spiritually benign, and it is a toss of the coin whether the coach will be more rabbi than sadist. The champion athlete and athletic team can be communist, fascist, or free. The best baseball player can be a gambling cheat. The superstar foot ball player an adulterous murderous savage. Basketball stars and gang-bangers are becoming increasingly indistinguishable. Hockey players are expected to engage in thugery. And now we are treated to seeing our greatest baseball athletes going before our highest civic bodies and under oath lying and deceiving about doping with impunity for no other reason than to protect their idea of a reputation and future lucrative paychecks.


This shouldnt come as a surprise to anybody raised in a family of faith. Nearly every religion teaches that celebrity and worldly reputation corrupt and is the express lane to depravity and godlessness. Without institutions like family, church, and scouting, a boys spirituality, civic responsibility, and resourcefulness, will probably not be fully formed. Without these institutions boys are more likely to become monsters. We see every day that when boys are left to their own devices they often pursue the most violent and immoral media ever available in the history of our race. And the result of this media-suckled latch-key boy is a whole new generation of morose, unkempt, profane, sexually deviant, mumbling, inarticulate, apathetic lunk-heads.


To be sure, a boy without a calling is an unfortunate beast and potentially dangerous to himself and to others. And in the end, instead of making this world better for having him in it, he often becomes a dead beat, abandoning his obligations, and becoming an economic burden on the state.


Fortunately we live in a universe of directions. The magnetic compass tells us how we stand in relation to the earths surface. The sun tells us how we stand in relation to the time of the day and the day of the year. The stars guide us over the oceans. And our moral compass gives us a sense of our position with our creator and his values. And we have a duty to instill in every boys heart the straight line of the hero and to orient their moral compass to the directions that will lead them to Manly virtue. Boys must learn that if they are to become real men they will have to choose between two very real directions. They must either be called into the light of civic participation- reverence for his maker- and true to a principled code, or go on wandering into the darkness of doubt, depravity, and ultimate despair. If we are to insure the continuance of our civilization we must participate in this endeavor of making boys into men. Our boys must learn that:


A Real Man, (as opposed to a full grown male), is a heroic noble creature.


A Real Mans ultimate value depends not on how he feels, but on what he can offer to make the world a better place. (To live on Earth, as it is in Heaven.)


A Real Man knows that the ultimate reward for virtue is honor.



A Real Man seeks the Lord in his daily deeds in his most sober private thoughts in his broadest of lifes strokes.


A Real Man seeks out the Lord in his fealty to family and friends, and in his devotion to his Wife and children.


A Real Man is called, as a U.S. Citizen, to walk a path of duty to principles that are founded upon the proposition that the Lord created man to be free.


A Real Man seeks out a reputation based on moral principles and on a sound relationship to his own sense of honor. And he definitely doesnt try and become popular with people whose values negate his own.


A Real Man is called to insure that these paths to manhood be protected, maintained, learned, and followed by the next generation of men.



Due to the gravity of this mission, Boy scouting is by no means a casual life-style choice. Morality never is casual. Boy scouting in its very essence is formality. And this is why you ought to sign your son or grandchild or nephew up for scouting: because it is right for him, it is right for the nation, and it is essentially the right thing to do. You should go with him to the first few meetings and see for yourself citizens in action trying to turn green young bucks into creatures worthy of the mantle of U.S citizen, of Christian soldier, of Mensch, of a Real Man.


We hear much talk about saving our city. But a tangible and long term Salvation is closer to home than griping at town meetings and pinning our hopes on economic development committees. The sound principles of the Lord are staring us in the face every time we see a young boy and we hardly ever take noticefor the fact is that if you want to get a boy to be a man just give him a mans task and a gentle nudge. Ask him to be a hero and save the world and he will step up. Boys are stirred not by meager assignments, but by impossible dreams. Our schools are not designed to inspire boys to become men any more than sports are a guarantor of making boys into worthy male adults. And our society has been lowering expectations of our boys at a level that is debilitating and beginning to erode the foundations of our society It is imperative that we start insisting that all of our boys start acting like men ----NOW.


Our boys have the energy, and the deep yearning to be a part of this godly enterprise of democracy and human civilization. And I have absolutely no doubt that the Boy Scouts of America is our best means of marshaling this body of potential talent (More so than sports, but not in spite of or instead of sports).


The Boy Scouts of America, when properly administered, helps make boys into Real Men. The Boy Scouts teach our boys that it is their inner character and their virtuous actions that define what real manhood is. A Real Man lets the world know what a real man is by being an individual example of a pure and living principle.


I call on you, citizens of our County, to join in this rewarding, patriotic, difficult, and noble enterprise of Boy Scouting. Join this effort through either giving of yourself and your wealth of experience and energy, your financial support, your moral support, and together we can make scouting a force that can turn our community into a thing to admire and to imitate. Lets make our County known as the place where Real Men are made.










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These are two examples of the missions we organized over the past couple of years. Some, like Operation Righteous Path, were events involving multiple troops and cub scout packs from the district. While many of them are military themed, you will see they we made an effort to keep the skills and techniques scouting-centerd.




Search & Rescue-themed Scavenger

Hunt Exercise testing scouting

skills, endurance, and leadership.

Four to five Teams will be competing to find the downed Air Force pilot and deliver first aide (if necessary) and call in a rescue vehicle. Each team will be lead by a senior ranking Boy Scout. Each team will be accompanied by an adult observer/referee, whose job it is to ensure the scouts are conducting themselves in a safe manner and are following the rules of the competition. Observers also tally points the team earns as it goes through various tasks.


April 29th , 2006

Lake Storey Campground

Day time Scavenger Operation: 0900 TO 1400

Dinner 1500

Church Service at 1700 IHM

Overnight at Lake Storey Camp Ground

Breakfast and Decamp by Sunday 1000

Operation Righteous Path is a day long skill testing exercise.

Our theme is a Search & Rescue operation of a downed Air Force Pilot.

In the process of searching for the downed pilot, scouts will be given opportunities to test their skills and mental and physical endurance. Areas which will be tested include:


 administering appropriate First Aide

 transporting injured personnel

 Orienteering

 Knot Tying

 Tracking

 Morse Code

 Map Reading

 Plant identification

 Leadership and team building


Hi Jack,

I am looking for five non scout boys or young women to volunteer to be the downed C-130 crewmen. It is a fun job. We will make them up to look badly beaten from the crash. We will use makeup and other effects to recreate the symptoms of severe burns, lacerations, blood, bruising, etc. I want to have the boys prepared for all the diversity of injuries covered in the Boy Scout Handbook. They will be required to carry a deep troop first aide kit along with blankets, poles for a litter, and whatever else you can think of!!

I have begun training my boys on orienteering and first aide.

The plan for the day goes like this

We meet up at the Campground at at 0900.

We make introductions, assign duties for the campsite, and have the boys set up their tents (they will be exhausted by the end of the event).

At 1000 we conduct the briefing. During the briefing the squads are told what their specific objectives are and the situation. The boys have been told that this is a straight search and rescue and it is but along with finding a downed crewman, they will be given additional tasks that will slow and complicate their efforts (again your input here would be great).

After the briefing and the squads have assembled with their gear (group inspection of gear), the boys will have gauze put in their eyes and then be thoroughly blindfolded. Then we will separate the squads and drive them to their drop sites. They will then be walked into a low visibility area like a forest or a valley with as little landmarks as possible and then at precisely 1045 they will have their blindfolds lifted and begin their search.


Of course the first thing they will have to accomplish is to figure out where they are on the survey maps they were given. They are allowed compasses (no GPS). Only one cell phone for the group, and it is to be used only to contact Headquarters or in case of emergency.

Each group is given their own unique mission book. They are only to open it once they are dropped. In this book are the encryption codes they will need to decipher the messages from HQ. Also is the mission book are the specific task they are to accomplish.

Scouts are not allowed to bring a Boy Scout handbook. They will be tested on their knowledge of the handbook, not their ability to read it.

If you can, think of some fun tasks you would like to see the scouts perform.

Each task successfully accomplished earns the squad 50 points.

Scouts must refer to each other by their mission alias and not by their true name. Every time their real name is uttered the referee is to dock the squad ten points.

You get to have the pleasure of giving your boys their alias (I never let them choose their own- its all about taking orders even silly ones like having to be called Bagel.).

(Any other rewards and demerits you can think of please share!!)

The maps of the Lake Storey area will be color coded and have a grid (like battleship game). The squads will begin their hunt very distant from their target thus they will have a lot of hiking to do. For instance a team might be dropped off near the damn by Carl Sandburg College, but their crewman to rescue may be in the marshy area by the golf course. Or the drop might be by the boat landing, and the pilot might be on the exact opposite side of the lake.

We may acquire a v-hull fishing boat for this event and be able to perform extractions via the water (adding to the excitement. They scouts wont know where they are to bring their crewman until they have reached him, administered first aide, and them called in HQ for instructions on extraction.

Also the boys may be instructed that the crash is secret, and they are to exhibit extreme care not to be seen by locals for fear of attracting hostiles. In fact, the injured crewman will be told to hide him or herself from plain sight- and to only reveal their location when the squads have properly identified themselves. (In the mission book).

The uniform for this event tentatively- is blue jeans and white unmarked t-shirts. We will provide the squads with colored arm bands for team identity.


The more chaperones the better- but adults are forbidden from aiding the scouts in their tasks or in socializing with them unless it is a situation concerning safety.

Referees have the latitude to give demerits for any un scout-like behavior (Scout laws). So if a scout is not obedient to the scout in charges wishes that would earn the squad a demerit of ten points. The ref should announce to the squad whenever he has given a demerit.

The squad with the most points at the end of the event wins a prize (prize to be determined).

We unusually charge for our campouts $2.50 per meal. IF your scouts only stay for the day that would be two meals - $5.oo. Overnight would mean breakfast too, $7.50.

The lunch and snack will be made by the scouts at our April 26th meeting. If you have any scouts with food allergies let me know.


The dinner will probably be burgers and dogs on the fire again- your suggestions are appreciated on all things camping.

Breakfast Biscuits and gravy maybe eggs. Etc.




GOLF Squad: Scout in Charge Papa

Scout in Charge Moby







Referee: Lt. Millar

Handle Code How Sweet it is



YANKEE Squad: Brutus Scout in Charge

Scout Second in Charge Kaiser










Handle Code Grand Old Flag




Violet Handle code Heavens Gate

Referee: Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster





Central Command


Insertion and Extraction



Downed Crewman: High School Voolunteers


Good Samaritan: Mrs. Gabolini


Supply Boat: Mr. Heinekin and Scoutmaster Rumpus





X-Ray Station

Temptation Ridge: 50 points

Read bible verse

Find a way to get personnel and equipment to the other side of the rope web with out setting off booby trap (noise makers).

Must use teamwork

Must not touch ropes

No more than 5 attempts. 10 points deleted for each unsuccessful attempt.


Zulu Station

Battle Stations: 50 points


Read Bible Verse

Load and fire potato cannon at Panzer Tank Target

Range: 50 feet. Marker signifies firing line.

Use all safety rules for gun handling

Each successful shot worth 10 point Max 50 for 5 shots. This is a timed exercise you have 5 miutes to take you five shots. After taking your shots, make sure to clean area of all potato remnants before leaving.


Whiskey Station

Only One Way: 50 points

Read Bible verse

Cross the rope bridge built over shallow ravine

All team members must get themselves and equipment across ravine.

Points deducted if anything falls off.


Sierra Station

Signaling rescue plane or Chopper:

50 points

Using whatever objects are available, create a signal that is visible to low flying search and rescue aircraft notifying them of your presence and the direction you are heading.


Echo Station

Signaling Boat with mirror:

50 points

Using a reflecting signal get the attention of the intelligence agent. He will be wearing a orange hunters vest and driving a v-hull fishing boat. If he gets your signal he will deliver information and supplies.


Hotel Station: Headquarters (camp ground)


Good Samaritan: 25 points

Come to the aide of field agent Lucky Lady.


Rescue Crewman: 50 points

Discover downed crewman and administer first aide.

Transport injured crewman to extraction point.


Total maximum of 320 points


BE PREPARED for Surprises

Throughout the course- each unit will receive two handicap communiqus via cell phone. These will consist of a scout receiving a simulated foot injury, and a scout being blinded from a phosphorus flare.


Scouts Smith has sprained his right ankle. Place gravel from plastic bag (provided) in scouts right shoe and have him put the shoe on. Squad must aide him in his walking from now until the end of the operation. If you fail to keep the rocks in the scouts shoes, your squad will be penalized 25 points.


One of your scouts had a phosphorus flair go off in his face. He has been temporally blinded. Bandage his eyes and aide him the remaining portion of the trip. If your fail to keep the scout bandaged to remainder of the exercise your squad will be penalize 25 points.







Lake Sierra

October 7th 2006




Missionaries in the area have been imprisoned and are being held as hostages.


The scouts have been tasked to rescue the missionaries along with harassing their coastal defenses as a diversion.


The S.S. Redington and S.S. Werley will be escorted by a flotilla of canoe and pirogues.



S.S. Reddington 26 foot scout transport trimaran

S.S. Werly 16 foot scout transport Dory


Support Craft:


6 16 foot aluminum canoes

4 10 foot Pirogues


Alpha Squad Reconnaissance

Bravo Squad Rescue Missionaries

Charlie Squad Extract Navy Seal



Coastal Defense Force CDF

Amred with Water balloon Catapults and Water Balloon Sling Shots. IF boats are hit points will be deducted.


Send a reconnaissance force inland to flank the Rebel stronghold and photograph its positions using digital camera. Send information on forces numbers and position on cell phone. Use phonetic alphabet when giving HQ your code.


Raid the coastal defenses of the Jacobean Rebels rescue the missionaries in the Amazon isthmus. Return Missionaries and crewmembers safely back to base. Enjoy water baloon fight.





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As I have written about before- we have a training regiment and testing for advancement independent of the BSA rank advancement- but not in lew of it.


THese testing days are a lot of fun- and the boys seem to take very well to it.


Here are some examples.


Saturday May 14, 2005

School Primary Building

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Scouts should arrive at 9:00 a.m. in uniform and ready to take the exam. There will be a SNACK AT 10:30. There will be no make up for this exam. I am looking for as many parent volunteers as I can muster. We need test docents, snack helpers, and basic helping hands. Please call Mr. Acerra if you want to volunteer.

Our ultimate goal in scouts is to train our boys to be prepared to be the able leaders of men. Patrol Leaders are boy scouts trained to lead other boy scouts. In the Troop meetings the Patrol Leader may lean upon other Junior Costa Corps Leaders, but in the meetings of his specific Patrol (a detail of scouts under his authority) he must stand on his own feet, at all times giving his leadership. He must be trained to the point where he can do this. And it is the Scoutmaster who imparts this training, both in the after school Monday activities and the weekend outings held throughout the year.

Because of its unique inclusion of cub scouts and boy scouts in Consolidated Scouting corps, we place great emphasis in leadership training and instilling in boys an understanding and appreciation for the role of group organization, respect for authority, and an adherence to the chain of command. The patrol leader exam is designed to test all the core competencies the boys have been working on since September. The overall score of this exam will help the scoutmaster to evaluate the scouts and help him in determining who will receive increased leadership responsibilities next year. Two different ranks can be awarded for excellence in the patrol leader exam. One is the advancement of Corps grade rank in the troop beyond school grade. This means that a third grader, who is normally a scout first class with one chevron, , would advance to a corporal, . The rank designation shows how much can be expected out of this scout in the way of leadership and support of the troop functions. The rank designations are unique to Our Scouting unit and are not recognized by the Boy Scouts of America.


Another way in which a scout can advance is by being elected by the Scoutmaster to be in the patrol leadership of the troop.

Boys age of eleven or who are in the sixth grade are eligible for being both official boy scouts and automatically patrol leadership grade.


Thank you for your continued support of our scouting efforts.



Patrol Leaders Exam


100 Points for uniforms inspections.


Physical Training Component

Be able to demonstrate the following stretches

Groin Stretch 40 points

Hurdler Stretch 40 points

Standing Toe Touches 40 points

Calve Muscle Stretch 40 points


Sit-ups : Boys will be given two minutes to do as many sit-ups as they are able. 20 points per. Hands must remain firmly clasped behind neck or sit-up will not be counted.

Number of Sit-ups __________


Pushups: Boys will be given two minutes to do as many pushups as they are able. 30 points per. Boys may not allow body to fall to floor at full rest or will be asked to do test over. Chins must touch the floor for pushup to be counted.

Number of Pushups____________


Jumping Jacks: Boys will be given two minutes. 5 points per. Hands must touch on upswing for jumping jack to be counted and legs must extend at least to shoulder width.

Number of Jumping Jacks________


Sprint: Forty yard Dash. 11 seconds 50 points, 10 seconds 100 points. 9 seconds 200 points. 8 seconds 300 points. 7 seconds 400 points. 6 seconds 500 points. 5 seconds 600 points. 4 seconds 700 points.

Time for 40 yard Dash ________


1 mile run: FOUR laps around Costa Track.

20 minutes 200 points. 18 minutes 400 points. 16 minutes 600points. 14 minutes 800 points. 12 minutes 1000 points. 10 minutes 1400 points. 8 minutes 1600 points. Time for 1 mile run. ___________


Morse Code:


Sound identification. Total Possible Points 400

Boys will be given a series of Morse code signals. They will be expected to write them down and read back what they were. If they use the key provided below they will only receive 50% of the possible highest score

20 points per letter correctly identified.

Please Print the Message You Received on this line




Signal sending. Total Possible Points 400

Boys will be given a message to send on a telegraph key.

20 points per letter correctly identified. If they use the key provided below they will only receive 50% of the possible highest score.

Scouts are to send following message:


A .-

B -...

C -.-.

D -..

E .

F ..-.

G --.

H ....

I ..

J .---

K -.-

L .-..

M --

N -.

O ---

P .--.

Q --.-

R .-.

S ...

T -

U ..-

V ...-

W .--

X -..-

Y -.--

Z --..

0 -----

1 .----

2 ..---

3 ...--

4 ....-

5 .....

6 -....

7 --...

8 ---..

9 ----.

Fullstop .-.-.-

Comma --..--

Query ..--..


Telegraph Machine: Total Possible Points 300

Boys will be shown an inoperable telegraph machine and be asked to identify the malfunction. They will be given a volt meter and probes to help them determine the problems. Boys can practice for this using their telegraph machines. The following malfunctions may or may not be present: Circle the answers after inspecting the machine.

a. Batteries are not properly installed

b. Connecting wires are making poor contact

c. Connecting wires are improperly connected (Faulty circuit)

d. Batteries are low.

e. The clicker armature needs fine tuning.


Phonetic Code: Total Possible Points 400

Boys will be asked to send and receive a simple message using phonetic words in place of letters. Each correct letter expressed is worth 20 points.




Hatchet Safety and use. Total Possible Points 400

Boys will be asked to demonstrate the proper carrying of a hand axe. They will be asked to demonstrate how to safely chop of a limb. Scouts will be asked to explain the blood circle.



Boys will asked recite the boys scout oath. (Without looking at sheet) Total Possible Points 200

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.


Boys will asked to perform the following marching moves: Total Possible Points 400


Stand at attention 50 points for perfect execution.

At ease 50 points for perfect execution.

At rest. 50 points for perfect execution.

Right face, 50 points for perfect execution.

Left face 50 points for perfect execution.

About face 50 points for perfect execution.


Boys will be given a command and expected to answer in the Corps Affirmative: Aye Aye Sir Mam or Captain depending on the adult giving the command. 50 points for perfect execution. (Big voice- no hesitation).


Boy Scout Salute 50 Points for perfect execution.


Official Pre-test Study Aide for Costa Catholic School Consolidated Scouting Corps 2005 Patrol Leader Exam


The Patrol Leader Exam is the Corps Scouting yearly assessment for next years rank grades. Currently, all scouts are ranked according to their age. This wont change. A scouts minimum rank will always be commensurate with their age. But Scouts may advance up the Corps rank ladder through earning points throughout the year and by excelling on this Patrol Leader exam. This rank gives the boys additional leadership roles and responsibilities in the pack. (All boys, regardless of their rank, receive leadership experiences).


There will be nothing in the May 14th Patrol Leader Exam that is not in this Pre-test Study Aide. Failure to take the Patrol Leader Exam will mean that the scout will lose the opportunity to accumulate points for a possible promotion of rank beyond the normal age-associated grade rank.


The Patrol Leader rank is based on the performance of this test averaged in with the performance throughout the year, the Scoutmasters assessments of the scouts behavior and leadership skills, and the scouts mastery of the scout skills learned that year.


There are 4 parts of the exam


1. Physical Training:


P= The Amount of Pushups in Two Minutes

S= The Amount of Situps in Two Minutes

R1M= Run time on one mile run

R40D= Run Time on 40 yard Dash

OCR= Obstacle Course Run

Scout Skills

Scout Oath and Law

Flag Etiquette: Flag History Flag Folding Flag treatment

Scout History : Scout founders


March and Drill

Terminology Technique Form Giving Orders Receiving Orders


At Ease

At Rest

About Face

Right Face

Left Face

Forward March

Ready Halt


Scout Craft

Electronics Basic Circuit Understand the Telegraph Circuit Setup. Understand the Solenoid Concept. Identify the solenoid and its function. Understand The Crystal radio Circuit Setup: Identify the parts of the crystal setup. The resistor, the germanium diode, the detector assembly, the antenna, the ground.


Ballistics: Safe operation and aiming of Spud Gun Scout will be given lateral and longitudinal coordinates and will need to aim gun accordingly.


Archery: Safe Archery Practice Archery Terminology Proper Technique: Scout will be asked to identify the various parts of the arrow and bow. Scout will be asked to shoot ten arrows at a target.


Marksmanship: Safe Firearm Practice- Proper Techniqiuue Terminology: Scout will be asked to shoot a bb gun ten times at a designated target. They will be asked questions about firearm saftery.

1. When is it ok to operate a firearm? When being supervised by an adult with the permission of your parent.

2. How do you hold a gun when walking with others? Point it in the air or at the ground with the safety on.

3.When is it safe to point a gun at others or yourself? Never.

4. Is it ok to point a gun at somebody if it is unloaded? No.

Is it ok to point a gun at someone if the safety is on? No.


Blade Tool: Scouts will identify the Parts of the knife and hatchet

safe hatchet and knife use

Scouts will be asked to explain how to safely whittle a piece of wood.

Scouts will be asked to demonstrate how to safely hold an Axe.

Scouts will be asked how to safely hold a knife.

Scouts will be asked to demonstrate how to clean braches from a tree using a hand axe.


Compass: Finding direction using compass. Orient a map to North.


Phonetics: Scouts will be asked to transmit a lettered code using phonetic letter designations. (Alpha Bravo Charlie, etcetera)


Morse Code: Scouts will be asked to both send and receive telegraph transmissions using Morse Code. Speed will not be tested.


Semaphore: Scouts will be asked to both send and interpret signals using semaphore flags.







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I'm copying your writings to a Word doc from now on.. that good stuff that was deleted (letters etc) I planned to save for ideas and reference..


Matter of fact I'm copying my stuff to a doc too !





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Very nice Pappy but as a stickler for the Rules, you should know that on the President of the United States can order the national flag flown at half mast. So, despite your good intentions, you instructed your Scouts to break the law. Are you setting a good example?

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Gold Winger, out of all that Pappy's posted, that's the item that caught your attention? Wow.


And I'm not sure where you got the idea that Pappy is a stickler for this type of rule. He does, after all, run a self-proclaimed rogue unit that doesn't exactly precisely follow the BSA guidelines.


I'd say that Pappy, like many of us, uses his judgement about when to apply which rules. This half-staff usage seems like a fine use of judgement to me. (And actually, the state governors can also legally order the flag to half-staff in their own state.)

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"This half-staff usage seems like a fine use of judgement to me. (And actually, the state governors can also legally order the flag to half-staff in their own state.)"


I stand corrected but I don't call it "fine judgement."


"And I'm not sure where you got the idea that Pappy is a stickler for this type of rule."


That was sarcasm.


"Gold Winger, out of all that Pappy's posted, that's the item that caught your attention? Wow."


Tthat's the only part that required comment.


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Gold Wing,


I'm very happy to address your observation about the flag ceremony.


I intentionally left out a part of the story that was difficult for me at the time. You see, When Mrs. R passed, I was out of town. On Sunday, the last day of Spring break, I had just returned home and I received a phone call from a school official. They asked me to perform the flag lowering to half mast. That rule is broken a lot in our town. We have lost about 5 soldiers in Iraq and it is a pretty emotional thing and the flags all go down in support. Whos going to be the creep to tell them they are breaking the rules?


I already knew the rule about the rules. It comes up a lot when you are a bugler and run a troop teaching boys flag etiquette.


So I made a compromise. I told the school official that there was a rule that only the Governor could order flags to half mast state wide or the President Nationwide. But would I would do is lower the flag to half mast while taps was being played, then the boys would hold the flag ropes while Amazing Grace was played on the trumpet, and then the flag would be raised back up and secured in silence.


I weaseled my way around a rule I suppose. But I really do think that our Governor would have approved of such an action.


The flag never technically flew at half mast - only for a moments reflection for a grieving community.


I hope that better explains my action.


Did you notice that we named our biggest scout ship after Mrs. R.? We are rather proud of our fleet. They are all named after fallen members of our community. 2 in Iraq, and one here at home.


Our base camp is named after an old man who was a friend of the school community and died a bachelor. Now his name will always be remembered as a place where boys go scouting outside of town.


Happy to be at your service in scouting!




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Oh good grief! There's a guy not too far from here who flies the flag at half-mast all the time...to make room for the Confederate Battle Flag above it. I think it would be a great idea for you guys to come on down and have a conversation with him about the rules. Don't let that little red spot dancing on your chest deter you as you make your way through the weeds and dead cars and past his No Trespassing signs. ;)

After all there's no need to worry, a Sheriff's deputy lives next door.

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Ok guys- My most hyperbolic letter pitching my Unit yet. I put it in the local paper. I was looking to be a little provocative in having the audacity to actually differentiate our brand of scouting with out directly saying anything negative about the competition.

Why not sell our own brand of the BSA franchise. We know that BSA franchises are not homogenous. At least that is what we try to do.


Espirt de corps is an important element that is direly missing in our beloved organization whose values and mission and history deserve it. We strive to give our boys a program to be proud of. A ****** Corps scout knows that he is different. And he likes it.


I lived with six marines in College which explained many hangovers and unfortunate grades and perhaps those particular sensibilities to scouting I have arrived at. But I learned a lot about how to get young men jazzed about their uniform and their unit by hanging out with loves jar-heads.


The Marines Make it so hard, so tough, so MALE, that it brings out what is tough, and strong and sometimes best in the man.


At least thats where I stand on all this.


Here is the definition sprit de corps:

Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used for the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others. The second term applies particularly to military personnel and to members of sports teams, but is also applicable in business and in any other organizational context, particularly in times of stress or controversy.

According to Alexander H. Leighton, "morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose".[1]



I think we all would agree that BSA could stand to look find as many ways as she can to put Esprit de Corps into her ranks of leaders, volunteers, and scouts.








Are you as concerned as I am about what kind of man your boy will turn out to be? Are you confident that he is getting the kind of experiences that will form him into an independent, capable, moral, and pious leader of men? Have you noted how so many boys, as they reach their early adolescent years, become sloppy imbecilic lambs following the herd of sloth, cynicism, and secrecy? How many times do witness the ugly spectacle of boys breaking free of the yoke of parental authority to become a little despot over his bewildered and self loathing parents? Who hasnt noted the complete inability of organized sports to form boys into civilized mannerly men? And who of you hasnt wished that your church wouldnt do something that would get boys to understand how incredibly masculine and tough and great it is to follow in the steps of the Saints and Martyrs?


There is an organization that can help your boy to become the man God intended him to be. It is Scouting in the *******Corps, a unique scouting group at *(******** whose focus is on Christian Virtues, Manly arts, and Old Time American Values.

The *******Corps is a unit of scouts aged 7 through 17 whose sole purpose is to prepare boys to be witnesses to Christs salvific power by learning that to glorify God is synonymous with serving and loving others. The Scouts prepare for this mission by bettering themselves through learning such manly arts as navigation, search and rescue, CPR and First Aide, wilderness survival, military drill and protocol, construction, rope use, and the proficient use of manners such as Yes mam. And No Sir. , and the civic and patriotic rituals of Flag ceremonies, bugle playing, and learning of the contributions of our forefathers.



It takes guts to see whats going on around us and do something about it. It takes guts to say what is right and to point out what is wrong. It takes guts to step outside of the pack when the pack has gone down an evil path. It takes guts to follow God. In the ***** Corps- were all about GUTS.




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WARNING::::::This letter is theological in nature.


It is about the importance of Faith --and While I don't directly address scouting- the meanings and arguments I think apply to the apolgetics of our Scouitng oath and why a scout must be reverent.


As you may have guessed, I have a theoligical zeal about the greater Scouting movement and its power to transform our world through the organized and deliberate formation of Good Men. Is scouting a religion?? - Yes - in many respects it certainly can be seen as useful tool in a larger small r religious Programme.

This is an examination of why I believe so many people are so hostile to the Christian beleiver. I am not oblidged to respond to what I persceive to others picking this letter apart and thus open this thread up into a wider discussion of theological semantics unless I think it is interesting. I won't get pulled into a tit for tat with any of our resident atheists and relativists.


I submit this to you inthe spirit of understaning and Scout Law.






Belief, Lukewarmenss, and Non-beleif


God said to Moses, I am the Lord your God, and you shall have no other gods before Me. Yet ever since then we have all found ourselves lacking in following this first of Gods commandments. We fawn over money, power, sex, celebrity, talent, ideology, scientific achievement, popularity, clothes, our family, sports, pets, the environment, or shiny objects. We easily fall into the idolatry of the created and a life lived for the pursuit of creature comforts. What we should instead give priority to is the glorification of the Creator of all things and leading a life dedicated towards easing the suffering of other people (His most important creation).


Since it is our God-given Human nature to conform to and live in communion with something that satisfies our deep longings to belong to something bigger than ourselves, if we dont conform to Gods way by learning to live in communion with His revealed truth we cannot hope to be strong enough nor informed enough to resist being swept in the undertow of conforming to worldly opinions, fads, errant beliefs. This latter inextricable path leads us towards selfishness, hedonism, and living in falsehoods harvest of despair.


In distinction to the Believers are the Lukewarm Believers and the Nonbelievers. The later two differ in their outward presentations. (The Lukewarm may claim the superficial mantle of belief and identify with being religious, while the Nonbeliever disavows Gods reality or significance.) But both share an overall prejudice against a life lived in the midst of God and his Word. The Nonbeliever says no to God and yes to himself and a requisite belief system that rationalizes his position. The Lukewarm is uncommitted either way, but he still works out an elaborate system that justifies both his worldly moorings and his personalized relationship with the divine on his own terms.


The Lukewarm and the Nonbeliever are united in having closed themselves to the idea of a real supernatural presence which is actively engaged in their lives. What irritates both of them is that their Christians brothers insist that God is ready to forgive them for any past or current states of sins and false beliefs, no matter how egregious, if they choose to show God that they are sorry and will love Him and live in and according to His truth (as revealed in Holy Scripture and a two thousand year old living Church instituted by His Son Jesus Christ and built upon the foundation of His Apostles). They are loath to this proposition because they already have placed upon their home-made altar their greatest of values their freedom to choose and live life on their own terms. So when presented with what they are told is the greatest choice in their lives to elect to choose God and live life according to terms authored by the maker of the Universe, they are insulted; because they know that what they really worship isnt their freedom to choose, but is instead their freedom from God. Furthermore, they know that if God is what the Believers say He is, then that Freedom is not a liberty at all but an exile from the Divine and the source of all lasting Joy and eternal life.


They see the Christian witnesss proposition as a denigration of what they value most. And they are of course right in thinking this. But the Christian does not intend malice in his proclaiming Gods truth, but instead intends to save that persons soul, which is the only reality worth ultimate consideration to those who believe God.


What so many often fail to understand is that Christians are Lovers. Christians Love to worship God because they believe that He created us as an act of unimaginably profound Love. They are thankful that He has told them how He wants them to live their life in a manner befitting a creation in His divine image. And because the Christian has been told with divine authority what is expected from him, he struggles every day to act holy, pure, loving, compassionate, reasonable, prudent, charitable, tender, merciful, and above all humble. He understands that because he is an adopted child of God the Father his acting Godly is both the highest form of self-expression and a glorification of the only true Creative Spirit. And Christians know, if they are true to their faith, that they all fail in fulfilling this mandate, and thus are always struggling to improve their sinful nature through contrition, penance, prayer, renewing their vows of faith and belief, and doing the works of charity that God requests of them.


This is why the Christian has always been counter cultural (and thus looked on with disdain and mistrust by the worldly) because he is mandated to see all life as sacred because of its Godly origin and design. While the world encourages him to make life profane and something to derive pleasure from, he instead carries his temple with him in his own personhood. Where the world views science and innovation as a triumph of man and an argument of his independence from God, the Christian gives praise to his creator for making a such a splendid world that allows us to participate as agencies of creation, whether as scientists in the pursuit of discovering the orderly principles at work in nature and harnessing them to increase our mastery of environment, to the artist who struggles to flesh out the inspirational from the mundane and lead us to a fuller experience of the sublime and the transcendent. . He hears any cruel uncharitable thing that comes from his lips as a desecration of the God that made him. He knows that the lowest among us may be first in Heaven.


What so many often choose to see in Christians is a haughty and judgmental outlook. They think that all their religious belief comes down to a hypocritical shield of self-righteousness and membership in an exclusive God club. But they should know that the Christian wishes more than anything that all souls find their way to Heaven. They should know that the Christian is Mankinds best friend because he has been called to love man as God does. And they should understand that the Christian Church is the only institution on Earth that has been created, honored, and continues to be protected by God in Heaven.

(arrghhh Pappy, you gave your name and location,:) OGE) (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Yah, hmmm....


Do all of your scouts have "handles" or nicknames, Pappy? Or were those just for the particular event?


I gotta admit that if all this is done in a spirit of zany fun, I think it would be great. If it's done with a bit too much seriousness on the part of the adults, it gets a bit weird, eh?


Rescue/disaster drills; great! We all do those. Commando-rescue the trapped missionaries? Reminds me of a bunch of B-P's games.


Ideally, I think T-2-1 should all be done this way, eh? Fun! Rescue scenarios, lashings to get through obstacles, navigation to help with both, etc. A game! A patrol contest! A trial-by-fire weekend adventure!


So my vote is "keep it a game!" Don't let your fitness stuff or marching and such become too adult-serious. If there isn't a lot of laughter we're probably not doin' this stuff right, eh?


(I confess yeh lost me with the dense theology stuff there at the end. All I can say is "Paragraphs, lad, paragraphs!" :))




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