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Scoutmaster minutes of a minute

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Seldom being a man of few words, I would like to hear about longer Scoutmaster minutes that are your favorites.


Mine is when the Scoutmaster stands in the center of the troop, takes a single arrow and says this represents one scout, he then snaps it in two (be sure its a wooden arrow)after talking about how stress and other challenges could cause a scout to "break". Then he holds up 8 arrows ( or whatever number your "average patrol" is) and when he tries again, he cant break the arrows. Then he says, " you find strength when you stick together"


This can be done in a minute, my scoutmaster did it when I was 14-15 and I can still see it happening

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Heres one I remember from a-way back in the olden days, when I was a Cub Scout. The Cubmaster had a heavy wooden box on the floor with a handle on each end. Tied to each handle were several threads about 3 feet long. He explained that a Scout had a job to do. He had to lift the box and carry it to the other side of the room, without touching the box or the handles. He could use only one thread to lift and pull the box.


The Cubmaster invited one boy to try, and of course the box didnt budge and the thread broke. A second boy came to help, but still both threads broke. Then eight boys worked together, four on each end of the box, and together they were able to successfully pick it up and move it.


You see boys, when we work together as a team, we can get the job done!


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Thinking of God


I remember a poster with a montage of pictures: a playing childtoo young to think of God; a young fellow on a motorbiketoo self-assured to think of God; a newlywed coupletoo happy to think of God; a man at a desktoo busy to think of God; a woman in bedtoo tired to think of God; and a tombstonetoo late to think of God.


Short but powerful.


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Or, a little bit longer, try the history of the The Star-Spangled Banner. Go through Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key, etc. Then, maybe the following week, find the other three or four verses (yes they do exist) and go through them line by line with the Scouts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another historical one, which I've gotten good feedback on:


Rep. Jeanette Rankin was one of the first women elected to Congress (from Montana in 1916). A committed pacifist, she believed that violence should never be answered with more violence. She was one of a twenty or so Congressbeings to vote against US entry into WWI (1917) and lost her seat in the next election because of it. Re-elected in 1940, she was the lone "No" vote on the resolution to declare war against Japan the day after Pearl Harbor. She was (as she must have known she would be) voted out of office again in 1942.


Moral: Even if you don't agree with the principle that Jeanette Rankin stood up for, you should reflect on the courage she displayed in standing up--all alone--to defend it.

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We'll be on a Troop campout to Allegany State Park in the Southern Tier of New York this weekend. I was happy to see all 13 of our Junior Leader Candidates signed up for the weekender.

On Saturday morning, we will hold a training class in an executive board room on the second floor of the parks' administration building. The building itself, a large English Tudor style mansion, had its construction completed in 1927.

On Friday night of the campout I plan on walking our candidates, in silence, to a pre-selected spot to do the following exercise:

I'll have 13 short pieces of rope, about a foot long, hold one up and ask them, "What can you do with a piece of rope like this"?

This question is usually met with fairly blank stares as they ponder the question. Not waiting too long, I'll hand each boy a piece of the rope and ask them to tie their rope to the one of the boy next to them with a square knot, and so on all the way down the line.

The lesson is an obvious one but it helps drive the point home by getting them involved. And you simply tell them, "All of you are like this small piece of rope. Now think of the things you can accomplish alone or with the help of others toward a common goal".

Yes, it does playout like a 'Scoutmaster's Minute' but also serves as a nice reflection tool to open or close one of our Junior Leader Training classes.

(If you'd like more information about our Troop's Junior Leader Training course, please visit the following web site:


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