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What did you get for Christmas (Scouts related)?

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I got three Boy Scout related novels from 1911 authored by Lieut. Howard Payson. I love books, old books, and scouting related stuff (practical and cultural), so it was a perfect gift.


I also got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble which I will use to buy a couple of field guides that I have been eyeing for a while.


I didn't receive any gear per se, but I tend to make due with what I have. (I may purchase an expedition hat in the near future, however.)



What's REI, hops?

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A digital camera....weatherproof - for shooting Scouts


A long shot I know and given that I am claiming it on tax for work and I got it weeks ago maybe it shouldnt be here. BUT my dear lovely wife said Thatś for Christmas and birthday so hence my tenuous claim.


We dont have REI here but I wish we did.


Hope it was a good day everyone. (the outlaws drove me mad!)

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I didn't get anything, unless you include a lightweight, travel alarm clock.


My son, on the other hand, got a pair of goretex gloves, a compression sack, two Nalgene bottles, and a therm-a-rest ground pad.


Say, FloridaScout, how does the arrowpass work? Sounds like a neat idea. YIS Keschmahalen

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I got a Venture uniform shirt... and a fleece liner for my sleeping bag... and a backpacking backpack... and a backpacking tent... and that awesome pair of hiking boots I so subtly pointed out to my parents that were 50% off or something crazy like that in the Cabela's catalog... and a tricked out, impressive pocketknife... and a spiffy leather-bound 3-ring binder thing with my initials on it in gold to keep my oh-so-efficient secretarial Venture meeting notes in... oh, and I got a horse.


And then I woke up.


Okay, so, Santa must have given away all the exciting camp-y things to you people before he got to my house. *glares at everyone*


Or maybe it's because I forgot to give Mommy Clause and Daddy Clause my list of scout related things I wanted/needed (that horse goes under the needed list, naturally. What, it's scout related. All of my Venture crewies could have gotten horses in their stockings, too, and we could have had a horseback riding event;)). *glares at myself*


Oh, well... there's always my birthday... :p

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I got:


a PDA and a Laptop for my Scouting meetings, with Scouting Software already installed.


A propane Lantern.


Inova LED Flashlight


A small ice cooler


Litman Stethoscope (I use it mainly for work, but I take it with me to outings and when I teach merit badges... so I guess that counts)


A one-year membership to my OA lodge


REI Gift Certificates

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"What's REI, hops?"


I'm not hops but I'll answer that. REI is an outfitter, a membership owned co-oporative. At one time REI stood for "Recreational Equipment Inc." and in my day was known as REI Co-op. Back then, they were primarily mail order and membership only but it seems that in the interveneing years, they've opened many stores and now allow non-members to shop. They are known for selling good stuff at fairly reasonable prices.



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I got the BSA Woodsman Knife, now all I need to do is find my template so I can make a leather holder. I pick this template up 3 years ago hoping some day I would get a knife to put in it.


BSA Woodbadge Ring...really my treat for Christmas...funny how your wife will not have much to say about Scouting or do you really need to keep that cup cliped to your belt? She out did herself in getting this ring. Defied all laws of shiping and got it in record time.


Eagle Foot

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A new Philmont belt. My old one shrank. (And for future reference, if you ever ask for anything from the Philmont trading post, as for in in August. No one's there in December. My wife got lucky on about her 30th phone call.)


Like, Ozume, I got a digital camera, which is sort of for Scouts. We have a good one my wife needs for business, so this is a less expensive one I get to keep.

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A new pair of uniform pants, a leather scout belt, a Wood Badge belt buckle and the BSA red jac-shirt. Almost everything on my list! Missed out on the Leatherman Wave Tool and a field watch, but got a new screaming Porche of a PC I was not expecting. Santa was VERRRRY good to me this year.

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I asked for a lot of Scouting items but didn't get any -- but the amount was proportional to the amount of time I left the wife to find it.


However; they did get me a Cedar Creek belt fob watch (I find wrist watches annoying -- too sweaty in summer and too cold in winter) and a book on birds native to our area. Both will come in handy when we resume camping in February.


P.S. I'm making my 2004 list now so the family will have plenty of time to shop ;)

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Originally I was going to post that I got what every Scouting professional wants that is Scout related for Christmas -- nothing.


But, on reflection, I realize that's not quite true. I got something very important for Christmas, and, to me, it is very much Scouting related.


I got my perspective back. It's been a little skewed of late; tainted by trepidation and a little self-pity.


My wife and I left Wisconsin about 6:00 Tuesday evening, hoping to make it through Chicago unscathed by traffic and spending a night somewhere in Indianna on our way to Eastern Michigan.


When we got to Michigan City at about 8:30, the snow was coming down pretty hard, so we decided to stay for the night at the Holiday Inn. My wife went to bed right away, and I got bored watching television. She's a morning person and I'm very much a night person. I left the room to play pinball in the holidome and take my mind off the elimination of my position. I didn't have much holiday spirit at that point in time. In fact, I hate to admit that in that mindset I was viewing the holiday as a pain.


The holidome was closed, so I headed to the bar. It was a Damon's restaurant and they had sports on all of the many televisions in there. There were two people at the bar, eating a late supper. I sat down on the other side of the U shaped bar and the bartender -- a nice young man -- poured me a draft. I asked if he could change the channel on the monitor directly across from me and he obliged. Changing the channel for him wasn't as easy as it sounds. He went to the control station -- but it didn't let him see what was on my monitor. From across the room, he flipped channels until I gave him the thumbs up sign when he landed on the evening news.


Then a group three men and a woman in their early twenties came in. It was pretty obvious that this wasn't their first bar of the evening.


They weren't overly obnoxious. They were a bit loud and wobbly. They had the bartender jumping left and right mixing them toxic concoctions that no sane person would order, and he did it with a smile.


A period of time passed and I lost track of the twenty-somethings while I talked Scouting with a man and woman from town (I think I talked them into contributing financially to their local council.)


I was about to leave. I had charged my $8.00 tab to the room and added a $2.00 tip, which I felt was sufficient for bringing me two beers and changing the channel for me.


Then the twenty-somethings cashed out. The bartender walked up to start cleaning up and I heard him say, "A dollar tip for a fifty dollar bar tab? Thanks a lot!" Then he walked away.


The twenty-somethings went through their pocket change and came up with another $2.?? in coin to add to the tip and then beat feet out of there to go to the next bar. I felt that was unwise in the middle of a snowstorm, but that's just me.


Then it hit me that the bartender doesn't get much in the way of hourly wages. He relies on tips for his bread and butter.


Here I had been feeling sorry for myself because my current job is going to end, but I had plenty of cash in my pocket and will, in the end, end up somewhere in the BSA, with at least my current salary if not higher, and am in no danger of missing a paycheck in the process.


I had no idea what kind of financial situation the bartender is in, but was pretty sure it isn't as good as mine.


As he cleaned up the glasses (there were many) from the twenty-somethings, I called him over. I handed him a $10.00 bill and said, "Merry Christmas. This is to cover them."


At first he refused. He said, "I'm sorry you had to hear that. They were in here before and did the same thing. I've got diapers to buy."


I said, "Take the money. Merry Christmas."


He took it and thanked me profusely, which embarrassed me a bit.


I went to bed and slept well for the first time in days. I later wished I had given him a twenty, but that's too much to tip.



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Actually, nothing is what I asked for, and nothing is what I got.


My years have placed me where I don't need or desire anything that I don't already have. A Christmas List of Wishes wasn't going to happen this year.


But wait..., upon reflection, I did get quite a bit. My family, immediate and extended, came to the house at our invitation and for a long Christmas Eve's celebration and a longer Christmas Day gathering. The house was full to overflowing. Some came and left. Some came and stayed the night. Some stayed yet another night. And what we shared simply by being together far outweighed anything material that I could have received.


And that's the way we'll plan it for all the coming years.

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Someone on the board - a month or so ago, did a post about making a suggested list for their SCOUTS - I thought it was a pretty good idea and 'borrowed it' and started a suggested 'wish list' for our boys on our troop site.


While I am having a tough time getting families and boys to actually POST on our site - the boys did tell me many things they would like and I added them. I also included links to websites and info that many places give scout discounts. It became obvious that troop families DO check it, because I got quite a few comments - all good, and actually, as we have been encouraging extended family (grandparents, aunts & uncles) to join our site, they have found the lists helpful too!


We are about to head out on a winter campout next weekend, with about 20 of our 26 boys (the highest turnout we've ever had for a winter campout) and from what I have heard from the boys, many got new camping gear for Christmas and are really excited about it!


A few got winter sleeping bags, liners, and packs. lots of mess kits, cold weather wear, lightweight equipment. it's really neat to see the boys excited about something other than the latest Playstation game!




As for me - we don't exchange gifts among the adults in our family - so I got from my son, exactly what I wanted - a router attachment for my Dremel! (we are planning some building projects this spring)


Jon is already pretty well equipped, but he did get some new winter gear, (gloves, thermal socks, snow pants with cargo pockets, a non-battery flashlight and a LED headlamp) mostly because I found some good sales - and he's growing like he drinks Miracle-gro every night! I'm always seeing his ankles and wrists hanging out of everything before they are hardly worn!


it was a fun Christmas!



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