Below is one of the favorites of the Scouts and I can say that I like it as well. It is pretty simple and can be made in a Dutch oven on a campout or in a regular baking dish in the oven at home. Try it and I will bet you will like it.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can green beans
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook and stir ground beef in the Dutch oven over medium heat until no longer pink and completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.
- Stir cream of mushroom soup and green beans into the cooked ground beef.
- Layer tater tots evenly over the ground beef mixture.
- Top with Cheddar cheese.
Bake until tater tots are golden brown and hot, 30 to 45 minutes
The green beans are an optional item but recommended since you should always eat something green.
This past weekend my oldest son, Drew, was selected to receive the Vigil Honor. The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting.
Drew and the 17 other candidates that have been chosen have given a lot to Scouting and to the Order of the Arrow and are very deserving of the honor. I can’t wait until the ceremony next month. Congrats to all of them!!
To tuck or not to tuck.
That was the question on the minds of hundreds of parents who have called the BSA headquarters over the past several months.
Their query: Does the Boy Scouts of America require uniform shirts to be tucked in? The questions are specifically referring to field uniforms (known to some by the unofficial name "Class A") and not activity uniforms ("Class B").
Last week, I had the honor of serving as the Summer Camp Scoutmaster once again. This was the 7th time I have served in this role. All of the experiences have been great and rewarding but this camp was also very trying and stressful. I learned a lot last week and grew some as an adult leader and as an adult in general.
The highlight of the week for me was being at camp for the first time with both of my sons. Drew is 17 and an Eagle and Cameron is 12 and advanced to Star while we were at camp. Cameron and I went to camp together last summer at Slippery Falls and I had hoped to have Drew with us but him and my wife decided that Sea Base sounded better than the southern Oklahoma heat and humidity. I can’t imagine why.
Cameron and the rest of the Scouts spent the week working on merit badges and honing their Scouting skills. Cameron earned merit badges in Rifle, Environmental Science and Indian Lore. He still has some requirements left in Orienteering.
Because of his age and the fact that he is already and Eagle, Drew got to be an ‘adult’. He spent the week hanging out in camp, mentoring the older leadership Scouts and going to town with whoever he could bum a ride from. I think he ate New Mexican food five of the seven days we were there. He also learned that New Mexico has some really hot Green Sauce and the sopapillas there are huge.
It was also a great opportunity for he and I just to hang out together. He will be 18 in a few months and a Senior in high school and this was one of the last chances we will have to hang out before he begins his life in the world. I cherished every minute of it.
Thank you Scouting and Troop 168 for giving opportunities with my kids. I can never repay what you have given me!!
As most everyone knows the BSA recently made a decision to change its membership policy to allow openly gay youth to participate. Here is the release from the BSA regarding their decision:
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
“Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
“Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
“This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
“The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
“While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.
As I expected there has been fallout. Many people have decided they can no longer allow their kids to be a part of the program. Many have decided they can no longer be adult leaders. Many have called this the darkest day in BSA.
This last weekend I asked my youngest son what his take on it was. He told me that he didn’t mind that it was changed. He then said that he only thought it was right to allow every kid the right to have the same experiences he has access to enjoy. Mind you this is coming from the mind of a 12-yr-old. He made his Mom and Dad very proud. Scratch up a parenting win for us.
I realize that many people are hurt and upset about this decision. Many feel that the BSA betrayed them by allowing LGBT youth into the program. Hello folks, they were here all along and just hiding the fact that they are gay. Sure many have not been in the program and might join now. Let them come. As my son said, they deserve the opportunity just like he has had.
I encourage every adult that is a leader now to stay the course no matter which side you stand on. Swallow your pride and open your mind just a little. Just because the BSA voted to change a policy last week it doesn’t change the most important thing. There are youth in this country that STILL need you!
Updated 1:03 p.m. May 14 with info on need for volunteers at May 21 event. See bottom of post.
Eldon Fossey, Scoutmaster of Troop 75 in Moore, Okla., was at work when the deadly tornadoes passed through yesterday, killing at least 24 and leaving horrific damage.
As soon as they got the all-clear, Eldon's boss told everyone to leave. It took Eldon two hours to make the seven-mile drive home.
Here is a great video from the Last Frontier Council about Scouting. Not sure what more I can say about it. Something to think about if your kids are not involved in Scouting or any other similar organization.
You really get a glimpse into the soul of a Scout occasionally.
We held our Order of the Arrow call-out on Friday night and we had a couple of Scouts in our Troop that were on the ballot but were not elected and were upset. I totally get that as my oldest son was not elected on his first ballot so I completely understand. What was really telling though was one of our Scouts in the Troop was elected and asked me if he could give his election status to one of the Scouts who was not. I explained to him that it was not and there is always next year.
That my friends is what Scouting and the OA are all about. How many times have you seen a 15-yr-old willing to unselfishly give up something that is really important to a lot of people? Not very often.
Makes me proud to be involved in the program!