Category Archives: Cub Scouts
One of my favorite events we do as a district is to place flags on the graves of our fallen Veterans. It is hosted by our Order of the Arrow Chapter and open to all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers. In recent years we have done this service for a cemetery in NW Oklahoma City. When I called this year to let them know we were coming they informed me that they had agreed to allow a different group to do it. Needless to say the Scouts in our OA Chapter were disappointed when we told them we would not be doing it this year. On Tuesday, we got a call from Fairlawn Cemetery asking us if we could help them put out flags. Without hesitation we agreed. We had a light turnout but not too bad for 48 hours notice. While there I made an arrangement to do this every year for the cemetery. The Scouts will be happy to know we have a permanent place to honor our nations veterans for years to come!
There is nothing like getting a call from a kid telling you that he joined Cub Scouts. The day I got that call from my nephew Cooper, was a good one. He called and told me he joined Scout and it made me smile. I was afraid that it wasn’t his thing but I love that I am proven wrong. I stole a pic of him off of Facebook from his Mom’s account that shows just how fun Scouting can be. It is a pic of him all geared up to ride a zipline and climb a wall. Have fun Cooper and stick with it. Scouting is for a lifetime!!!
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!
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.
About 10 years ago a change was made in our OA Chapter that had our OA Crossover teams going to each Pack and conducting individual crossovers at the Blue & Gold Banquets. For the Arrowmen in our Chapter that meant that we had to visit 10-15 Blue & Gold Banquets and spend lots of time away from our personal lives.
Last year we made the decision to move to a single, district-wide crossover ceremony that would include all of the Packs and Troops in the district. Last weekend our Order of the Arrow Chapter Hosted our first District-wide crossover. We held it at our local Scout camp at the Council Ring and held a short reception after the crossover was complete for the new Boy Scouts and their families.
Overall, I think things went very well. We had 19 Webelos Scouts registered and 15 attended crossing over to 4 different Troops. We had close to 100 people in attendance. The whole thing would not have been possible without the efforts of a lot of people. In particular the Arrowmen of the Kittakima Chapter. Thanks to everyone that played a part in making it a great success. I can’t wait to see this event grow next year!
We spent a few hours last weekend hanging out with Cub Scout Pack 163. They had their annual Fall Pack Campout and Raingutter Regatta at Camp Sundance near Enid, OK. Recently, they purchased four Dutch ovens and wanted some help making desserts and breakfast for the Pack so they invited us to come and help. Actually, they invited my wife, Suzette, and the kids and myself just tagged along. I spent the day trying to get to know all of the new parents (and there are a lot) and the kids spent the day fishing. We hung around until dinner was finished and then headed home just before the campfire. It was great to see so may smiling faces and hang out with some old and now new friends. I can safely say that Pack 163 is doing great!
Living in Oklahoma can be a real blessing at times but a real nightmare at others. It is typically decent during most of the ‘winter’ with high temps in the 40’s and 50’s. The trade off is summer time temps usually around 100° and rain no where in sight. Those two things combined turn Oklahoma into a tinder box.
This last week we had several wildfires and many people lost their homes. A fellow Scouter in Luther, OK lost her entire home, all while she was in Michigan attending NOAC. This got me to thinking about how I could help.
On Saturday, we received an email from the Last Frontier Council that the American Red Cross has asked the Boy Scouts to build 250 Sifter Boxes for the fire victims to use to search the remains of their houses. Without hesitation I called the contact and asked what I could do to help. We made arrangements to get everything purchased and setup a time on Sunday to build the boxes. I emailed our Troop and Crew and he included our build in a council email and we were all set.
On Sunday morning I went with another Scouter and my two sons and we purchased all of the supplies for the build. Later that afternoon we had 40+ Scouts and Scouters show up at our house to build the boxes. We had Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers working together towards one goal. We had committed to making 40 boxes and I figured it would take most of the day but to my surprise we were done and headed to deliver them to the red Cross in just over two hours.
It was a fun and meaningful project and just another reason I am proud to be part of the Boy Scouts of America!
Today the family and I participated in an annual Independence Day Parade that our Troop serves as Color Guard for every year. We all had a great time.
This week we had a meeting to restart our Venturing Crew. It has been three years since Venturing Crew 168 has had any active youth involved in it but that all changed this week. At our meeting this week we had six girls and two boys and parents of another boy (who was out of town) attend. I wasn’t really sure going in what to expect but was pleased with the turnout. Since that meeting there have been other inquiries and we now have potential for ELEVEN girls and more boys from our Troop. My wife, Suzette, has assumed the role of Crew Advisor and she is fired up with the results.
Since that meeting the Crew has hit the ground running. Some will be participating as the color guard with Troop 168 and Pack 163 at a 4th of July parade. Several will go camping with Troop 168 at the Alabaster Caverns in NW Oklahoma to go wild caving. Both should be a fun time.
I will keep you informed on how thing are going.
Webelos Woods has come and gone and I am quite sure that no one that was involved will forget it anytime soon. This year my wife, Suzette, served as the chairman for our district Webelos Woods. This was her first time to chair a district event and she did a great job. One of her main focuses was to turn the program back over to the Boy Scouts and let them plan and run the event. She succeeded in doing just that.
The first thing you have to understand about Oklahoma is that some of the weathermen in will do and say anything for ratings. No matter what the forecast they ALWAYS have an angle for death the destruction. If the temp is supposed to be 82° and sunny they will manage to find some way to relate it to disaster. With that said we watched the forecast all week long and made plans according to what we saw.
On Friday afternoon the weathermen started talking doom and gloom and our local Armageddon specialist, Mike Morgan and his bedazzled tie (he only wears it during bad weather), was really amped up. Being in charge of numerous lives it was decided to turn the weekend camping event into a Saturday day only and overnighter event. Even though our council recently installed 51 storm shelters across our council camps we felt inclined to error on the side of safety and stay home for the evening. Well they were right and a tornado hit the Norman area not long after the Friday night campout was canceled.
Saturday came and most of the people showed up and had a great time. We shortened the program on Saturday and left the camping option up to each unit. We had callout for the Order of the Arrow that afternoon and ended with a campfire. I am sure that most of the kids will not remember the events of the weekend but as adults it will stick around a while.