Cub Scout and Boy Scout Minutes

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10 Tips to Get Along

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Here are 10 tips to improve how you relate to other people. 

  1. Smile at people - it takes sixty-five muscles to frown, only fifteen to smile
  2. Call people by name - to do that, you need to learn their name
  3. Speak to people - take a chance and approach someone new
  4. Be friendly - if you would have friends, be one
  5. Be cordial - speak and act as if everything that you do is a real pleasure
  6. Be interested in people - find out what makes them tick
  7. Be generous with praise - stingy with criticism.
  8. Be considerate of the feelings of others - think what impact your words will have before you speak them
  9. Be thoughtful of the opinions of others - there are three sides to a controversy; yours, the other person's, and the right one.
  10. Be ready to serve - helping someone strenghtens that bond of friendship.

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A Chain

Intended for:All Scouts
Required:a length of chain
Script:You've heard the saying "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link". That's absolutely true. With this chain, I can pull a car or lift a heavy load - I can perform many tasks. But, if I try to lift something that is too heavy, one of the links will break - the weakest link will let down the rest of the chain.

In Scouting, each scout works on personal advancement to strengthen himself and improve his skills. Personal advancement increases the strength of each link in our chain so we can accomplish more.

But, there will always be a weakest link. No matter what the task at hand, some person will be less skilled than the others. Someone will not be able to tie a certain knot, or kindle a fire, or hike as fast, or recite as well as the others. At some point, each of you will be a weakest link - I guarantee it! Being the weakest link is not a shameful thing - it is an opportunity for improvement.

One of the best things about Scouting is that our "chain" is better than a simple metal chain. When we have a task to do, we are not really limited by our weakest link. The other stronger or more skilled or more experienced links support the weaker links. They help them, teach them, and guide them. As a result, we accomplish much more than if we each just did our specific task and left the rest.

Do your best to not be the weakest link - for yourself and for your patrol and for your troop. Learn skills, take on challenges, grow! But, be aware that around here the weakest link one day might be the strongest the next - and the strongest may be the weakest.

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A First Class Scout

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:As I look around the group, I can see that some of you are wearing a First Class rank patch. That marks you as having earned the rank. But, I was wondering about what makes a scout a First Class scout - what marks someone as having really reached that level of maturity?

I came up with three things:

1. How you regard yourself. A First Class scout has a high code of conduct. He just won't allow himself to act in ways he knows are not right. I can tell a First Class scout by the quality of guy he is.

2. Your attitude toward others. He likes people and is concerned more with them than with himself. He really enjoys looking for that Good Turn to do each day and he's the kind of guy you like to have around.

3. Your vision. A real scout looks to the future, to the next campout, to the next merit badge, to the next school year, planning on how to succeed and determined to Be Prepared for what is coming.

When you are sure of yourself, concerned for others, and ready for new adventure, then I'd say you're a First Class Scout!

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A Good Big Brother

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Looking out for others.
Script:Upon graduation from college a few years back, a young man received a gift from his older brother. It was a shiny brand new Corvette - the car of his dreams!
One morning as he approached the car he saw a young boy about 11 or 12 peering through the windows into the car.
"Is this your car?" the lad asked when he noticed the man.
"Yes it is!" the man responded.
"Wow! This is a nice car!" remarked the lad, "How much did it cost?"
"I don't know." answered the man.
"It's your car, but you don't know how much it cost?" exclaimed the young lad.
"No," stated the man, "you see, my brother bought it for me."
"I wish...I wish...I wish" stuttered the boy. The man thinking he would say, I wish I had a car like this. "...I wish I was like your brother!" finished the boy!

Amazed at the boy's response, he offered to drive him around the block. As they were driving, the lad asked if he would drive him home. Thinking he wanted to show off that he was riding in a new car to his friends, the man agreed.
They drove more than a few blocks to where the boy lived and as he turned onto the street the man noticed that it wasn't the best kept neighborhood. The houses were dirty and broken. He pulled up in front of the boys house.
"Please wait," the boy yelled as he ran into the house! "Oh, he's probably going to get his family to show off the new car", the man thought to himself with a smile.

Then the front door opened and out came the young lad. In his arms, he carried a small crippled boy, probably about 5! The lad brought him out to the car, and stated as he hugged his younger brother, "See, just like I told you! It's a brand new car! And someday, I'm going to buy you one just like it!"

How unselfish this boy be the kind of brother that looked after others first - to be more concerned with helping than having.

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A Scout Is... (collection of minutes)

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A Scout is Trustworthy

A Scout is Loyal
Scouts, what's the second point of the Scout Law? That's right, 'A Scout is loyal.' Our Scout handbook explains that a Scout is loyal to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school and nation.

I'm going to add one more thing to that list - a Scout is loyal to his team. The team might be his patrol or sports team.

Your patrol or soccer team can't be as good as it should be if you goof off a lot or constantly complain about your teammates or your patrol leader or coach. A winning patrol and a winning team, must have a winning attitude. That means that every member must be willing to do his part and not spend time griping because the patrol's plans or the game are not going his way.

That doesn't mean that you have to be close friends with everybody in your patrol or team or even like all of them. But it means that when you join, you commit yourself to the success of the patrol or the team and pledge to give it your best effort.

In Scouting and sports, it's teamwork that makes winners. So whenever you're with your patrol or sports team, remember, 'A Scout is loyal'.

A Scout is Helpful

A Scout is Friendly
What's the fourth point of the Scout Law? That's right - 'A Scout is friendly. '
Do you have as many friends as you'd like to have? Real friends, I mean? The kind of guys you're glad to see, and who are glad to see you?

Well maybe not. Lots of us would like to make more friends, but somehow it doesn't seem to happen. Well the secret of making friends is simple - being friendly. If you're a put down artist, or if you're always trying to rip off everybody or get the better of them in some way you're not going to have many friends. Nobody like to be put down or ripped off.

The Bible gives the key to making friends. It's called the Golden Rule - 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ' That's a great rule to remember in everything you do. And it's a perfect prescription for making friends.

A Scout is Courteous

A Scout is Kind
Scouts, our Law say's 'A Scout is kind. A Scout understands that there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.'
Some of you may already be hunters. No doubt others will hunt as you get older. I have a question for you: Is a hunter following the Scout Law when he shoots wild creatures? (Get answers. )

It seems to me that the key words in this point of the Law are, 'without reason'. A Scout does not hurt or kill without reason. If you're going hunting for food, or to kill pests that are destroying property, or are hunting animals that are dangerous to man, you're not hunting without reason. So you are not violating the Scout Law.

But never aim at a target you don't intend to hit. And if your target is a living creature, be sure you're not killing it without reason. A Scout is kind, and he does not blast away just for fun. He shoots only for good reason.

A Scout is Obedient
The Scout Handbook explains being Obedient this way: 'A Scout follows the rules of his family, school and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.'
So, you may not agree with some rules - if that's the case, then you should work to understand them and then work to get them changed. Simply disobeying them creates chaos and possibly danger.
Examples of rules to obey are Traffic Rules. If you decide that that big, red, octagon sign isn't going to stop you, then you'll be in big trouble. If you decide to see what its like to drive in England and use the left-hand side of the road, you'll be in big trouble.
These are rules that everyone understands and follows to keep traffic moving safely. They are arbitrary rules - we could have decided that green meant STOP and red meant GO, but now that they are in place, we all obey them.
The same is true in your family, school, troop, and whenever you interact with people. If you are a hermit in the mountains by yourself, then you can do whatever you want. But, in society, we obey rules and work to change those that may be unjust or unfair.

A Scout is Cheerful
Two brothers once decided to leave their hometown and move to the city. Outside the city the first brother met an old man. 'How are the people here?' asked the first brother.

'Well, how were the people in your hometown?' asked the old man in return.

'Aw, they were always grumpy and dissatisfied,' answered the first brother. 'There wasn't a single one among them worth bothering about. '

'And,' the old man said, 'you'll find that the people here are exactly the same!'

Later the other brother came along. 'How are the people in this city?' he asked. 'How were the people in your hometown?' the old man asked as before.

'Fine!' said the other brother. 'Always cheerful, always kind and understanding!'

'You will find that the people her are exactly the same!' said the old man again, for he was a wise old man who knew that the attitude of the people you meet depends upon your own state of mind. If you are cheerful and frank and good-humored, you'll find others the same.

A Scout is Thrifty
If I were to turn the thermostat in my house up to 80 and open all the windows on a cold, winter day, which part of the Scout Law would I not be following? (Thrifty)
I'd be wasting lots of energy, just throwing heat, gas, and money away. That is an obvious one.

What am I doing when I build a huge campfire?
I'm burning a lot of wood that will not be available to other scouts. I'm destroying material that would eventually create new soil. I'm not being Thrifty.
Thrifty is not just about money. Thrifty means to conserve and get the most use out of all your resources.

Would someone please tell me, in a nutshell, what 'Leave No Trace' is?
(Leave No Trace is a program intended to preserve the outdoors spaces through minimizing our impact when we are hiking and camping.)
When our troop follows the principles of Leave No Trace, we are being Thrifty users of the wild places.
Keep your eyes open for other, interesting ways you can be Thrifty and let me know what you come up with.

A Scout is Brave
In the Scout Law we say, 'A Scout is brave.' What does that mean to you? (Get answers. )

Usually we think of bravery as overcoming fear to take some action that saves a life of helps someone in some way. Most of the time we're talking about overcoming fear of physical harm to ourselves.

But there's another kind of bravery. It's bravery to overcome the fear of ridicule from our friends. It's the courage that's required to do what you know is right, even if your friends make fun of you. It may even be tougher than being brave in a crisis because you usually have more time to think about it.

I know it's sometimes hard to act right when everybody is urging you to do something you know is wrong. It takes a courageous Scout - or man - to withstand the pressure from friends.

It's not easy - but it's the mark of a good Scout. Let's try to do our best to be brave in every situation - the emergency and the pressure from friends.

A Scout is Clean
(Hold up two cooking pots, one shiny bright on the inside but sooty outside, the other shiny outside and dirty inside. )

Scouts, which of these pots would you rather have your food cooked in? Did I hear someone say 'Neither one. ' That's not a bad answer. We wouldn't have much confidence in a patrol cook who didn't have his pots shiny both inside and out. But if we had to make a choice, we would tell the cook to use the pot that's clean on the inside. The same applies to people.

Most people keep themselves clean on the outside. But how about the inside? Do we try to keep our minds and our language clean? I think that's more important than keeping the outside clean.

A Scout of course, should be clean inside and out. Water, soap, and a toothbrush takes care of the outside.

Only your determination will keep the inside clean. You can do it by following the Scout Law and the example of the people you respect - your parents, your teacher, your clergyman, or a good buddy who is trying to do the same thing.

A Scout is Reverent

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A Wrapper A Day

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:conservation is an ongoing way of life, not just a clean-up project every year.
Script:A Wrapper A Day - that's my motto.

When I'm out walking, I try to pick up a wrapper a day - its usually more than that, unfortunately. I have no idea how the wrappers get there, but there's never a shortage of them.

I'm over 40 years old and I have never actually seen someone throw a wrapper on the ground. I have no idea what sort of person does it. It just doesn't make sense to me, but there seem to be more than enough of them around.

So, I just do what I can when I can - just a wrapper a day.

There are 30 of us here. If we all did A Wrapper A Day, that would be over 10000 wrappers in a year - and that would be about 100 pounds.

Of course its up to you to help or not and no one will know if you do. But, wouldn't it be great if one day I couldn't find my wrapper for that day?

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Advancement - One Step At A Time

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Take 10 seconds to answer this question to yourself:
'Why am I in Scouts?'
(time off 10 seconds on your watch.)

Would anyone like to share one reason with the troop?

Common answers are: To Camp, It's Fun, and To Be an Eagle Scout.

If one of your main goals is to become an Eagle Scout, then picture this. Let's say that where I am standing right now is the Scout rank. Over there (about 15 feet away) is the Eagle rank. I'm going to reach that goal.
(Stretch your foot toward the goal as far as you can, do the splits. :-) That doesn't work, so keep your feet where you were standing, lay down, and stretch your hands as far as you can toward the goal. Still doesn't work. Ad lib that you're trying as hard as you can to reach it but its too far away. Stand up. Take a running jump to see how far you can go. Still don't make it.)

As you can see, I just can't make it - the Eagle rank is too far away. I can give up - OR, I can adjust my goals. Instead of shooting for Eagle right now, I will shoot for Tenderfoot rank by [September 1 or whenever]. (Take a big step forward to Tenderfoot.)
Then, I'll learn more skills to reach 2nd Class by [February 1] - step forward. Then, 1st Class. Then, Star. Then, Life.
Finally, I can reach that goal I couldn't get to when that was all I was interested in.

A Chinese saying is, 'A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.' Know where you want to go and start stepping.

You could ask a Scout or Tenderfoot and an Eagle to help you by standing 15 feet apart and having the Scout try to reach the Eagle.

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Afraid and Brave

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Who is more brave - the Tenderfoot that walks to the latrine on a campout at 2am or the Life Scout that rescues a drowning little 6 year old girl?

Bravery doesn't really depend on the Task being done. It depends on the internal challenge overcome to perform the task. That Tenderfoot may have been very brave to walk all alone in the pitch black to the latrine instead of chickening out and using the bushes right next to his tent. That Life Scout may have had no concerns with going into 5 feet of water.

A good definition of Bravery is: "a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger of pain without showing fear."

Being brave is not being unafraid - quite the opposite; fear and bravery go hand in hand. When you are afraid and can still do what needs to be done, now THAT is being brave.

Whether that is saving someone in danger, sticking up for a new kid at school, or telling someone about your beliefs - there are many situations where you can be brave or cowardly. You find out a lot about who you really are when you find yourself in those situations.

One of the bravest things I ever did was getting up the nerve to turn the lights off in my bedroom as a kid, but that's another story. :-)

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Americans Creed

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:In 1918, when the First World War wast just starting, a man named William Tyler Page wrote the American's Creed. A 'creed' is a statement of beliefs or principles.

For many years, the American's Creed was recited at public ceremonies and daily in schools. Listen to what Mr. Page wrote:

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I, therefore, believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

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An Hour of Your Time

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:When Mr. Smith came home from work, little Johnny ran up to him and asked, "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
Very tired from a long day, Mr. Smith replied, "Come on, Johnny, I need to just relax for a minute. Ask me later."
After dinner, Johnny came up to his Dad again, "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
"Johnny, it's not polite to ask people how much they make. But, I make thirty dollars an hour. Why do you want to know?"
"OK, Daddy. Could you loan me 15 dollars?"
"What? You just wanted to know what I made so you could ask for some? Go to your room!"

After awhile, and feeling guilty for getting upset, Mr. Smith went to check on his son. He thought, "Maybe I was too harsh. Maybe Johnny wants to buy something."

Opening Johnny's door, Mr. Smith said "Johnny, here, I have the 15 dollars you asked for."

"Really?!? Thanks, Daddy!" Johnny took the money and opened his little savings bank to pull out a small pile of dollar bills and coins.
"Now I have enough. I have $30!"
Holding out the money in his hand, Johnny said, "Daddy, would you sell me an hour of your time?"

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An Old Prayer

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Give us, Lord, a bit o' sun
a bit o' work and a bit o' fun;
give us all, in the struggle and splutter,
our daily bread and a bit o' butter.

Give us health, our keep to make
an' a bit to spare for poor folks' sake;
give us sense, for we're some of us duffers,
an' a heart to feel for all that suffers.

Give us, too, a bit o' song,
an' a tale, an' a book to help us along,
an' give us our share o' sorrow's lesson
that we may see how grief's a blessing.

Give us, Lord, a chance to be
our goodly best - brave, wise and free;
our goodly best for ourselves and others
'til all men learn to live as brothers.

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Another Year at Camp

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:This scoutmaster minute is pointing out that every year there are new boys. The scouts that were new need to help those that are new. It's an ongoing cycle, year after year, to grow boys into men.
Script:It was just another year at Many Point Scout Camp.

Two summers ago, Troop 479 had its annual week of scout camp at Many Point. They had had a good Webelos recruitment and there were 12 new scouts, only 11 years old. These dozen new recruits were standing around the campsite looking confused. There were two new Assistant Scoutmasters, parents of the boys and not used to camping, on their first scout camp as well - looking confused as well.

The camp counselor had just left the site to get some forms he had forgotten. Before he left, he told the new campers to set up the tents, go to the commissary and give the patrol counts, and be ready for swim test in 45 minutes.

Troop 479 also had a patrol of young adults at camp, two of whom would become Eagle Scouts in the next year. They sat on a large log by the campfire pit and patiently watched as 12 Scouts & 2 Leaders tried to get their camp area set up. After about 15 minutes of confusion they looked at each other, shook their heads, stood up & walked over to the young Scouts & said "OK, we're going to teach you how to survive a week at camp... & have fun!"

Last summer, Troop 479 had its annual week of scout camp at Many Point. Those two Assistant Scoutmasters were over in the adult area and after about 20 minutes they had set up their tents and unpacked their gear. They had been taught well. After setting up their site they walked through the tree line to the Scouts patrol sites to see how they were doing.

They had had a good Webelos recruitment and there were 12 new scouts, only 11 years old. These dozen new recruits were standing around the campsite looking confused. There were two new Assistant Scoutmasters, parents of the boys and not used to camping, on their first scout camp as well - looking confused as well.

The camp counselor had just left the site to get some forms he had forgotten. Before he left, he told the new campers to set up the tents, go to the commissary and give the patrol counts, and be ready for swim test in 45 minutes.

Troop 479 also had a patrol of young adults at camp. It seems like just yesterday they were the "babies" of the Troop. Several of them would make Eagle in the next year. They sat on a large log by the campfire pit and patiently watched as 12 Scouts & 2 Leaders tried to get their camp area set up. After about 15 minutes of confusion, they looked at each other, shook their heads, stood up & walked over to the young Scouts & said "OK, were going to teach you how to survive a week at camp... & have fun!"

It was just another year at Many Point Scout Camp.

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Apes and Bananas

Notes:Don't get stuck in a rut of doing things the same way year to year. Encourage scouts to try new things.
Script:Here's a fun experiment to try at home. :-)

Set up a big cage with stairs in the center leading up to a bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling.
Put 5 apes in the cage.
As soon as one of the apes sees the bananas and starts climbing the stairs to reach them, spray ALL the apes with very cold water from a hose.
As soon as another ape starts after the bananas, spray ALL the apes again. Whenever an ape makes an attempt, spray ALL the apes.
In a bit, if an ape starts to climb the stairs, all the other apes will scream at it and pull it off the steps. At this point, turn off the cold water and replace one of the apes with a brand new ape.

This new ape will see the bananas and climb up to them but the other apes will scream and attack him, to pull him off the stairs. He may try this a second time, but he'll learn that if he climbs the stairs he'll be attacked.

Replace another ape with a new one and the same scenario will occur. The other apes will stop him from climbing to the bananas - even the other new ape because he has learned that is how it's done.

Continue replacing apes until none of them in the cage have ever been sprayed with water. They will still prevent any from getting to the bananas and none will even try anymore. Why? Because that's the way it's always been done around here.

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Astronauts and the Scouting Experience

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Of the 12 American Astronauts who have walked on the Moon, 11 have been Scouts! 
Apollo-Saturn 11 Date: 7/20/69 Time: 2 hr. 31 min. 40 sec. 
Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin  
Armstrong (Eagle), Aldrin (Tenderfoot), M. Collins (Non-Scout) 
Apollo-Saturn 12 Date: 11/19/69 Time: 7 hr. 45 min. 18 sec. 
Charles (Pete) Conrad, Alan Bean 
Conrad (Cub Scout), Bean (First Class), Gordon (Star) 
Apollo-Saturn 13 
Lovell (Eagle), Swigert (Second Class), Haise (Star) 
Apollo-Saturn 14 Date: 2/5/71 Time: 9 hr. 22 min. 31 sec. 
Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell 
Shepard (First Class), Mitchell (Life), Roosa (Non-Scout) 
Apollo-Saturn 15 Date: 7/30/71 Time: 18 hr. 34 min. 46 sec 
James Irwin, David Scott 
D. Scott (Life), Worden (First Class), Irwin (Non-Scout) 
Apollo-Saturn 16 Date: 4/21/72 to 4/23/72 Time: 20 hr. 14 min. 16 sec. 
Charles Duke, John Young 
Duke (Eagle), Young (Second Class), Mattingly (Life) 
Apollo-Saturn 17 Date: 12/11/72 to 12/13/72 Date: 22 hr. 3 min. 57 sec. 
Harrison Schmitt, Eugene Cernan 
Cernan (Second Class), Evans (Life), Schmitt (Tenderfoot) 
Of the 21 Astronauts who have orbited the Moon, 
19 have been Scouts 
Of the 214 former and present astronauts, 142 have taken part in Scouting.
Astronaut Scout Experience: 
(World Wide) 
Adamson, Armstrong, Bagian, Bluford, Bowersox, Brady, Carr, Carter, Chaffee, Covey, Creighton, Duke, Eisele, Fullerton, W. Gregory, Griggs, Hoffman, Jones, Lee, Lind, Llewellyn (King's Scout, U.K.), Lovell, McCulley, O'Leary, Onizuka, Oswald, Parazynski, Reightler, Searfoss, See, Tanner, Truly, D. Walker  
Anders, Basset, Brand, Bridges, Casper, Cooper, Evans, Fabian, G. Gardner, Givens, Gregory, Kregel, Low, Mattingly, McArthur, Mitchell, D. Scott, Spring, Springer, 
Van Hoften, C. Williams  
Barry, Cameron, England, W. Fisher, Garriott, R. Gibson, Gordon, Grissom, Haise, Lounge, McNair, Stafford  
First Class:  
J. Allen, Bean, Clifford, Coats, Engle, Freeman, D. Gardner, E. Gibson, Hammond, Henize, Linnehan, Nelson, Overmyer, Schirra, Schweickart, W. Scott, Shepard, Veach, Worden  
Second Class:  
Bolden, Buchli, Carpenter, Cernan, Culbertson, Mullane, Parker, Pogue, Shriver, Swigert, W. Thornton, White, Young  
Aldrin, Bursch, Hawley, Lousma, McDivitt, Michel, Schmitt, S. Smith  
O'Connor, D. Williams  
A. Allen, C. Brown, Conrad, Foale (Wolf, Germany), Gernhardt, Henricks, Leestma, Lopez-Alegria, McBride, Meade, Readdy, Rominger, Shepherd, Thomas, Thuot, Wolf  
C. Brown, Bull, Clervoy, Garneau, Harris, James Voss  
E. Collins, Davis, A. Fisher, Helms, Jernigan, Lawrence, Seddon, Sherlock, Sullivan, 
K. Thornton, Janice Voss, Weber 

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Back It Up

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:$10 bill
Eagle patch or Life patch
Script:You'll need a $10 or $20 bill - or even larger if you want to make a big impression :-)

Hold up the bill for all to see or pass it around the circle.
Ask, "What is this?"
Ask, "What is it worth?"
Ask why the bill is worth so much.

The bill is really just a piece of paper. It has no value. But, it has been created and certified by the U.S. Government to be 'worth' $10.00 and can be exchanged for $10 worth of food or other stuff. It is Backed Up by the strength of our government. Without that power and trust Backing It Up, the bill would be worthless.

Hold up the Eagle or Life patch.
Look at this patch. It's just a piece of fabric, not worth anything. But, it's valuable because we know it represents years of learning, leading, and serving. It is Backed Up by the efforts and commitment made by the young man that wears it.

When you receive your own patch like this, you will know that the patch itself is not that important. How you Back It Up is the important part.

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Bad Influences

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Take out a compass, hold it up in your right hand and ask what it is. Ask them what it is used for. The desired answer is that it gives you direction. Next ask how it gives direction. The desired response is that it points to the North. Looking at the compass, point in the direction that the compass tells you is North.

Hold up a hatchet in your left hand and ask the Scouts what it is. You'll get several replies. The desired answer is that it is a tool that we can use both in and out of Scouting. Ask them what it is used for.

Bring the hatchet closer to the compass. The compass needle should swing to point at the hatchet. As you say, 'Wait a minute, now North's over there!', turn to the left. The compass needle will still point at the hatchet. Each time you turn, tell them that North has moved again! They will all begin yelling at you that the hatchet is causing the compass to give a false direction. Repeat this to them, 'What's that? The hatchet is making the compass give me an incorrect direction?' After they all agree, tell them the following:

Both of these items are tools that Scouting teaches you about, which you can use both in and out of your Scouting life to make certain tasks easier to accomplish. The Scout Oath and the Scout Law are the same thing. They aren't just words that you need to memorize in order to make advancement, they are valuable tools that, like the compass, will help you to have a more enjoyable and profitable life, both in and out of Scouting. Learn to use these tools well and often.

Just like you saw with the compass and the hatchet, you will find outside influences that will try to draw you away from the direction you should be headed. Just as you have learned to recognize that iron-bearing metal will draw a compass off course, learn to reconize those things that will draw you off course from the things the Scout Oath and Law teach you about goodness, honesty, cheerfully helping others, being true to your religion, and being a positive and active member of this great country.

If you learn to use these two valuable tools, the Oath and Law, that Scouting has given you, you'll be a better person for it.

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Balanced Diet

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:I expect you all know the 6 food groups. What are they?
Bread & Grain, Vegetables, Fruits, Dairy, Meat, Sugar & Fat

Great! And we all know its important to include a mix of foods from all those groups in our diets. Why? So we have a well-rounded diet that keeps our bodies healthy.

I believe the same sort of thing is true for our lives, not just our bodies. I can think of 6 'life groups' kind of like the 'food groups' - Academics, Athletics, Family, Music, Religion, and Social.

If you spent all your time just doing schoolwork, but no social or religious activities, you might get very good at science. But, you wouldn't have the skills to share your knowledge with others.
If you just hang around with friends and listen to music, but no athletics, you might be a fun guy but you couldn't throw a ball or swim in a lake.

If you look at famous figures that have had personal problems plastered on the front page, maybe you can see what I'm getting at. Some of them have invested all their effort into one activity and neglected the other areas of life. When they make it big, they are not prepared for the rest of life and it all falls apart.

So, mix it up. Take a big helping of Academics, a side-dish of Athletics, pour some Family time on top, garnish with Music, have a big glass of Religion, and finish with a Social dessert. Now, THAT's a balanced diet that will give you a healthy body AND life.

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Be a Blessing - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Many of you have heard of a woman in India named Mother Teresa who has devoted her life to serving the poor. She is known around the world. She has shown that you do not have to do big things to be a blessing to others.
If someone is hungry you can feed them.
If they are dirty you can help clean them.
If they are sick you can care for them.
If they are lonely you can talk to them.
If they mourn someone you can give them words of comfort.
You do not have to be rich or famous or a person of great importance to do any of this. You simply have to care about others as much as you care about your own needs.
Mother Teresa has cared for many who were sick, fed many who were hungry, and cleaned many who were dirty. She gave up all her worldly possessions when she started doing this many years ago. She was not always famous but she always cared, helping people in the slums of Calcutta, India.

Each of you can be a blessing to others as you live your lives. You can say a kind word when someone is down; you can buy a meal for someone who is hungry. When you help someone, keep it to yourself, you do not need to tell others what a good person you are. The world will notice your example by how you treat others. When the opportunities arise, always be a blessing to family, friends and strangers!

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Become a Yes Man!

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:The words 'No, you can't because ...' are heard way too often in life.
How pleasant it would be if the phrase were simply turned around to 'Yes, you can when ...' 'Yes, you can if ...' or 'Yes, you can as soon as ...'

Instead of 'No, we can't start the game without the umpire', it would be 'Yes, we can start as soon as the umpire gets here. And if he's not here in 5 minutes Mr. Smith will stand in for him.'

Using positive words shows a positive attitude and a positive attitude makes the world a bit better.

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Being Ready, Able, and Willing

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Preparation:Ask a senior scout if he will act out choking for your minute.
Script:Scouts, we're going to do a one act play for my minute tonight. Go ahead, [Actor]!
([Actor] enters the room, choking, holding his throat, turning red, not breathing, stumbling to the floor.)

OK, great job, [Actor]! (clap, clap, clap)

Do you know what was happening to him?
Do you know what you should have done to help?
Do you believe you would have the courage to try to help him?

The Scout Law says a scout is Helpful and Brave. When you see someone that needs help, you help. If it is a scary situation, you are brave and still help. But, if it is a problem you do not know HOW to help, how can you?
That is why we have our motto: Be Prepared!
Prepared for what? Well, for anything that comes along.

Even though you may be WILLING to help, you must put in effort to prepare yourself for situations so you are ABLE to help. Learn your scouting skills, they are good for a lot more than scouting.

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Between Right and Wrong

Script:What is the opposite of 'Black'?
(scouts should answer with 'White')
What is Between Black and White?
(answer should be 'Grey')

What is the opposite of Liberal?
What is between Liberal and Conservative?

How about the opposite of Hot?
And Between Hot and Cold?
'Warm' or 'Cool'

As you can see, there are ways to describe the area between two extremes for many common things in our lives. Now, one more try. What is the opposite of Wrong?
What is Between Right and Wrong?
(let scouts try a few answers)

There is nothing in between right and wrong. We've never created a word for that. There are shades of grey. There is hot and cold, and we have warm to satisfy the need to avoid the extremes. But there is only right and wrong. There is no middle.

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Big Ego

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Once there was a very large green bullfrog who lived in a modest sized pond. Even though many other animals and fish lived around this pond the bullfrog didn't have any friends. You see, the friends he once had were gone. They were tired of his constant boasting about how far he could jump, how loud he could croak, and how many flies he could eat. These days, they just tried to stay out of his way.

This situation changed when the geese began to migrate through the area. Two geese actually became his friends. They spent many a long day visiting, swimming, and doing the things friends do.

Then one day the two geese told the frog it was time for them to continue their migration. The frog was sad and asked if they could take him with them. He suggested that they let him climb on one of their backs and hang onto their neck. Both geese agreed that he was entirely too fat for one goose to carry. Further saddened, the frog began to think and finally came up with an idea.

"Listen," he said, "How about we take a string and each of you take hold of an end with your mouth and bite down hard, then I will bite in the middle of the string and you can fly me between you." The geese pondered the idea and decided to give it a try.

All were ready and the geese began to flap and run. The frog hopped along with the string in his mouth until he was lifted from the ground and was airborne. "Oh what a feeling", thought the frog. Onward they flew for days on end until they flew over a farmer out in his field.

The farmer looked up and upon seeing the geese and frog remarked, "My, my, a flying frog! I wonder who taught those geese to fly such a big frog?"

Hearing this, the frog wanting to get all the glory for such a clever idea, said, "I DID!"
That night the farmer feasted on very large succulent frog legs.

Check your ego, don't let it get so far out of control that you lose your friends or worse yet, end up on someone's plate.

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Big L and Little L

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:boy scout leadership

Which position leads in this troop? (answers spl, maybe scoutmaster)
Anyone else? (answers aspl, patrol leader, scoutmaster, ...)
OK, those are the Leaders of the troop, the guys that run the show, the guys with the cool patches, the guys in control.

This is an 'l' (hold right index finger up vertically)
This is an 'L' (stick right thumb out horizontally)
Do you see the difference?
This 'l' is a Little L.
This 'L' is a Big L.
(from now on, make the Big or Little L sign as appropriate)

This is a key difference, especially when we're talking about leaders. The ones you mentioned are 'L'eaders - guys in a position of leadership. You think of them as 'l'eaders because of their position.

But, a 'l'eader is someone that leads because some leadership is needed, not because he is in a position. A 'l'eader is proactive - he sees a need and takes care of it. A 'l'eader steps up and makes decisions.

All of you can and should be 'l'eaders, whether or not you're a 'L'eader.

So, basically:
  • 'L'eaders don't always 'l'ead.
  • 'l'eaders aren't always 'L'eaders.
  • the 'l'eadership of this troop is not limited to the 'L'eadership.

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Big Rocks

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:(the harder challenges go to the people that have the higher capabilities)

Ask for 6 scouts to come forward to help out.
Ask them to build a pyramid on their hands and knees.
We would expect that they will naturally have their largest, strongest guys on the bottom and their lightest one on top once the pyramid is complete.

Do you ever feel that you are doing more than your share?
Does it ever seem that you keep getting the harder jobs?
Look at this pyramid.
Who has the hardest job? (guy in middle bottom)
Why is he in that position?
Did they put the smallest guy there? (no, the strongest guy)

Everywhere you look, structures rely on key parts in order to work:
  • In a home, there is a ceiling beam that supports the entire roof.
  • In a beaver dam, there are a few large limbs that form the foundation of the dam.
  • The trunk of a tree holds up the hundreds of limbs and thousands of leafs.

We use sand to fill cracks in a walkway.
We use gravel to build a road.
We use rocks to landscape.
But, the Big Rocks, the ones that are sturdy, strong, and solid, those are used to make castles, towers, and monuments!

When you are asked to play a key role that requires extra work, maybe even more than seems fair, it’s because the person asking believes you are tough enough for the job.

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Blind Wise Man

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:There once was an old blind wise man living in a tiny village. He amazed people with his wise answers to any question asked of him. He never failed to answer correctly.
One day a young boy figured out how he could outsmart the wise old man. He approached the blind man and asked his question.
He said, "Old man, in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?" The old man was quiet.
The boy asked again, "Old man, in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?" Still, the old man said nothing.
The boy asked for the third time, "Old man, in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?" The old man finally answered.
He said, "The bird's life is yours to give or take. If I say it is alive, you will crush it and it will be dead. If I say it is dead, then you will open your hands and let it fly away."

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Boss vs. Leader

Script:The boss drives his men;
the leader coaches them.

The boss inspires fear;
the leader inspires enthusiasm.

The boss says "I";
the leader says "We".

The boss assigns tasks;
the leader sets the pace.

The boss says "Get here on time!";
the leader gets there ahead of time.

The boss fixes blame for the breakdown;
the leader fixes the breakdown.

The boss knows how it's done;
the leader shows how.

The boss makes work a drudgery;
the leader makes it a game.

The boss says "Go!";
the leader says "Let's go!"

The world needs leaders,
but nobody wants a boss.

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Bound Through Scouting

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:20 wooden matches in a bundle wrapped with a rubber band.
Script:Scouts, you'll notice the matches in front of you stand easily when they're all bound together with the rubber band.

But, look at what happens when I try to stand them after removing the band.

(Take the rubber band off and attempt to stand them up. Of course they fall in all directions.)

Our troop is like a bunch of matches. As long as we work together as a team, bound together by the ties of Scouting, we will stand together as a strong troop. But if we remove those ideas of Scouting, and each man thinks only of himself, we'll be like that bunch of matches when the rubber band was taken off.

As we all live up to the ideals of the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan, we will be wrapping ourselves with the band that will strengthen our troop and make sure that it stands for the things that make Scouting great.

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Box of Stuff

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a small container of pins, screws, bolts, odds-n-ends
Script:See this container?
This is my Box of Stuff that sits on my workbench. When I do a project, if there's a few screws left over, I dump them in here. If I have an extra nut or bolt or piece of wire or hinge, it goes in here.
Some of these things have been in here, never used, for almost 20 years. But, I know they are here. I know that because I will occasionally need a screw or bolt and I rummage through here until I find one. Every time I do that, I see what else is still here, ready to be used when needed.

How does this have anything to do with scouting?
Well, everything you're learning in Scouts goes into your Box of Stuff up here in your brain. It's ready for that one day when it's needed.
You learned how to fuse the end of a rope. Do you do that every day? No. But, some day when you have a frayed rope, you'll reach into your Box of Stuff and know how to fuse that rope.
You know how to identify poisonous plants. Do you do that every day? No. But, on your next hike, you'll recognize and avoid those plants.

When you use something from your Box of Stuff, you should also check out all the other things you have in there. Take some time and refresh your skills so you remember you have them.

Like some of these pieces of hardware, some skills may sit there unused for years until you find yourself in an emergency when you need to dump out your whole Box and put all of it to use. That's when you'll be glad you have your Box of Stuff full to the brim.

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Intended for:All Scouts
Script:"A Scout is Brave" is the 10th point of the Scout Law. A scout has the courage to stand up for what he thinks is right even if others ridicule him or threaten him. It has been said that "Courage is doing the right thing when the wrong thing is the easy thing."
Do the right thing. Be Brave.

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Bridge Builder

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:We don't do things for scouts to make the path simple, but we provide them with the means to overcome obstacles themselves.
Script:An old man traveling a long highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream held no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," cried a fellow pilgrim near,
"You're wasting your time in building here.
"Your journey will end with the closing day;
"You never again will pass this way.
"You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,
"Why build you this bridge at even tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head;
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said.
"There followeth after me today,
"A youth whose feet must pass this way.
"This stream which has been as naught to me,
"To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
"He, too, must cross in the twilight dim:
"Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

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Buddy System

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Raise your hand if you've heard of a Boy Scout getting lost in the woods.
Raise your hand if you've heard of TWO scouts getting lost in the woods together.

These are real events that happened in the past couple years...

A 7 year old cub scout was lost for 2 hours. He was on a hike with his den and fell behind the others, then slipped and fell. When he got back up, the rest were too far away to hear or see him. Two hikers found him and brought him to safety.

An 11 year old scout was lost for 4 days. After using the climbing tower at a camp, he walked the quarter mile to his campsite alone and became lost. He was found 5 miles away out of pure luck.

A 12 year old scout slipped in the lake and got his shoes wet. So, his dad told him to walk the 150 yards back to camp and get dry socks and shoes on. That was the last anyone has seen of him.

A 13 year old scout was lost for 3 days. On a hike, he fell behind the others and took a wrong turn.

Do you see any pattern in all these avoidable events?
Every one of them failed to use the BUDDY SYSTEM!
Two scouts never get lost.

You aren't using the buddy system for yourself - you're doing it for your friend so he doesn't get lost and for his family so they don't worry.
Just look at the guys to your left and right - they really need your help, don't they? :-)
But, seriously, having a buddy is THE most important rule we have - more important than having a compass or first aid kit or anything else.

Did everyone have a buddy at [our last outing]?
Do you think everyone will have a buddy at [our next outing]?
Darn Tootin'!

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Intended for:All Scouts
Script:An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work, and the builder came to inspect the house, his employer handed the front-door key to the carpenter.

"This is your house," he said, "my gift to you for many years of faithful service!"

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up with less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely.

It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. Your life today is the result of your choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your choices you make today.

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Carrots, Egg, or Coffee

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A scout I know wanted to talk. He was bummed about school and family and life in general. Things were just 'too hard'.

While he was telling me his troubles, I filled three pots with water and put them over the fire.
When the water was boiling, I put some carrots in one pot, an egg in the 2nd, and some coffee beans in the 3rd.

Then, the scout and I went for a short walk, just to pass some time. When we returned, I scooped out the carrots into a bowl, the egg into another bowl, and some coffee into a third bowl.

Then I asked the scout, "What do you see?"

Being a bright scout, he said, "Carrots, an egg, and coffee."

I had him feel the carrots and he said they were soft and mushy.
I had him break open the egg and he saw it was hard-boiled.
I had him take a sip of coffee and he said it tasted warm, strong and rich.

Each of these things encountered the same harsh, boiling water.
The carrots started out tough and crunchy, but the water made them soft, mushy, and weak.
The egg looked the same before and after being boiled, but its inside had become hard.
The coffee beans were unique. They changed the water, they made the water into something better than it had been.

So, I asked the scout, "Which do you want to be?"
Are you tough and sure when things are comfortable, but wilt and lose heart when hard times come?
Do you keep your inner feelings hidden under a shell but let hard times harden your heart and kill your spirit?
Or, do you embrace adversity and turn hard times into times of growth? Do you work to improve difficult situations? Do you look for ways you can make things better around you rather than retreating into yourself?

Tough luck, hard times, gloomy days, heartache, and pain come to everyone - its called 'life' and it happens. People that seem happy or content have just as much trouble in their lives as those that are miserable. They have just found a better way to meet challenges and persevere. They strive to make the most of what life brings them.

Enjoy the coffee!

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Climbing Mt. Fuji

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Encourage others
Script:If you ever get to visit Japan, try to make time to climb Mt. Fuji. It is a beautiful mountain, a perfect cone volcano, standing alone on a large plain. To the Japanese, it is a symbol of peace and beauty. It may very well be the most photographed mountain in the world.

When you get to the foot of Mt. Fuji, you'll notice there are hiking staffs for sale. Buy one, and start your climb up. It's not really a climb, its more of a strenuous hike on very, very well-travelled paths. Every few miles, friendly attendants at check stations will brand your hiking staff with a symbol of the milestone you reached. They will also encourage you on to the next checkpoint.

Along the way, you'll meet many, many people - tourists from around the world - America, Korea, England, China, Brazil. All of them with the same goal in mind. And, interestingly, all of them encouraging one another. The atmosphere is not one of competition, trying to beat someone else to the top - it doesn't matter. Through gestures, smiles, and words, total strangers help push you ahead, give you strength, keep you motivated.

Whenever people with similar goals compete less and cooperate more, more is accomplished and the climb is a lot more fun. Have fun!

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Climbing the Mountain

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Recognitions and awards are fun, but what is learned and taken to heart is the real reward.
Script:There was once an Indian village on a wide open desert in the Southwest. A few miles across the desert is a high mountain, towering up out of the desert.
One day, the Chief gathered all the young boys that were not yet braves to him. He said; "It is time for you to all climb the great mountain. Tomorrow morning, start right after breakfast, and go each of you as far as you can. Then when you are tired, come back; but let each one bring me a twig off a tree from the place where he turned back."

The next morning, away they went full of hope each feeling that he surely could reach the top. But soon the first returned slowly back, and in his hand he held out to the Chief a leaf of cactus. The Chief smiled and said, "My boy, you did not reach the foot of the mountain, you did not even get across the desert."
Later, a second boy returned. He carried a twig of sagebrush. "Well," said the Chief, "You reached the mountain's foot but you did not climb upward."
The next had a cottonwood spray. "Good", said the Chief, "You got up as far as the clear springs."
Another came later with some buckthorn. The Chief smiled when he saw it and said: "You were climbing; you were up to the first slide rock."
Late in the afternoon, one arrived with a cedar spray, and the old man said, "Well done. You went half way up and reached the forest."
Before sunset, one came with a switch of pine. To him the Chief said, "Good, you went to the high forest; you made three quarters of the climb."

The sun was down when the last finally returned. His hand was empty as he approached the Chief, and the other Indian boys began to laugh and tease that he had not even tried the climb.
But his face was radiant, and he said: "Great Chief, there were no trees where I climbed; there were no twigs, but I saw the shining sea far away."
Now the old man's face glowed, too, as he said aloud and almost sang: "You have been to the top. It is written in your eyes, and rings in your voice. My boy, you have seen the glory of the mountain. You need no twigs for proof."

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Close to the Edge

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:America has often been referred to as the "land of opportunity". The longer I’m around, the more I believe that this statement is quite true. If you’re willing to work hard enough, you can do just about anything you want to.

Most of you scouts probably haven't decided what you want to pursue in terms of a job or a career. You still have time to decide. But consider the possibilities:

We live in an exciting time!

Consider the future of the medical field, for example. There are, and will continue to be, enormous opportunities. New drugs to fight diseases are constantly being developed. New techniques are being tried to improve health and reduce cost. Maybe you could be the researcher who finds a cure for cancer, or finds the key to immunizing against viruses.

Space exploration is filled with discovery. The Mars rovers are still sending back enormous amounts of data about that planet. Someone had to design, build, launch, and control those vehicles. Bright minds. The Cassini/Huygens space probe, which has traveled about 3 billion miles over 9 years to circle the planet Saturn, has recently sent back pictures that indicate the possibility of subterranean water on one of Saturn’s moons. Other scientists have managed to capture particles of solar wind and returned them to earth. The same with comet particles, which might yield clues into the origin of the solar system.

So, what does this have to do with you?

I think it has everything to do with how big you dream. These opportunities and countless others like them can be yours. But... there’s always a "but" ...

Most people have their comfortable routines. You know when you have to get up, go to work or school, do homework, go to bed.

You probably enjoy watching TV or playing computer games, or just hanging out with your friends.

But have you really pushed yourself to do more than just enough to get by? Have you really tried to see just how much you can do? Improve your skills? Become stronger? Stand out from the crowd?

The author Kurt Vonnegut said,
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

I challenge you to get close to the edge – but not too close – and push yourself to become a better you, a stronger you, a happier you. You won’t know what you can do until you try.

I’ll be watching you, too - from the edge.

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Coasting is All Downhill

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:You have to put forth effort to advance.
Script:Have you ever been in or seen a Soapbox Derby? You know, where you ride a cart down a hill. Or, have you ever ridden a sled down a long hill? Or, how about floated down river in an innertube?
These all have three things in common. They're all fun. They all require no effort - you just sit there and coast. And, they all take you downhill.
Just like in those activities, you can coast doing other things. You can coast through school, just getting good enough grades. You can coast through sports, just playing the games. You can even coast through life until your time is done. But, just like riding in a cart - coasting through life is all downhill.
To achieve a goal is uphill - there's no coasting. There's work, effort, and sometimes sacrifice. But, there is also great reward! When you coast, you don't just stay even, you lose - you go downhill.

Remember, Coasting is All Downhill

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Collection of Quotes

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Some quotes to consider:

Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Albert Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them

Unknown: If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.

Franklin Roosevelt: Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.

Abraham Lincoln: Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Abraham Lincoln: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Menander: The character of a man is known from his conversations.

Jack London: A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.

Eddie Rickenbacker: Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.

John Wayne: Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.

Mark Twain: Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

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Common Ground

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Look for similarities in others on which to build friendships.
Script:Have any of you travelled to Europe?
I was fortunate to spend 40 days with a backpack travelling from country to country. I met a young man from Switzerland and we became friends so I visited his family's home towards the end of my trip.
It was quite interesting when I tried to speak with his father because his native language was Italian and I spoke no Italian. Fortunately, we discovered that we each spoke a little French so we used that common ground to communicate.
I also noticed he had Algebra books on his shelf because he was a teacher but they were written in Italian! It didn't matter much though because I could understand the formulas since math is the same everywhere.

I had a fun few hours talking about math with a Swiss man because we found common interest and common language. It sometimes takes extra effort, but I challenge you to find what you have in common with others instead of the obvious things that are different and see what happens.

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Complete Meal

Intended for:Boy Scouts
scoutmaster minute

What makes a good meal?

Well, the food pyramid of course. A good selection of nutritious items from all the food groups to ensure a well-rounded meal - some meat, vegetables, grains, and dairy.

But, there's one very important part of cooking that is not in the food pyramid.

complete mealSpice - without spice, food doesn't taste as good. The food is nutritious, but not very interesting to eat.
You might as well eat a brick of protein or packaged rations.

On the other hand, too much spice and the meal is not enjoyable. Take beef, carrots, and potatoes for example - filling and nutritious, the real substance of the meal. But, without at least a little salt and pepper, it's bland and boring. Using some garlic, curry, or ginger can completely change the taste.

Your troop is like a meal. You need substance and you need spice.

spice of lifeRealize that some people have more spice than others. Who contributes the spice in your troop? Is there a scout with orange shoes or orange hair? an earring or two? Or, someone that the guys are always trying to wake up in time for breakfast or trying to shut up at night? How about the guy that starts a campfire story and never does get to the end of it before everyone wanders off to bed? I bet you can think of some other guys with spice in your troop.

These all add a little excitement. We don't remember all the guys that jumped over the creek - we remember Billy who fell in. We don't remember all the scouts that earned First Class in 7th grade - we remember Sammy who finally got around to it in 11th grade. We don't remember the 100 miles of hiked trail - we remember the half mile when Johnny led us off it.

Without guys making mistakes, being weird, or just cutting loose to have fun, Scouting can be pretty bland. It's still good stuff, but there's not much to write home about.

So, consider the guys around you. Who contributes the spice and who provides the substance? I hope you realize it's not one OR the other - everyone adds some of both.

Don't forget that everyone has a different opinion of how much spice makes a good meal and how much is overkill. If the guy in charge lets you know you need to settle down - he's really telling you to shake a little less of the oregano on his meeting. When you are the guy in charge, remember that some of your guys might like a little more chili pepper in their meetings rather than strictly business all the time.

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:If you think you're beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost for sure, you won't.

If you think you're losing, you've lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a person's will,
It's all in your state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You have to stay with it,
In order to win the prize.

Life's battles don't always go,
To the one with the better plan.
For more often than not, you will win,
If only you think you can.

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Crab Behavior

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:It is interesting how crabs think and work together. I've gone crabbing on the west coast. You can put a crab in a bucket about 12 inches deep and it will easily reach up over the lip of the bucket and succeed in climbing out. But an interesting thing happens when you have 2 or more crabs in the same bucket. As the first crab reaches up to pull itself out and starts to succeed, the other crabs reach up to pull the other crab back into the bucket. They will each take turns trying to climb out while the other crabs spend their time pulling the crab that is having success back down into the bucket.

Are you a crab?

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Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Crickets are interesting animals. They're only an inch long yet they can be heard throughout the forest by rubbing their wings together.
You can tell the temperature by listening to crickets. On warm nights, they chirp faster than on cool nights. If you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 40 to it you'll get the temperature.
I like to think about why crickets chirp. It's their way of saying "Here I Am". Like crickets, each one of us has ways of saying "Here I Am". Some say it through sports, some in music, some in reading, some in art. One way we all say "Here I Am" is through Scouting. When you wear your uniform you are showing everyone that you believe that it's important to be a good person. I think the best way to say "Here I Am" is by working hard, being kind, and being cheerful.

Next time you hear a cricket, try to remember he is saying "Here I Am" and think how you are saying "Here I Am" in your life.

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Criticizing Others

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:An American Indian saying goes: "Before you judge someone, walk a long distance in his moccasins."

Settlers changed that to "Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes."

What does that mean to you?

When you notice someone doing a job poorly, maybe it's cooking a meal, or lashing a camp gadget, or leading a meeting, it's awful easy to point out their failures. It's easy to giggle when a scout forgets how the Scout Oath begins, or criticize another scout making mistakes in a skills instruction, or talk to your neighbor when you don't respect the leader of a meeting. It takes much more effort on your part to try to help the situation.

Before you make life difficult for that guy on the hotseat, try to imagine yourself there. Could you do better? Sure, you could, but how? Would you plan better? Would you talk more clearly? Would you make everyone pay better attention? Whatever ways you can see that scout might improve, those are the things you should help make happen.

I see this often in this troop. A young scout will timidly start to lead the troop in the Scout Law and an older scout's louder, deeper voice will support him. Two scouts will step in with a new game when the one responsible for the game doesn't show up. I even see scouts working to stay quiet and attentive while an old man drones on. :-)

Patience and understanding are two virtues each of us can work on.

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Cross Your Arms

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:There are many ways to accomplish a goal. Follow your leader's plan.
Script:Ask everyone to stand up.
Ask everyone to relax and fold their arms.
Say, "Now, don't move. Look at which of your hands has the fingers on top. Is it the right or left hand?"
Ask them to re-fold their arms with the other hand on top.

How does that feel? weird, different, awkward?
Which way is 'Correct'?
Which way is 'Wrong'?
Which way accomplished the goal of 'Fold your Arms'?

Every scout here is different and has different ideas on how to accomplish goals we set. The leader's job is to take those ideas and decide to use the one that fits his style best. And, then the scouts's job is to follow him, doing their very best to make the plan succeed. It may not be the exact way you would do it, but if it meets the goal then it is a good plan.

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Difference Between Scout and Dog

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:I knew a dog named Scout.
When you think about it, a dog is a pretty good scout.
If treated right, it is trustworthy, loyal, and friendly.
Dogs are normally kind, not mean, and they are naturally cheerful.
If trained right, it can be helpful, obedient, courteous, and clean.
A dog is rarely wasteful, so thrifty is definitely there.
Many rescue dogs have risked or even lost their lives to save a person, so I guess they are brave.

The one thing a dog can't be is reverent. Dogs have no concept of God. We include Reverent in the Scout Law because it is an important thing. Remember, a dog can get 11 out of 12.

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Disneyland Garbage

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:conservation is an ongoing chore, but if we keep on it, it is much easier overall.
Script:Way back in the late 1950s, when Disneyland was new, there were already litterbugs - its not a new thing. As a matter of fact, at Disneyland, trash became a problem.
The goal at Disneyland was to have the park look brand-new every morning when it opened. That meant that every night, people would pick up trash, clean, and repair.
During the day, there were no people walking around picking up trash because there were plenty of trashcans all over. But, some people still chose to throw trash on the ground. And, that trash built up by the end of the day so there was more than what could be cleaned up overnight.

Someone decided that the only way the trash could get picked up would be to work on it all day. So, Disneyland started having people pick up trash during the day.

The results were amazing! The workers picked up far less trash than what had previously been on the ground. As it turned out, when people looked around and saw a wrapper on the ground, they were more inclined to drop their trash instead of finding a trashcan. Once workers kept those few initial wrappers picked up, almost everyone used trashcans.

Things haven't changed - why do people leave their popcorn buckets in movie theaters? Why do smokers throw their butts out at stoplights? Because they are lazy and someone else is doing it.
If we put in some effort to keep our community clean whenever we can, there will be much less trash overall. Do what you can, when you can.

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Do The Right Thing

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:(This is NOT a true story. It has been circulating for many years, but is just a story and should not be presented as fact.)

A long time ago, there lived a poor farmer in Scotland who was out working his fields when he heard a cry for help. He went to where the plea for help was coming from and found a boy caught and sinking in a bog. He worked his way through the bog and with the aid of a staff was able to free the boy. After doing so, the farmer went back to work in his fields and didn't think anymore about it.  
The next day, a fine horse-drawn carriage pulled up in front of the farmer's hut. Out of it stepped a well-dressed nobleman who was the father of the boy the farmer had rescued the day before. The grateful father wanted to reward the farmer for rescuing his son. But the farmer, as desperately poor as he was, would not accept money for helping someone in need. The nobleman still wanted to reward the farmer for saving his son and was trying to think of some way to do so when the farmer's own son came to the doorway of the hut. 
Seeing him, the nobleman then made this proposition to the farmer; let him take the boy and he would educate him. The farmer hesitated at first but then finally agreed. Through the education that the farmer's son received he became a scientist.  
The boy grew up to be Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. A number of years after, the nobleman's own son was stricken with pneumonia which was a death sentence before penicillin. The nobleman's son that was saved was Sir Winston Churchill. 
Each of us, as we live our lives, will have opportunities to help people and will have to make moral decisions like the poor Scottish farmer did. As badly as he needed money, his personal code that he lived by would not allow him to accept money for helping someone else in need. If he would have taken the money, his son would not have received an education and the world would not have penicillin which has saved tens of millions of lives - not to mention the life of Winston Churchill who led England through the darkest days of World War II against Nazi Germany. The Scottish farmer died without ever knowing that one small moral decision he made changed the world and saved millions of lives. As you live your life never underestimate the power of doing the right thing. 

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Doing Silly Tricks

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:The moral of this story is that while growing up we learn stupid tricks that don't serve us in our current situation. We need to recognize them and let go of them.
It teaches the scouts about how our actions are viewed by others.
Script:There was a small bear that lived in the woods with his mother. His mother had taught him to find food: grubs in logs, berries on the bushes, salmon in the stream etc.
One day a traveling circus was camped near the woods and they trapped the small bear and took him away in a cage. The trainer taught the bear many tricks. Every time bear properly performed the tricks he was rewarded with treats. The little bear became used to the people and his captive life.
One day the trainer accidently left the cage door unlocked and the little bear wandered off. The little bear layed down and slept for the night. When he awoke, the circus was gone. He discovered that he was right back in the woods where he was born and he was hungry. So he stood on his head and waited for food, but nothing came. He tried rolling over, but still nothing. He tried all the tricks he had learned but nothing.
The other animals of the forest watched all this with quite some amusement. Finally a squirrel asked him what he was doing. The little bear told the squirrel that he was hungry and was doing tricks for food. The squirrel showed him a berry bush and told him its time to stop doing silly tricks and start taking care of himself.

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Don't Quit

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
Into success 'cause we stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse that you must not quit.

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Don't Get Hooked

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a big fishhook
a piece of cloth
Script:(Stick a fish hook in a piece of cloth and show how difficult it is to back out the way it went in. )

Scouts, it was easy enough to poke this fishhook into the cloth, but you can see how hard it is to back it out. It's just like a bad habit - awful easy to start, but awful hard to stop. Some guys your age have started to smoke, use drugs, drink, and other bad habits. It was easy to start - as easy as it was for me to put the fishhook into the cloth.

Across our land millions and millions of smokers have tried to stop smoking and have failed. The same thing is true for drug users. They just couldn't get the hook out.

If it's so hard to stop and if so many want to quit, then why start - why get the hook in - in the first place? Some people think it's manly to smoke or use drugs. Take a look around you. Look at who is smoking and ask yourself if you want to be more like him or more like yourself.

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Donkey in a Well

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A farmer had a donkey that unfortunately fell into an abandoned well. It brayed and brayed until the farmer heard him and came running over.

The well was deep and the farmer couldn't figure out how to hoist the donkey out. Besides, the donkey was getting old and the farmer had other donkeys. And, the well was abandoned and should be covered up anyway, so ...

The farmer called his neighbors over with their shovels. They all gathered around and started shoveling dirt onto the donkey, which was still braying away in fear.

After awhile, the farmers couldn't hear the donkey any longer. They continued to fill the well with dirt until suddenly the donkey stepped up and out of the well!

As the farmers shoveled dirt onto the back of the donkey, he would shake it off and step up onto the new dirt until the dirt lifted him out.

You will get dirt shoveled on you in your life - lots of dirt, all kinds of dirt. When you feel like you're stuck in a well, just shake all that dirt off and take a step up.
If someone says you can't do something, shake it off and step on it.
If you do poorly, shake it off, step on it, and try again.
When you stop trying, that's when the dirt will bury you. So, shake it off, step up, and never give up.

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Drafting and Leading

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:I'm going to mention a few things that all have something in common. When you think you know what that common theme is, raise your hand.
- a marathon
- interstate truckers
- a bike race
- a flock of geese
- a NASCAR race

Each of these use 'drafting' to decrease the effort required to achieve a goal. Trucks, cars, bikes, runners all benefit from following closely behind someone else that is cutting through the wind resistance. In a road bicycle race, the lead rider in a pack uses over 30% more effort than those behind him. Truckers draft to conserve fuel and increase profits.

The downside is that the lead rider gets tired before the rest. If they continue to follow him, the entire group slows down. To keep up the speed, the leader falls off the point when he tires and the next in line takes over with a reserve of power to keep up the speed.

The followers need to trust the leader to lead in the right direction. They also need to recognize when he is getting tired and step up to take the lead.

Your Patrol Leaders serve for 6 months at a time. While they are leading, the rest of you get to draft along not expending as much energy while they are working hard. We rotate new, fresh, energized leaders to the point position often so we keep up speed and the troop keeps going. We don't want to slow down to a crawl because no one else would take the lead.

Get ready for your next turn at point so you keep the group rolling along.

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Dynamite - I Can Stop Anytime

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:7 red road flares 
1 foot of fireworks fuse 
duct tape or electicians tape
Preparation:sand off the labels from the flares. 
tape the end of the fuse to one flare about 3 inches down the side. 
put that flare in the center of the flares and wrap in a bundle with tape so it looks like a bundle of dynamite and where the fuse ends is not visible.
Notes:[The idea of this scenario is to startle the scouts by doing something really stupid so you'd better have a super trust relationship in place before doing this.] 
Always wear a heavy glove and keep the hot end pointed away. 
When the fuse reaches the end, it burns out.
Script:I wouldn't do this inside any building.

Pass the 'dynamite' around carefully for each scout to hold. Offer to cut a little piece of the fuse off and light it so that they can see it. Let the discussion run its course - the scouts should be full of comments.

After a few minutes, make some comment about thinking that you can pinch out the fuse if it's lit, and then light the fuse.
As the fuse moves closer to the 'dynamite', say things like 'no, its ok! I can stop it anytime!'

After the fuse burns out, call them back and tell them about the flares. Then explain how the dynamite is like a lot of things in life: exciting, but unpredictable. Discuss how it could be compared to drugs, alcohol, gangs, ...

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Eagle and the Prairie Chicken

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:The moral of the story is that you should stretch your boundaries and try new things rather than listening to the limitations that others have put on themselves.
Script:There once was an indian brave that was walking down the trail when he discovered an eagles egg had fallen out of it's nest. He looked up and saw that the nest was too high for him to return the egg. So he placed the egg in a nearby prairie chicken nest.
When the egg hatched, the little eagle thought he was a prairie chicken. Prairie chickens stay on the ground and eat only worms and grubs. So, as the eagle grew, he ate nothing but worms and grubs and walked around with the other prairie chickens.
One day, he looked up in the sky and saw some eagles soaring high above. He asked one of the prairie chickens, "How can they fly up there while we are down here eating worms and grubs?"
The prairie chicken answered, "They are the eagles, they can do that but we must stay down here. We are prairie chickens and that is what we do."

So, the eagle spent the rest of his life flying very little and eating worms and grubs just because he was told that was all he could do.

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Eagle Medal

Intended for:Eagle Scouts
At an Eagle Scout's court of honor, the scout is recognized for his accomplishments and presented with an Eagle Scout medal.

As the Eagle Scout is created through a process of building smaller parts into a whole, the eagle medal goes through a similar process.

An Eagle Scout develops the main parts of leadership, service, merit badges, and participation. There is a defined method to complete these parts within acceptable standards. These parts combine to create a physically fit citizen of fine character, to fulfill the aims of scouting.

The parts of the eagle medal are cast, polished, and assembled into a single medal. Each piece is completed, inspected, and then accepted. Lacking any one part would make the medal incomplete.

We often mention all the people that help a scout reach his Eagle. There's a pin for his mom, dad, and mentor. The scoutmaster usually gets mentioned, as well as the scout's patrol and other troopmates. Consider the path that the eagle medal took to reach this same stage with the scout.

The eagle medals are made by the Stange Company whose president is an Eagle Scout (and whose grandfather is an Eagle Scout). They create over 55,000 eagle scout kits each year. This medal being presented today is made of pewter (or silver) which was mined from the earth. It was heated until molten and cast in a mold. It was sanded and polished and finally assembled into the final medal. It underwent difficult stresses and was transformed from rock to something of significance.

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Elephant Chains

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:At a circus, as a boy, I saw that a baby elephant was chained close to its mother with a metal ring around its ankle and a very heavy chain to a pole. The mother, though, had only a rope from her ankle to a pole. I wondered why they were tied up so differently.

I was told that the older elephants learned long ago as babies that they can not break free so they no longer try, even though the flimsy rope would be simple to break now. The baby doesn't know that yet so it needs to be chained securely. Over time, the baby will give up and stop trying.

If you find that you fail to do something, don't assume you'll never be able to do it. Try it again tomorrow or next week. Don't be held back any imaginary chains that stopped you when you were little, but you can now easily break.

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Everybody's Canoe

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A young Indian was busy carving a canoe out of a log. As he worked, members of the tribe passed by. Everybody had a piece of advice to offer the young man.

"I think you are making your canoe too wide," one of them said. The young brave, wishing to show respect for the advice of an elder, narrowed down the canoe.

A little later, a warrior stopped by. "I'm afraid you are cutting the stern too full," he said. Again, the young brave listened to his elder and cut down the stern.

Yet another adult stopped, watched awhile, then said, "The bow is too sheer." The young brave accepted this advice as well and changed the line of the bow.

Finally the canoe was complete and the young brave launched it. As soon as it hit the water, it capsized. Laboriously he hauled it back onto the beach. Then he found another log and started all over.

Soon, a member of his tribe stopped by to offer some advice, but this time the young brave was ready.

"See that canoe over there?" he asked, pointing to the useless craft on the beach. "That is everybody's canoe." Then he nodded at the work in progress. "This one," he said, "This is MY canoe!"

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Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:This is a story about four people named
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Somebody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when
Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

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Everyone is Significant

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:One day in a high school Economics class, our teacher handed out a 10 question quiz. All the questions were true/false or multiple choice questions so it was a pretty easy quiz. 
The last question was: 'Choose the first name of the person that cleans the school.' with 5 names listed. 
I had seen the janitor in the halls often. I figure he was about 60, probably 5ft. 9in., and wore glasses. Other than that, I didn't know anything about him, let alone his first name. 
So, when I turned in my quiz, I asked the teacher if the last question was just a joke or what? 
He said the question was worth 10% of the quiz. 
I and a few other students voiced our opinion that it wasn't a fair question - how are we supposed to know the guy's name? 
The teacher replied that in whatever careers we choose we will meet many, many people. Every one of them is significant. Each deserves your attention and care, no matter their position or how it benefits you. Even if it is just smiling and saying 'Hi' in passing. 
Recognizing someone's existence and worth as a fellow human is an important lesson to learn. 

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Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Although you may not remember, you've failed many times in your life.
Guess what happened the first time you tried to stand?
Do you think you caught the first ball thrown to you?
How about your first time on a bicycle?

This "failing" is called "learning". We aren't experts the first time we try something. We have to fail a bit and get better as we develop skills.

Did you know Babe Ruth struck out something like 1,330 time? But, he hit over 700 home runs. If he had stopped playing baseball because he struck out so much, where would he have been?

Don't worry about failing when you try new things. Worry more about the opportunities you miss if you are afraid of failing.

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Filling My Jar
A Favorite Minute

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a glass jar
some rocks

or for more fun, use doughnut holes, M&Ms, sugar, and milk
Preparation:Before doing this, make sure you have enough rocks, pebbles, sand, and water that will fit in the jar.

Put pebbles, sand, and water into separate cans so the contents can not be seen.
Notes:This was WAY fun to do with doughnut holes. I don't know if the scouts got the point, but they loved watching.
Script:There is only so much a person can do. I have a real job (put rock in jar). I teach a Sunday School class (add a rock). I volunteer at school (add a rock) I run to stay in shape (add a rock) ... continue listing other main things you do.

So, there, I'm full. I can't do anything else, even if someone asked. I expect most of you are the same way. You are so busy, you can't possibly take on anything else. Your jar is full like mine.

But, maybe if its not too big, I can do it. Like drive for a weekend campout, or arrange a fundraiser, or help at church one week, or plan a service project, or organize a parent's picnic. (add pebbles to the jar as you list the activities. Shake the jar to settle them until it is full.)

Wow, I guess I could do a little more than I thought. But, now, that's it, really. I couldn't possibly do more. Just like you, I'm doing too much now. Well, maybe if its just a small thing, I could. Like shoveling my neighbor's walk, or leading a game at a meeting, or helping someone with schoolwork, or cleaning the church for an hour. (pour the sand in as you list the items. Shake to settle).

Huh! Well, what do you know. Looks like I could do a bit more than I thought. I guess I just needed to make the time. As you can see, my jar is definitely full. I did more than I thought I could and I'm really able to accomplish a lot. No way could I fit anything else in.

But, now I don't have time for just relaxing. How can I just have fun? There's no room left. (Pour water in as you list things). I want to watch TV, play video games, see a movie, play football, ...

So, what does this mean? It seems I can do much more than I thought and I still have a little time to play. The point is that you need to get the big rocks - the important things - scheduled into your life first. Decide what is most important to you and make time for it. Then, fill in your time with other worthwhile, meaningful activities. That time left over is your relaxing time.

Be careful not to fill your life with the little things first or there won't be room for the big, important things.

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Finish the Story

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Once upon a time, a man lived in a small town where there was no Boy Scout organization. It was a very small town. This man had a son who did well in school but was pretty shy.
One day, when the boy was just starting 6th grade, the man got a job in another town - it happened to be our town right here. So, his family moved and found a nice house in the neighborhood right next to where our troop meets.
Not long after they moved in, this boy saw our troop outside playing a game during one of our meetings. He watched from his backyard, being the shy kind of kid he was.
But, he wasn't dumb. He found out when our next meeting would be and just happened to be sitting on the curb out by the front door before our meeting.
And, there he sat, bouncing a ball and waiting. Then, a car pulled up and a scout got out, heading to our meeting.
That Scout was you. And, you'll have to finish the story in your head. Is that boy still sitting out there or not?

And, one other thing to think about - that boy may not be sitting on the curb out front. He might be sitting in the desk behind you at school or in the seat ahead of you on the bus or playing the trumpet next to you in band.

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Finish Your Task - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Way back in the 1968 Olympics, Bob Beamon set a longjump record that many thought would never be broken, but eventually it was. A young boxer named George Foremen won a gold medal and paraded around the ring with an American flag, instilling pride in many Americans. But, one athlete named John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania, a marathon runner, probably made the longest lasting impression on people during those Olympics.
While he was running his race, he stumbled and fell, severely injuring his knee and ankle. After receiving first aid, he did what no one expected and he got back in the race. Long after everyone else had finished and left, he limped into the near empty stadium to the cheers of a small crowd that was still there and he finished his final lap.
When asked why he continued the race after he was so badly hurt with no chance to win he replied: "My country did not send me 7,000 miles to begin a race - they sent me to finish the race".

Do each of you accept responsibility to finish a task when you start one or do you take the easy way out when the going gets tough? Do you keep your promises when you make them, even the ones you make to yourself? A man who doesn't keep his word will not be respected and will not be trusted. What kind of man does each of you want to be remembered as?

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First Step

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Need 4 scouts to help.
Script:(Tell 4 scouts that you will be calling on them and all they need to do is take one big step forward when their name is called.)

Billy, what would you do to start out on a hike? (Billy takes one step forward.)

Bobby, how would you start doing a Good Turn?
(Bobby takes one step forward.)

Barry, how would you get a camping trip going?
(Barry takes one step forward.)

Ben, what's the first thing you'd do to reach First Class?
(Ben takes one step forward.)

Yep, it's as simple as that - whether you want to run a marathon, climb a mountain, learn a trade, build a bridge, make a website, design a solar sail, or travel to jupiter, its all the same.
To accomplish anything, there is always a first step, and it is the most difficult one to take.
If you're going to progress in Scouting or in Life, you must get started with that first step.

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Intended for:Boy Scouts, Webelos Scouts
Script:Who can tell me what day falls on June 14th?
That's right it's Flag Day.
Another question, why do we celebrate Flag Day on June 14th?
Because it was on that day in 1777 that our nation got its first official US Flag. The Continental Congress which made the laws in those days, specified that the flag would have 13 stripes, alternating red and white, and 13 white stars on a blue field.

Our flag was born very soon after we became an independent nation, and millions of people have fought for the flag as our symbol of freedom.

That's why I hope your family owns a US Flag, and you will fly it proudly on Flag Day and on the other appropriate days through the year. In that way, we can show our pride as Americans and our determination to live as free men.

In a similar show of pride, each patrol should have and display their patrol flag at our troop functions. A patrol flag shows unity and organization. If your patrol does not have a patrol flag, there's a fun project for your patrol to do this month.

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Flea Training

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:I'm sure you've heard of a flea circus. That's where tiny little fleas are trained to perform amazing tricks. But they're too small to really see, so its kind of silly.

But, people do supposedly catch fleas and train them. And, those people have observed a strange habit of fleas while training them.

Fleas can jump extremely high (that's how they get from animal to animal) so when a flea is caught, it is put in a jar. Without a lid, its simple for the flea to escape by just popping right out of the jar. So, the flea trainer quickly puts a lid on the jar.

When the flea jumps, BANG, it hits the lid and falls down. Over and over, the flea will jump and BANG hit the lid. Until, after some time, you can see that the flea is jumping just almost to the lid, but not quite. He jumps and jumps, not quite hitting the top, but jumping as high as he can.

Now, that seems like a pretty smart flea to me. But, what's strange is to see what happens when you take the lid off. The flea continues to jump just almost to where the lid was. It won't jump any higher.

The flea hit a limit to what it could do. He decided that he could not go any higher and then never tried to improve. Even though the limit was gone, he was stuck in a rut - doing just what he always did and not challenging himself.

If you find that you can't do something today, don't assume you will never be able to do it. Try it again tomorrow or next week. You might hit the lid occasionally but you won't be held back any imaginary limits that you outgrow.

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Frappings of Life
A Favorite Minute

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:2 poles
1 rope for lashing
a senior scout and a new scout
Preparation:Tell the senior scout that you are going to ask him to use a square lashing to hold to poles together so he is prepared.
Script:I've asked [Eagle] and [Tenderfoot] to help me out for a minute. [Eagle] would you please start a square lashing on these poles?

Now, those wrappings look very good to me. They hold the poles close together and lay them out in the right shape. I'm sure they'll hold the poles together just fine. But, stop for a second [Eagle].
[Tenderfoot] would you please wiggle those poles and see how tight the lashing is? Hmmm, the sure have a lot of loose play in them - not as good as they could be.
[Eagle], go ahead and add the frapping turns.
I was satisfied with the wrapping turns, but this extra effort of adding the frapping is making a difference. The entire lashing is getting tighter, stronger, and more secure.
[Tenderfoot], now give those poles a wiggle and see how they hold.
Not bad! That extra effort made a much better result. Some of the newer scouts may have thought the lashing was done after the wrapping turns and it was 'good enough'. But, whether in lashing or in life, don't forget the Frapping - that little extra effort that makes what you do the best you can make it.

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Getting Discouraged

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:If you sometimes get discouraged, consider this fellow. Try to figure out who it is as I tell you about him
  • He dropped out of grade school and ran a country store - and went broke.
  • It took him 15 years to pay off his bills.
  • He took a wife, had an uphappy marriage.
  • He ran for the house of representatives and lost - twice.
  • He ran for the senate and lost - twice.
  • He delivered a speech that became a classic, but at the time the audience was indifferent.
  • He was attacked daily by the press and despised by half the country.

Despite all this, imagine how many people all over the world have been inspired by this awkward, rumpled, brooding man who signed his name, "A Lincoln"

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Give or Take

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:We talk about giving and taking in Scouts. On the way to First Class, scouts are mostly taking - learning skills, figuring out how scouting works, becoming a patrol. After First Class, scouts are expected to start giving more - demonstrating leadership, teaching other scouts, serving their community.

This isn't just so scouts balance the Give-Take books before they turn 18 and leave the troop. The giving is where the character building happens.

People that only take, eat well.
But people that give, sleep well.

Think about it.

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Good Samaritan

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A long time ago, a man was traveling down a road when he was ambushed by thieves. They robbed him and almost beat him to death.

As he lay there bleeding, several people passed by him without stopping to help. Then a man who believed in doing Good Turns happened along.

Using his own clothing, he made bandages and bound the victim's wounds.

Sound like a familiar story? the rescuer was the Good Samaritan. This is a famous story because one man had compassion for a suffering stranger. He had the three things required to help someone - skills, knowledge, and willingness.
He had first aid skills.
He diagnosed what needed fixing.
He cared enough to get involved.

In Scouting, you are learning to be a Good Samaritan, too - to care enough to help a person who needs it, to know what to do, and to know how to do it.

Part of the Scout Oath - "to help other people at all times." Don't just say it, Live it.

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Goose Sense

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Do you know why gees fly in a V formation?
As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock greatly increases its flying range by reducing the amount of work each bird needs to do.
If a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird ahead of him.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When the lead goose in formation gets tired, it rotates back in the V and another goose flies the point. We should each take on the extra work of leading in our turn to benefit the group.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. They aren't yelling at them - they are encouraging them and trying to help them along because they know they will soon be in that position.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will support each other, encourage each other, and lead in our turn.

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Hawk and Waterfall

Intended for:Boy Scouts, Webelos Scouts
Notes:Being lazy and waiting until the last minute to do something will often result in poor results.
Script:A hawk was floating on the air currents high above the earth, searching for food. This hawk was a fairly lazy hawk and always had his eye out for an easy meal.
With his keen eye, he saw a rabbit stranded on a large piece of ice floating with the current on a river far below. Much further downstream, he could see a huge waterfall. Silently, he swooped down pounced on the rabbit crushing it with his strong talons. It was very easy since the rabbit had no place to run.
The hawk was very proud of himself. He took his time and began eating bits of the rabbit. He would fly away with the rest of it, but he wanted to eat as much as he could so he wouldn't have to carry so much in his talons.
He glanced downstream to see how far away the waterfall was and decided that he had plenty of time to rest there on the ice eating his fill before taking off again with his food. He waited there with his talons sunk into the meat of the dead rabbit until he was very close to the waterfall's edge.
Finally, at the last second, he flapped his wings to fly away. But, he had waited so long his talons were now frozen into the rabbit and the rabbit was frozen to the ice.
He tried frantically to fly, but he could not free himself from the ice. The hawk went over the waterfall with the ice and fell to his death.

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Heat, Fuel, and Oxygen

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:A candle and match to light it
Script:(light the candle)

This candle needs three things to keep it burning. These three things are heat, fuel and oxygen. The heat was provided by the match I used to start it burning. The fuel is the melted wax which is absorbed by the wick. The oxygen comes from the air around us.

If we remove any one of these three things, the candle will go out. If there is no heat, the wax will not melt. If the wax is not melted, the wick cannot absorb the fuel, and if the air is cut off, the candle goes out.

In the same way, Scouts, you and I need three things to do our tasks in life. These things are related to our body, mind, and spirit.

In reciting the Scout Oath, you pledge that you will do your best to make these three things meaningful in your life. You pledge to keep yourselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

We need these three things to do our job, just as the candle needs heat, fuel and oxygen to keep burning.

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Helping Strangers

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:One day a boy was playing along the bank of a river that flowed through a city. Unfortunately, he fell in and was quickly caught in the current, spinning away downstream, screaming for help.
Many people stopped along the bank, watching the boy in trouble, but not able or willing to go in after him.

At just that time, a man was crossing a bridge over the river, on his way home after a very hard day at work and heard the commotion. He looked over the side of the bridge and saw the boy flailing his arms weakly. Immediately, he dropped his lunchbox, tore off his shoes, and jumped over the edge into the cold water below.

Having earned the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges in Scouts, he caught the little boy and pulled him to shore. As he drug the spluttering boy onto the ground, he finally recognized him - it was his own son.

This man was only thinking of helping someone in need. It didn't matter to him who it was, he was just prepared to help. That is how it often goes - when you set out to help others, it often helps you more than you can imagine.

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How To Catch a Monkey

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Do you know how to catch a monkey?
In India, they take a gourd, cut a small hole in it, and put some rice inside. Then they tie the gourd down securely and wait for the monkey.

Monkeys are greedy and selfish. I guess you could say anybody who is greedy and selfish is a monkey. Anyway, monkeys are so greedy and selfish that the monkey sticks his paw into the gourd to get the rice. He grabs a handful - but then he can't get his hand out of the gourd. His fist won't go through the small hole.

And he's so greedy and selfish that he won't let go of the handful of rice. He just waits there with his greedy fist wrapped around the rice until the men come and take him.

Don't be greedy and selfish or you may make a "monkey" of yourself.

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How to Treat People - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Some of you probably have outdoor clothing you wear that is made from Polartech or Polarfleece material. The company that makes these materials is called Malden Mills. The owner of the company is a deeply religious man of the Jewish faith named Aaron Feuerstein.
On December 31, 1995, his factory caught fire and burned to the ground. The factory employed 3,400 workers and was the main employer for two neighboring towns. The area once had many mills but most had closed and moved to areas where they could pay people less money to work. Mr. Feuerstein felt that people should be paid a decent wage and so he wouldn't move his factory.
The fire occurred on his 70th birthday. The workers believed it was the end of the line for their jobs. Surely, Mr. Feuerstein would take the $300 million in insurance money and call it quits. While the smoke was still rising from the charred remains of the fire, Mr. Feuerstein called his workers together at a school gymnasium and spoke to them. They were about to discover what kind of man they worked for.
He announced that he would not abandon them. He was going to rebuild the factory. He told them that he was keeping all 3,400 of them on the payroll for one month and that each would get a $275 Christmas bonus. Once the factory was rebuilt, they would get their jobs back. Grown men wept in the audience as he spoke.
After the first month ended, he paid them for another month. After the second month ended, he paid them for a third month. It cost him $1.5 million dollars a week to do this. He also paid their hospitalization insurance. His employees responded by salvaging what equipment they could and in temporary buildings got production up to what it was before the fire, while the new factory was being built.
Mr. Feuerstein received much praise from around the country but he said he did only what was the moral and right thing to do. He used his money to support his beliefs in God rather than make money his God.

As each of you lives your life try to remember Mr. Feuerstein's example and treat people you encounter with fairness and kindness. You will be amazed at how much better you will be treated in return.

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I Am Your Flag

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:I am your Flag.
I was born on June 14th, 1777.
I am more than just cloth shaped into design.
I am the refuge of the World's oppressed people.
I am the silent sentinel of Freedom.
I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes.
I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the bloody swamps of Vietnam.
I walk in silence with each of your Honored Dead, to their final resting place beneath the silent White Crosses, row upon row.
I have flown through Peace and War, Strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected.

My Red Stripes....symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation.
My White Stripes....signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons.
My Blue indicative of God's heaven under which I fly.
My Stars....clustered together, unify 50 states as one, for God and Country.

"Old Glory" is my nickname, and proudly I wave on high.
Honor me, respect me, defend me with your lives and fortunes.
Never let my enemies tear down from my lofty position, lest I never return.
Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy.
Worship Eternal God and keep His Commandments, and I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.

I am your Flag.

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I can Sleep at Night

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:In the old, old days the Boy Scouts had a contest to find the best scout. They wanted to find which scout had best exemplified the scout oath, law, motto, and all that is scouting. The prize was a new tent, sleeping bag, and flashlight plus a weekend campout with the Dan Beard - a founder of the BSA.

One scout was easily selected - it was a unanimous decision based on all he had done and his leadership. Dan Beard flew into town and met the scout, gave him his prizes, and headed out on their campout.
On the hike to the campsite, Mr. Beard asked the scout, "So, why do you think you earned this reward?"
The scout thought awhile and replied, "Well, I guess it's because I can sleep at night."
This caught Beard by surprise and he didn't know what to think, so he just pondered it on the hike.
After setting up camp, eating dinner, and a short campfire, Mr. Beard decided to go to bed, and some time later so did the scout. Around midnight, BOOM it hit, a big thunderstorm!
Dan got out of bed and went to bank the fire but it had already been banked. He then went to secure the firewood but that had already been put under a tarp. He then went to put up the cooking supplies and food but that, too, had already been taken care of.
As it started to rain, he looked in on that scout and saw that he was fast asleep!
Mr. Beard retired to his tent and thought about what that young scout had told him - "I can sleep at night"

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Indian Chief and the Moon

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Can be used to start talk about gaining and losing someone's trust.
Script:Several years ago when NASA needed to test their equipment which was going to the moon, they decided an area of desert in the Southwest would be best to represent those conditions they would have to encounter on the moon. As the testing began, one of the scientists noticed along the horizon two men on horses. His curiousity got the best of him and he headed out to meet these visitors who turned out to be Indians.
He introduced himself to the two Indians. One, the elder Chieftain and the other, the Chieftain's son. The son asked the questions of the scientist as his father did not know English. As he translated the information to his father, his father's face became very concerned looking. His father then spoke in their native language to the son to which the son turned to the scientist and said "My father would like to send a message to the moon if you would be so kind."
The scientist, excited by the opportunity, responded, "Yes". The son took great care in passing along his father's message syllable by syllable to the scientist, but could be seen with a slight grin on his face. Since the message was in Indian, the scientist did not know what it meant so he asked for a translation. The son was instructed by the Chieftain not to translate the message and to send it as given. Of course, in honor of his wishes, the scientist made note of the message and promised to send it along.

The scientist went back and tried to find someone to translate the message since he was so curious. All those he found that could understand the message would only grin and protect the mystery of the message. Finally, he found one person able and willing to translate the message. The Chieftain's message was simple - "Beware. Do not trust them. They come to steal your land!"

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:You've all heard of an IQ - that is Intelligence Quotient. There are tests used to determine someone's IQ and then you have a rough idea of how 'intelligent' you are compared to the population.

Did you know we also have an FQ? That would be Fitness Quotient. Sure, when you do your Physical Fitness part of the Tenderfoot requirements or the Personal Fitness merit badge, you test yourself and then try to improve. You have a good idea where you fall on the FQ scale.

Another one that might be useful is the MQ - or Morality Quotient. Some way to measure a person's morals compared to the population. But, I guess that is best left between you and God.

Be sure that you CAN work on improving your intelligence, fitness, and morals, though. There is always room to improve.

With an IQ, FQ, and MQ, we can measure the 3rd part of the Scout Oath - to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
It's a good idea to occasionally test yourself to make sure you are still improving.

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John Wayne: The Scout Law

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:At a dinner to raise funds for the purchase of land for the John Wayne Outpost Camp, John Wayne gave a talk to the guests. He recited the Scout Law and then continued with his own interpretation of what it meant:

"Trouble is," he continued, "we learn them so young we sometimes don't get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him, with a few things I have picked up in more than half a century since I learned it."

Trustworthy: The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look any man in the eye. Lacking it he won't look back. Keep this one at the top of your list.

Loyal: The very word is life itself, for without loyalty we have no love of person or country.

Helpful: Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other, we help ourselves, not to mention mankind. Be always full of help:the dying man's last words.

Friendly: Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions - an go - but make sure and start with brotherhood.

Courteous: Allow each person his human dignity which means a lot more than saying, "yes ma'am" and "thank you sir". It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more, earlier in life. Save yourself that problem. Do it now.

Kind: This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But it's like your bicycle, it just no good unless you get out and use it.

Obedient: Starts at home. Practice it with your family. Enlarge it in your friends. Share it with humanity.

Cheerful: Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing.

Thrifty: Means a lot more than putting pennies away, and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything.

Brave: You don't have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavyweight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day's work and living the best life they know how against the law of odds.

Clean: Soap and water help a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts and don't ever forget it.

Reverent: Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time.

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Johnny Appleseed

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:an apple and a core or apple seeds.
Notes:A Good Turn is a small thing, but they add up.
Script:(Hold out the apple in one hand and the seeds in the other for all to see.)

If I gave you a choice, which hand would you choose?
Of course, the apple would sure taste good. But, in the mid-1800s there was a fellow that would have taken the tasteless seeds instead. In fact, he was so fastinated with apple seeds that folks called him Johnny Appleseed.
He walked across hundreds of miles of our nation's frontier lands year after year, planting apple trees wherever he could find a likely spot. He continued doing this until he died - it was his life's calling.
The trees that grew from the apple seeds he planted fed thousands of people as our nation expanded and folks spread west. Johnny Appleseed had a vision - he saw that work he did today might have a big impact much later. But, he didn't do great deeds - he didn't build a huge structure, invent new technology, or become a great politician. All he did was plant tiny, simple seeds.
Every time you do a Good Turn you are planting a seed. You are doing just what Johnny Appleseed did - making a tiny difference. Doing that day by day, year after year, as a way of life, will effect thousands of people.
Look out into the world and have a vision of where you want your life to go. But, along the way, make sure you plant a lot of seeds of helpfulness, friendship, courtesy, kindness, and cheerfulness.

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Key to Scouting

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:set of keys
Script:As you can see, I have my keys here in my hand. I've got a key for my car, one for my house, this one's for a padlock, this one I have no idea, this one fits my Corvette, no just kidding!

But, I've got keys that let me access important things in my life. Without them, doors are locked to me and I miss out.

(Hold up Scout Handbook)
This is quite a key as well. The values in this small book will open many, many doors to you - not just in scouting, but when you have moved away and are on your own. What you learn and take to heart in the few years you are in this troop can be your key to many opportunities.

So, don't forget your key at home!

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Keys of Opportunity

Notes:A Twilight Zone voice of Rod Sterling makes it more fun at the start.
Script:Imagine, if you will, a man walking down a long hallway.

On the floor lay keys, different shapes and sizes. As the man walks, he stops to pick up some keys and leaves others. Only he knows why he chooses which to take and which to leave - maybe he's too lazy to retrieve them all, maybe he is in too much of a hurry, possibly a key does not look interesting to him.

At the end of the hall, the man reaches a large cicular room. There are many doors all around the room. Some doors are very interesting looking while others are simple wooden doors. Each door has a keyhole. The man chooses the door that appeals to him most. Unfortunately, as he tries the keys he collected, none fit the door. He left that key laying in the hall.

The hallway is your life. The doors are goals or rewards. The keys are opportunities to grow. If you do not grab the opportunities as you travel through life, you will not be able to unlock the door to your rewards and you will have to settle for something less.

Get good grades NOW!! so doors remain open for you for college.
Advance NOW!! So you can finish your Eagle requirements before life throws roadblocks in your path.
Exercise NOW!! So you will have a better opportunity to make the team next season.

Pick up the keys NOW!! So you can open the most interesting doors in your life.

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Knight's Code

Intended for:Boy Scouts
  • Be always ready with your armor on, except when you are taking your rest at night.
  • Defend the poor, and help them that cannot defend themselves.
  • Do nothing to hurt or offend anyone alse.
  • Be prepared to fight in the defense of your country.
  • At whatever you are working, try to win honor and a name for honesty.
  • Never break your promise.
  • Maintain the honor of your country with your life.
  • Rather die honest than live shamelessly.
  • Chivalry requires that youth should be trained to perform the most laborious and humble offices with cheerfulness and grace; and to do good unto others.

I've made copies of this for each scout and had the troop recite it for my scoutmaster minute. Then, I say that the Scout Handbook from the 1940s has this code in it. Even though the BSA is 100 years old, the roots of our Scout Oath go back much, much further than that.

See Knights Code.

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Leave a Trace

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:We spend quite a bit of time learning how to 'Leave No Trace' on our camping trips. We take extra care to ensure that we leave as little impact as possible and let others enjoy the unspoiled outdoors. But, you all know that no matter how hard we try, we do leave a trace – a footstep, some matted down grass, a broken twig.

When camping, we concentrate on the 'physical' traces we leave behind. But, every day, we are leaving a trace of our passing. Everywhere you go, everyone you meet, and everything you do leaves a trace that you were here. If you tell a little brother to shut up, that can leave an ugly trace that takes a long time to heal over. If you thank your mom for being a great mom, that will leave a good trace.

You may only interact with a stranger for a couple seconds or with your friends for a couple hours, but no matter how long it is, you leave a trace of your passing all the time. It’s up to you to leave a trace that makes the world a better or worse place.

You may not think a cheerful 'Hello' to a kid at school, or a courteous 'Thank You' to someone that serves you, or a helpful holding the door open for a stranger, or a friendly smile to a small child in the mall really makes any difference – but it does!
So, no matter what you do, you WILL Leave a Trace. Do your best to make it a Good Trace.

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Life is Like Whitewater

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Like a whitewater river, life is fast, unpredictable and full of rocks. It has fast currents and swirling currents, and sometimes you get turned around and don’t know which way you’re going. You’ll be paddling along fine when suddenly the water gets fast and rough, but because of what you’ve learned at Scouts and from your parents, you know you have to paddle harder to keep your boat straight downstream.

You try hard to avoid rocks, but inevitably you’ll hit one, scratching your paint and sometimes leaving a dent. But it helps you to read the river better, and you’ll miss that rock the next time.

Sometimes, you come up against a fallen tree, blocking the entire river, and maybe even swamping your boat. Does that stop you? Do you give up? No, you have to get to your destination, so you suck it up and muscle your boat around the obstacle and keep going.

When you’re river paddling, you sometimes encounter two ways to go. You only have a minute or two to make a decision. Using what you see and what you’ve learned, you make a choice. That choice might be the right one, and you keep on paddling. But sometimes you make a decision, and it’s a dead end, or filled with snags. All you can do is admit you made a mistake, and go back, and take the right way.

Without all these obstacles, the river would be flat and kind of boring. Whitewater, like life, can be scary and challenging, but it’s LOTS of fun. Here’s to a life of whitewater!

Brian Beihl, Scoutmaster, Troop 2, Antrim, NH

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Life Paths

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:A young Indian boy dreamed that he climbed a great mountain.
To the East, he could see rolling plains all the way to the horizon.
To the North, he saw sharp, snow-covered, mountain peaks.
To the West, was the endless ocean, sparkling in the sun.
And, to the South, he saw the People’s lands where he lived.
When he woke, he ran to the chief to ask what his dream meant.

The chief explained that there are many paths in life. As the boy grows, he may take any path.
The plains to the east are full of game and represent an easy life. He may take a path that has few challenges and live a happy, safe life.
The northern mountain peaks are the difficult obstacles and hardships in life. He may choose to push himself to great goals and this means that he may sometimes fail.
The ocean that goes forever is the great unknown. If the youth explores further than the People have traveled, only he will know what he will encounter.

These days, you all have the same plains, mountains, and endless ocean. You can choose to have a regular job and family and lead a perfectly fine life. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Or, you might really challenge yourself to be more than you ever thought possible and keep pushing yourself, even if you fail sometimes.
And, a few of you might even go into the unknown – whether that is space exploration, medical research, electronic technology, or something completely unknown today.

What about the view to the South in the boy’s dream, that land where the Indian lived as a youth? Well, no matter what path he chooses in life, the People, his family, will always be there to welcome him home. The same is true for you guys. Choose your path in life and remember that your Scouting family is always here.

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Life's Choices

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many friends you have or how accepted you are.
It's not about if you have plans this weekend or not.
It isn't about who your family is or how much money they have or what kind of car you drive or where you go to school.
It's not about how handsome or ugly you are, the clothes you wear, the shoes you wear, or what kind of music you listen to.
It's not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown or if your skin is too light or too dark.
It's not about how smart you are, or how smart everybody else thinks you are.
It's not about what clubs you're in or how good you are at "your" sport.

Life just isn't about those things.
Life is about choices.
It's about who you make happy. It's about kindness and generosity.
It's about holding and sharing trust. It's about friendship.
It's about faith, integrity, and character.
Most of all, it's about using your life to touch other people's hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone.

Only you can choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices make up what your life is all about.

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Lifetime of Happiness

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:If you want to be happy for day..... take a nap!

If you want to be happy for week.... take a vacation!

If you want to be happy for a month.... take a long vacation!

If you want to be happy for a year.... win the lottery!

But, if you want to be happy for a lifetime, for your ENTIRE LIFE, then "HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES"!

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Little Deaf Frog

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:There was once a big group of frogs that arranged a hopping competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.
The race began with hundreds of frogs of all sizes, madly hopping up the steps of the tower.
Actually, no one in the crowd believed that any of the frogs would reach the top of the tower - it was just way too high.
They said things like, "Man, that's a tall tower!" and "No Way any frog can hop all the way up there!"
And, sure enough, some of the frogs couldn't even hop up the first few steps before collapsing. But, some kept hopping higher.

The crowd continued to yell, "It's too difficult! No one will make it!" And, still more of the frogs got tired and stopped.

Now, there were only a few frogs continueing upwards. The crowd yelled, "Those steps are too hard. The sun is shining too hot. They have to turn back!" And, sure enough, all the frogs finally turned around, having failed to reach the top.

All except one - one very tiny, very determined little frog. He continued to hop, hop, hop up stair after stair until he finally found himself at the very top, all alone, looking down at the crowd far below.

The crowd waved and cheered and he waved back. Then, he hopped back down to the ground - which was much easier than hopping up.
When he got to the bottom, everyone crowded around him and asked, "HOW did you do it?" "You're so small, where did you get the strength?" "How did you outhop all these other frogs?"
And, the frog just said, "EH? What's that?" - he was deaf.

[To reach your goals, you need to ignore the pessimism of others and believe in yourself]

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Living What You Believe - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:During World War II, there was a young man from Virginia named Desmond Doss who was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and he firmly believed that it was wrong to kill another human. He wanted to serve his country and he had no problem dying for his country but he would not carry a gun or take a life even to save his own.
When Desmond Doss left for boot camp his wife gave him a small bible to carry with him. As his first day in boot camp was ending, he did what he always did which was to get down on his knees and pray at his bedside. The other recruits upon seeing this greeted him with a flurry of name-calling and obscenities and threw boots at him in ridicule. His commanding officers were worried that in the heat of battle American lives might be lost because of his unwillingness to use a gun. So, they made Doss a medic.
About nine months later, they were in the Pacific and had climbed up a steep cliff onto a plateau when the Japanese opened fire upon them. Dozens of men were killed and wounded. The shooting was so intense that the Americans had to pull back leaving the dead and wounded behind. Everyone that could escape over the cliff did, except for one lone medic named Desmond Doss.
Under constant enemy fire, Doss treated the wounded and made a stretcher and tied ropes to it and one by one lowered the wounded over the side of the cliff to safety. Doss worked throughout the afternoon and evening treating and lowering the injured soldiers. When Doss finally came over the side of the cliff, he had single-handedly saved seventy men. Men, who some months earlier had ridiculed him and thrown boots at him as he prayed, now owed their lives to him. Over the next several days, Desmond Doss risked his life again and again to save lives.
Some time later, Doss was treating the wounded on a beach when shrapnel struck him in his legs. He was being carried to safety when he ordered the men carrying him to put him down and place another man on the stretcher who was in worse condition. While Doss lay on the ground waiting for another stretcher, a sniper shot him, shattering his arm. Rather than risk someone else's safety to help him, he tied his shattered arm to a gunstock and crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to an aid station.
After he was in a hospital, he discovered that he had lost the Bible his wife had given him, somewhere on the battlefield. He sent back word to his fellow soldiers that if they found it to please send it to him. Upon hearing of his lost Bible, his entire battalion got on their hands and knees and sifted their fingers through sand, mud and water until one of them finally found it. They dried and cleaned it as best they could and sent it to him.
Desmond Doss spent five full years in hospitals recovering from the injuries he received in the war. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, our nation's highest military award, for his heroism on the battlefield. The Medal of Honor was presented to Desmond Doss by U.S President Harry Truman who said during the ceremony, "I would rather have that medal than be President". A monument was later erected on the plateau where he saved seventy men from death to further honor him. He stayed true to his faith and never carried a gun or took a life. As of the writing of this story, Desmond Doss is still alive and remains a living legend of W.W.II.

I hope that each of you has a belief in God and that each of you is as strong in your faith as Desmond Doss was in his. Many people say what they believe, but fewer live what they believe.

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Living Your Dash

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:On any tombstone you will see two dates - the date of birth and the date of death. All that separates those two dates is a Dash. Just a simple, single line that represents everything that person did from birth to death.
I don't know how long my Dash of life will be, no one really does. For some, its a quick sprint while others have a long, long journey. But, I can have an impact of what that Dash represents on my own tombstone to people that met me and knew me. I can try to understand and feel for other people. I can be quicker to smile and slower to anger. I can show respect and be ready to lend a hand. I can try to live according to Oaths I've memorized.

When I die, as every one of us eventually will, that Dash will mean something to everyone that knew me. Do what you can to make your Dash meaningful. Or, as a poet said,
"It matters not how much we own,
the cars, the house, the cash :
What matters most is how we live
and how we spend our dash."

There is a poem with these sentiments called "The Dash" at

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Making a Difference

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Ask the group to answer these questions in their head:
  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
  4. Name five people who have won the Nobel prize.

Raise your hand if you could answer at least one of the questions. (probably no one)

Try these questions:
  1. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  2. Name five friends who have been loyal to you.
  3. Name five people you respect.
  4. Name five people you consider to be heroes.

People that achieve great things are famous for awhile - as long as they are the best. But, someone else wins and the memory of the previous star fades away. A ribbon, medal, or trophy collects dust.

Earning the respect, trust, and friendship of those around you has more long-term worth than personal achievement. People that care about others are the ones that really make a difference.

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Mark Twain Quote

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Mark Twain penned those words years ago and they are still valid today. Be prepared and take advntage of all the opportunities that come your way.

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Measure Up

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:How big is this room?
How big is our town?

What are you doing when you answer those questions? - you are Measuring Up. You look something over and figure in your head a rough estimate.

We do the same thing every day with ourselves.
Am I strong enough?
Am I smart enough?
Am I ambitious enough?

And, we do the same thing with people we meet.
Am I stronger than him?
Will he advance faster than me?

Measuring Up happens all the time. We are always evaluating, estimating, and comparing. That's how we make choices.

When I think:
That's too heavy for me to move.
That's too much homework.
That's too cold for camping.
I'm really just measuring myself against the task at hand and finding myself inadequate. Unfortunately, people often give themselves less credit than they deserve. Chances are, you can do much more than you think you can.

The next time you Measure Up, add 20% onto what you think you can do and then give it a try.

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Minnows and Whoppers

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Last year, while I was fishing, I fell in the water. But, it really wasn't my fault. A small sunfish hit my chartreuse wooly bugger fly and I was fighting it. Then, a largemouth bass swallowed the sunfish. Then, a northern pike swallowed the bass. When that 8 foot musky exploded out of the water swallowing the pike in one gulp, the tidal wave it made capsized my boat and I fell in - so you can see that it wasn't my fault.

Everybody likes to hear a whopper of a fish story - you know they aren't true because they are such exaggerations. But, some folks tell fish stories about stuff other than fishing - and they aren't such exaggerations - they are more like 'minnow stories'.

For example, while I was shooting baskets, I made a shot from just above the freethrow line after missing 14 times in a row. But, when I tell people, I just say I made a shot from around the 3point line. That's a minnow - really just a lie, just stretching the truth a little.

The problem is that once the truth starts stretching, it just keeps stretching. My eyes were squinted while I was concentrating on the shot, so they were almost closed. No, they were closed. And, I was turned sideways to throw the ball. No, I was all the way backwards. And, I'm pretty sure I was closer to the center line than the 3point line.
So, now I made my first shot from the centerline behind my back with my eyes closed. Now, that's a whopper!

Once you stretch the truth a little, it is stretched out of shape and is no good. And, your word is no longer good. It's better to stick to the truth - minnows have a way of growing into whoppers.

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Money Is Not Everything

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Who could use more money?

Everyone always answers yes, but did you realize that:

Money can buy a house, but not a home.
Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy a clock, but not time.
Money can buy glasses, but not vision.
Money can buy a book, but not wisdom.
Money can buy a doctor, but not good health.
Money can buy social status, but not class.
Money can buy a car, but not character.
Money can buy a house at the lake, but not a home in heaven.
You see, money is not everything!

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Most Important Word in the Scout Law

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:What is the most important word in the Scout Law?

Ask for some guesses.
Trustworthy? NO.
Helpful? NO.
Reverant? NO.

(After a few guesses...)
Let me tell you. The most important word in the scout law is "IS".

The Scout Law doesn't say a Scout 'might be', or 'may be' or 'could be' or 'should be' - it says a Scout IS. That means the basic character of a Scout includes those characteristics.
Go be Scouts, Scouts.

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Mountain Climbers Faith

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:There was a mountain climber that decided to climb a famous mountain all alone, so he could be the first solo climb.

He started climbing and it was becoming later and later. He decided to keep on going because the summit was not that far ahead. Soon it got dark, very dark with overcast and no stars or moon. Everything was black.

At about 200 feet from the summit, he slipped and fell. He skidded a ways and then flew right off a sheer cliff, straight down.

He kept falling. He thought certainly he would die. But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half. Fortunately, he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist.

In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout, "HELP ME GOD, HELP ME!"
All of a sudden, he heard a deep voice from heaven, "What do you want me to do?"
"Do you REALLY think that I can save you?"
"Then cut the rope that is holding you up."

There was another moment of silence and stillness.
The man just held tighter to the rope.

The next morning, a rescue team found a frozen mountain climber hanging from a rope...

... THREE FEET above the ground.

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Never Give Up - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:On July 25, 1962, fourteen year old Monroe County Boy Scout Dennis Churchill was fishing on Lake Erie with four companions when a sudden severe storm capsized their boat six miles from shore.
Dennis put on a life jacket then left the others clinging to the boat while he swam for help. With thunder and lightning crashing overhead, high winds gusting and waves six feet high washing over him, he swam for four hours through the storm before finally reaching shore near the Dundee Cement loading docks. He summoned help then went back out on the lake with the Sheriffs Department to find the overturned boat.
Dennis was credited with saving four lives that day including his own. On January 31, 1963 he was awarded the Gold Honor Medal by the National Council. Out of the more than 75,000 Monroe County residents that have been members of Scouting since October 16, 1911, he is the only one to ever receive the award. There were only 19 Honor Medals awarded in the nation during 1963 from a national membership of over 5,000,000 boys.
While Dennis was swimming through the stormy waters alone but for God, the violence of the waves literally ripped most of the clothing off those that stayed with the boat. They believed Dennis had drowned in the storm after he had been gone several hours and no help had come for them.
The wind and water took it's toll on Dennis as he struggled to get help. He weighed but 124 pounds that day. He was in a state of total exhaustion at the end but he couldn't give up. The lives of others were depending on him so somehow in those dark lonely moments he found the strength to keep going.
Each of you will have times in your lives where you feel alone and you will want to give up on something but you must learn to press on and do your best even if what you are trying to do doesn't seem attainable.

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Noah's Ark

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Much about life can be learned from Noah's Ark:
  1. Don't miss the boat.
  2. Remember we're all in the same boat.
  3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
  4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  5. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  6. Build your future on high ground.
  7. Use the buddy system.
  8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  9. When you're stressed, float a while.
  10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

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Obstacles and Opportunities

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Once upon a time, there was a kingdom ruled by a pretty good king. And, through this kingdom, there was a road. And, on this road, there was a big rock right in the middle of the road.

One of the king's embassadors returning from a trip complained about how the kingdom was going to pot and rode his horse around the rock.

A rich merchant came by and complained about the delay as his driver slowly edged around the rock and hurried on.

A countess in her carriage whined that the king should take better care of the road system.

Many other people came by and went around the rock throughout the day. Then, a poor peasant came by carrying a large load of vegetables he hoped to sell in the market.

When he approached the rock, he set down his burden. He pushed and pulled at the rock until he finally got it moved to the side of the road. Where the rock had been was a leather purse. The peasant opened it and saw many gold coins and a note.

The note read, "These coins are a reward for your efforts to improve our kingdom. Signed, the King"

Taking time to fix a problem is better than just complaining about the problem.

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Oldest Eagle Scout

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:How old do you think the oldest person was to receive his Eagle Scout rank?

A boy joined the Cub Scouts in 1928. Over the next few years, he moved on to Boy Scouts and fulfilled all the requirements for his Eagle rank. But, then something called World War Two happened and he joined the Navy, putting his country's needs before his own.

When he returned from war, he put his family's needs before his own and raised his children.

As an old man, looking through his childhood objects, he located his Eagle Scout documents.

In the summer of 2007, he was finally awarded his Eagle Scout rank, at the age of 88 years.

Now, don't expect to receive your Eagle when you're 88 - you have to finish before you turn 18. But, this man had put Scout Spirit to work in his life - duty to his country and others before himself - so he was recognized for it.

He had earned Eagle as a young man. He hadn't received a medal or a certificate. He had taken the values and spirit of what it means to be an Eagle Scout to heart and lived it out. That is something we can all strive for, no matter our rank or age.

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One Good Turn Deserves Another

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:This is a true story...

In 1999, a 10 year old boy was a bat boy for a Little League game. He was in the wrong spot just as a player swung for a ball and the bat struck him right in the chest. The impact stopped his heart. Lucky for him, a woman watching the game jumped out of the stands, gave him CPR, and he began breathing again.

In 2006, a woman was eating in a restaurant. When she began choking, a young man working there rushed over and performed the Heimlich maneuver, causing her to cough out the food that was choking her.

The woman in the first story was named Penny Brown. The boy's name was Kevin Stephen.
The woman in the second story was named Penny Brown and the young man was Kevin Stephen, now a 17 year old Life Scout.

Penny had saved Kevin and, 7 years later, he repaid the favor by saving her life. He had learned his life saving skills through Boy Scouts and added to them through firefighter training.

Why do we teach first aid, life saving, and all these skills in Boy Scouts? Why is our motto "Be Prepared"? Well, this is a great example of 'WHY'.

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Packing Parachutes

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A navy pilot completed hundreds of hours of training and then flew dozens of combat missions. He shot down dozens of enemy planes, bombed many targets, and earned a chest full of medals, along with higher ranks. He was quite prooud of his accomplishments.
On one mission, a crucial piloting error allowed an enemy missile to disable his jet and he was forced to bail out. His parachute deployed and he landed safely in the ocean. As he floated for two days waiting to be rescued he had plenty of time to think back over his career.
When the helicoptor finally picked him up and returned him to his ship, he went directly to the flight equipment room. He asked to speak with all the sailors that worked there.
When they were all assembled, he thanked them for packing his parachute. He explained that it took being shot down to make him understand how much he took for granted the labors of others that made his job possible - the mechanics, the flight crew, the cooks, and even the parachute packers. It took everyone completing their duties to make each mission a success.

Everyone has tasks to perform and they should do their very best no matter how glamorous or dreary the task may be. Even what seems to be the least significant task may have an impact down the road.
Someone in a highly visible role needs to appreciate those that support him.

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Patrol Spirit

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:How does a football team score?
The kicker can kick a fieldgoal.
Or, a receiver can catch a touchdown pass.
Or, a runningback can run the ball across the goal line.

OK, that's just 3 people. Why don't we just get rid of the other 8 players and get things done?
Of course, it isn't those 3 individuals that actually score - it is good blocking and teamwork that makes it possible to move the ball across the line. Sure, there are outstanding players, but no matter how good they are, they need their teammates.

Patrols are the same way. If you win one of our inter-patrol contests, or if you have the best campsite at a camporee, it's not just because one guy is such a great Scout. It's patrol teamwork.

The secret of a patrol is to have every member do his job, whatever it is. If one Scout slacks off, the patrol suffers. If every Scout does his part, the patrol is bound to be a winner. And, each of you know at all times if you are slacking or winning.

A winning attitude is what we call patrol spirit. Is your patrol a winner? I'm not asking whether you win every contest. I'm asking if your patrol is doing the best that it can? If so, then you should be proud regardless if another patrol seems to be better - they aren't better, just more experienced. And, as you keep trying, you gain experience.

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Picture You Portray

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Can anyone tell me who this person is? (hold up 'We Too Have a Job To Do' picture. Click the image here for a bigger version.)

So, you don't know the person, but his image is very well-known.
This scout's name is Bob Hamilton and this picture was painted by Norman Rockwell in 1944. The title is "We, Too, Have a Job To Do" and was used to rally scouts to volunteer service during World War II.

Bob Hamilton died on July 28, 2008. He was 82 years old. He earned his Eagle when he was 15 and was involved with the Boy Scouts his entire life. Just as this picture defined "Boy Scouts" for many years, Boy Scouts defined Mr. Hamilton's life. This image was a role model of what people expected to see in a scout.

None of you will pose for a famous painter and become the next national Boy Scout image, but each of you have a strong impact on the people around you.
You older scouts - do you remember some scout in the troop when you first joined that seemed to be just what a scout should be? Someone that portrayed this image of a scout?
How about you younger guys - who is showing you what it means to be a scout? Which of these guys here is standing in this picture for you?

There's no way you can avoid it. We all learn from each other and we're always watching. Each of you are standing in this picture - you just need to decide what the picture you portray looks like.

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Positive Attitude
A Favorite Minute

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:A good positive attitude can truly change the way you approach life, and your future. Let me illustrate with a short story.

A few years ago, there was a wildlife organization out west that offered a bounty of $5000 for captured wolves.
Two friends, Sam and Jed, decided to make their fortune. Day and night, they scoured the mountains and forests looking for their valuable prey.
Exhausted one night, after searching for many days with no luck, they fell asleep dreaming of their potential fortune.
Suddenly, Sam woke up a bit startled, and saw that they were surrounded by a huge pack of nearly 70 wolves with searing black eyes, and bared teeth. Low growls rumbling from their throats.

He slowly reached over and nudged his friend and said "Jed, wake up."
"I think we're rich!"

Gentlemen, Sam had a positive attitude. I hope you do, too.

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Pray for Challenges

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:What do you usually pray for?
Most people pray to be kept safe from bad things happening to them. They pray for an easier time of it, for health, and safety. These are all fine, but bad things will happen to everyone. Being able to handle those bad things and challenges that life includes is important.

Without challenges, you don't find your limits.
Without challenges, you don't expand your abilities.
Without challenges, you don't grow.

The next time you pray, you might pray for strength and guidance to overcome the challenges rather than to have no challenges at all.

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Ragged Old Flag

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:written by Johnny Cash
Script:I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda rundown."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your flagpole has leaned a bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it."

He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing 'Oh Say Can You See'
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams."

"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag."

"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam."

"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her here back home.
In her own good land she's been abused...
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused."

"And the government for which she stands
is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
and I believe she can take a whole lot more."

"So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

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Reach for the Stars

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Who was the first person to walk on the moon?

Can anyone tel me who the second person was?

Colonel Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon. He told a group of Eagle Scouts that man's exploration of space is as old as man himself. Man has explored, conquered, and studied the secrets of the jungles, mountains, and oceans.

He urged those scouts to obtain a well-rounded background in many fields of knowledge, then to select one field and strive for excellence in it.
"Set your goals high and settle for nothing less than accomplishment," he said.

If you want to aim for the stars, you must remember that you are building your launching pad right now by your willingness and initiative in every task and duty you take on - at home, in church, in school, and in Boy Scouts.

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Reaching Higher

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:sheet of butcher paper
Script:Tape a sheet of butcher paper on the wall, with the top at least 9 feet high.

Ask a few different scouts to reach as high as they can on the sheet, without jumping, and make a mark with the marker.

Mention that we can usually do better than our first effort. These scouts all did their best effort, but let's see if they can do any better.

Ask each scout to come back up and see if they can't reach just a bit higher. (they will do a touch better.)

So, what does this show?
  1. Do our best at every opportunity because we might not get that second chance.
  2. Practice skills to improve.
  3. Which scout "won"? Every scout that improved won - scouting is not a competition between people, but a competition to improve your own best efforts.

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Red Skelton - What the Pledge means to ME

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:As many of you have heard, in a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States said the phrase 'one nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance amounts to a government endorsement of religion and is in violation of the separation of church and state as set forth by the U.S. Constitution. There has been wide spread public outcry to this ruling. 
The United States Supreme Court is hearing this case. 
In 1969, Red Skelton gave his personal view of the Pledge of Allegiance. 
The statement he made at the end, I think, tells it all. 
Red Skelton, one of America's best loved Comedians and star of Motion Pictures, Radio and Television, was also a true Patriot. A man who loved his Country, its Flag and the Freedom America stood for. On January 14, 1969, Red touched the hearts of millions of Americans with his 'Pledge Of Allegiance,' in which he explained the meaning of each and every word. Red's 'Pledge' was twice read into the Congressional Record of the United States and received numerous awards. 
Red Skelton – What the Pledge means to ME 
This was first broadcast on: 
From The Red Skelton Hour, CBS TV, January 14, 1969. 
'I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. 
He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he walked over. 
Mr. Lasswell was his name. 
He said; 'I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. 
If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word: 
I:me, an individual, a committee of one. 
PLEDGE:dedicate all my worldly goods to give without self-pity. 
ALLEGIANCE:my love and devotion. 
TO THE FLAG:our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. 
Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job. 
OF THE UNITED:that means that we have all come together. 
STATES:individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 
Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country. 
OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC:a state in which sovereign power is vested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people. 
ONE NATION:meaning, so blessed by God. 
INDIVISIBLE:incapable of being divided. 
WITH LIBERTY:which is freedom and the right of power to live one's own life without threats or fear or some sort of retaliation. 
AND JUSTICE:the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others. 
FOR ALL:which means it's as much your country as it is mine. 
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance : 'under God.' 
Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, 'That is a prayer,' and that would be eliminated for schools, too?' 

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:1 dollar bill for each patrol leader
Notes:consider using this minute right after troop elections
Script:Can someone tell me who Bob Mazzuca is?
He is the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. The head honcho, top dog, big cheese. He has the responsibility of setting direction for the future of the BSA and that is a huge task.

In an interview, Mr. Mazzuca was asked: What is the most important thing about leadership today that is not being taught to the nation's youth?
His answer: Personal responsibility. Taking responsibility for your actions is a hallmark of a good leader.

Personal Responsibility – that means understanding that where you are and what you are doing is up to you. You can’t blame it on your folks, or society, or even the scoutmaster. You are responsible for reaching your goals.

Scouts in leadership positions are expected to meet a set of goals. By meeting those goals, the scout demonstrates responsibility and leadership and can advance in rank. When the scout chooses to not meet the goals, the scout’s advancement is delayed and he gets to try again.

What you need to remember about leaders is that they have to make decisions, take chances, and accept the results. You’ve probably heard "The Buck Stops Here". That means that I am taking full responsibility for my actions. I am not passing the buck, or the blame, on to anyone else. That quote was from President Harry S. Truman.

For each Patrol Leader, I have a dollar bill with "The Buck Stops Here" written on it. I would like you to take this and keep it in your Scout Handbook or your Patrol folder where you can see it often to remind you of your responsibility.

A good leader, and a good scout, takes responsibility for his actions.

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Roping Together

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:four 4-6ft lengths of rope
Notes:work together to accomplish more.
Script:You can use one of these ropes for knot tying practice or for tying a small package, but they're not big enough for really big jobs.

(Call up two or three Scouts and asked them to join the ropes together with square knots or sheet bends.) Now we have a much more useful rope, one we could use for pioneering or other jobs where we need a good length of rope.

These pieces of rope are a lot like individual Scouts. Your patrol and the whole troop work the same way. Scouts who work together like these ropes can achieve much bigger things. But remember that this rope is only as strong as its' weakest link. The same idea applies to our patrols and troop. They can't be strong unless everyone pulls together. Teamwork is important in Scouting - we rely on each other to accomplish our goals.

Strive to be a strong link in your patrol. Do the best to live by the ideals we talk about in the Scout Oath and Law. Learn your Scouting skills to the best of your ability, and take part in everything the troop and your patrol do.

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Scout Handshake Origin

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect. The normal right-hand handshake comes from the times when men carried weapons such as swords or guns for their own protection. When they met one another, there was an uneasy moment as each watched the other's right hand. If it went to his sword or gun, there was a battle, but if it went to his hat it was a salute of friendship or respect. 
The handshake is similar - outstretching your right hand shows it is empty and you are friendly. 
The left-hand shake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Baden-Powell met long ago in Africa. He saluted them with his right hand, but the Ashanti chieftain offered his left hand and said: 'In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection.'

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Scout is Like a Teabag

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Scouts are like teabags. You don't know how strong they are until they get in hot water. Scouts occasionally find themselves being first on the scene at serious accidents or other emergency situations that put their Scout skills to the test!
Do your ever ask yourself how would you do in such circumstances? Acts of heroism are not always a matter of being fearless - more often it's just the opposite, doing what is right in spite of being afraid. Being a Scout, by which I mean living by the Scout Oath and Law, the Slogan and the Motto, more often means doing things that are not easy in less news-worthy - but no less heroic - ways, than in the stories you hear about. Things like: standing up to peer pressure, seeking ways to help people, being courteous even to the non-courteous, placing God rather than self at the center of the universe. So try your best to make a good cup of tea!

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Scout Neckerchief

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:As many of you have discovered, our troop neckerchief has other uses besides looking good. You found that it can be used in first aid. Over the next few months, you'll find that the neckerchief has other uses, too.

There's one use, though, that you may not think of - and that's to remind you of the Scout Oath. The neckerchief is a triangle, and its' three corners should remind you of something you newer scouts recently learned - our Scout Oath.

The Oath, you remember, has three corners, too - duty to God and country, duty to Others, and duty to Self. Every time you put on your neckerchief, it should remind you of the things you pledge each time you repeat the Scout Oath.

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Scout Spirit

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:What is Scout Spirit?
Scout spirit applies to how you live and how you conduct your daily life – that is, your life both in and out of scouting activities.

You show Scout spirit by being a role model, living by the Scout Oath and Law.
Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how he helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of his own character and attitude.

Some ways to do this are:
  • telling the truth,
  • sticking up for the kid being picked on,
  • handing out papers for the teacher,
  • letting everyone play a game,
  • saying thank you to the clerk at a store,
  • helping a kid that dropped his books instead of laughing at him,
  • playing fair to have fun rather than to win no matter what,
  • looking for a little fun in every job you have to do,
  • using your boring old cellphone for another year because it still works,
  • asking your buddies to not use bad language around you,
  • listening to music that doesn’t promote hate, violence, and other trash,
  • taking 5 minutes once in a while to just quietly sit outside and think about where you’re heading in life

(that was a simple example of each of the 12 points in the Scout Law)

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Scout Spirit Shows

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A young Scout and his family were headed to Sunday church. On their way in, an older man who had problems walking and his wife were struggling to make it to the entrance. The young Scout kindly held open the door for them.
As the old man passed him, he questioned the boy, "Are you one of them Scouts?"
Surprised by the question, the young boy replied that he was. The old man asked, "So how’s that coming for you?"
The Scout replied, "Well, I’m First Class."
Finally, as he managed to reach the entrance of the church, the old man smiled and said, "You keep on working for that Eagle Badge."

The young Scout had never seen this man in his life, never talked to him, yet his Scout Spirit had shown by doing such a simple action as holding the door for an elderly man. Showing Scout Spirit doesn’t require a uniform, or patches of any kind. All Scout Spirit needs is an opportunity to help someone in need.

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Scout's Map and Compass

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:I have here a map and a compass. With these tools, I can find my way to any place I want and back again. I can find where I am, where I want to go, and how to get there. That doesn't mean I'll never take a wrong turn, but I'll be able to recognize it and fix my mistake.
A map gives us a lay of the land. It shows us landmarks and we can see the best ways to move from place to place. A compass helps us find our bearings and figure out which direction to go from where we are to reach our goal.

Boy Scouts learn how to use a map and compass. If you have these tools with you, you may get lost or off track, but if you know how to use them, you can find your way back.
We also have another type of map and compass - not for hiking, but for living.
The Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. That is our map. Each point is a landmark, something to strive for.
The Scout Oath: 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. That is our compass. It shows us how to navigate through life, which decision to make when faced with a challenge or opportunity.

We use the map (the Scout Law) as a guide for our lives and the compass (the Scout Oath) to keep ourselves oriented.

One thing I really like about Boy Scouts is that I am required to take the same oath and live by the same law that the Scouts do. And you know, if a young (or old) man makes all efforts to live up to the Scout Oath and Scout Law, he is bound to be a pretty good person.

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Scouting Heros

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Read more accountings of Scout bravery during WWII in The Left Handshake
Script:The Scout Slogan is to Do a Good Turn Daily. In our hectic, action-packed lives, it seems difficult to make the time to actually follow through on that slogan. I often ask scouts to describe a good turn they did in the past week and more often than not, one can not be named. Other times, trivial things such as opening a door or taking the trash out for a parent are cited with a hopeful plea for acceptance in the voice.
We are fortunate that we live in a time and place where we need to make an effort to find a good deed to do. Other scouts have found themselves with far too many opportunities. These are a few instances where scouts did extraordinary deeds because the need was there.

In World War II England, 14 year old Derek Belfall lived in Bristol which was often subjected to air raids from Germany. Being too young to join the service, Derek volunteered to be a messenger delivering critical communications between defense offices.
During one night's raid, at the height of the bombing, Derek was dispatched with a message. He delivered it successfully. While returning to his post, he found a house beginning to burn from the incendiary bombs so he stopped to put out the fire. Traveling on, he heard cries from another house, rushed in, and saved an injured baby. Riding a bit farther, an exploding bomb wounded Derek and he was taken to the hospital.
As they laid him on the bed, he murmured, 'Messenger Belfall reporting. I have delivered my message', and then he died.

A refugee train traveling from Belgium to southern France was loaded with passengers including many Scouts when it ran head on into another train. Many of the scouts were riding in the baggage car so women and children could sit in the passenger cars. The scouts saw the other train coming and jumped from the train just before impact.
As the other passengers fled screaming in panic, the Scouts worked to stop the panic and help the injured. Scouts worked at the rescue while two doctors aboard the train were so panic-stricken they were useless. Younger Scouts recovered as much luggage as they could - in many cases it represented all the possessions the passengers owned. Older Scouts removed the casualties and nursed the wounded. Eventually, two ambulances arrived, but the driver of one fled at the horror of the scene. A Scout took his place, even though he had never driven a car in his life, and brought the injured safely to a nearby hospital.

Jean Pierre Comboudon was a 16 year old French Scout, living just outside of Paris. He joined the Red Cross and made himself useful in rescuing the victims of bombings. When the Allies invaded to drive out the Germans, his town's food supply was cut off and people began to starve. Jean Pierre was given some cash, two trucks, and a motorcycle in an effort to find food. In fields and farms around the area, he retrieved 12 tons of vegetables for his townsfolk.
When the supply ran low, he went further out, this time collecting 30 tons of food. This food kept his town's 25,000 people alive until American forces reached them.
Jean Pierre also rode his motorbike during the fighting, rescuing wounded soldiers from the front lines and delivering them to medical care. He was credited with saving the lives of an American, two French soldiers, and, even a German! He also infiltrated a position held by a group of German SS troops, who were convinced that they would be massacred if they surrendered, and were prepared to fight it out to the end. Jean Pierre convinced them that they would be safe, and so prevented a very bloody battle.

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Scoutmaster Prayer

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A little boy came knocking at my Scout room door,
An awfully little fellow, just twelve and no more.
His eyes danced as he watched my gang at rowdy play.
"I would like to be a Scout," he said, "I’m 12 just yesterday."

In the weeks to come he found his place, a trim young Scout he made.
The tests he passed with eagerness, a thorough job sure paid.
The oath, the laws, the knots and flag were taken to his heart.
A better man he was sure to be though he’d just begun to start.

By the candle-lighted darkness I watched his round face beam
As the oath and law he pledged to keep – just like a prayer it seemed.

The years to come were happy ones as we followed on the trail –
that greater men had laid for us, far up where eagles sail.
I watched him grow from boy to man, the days were far too few,
To try and teach the important things that Scouting said were true.

He thanked me once for what I did so many years ago.
It was not his thanks that paid me because he did not know
that greater thanks he’d given me a thousand times before
by his dancing eyes and smiling face – could one ask for more?

There are other boys a-knocking, I must invite them in.
Please, God, give me strength to make them better men.

Buch Burshears, Scoutmaster, Koshare Indian Dancers, La Junta, Colorado

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Set An Example

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Just think about this for 15 seconds:
"What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say."
(On your watch, time 15 seconds off.)
Can someone share what that means to you?

When you say the Scout Law at a troop meeting and you tell a tenderfoot to "Shut Up!" so you can say a scout is "Friendly", which does he hear?

When you tell some 2nd class scouts to work together as a patrol and then you complain about the terrible dinner your patrol had to eat, which does he hear?

When you tell a scout that everyone has an important place in the troop and then you make fun of another scout's sloppy knot, which does he hear?

Now, take 15 seconds to look at each scout around this room. Think in your head which ones 'say' the most without using words - which have you noticed setting a good example?
(time off another 15 seconds.)

Good night, scouts.

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Set Of Your Sails

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote this poem:
One ship drives east and another drives west,
With the selfsame winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales,
Which tells us the way to go.

Have you ever noticed that two sailboats can sail in different directions in the same breeze? The trick is in knowing how to set your sails. The same wind can blow two sailboats completely different ways depending on how the skipper chooses.

That's true of Scouts' progress, too. Let me read a very short play to explain what I mean.

Act 1: Curtain opens. Two boys enter to join a Scout troop. They are both eager and ready. Curtain closes.

Time passes. It is now 3 years later.

Act 2: Curtain opens to the same troop. Where are the Scouts who joined the troop in act 1? There's one - he's a Life Scout now, has a Seabase patch, worn-out hiking boots, and leading his patrol. And there's the other - he's wearing the Second Class badge. Curtain closes.

Both scouts had opportunities to advance in the same troop. One of them sailed ahead, taking advantage of all opportunities. The other had his sails set differently and progressed at a different speed.

How far and how fast you go in scouting is up to you. The opportunities will be there, but its up to you to take them.

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Don't get discouraged at mishaps and setbacks.
Script:After a shipwreck, the lone survivor washed up onto a small deserted island. He thanked God to be alive and then prayed for rescue.

In the first day he managed to build a hut from palm fronds in which he stored the few possessions he had salvaged from the wreckage. He also made a fairly soft sleeping pad and found fruit and coconuts to eat. He built a small cooking fire pit in front of his hut and continued to pray for rescue.

A couple weeks into his hardship, while he was foraging for food, the wind suddenly picked up and became so strong it knocked a few trees down. When he returned to his hut, the survivor saw that the wind had blown coals on the dry fronds of his hut and burned it to the ground. All of his meager possesssions were destroyed.

In anger and frustration, he cried, "God, how could you do this to me?"

A few hours later, as he was sitting in despair, a ship rounded the island and a rowboat came ashore to rescue him.

The man was ecstatic and asked, "How did you know I was here?"

They replied, "We saw your smoke signal."

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:One day, Gandhi was boarding a train. Unfortunately, one of his shoes slipped off his foot and landed by the train track. The train began to move away before he was able to retrieve the shoe.
So, he casually removed his other shoe and, leaning out the door, threw it back down the track near the first shoe.
Another passenger asked why in the world he would do such a thing. Gandhi replied that some poor man would find the first shoe which would be worthless by itself. But, now the man will have a pair of shoes he can use.

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Sleeping at Camp

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:You can always spot the greenhorn - the first year camper - as soon as "Taps" sounds on the first night in camp. He's the guy who just can't quiet down when the time comes for sleeping.

The experienced camper, comfortable and warm in his bed, knows that night is for sleeping - knows that he'll have more fun and be in better shape for all the activities next day, if he gets a good night's sleep now.

The greenhorn is the fellow who makes an uncomfortable bed and wakes up in the wee small hours, cold and sore and unable to get back to sleep. The greenhorn can't stand to be cold and uncomfortable alone, so he wakes up a few other soundly sleeping fellow Scouts to share his discomfort.

This, naturally, makes him an unpopular guy, not only with the fellows that he intentionally woke up, but with all the other campers who are roused by the noise created by the greenhorn out chopping wood to keep warm.

Don't be a camp greenhorn. Night is for sleeping. Be quiet after "Taps" until you get to sleep, and if you wake up early in the morning, don't give away your inexperience by getting up. Stay in bed until Reveille.

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Someone Else

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:(this is more directed at the adults in the troop and might be useful to get the point across if you are having participation challenges.)

I am sorry to report that one of the troop's leaders has had to leave the troop. Mr. Someone Else moved away to Hawaii last week for a much needed extended vacation. The vacancy that Mr. Else leaves behind will be hard to fill, I'm afraid. He has done much more than his share of the support for this troop.

When there was a job to do, a merit badge to lead, or a board of review to sit on, his name was always mentioned: "Let Someone Else to do it."

When an organizer for a campout was needed, this great person was always counted on: "Someone Else will take care of it."

For more trips than I can count, we have relied on him to transport our scouts: "Get Someone Else to drive."

Even most of the new ideas for the program were given to him to make happen: "That's a great idea! Someone should do it!"

Someone was a great guy and I enjoyed chats with him around the campfire late at night. He did the best he could, but folks just expected too much from him and now he's gone.

Now, someone else will need to take over the work that Someone Else used to do. Will you be that someone or will it be Someone Else?

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:We hear a lot of talk about being a good sport, but what does that mean? A good sport learns the rules so he will not violate them. He competes with all his heart, striving to outclass his competitors. If he wins, he doesn't act smug but instead compliments the losers for the efforts they made. If he loses, he should accept the fact and find out why. Maybe he can win the next time. A sportsman accepts defeat, congratulates the winners, studies how to improve, and determines to do better the next time.

"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time." - Lou Brock, baseball

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth

"You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do." - AJ Kitt, skier

"Honesty is a form of honor. An honorable man can be trusted with any amount of valuables with the certainty that he will not steal it. Cheating at any time is a sneaking, underhanded thing to do.
When you feel inclined to cheat in order to win a game, or feel distressed when a game in which you are playing is going against you, just say to yourself, 'After all, it is only a game. It won't kill me if I do lose. One can't always win though I will stick to it in case of a chance coming.'
If you keep your head in this way, you will very often find that you win after all from not being over anxious or despairing. And don't forget, whenever you do lose a game, if you are a true Scout, you will at once cheer the winning team or shake hands with and congratulate the fellow who has beaten you." - Lord Baden-Powell, scout

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Stars Are Good Deeds

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Attributed to Lord Baden-Powell. This is a good one when sitting around a dieing campfire on a clear night.
Script:I often think, when the sun goes down, the world is hidden by a big blanket from the light of heaven, but the stars are little holes pierced in that dark blanket by good deeds done by men in this world.
The stars are not all the same size; some are big, some are little, just as some men have done large deeds and others small deeds. But they have made their hole in the blanket by doing good before they go to heaven.

Look up there and find a spot to make your hole in the blanket by good work while you are on earth. It is something to BE good, but it is far better to DO good.

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Step Up and Follow Through

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a chair or a chair for everyone
Notes:I've found this to be a useful visual and physical reinforcement of the responsibility taken on when you say you will do a task. It works well when training leaders.
Script:Often, we hear people asking someone to 'Step Up' to a challenge that needs to be done.
Stepping Up means that you have accepted the responsibility, not of Starting that job, but of Finishing it.

Before you stepped up, you were in a comfortable position, no stress, no effort being put out - kind of like just standing here. You could stand here for an hour easily. You aren't getting anywhere, but it's easy.

Once you 'Step Up' to a challenge, it is no longer comfortable. Others now expect you to perform. You have work to do and it may be difficult. It's like Stepping Up onto this chair.
(step one foot onto the chair seat, keeping only the toes of the other foot on the floor)
This is a difficult position. It isn't comfortable. I haven't accomplished anything and I can't stay here long. I have to do something.

So, I 'Follow Through' - I complete all the work required for the task and I do what I said I would do.
(stand with both feet on the chair)
Now, I'm comfortable again. I could stand here forever with no effort.

If I never Step Up to a challenge, then I never grow.
If I Step Up to a challenge, but do not Follow Through, nothing gets done and I let down everyone that counted on me.
When I Step Up and Follow Through, then I succeed, I grow, and others know they can count on me.

When you Step Up, remember to Follow Through!

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Stick To It

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Scouts, the postage stamp you see on this envelope was given the job of making sure that this important piece of mail was delivered to me. The stamp is pretty small but, in spite of its size, it did the job.

Each of you has the responsibility of "delivering the mail" in order that your group becomes a success. Like the postage stamp, it isn't your size that determines how well you do the job, rather, how well you stick to it.

We can't all be good at all things. Some are better at physical skills, some at mental tasks.

Remember the stamp. It did the job in spite of its size by sticking to the job. Make up your mind that you can do the same thing. Just determine to do your best - and stick to it until the job is done.

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Stone Cutter

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Once upon a time there lived a stone cutter who, every morning, hastened with his mallet and chisel to hew slabs of rock from the mountain side and polish them smooth for houses. He was so skilled a workman that there was always plenty for him to do, and he was happy and content.

But one day, when he carried some stone to the house of a rich man, he saw all sorts of beautiful things. "Oh!" he cried, "I wish I were rich. I wish I had the things this man has."
Then he picked up his tools and went home, but his wish had been granted. Instead of the small hut he had left in the morning, there stood a wonderful palace, as full of beautiful furniture as the rich man's house.

He stopped working and enjoyed his luxury. Soon, a fine carriage whirled along, drawn by snow-white horses. There were servants running in front and behind, and a prince sat inside the carriage with a golden umbrella stretched over his head.

At once the stone cutter began to feel discontented again. "Oh!" he said, "I wish I were a prince. I want to ride in a carriage with a golden umbrella held over my head."

And no sooner had he wished it than it came to pass-he was a prince; he had servants dressed in scarlet and gold, and he drove through the streets with a golden umbrella held above him to keep off the sun. So, for a little while, he was happy; but, one day, he went out to his garden and he saw that the sun was drying the grass and it beat down on his head.

"The sun is mightier than I!" he cried. "I would be the sun."

Again his wish came true - the stone cutter was now the sun, and he felt very proud and mighty; so large and yellow and high, up there in the sky. He burned the rice fields, he scorched the rich folks and the poor folks alike; but one day a cloud covered his face, and he was once more filled with discontent. "The cloud is mightier than I!" he cried. "I would be the cloud."

He became the cloud, and he lay content for a while between the sun and the earth. He caught the sunbeams and would not let them go; he sent rain to the earth, and the leaves were once more green, and the flowers bloomed; but this was not enough for him. He began pouring down rain for days, until the rivers overflowed and the rice crops were spoiled. He washed away whole towns and villages in his wicked play, but one thing he could not move-the great rock on the mountainside.

"Is the mountain of rock stronger than I?" he cried angrily. "I will be the rock!"

And at once he was a mighty rock. He stood strong and he neither felt the hot sun nor was moved by the storms.

"This is better than anything else," he cried. "I am grander than them all!"

But, at last, he heard a sharp tap, tapping at his feet, and he saw a stone cutter there, working with his sharp tools and driving them into the mountainside. He felt a strange quaking at his very heart, and off came a great slab of rock in the stone cutter's hand. "Who is stronger than I?" cried the mountain. "I would be that man!"

And a man he became once more - the same poor stone cutter he was at the beginning, who lived in a hut, and slept on a hard bed at night, and had neither golden umbrella nor great riches, but toiled from morning to night.

Yet he was the happiest of all now, for he had learned that, better than being the sun, or the cloud, or the mountain, is it to work for one's daily bread.

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Take a Look at Yourself

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a mirror
Preparation:Hang a small mirror on the wall in a place where the scouts can’t see it, but can all line up and file past it, like around a corner, or behind the stairs.
Or, have an adult hold the mirror.
Script:You’ve probably all seen the photo gallery on our troop web site (or the troop scrapbook). We've taken a lot of pictures of all you guys at the campouts and events this past year.

As I was looking through those pictures, I was thinking about how some scouts seem to lead more than others and some seem to do more of the work.

I spent a lot of time figuring out which scout I felt could have the biggest impact on his patrol and this troop.

I took into account his rank, the things he has done, and the opportunities he has ahead of him to make a positive influence on other scouts.

It was a difficult choice, but I believe I’ve identified the one scout that can really, really make a huge impact. I’ve hung his picture on the wall over there so you can all get a look in a minute.

Now, IF this scout takes to heart the 12 points of the Scout Law and honors the 3 parts of the Scout Promise – duty to God and country, helping others, and improving himself – there’s no telling how much he can accomplish. I just hope he can take a good, honest look at himself and see his own potential.

So, scouts, line up here and QUIETLY, with no talking at all please, file past the picture and back to your spot in the circle.

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Tall Trees

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A tree by itself in a field does not grow especially tall. It has all the light it needs. It will often grow wide, lazily spreading its branches out to soak in the sunlight that pours in all around it.

A tree in a forest, surrounded by other trees, must reach for the light. It constantly grows to become the tallest tree, to get the most light.

When it does become the tallest, it pauses and rests; soaking in the sun.

But while it rests, the trees around it take their turns, forcing themselves to grow towards the source of nourishment and warmth.

In this way, great forests grow and many of the trees reach far into the sky.
Scouts are much the same way.

Scouts who are alone, who stay by themselves and don't participate, tend not to grow to great heights.

Its funny, but when you see a Scout becoming an Eagle, you will often see others right behind him. Together, they have supported each other, and competed with each other to become the best and strongest they can.

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Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Why doesn't the Scout Law include "A Scout is THANKFUL"? I think I might add that one as the 13th point of the Scout Law if I could.

A thankful scout sees that he is blessed with good things – food, family, friends, freedom, and even fun. He has opportunities for adventure and excitement that many other boys do not get.

A thankful scout understands that the world does not owe him anything. He realizes that he's an awful lucky guy compared to the rest of the world.

Then, what should a thankful scout do? Saying that I'm thankful doesn't count for much, just like saying I'm trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, ... doesn't mean much. I have to DO something to show that I am really that way. That is what living the Scout Law in my everyday life means.

I'm Thankful for being free to make my own choices, so I'm Trustworthy by telling the truth.
I'm Thankful for my patrol mates, so I'm Loyal to them by pitching in with hard tasks and working as a team.
I'm Thankful for scouts that have taught me, so I'm Helpful to younger scouts.
I'm Thankful for my friends, so I'm Friendly to people around me that don't seem to have friends.
I'm Thankful for the efforts of the SPL and other leaders, so I'm Courteous and quiet while they speak.
I'm Thankful for being accepted into this troop, so I'm Kind to Webelos and welcome them to my troop.
I'm Thankful for my home and family, so I Obey my parents.
I'm Thankful that I have free time and opportunities to have fun, so I'm Cheerful even while working.
I'm Thankful for the money people give me for fundraising, so I'm Thrifty when buying food and gear for camping.
I'm Thankful for the soldiers, policemen, firefighters, and others that protect us from danger, so I'm Brave when faced with a scary situation.
I'm Thankful for the adults that drive on campouts, so I leave their car Clean when we're done.
I'm Thankful for every day I wake up with more life to live, so I'm Reverent to my God.

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The Butterfly

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:Unneeded help isn't really help.
Script:One afternoon while working around his yard, a man spotted a cocoon. Looking closely, he noticed that something was struggling to get through a very small hole in the cocoon.

He sat and watched for several minutes before he was certain that what he was seeing was a butterfly attempting to get through the hole in the cocoon. As he watched, the insect inside the cocoon pushed and twisted but could not squeeze its way through the hole since the hole was smaller than the body of the butterfly.

Intending to help the butterfly emerge, the man took his pocketknife and very carefully cut the hole larger so the butterfly could pass through the opening. The butterfly emerged easily with no effort at all. However, the butterfly had a body that was far too big to permit its undeveloped wings to lift it.

The man waited with hope that the butterfly would continue to transform but this never happened. The butterfly needed to struggle to squeeze its body through the small opening. In the struggle, the wings would gain strength and the body would become smaller. Without this struggle the butterfly never developed into a beautiful insect that could fly from flower to flower. In fact, it died quickly, never able to develop.

The attempt to remove difficulties from the emerging insect left it unable to develop and grow in its next stage of life.

Sometimes you, like the butterfly, will find yourself struggling to make it through a difficult assignment or decision. What will happen if someone older steps in and does it for you? What will happen if you let someone else carry your load? If you work hard, you can emerge a stronger and better person prepared for an even brighter future.

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The Devil's Favorite Tool

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:a small wooden wedge or doorstop
Script:The Devil announced a "Going Out of Business" sale - which of course we know doesn't really mean he was going out of business.

He laid out all the tools of his trade with pricetags for anyone to purchase. There was hatred, jealousy, envy, greed, and more - a darnright nasty bunch of devices, all for a price.

Some of the tools were pretty complicated items with buttons, spinners, ratchets, and gears. But, one was surprisingly simple. It was just a simple wedge that looked a lot like this doorstop. It was very worn, scratched, and scuffed - and it was far more expensive than any of the other high-tech tools.

Someone asked, "What's this one?"

"That's discouragement," the Devil replied.

"Why's it so expensive?"

"Because," said the Devil, "it is more useful to me than any of the others. Most people can see the other tools coming and stop me. But, with discouragement, I sneak up on them, a little at a time, slowly pry them open, and get
inside where I can use my other tools."

"When someone gets discouraged, they make excuses - and I get 'em. Or, they cheat - and I get 'em. Or, they get jealous of others success - and I get 'em. Or, they just completely quit - and I get 'em."

"That's why it is so worn, you see. I use it with
nearly everybody, because few people know that it belongs to me."

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The Dollar Bill
A Favorite Minute

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:(Have two crisp, new dollar bills. Hold one up to show)

Can you all see this dollar bill? Pretty nice looking, isn't it? See how its crisp, clean, and neat? Who would like it? I'm going to give it away to someone, so raise your hand if you'd like it.

OK, before I give it away, let me do this.
(crumple the bill up into a small ball)
Who still wants it?

OK, just a second.
(drop it on the ground and grind it with your foot)
Who still wants it?

(hold the crumpled bill in one hand and the second clean bill in the other)
One of these bills is good looking, clean, and nice to look at. The other is kind of grimey, crumpled, and not too pleasant.

But, neither is more valuable than the other. Their worth is not based on how they look. Like these dollars are valuable because they are dollars, people are valuable just because they are people, not because of how they look.

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The Gardener

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:The emperor was old and dying. He had no children of his own so he called all the children in the surrounding villages to the castle.

He said, "It has come time for me to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!"

One boy named Ling, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing.

By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot as his emperor had told him. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.

When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. After looking over all the pots in the room, the emperor said, "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown. Today, one of you will become emperor!"

"But, first, I see one pot has no plant. Whoever owns that pot, bring it here to the front immediately!"
Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" But, being brave, Ling picked up his pot and approached the emperor.

When Ling got to the front, the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grown, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

  • If you plant honesty, you reap trust.
  • If you plant goodness, you reap friends.
  • If you plant humility, you reap greatness.
  • If you plant perseverance, you reap victory.
  • If you plant faith, you reap miracles.

Be careful what you plant today. It will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you scatter will make life worse or better - your life or the ones who will come after.

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The Getting or The Having

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Required:2 rocks from a rock collection
Notes:The effort of acquiring something is as important as having it.
Script:I collect rocks. Since I was little, I've been fascinated with rocks - igneous, metmorphic, sedimentary. Fossils, agates, gems, minerals, you name it, I collected it.
I was fortunate to grow up in the mountains of Idaho - the Gem State - so there were ample opportunities to find wonderful rocks. And, I had a great friend that also was a rockhound. (This is half of a fossil that he and I collected and split. He has the other half.)

Once, my Dad and I spent a day digging for garnets which are valuable gemstones (and Idaho's state rock). We did well and found a tin can full - more than needed for a rock collection. So, on a trip to Wisconsin, I brought along some of the garnets.
We stopped at a rockshop somewhere in Wisconsin and I showed the owner my garnets. He was impressed and swapped some beautiful agates, serpentine, and desert roses for a few garnets. (This is one of the desert roses he gave me.)

I've also purchased rocks for my collection, not many but some. Unfortunately, I didn't bring any of those with me. Mostly because I don't remember which ones they are. They just aren't that special to me.

Whether you collect rocks, stamps, or playing cards, build models, or earn merit badges, it doesn't matter. Those things that you worked hard for or made yourself or found yourself will be much more valuable than those things you buy or get with little effort.

I believe that the 'Getting' is at least as important as the 'Having' - and often times much more important.

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The Keystone

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:When we learn about the mighty arch and its importance in construction, we usually focus on the keystone, that stone in the middle at the top of the arch. This keystone supports all of the other stones and lets the arch support large weights.
Sometimes we think of our patrol or troop leader as being that keystone; the one we all rely on. Have you ever thought, though, what would happen to the keystone if some of the other stones were removed?
By removing any single stone in the arch, the keystone would most certainly fall with all the others and the whole structure collapse.
The same thing happens when scouts leave the leader to shoulder the burden alone or when a scout does not support the patrol or troop. Rembember, the keystone is just one of many that make the arch stand strong!

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The Real Heaven

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:An old man and his dog died one day.
The man found himself walking along a country road with his dog. After a while, he saw a white marble wall winding along beside the road. At the top of a hill, there was a white arch in the wall with a magnificent gate that gleamed like mother of pearl. The side road leading to the gate was solid gold.
The man approached the gate where he saw someone sitting in an ornate chair under a large umbrella for shade and sipping on a cold glass of water.

When he was close enough, the traveler called out, "Excuse me, sir, is this heaven?"

"Yes, it is," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some extra water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up," and the huge gate began to open.

"Would it be ok for my friend to come in?" the man asked, pointing toward his dog.

But the reply was, "I'm sorry, sir, we don't accept pets."

The man thought about it, then thanked the gatekeeper, turned back toward the road, and continued in the direction he had been going. After another long walk, he reached the top of another hill where he came to a dirt side road leading through an old farm gate, barely hanging on its hinges. As he approached the gate, he saw a man sitting in the shade of a tree in a rickety old chair.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there," the man said, pointing to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in and make yourself at home."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"He's welcome too, and there's a bowl by the pump," he said. The traveler found the pump, filled the bowl for his dog, and then took a long drink himself.

When both were satisfied, he and the dog walked back toward the man, who was sitting under the tree waiting for them, and asked, "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "It certainly doesn't look like heaven, and there's another man down the road who said that place was heaven."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?"

"Yes, it was beautiful."

"Nope. That's hell."

"Why do you let them use the name of heaven like that?"

"Well, it actually saves us a lot of time. They screen out all the people who are willing to leave their best friends behind."

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The Scoutmaster

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:by Edgar R. Guest
Script:There isn't any pay for you, you serve without reward,
The boys who tramp the fields with you but little could afford,
And yet your pay is richer far than those who toil for gold,
For in a dozen different ways your service shall be told.

You'll read it in the faces of a troop of growing boys,
You'll read it in the pleasure of a dozen manly joys,
And down the distant future - you will surely read it then,
Emblazoned through the service of a band of loyal men.

Five years of willing labor and of brothering a troop,
Five years of trudging highways, with the Indian cry and whoop,
Five years of camp fires burning, not alone for pleasure's sake,
But the future generation which the boys are soon to make.

They have no gold to give you, but when age comes on to you,
They'll give you back the splendid things you taught them how to do,
They'll give you rich contentment and a thrill of honest pride,
And you'll see your nation prosper, and you'll all be satisfied.

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The Second Half

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Who watched the 2007 AFC championship football game?
Down 21-3 in the first half, the Indianapolis Colts came back to beat the New England Patriots 38-34. They won with an 80-yard drive at the end of the game. That was the biggest comeback in an NFL championship game ever.

The Colts didn’t produce results in the first half. But, they made up for it in the second half. They regrouped, focused, and did what was required to win the game.

Some of you should consider regrouping and focusing in this 'second half' of your term of leadership. Look at what you’ve accomplished in your position and figure out how you are going to do what is required before the clock runs out in a couple months.

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Three Things Needed to Attain a Goal

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:"I want to go somewhere."

"I want to go somewhere."

That's my statement. Do you think I'll get anywhere? Probably not, since I don't know where I want to go.
I need three things to get somewhere:
  1. I need to know where to go.
  2. I need to know which direction to go.
  3. I need to get up and GO.

On a hike, its easy. I want to hike to the top of the mountain over there. I use my compass to set the direction. I start hiking. I check the compass reading once in awhile to make sure I'm on track.

The same steps are used for any destination. 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' You first need to decide on the destination - Engineer, Teacher, Fireman, ... Then, learn what skills are required - spray a hose, drive a firetruck, rescue kittens, ... Then, go ahead and Do It - take classes, go to fireman school, join a department.

You need three things: a destination, a direction, a drive to get it done.

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Tigger or Eeyore?

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore are all good pals. They play together, go on adventures, and learn things. Each of them cares deeply for his buddies.
When you think of "Tigger", what comes to mind? What is he like?
(happy, silly, energetic, positive, not too smart, carefree, ...)
When you think of "Eeyore", what comes to mind?
(sad, slow, dejected, pessimistic)

When anything happens, Eeyore expects the worst. He expects the weather to be rainy, the shelter to be uncomfortable, the hike to be too long, the water be too warm and the food too cold. He sets his expectations way low so he is seldom disappointed, but then he has nothing to look forward to.

Tigger, on the other hand, sees fun and adventure in everything. He hops rather than walk, jumps rather than run, and bounces rather than sit still. He sees the rainbow through the clouds, notices something new at every step of a hike, and believes every minute of life is a gift to enjoy. He may not think things through, but he is always looking ahead to the next adventure.

So, who are you? Are you more of an Eeyore, plodding through life, sure that school will be hard, friends will be few, and there won't be much fun to do on the weekend? Or are you like Tigger, ready to make every task a game, every day an adventure, and every challenge an opportunity?

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Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Imagine you have a bank account that receives a deposit of $86,400 every morning. At the end of the day, whatever money is left is confiscated by the bank. What would you do each day?
(why, spend it all every day, of course)

You actually do have an account just like that - it's called TIME.
Every morning, you are credited with 86,400 seconds to use as you like. Every night, when you go to sleep, your account is cleared.
You can't carry over seconds, you can't borrow from future seconds, you either use 'em or lose 'em each day.

How valuable is that time? Well, to understand the value of ...
  • ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
  • ONE WEEK, ask a farmer after an early frost.
  • ONE DAY, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
  • ONE HOUR, ask the mother waiting for her son's plane to land.
  • ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
  • ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
  • ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.

You must live in the present on today's deposit of time. Invest it to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift - that's why it's called the present!

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Script:Tomorrow, I can complain that its raining or be thankful the grass is being watered for free.

Tomorrow, I can feel deprived for lack of money or glad for the opportunity to be thrifty.

Tomorrow, I can be depressed I have few friends or excited to start new relationships.

Tomorrow, I can grumble about going to work or rejoice that I have a job to do.

Tomorrow, I can be dejected about another day of school or open my mind to learn and grow.

Tomorrow is a new day, waiting for me to make of it what I will.

Have a Great Day... unless you have other plans.

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Top 10 Lists

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Here are some various Top 10 Lists you might find useful or entertaining.

Things Fathers Say
10. What's for dinner?
9. Stop changing channels and give me the remote.
8. What did I just get finished telling you?
7. Be quiet. I'm trying to think.
6. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
5. Do you think money grows on trees?
4. We are NOT lost, I do NOT need to ask for directions.
3. How many times do I have to tell you?
2. Just wait until you have kids of your own.
1. I don't know. Ask your mother.

Things You'll Never Hear a Father Say
10. Here, you take the remote.
9. Sure take my car, and here's $50 for gas too.
8. Wow blue hair, cool!
7. Will you please turn that music up?
6. Why don't you sleep in tomorrow. I'll cut the grass.
5. Let's not argue. You're probably right.
4. Your mom and I will be gone this weekend, Why don't you have some friends over?
3. I think you've been studying too hard.
2. We're lost. I'd better stop and ask for directions.
1. I make plenty of money, you don't need to get a job.

Things Mothers Say
10. What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?
9. Put on a jacket, you're making me cold.
8. Don't read in the dark, you’ll ruin your eyes.
7. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
6. Don't run with scissors.
5. Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
4. Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.
3. You're going to poke someone’s eye out with that!
2. Eat your vegetables. There are people starving in Africa.
1. Because I'm your Mother, that's why!

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Tossing Back Starfish

Intended for:All Scouts
Notes:You can't save the world, but you can help individuals wherever you are.
Script:I was walking along an ocean beach one hot summer day. In the distance, I saw a man who was doing a strange dance, bending over again and again. As I got closer, I saw that he was picking up starfish that had washed up on the shore and was throwing them back.
I asked him, "Why are you throwing those starfish into the sea?"
He replied, "The tide is going out, the sun is hot, and if I don't, they will die here."
I asked him why he was doing this since the beach was miles long and there were thousands of starfish and the few he threw back wouldn't make any difference.

The man paused with a starfish in his hand. He looked at it, then looked out at the ocean. Then, he tossed the starfish out and said, 'Made a difference to that one.'

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Trading Time for Treasures

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:Do any of you keep a journal?

Learning to write down on a calendar some important thing that happened each day is a way of trading a couple minutes of Time for a lasting Treasure.

Money doesn't make you rich. Fame doesn't make feel accomplished. What counts is happy memories. Keep track of yours!

Make your calendar a log of the events of your life. At the end of each year, store your calendar in a file or box. Then, when you're an old man like me, you can look back at the great adventures you had and remember the things you accomplished.

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Trailing Game

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Stick to your goals, especially when tempting easy ways out come along.
Script:There was once a mountain man that had a dog he used to trail bear so he could shoot them. This dog had a great nose and could pick up the faintest of scent and follow a trail anywhere.

One day, while following a fresh trail, the dog came to a spot where a mountain lion had crossed the bear's trail. The dog, knowing that mountain lions were easier to hunt down than bears and put up less of a fight, started following the mountain lion trail.

A while later, a fox trail crossed over the mountain lion's. Obviously, a fox would be a good catch and much less trouble than a mountain lion, thought the dog and he headed down the fox trail.

Soon, he picked up a new scent - a rabbit had crossed the fox's trail. Well, a rabbit can't run as far and is much easier than a fox - so once again the dog changed course and took off after the rabbit.

By the time the mountain man caught up with his dog, it was barking at a small hole in the ground under some hay. He had brought a fieldmouse to bay!

From the grand ambition of catching a bear, he had been sidetracked by lesser, easier things until he wound up with nothing to show for his efforts.

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Twelve Words

Intended for:Boy Scouts
At the beginning of every scout meeting a boy stands in front and holds up three fingers. He then recites twelve words: 
TRUSTWORTHY - How can a boy say he is trustworthy then say he has done his homework when he has not. 
LOYAL - How can a boy say he is loyal then pick on a friend. 
HELPFUL - How can a boy say he is helpful then make the statement: "I’ll do it later". 
FRIENDLY - How can a boy say he is friendly then argue over who’s turn it is. 
COURTEOUS Then not hold the door open for the next person. 
KIND - And not want to participate in a charity drive. 
OBEDIENT - And doesn’t do a thing his parents tell him to do. 
CHEERFUL - Then fights with his parents. 
THRIFTY - Then spends every cent he has on video games. 
BRAVE - And not get involved when he sees a group teasing someone. 
CLEAN - Then tell a dirty joke.
REVERENT - And skip mass on Sundays. 
How can a boy call these words "laws" when he doesn’t have the conviction to follow them? 
And how can we call a boy a scout if he doesn’t follow these laws? 

Scout Troop 333 
Lansdowne, Pa

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Two Little Words

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:What do you suppose is the most valuable two word sentence you can say?

Some of you might say, it's "We won!" Others would vote for, "Here's money!" But I think the best two-word sentence is "Thank you. "

It isn't used as often as it should be. How often do you use it? And how often do you say thank you to the persons who are closest to you, your mother and father? How often do you say it to your friends or even strangers when they do something for you?

It's so easy to forget, especially if the Good Turn is done by somebody in your family. Too often we take for granted the many things our parents and other family members do for us.

Here's a challenge for you. Between now and next troop meeting, see if you can find some reason to say thank you every day to some member of your family. You may be surprised how they will react.

A simple thank you costs nothing, but it means so much to those who matter most to you. Good manners can be the difference between you being just another Scout and one who earns himself respect from those around him.

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Two Seas

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are two bodies of water in the middle east - I expect you've heard of them.
The Sea of Galilee is full of fish and is surrounded by lush vegetation and trees. It is a living body in every sense.
There is nothing living in the Dead Sea - no fish - the sea is stagnant and dead.
The difference between these two seas is that the Sea of Galilee gives up its water while the Dead Sea only takes in water. For every gallon of water that flows into the Sea of Galilee, a gallon is passed on downstream. It is constantly renewing itself. It gives as much as it takes.
The Dead Sea, on the other hand, only takes. It gives up nothing. The water there is never cleansed. It just stagnates.

Some say there are two kinds of people in the world - those who give of themselves (who help people at all times and contribute their time, money and energy), and those who only take. I bet you can guess which one has a fresh, healthy life and which leads to a stagnant dead end.

Which kind will you be?

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Two Wolves

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:An Indian was discussing life with some young boys. He said, "A battle rages inside me between two wolves. One wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, fear, greed, arrogance, lies, regret, and self-pity. The other wolf is joy, peace, hope, humility, kindness, generosity, truth, and faith."
He said, "This same battle goes on inside everyone, even each of you."

After a minute, one boy asked, "Which wolf will win?"

The Indian replied, "The one you feed."

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UnSaying My Words
A Favorite Minute

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:Think about the impact of your words before you say them. You can not take back something you've said.
Script:Once there were two Indian boys that were very good friends. They explored, fished, and hunted together. They were both great athletes and well-liked by all in their tribe.
In there village there was also a young girl that they both began to like and compete for. One of the boys, out of jealousy, told the girl that the other boy had done something very bad which would disgrace him and his family. This was completely untrue.
Afterwards, the boy felt ashamed of what he had done. He told the girl that he had lied and he apologized to his friend for what he had said.

But, as he walked around the village, he could here others repeating the false words he had spoken about his friend. Very troubled by this, he went to the tribal medicine man for advice.

'How can I undo this terrible thing I have done?', he asked.
The wise man told him, 'Shoot 3 ducks and 3 geese. Pull off all their feathers and put them in a leather bag. Bring me the bag and the birds.'
The boy did this. He gave the birds to the wise man and the wise man said, 'Now, take the bag of feathers to the top of the great mountain, open it, and shake out all the feathers. Then, return here.'
The boy climbed the mountain, released all the feathers into the wind, and returned to the wise man.
The wise man said, 'Now, go back up the mountain and pick up every single feather you released and put them back in your bag.'
The boy replied, 'But, that is not possible. The feathers have blown far away. I can never recover all of them.'
The wise man said, 'So it is with your words.'

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Was Santa Claus a Boy Scout?

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:With the holidays upon us, I thought tonight I would try to answer an age-old question regarding Santa Claus.

Was Santa Claus a Boy Scout?

One just needs to examine how he stacks up against the scout law;

Trustworthy – You certainly can trust that Santa will show up every year.

Loyal – He’s very dedicated to his craft and his mission. Imagine the disappointment if he wasn’t loyal to his work.

Helpful – saves many a dad from last minute shopping. Dads are notorious for leaving things to the last minute, just ask a mom.

Friendly – how many adults would let a zillion kids sit on their lap and listen to what they want? And smile while doing it?

Courteous – always says thanks for the 62 billion calories he gets in milk and cookies each year.

Kind – delivering gifts to children is a great act of kindness. Except for the drum sets. That’s not too kind, at least to the parents.

Obedient – I emailed Mrs. Claus on this one. No reply, but seeing he’s been married for all those years, I’m going to bet he does what she tells him.

Cheerful – Ho ho ho. Need I say more?

Thrifty – makes his own toys. Saves a bundle on shipping alone.

Brave – would you get in a magic sleigh pulled by reindeer and fly? Me neither.

Clean – not sure how he does it, but that red suit looks great even after the millionth chimney has been gone down

Reverent – does his thing on a very special night for one religion; represents the spirit of the day

So yes, Virginia, Santa Clause was really a boy scout.

This time of year no matter what holiday you celebrate, remember that doing your best and living the Scout Oath and Law are what make each of you really a Boy Scout.

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What You See Is What You Get

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:There once were two brothers that decided to leave their small town to see what life was like in the great world. They each set off on their own and soon one brother came to a big city. Outside the city, the first brother met an old man.

"How are the people here?" asked the first brother.

"Well, how were the people in your hometown?" asked the old man in return.

"Aw, they were always grumpy and dissatisfied," answered the first brother. "There wasn't a single one among them worth bothering about."

"Oh no," the old man said, "I'm afraid you'll find that the people here are exactly the same!"

Later the other brother who had taken a different route came to the big city and met the same old man.

"How are the people in this city?" he asked.

"How were the people in your hometown?" the old man asked as before.

"Just fine!" said the other brother. "Always cheerful, always kind and understanding!"

"I believe you will find that the people her are exactly the same!" said the old man again, for he was a wise old man who knew that the attitude of the people you meet depends upon your own state of mind.

If you are a cheerful, friendly scout, you'll find others the same.

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What's Your Vision?

Script:Did you know that a hawk can see a mouse on the ground from a mile away?
Did you know whales can talk to each other from hundreds of miles away?
Did you know a dog can sort out dozens of different smells all at the same time?
Pretty amazing stuff!

People can't do those things. We have terrible eyesight compared to a hawk. We have terrible hearing compared to a whale. We have poor smellers compared to a dog.

But, we humans do have the ability to do something none of these other animals can.
We have Vision - the ability to see into the future. That is, to see something you want to have happen in the future and take actions now to make it happen.
Animals just want to survive - that is their driving force from day to day. People want more from life. We want to BE somebody, we want to GO places, we want to EXPERIENCE life.

So, think about YOUR vision. What do you want to happen in the future? And, are you taking actions now to make that vision a reality? It's up to you.

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When You Walk Through the Woods - Poem

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:When you walk through the woods,
I want you to see ...
The floating gold of a bumble bee,

Rivers of sunlight, pools of shade
Toadstools sleeping in mossy jade

A cobweb net with a catch of dew
Treetop cones against the blue

Dancing flowers, bright green flies
And birds that put rainbows in your eyes.

When you walk through the woods,
I want you to hear ...
A million sounds in your eager ear

The scratch and rattle of wind-tossed trees
The rush as a timid chipmunk flees

The cry of a hawk from the distant sky
The purr of leaves when a breeze rolls by

Brooks that mumble, stones that ring
And birds that teach your heart to sing.

When you walk through the woods,
I want you to feel ...
That no mere human could make this real

Could paint the throb of a bullerfly's wing
Could teach a wood thrush how to sing

Could create these wonders of earth and sky
There's something greater than you or I.

When you walk through the woods
and the birches nod
Please, meet a friend of mine named God.

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Winners and Losers

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Script:A Winner doesn't always Win but a Loser always Loses.

A Loser resents those that are better than him while a Winner respects them and tries to learn from them.

A Loser says, "Theres No Way" while a Winner says, "Lets Find a Way".

A Loser tries to get around a problem while a Winner works through a problem.

A Loser is too busy to work while a Winner works hard and has free time.

A Loser says, "Thats the way its always been done" while a Winner says, "There should be a better way".

A Loser says, "Im Sorry" but doesn't change while a Winner shows he's sorry by making up for it.

A Loser makes promises while a Winner makes commitments.

A Loser may be afraid of winning but a Winner is never afraid of losing.

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Wolf Ceremony

Intended for:Boy Scouts
Notes:by Chief Dan George of the Salish Band in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, Canada
Script:I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson.
So I took him into the woods, to a quiet spot.
Seated at my feet, he listened as I told him of the powers that were given to each creature.
He moved not a muscle as I explained how the woods had always provided us with food, homes, comfort, and religion.
He was awed when I related to him how the wolf became our guardian, and when I told him that I would sing the sacred wolf song over him, he was overjoyed.
In my song, I appealed to the wolf to come and preside over us while I would perform the wolf ceremony so that the bondage between my grandson and the wolf would be lifelong.
I sang.
In my voice was the hope that clings to every heartbeat.
I sang.
In my words were the powers I inherited from my forefathers.
I sang.
In my cupped hands lay a spruce seed: the link to creation.
I sang.
In my eyes sparkled love.
I sang.
And the song floated on the sun's rays from tree to tree.
When I had ended, it was if the whole world listened with us to hear the wolf's reply.
We waited a long time but none came.
Again I sang, humbly but as invitingly as I could, until my throat ached and my voice gave out.

All of a sudden, I realized why no wolves had heard my sacred song.
There were none left!
My heart filled with tears. I could no longer give my
grandson faith in the past, our past.
At last I could whisper to him: "It is finished!"

"Can I go home now?" He asked, checking his watch to see if he would still be in time to catch his favorite program on TV.

I watched him disappear and wept in silence.
All is finished!

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Words To Live By - a true story

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous author of Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde suffered throughout his short life from respiratory illness and he spent many years looking for a climate that would cure him. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 41 and is buried on Samoa.
In spite of his considerable suffering he had twelve positive attitude tips that he lived by that I would like to share with each of you. They are still incredibly good rules to live by.
  1. Make up your mind to be happy, learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of your circumstances. Everyone has problems. The trick is to make laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don't take yourself too seriously, Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others.
  4. You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.
  5. Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be Yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Don't borrow trouble. Imaginary burdens are harder to bear than the actual ones.
  8. Hate poisons the soul, so don't carry grudges, avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.
  10. Don't hold post mortems. Don't spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

As each of you lives your life, remember his advice. Your attitude towards any given situation you encounter will almost always affect you far more than the situation. Attitude is everything in life.

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A Favorite Minute

Intended for:All Scouts
Script:In the great NorthWest where I grew up, I met a mountain man and he knew how to get many things done with very little resources. He had almost nothing to work with, but accomplished great things.
Whether the task was to build a fire underwater or stop a waterfall from falling, it seemed he could take care of it. I was so amazed to see the things he could do, I finally asked him how he did it.

He told me that a long time ago, he had found a magical solution to nearly all challenges that came along. He said it was all contained in a single, ancient word that had mystic powers. When you understand the meaning of the word, it unleashes immense strength and abilities; it makes your mind more clear; it makes your imagination run wild with ideas.

Well, of couse, I could hardly contain myself and I just had to know what this powerful magic was. I pleaded with him to tell me and he finally agreed.

He said the word is, 'YAGODDAWANNA'.

In order to accomplish anything, whether it is small or big, easy or difficult, trivial or of utmost importance, in order to be successful, you've got to want to do it. To earn good grades, you gotta wanna earn them. To become an Eagle Scout, ya godda wanna be one. The main reason people don't succeed at something is because they don't really want it bad enough. By really wanting something, you come up with ideas, make plans, and then do it.

Remember, to do something YaGoddaWanna do it.

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