Here are a few more Scoutmaster's Minutes, collected from lots of people,
tacked onto the end of Ray Taylor's book. If you have any that you would
like to share with the greater Scouting community, please send them to
me and I'll include them here.
Table of Contents
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 didnt have any friends.
You see, the friends he once had were gone. They were tired of his boasting
and 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 a 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 said,
"I DID!!!." That night the farmer feasted on very large succulent frog
Check your ego, dont let
it get so far out of control that you lose your friends or worse yet,
end up on someones plate.
-- Thanks to Greg Gough,
SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO. I used to be an Owl but I will always be an Eagle!
A group of Arapaho Indian boys
decided it was time to prove to the tribe elders that they were old enough
to be considered men. By custom, the rite of manhood included living alone
for one week in the wilderness. Each boy was instructed to only take a knife
with him and come back seven days later and tell of his adventures. One
boy, wanting to prove that he was more of a man than the others, decided
that he would climb the snow-capped mountains for his week of adventure.
Surely, living in the snow and cold is a hardship that the elders must agree
that only a man could endure. So, he walked an entire day across the plains
to the foot of the mountains. He climbed halfway up the mountains to the
snowline when a snake spoke to him.
"Help me," the snake cried.
"Why should I help you,
a rattlesnake? You are known to bite and kill people," replied the Arapaho
"I am cold and almost frozen.
Please put me in your warm shirt and take me down the mountain to where
it is warm where I can survive," said the rattlesnake.
"How do I know that you
are not going to bite and kill me?" asked the brave.
"Why should I bite the
person who saves my life?" replies the snake.
"Ok. I do not like to see
anyone die. Promise you won't bite me?" asked the brave.
"I Promise," replied the
So the Indian boy placed
the snake in his shirt and walked down the mountain. As he opened his
shirt to let the snake out, the rattlesnake bit him.
"WHY DID YOU BITE ME? You
promised you wouldn't bite and kill me!" yelled the young brave.
The snake replied, "You
knew who I was when you picked me up. You have nobody to blame for your
death but yourself."
Today Scouts, one doesn't
prove his maturity by living alone in the wilderness anymore, but instead
shows that he is a man by living wisely in the streets and making good
decisions by himself. There are rattlesnakes hiding in the streets today
that go by the names of marijuana, cocaine, crack, speed, acid, ...drugs.
Drugs will falsely promise a lot of good times and laughs, but will instead
lie to you, get you to steal and break the law in other ways, and if not
kill you, rob you of your health and brains. The few hours of chemical-induced
pleasure may cost you the rest of your life in permanent brain damage
and physical disability.
When you decide to prove
to others that you are mature enough to be a man, prove it by making the
right choice not to do any drugs and stick to that decision. Ok?
-- Thanks to H. Alan Schup
The following is a paraphrase
of "The Empty Pot" by Demi.
A Chinese Emperor is dying
and needs to pick his successor. Since he loved gardening (this is the
outdoor angle), he decides to let the seeds choose. He calls all the children
to the palace and gives them each a seed to grow. They are to return in
the Spring with their plant; whoever has tended their plant the best will
be named Emperor.
One little boy, known among
the children as an excellent gardener, cannot get his seed to grow. He
tries repotting several times, no luck. At the end of the year, he has
nothing but an empty pot to present to the Emperor, while all of the other
children bring huge, beautiful plants of varying kind.
However, the Emperor had
baked all of the seeds so that they wouldn't grow. Only one child was
honest and brought forth the empty pot. He was rewarded with being named
Emperor. --Thanks to a contribution to the GirlScout-List
This is a "true" story
I related to our Scouts.
It seems that before the
first man walked on the moon, NASA found an area of New Mexico where the
topography was similar to the surface of the moon. They decided that it
would be a good idea to take the astronauts and the lunar lander there
to check out the equipment. They arrived at the area and unloaded all
their gear. During the second day while working with the equipment they
noticed a flock of sheep on the horizon. As it drew closer they could
see several dogs herding the flock and two Navaho Indians walking behind.
The Scientists knew that they were Navaho because the reservation was
near by. The Two Navaho Indians set down on the ridge and watched them
work for several hours.
Seeing the Navahos watching
them, two of the scientist decided to go talk to them. After walking up
the ridge they soon discovered that the old Navaho could only speak in
his native tongue but his son could speak English. The old man said several
things and his son translated, "he says, what are those things down there?"
The scientist explained that they were men in space suits and that they
would be traveling to the moon by rocket and once there they would get
out and be the first men to walk upon the moon. The old man nodded and
said a few more words that the son translated "so, they will walk upon
the moon?" And the scientist confirmed. The old man nodded and said a
few more words. The son said, "he wants to know if he can send a message
to the moon with these astronauts." At this the scientist became very
excited and searched their gear until they found a tape recorder. The
old Navaho recorded his message. The scientist asked the boy to translate
but he wouldn't.
They worked about a month
next to the reservation but every time they asked someone to translate
the message they would listen to it, smile and shake their head no. Finally
they found a Professor of Native American studies that agreed to translate
the message in exchange for some funding on a research project. He listened
to the tape and smiled. He said, "this message is a warning, it says,
Look out for these guys, they are coming to steal your land."
You may wonder why I told
this story as my Scoutmasters Minute. Our program element this month is
Leadership and the reason the old Navaho sent this message was because
he did not trust the white man. Trust is a very important part of Leadership.
If you cannot trust your leader or he cannot trust you, your patrol will
not be very effective. Trust is also very fragile, it takes only one action
on your part to destroy the trust others have in you. Often times when
trust is breached it can never be rebuilt. A Scout is Trustworthy. And
now may the Master of all Scouts be with us till we meet again. Goodnight
--Thanks to Greg Gough,
SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO.
This is a Scoutmaster's
minute that I used recently that still has the Scouts talking. It starts
with the following story told in the first person. You have to keep a
straight face. I have had several ask me if I really did work at the zoo
:). Here it is -
When I was 16 I discovered
that having a job would be of great value to me. It would be of value
because I could buy gas for my car, pay for my clothes, etc. The problem
with being 16 and wanting a job is finding one. Luckily my dad knew the
caretaker at the zoo and he asked him if they needed any help. He said
to send me down for an interview. The very next day I went to the zoo
and met him in his office. There we talked for a while and finally he
told me he had a job that he thought I could do. He told me to follow
him and we went through a series of tunnels and alleys (employee entrance)
until we emerged by the gorilla cage. I noticed that the cage was empty.
He pointed to the cage and begin to explain that the gorilla Mabel was
getting very old and had just yesterday gotten sick and had to be taken
to the vet. Mabel was one of>the feature attractions at the zoo and the
kids just loved to see her. Mabel never did much but sit on the branch
of that big tree and held onto the rope that was hanging down. He went
on to say that he had a gorilla suit I could wear if I would be interested
in sitting on the branch for 4 hours at a time. It sounded good to me
so I told him I would.
The next day I went to
the zoo, put on the gorilla suit and climbed into the cage. I sat on the
branch holding the rope and soon there was a crowd of children pressing
their faces to the bars. About an hour passed and I began to get into
this gorilla stuff. I would grab the rope and swing across the cage. The
kids thought it was great so I started swinging higher and higher. In
the next cage there was a lion and he was becoming irritated by my antics
and began to pace his cage and roar. I kept swinging and started to swing
to the lion's side of the cage and would use my feet to push off of his
bars. I could really swing out far and he roared even louder. All of a
sudden I missed the bars and flew through and dropped into the lion's
cage. I landed on my back and was stunned but immediately got up and ran
to the front of the cage screaming "help me, help me, I am not who you
think I am". Just as I got that out the lion jumped on my back and knocked
me to the ground. His head was at my neck and he said, "shut up stupid
or you will get us both fired".
The point to the story
is that I took the job because it had a value to me. You will hear on
TV news reporters say that we have a valueless society. This is incorrect.
Even gang members have values, they value things like money & drugs. Everyone
has values, it is the principles that determine what your values will
be. The Scout Law sets a foundation of solid moral principles, from these
come good values. Goodnight Scouts!
-- Thanks to Greg Gough,
SM Troop 201, Ozark, MO.
There is an old story of
the missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh. He was traveling through the Himalayas
with a Monk in the bitter cold. Night was coming and the Monk said, "If
we don't reach the monastery by nightfall, we are in danger of freezing
to death." Just as they reached a narrow path, they heard the cries of
a man who had fallen over the edge. The Monk said, "Do not stop. God has
brought him to his fate. He must work it out himself."
Sadhu replied, "God sent
me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him." The Monk went on and
Sadhu climbed down a steep path. When he found the man, he saw that his
leg was broken and he could not walk. Sadhu made a sling from his blanket
and tied the man to his back. He then began a body torturing climb. He
made his way through the deepening snow. It was dark>and it was all he
could do to follow the path. He perserved, and faint with exhaustion,
he finally saw the lights of the Monastery. As he moved toward the light,
he stumbled for the first time and nearly fell. He did not stumble from
exhaustion, but over an object. As he brushed the snow off the object,
he looked down and saw that it was the body of the Monk.
Years later when a student
asked him, "What is life's most difficult task?" he replied, "To have
no burden to carry."
-- Thanks to Alan R. Houser,
Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24
Upon graduation from college,
a few years back, a young man received a gift from his older brother.
It was a shiny brand new Packard. The car of his dreams! One morning as
he approached the car he saw a young lad of 12 peering through the windows
into the car! Obviously enthrawled with the car, the lad didn't hear the
young man approach. "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 lad. The man thinking he's going to say, I wish I had a
car like this. "I wish I was like that brother!" finished the boy! Amazed
at the lads response he offerred to drive him around the block! As they
were driving, the lad requested 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. The door to the front door opened and out came
the young lad. In his arms he carried a small boy, crippled from birth!
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
was....to be the kind of brother that looked after the other first! What
kind of Scout are you...Are you like the older brother!
--Thanks to Peter Van Houten
Illinois; Dec 4 1992
Radiation treatment may
soon cost Mark Lowry his hair, but his bald head won't stand out in the
classrooms at Cross Lutheran School.
When his classmates learned
that Mark, 13, would undergo chemotherapy, all 15 of them decided to have
their heads shaved in a show of support. By yesterday only two boys in
the seventh and eighth grades weren't bald - one was due for a haircut
this weekend; the other was Mark who came home from the hospital this
week with a full head of hair.
"It probably won't be for
long, though," Mark said.
Mark learned only recently
he had leukemia and started chemotherapy treatment last week. Classmate
Travis Busch then came up with the headshaving idea, but cleared it with
Mark first. "We didn't want him to feel we were making fun of him," said
How long do the boys plan
to go hairless? "Until Mark grows his hair back," they said. --AP
--Thanks to Anne Riddick
by Peter Van Houten
I'd like to share an experience
I witnessed last night that exemplifies the virtues of honesty and the principles
of being a Boy Scout!
Beyond my role of Scout
leader I am also a little league coach for the minor league. I was scouting
(interesting choice of terms here) the team we'll be playing tomorrow
and noticed they had a very talented first baseman. He was older than
the rest and already a good 5'5" tall. Unfortunately, he'd had the misfortune
of a couple of bad plays which resulted in the runners advancing to 2nd
base. He's also been getting some abuse from the other team for his size
and race, being Indian (as from India).
Let me add that the other
teams coach doesn't exactly have the personality that generates good sportsmanship,
and I witnessed him chewing out a couple of his players for not running
fast enough, or doing EXACTLY what he told them to do.
Now that I've set the scene
we'll bring you into the 4th inning. Score is tied! Two outs! Saied (sp???)
is playing 1st, runner currently on 2nd. The ball is pitched and hit to
2nd baseman who throws to 1st base. Saied catches ball as runner touches
base, but ball rolls out of glove! Umpire calls runner OUT! The opposing
coach and most of his parents went ballistic, and I mean Ballistic (with
a Captial B). (Had I been the ump I would have thrown the guy out of the
game) Anyway, the ump turns to Saied and says, "Did you have control of
the ball before he touched the base." The pressure is on and you can see
it on his face. Saied replied, "I caught the ball, but it rolled out.
No!" The ump reverses her decision and calls the runner safe!
- The opposing coach is
relieved and makes a couple of choice comments about the ump's vision.
- Saied is feeling he let
his team down.
- All the parents on Saied's
team gives him a standing ovation for his honesty.
I approached Saied after
the inning, shook his hand and complimented him on his honesty. I found
out later through his coach that he was indeed a Boy Scout (just joined).
Here's a boy faced with
a challenging decision that could have made a difference whether his team
won or lost. He could have easily taken the easy way out and said Yes!,
but regardless of the outcome, chose that being honest was the right way!
This young man exemplified the Boy Scout principles. My hat goes off,
and my hand extended in congratulating young men who when faced with such
decisions choose the right way!
--Thanks to Peter Van Houten
McNeish, Associate Superintendent of Baltimore Public Schools
We live in an area where
geese are very common. We see them coming in the Fall and leaving early
Spring. Their migration is an awesome sight.
There is an interdependence
in the way geese function.
- FACT: As each bird flaps
its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird following. By flying
in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than
if each bird flew alone.
- LESSON: People who share
a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going
quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
- FACT: Whenever a goose
falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of
trying to fly alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage
of the "lifting power" of the bird immediately in front.
- LESSON: If we have as
much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are
headed where we want to go.
- FACT: When the lead goose
gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies
at the point position.
- LESSON: It pays to take
turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership -- people, as with
geese, are interdependent with each other.
- FACT: The geese in formation
honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
- LESSON: We need to make
sure our "honking" from behind is encouraging, not something less helpful.
- FACT: When a goose gets
sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation to follow
it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is either
able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own with another
formation or catch up with their flock.
- LESSON: If we have as
much sense as the geese, we will stand by each other.
-- Submitted to the Scouts-L
Youth Groups Discussion List by Alan Houser, Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop
The Left hand shake goes
way back to the origins of Scouting, and was inspired like many original
Scouting concepts by B.-P.'s Army career.
When Captain Baden-Powell
entered the capital city of the Ashanti people in 1896 he was met by one
of the chiefs who came to him holding out his left hand. B.P. held out
his right hand in return but the Chief said "No, in my country the bravest
of the brave shake with the left hand"> 1
This was because African
Warriors typically carried a spear in the right hand and a shield in the
left. To shake left handed meant you had to put down your shield and put
your life in the hands of the other person.
So began the Left hand
shake of the World Wide Brotherhood of Scouting.
-- Thanks to Jim McGregor,
1st Camden South Scout Group, Camden NSW Australia
Two fond parents watch
their boy where he stands,
Apart from his comrades tonight,
And see placed on his camp-battered tunic, a badge...
An Eagle... the emblem of right.
It seems just a few short months have passed
Since he joined with the youngsters next door...
How proud they were then of their Tenderfoot pin
As they told of the message it bore.
But the years have gone as he struggled along
To learn what the Scout Law's about;
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the Law,
Until now he is an Eagle Scout.
You may smile in your worldly wisdom at this
And say, "Why it's only a pin."
But I'll tell you, no honors he'll gain as a man
Will mean quite as much to him.
The red, white and blue of the ribbon you see
Are the symbols of honor and truth.
He has learned how to value these fine attributes
In the glorious days of his youth.
And the out-flinging wings of the Eagle that rests
On the breast of this knight of today
Are the wings which will lift him above petty deeds,
And guide him along the right way.
Yes, it's only a pin, just an Eagle Scout badge,
But the heart beneath it beats true,
And will throb to the last for the things that are good;
A lesson for me... and for you.
Last Sunday as I was finishing
my run through Tree Tops Park with my running buddy, I saw a neighbor standing
in her garage doorway about to get her newspaper. Unfortunately the years
had not been kind to her. She was walking with a walker and one eye was
closed. Over the years I had seen her taking care of her house and she had
always appeared quite friendly, but in her present condition she could no
longer see me from where I ran along the road. Without thinking, I picked
up the Sunday paper and quickly brought it to her. God bless you, she said,
as I handed her the paper. I was>astonished by the sincerity of those words
as I realized that it would have taken her quite some time to walk to the
paper and pick it up in her condition. As I caught up with Steve, my running
buddy, I commented that I had fulfilled my scouting good turn for the day
and it wasn t even 8 a.m. He jokingly replied, Now you can be a jerk the
rest of the day.
At first I laughed but
the more I thought about what had transpired, the more I thought about
what the meaning of what scout spirit really is. Scout spirit doesn t
mean how many little old ladies you help across the street or pick up
the Sunday paper for. It does not mean how many meetings or campouts you
attend or how many merit badges you obtain. Scout spirit means that we
live by the Scout Oath and Law twenty-four hours a day and uphold the
pledge we make as scouts to hold ourselves up to a higher standard, or
as the Hebrew National people say, We hold ourselves up to a higher authority.
So don t just wait for the obvious situation such as the little old lady
and the newspaper to exercise your scout spirit, but create your own situations
to live the scouting life and practice scout spirit twenty-four hours
a day,seven days a>week. By doing so we all answer to a higher authority.
-- Thanks to Marc Grey,
SM Troop 317, Davie, Florida
There is a great battle
that rages inside me.
One side is a soaring Eagle.
Everything the Eagle stands for is good and true and beautiful,
And it soars above the clouds.
Even though it dips down into the valleys,
It lays its eggs on the mountains.
The other side of me is the howling Wolf,
And that raging, howling wolf represents the worst that is in me.
He eats upon my downfalls and justifies himself by his presence in the pack.
Who wins this great Battle?
The one I feed.
You Scouts must make a choice of whether or not you wish to be an HONORABLE
MAN. Which are you going to feed, the Eagle or the Wolf?
-- Thanks to General Krulak,
Commandant of the US Marine Corps. Presented at the 1994 Naval Academy