The Distraction of Camping Gear

In Which I Find Myself Overthinking Camping Gear “Ah, what happened to the good old days when camping was simple? No backpacks overstuffed with the latest and greatest camping gadgets from Cabela’s.” These words were spoken by Mr. Westerly, the grandfatherly figure of the local Scout Troop. He was shaking his head at the Therm-A-Rest […]

We’ve Been Doing Merit Badges Wrong

  Setting the Stage (Moviemaking) It was the end of January. My Troop and I were going through the last few hours of an event called “Merit Badge College”. This was an annual event held at a local community college where experts in various fields came and taught different merit badge subjects over the course […]

How To Teach Nature (The Non-Boring Way)

As a Scout, I loved every chance my Troop and I got to spend time in the outdoors. I even loved studying different topics related to camping. Nevertheless, there was always one section of outdoor books that I flipped through as quickly as possible: wild plants and animals. I loved the idea of being an expert […]

Airline Scouting

  Recently, big events in my life such as getting married and moving across the country have prevented me from being as active as I used to be in the local Scouting Troop. We all will have seasons of life like this in which our responsibilities slow down Troop involvement. However, this does not mean […]

My Last Article?

Okay, I admit it: the title of this article is a little bit misleading. This isn’t actually my last article. The title isn’t a description of the article. It’s a challenge. Here is the premise that I have been meditating on a lot lately: Time flies by so swiftly. When we invest time in others, do […]

“Over the Top”

Published in Boys’ Life July, 1918   “ Private Edward J. Kelly, One Hundred and Sixty-fifth United States Infantry, went over the top one night in a raid, and the end of his story was written in the darkness of No Man’s Land. He was sixteen. A few months ago, the only uniform he ever […]

Developing Patrol Identity

Think back to those exceptional, specific moments when you saw a Patrol in your Troop really shine. Maybe it was the way they prepared a meal during that camping trip last Fall: everyone doing their job quickly and enthusiastically. Maybe it was the way the whole Patrol came together to help one of its members […]

Recapturing a Vision for Active Patrols

Curlews. Bulls. Wolves. Ravens. – These are the very first Scout Patrols that ever existed. They were the Patrols Baden-Powell formed from the twenty-one boys that had come to Brownsea Island for his famous experiment with the Scouting framework. Baden-Powell could have led the whole camp single-handedly through the respect his reputation had earned and […]