Mark Arend (arend@CENTURYINTER.NET)
Thu, 2 Jul 1998 08:36:39 -0500
Here's 3 that I've recently written. Haven't used them yet so I can't say
how they'll go over. The first one might be a "re-run"--can't remember if
I've posted it already. But the other 2 are new.
I don't know how many of you have seen redwood trees but I'm sure you've
all seen pictures of them. They average over 200 feet tall and can grow to
well over 300 feet. They can be so big around the base that sometimes
tunnels are carved right through them so people can drive their cars through.
You'd think that a tree that large would have to have deep roots to hold
them upright and keep them from falling over. But that's not so. Their
root systems are extremely shallow and it wouldn't take much to knock them down.
So what keeps them standing upright? Well, there's something else about
the redwood trees--you never see just one. There's always a group of them:
a redwood grove. The roots that spread out from each tree intertwine with
the roots from all the others in the grove. So these huge trees hold each
other up. One, or two, or three alone couldn't do it; it takes all of them
You know, a Scout Troop is sort of like the redwoods. A couple of us, or
even a whole Patrol wouldn't be as good of a Troop. It takes all of us
working together to do it; helping, and encouraging, and supporting each
On my honor
On My Honor. Every week we start out our meetings with these words and I
suspect that some nights some of you just sort of mumble through them
without giving them much thought. But what is honor?
The Scout Handbook says that honor is loyalty to high ideals. Webster's
Unabridged uses words like: "good name, reputation, excellence of character,
high moral worth, nobleness, integrity, uprightness, trustworthyness" in its
However you define it, Honor goes to the very core of what you are. If you
have it, everyone knows--they can tell it by your actions. And if you don't
have it--well, it's equally obvious.
So when you say "On my honor, I will do my best" and so on, you are
pledging yourself to do the best you can. No half-measures or goofing off.
You are saying that you will do it.
And I know that you will.
Every week when you recite the Scout Oath you promise to do your best to do
your duty. But what is duty? Well, as usual when I'm unsure of a word I go
to the dictionary. My Webster's Unabridged defines it as "That which is
required by one's station or occupation" and "That which a person is bound
by moral obligation to do or not to do".
OK, that's a good working definition. Duty is something a person must do
because he or she is who & where they are. A police officer is required to
enforce the law & keep the peace; a teacher is obligated to stand in front
of a classroom every morning and teach; and a doctor has to keep people healthy.
So, then. What is your duty? Well, the rest of the Scout oath spells that
out. You know it as well as I do so I won't repeat it but it boils down to
this: As a Scout your duty is to learn to become the best man you can be.
And knowing you as I do I have no doubt that you will be.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(920) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City