Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Fw: Hello From Honduras!
Fw: Hello From Honduras!
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 22:09:49 -0600
Hey Scouters from SUNNY Honduras!!
Yep, I FINALLY made it back to Scouts-L!! I don't know how long it's going
to be, because we are borrowing on the good graces of our hosts here, their
machines; but we're hoping to have our OWN connections to the grand Internet
and hopefully this means for me continuous conversations with all of you
around the "Roundtable Meeting that NEVER ends!!" (*hehehehee*).
Once again for those whom just joined us, or for those that have wondered
"Just who IS this "settammakie or whatever dude??", a SHORT introduction.
My name is Mike Walton, and I am an Army Reserve Major alternating between
active duty and Reserve forces duty. A longtime resident of Kentucky, my
family and I have recently moved to Fort Snelling, Minnesota where I work as
part of the Army Reserve's command headquartered there; we live in
Burnsville, which is part of the southeastern suburbs of the Twin Cities.
I am currently assigned to the US Southern Command's Forward Command Element
in Soto Cano AB, Honduras as the Deputy Director of the Joint Information
Bureau. We clear and forward media inquiries, photos, and stories back to
the Southern Command in Florida and onward to your local newspapers, radio
stations, and televisions stations as well as to military "markets".
I've been a part of Scouts-L essentially since we've started eight years
ago, and do my best to answer questions and issues with a "national BSA"
slant to them, as in "if we had someone from the BSA here, how would *they*
answer it?" Although over the years, we have gained several National and
regional BSA volunteers and professionals on our list (*waving to the back
of the "room"*), the key volunteers have been asked NOT to make "comments"
in the open forum and professionals are barred from doing so in their
official capacities as professional partners of the BSA. So, in answering
many of the questions and comments and concerns we've had, I had to rely on
my previous National and Regional experiences as a volunteer; my unit
service spanning twelve local Councils and ranging from Executive Board
member and Council Commissioner downward; and my three and a quarter-years'
experience as a Paraprofessional at various "grades" in Kentucky, West
Virginia, Tennessee and western Virginia...and their comments sent to me
"whispered in the ears" so to speak to provide an answer for us here.
I don't always "get it right" and I'm the first to admit that I don't know
EVERYTHING there is about Scouting in America...but I try my best to help
you and in return your youth to understand a bit of "where the BSA is coming
from" in responding to some of the postings here. I also try as hard as I
can to give us all an
"heads-up" when significant program changes or modifications are coming our
A lot of you have some very proactive professional staffs...they do the very
they can to let you know when things are going to change, or new slants on
changes. Unfortunately, that's not the way it is across the board, and many
are left wondering "why don't they tell us". I and some other Scouters here
do our best to explain that too.
I receive about 200 pieces of email a DAY from Scouters and other youth
leaders asking questions they feel they can't ask here or don't know about
to ask. I answer them gladly, when I can, and with as much information
concern or question as possible. Here, my answers sometimes gets VERY long
responding, and in advance, I apologize if I give you more than what you've
But the other reason why I'm here is to give the modern Scouter some
as to WHY we do things the way we do, because for the most part, there isn't
"Mike Walton type" that will explain those things in their community.
That's a shame, because much of our local and national Scouting history is
going away, and except for a few books here and there, it's lost because
nobody ever took the time
and explained it enough or in detail enough so that others can understand it
share it with their youth and adults!
I usually have my email addresses and snailmail address in my signature
lines at the end of my postings; but
because I'm not sure just how long I'll be able to maintain this connection,
I'm not providing that information
right now. The information on my website, however, will allow those wishing
to send me private postings to
do so. I don't share your postings to me unless you've specifically asked
or told me to do so.
Scouts-L is a GREAT resource, Scouters....it's NOT here to take the place of
your local Council, it's professional
and volunteer staffs, nor those wonderful peers of ours working hard to make
programming work in their communities
and yours. Nor is Scouts-L JUST FOR SCOUT LEADERS!!!!!! There's a lot of
people whom manage youth programs
in their communties, whom are members or leaders in other youth agencies,
and students interested in pursuing careers
or just "interested in youth programs" here too. If you have a question,
concern or issue, PLEASE, PLEASE post
here, let us all know and together we'll see if we can provide some answers
and reasoning for those answers to you!!
Together, those whom post here regularily and those "sitting in the back"
will help you and your programming!
But also please "use your resources" and talk with some other Scouters
locally (and we all use the word "Scouter" loosely
here....it not only denotes the workers in Girl and Boy Scouting but ANY
OTHER volunteer or professional working for
the benefit of youth!)
Finally, as I've wrote on my website, I am NOT a "spy" nor am I a "made up
moniker" for someone working at the BSA's National or Regional offices. I
don't report to the Chief Scout Executive nor any other national
professional. I'm a Scouter, just like the majority of you; I'm a hubby, a
dad, a brother. I'm also a strong public speaker, defender of the ideals of
Scouting, and proud Eagle Scout, Wood Badger, and SeaBadger. Some of this
will come through through extracts and snippets from three books I've
written on my life and times as a Scouter and former Scout/Explorer and how
Scouting has contributed to shaping my life and those around me.
The website I refer to has been updated to provide more background on me,
what I'm doing and where in the world did I come from!
It's located at http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle
Well...gotta go. I've got to lock this place up, go to my "place" and get
some rest! Days are long when you're helping other people!
I'm happy to be back...even if the conversations have to be "interpreted"
for a short while! *heheehehehehee*
P.S.: Some of you have already asked me about doing District service
projects to support the efforts down here. What is needed by the people in
Central America are clothing, school supplies, food, and every day items.
Many of your communities will have Army National Guard, Army Reserve, or Air
Guard or Air Reserve units coming down here....your District can do wonders
by collecting those items, forwarding them to the local Army or Air unit in
your community, for sending down here under New Horizons II. A videotape
or letter explaining your community or Scouting District's efforts would
also be nice....we have the means of playing those here. Local Army and Air
units have information on how you can contribute and how your youth and
adults can help in this special humanitarian effort. This would also make a
great Eagle/Gold/EAA capstone/Service project for our youth.....and many
church youth groups have done similar type projects as well. I can get you
in touch with the local unit that's participating if you like....