scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: REF: Saturday (final in series) 1/2
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Thu Feb 18 1993 - 15:34:38 CST
Ever had one of those days whereby you hear a song and it sticks in your
head all day long?
No matter what you do, the song is still �playing� in your head. One could
be taking a bath and out would come this song from your voice.
In my case, humming along and speaking the occasional words would have to
do. Something along the lines of William Shatner (�Captain Kirk�)�s
Priceline.com commercials, in which he �sings� the praises of the online
Or chopping onions in tune with �I�ve Been Working On the Railroad� or
something like that.
In my case yesterday, it was the Christian fellowship song �And You Know
That We�re Christians By Our Love.� At least, that was the name of the song
as we all sang it during the Scout Chaplain course at Camp Covered Bridge.
I don�t know why that song was �playing.� I was not in church, had not been
praying before it started, and most of all, I did not hear the song being
sung by anyone�the culprit in most cases. I can hear a song � Dean Martin�s
�Amore� for instance � and for the rest of the day, I am running around the
house trying to sound like Dino.
My neighbors are not as forgiving as my wife, my mother-in-law and their cat
are. Still, it does hurt your soul a bit when all three are telling you in
their own non-threatning way to �SHUT UP !! OR PICK ANOTHER SONG!�
It was the strangest thing. I was sitting here at my computer, hands on my
keyboard. I was just finishing replying to a person thanking them for a
gift. The guy sent me, completely out of the blue, a nice card along with a
nicer patch. His note, full of nice words to me and my wife, made my day;
so I wrote him back and posted my thanks and all of a sudden, I heard that
song being playing in my brain.
We Scouters are a strange lot. We are perhaps the most outgoingest people
on the face of this planet. Only the Boy Scouting program can take a man or
woman, whom would be afraid to even stand before a crowd of others, let
alone lead them in song � and magically transform this person with minimal
effort, into an outgoing, almost sappy-sweet leader of youth. Part of it
is repression, I am sure. Those of us whom are comfortable in front of
others are even more relaxed due to the fact that those people and we all
share something in common�a desire to help youth to make good decisions.
Those of us whom are not comfortable in front of others,
become so because Scouting is way different than what they would normally
do. If it were a Rotary Club meeting those people would be addressing, they
would either freeze up, or run from the room screaming, �I can�t do this!! I
can�t do this!�
Scouters are the only people I know whom would get into an automobile and
drive two to four hours to attend a two-hour meeting (and the one �hour
�real meeting� afterwards!), drive the two to four hours back home, go to
bed, and get up grudgingly a few hours later and go to work�and never
complain about the trip, the time of departure, nor the drive back. I have
heard Scouters complain about having to go to work the next day�or about the
lack of sleep. But NEVER have I heard a Scouter complain about a meeting or
activity. I mean REALLY complain, as in �Why am I going to this?� or �This
is stupid!! They should do this by email!�
Nope. Scouters will drive; they will fly; they will run up long distance
bills envious of some teenagers. They will change their work schedule and
in many cases their personal schedules so that they can be of assistance to
other Scouters. To be there as they are being recognized for their hard
work with NO payment. To help them out. And turn around and drive back,
or fly back, and happily pay that long distance bill knowing that they were
a part of something greater than �just little old me and my Scout unit�.
I took a plane trip to Nashville a few years ago, from Lexington, Kentucky,
to attend a Wood Badge presentation. Wood Badge is the advanced training
course for Scouting leaders. It is an intensive eight-day or three-weekend
period of not just learning what Scouting in America is all about, but
learning it all by doing it. At the conclusion of the formal part of the
training, you make a contract with yourself to apply all of those skills and
all of that information you gained in your present or anticipated Scouting
role. For two years, Scouters apply skills similar to what junior managers
do. It�s hard work. It sounds easy: you make up your own tasks, and then
you carry it out. What is hard about that?? It�s the process that is hard�
coming up with the tasks, developing ways that those tasks can be
measurable, and carrying them out to the best of your ability.
Very few Scouters do not carry out their own �ticket�, their own contract,
and complete the Wood Badge. Why? Because of those many other Scouters
that take off from work, or �X out� a weekend otherwise spent with their
family and friends and go and work with Hank as he �completes his ticket�.
Or, picks up the phone during the commercials of a ball game or an
interesting television show�and contact that Scouter and ask �Hey Hank!
How�s it going?? Are you still having problems with that project?? I was
just sitting here thinking, and I may have some ideas for you. You have a
Stupid question. Scouters NEVER �turn down help!� We lose patience
sometimes. We sometimes forget why we are doing all of this �extra work.�
But it comes back.
Like a song.
Here I was standing there, behind other Scouters as my friend Marty, a
chiropractor and Scoutmaster of a small Troop in West Nashville, received
his beads, neckerchief, and certificate during his Troop�s awards ceremony.
I wasn�t a part of his Wood Badge course; was not asked to teach a session;
nor was I his Coach/Counsellor, helping him and encouraging Marty and the
rest of the Rushin� Antelopes to earn their Wood Badge. Marty saw my name a
few months prior, on America Online, and looked me up through the campus
operator. He just wanted to ask me a couple of questions about how to keep
his sanity when his boys wanted to do things
like go bowling on Scout Nights. He read my posting to a Scouting forum at
eleven PM Central time; called me at midnight Central Time; and we talked on
the phone until 3AM, Eastern Time. Two hours.
I never complained the next morning. No need to, for I was doing what other
Scouters have been doing, are doing even as you are reading or hearing this,
and will be doing for the rest of Scouting�s life in this land. Scouters
are notorious for helping other Scouters. That�s just the way we are.
Marty later invited me to the presentation.
It was a good thing that after the bead presentation, they broke for cake
and coffee. No singing of the Wood Badge song�I was the only Beaver present
and I would have to sing the entire verse:
�I used to be a Beaver, and a pretty good Beaver too�
but now I�ve finished Beavering and I don�t know what to do.
I�m growing old and feeble and I just can�t Beaver no more,
so I�m going to work my Ticket if I can�� ALL by myself!!
It was a beautiful church�.lots of glass everywhere. I�m glad we did not
sing. Okay. I�m glad *I* did not sing!!
(continued in followup)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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