Soaring With The Eagle… and Beyond

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Sam Carosa - IMG_7127-300x395It snows a lot in the towns south of Buffalo. That’s why they call them the snow belts. So when a young dad wants to teach his two small sons the fundamentals of football, he only has one option: The finished basement of the raised ranch home he built for his family.

That young dad was my father, and those two young sons were the six and seven year-old version of my brother and me. There we were, in our bare feet (lest we slip on the linoleum tiles), running and defending simple pass patterns drawn by our father on the cold basement floor. We’d take turns. One series of plays I was the receiver and Kenny was the defender. The next series of plays Kenny was the receiver and I was the defender. We could barely catch the oversized ball, let alone comprehend the intricacies of basic square outs, buttons, and hooks.

Yet we persevered. Such was our enthusiasm to play the sport that no amount of failure could discourage us. More important, though, were those reassuring words I remember my Continue Reading “Soaring With The Eagle… and Beyond”

September 6, 2012 Towpath Boy Scout Roundtable Meeting Notes

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I’d like to thank Kip Webster from Troop 10 for taking the time to compile these and submit them to me.

I. Introductions ‘round the room

II. Announcements:

March Roundtable Minutes – How to Keep Older Scouts Interested

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Once again we need to thank Kip Webster for providing these minutes. The March 2012 Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable focused on older boy retention. It was a lively discussion. We need to thank Greg Wolber from Troop for putting together his thoughts for tonight’s program. Greg is one of a handful of “one-and-done” Roundtable staff members who have agreed to assemble one program during our Roundtable year. Before we get to the evenings exciting topic, we had these announcements:Continue Reading “March Roundtable Minutes – How to Keep Older Scouts Interested”

February Roundtable Minutes

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In February’s Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable, we returned to a topic we haven’t covered in three years: the Merit Badge Counselor Orientation. We also had a special presentation on NYLT. Kip Webster was thoughtful enough to take the minutes of the meeting and allow me to post them here. We started with these announcements:Continue Reading “February Roundtable Minutes”

What Boys Shouldn’t Be Eagle Scouts?

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1212772_65845378_flag_eagle_stock_xchang_royalty_free_300(The following represents our discussion at the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable on the evening of May 5, 2011. I want to thank Kip Webster for keeping the notes of the discussion and sharing them with me to use as a basis for this post.)

In the April meeting we talked about religious emblems. As a part of that discussion, a few of the more experienced Scouters mentioned how Scouts had to be deferred at their Eagle Board of Review because they failed to properly answer how they showed reverence and a duty to God. This prompted a broader question: Under what circumstances would boys be Continue Reading “What Boys Shouldn’t Be Eagle Scouts?”

Boy Scout Religious Emblems – An Underappreciated Gem?

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BoyScoutReligiousKnot166This April we celebrated both Easter and Passover. What better topic for an April Boy Scout Roundtable than a review of Boy Scout Religious Emblems? The Towpath District of Seneca Waterways Council hosted Annaliese Parker of the Seneca District. Annaliese completed her Wood Badge in 2007 and one of her ticket items involved the promotion of religious emblems for both the Boy Scout and the Cub Scout programs. She came prepared with a display, a PowerPoint and handouts. For those who missed – and those you didn’t take notes – here’s a recap of the highlights and some interesting tidbits outside the presentation we learned along the way.Continue Reading “Boy Scout Religious Emblems – An Underappreciated Gem?”

5 Ways to Promote Scout Religious Emblems

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By Annaliese Parker

(Editor’s Note: Annaliese Parker identified these five methods to promote Scout religious emblems at the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable on April 7, 2011. This material is based on 2006 training materials and is an expanded explanation of information from PRAY (Programs for Religious Activities with Youth) training publications from 2006. PRAY gave Annaliese permission to duplicate this information as part of any promotional script. Annaliese originally expanded on this previously published information for her 2007 Wood Badge ticket. She has since updated some of the material as part of the presentation at the April 2011 Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable. She has graciously allowed us to reprint them here.)

All youth members of the Boy Scouts of America should have the opportunity to earn the religious emblem of their faith. The biggest roadblock is the lack of 1339477_29611971_roman_numeral_V_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300information about these programs at the unit level and area faith communities. That is why we are sharing this information with you.

First, make the Interfaith Quick Reference Chart available to youth members in your unit and their families. The brochure includes a chart of all the different religious emblems, lists the addresses, phone numbers and Web pages for the religious organizations, and explains how to get started on these programs. Council usually can offer assistance to provide what help you need in order Continue Reading “5 Ways to Promote Scout Religious Emblems”

4 Easy Steps to Begin a Scout Religious Emblem Program

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By Annaliese Parker

(Editor’s Note: Annaliese Parker provided this four step program at the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable on April 7, 2011. This material is based on 2006 training materials and is an expanded explanation of information from PRAY (Programs for Religious Activities with Youth) training publications from 2006. PRAY gave Annaliese permission to duplicate this information as part of any promotional script. Annaliese originally expanded on this previously published information for her 2007 Wood Badge ticket. She has since updated some of the material as part of the presentation at the April 2011 Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable. She has graciously allowed us to reprint them here.)

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  1. Youth members must obtain the specific booklet for their religion. This booklet contains information on all the lessons and service projects they will need to complete. Each youth member needs a personal booklet to document progress. Some religious emblems programs also offer adult manuals for counselors or mentors. Some of these booklets are available in your local Scout service center. If they are not available in the service center, parents will need to purchase booklets directly from the sponsoring religious organization. The Interfaith Quick Reference Chart lists the addresses and phone numbers for the various religious organizations.
  2. Parents must review the specific guidelines for their particular program. Some Continue Reading “4 Easy Steps to Begin a Scout Religious Emblem Program”

Frequently Asked Questions about Scout Religious Emblems Programs

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By Annaliese Parker

(Editor’s Note: Annaliese Parker provided this FAQ at the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable on April 7, 2011. This material is based on 2006 training materials and is an expanded explanation of information from PRAY (Programs for Religious Activities with Youth) training publications from 2006. PRAY gave Annaliese permission to duplicate this information as part of any promotional script. Annaliese originally expanded on this previously published information for her 2007 Wood Badge ticket. She has since updated some of the material as part of the presentation at the April 2011 Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable. She has graciously allowed us to reprint them here.)

What are the religious emblems programs?
The religious emblems programs are programs created by the various religious 873752_18385623_clouds_and_palm_trees_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. All religious emblems programs have been created by the religious groups themselves, not by the Boy Scouts of America. The Religious Emblems Quick Reference Chart (publication No. 5-206) lists all the different religious programs currently available and who to contact for more information. The Boy Scouts of America has approved of these programs and allows the recognitions to be worn on the official uniform, but each religious organization develops and administers its own Continue Reading “Frequently Asked Questions about Scout Religious Emblems Programs”

“Remember, You are Just a Man!”

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There’s this part of the Catholic Mass called the “homily.” It’s like the “sermon” of other denominations, albeit usually a lot shorter. For whatever reason, I tend to 1242681_27218650_roman_statue_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300do my most creative thinking during homilies. That’s probably true of most people. According the Catholic Encyclopedia, the homily, in brief, intends to mix the specific practicum of everyday experience with the generic spiritual/philosophical treatise offered by the Gospel. It’s said to be the oldest form of preaching. These inspirational words must therefore prod one into reflexive thought; hence, my tendency to brew ideas as the priest speaks in the most general of terms.

Today was different. Not only was it Scout Sunday and I was dressed in uniform to accompany a small covey of Boy Scouts as they brought up the gifts, but today the priest didn’t communicate merely in generalities. Today he named specific names. Today, he pointed to me and proclaimed Continue Reading ““Remember, You are Just a Man!””