A Lament for All the Nobody’s Out There

Bookmark and Share

I showed up unannounced (and a day early) at Chris Collins’ office at 1117 Longworth. Actually, I was under the mistaken impression the “11” of “1117” represented the floor. There is no 11th floor in the Longworth building, which I discovered only after the elevator doors closed. Fortunately, a kind lady told me the first “1” represented the building and the second “1” represented the floor.

When I arrived at his office, Collins wasn’t there. He was on the House floor voting on, as near as I can tell from the daily record of July 18, 2017, a series of otherwise mundane amendments. Somebody probably thinks they are important. Maybe even Collins. I didn’t bother to ask. Ironically, I didn’t think it was any of my business.

I say it’s “ironic” because everything Congress does is, quite literally, “the people’s business.” It’s just that I’m so accustomed to thinking of myself as a nobody that Continue Reading “A Lament for All the Nobody’s Out There”

September 6, 2012 Towpath Boy Scout Roundtable Meeting Notes

Bookmark and Share

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:

What Boys Shouldn’t Be Eagle Scouts?

Bookmark and Share

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?

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share

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.)

111926_6268_stained_glass_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300

  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

Bookmark and Share

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”

The Top 10 Greatest Challenges Facing Today’s Boy Scout Troops

Bookmark and Share

Minutes from the November Meeting of the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable

We assembled at the Krieg Road LDS as usual on the cool evening of Thursday, November 4, 2010. The room filled quickly and after a series of 482033_90209043_mountain_climber_challenge_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300announcements, we divided ourselves into five patrol of 4-5 Scouters. Each patrol selected their names as follows: “Old Goats” (guess their average age); “Patrol #1” (guess their estimated self-worth); “Five Guys” (which, ironically, included four woman and one guy); “Mentally Challenged” (which pretty much tells you how much effort they put into the process); and “Knot” (signifying the contrapositive effort of the previous patrol).

It is duly noted here “Five Guys” took the unsolicited liberty of designing their own patrol logo. For going above and beyond the call of duty, each member of the entire patrol received one extra Roundtable Buck. It is also dutifully reported the whole assembly voted “Old Goats” as the “Best” (or, perhaps, “most appropriate”) Patrol Name and, in recognition of this outstanding feat, each member of that aged patrol found themselves richer by one Roundtable Buck.

For our troop activity, we spent the bulk of the meeting identifying the “Top 10 Greatest Challenges” our units face. After much deliberation, several really bad puns and a diversionary diatribe on the cultural significance of the 1984 cult classic The Adventures Continue Reading “The Top 10 Greatest Challenges Facing Today’s Boy Scout Troops”

Adieu Fort A.P. Hill; Au Revoir Jamboree – Reflections on the Exciting 2010 Boy Scout Centennial Celebration

Bookmark and Share

Jambo Journal – Day #11, Wednesday, August 4, 2010 The Voyage Home.

Yesterday’s entry: Life Happens When You’re Having Fun

In the journalism biz, of 890532_16433007_Farewell_to_the_Sun_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300which I’ve had an off-again on-again affair with since my salad days, there’s a trade secret regarding writing non-news stories on a tight deadline: write the story before the event actually happens. That way, you can quickly tweak it for facts based on what really happened and still have an excellent piece before the editor demands, “The presses are running now! Give me whatever you got!”

I figured nothing says “tight deadline” than shipping out day, when chaos lords over the earth and misdirection rules the day. In that spirit, I figured I’d use that ol’ trade secret. Here’s what I wrote Tuesday with what I intended to serve as the first paragraph for this entry:

The day begins early after a dewy night. We’ve already positioned our gear in the staging area near Troop 314. Now we just wait for our trucks. The buses will be coming an hour later. There’s a chance the military may require the trucks to wait for the buses. This would prove problematic if true.

Events have overwhelmed my corner-cutting strategy and would soon have me Continue Reading “Adieu Fort A.P. Hill; Au Revoir Jamboree – Reflections on the Exciting 2010 Boy Scout Centennial Celebration”

Life Happens When You’re Having Fun

Bookmark and Share

Jambo Journal – Day #10, Tuesday, August 3, 2010 The Last Day.

Yesterday’s entry: Smitten Again By a Bug You Don’t Want

Last night at dinner we 1174317_40471385_early_bird_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300reviewed the progress the boys were making towards earning their Jamboree Rocker patches. Imagine the “diversity” requirements colleges have to make sure you don’t just take courses from one academic department. Jamboree officials created the rocker patches for the same reason. They don’t want the boys spending all their time at Merit Badge Midway or just the Activity Centers or just in the water. (I guess they didn’t count on the impact of patch trading, though.) They also want to encourage the boys to travel to every corner of the camp. (Wait, maybe that’s where the patch trading comes in.)

We haven’t prodded the boys on earning their rockers. One of the primary principles of Continue Reading “Life Happens When You’re Having Fun”