Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Friends of Scouting

Longhorn Council is a nonprofit Cub Scout & Boy Scout council that provides services, programs, camps, and facilities to over 30,000 youth each year in 23 counties in North & Central Texas. 

The Council’s purpose is to provide the programs and infrastructure necessary to support Scout leaders as they work with your sons to deliver an effective Scouting program; including: 7 camps & program facilities (from 150 to 2500 acres), 21 major Cub Scout weekend programs during the school year, 19 day camps, 2 Cub resident camps, 9 major Boy Scout weekend events, 3 full Boy Scout summer camps & the Texas High Adventure Base, adult & youth training sessions, recruiting support, offices in Hurst & Waco, records, registrars, and insurance. 

Our projects are funded with Friends of Scouting contributions by Scouting families and business leaders, by popcorn and Camp Card sales, by activity fees, and by United Way.

So, as you can see, the Friends of Scouting is a critical fund-raising campaign that assists the Longhorn Council in offsetting program costs and enables them to continue providing quality service. The true cost of Scouting is much greater that what local dues, camping and event fees cover. 

All packs, troops and crews are encouraged to participate in the campaign and we hope all families will take the opportunity to contribute, too. 

Our campaign will kick off February 1 and will culminate at the Blue & Gold Banquet on Friday, February 24. The Council has established our Unit goal of $1400.  We have exceeded this the past two years and hope that we can keep this momentum moving!   By meeting our goal, we will be able to have FREE RANK ADVANCEMENT for our scouts OR a 50% discount on registrations to attend the Fall Festival in October at Sid Richardson!

SO the next burning question is...


The pledge can be a one-time gift, it can be a monthly or quarterly contribution – however it makes sense for you to meet your commitment, Longhorn Council can accommodate various billing requests. No gift is too big... no gift is too small... 

As a reminder, the budget to run the Scouting program throughout the Council is about $6.3 Million. Of this amount, $1.5 million comes from the Friends of Scouting effort – half of this amount comes from businesses throughout the community and the other half comes from the generous support of the families that participate in the program. It costs the Council approximately $300.00 per youth to operate the Program. The money is used to provide:

  • Free Council Camps to the Scouting Units of the Longhorn Council (we have utilized this benefit, camping out of council costs units PER PERSON for every attendee)
  • Maintenance and improvements to these campsites (Sid Richardson, Worth, Tahuaya)
  • Delivery of the Scouting Program to inner city youth that would otherwise not be introduced to the program
Please consider a pledge to the 2017 Friends of Scouting Campaign to help the Pack hit our goal. If you would like to make a pledge, please be prepared to do so at our Blue & Gold banquet.  We will have cards available there.  

If you want to see what some of the monies have been able to do in the past, please click here to see the What's New flyer.  It's also a great way to see some of the activities your sons can engage in when they become Boy Scouts, too!  Some of these upgrades are AWESOME!

In short, what we see is only about 20% of what actually goes on in Scouting.  We have professionals at all levels working to ensure this program is the best out there to prepare our boys for leadership and by giving them experiences they likely wouldn't have otherwise.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Scout Sunday

You may have heard us discuss Scout Sunday or perhaps have seen some of the e-mails about it but you may not know exactly what Scout Sunday is or what purpose it serves or what exactly is the point of this day or observance.

Basically, on Scout Sunday, uniformed Scouts and Scouters across the country will greet their congregations, participate in worship services, receive religious awards and conduct service projects to benefit their place of worship and the community at large.

Scout Sunday is special for units such as ours that are chartered by a religious organization because it gives us a chance to be visible within the church body on a day meant to highlight and embrace the partnership between the church and the BSA units chartered therein. 

Members of other units that are not chartered by a religious organization will use this date to seek out opportunities to be of service on Scout Sunday in their own houses of worship as part of their Duty to God.  We are blessed to be part of a church home that welcomes our service to their organization.

One of my favorite blogs, Bryan On Scouting, wrote a great article on Scout Sunday.  You can read it here.

Our Chartered Organization, First United Methodist Church of Keller, welcomes our scouts and leaders to wear their Field Uniform and volunteer in various capacities at their services held Saturday and Sunday of Scout Sunday weekend. If you are not familiar with your church's Scout Sunday protocol or if there is not one in place, this would be a great time to reach out to the church leadership and find out how you can help promote scouting within your own church home.  The link above will give you examples of things to do.

Nationally, Scout Sunday falls on the Sunday before February 8 (which would be February 5 this year).  Because, as you know, February 8 is the anniversary of Scouting in America (or if you didn't, now you do!)

Scouts that wear their uniforms to church on Scout Sunday will earn a Scout Sunday patch for their brag vest. Please be sure to notify your den leader if you attend and serve.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Be Prepared... for a BLAST!

Don't forget to get those rockets built this week if you haven't already!  

Sunday, January 29 is our rocket launch!

See THIS POST for information on supplies, materials and kits to buy.  Oh, and be sure to RSVP ON Scoutbook so we know you're coming!  As always, siblings are welcome to build their own rockets to launch.  

Why not bring have your Scout invite a friend that would like Scouting and invite him to build his own rocket to launch, too.  If he joins, your Scout earns his RECRUITER patch to wear on his uniform! Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pack 1910 at the Lone Star Brahmas Game!

January Pack Meeting

It was great to see our creative and smiling cub faces at the January Pack meeting!  If you took photos, please send them my way!  I would love to have a full Google Photo album of Pack events!  We love to see everyone's perspective and close ups of their favorite Cub Scouts. 

Another post was made on the CUB-O winners and the campers who earned their Polar Bear patch for camping in below-freezing temps.  

At the Pack meeting, we talked about the Blue & Gold Banquet which is coming up next month!  Be sure to get your reservations made NOW by clicking HERE.  We need to be able to plan for seating, food and need your help to do so!

But back to the main event -- the CUBANAPOLIS!  You can view the whole album HERE, but here are some highlights!





Sunday, January 15, 2017


Congrats to Pack 1910 CUB-O participants!  

Our Wolf den placed 20th out of 41 teams with a total of 135 points and our Webelos den placed 39th out of a total of 77 teams with 135 points as well.  Great job!

AND the campers earned their POLAR BEAR PATCHES for camping in weather that falls below freezing!  WHAT A BUNCH OF SUPER TROOPERS!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

You are Invited to the Pack 1910 Blue & Gold

Save the date and be prepared to join us for a fantastic evening at the Pack 1910 annual Blue & Gold Banquet. We are talking food, fellowship, friends... and don't let me forget to mention the cake decorating contest.  Because ... CAKE!

Be sure you RSVP on the Google Form so that we have plenty of food for you and your family!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Scout is Clean

Our trusty Scout Handbook reminds us that, "A Scout is clean. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean."

We can't remotely expect to be outdoor enthusiasts and not get dirty.  Camping is dirty work, but that's part of the allure of the outdoors.  You're really getting to be one with nature. Sometimes literally.  Sometimes, you may look like you're actually becoming part of it!  Think about all of the "dirty" (although honorable) jobs out there -- mechanics, construction workers, farmers, coal miners... the list goes on and on.  

I mean, there is an Eagle Scout who has made a career of showing us just how many Dirty Jobs ARE out there.  

Yep!  Mike Rowe is an Eagle Scout.  Pretty cool, huh?

In the pursuit of "clean," we have actually created quite a conundrum for mankind in that some people now have the mindset that all dirt and germs are bad.  The idea that having even a little dirt on you is a very bad thing.  We have so many people now using antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer instead of just plain old soap and water, that we have started creating superbugs that are RESISTANT to antibiotics!  How scary is that?  Dirt and some bacteria aren't bad things.  And, regular, plain soap is just fine for getting a little mud off your hands.  

But, while we are discussing the WORD clean, we aren't necessarily only talking about being Zestfully clean.  We are also talking about being clean in world, word, thought and deed.

First, let's think about the environment.  We MUST set the standard of care for the earth we are on.  We MUST consume less.  We MUST come to the realization that simply throwing something away, doesn't mean it's gone.  We MUST realize the dirty impact that we have on the world and then DO SOMETHING about making it a MUCH more clean place. In Scouting we have the mantra to "leave it better than you found it" and that should be everywhere! Conservationism and the 3 R's we preach: reduce, reuse and recycle are all ways to keep the earth clean.

When your Scout starts to camp, teach him the importance of keeping his tent space tidy whether it's with you on a family campout, when he's learning the patrol method and camping as a Webelos or even when he camps alongside or with a Troop as he becomes a Boy Scout.  I can assure you that it is no fun to be a tentmate with a slob... especially when your gear goes missing under the mess left in his wake.  Teach him now, how to take care of your gear and keep it clean for it to last longer.  

Teach your Scout the importance of clean hands when preparing food so that safety is insured for everyone.  Learning to BE clean by showering daily to remove dirt, germs and odor (onion pits are the worst!) is something that they do not only for themselves, but for those that have to be around them.  

In Scouting, we teach the boys to clean dishes properly using the three bucket method. Did you know there was a three bucket method?  Well, then come camp with us.  You need to learn this to reinforce it when your scout gets to that level!

Another term you'll hear -- especially around the new year -- is eating clean.  Eating clean doesn't mean that you've washed everything you're consuming with soap and water.  It means that you are showing self-respect to your body and those you feed by giving them wholesome, nutrient dense sustenance.  This is one reason we say no soda on camp-outs and there are rank-specific requirements and electives about learning about the food pyramid, nutrition and being healthy in your food selections.  When was the last time you flipped over a package of something you're going to consume and read the label?  Can you pronounce half of it?  Do you know what's in your food?  

The Boy Scout Trail states: 
If it's not dirt, earth, and grime that makes a Scout dirty, what does? It's a simple chore to scrub dirt off skin, but a much more difficult task to clean up filthy thoughts, habits, and behaviors that accumulate in our lives. First a feeling of jealousy or mistrust towards someone, then a derogatory comment about them, and soon a person is a fountain of malice spewing forth filth, vulgarity, and hate. Cleaning up such a mess is nearly impossible, but fortunately doesn't take a lifetime to develop. By keeping the mind and heart clean and not allowing the emotional grime to settle in, the problem is kept at bay.
One of the best aspects of Scouting is that it brings together all walks, creeds, races and socio-economic groups together for one purpose - the brotherhood of Scouting. Since we are all to be living the Scout Oath and Law in our daily lives means that this, in turn, helps us to associate with others who are also pledging to live with a clean mind and heart.  Serving alongside others who are cheerful, encouraging, friendly, loyal, benevolent and kind helps to encourage like behavior.  

Ever heard the saying, you are the company you keep?  Think about it.  Most cliches were coined for a reason.  If you associate with those that push the envelope, break rules or laws and engage in less than desirable behavior, you're more inclined to assimilate with that crowd rather than be the one that stands out for being different and saying no.  
"Dirty jokes, vulgar comments, racial slurs, ridicule, and swearing are often heard in many situations. They have no place in scouting and no place in a scout's life. Besides choosing to not say those kinds of things, a scout should also make it known that he will not tolerate those things. A single scout will most likely not change the behaviors of a group, but he can make his feelings known and then remove himself from the crowd. He can also support someone he finds as the butt of these comments and demonstrate compassion to those unclean louts, possibly helping them recognize their ways."
There is a reason that people are able to sue for emotional distress.  The mind and emotional psyche is something that can be made unclean and that "dirt" isn't quite as distinguishable as a mud speck on a chin.  Keeping your thoughts, actions, words and deeds clean can help to insure that those around you are buoyed by your scouting spirit and cleanliness.

A Scout is Clean.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pack Meeting Tonight

See everyone tonight for the Cubanapolis race!

Don't forget your car, helmet, goggles and tennis shoes with ties.

A Scout is Brave

The Scout Handbook reminds us that "A Scout is brave. A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him."  

When you're a kiddo, bravery was witnessed from your superheroes or on cartoons as the good guys took on the bad guys... standing up to a bully... It could even be considered brave to stand up for yourself to an elder whom you're supposed to respect. To go against the status quo and do your own thing, is brave.  To veer from the well traveled path and forge your own destiny is very brave.  So, that being said, bravery is certainly not the lack of fear but the strength to overcome it.  Fear begets bravery.

I love the way The Boy Scout Trail says: 
Fear is a feeling you have based on your surroundings. If you sense danger, you feel fear. It's a natural and useful feeling. When a Scout experiences fear, he can either control it or let it control him. Courage controls fear and allows a Scout to keep a cool head, rise above the danger, and act in a brave way. When fear controls the person, he loses his sense of honor and his gut instinct of self-preservation takes over, causing acts of cowardice.

It's easy to stand back in the sidelines and let things happen, but we are training leaders that not only think of others, but act on the moral compass we are helping to instill within.  To think about how he can interject in a situation to turn it around and let the right thing happen.

There are many situations in Scouting where fear may be experienced:  public speaking, leading a project, asking for help from another leader, learning new skills, handling new tools, camping in a new environment, learning to do hard things.  But, the way to overcome that fear is to seek the courage from within because WE BELIEVE OUR BOYS CAN DO HARD THINGS!  Do hard things every day!  Conquer your fears -- conquer the world!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Scout is Thrifty

The Scout handbook states that "A Scout is thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property."

The Boy Scout Trail states it well, 
"Of the twelve points in the Scout Law, I imagine that Thrifty is the one most difficult to quantify. A Scout in an affluent community may consider himself thrifty by saving his $25 allowance for two weeks to buy a video game while a few Scouts in a less wealthy neighborhood might pool the change they collected from turning in soda bottles to buy a bag of candy. Being rich or poor does not define the ability to be thrifty or not. A rich person can be thrifty without being a Scrooge and a poor person can be thrifty while still sharing what he has."

One of the reasons we have fundraisers is so not to burden our Scouts' families with the cost of every activity he may wish to participate in.  If he doesn't bear part of the responsibility (I like to call it "sweat equity") for helping to fund the adventures he wants to partake, he has no vested interest.  While it may be easier for us to just write a check and pay their way, it teaches them nothing about working and saving to reach their goal, and everything about feeling entitled to simply get what they want.  When they have a vested interest and understand how hard they've worked, they start to understand the idea of value and investment and ultimately, the reward for hard work.

Our annual popcorn fundraiser is a chance to provide Scouts the opportunity to practice not only the art of sales, but also that of communication, rejection, goal setting and reward. Being able to sell Camp Cards to pay their way to Day Camp and attend Pack overnighters that might otherwise prove to be a little cost-prohibitive, is an excellent lesson in setting a goal and investing in their program.  When they aren't given a blank check for everything they want but have to learn to put forth effort and prioritize to acquire what they want, they are taught perseverance and life skills they can't learn elsewhere at such an early age.

At the Webelos level (when the dens are permitted camp on their own) and are taught the patrol method of Boy Scouts (meal planning for camp outs and learning to shop within a set budget), scouts learn the importance of staying WITHIN that budget and completing the task of making it work by being thrifty.  Paying their way is such an important part of their Scouting experience.  Our hope is that our Pack families understand that the need to participate in fundraising isn't merely to raise funds, but to teach the boys valuable life lessons and help us all continue to have a vested interest in the program.
Being thrifty isn't always about money, however.  Being thrifty can be about resources - turning off the faucet when you're brushing your teeth, turning off lights when you leave a room, keeping the doors shut in the summer, using what you have until it is no longer functional rather than buying the newest model just because so-and-so has one or even repurposing materials rather than buying new.  Not wasting resources like water and electricity is called conservation.  Conservation is SO important to our world and we will continue to make it an integral part of the Scouting movement.  

Our spring fundraiser this year will be used to pay for and fund the furnishing of our Pack's camping trailer.  Our goal is to outfit this trailer with camping supplies so that each den has what they need for our Pack events enabling them to get the most of their Scouting experience without having to be burdened with purchasing camping equipment that they may not always need (camp stoves, lanterns, Dutch ovens, etc.) Being thrifty will be an important part of this process because we anticipate these materials lasting years. Therefore, our expectation is that the boys learn the process for taking care of them. This means that they are helping to conserve pack resources which will help with future Pack purchases instead of the Pack having to continually repair or replace things that aren't taken care of.  

I also completely agree with this sentiment as well, 
As Scouts and citizens in the most wasteful country in the world, we have a real challenge to raise our level of thrift. We are much like the child that is given everything and comes to expect everything. We consume more, conserve less, and expect better than we have. We know we should change, but few of us do.  Even worse, we have come to accept debt as a way of life in this country. A thrifty Scout should expect nothing and work for everything he desires. 
Whether rich or poor, a Scout that is thrifty learns that by adhering to the other points of the Scout Law, his thriftiness is also part of being helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind. Sharing of one's own doesn't necessarily mean money as much as doing what you can, with what you have, to make the world a better place. 

A Scout is thrifty.

Pack Meeting TOMORROW!

Don't forget tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. is the January Pack Meeting! We will be in the Family Life Center. It will be our annual Cubanapolis race.  

Be sure to bring your car, a helmet, some eye protection and wear socks and sneakers that tie!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Scout is Cheerful

So we've talked about the fact that a Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient and now... Cheerful.  

The Scout Handbook reminds us that "A Scout is cheerful. A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy."

On the surface, "cheerful" doesn't necessarily seem like it's quite as tough of an attribute to attain as some of the others-- but let's take a deeper look.  "He cheerfully does tasks that come his way."  

Can you think of a time when someone asked you to do something that you didn't want to do?  Were you cheerful about it?  I mean, you know it had to be done regardless, so the bottom line was your attitude about completing the task at hand.  That is what can make all the difference in the world.  

For those of you who aren't spring chickens, you may recall a certain Disney movie with a beautiful, dark-haired princess who happened upon the house of seven very messy little workers.  But instead of throwing a fit and turning into a grumpalumpagus (it's an April-ism, you'll just have to roll with it), she taught everyone who saw the movie these lyrics:
"Whistle while you work... 
and cheerfully we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune...
It won't take long when there's a song to help you set the pace."

Her attitude was her choice... and her choice was to be cheerful about a less than awesome task.  That made all the difference in her disposition and that of everyone around her.  The work was still going to be the same but she CHOSE to be cheerful.  

When at a camp out, it would be easy to complain about the rain, the heat, the cold, the bugs, the food, the duty roster or our Scouts can realize that they can choose to be cheerful.  Their one small act of cheerfulness could be the ripple in the temperament of everyone encountered!  

It's easy to be cheerful when the day is warm, sunny and everything is seemingly going your way. But... what about when someone cuts you off in traffic?  What about when you hear news you don't want to hear?  What about if someone grumps at you?

I liken the CHOICE to be cheerful to standoffs at the dinner table with toddlers.  I'm pretty sure we've all been there (and if you haven't, you should write parenting books). You've likely done a little bit of negotiation to get them to JUST TAKE ONE BITE.  

Just one. 


One... little... measly... nothing... bite!  


For the love of PETE... EAT IT!

That negotiation took thirty minutes... thirty minutes of your life that you'll never get back.

Thirty minutes was exactly long enough for them to either become so ravenous they just ate it out of extreme hunger (or, in the case of my rug rats, COMPLETE AND UTTER spite) or long enough to realize they LOVED whatever was being served and were then begging for more. 

The point is, they wasted more time being defiant and UNcheerful than they did joyfully completing the task of eating the rest of their meal and that...one...stinkin'...bite!  

Choosing to be cheerful comes with maturity and the development of personal integrity and empathy. Little ones could have cheerfully taken the bite and made the determination of palatability in a nanosecond... but they slogged through the negotiation process pushing things around on their plate just to drag it out for no other reason than they could.  In this scenario, everyone usually ends up being quite miserable. 

...and seriously, what kid doesn't like cheese on their hamburger?  Oh MY LANTA it's a wonder I'm not completely grey haired!  But I digress... back to the point at hand... 

The choice to do any task cheerfully, expeditiously, joyfully... is ours... it's theirs.  

And, just so you have something more in your parenting arsenal, when my children grumble, I like to throw out Philippians 2:14.

The Boy Scout Trail reminds us: 
A spirit of cheerfulness requires strong character and an understanding of life. When a Scout realizes that it is completely up to him to be depressed or cheerful, discouraged or resolved, cowardly or brave, then he can make the choice. Until that happens, boys will blame the world around them for their feelings. The amount of hardship required to adversely effect a person's demeanor is a solid test of that person's depth of character. 
Sad occasions, such as a friend moving away, failing a test, or losing a pet for example, will understandably dishearten a person. Feelings of loss and sadness are normal and even a sign of respect. But, after an appropriate time, it is necessary to carry on with life and find goodness and cheer in other people and healthy activities.

Scouting renders itself to many opportunities for life lessons in every point of the Scout Law.   Our January Pack meeting, for instance, is a race and not everyone will win.  There are no participation trophies to just make everyone feel good.  The feeling should come from within from DOING THEIR BEST!  

However, we are helping provide opportunities for Scouts to CHOOSE to maintain that cheerful disposition when... they might come in second.  Why not encourage your Scout to be that Scout that congratulates the efforts of everyone involved and pats the winner on the back?  

We provide opportunities, too, for selfless service to our community as well. Cheerful dispositions are always welcome at these events!  (Can anyone tell me, however, why is it more fun to pick up other people's trash than it is to pick up your own socks off the floor? I still will never understand that one!)
Think of ways to encourage your scout to be cheerful and to help cheer up others.  You don't grow by not having to face challenges and obstacles.  You grow by how you choose to face the challenges and obstacles set before you.  Be cheerful!