SM Minute

December 2016: Is it possible that Santa Claus was a Boy Scout? 

With Christmas upon us, I thought tonight I would try to answer an age-old question regarding Santa Claus: Is it possible that Santa Claus was a Boy Scout?

Let’s take a look at how The Old Man stacks up against the Scout Law;

  • Trustworthy – You certainly can trust that Santa will show up every year, just like he promises.
  • Loyal – He’s very dedicated to his craft and his mission. Imagine the disappointment if he wasn’t loyal to his work.
  • Helpful – saves many Dads from last-minute shopping. Dads are notorious for leaving things to the last minute, just ask a mom.
  • Friendly – how many adults would let a millions of kids sit on their lap and listen to what they want? And smile while doing it?
  • Courteous – He always says “thank You” for the billions of calories he gets in milk and cookies each year.
  • Kind – delivering gifts to children is a great act of kindness. Except for the drum sets (That’s not too kind, at least to the parents).
  • Obedient – I emailed Mrs. Claus on this one. No reply, but seeing he’s been married for all those years, I’m going to bet he does what she tells him.
  • Cheerful – Ho ho ho. Need I say more?
  • Thrifty – makes his own toys. Saves a bundle on shipping alone.
  • Brave – would you get in a magic sleigh pulled by reindeer and fly? Me neither.
  • Clean – not sure how he does it, but that red suit looks great even after the millionth chimney has been gone down
  • Reverent – does his thing on a very special night for his religion and represents the spirit of the day.

…So yes Troop 55, it looks like Santa Claus may indeed have been a Boy Scout.

This time of year no matter what holiday you celebrate, remember that doing your best every day and living the Scout Oath and Law is what really makes each of you a Boy Scout!


April 2016: Outdoor Code

Some of you will be working on the Environmental Science merit badge. You’re learning how everything in nature is connected in some way to everything else. Some scientists call it the web of nature. Every strand has connections with other strands. Even rocks, for example, are part of that web because they help form the soil we depend on for food.

You’re also finding out that if we pollute or destroy some strand in the web oflife, it has effects on other strands. That’s why it’s so important that we understand what we are doing to nature and why as Scouts we sometimes do conservation projects to help our environment.

What I’m leading up to is a reminder that, especially when we are camping or hiking, we follow Scouting’s Outdoor Code in all we do. If we obey that Code, we are not going to damage any strands in the web of life.

February 2016:  Patrol Spirit

scout patrol

Pretty soon our 1st year Scouts become 2nd year Scouts and move into their regular patrols, they will be looking up to you as an older Scout are you ready to lead by example?

I’m sure all of you Scouts have played team sports, so you know what teamwork means. Most football fans see a touchdown run and say, “Wow! Isn’t that guy a great runner?” Maybe he is, but if you have played football you know that what really made that great run was the blockers on the line and downfield. Teamwork made the touchdown, not just one guy’s talent.

The secret of patrol teamwork is having every member do his job, whatever it is. If one Scout goofs off or doesn’t pull his weight with tasks, the patrol suffers. If every Scout does his part, the patsrol is bound to be a winner.

The winning attitude is what we call patrol spirit. Is your patrol a winner? I’m not asking whether you win every contest. I’m asking: Is your patrol doing the very best it can, and is every member contributing?

If your answer is no, then ask yourself: “Am I doing my very best? Do I have real patrol spirit?  What can I do to help my patrol be the best it can be? ”

January 2016

why scoutmasters

March 2nd 2015:  Why can’t you run through a campground? Because…


How geese work as patrols…


We live in an area where geese are very common. We see them coming in the Fall and leaving early Spring. Their migration is an awesome sight. 

There is an interdependence in the way geese function. 

FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. 
LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. 
FACT: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front. 
LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go. 
FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position. 
LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership — people, as with geese, are interdependent with each other. 
FACT: The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. 
LESSON: We need to make sure our “honking” from behind is encouraging, not something less helpful. 
FACT: When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation to follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own with another formation or catch up with their flock. 
LESSON: If we have as much sense as the geese, we will stand by each other.

two men meetng

April 16, 2015

A Scout is Cheerful

Two brothers once decided to leave their hometown and move to the city. Outside the city the first brother met an old man. “How are the people here?” asked the first brother.

“Well, how were the people in your hometown?” asked the old man in return.

“Aw, they were always grumpy and dissatisfied,” answered the first brother. “There wasn’t a single one among them worth bothering about. “

“And,” the old man said, “you’ll find that the people here are exactly the same!”

Later the other brother came along. “How are the people in this city?” he asked. “How were the people in your hometown?” the old man asked as before.

“Fine!” said the other brother. “Always cheerful, always kind and understanding!”

“You will find that the people her are exactly the same!” said the old man again, for he was a wise old man who knew that the attitude of the people you meet depends upon your own state of mind. If you are cheerful and frank and good-humored, you’ll find others the same.

Nov 30, 2014:                                                                    first class

In our everyday speech, “first class” means the best. When we say that a man is traveling first class, or that’s a first class restaurant, everyone understands what we mean.

In Scouting, “First Class” has another meaning. As we all know, it’s the fourth of our seven ranks. In some ways it’s the most important because it’s the hump you have to climb over to reach Star, Life and Eagle, to be elected into the Order of the Arrow, or to attend NYLT. A First Class Scout has mastered the basics of Scouting and is ready for the advanced course.

Scouts who are not yet First Class rank ought to be setting their sights on the First Class badge by now. You have made Tenderfoot by this time and you’ve been in Scouting long enough to be eligible to earn First Class rank. Why not make it your goal to make First Class by our Spring Court of Honor?

In this troop, we try to be first class in everything we do—our meetings, camping, hiking, merit badges, camporees, trips, and service projects. To achieve that, we need lots of First Class Scouts—those who have earned the First Class badge.


A simple thank you costs nothing, but it means so much to those who matter most to you. And remember, manners make the man and can be the difference between you being just another Scout and one who earns himself respect from those around him.


With the possible snow forecast this week in Kansas, our thoughts turn to winter. Here are a few chilly tidbits to nibble on.

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s
most fragile things,
but just look at what they can do
when they stick together.”

“Advice is like snow;
the softer it falls,
the longer it dwells upon,
and the deeper it sinks into the mind.”

“Time, like a snowflake,
disappears while you’re trying to decide
what to do with it.”

“The future lies before you,
like paths of pure white snow.
Be careful how you tread it,
for every step will show.”


When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. -Fred “Mr.” Rogers


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitgerald Kennedy


The Chinese have a saying, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”  There’s a lesson for us in that.  I’m thinking of advancement.  If you come to troop meetings without ever looking in your Official Boy Scout Handbook all week long and if you never ask how to pass a test or who to see about a merit badge, you’ll never advance very far in Scouting.  In Scouting, and in life, the rewards don’t come to those who sit back and wait for something to be handed to them on a silver platter.  I would like to see every one of you set the Eagle Scout rank as your goal in Scouting.  As a step toward that goal, I challenge each of you to pick out some award you can earn for our next court of honor.  Whatever the goal you set for yourself, remember that only you can take that first step toward it.  No one can do it for you.  Once you’ve taken that first step the next step becomes easier.  And the ones after that will be easier still because you’re on the way along the Scouting trail.


“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of  the world.”  -John Muir


‎”Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” -J. P. Morgan



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