Archive for June, 2007

Scout Troop Blessings

June 28, 2007

I’ve been looking around.  Around here, it appears that Scouting is in decline.  I see troops loosing members. I see troops with insufficient adult leadership.  The word languish really does come to mind.  I thought that we were doing God’s will.  That we were leading a next generation to a greater place in the kingdom.  Where’s the blessing for my troop?

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” PS 33:12.  I don’t really think that David meant only nations.  I think that he could have as easily used people or church or organization here.  The Jews have often been referred to as the “nation” of Israel.  I’d say that a group of people that is united in their dedication to the Lord would receive this blessing.  So again I say, where’s that blessing.

I’ve always said that we were a Christian troop.  We say that we only take leaders with strong Christian values.  We say that we will only provide Christian mentorship for the boys.  Don’t we qualify as Christian?  So I started looking around.  OK, I wasn’t really looking.  The Lord just tapped me on the shoulder and asked a question.  “Are you doing it the my way or are you doing it your way (the convenient way) in my name?” 

I imagine that He gets annoyed with our tossing stuff on His plate that he would never feed us.  Lord if I’m a scout, then I’m yours, right? “No!”  How about if I go to church?  “Pagans have been to your church to attempt to damage it with their supposed powers.  Were they Christian since they came to church?”  So what will it take?  Do you know what He told me?  He said, “Do you consistently unite in prayer?  Do you seek my will in your decisions?  Do you listen and obey?”

I am determined to change my plan.  There will be no more settling for the convenient.  There will be no more walking the easy paths.  If I can’t get the Lord’s blessing than I’d rather that the troop died anyway.  If it’s not serving His purpose then what good is it.  If you’ve got a troop you are welcome to join me.  If you are already doing these things, I want to come see and be further inspired!


Who’s Responsible (A Scout Master’s Minute)

June 26, 2007

Suppose that, at work, my boss wants me to produce a program for an executive that will give a false evaluation of what’s going.  The executive asked for the program to be made that way.  He asked my manager to get it made for him.  My manager asked me to make it.  So who’s responsible?  Do you think a lie will be perpetrated with it?

[Give them a couple of moments to talk about it.]

The executive is surely responsible for asking for a lie.  What is he going to do with the program?  He’s responsible for that too.  My manager is responsible for accepting the order.  He’s also responsible for evaluating how it will be used.  I’m responsible for accepting the order from my manager.  I’m responsible if someone gets hurt by the lie that my program will produce.  I’m responsible for pointing out all of the failings that the program will have in case someone doesn’t know.


Lies (all lies, no mater how small) only exist by agreement.  Once exposed, a lie melts away because it has no substance.  Who’s responsible for protecting the truth?  I am.  You are.  They are.  Everyone is.  A scout stands tough for the truth.

Building a Human Pyramid

June 8, 2007

“So, who’s going to go first?”, I said.  “Come on Darnel, you’re the football player, show us!”, they all chimed in.  BSA Tenderfoot rank requirements ask you to prove not that you are physically fit, but that you are willing to improve your physical fitness.  Sit-ups, Pushups, Pull-ups, Broad Jump, Quarter Mile Walk/Run.  We’d do’em all.  We’ll do’em again in 30 days and show that (with practice) we’ve improved.  So Darnel banged out 40 good solid military pushups.  Ok the last 10 might have been a little less solid, but when I was his age, I don’t remember making 40 on my first try.  And yes, I was a defensive tight end.

Not everyone is a football player though, so some of the boys were toughing it out for 1 or 2 pushups.  That’s OK, they were there to improve.  Now, with your random bunch of boys, you expect some serious taunting.  “Two, You are soooooo lame!”  No, I did not hear one taunt.  It was more like, “Come on man, try it again.  I know you can do more.”  And the spirit in the place was so encouraging that even when they had taken their best shot they wanted another go.  Here I was prepared to make men out of them, jumping on their barbed edges to hammer them flat.  They were already looking back at me from the next level.  “Come on, Mr. Neal, we’re heading up.”

So, today I was sitting wondering why these boys needed me at all.  They already have the spirit of scouting!  They are Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, and Kind.  They are founded on their love of God.  I’ve got nothing to do.  Why did God give me guys that would make anybody proud.  I thought I was here to raise up a lost generation.  My answer was simple.  Ever try to build a human pyramid?  Your strongest people must be at the bottom.  They are the ones that will hold the others up.  If a man falls at the top, he falls and perhaps takes another with him.  If a man at the foundation falls the whole pyramid is doomed.

You know in the big picture, the scout master won’t actually build character in the boys.  The boys inspire each other.  What the scout master really does is open a window so that the boys can help each other through.  He limits the options that they are going to be presenting to each other.  Those limits are his window. 

God was telling me that he didn’t have time for me to develop a solid core.  “Here you go, I want your troop founded on the rock.”  Now why would that be?  I guess I’ll be watching for some new boys to be walking past my window