Monday, June 30, 2014

Ensign endorses Scout Leader Training. Again.

For widest dissemination - Article (pdf)
(the principles discussed are just as relevant to YW leaders, too...)

Prepared. | For Life.™

Monday, June 16, 2014

GIRLS? At our Day Camp?

I went with my youngest son to Cub Day Camp this last weekend, because they needed replacement leaders. I'd forgotten how fun Cub Scouts can be.

What was really cool was this: in our group was pack of Activity Days Girls from Salt Lake City. Kudos to the AD leaders and their "superiors" who are willing to buck tradition and let their girls have adventures, even if they were surrounded by loud, obnoxious, smelly, dirty boys (and that's not a stereotype, they were all in my van, and they were RIPE!).  I've long advocated that since we have the same objectives for our daughters as our sons (i.e., they become leaders who are able and willing to engage in a lifetime of service), they ought to have the same kinds of opportunities as the boys, instead of (another) popsicle stick craft or 4-generation family tree. Give them all challenges to overcome, and confidence to build.

Also, a big shout-out to the staff at Camp Tracy's Fort Cub Frontier Day Camp. You put on a great show!

Prepared. | For Life.™

Monday, June 9, 2014

Make your own char cloth

You've perhaps seen fire building demonstrations using char cloth, a charred, but unburned piece of cotton. I always wondered where to get it. Well, here's how to make it yourself. I'd like to compare it with my Petroleum jelly cotton ball fire starters.

Prepared. | For Life.™

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Urban birding

The other morning on the bus ride into downtown SLC, I looked out the window toward the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and saw a bird perched on the northeast corner of the building, 10 storeys up. I had known that there was a breeding pair of peregrine falcons somewhere in the area, but I'd never really known where to look. Turns out their nest is on that corner of the JSMB, with a couple of nest cams for ground-based mammals to watch the goings-on. This year, there are three surviving chicks flopping around the nest. 

Today for lunch, I decided to go see what was going on at the nest, now that I've ID'd the site, and I spent a pleasant 15 minutes on the Church Office Building grounds watching one of the adults.  (When I'm reincarnated, I want to be a raven, btw.)  Here's the Scouting connection:  most cities have lots of wildlife if you know where to look. While watching the falcon, I also saw quail, starling, and sparrows.  Whether Cub Scouts, New (11YO) Scouts, Environmental Science MB pursuers, or whathaveyou, your city or town probably has plenty of opportunity to observe wildlife in its [urban-adapted] habitat. Even if you're miles from open country, you can find birds, and sometimes more, even raccoons, skunks, insects, maybe even deer.  A little creativity and there you go!

Prepared. | For Life.™

Owl Post: Watch the Lamb

Shared by my Wood Badge Chaplain:

I recently returned from a Wood Badge Course where one of the highlights for me was to see my good friend Aaron Bullock who is deaf, sign the following song. . .WOW!!!

RAY BOLTZ June 2014 Watch The Lamb Lyrics

Walking on the road to Jerusalem,
The time had come to sacrifice, Again.
My two small sons, they walked beside me down the road,
The reason that they came, was to watch the lamb.

"Daddy daddy, What will we see there?
There's so much that we don't understand,"
So I told them of Moses, And Father Abraham,
And then I said dear children, "Watch the lamb.

There will be so many, in Jerusalem today,
We must be sure the lamb doesn't run away,"
And I told them of Moses, and Father Abraham,
And I said "Dear children, Watch the lamb."

When we reached the city, I knew something must be wrong,
There were no joyful worshipers, no joyful worship songs.
I stood there, with my children, in the midst of angry men,
Then I heard the crowd cry out, "Crucify Him!"

We tried to leave the city, but we could not get away.
Forced to play in this drama, a part I did not wish to play,
Why upon this day were men condemned to die?
Why were we all standing here, When soon they would pass by?

I looked and said, "Even now they come,"
The first one pleaded for mercy, The people gave him none.
The second one was violent, He was arrogant and loud,
I can still hear his angry voice, Screaming at the crowd.

Then someone said, "There's Jesus," I scarce believed my eyes,
A man so badly beaten, He barely looked alive.
Blood poured from His body, from the thorns on His brow,
Running down the cross, and falling to the ground.

I watched as He struggled, I watched Him as He fell,
The cross came down upon His back, and the crowd began to yell.
In that moment I felt such agony, in that moment I felt such loss,
Till the roman soldier grabbed my arm and screamed, "YOU! Carry his cross!"

At first I tried to resist him, but his hand reached for his sword,
So I knelt and I took the cross from the Lord.
I put it on my shoulders and started down the street
The blood that He'd been shedding, was running down my cheek.

They led us to Golgotha; They drove nails, deep in His feet and hands.
And on the cross, I heard him pray, "Father, forgive them..."
Never have I seen such love in any other eyes,
"Into thy hands I commit my spirit, "He prayed, and then He died.

I stood for what seemed like years; I lost all sense of time,
Until I felt two tiny hands holding tight to mine.
My children stood there weeping, and I heard the oldest say,
"Father please forgive us, The lamb ran away.

Daddy daddy, what have we seen here?
There's so much that we don't understand,"
So I took them in my arms, we turned and faced the cross.
And I said, "Dear children Watch the lamb."

Prepared. | For Life.™