'Goodies' from the heart
I'd like to share a project our Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts did for our men and woman in military service.
They put together boxes of useful small items, such as pencils, postage stamps, eyewash, notepaper, etc., and then added personal thank-you notes, along with copies of some jokes from the Boys' Life "Think & Grin" page (and even some complete copies of Boys' Life).
I know the packages were appreciated because of the letter we received from the grandmother of one marine:
To Cub Scout Pack 105:
A Good Turn troop
Scouts in Troop 290 of Bearden, Ark., have participated in the Scouting for Food drive since they were Tiger Cubs, collecting more and more food each year (25,000 pounds in 2003). Every Thanksgiving the Scouts work with Cayce's Charity in Thornton, Ark., to supply more than 1,200 families with a box of food containing a complete Thanksgiving turkey dinner plus enough food to feed a family of four to six people for a week. (The charity was started by my mother, JoAnn Cayce, more than 40 years ago to help meet the needs in our rural area.)
Among the troop's many other Good Turn projects for the needy are household giveaways four times a year; visits to two area nursing homes providing gifts, treats, and entertainment for each resident; a Christmas toy drive for more than 800 children; and an Easter egg hunt during which the troop hides more than 10,000 candy-filled plastic eggs and serves cupcakes, punch, chips, and ice cream refreshments.
In 2003, Troop 290 volunteering came to more than 10,000 hours of community service.
Tiger Cubs perform service projects
During the past year the seven Tiger Cubs in our den worked very hard to perform a service project every month.
For the residents of a local nursing home, we painted pumpkins for Halloween and made paper turkeys for Thanksgiving; at Christmas, we made ornaments and snowman pencil containers and sang carols during our visit. On Valentine's Day we delivered candy heart flower arrangements and valentines.
But Veterans Day was our proudest accomplishment. We made hand-painted American flags out of popsicle sticks, attached a poem, and gave them to the many veterans who came to school for a special program.
Melinda L. Yeary
Congratulations to Troop and Pack 105 and Troop 290 and Pack 242's Tiger Cub den. As part of the BSA's Good Turn for Americaa "national call to service" in collaboration with national service organizationspacks, troops, teams, and crews can enter information about their service projects and service hours on a national Web site, www.goodturnforamerica.org. In February of each year, the BSA will report the total number of service hours and projects to the nation. In addition, councils can generate reports for their areas.
'Open House' article was helpful
Thank you for the March-April 2003 article "'Where the Boys Want to Be'" on holding a spring recruiting troop open house.
As the article recommended, Troop 151 obtained the Boy Scout Troop Open House pamphlet (BSA No. 18-706) with its five-step system for holding such an event.
We also asked fifth- and sixth-grade boys at our local school to fill out the "High Adventure Survey" form (No. 34241). (We attached a sticker to the survey form for fifth graders, asking for the boy's birth date, because some boys who were still 10 when they filled out the form could attend the open house and then be invited to join the troop when they turned 11.)
About two weeks before our open house, using the addresses on the survey forms, we sent a letter of invitation (slightly modifying the sample from Troop Open House) to parents. We then followed up with the recommended phone calls to make sure the letters were received.
A week before the event, a reminder letter with the day, date, time, and a map from the school to its location was sent to parents. The next day we mailed a personal invitation postcard to each boy.
Thanks also for the September 2003 article "All Aboard!" and for alerting us to the resource A Year-Round Guide to Boy Scout Recruiting (No. 18-748). The articles and resource materials were very helpful.
Unit leaders can find both articles in the Archive/Back Issues section of the Scouting magazine Web site, www.scoutingmagazine.org. The recruiting resource materials can be downloaded from the BSA national Web site: Boy Scout Troop Open House (www.scouting.org/boyscouts/resources/18-706/); A Year-Round Guide to Boy Scout Recruiting (www.scouting.org/boyscouts/resources/18-748).
The impact of Boys' Life
When I was 8 years old, my parents signed me up for Cub Scouts, and I started to receive Boys' Life magazine.
I was a poor reader, but Boys' Life challenged me, and I remember waiting each month for "my" magazine to arrive.
I devoured every issue and still have most of my copies from over 40 years ago. In three years I went from being a poor reader to one of the best in my class.
I have promoted Boys' Life to others for the past 30 years and have had other parents testify to similar experiences with their sons. You never know when a boy who doesn't read well may discover that what seemed like work can be fun. And it can change lives.
A Scout is kind
A simple act of kindness by a Webelos Scout at our pack's raingutter regatta can serve to remind us that Scouting is well worth the investment we make as leaders.
While presenting medals to each den's top three winners, the Cubmaster noticed that two boys had tied for second in one den. Both were called forward, but one was then told he would get his medal at the next den meeting.
The boy's eyes began to well up with tears and his lips began to quiver. After doing such a good job building and racing his boat, he now suddenly felt defeated, discouraged, and sad. However, without hesitation or prompting from anyone, Webelos Scout Adam Geffre offered his medal to the younger Cub Scout.
How rewarding to see a 10-year-old boy's simple but significant demonstration of the character values we leaders hope to instill in our Scouts.
Copyright © 2004 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.