Family Talk column insightful
Much of my legal practice involves divorce and custody representation. I plan to share the insightful observations and suggestions in Victor Parachin's September Family Talk column ("Broken Ties: Ways to Help Kids Deal with Divorce") with every new custody client before their first meeting with us. ...
...my family is fortunate to be intact. We have three wonderful boys, and we all enjoy being involved in Scouting. The benefits far outweigh the time the program may require, and it is a great way to have fun with the family.
John A. Wolfe
Den Leader, Pack 73
New song makes an impact
Below are a few of the many responses I've received to my article, "A Song is Born," in the September issue of Scouting.
From an assistant Scoutmaster in Indiana:
"[The song] was moving enough to bring tears to my eyes when I fitted the lyrics to the melody. I have been in Scouting since I was a Cub Scout 18 years ago, and I always felt that the closing bonding moments of the campfire were the most meaningful. I am sure ... [the song's] legacy will touch countless other lives. Thank you!
From a district Scouter in Louisiana:
...For my Scoutmaster's Minute at our district roundtable, I began the tape of the midi file I copied from the Ashokan Web site. Not being able to sing, I just read the words accompanied by the music in the background. When I finished there was a silence that was deafening ... Everyone was moved by your words and the haunting melody of the music. ...
From a Webelos den leader in New York:
...I have just finished reading how this song was born and was deeply moved. I read the story to my husband and had to stop several times because I was so choked up...I would love to use it at our Webelos den's bridging ceremony this spring. ...
These letters sum up everything I had hoped to achieve by sharing with Scouting magazine readers how this version of "Ashokan Farewell," with my adapted Scout lyrics, was inspired by 14-year-old Scout Josh Kilgore and, following his tragic death, dedicated to his memory.
Scoutmaster, Troop 27
The lyrics to "Ashokan Farewell (Scouting version)" are found on page 10 in the September 1999 Scouting, which is also available on this Web site.
To hear a midi file of the melody, go to http://www.ashokan.org. More information on obtaining the music is available at (800) 292-0905. Please note, however, that the melody cannot be heard at the 800 number. (The wording in the article in the September issue caused some readers to incorrectly believe that the melody was available via telephone.)
For information on "Songs for Scouts," a CD scheduled to include a version of this song, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philmont trek was memorable
In 1997 when our family spent a week at the BSA's Philmont Training Center in New Mexico, our daughter Amanda participated in a backpacking trek as a member of an all-girl crew in the "Mountain Women" program for PTC family members.
The following year as a high school junior, Amanda was recognized as one of Tampa's 1998 Young Women of Promise. Asked about her various accomplishments in music, acting, mathematics, Spanish, soccer, swimming, and countless hours of volunteer service, she cited instead her trek at Philmont"a strong mental achievement for me"as the experience providing her the greatest satisfaction and sense of accomplishment:
"[I realized early on that] being able to physically overcome the challenge of the [Philmont mountain trek] depended completely on overcoming the mental challenges. The fact that I was able to ... convince myself I could do it physically, meant I really was able to do it physically ... [And] being out in the woods and participating in high adventure activities gave me a better appreciation for life and nature. The friendships I formed and the mental trust among our group gave me a higher sense of teamwork and companionship."
Later, in the college application process, her experiences at Philmont formed the basis of her essay on a subject that influenced or changed her life. This in part helped her to gain acceptance to Harvard, Rice, and to Dartmouth, where she is now in her freshman year.
Amanda's experience demonstrates how the high adventure programs in Scouting, at Philmont and elsewhere, can affect our young people in more ways than we are aware.
W. Hunter Eubanks
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 180
Dad is quite a Scoutmaster
My father, Charles Mertes, is Scoutmaster of Troop 172, Farragut, Pa. Last December, six of his Scouts received their Eagle Scout Award, as did three more in the spring. Five other boys are currently working on their Eagle projects. (All the Eagle Scouts have become junior assistant Scoutmasters or assistant Scoutmasters; none has quit the program.)
This "Eagle Commitment" is remarkable in a troop that has just 17 Scouts. My father instills a goal in the heart of every boy who joins: Try your best and reach for Eagle. More than one new Eagle Scout has told him how he has been an inspiration and role model.
As a Scoutmaster, my father has many roles. He is a second father to many Scouts. On any night you will find at least one Scout visiting with us at our house, where they know they are always welcome, especially if they have a problem. Then my dad is a counselor, willing to listen to any boy who needs to talk. Sometimes he is a mechanic, helping fix their cars or trucks in our garage. And when he just hangs out and watches movies with them, he is simply their friend.
My father also inspired our entire family to join him in Scouting. My mother, Christine, was Cubmaster of Pack 172 for five years and is now unit commissioner. My brother Charles was one of the troop's recent new Eagle Scouts and is now an assistant Scoutmaster, and my brother Matthew is scheduled to finish his Eagle project this fall.
Elizabeth C. Mertes
Committee Member, Troop 172
Send a letter to Scouting magazine
If you have a question or comment about what you read in Scouting magazine or about something related to Scouting in general, we'd like to hear from you. Write to us at Scouting magazine, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving TX 75015-2079. NOTE: due to the volume of letters and e-mail received by the magazine, the editors are unable to personally respond.
November-December 1999 Table of Contents
Copyright © 1999 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.
|The Boy Scouts of America||http://www.scouting.org|