Scoutmaster Minute – Uncommon

Well, it’s the end of the football season, and, as most of you know, besides Scouts, Alan plays football.  Coincidentally enough, I’m reading a book by Tony Dungy called Uncommon.

I’ve only started reading it, but I already like the book a lot more than I thought I would have.  Tony says there are plenty of common men out there.  I guess that’s why they’re called common.  But, there are only a few uncommon men, true men of character, men that consider honesty, integrity, humility and courage an important part of who they are.

Here in Boy Scouts, we might say these men are trustworthy, loyal, obedient, and brave.  And, for those few Scouts (less than one in a hundred) that really believe in such points and pour their life into them, they become a truly uncommon man, one that we call Eagle Scout.

So, as I often do, I challenge you to look at yourself and decide what you want to be.  Do you want to be common, ordinary, just like everyone else?  Or, do you want to be someone different, someone that actually makes a difference in this world by humbly serving others with honesty, integrity, and courage?  In short, do you have what it takes to be uncommon?

Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance by Tony Dungy


Junior Journey – Agent of Change – Session 4


  • Leader Journey book and girls’ Journey books
  • 20 pieces of paper, 60 index cards, thin markers


Opening (as usual)


  • Ask the girls to talk about what community means to them – real, virtual, etc.  Discuss how communities can overlap.
  • Have the girls look at page 70 to get ideas for communities and fill in page 71 with their own communities.
  • Ask the girls to talk about what are the good things in those communities and what those communities need.
  • Have the girls fill in page 72 for animals.  Then, do the fist-to-five to come up with a small list of ideas and write them down on page 78.
  • If there is time left, then play the Real Me game on page 24.

Closing (as usual)

Scoutmaster Minute – A New Year Challenge to Grow Up

As some of you know, I also volunteer with Van Dyke Youth Group. When Middle Schoolers there complain about something, the youth pastor has one simple reply: Grow Up. I also read an article lately about a teacher that offers students extra credit if they take on a project to Grow Up. Here in Troop 339, we offer plenty of opportunities to grow up in meetings and campouts. But, we don’t often challenge you to carry that home. So, here it is.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking for you to give up the fun and craziness that goes along with guys your age. I’m asking you to grow up in some positive, significant way. Maybe it means stopping yourself from complaining about something and really dealing with it. Maybe it means being nicer to your siblings. Or, maybe it means stepping up and doing something new for yourself or your family, like handling the laundry or making dinner. I challenge each of you to pick one thing this week and just do it. And, if it goes really well then be sure to come back next week and tell me what it was.

You Never, Never Know the True State of Mu

My college statistics professor taught us one of those unique lessons that apply in a broad way to real life beyond the basic mathematical concept…

“You never, never know the true state of Mu.”

For those not familiar with statistics, the Greek letter “Mu” represents the *real* average for a set of numbers.  For a small set of known numbers, you can easily calculate the value of Mu.  However, consider a meaningful question, like, “What is the average age of all people living in the United States?”  You can approximate the average using statistical methods, by taking samples and whatnot, but you can never know the *real* average age.  There is just too much data changing too quickly.

So, it is with all aspects of reality, beyond simple things like averages.  While you can approximate reality based on the perceptions you have and the conclusions you make, you will never, never know the true state of reality.