For my Scoutmaster minute this week, I did something a little different. I asked the Scouts what Memorial Day was all about and confirmed the right answers. I then asked any Scouts or Scouters that had family members that served in the military and passed away to stand up. We didn’t have very many, so I went ahead and asked any that had family members that served in the military to stand up, even if the family member was still alive. Then, I went around and had them name the family member and describe how he or she served. Some Scouts and Scouters mentioned a branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard), and others named a war where the family member fought. I brought it together by explaining that is what Memorial Day is all about. It’s not some abstract concept. It’s about appreciating real people, often family and friends, that gave up part or all of their lives to allow us be free to live the way we do.
Our family had fun tonight going on a “Random Road Trip”.
We got the basic idea from a magazine, and then we added our own flair to it:
- Gather the family in your vehicle.
- Agree on how much time to spend driving.
- Start driving. Yep, just start driving!
- Have everyone take turns deciding which way to go.
- Keep going until you have driven the agreed amount of time. Then, continue toward the next major intersection.
- Visit a place nearby that you have never been to before. It could be a restaurant, store, park, or whatever.
- Find your way back home, and enjoy the memory.
For our first trip, we agreed to spend 30 minutes driving to our random destination. That went by quickly, but it was good for a first trip.
For deciding which way to go, the first person decides which way to turn out of the neighborhood. The next person decides whether to go straight, turn left, or turn right at the next major intersection, as indicated by a traffic light or stop sign. Skip any intersections that just have entrances to subdivisions or shopping centers.
For a place to visit, try a local place (like “Gigi’s Pizza”) rather than a chain (like “Pizza Hut”) to keep things interesting. While there, do something different. Share a special meal or snack, get a little memento, or take a picture to remember your trip.
For more fun, perhaps bring some friends along.
For a bonus, take the opportunity to conduct a random act of kindness. For our first trip, our waitress seemed new and stressed, so we tipped her an extra few dollars.
Consider using Foursquare or another GPS-based service to find a place near your random destination. Or, maybe find a geocache in the area. There is plenty of room for variations, depending on what your family enjoys. Have fun!
As you may recall from a couple weeks ago, researchers surveyed about 2,500 adult males and discovered 46 differences between those never in Scouts, those in Scouts for a while, and Eagle Scouts. Tonight I’ll cover those differences related to connections and relationships with other people.
Just by being in Scouts, you are 30% more likely to be close with your brothers and sisters. So, either families of Scouts are just awesome or Family Life MB actually teaches you guys something, or both.
While just being in Scouts doesn’t seem to matter, if you make Eagle Scout, then you will be twice as likely to be close with your neighbors, 60% more likely to connect well with your friends and co-workers, and 70% more likely to develop close relationships in your religious community.
Just be being in Scouts, you are 20% more likely to be a member of a group. If you make Eagle Scout, then that goes up to 90% more likely to stay involved in some group, much like you are in Scouting today.
Lastly, just by being in Scouts, you are 10% more likely to find a spiritual presence in nature. If you make Eagle Scout, then you become 60% more likely to see the relationship between God and nature.
In summary, Scouting obviously teaches you one of life’s most important lessons: how to connect with God and other people to build strong relationships that truly make your life worth living.