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Michael LeavittThe Buffalo Patrol accepted the assignment to present a 15-20 minute presentation. Gary immediately came forth with the idea of poor nutrition and lack of exercise and the need for raising up a stronger and healthier generation of scouts. As the Buffalos listened to his passion we quickly accepted the idea and through heavy brainstorming and stampeding it was interesting to see what resulted once the dust had cleared.

We each paired up and decided to take upon us the theme that a Scout should live “physically stong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Gary was to start with a minute of topic introduction followed by two more minutes dealing with a scout being physically strong in the Cub and Deacon Scout years. The rest of us would then take 2 minutes to deal with 2 families of scouts dealing with one of the key topics. At the end, Shayne would then take another minute to tie the beautiful bow on the present.

Buffalo Project

I was assigned to work with Hap E on mentally awake. He was to start and I finished with the Varsity and Venture years. Here is my prepared text...

Mentally Awake – The Varsity & Venture Years

Baden-Powell stated, “We are not a club or a Sunday school class, but a school of the woods.” And as the young man enters into his Varsity years he is seeking high adventure to satisfy his increased appetite for learning and excitement. Michael LeavittAs the discipline needed to learn to climb, rappel, ascend ropes, and even exploring the subterranean portions of the earth are acquired, the Varsity Scout is faced with the decision as to whether they should buckle down and excel in their own schooling. Varsity leaders need to encourage and set high scholastic expectations. This encouragement can come in many ways, but as Baden-Powell also said, “Success in training the boy depends largely on the Scoutmaster's own personal example." Do you love learning? Do your young men know you love to learn? He went on to say, “A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes. He uses food the fish likes. So with boys.” Are we making education and the art of learning attractive to our young men, by doing things they like to do?

As a Venture Scout the young man is faced with the difficult decision of whether or not they will choose to be “Cheerful”. Teen suicide rates confirm that many young men feel they just can’t measure up and they decide to give up and take their own lives, maybe feeling like a “Lost Boy.” As leaders we can provide challenges and successes that will build self-esteem and help the young men realize their own self-worth. This can best be taught in the outdoors by leaders with vision for youthful fun, challenge and excitement. Baden-Powell stated, “Boys can see adventure in a dirty old duck puddle, and if the Scoutmaster is a boys’ man he can see it, too.”

Ultimately, in the Scouting years, we would like to instill in our young men refined social skills, the desire for higher education, and a strong work ethic. Remember, as Baden-Powell said, “The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.” So let’s bring our young men to light so they can live mentally awake and love living every minute of life.

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