A New Eagle Scout

Another New Eagle

Eagle Scout badgeCongratulations to Robert – we are extremely proud of you and your accomplishments, and are of course very happy with the character and leadership you show in Scouting, the Church groups, and the Marching Band.

A New Eagle Scout

Congratulations, James. Mom and I are so proud of you and your accomplishments, and we happily acknowledge to all the man of fine character you’ve become.

By the way, let’s consider this a virtual Court of Honor; would all Eagles please rise and comment here with the location and date on which they earned their Eagle rank?


Reflection is known by other names, including “Thorns and Roses,” “Retrospectives,” “Post-event Review.”

We can make our experiences more meaning and effective if we reflect on them afterwards. Reflection is simply the process of talking, sharing experiences immediately after an event or activity.

Reflection provides an opportunity for everyone in the group to have input. Unless we plan times during which everyone gets a chance for input, it is possible that individuals who are less assertive or confident may never say anything, even if they have valuable insights.

“Reflection is a form of careful listening and sharing that allows Scouts and leaders to assess an experience and get from it the greatest value it has to offer.” — The Scoutmaster Handbook, Chapter 11, “Working With Boys”

Reflection is best accomplished by asking open-ended questions such as “what,” “how, “when,” and where.” In reflection, there are no right or wrong answers. Ask questions about the good things first, like “What was good about the way decisions were made?” or “What did the group do well?” Then you can ask about improvement: “What was the problem with the way you were communicating?” or “Were there any problems with what happened?” Allow everyone to share their observations and feelings; this is the evaluation part of the reflection.

Open an informal discussion with the group, inviting them to share some of their reactions to their experience. Encourage the sharing of ideas by asking questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Guide the discussion to help the group members think through what they have experienced, as well as giving first impressions. Quick answers can help you discover feelings; deeper thinking will help them discover and solve their own problems.

Guidelines for reflection:

  • Avoid the temptation to dominate the conversation.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Be positive. Reflection can be enlightening and often fun.
  • Remind everyone that the environment of Scouting is a “put-down free zone” — we want to build up others not put them down.
  • Encourage the group to determine the value of the experience they just had, focusing first on the positive aspects
  • Generalize the experience. Help group members make the connection between the activity they just completed and other Scouting (and life) activities.
  • Steer group members toward setting goals based on what they have learned about their recent experience.

Opportunities for reflection:

  • Scoutmaster’s conference
  • Board of Review
  • Scoutmaster Minute
  • Patrol Leaders’ Council meeting
  • Mealtime
  • Evening campfire
  • Waiting for transportation
  • …and many others

Adapted from several sources for the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Specific Leadership Training course offered by the North Fulton District training team. Permission is granted freely for use by other BSA training teams.

District Award of Merit

Wow. Tonight was the North Fulton District‘s last awards banquet, we’ve grown so much over the past few years that by next month we’ll be split into two new districts. Tonight’s celebration ended 40 years for NFD. There were lots of awards given out tonight after dinner, including the District Award of Merit, with which I was honored.

Enough people thought that my experience and service met the condition of “noteworthy service to youth.” Thanks ever so much, folks. I couldn’t have done possibly given the time without the support of my family nor performed as well without the example of so many fine scouters around me.

Life Aboard the Calypso Gypsy

Get up late, start slow, taper off quickly.

Calypso Gypsy anchored at Bahia Honda Key

Psalm 107:23-31

23 Others went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the LORD,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunken men;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.

On a placard aboard the Calypso Gypsy

Scout Sunday, 2002

Today is “Scout Sunday” at our church, a day on which we recognise the church’s support of the scouting units they charter. We also show off a little, to help remind the members of the church that the scouting movement’s alive and well in their community and is serving them (as well as providing a good program to the boys). We wear our uniforms to Mass (this is a Roman Catholic church) and I gave a short talk. I’m recording it here for any other scout leaders to use as a basis for a similar speech if they’d like. All I ask is that you drop me an email letting me know: email me

Good morning. My name is Steven Vore, I am a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Atlanta Area Council’s North Fulton district, and I am a member of St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas church sponsors Cub Scout Pack 69 and Boy Scout Troop 841, and for that we thank Father Al, all the priests, and the church leadership.

For over 90 years no, the Boy Scouts of America has taught young men to be first class citizins and has trained them to become leaders in all parts of our society. They have done this by teaching young men to “…do their best to do their duty to God and Country.” Please note that duty to God is the first goal in the Scout Oath. This is because we, as scouts, recognize that none of us can grow into the best kind of citizin without recognizing our obligation to God.

The scouting program here at St. Thomas Aquinas is a full one, with outings, camping, fun and adventure. The scouts also serve the parish. Last monday, the Cub Scout delivered over 700 items of food – that they collected themselves – to the St. Vincent dePaul society. Scouts can be seen as alter servers, in the choir groups, and in other parish programs. The new benches in the outdoor play area were constructed by scouts as part of an Eagle Scout project. And as you sing with our choir, the hymnals you hold in your hands are this year’s edition because scouts were here on Thanksgiving weekend, switching out the old books for new ones.

I could give you numbers and statistics about the influence of the Boy Scout movement on our society – the high percentage of government, military, and business leaders who have been Boy Scouts, and how many have earned the Eagle Scout rank – Boy Scouting’s highest award. I could tell you interesting facts; every man who’s walked on the moon was a Boy Scout.

But instead I’d like to show the influence of scouting right here, and recognize those of you who are now or have been at some time committed to Boy Scouting.

Would all those who have earned the Eagle Scout Rank – Boy Scouting’s highest award, please stand and remain standing.


On the 23rd we will be celebrating the accomplishments of four new Eagles right here in our own parish.

Would all current Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scout leaders and Boy Scout leaders please stand?


And would all those who have in the past been Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, and all those who were parents of Cub and Boy Scouts please stand.

(applause. at this point over half of the congregation was on their feet.)

You can see that the impact Scouting has on our community is widespread.

Thank you all.

(they sit)

Again I wish to express the troop’s and pack’s appreciation to the congregation for their support of scouting, and we look forward to future years of service to this church and our community. Thank You.

Steven Vore, 3-Feb-2002

Thanks to Peter Voorhees, author of a similar talk in a previous year, for allowing me to use his as a basis for mine.