A Scout is…Thrifty

Just to clarify what thrifty is I will start with the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition; managing or using money in a careful or wise way. There is a reason personal management is an eagle required merit badge. One of the most important things any person can learn is how to manage their money in a responsible manor and it is also one of the hardest things to accomplish as well.

For as excellent as the average U.S. school district may be time and again they normally fall short in this department of teaching young adults on how to use the banking system for one and how to manage ones money. This is where scouting has learned to fill the gap. The Eagle Scout required merit badge of personal management goes into great depth of learning to manage ones money and the different parts of the U.S. banking system. Most troops take this a step further with each scout having their own personal account in which some of the funds raised from the different yearly fund raisers goes directly back to the boy which can be used to help with any cost he may incur from scouting.

Online Buisness Websites

So my fiancée and I are in the process of selecting the miscellaneous services we will need for our wedding. In specific we are concentrating on a photographer at the moment, but my point goes for any service that potentially would be used by a couple for a wedding or even for a party of some kind in general.

As we comb through the results of Google searches and recommendations from friends and families I am starting to notice two very specific things. The first is being a lack of price listings. I know this is a business tactic more than anything, but I find this annoying. I can shop at any number of online retailers and see the item they are selling with a price listed no problem, but when it comes to services there’s a big nothing most of the time.

This is a business model that most places use in order to get your information so they can “talk” to you about their services and ultimately dance around the price. If they don’t have a price listed anywhere they can basically establish whatever baseline they wish and “adjust” it from there. In my opinion this a bunch of happy horse shit. If you are a business worth your salt all your prices will be listed with a base for each package you offer and an explanation of additions that can be added with their prices as well. That way when I do decided to contact you time and money is not wasted because I know what package I wish to choose and extras I may wish to add. I am always going to anticipate some sort of sales pitch for the next package up or some other extra which is fine, but let’s cut the BS and get back to brass tacks.

The second thing I am noticing is some businesses online presence sucks. The first red flag is the cookie cutter websites. I know that not everyone has the budget for a custom designed website, but when 3 businesses have websites that look almost identical it becomes a little discouraging. Another warning flag is old information on the page. I’m ok with the strike line through information because it may need to be maintained for whatever reason, but when packages are still advertised and it labeled from two or more years ago there’s a problem. If your packages haven’t changed that’s fine, but let’s hit the edit button and get the year updated. If you are relying on a webmaster to maintain your site and they have failed to update your site for over a year; A. Fire them. B. Who the hell is doing quality control?

A Scout is ….Cheerful

One of the things Scouts try to do is bring happiness wherever it is needed. Being upbeat and positive is one of the best ways we try to exemplify this part of the scout law and show scout spirit. When I was first joining the Order of the Arrow (Scouting’s Honor Society), a story was shared with some of us that the founder of the organization, E. Urner Goodman, had witnessed what I would consider one of the best examples of a scout being cheerful.

While at camp a scout had taken ill and was confined to bed. As a result of this the scout used a bed pan we needing to relieve himself. Another scout was one of the people helping to take care of the ill scout and one of his responsibilities was to empty the bedpan. Well, during one of the portages of the bed pan to the latrine said scout trips and falls……into the bed pan.

So covered in waste this scout gets up and with a smile on his face, finishes the chore, and then goes to clean himself up. If this isn’t one of the best examples of a scout being cheerful then I don’t know what is.

Being upbeat, happy, positive, cheerful is just part of scouting. There’s a reason we have hundreds of songs, skits, jokes, etc…

A Scout is….Obedient.

Scouting is designed to help take youth and instill them with confidence and skills to be a leader. However, not everyone can march at the front of the pack so we must learn to be effective followers as well.

In terms of obedience it is not to follow blindly without question, but to learn how to function as a cohesive unit when working on Scout skills. Especially when working on a new skill that may have a certain level of danger to it.

Obedience is part of the law so that we can be effective listeners. That way mistakes are minimized, directions don’t have to be repeated, and time is not wasted. This should culminate to having another tool in the bag of tricks to being a excellent leader.

A Scout is….Kind.

Alright let’s get the train back on the tracks and get the scout law finished. In an effort to not completely derail my other thoughts there might be two posts a day just to keep my brain from exploding with the other thoughts I have running around in it.

The culmination of the parts of the scout law discussed so far will lead to a kind person/scout in general. What separates the scout from the average person what we do with anger.

Let’s be honest if you are human you have emotions and anger is one of them. A scout does get angry or upset for a variety of things, but does his/her best to not let them impact what they are doing and genuinely stays in an upbeat happy mood. The only thing more infections than Ebola is an upbeat positive attitude.

One of things I was taught is to take the negative I am feeling and find a way to turn it into a positive. It may be anger or frustration that I need to vent via exercise or some sadness that I am experiencing and I will look for a task to complete to distract myself more or less.

Who Love’s Orange Soda?

If you get the reference from the title then my guess is that you had a pretty awesome childhood. You’ll have to excuse our temporary departure from the examination of the scout law, but I’ve been inspired today.

To  start I have greatly limited my soda intake in order to help control my weight, but I do allow myself a soda type beverage once a week. Today I chose to invoke that privilege and got myself a fountain soda, a mountain dew to be exact. I’m not sure what the exact science is behind the fountain poured soda, but I find that it gives any kind of soda its best taste.

I understand that bottled sodas are mixed and poured with great consistency, but something about the mixing at the fountain between the soda syrup and carbonated water gives it a significantly better taste. I would tend to think that it has something to do with the ready made freshness factor.

A Scout is….Courteous

To be courteous is to be polite, kind, and use your damn manners. This is one of the most difficult concepts for most human beings to master an I am including scouts in that category. However, when using this life skill correctly it allows for the other parts of the scout law to be easily followed. Just being a courteous person in general will make your day significantly better and easier.

A Scout is….Friendly

Alright I am officially throwing out using the Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions. I think they are subtracting more than adding to the points I am trying to make.

In all seriousness I challenge anyone to find me a scout this is not friendly. Everyone does have their bad days, but time and again I have watched both scouts from multiple generations no matter how difficult or challenging a situation may be try their best to maintain some level of friendliness. It is one of the hallmarks of scout spirit.

A Scout is……Helpful

Starting with the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of helpful, it means to; making it easier to do a job, deal with a problem, etc. : giving help: willing to help other people. To put a fine point on how being a scout being helpful is we just are.

The scout slogan is “Do A Good Turn Daily”. Just so we can fulfill our slogan a scout is always on the lookout for some way to be helpful. In my experience most people just by nature are helpful, however, if you have a task needing done that is difficult or not so glamorous ask a scout. I’ll bet dimes against dollars they complete it without issue.

The Scout Law: Loyal

Loyalty is built off of the previous law of trustworthy. Similarly it is gained and earned over time, but once it is achieved,  loyalty is normally an unshakable force.

Again using the Merriam-Webster online dictionary loyal is defined as, having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something.

Loyalty takes on many forms to always supporting your favorite team even if its been decades since a shot at the championships. ( Chicago Cubs) Some people are fiercely loyal to specific brands or companies sometimes willing to pay a little extra for that product or service because it has been consistently what they want or need. Loyalty could also be given to a specific person or persons.

It is on this last part that some caution needs to be taken. In the same fashion that once trust is lost its dam near impossible to get back the same can be said for loyalty. This should be understood in both personal and professional relationships.