February/March 2014

The Scoutmaster’s Minute

A Change Is Coming

As most of you know, I will be stepping down as Scoutmaster in March. It has been almost 4 years since I took over from Hilton Beckham as Scoutmaster and I was Committee Chair for two years before that so it has been over 6 years as a leader of Troop 1.  Jason Hall has agreed to take over as Scoutmaster and I look forward to the different flavor of leadership and enthusiasm that he will bring to the position. There will be some things that will stay the same and others that change just as there was when I took over from Hilton.  I believe it will be a learning process that will benefit our Scouts to experience the change in leadership.

My role in the Troop will change as I will focus on being the Eagle Coach for many of those Scouts who are working on Eagle as well as helping the younger Scouts who are working on First Class. I hope to continue my participation in the Council Training activities like Wood Badge and NYLT as well as helping Troop 1 in recruiting and the occasional campout especially those that involve backpacking!

Many people have asked me why I volunteer with the Scouts and my answer has always been the same – I believe in the Scouting program. It isn’t perfect but it is still one of the best programs for youth to grow and learn in a safe environment. The lessons learned in Scouting are applicable throughout their lives and the Aims of Scouting of Character, Citizenship and Personal Fitness are as needed today as they were 100 years ago. It has been my honor and pleasure to work with your young men.  I believe I have learned as much if not more from them than they have learned from me.

That being said, Troop 1 and your Scouts will need you going forward. The Troop has benefited from the adults like myself, Tom Bizzell, Hilton and Liz Shelby who value the program and help despite not having children in the Troop. We will continue to participate but we will need you to step up to help Jason and the other leaders continue to make this a Troop that we can be proud of for the next 100 years.

Yours in Scouting,

Kuruvila Mani

AOL campout

On January 24-26, 2014, Troop 1 held the Arrow of Light (A.O.L.) campout for the Webelos from Waterloo District. This service project took place at Lost Pines Boy Scout Reserve in Bastrop. It has become a tradition for Troop 1 to work with the boys of Waterloo District each year. It gave the Webelos a chance to learn the skills needed for Outdoorsman from the Boy Scouts in Troop 1. The leaders from Waterloo arrived with supplies and we worked together to set-up tents for the families they had collected from more than four different schools. The Webelos were assigned to their Patrols and spent the weekend working on skills, went for a three mile hike, and attending a campfire brought a happy ending to a good day. For many Waterloo families, this was their first camping experience. Troop 1 led the Webelos in requirements and went on a three mile hike. Chapel service was held Sunday morning where the photo (above) was taken.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” ~ Albert Einstein

Wilderness Survival II

On February 14-16, 2014 the Troop had an opportunity to go on the second Wilderness Survival campout. BIG Thanks to our host Mr. Mani and his family. We are very grateful for the opportunity to camp on their beautiful ranch.  Some of the Boy Scouts attended last year and they formed patrols ranging from "hardcore" to "I am new at this". Take a look at the following photos taken of the boys shelters. Can you find your scouts patrol shelter? (hint) One is a natural shelter found by Mr. Mani.


Rosedale Ride

Troop 1 Community Service

20th Anniversary Rosedale Ride

Troop 1 has been supporting the Rosedale Ride for many years and this year is no exception. On March 22, 2014 we will provides a break station for those riding to raise money for the Rosedale Foundation (501-c3). Our station has the reputation of having the most amazing sweet and savory snacks, the ever favorite dill pickles, water and other beverages. The boys are physically fit “bike stands.” We hope to break our 2013 record of 150 visitors this year.  The Rosedale Ride is an annual charity bicycle ride with routes of 26, 42, and 62 miles and a children's fun ride of 2 miles. The mission is to support the children of Rosedale School, AISD’s only school for children with multiple disabilities. Plan on meeting at FPC in the Class A uniform (Field Uniforms) and spending three to four hours for this service project. Let Scoutmasters Kuruvila Mani or Jason Hall know if you can attend.

Recipe of the Month: Buckeyes

Mr. and Mrs. George kindly shared this amazing treat with us in December and it is guaranteed to make you smile. For one reason they are delicious and they melt in your mouth. Another, of importance to naturalists, the Ohio State Tree is the Buckeye Tree. These treats resemble the nut from the buckeye tree, but if you are ever in Ohio please note: large quantities of Buckeyes are poisonous to man. This makes the treat even more fun to eat, especially for Ohioans! BIG Thanks to the George family for sharing their recipe!

2 cups of peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Chocolate bark
Chocolate chips

Mix melted butter & peanut butter in large bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs & mix. Add powdered sugar & mix. Cover bowl & refrigerate 4-6 hours. I just leave it overnight in fridge. Line baking pan or tray with wax paper. Melt a bowl 1/2 full of chocolate bark & 1/2 of chips. Roll peanut butter mixture into balls & dip in chocolate. Then, line them on the tray & refrigerate till hardened.  

Example of Buckeye

Example of Buckeye

Riddle: What's round on both ends and high in the middle?

Camporee 2014

Over the past couple months, the boys have been working on their Cooking Merit Badge. They have been learning about planning menus, reading food labels, and safe handling of food. They should "Be Prepared" for this year the Armadillo District Camporee which is focusing on the new Eagle rank requirement Cooking Merit Badge. February 28- March 1 we will attend the Camporee festivities. We are going to return on Saturday night so that the Troop 1 members can get cleaned up for the former Troop 1 member, Joshua Hutto’s, Eagle Court of Honor on Sunday March 2nd, in Kerrville, Texas. If you did not get a chance to sign-up at the last committee meeting contact the Scoutmaster Kuruvila Mani or Jason Hall. All are welcome and rides are being arranged.

On-Line Training for Troop 1 Adults

At our last Committee meeting, Committee Chair Beth Gintella, requested a show of hands as to who has completed the on-line training of "committee challenge". There were only a few hands raised. We can quickly improve this by going to www.myscouting.org and signing-in. The Youth Protection Training is also available on-line at this website if you need to update YPT (training is good for 2 years). When you go to this website you will also see other informational opportunities like: safety afloat, safe swim defense, weather, and more. Recently, I had the chance to sit down with my scout and watch the Cyber Chip program at www.scouting.org. It is set up for all age levels and it was an eye opener for us on how to be safe on-line. These programs are "FREE! Once you have your training certificate, notify your Committee Chair person and Trainer.

Buckle Up for a Ride in American Heritage

With the Merit Badge book on “American Heritage” in our hands we looked at question #2B, which asked our scout to find an organization that promotes positive change in American society. We decide that the answer to this question is the Boy Scouts of America. We then ask ourselves: what was it that made the Boy Scouts of America believe change was necessary? How did the BSA help accomplish this change? We will need to travel back in time to find the answers.

 Picture yourself with your khaki uniform in the driver’s seat of a DeLorean time machine, like the one from the movie "Back to the Future." The flux capacitor is fully charged, the date set to February of 1857, and your destination is London. You travel back in time to meet the infant Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell.  The young lad’s father died when he was barely three years old, and his mother changed their surname to Baden-Powell to include her husband’s first name (Baden). Traveling through time to the year 1876, you visit Baden-Powell when he joins a cavalry regiment in India to become an expert in scouting and reconnaissance. This also gave him the ability to put his artistic and acting skills to use by working as a spy on occasion. Disguised as a Naturalist, he famously claimed to draw a butterfly while on a mission to obtain information about the enemy fort.  Cleverly drawn within one of the butterfly wings was the layout and placement of artillery at the fort. He showed himself a competent officer and was quickly promoted.

Traveling to 1899, we see that Baden-Powell has been inspired to write “Aids to Scouting”, a book intended to be used as a military manual. He observed that men in the field needed training for specific situations; the men needed to know how to move stealthily through rough country, read the signs of nature to navigate, how to make independent decisions when officers were not present, and to take care of basic survival in the outdoors. While serving in South Africa in the small town of Mafeking, he organized the boys into a “cadet corps.” They carried messages and served as lookouts to spot enemy movements.

Next, the trusty DeLorean takes us to the year 1903, B-P is returning to Britain to find that he was not only famous for his defense of Mafeking, but he had inspired boys throughout Britain to gang together in quests for outdoor adventure like the “cadet corps” using the “Aids to Scouting” manual he had written earlier. The Industrial Revolution in Britain found the working class moving into urban slums, where disease, malnutrition, overwork, unemployment, and other problems plagued their lives.  The flux capacitor is still good to go, so we skip ahead to 1907. After carefully planning to prove the potential of the Scouting idea to the British people, B-P put his theory into practice by taking the boys to the world’s first Scout camp at Brownsea Island. One attendee, Arthur Primmer, recalls: “You have to think back to what it was like in those days. . . . Nobody went camping. Not boys. The only camping that was done then was by the army.”  The experiment was a success and B-P completed the manual in book form in 1908 called, “Scouting for Boys.”

A year goes by. It’s 1909, and your DeLorean has traveled to a foggy street in London. American businessman W. D. Boyce was offered help to cross the street by a lad around the age of eleven who was carrying a lantern. After reaching the other side of the street Boyce offered to pay the boy, but he said “I am a Boy Scout, Sir. I am simply doing a Good Turn.” To this day the lad with the lantern is revered in the lore of scouting as the “unknown scout”.  Boyce immediately tracked down more information about the Boy Scout organization.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in America, the thirst for outdoor adventures was showing signs of growth in groups like “The Sons of Daniel Boone” led by Daniel Carter Beard and “The Woodcraft Indian” led by Thomas Ernst Seton. Missionaries from Britain are believed to have brought the “Scouting for Boys” manuals with them to the States. At the turn of the 20th century, America was also rapidly changing from a nation of farmers and artisans to one of factory hands and office workers. The country’s transition to an industrialized society caused many to worry that some valuable things were being lost in the transition like; morals, physical fitness, and spiritual development of boys and young men…moreover, would such things transfer to this new age?

Traveling to 1910, we rejoin the businessman W.D. Boyce as he forms Boy Scouts of America, after filing incorporation papers in Washington, DC. The press wrote that this organization meant “to promote, through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and for others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are in common use by Boy Scouts.” The uniform was originally khaki like the U.S. Army uniform of the time, complete with baggy trousers tucked into canvas leggings known as “puttees” and a four-pocket tunic with a high “choker collar.”

Behind the wheel of our DeLorean we visit our hometown Austin, Texas. Mr. Lyman J. Bailey formed Troop 1 in 1911. They only had a British handbook on scouting to guide them and membership included 40 boys. The Austin civic leader was a Sunday School Superintendent and he aroused interest great enough to cause boys to walk from all parts of the city to attend meetings on Friday night at young men’s Christian Society Hall.  

We now return to 2014 and park our DeLorean, still wearing our traditional Khaki uniforms (which we received a free consultation on in 1980, from designer Oscar de la Renta). The inquiry remains: what made the Boy Scouts of America believe change was necessary?  How did the BSA help accomplish this change?  One answer can be found when we look to those who lead us. Considering the GREAT leadership of Troop 1, starting with Mr. Lyman J. Bailey and encompassing current Scoutmasters such as Liz Shelby (currently COR), Jason Hall, Kuruvila Mani, Thomas Bizzell, and Hilton Beckham, Troop 1 has a rich heritage of amazing leaders. They have dedicated their time to impart their scouting knowledge and skills to our boys. The passion of our leaders for scouting is an inspiration to us all. If we had the ability to time travel in our DeLorean to see the Bi-Centennial anniversary or the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, what would it look like? The future is unwritten, but if the dirt-smudged faces of the boys who perform skits around the campfire and make us all wear giant grins are any indication, we must be doing something right.  

(material from "Boy Scouts of America, a Centennial History", by Chuck Wills, Copyright 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited; and Troop 1 Manual: Chartered Organization Representative, Liz Shelby)

Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell

Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell


February 28-March 1 Camporee

March 2 Eagle Court of Honor Kerrville

March 13 Roundtable Frank Fickett Center

March 22 Rosedale Ride

April 4-6 El Rancho Cima and kayaking

April 10 Round Table 6:30-8:30 Frank Fickett Center

April 12 Spring-a-ling at FPC

April TBD Court of Honor Troop 1

May 2-4 Griffith League Backpacking

May 8 Round Table at Frank Fickett Center

June 12 Round Table at Frank Fickett Center

June 22-28 Summer Camp