Archive for the ‘Eagle Scout’ Tag

Mike Rowe: Some Jobs Are Too Dirty   Leave a comment

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he's also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he’s also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Love this story about Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” … and an Eagle Scout.

Mike was called to testify before Congress about job skills in today’s marketplace. One of the Congressmen asked if he would ever do a show about the job of a Congressman.

Mike’s response, proving he’s got skills of his own:

With respect, some jobs are just too hideous to contemplate.


The Blaze: Testifying…

Posted May 1, 2014 by henrymowry in U. S. A.

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Creating an Eagle Court of Honor   1 comment

Roy Rogers, appearing at an Eagle Court of Honor in Pennsylvania in a1950.

Roy Rogers, appearing at an Eagle Court of Honor in Pennsylvania in 1950.

The Eagle Badge is the highest award in Scouting. It is the fulfillment of years of preparation, countless events and activities, and affirmation by adults that the Scout is worthy of this great honor. When a young man achieves something that important, they deserve special recognition.

That recognition is typically done at an Eagle Court of Honor (ECOH). These are often hosted by the Eagle’s family, though they are also hosted by the Scout’s troop – especially if multiple boys are receiving the award. There is no requirement that an Eagle have a special presentation at an ECOH. It is traditional, though.

Another tradition is that the ECOH is often personalized for the boy. That can strike fear into the hearts of parents, that are often not active Scouters and don’t know where to begin. So, start here!

There is no “official” ECOH. There are no elements that must be included, though many troops and even councils have traditions that most will want to be included. That’s fine … there is still a lot of room for personalization.

I had the pleasure of creating 2 ECOHs for my 2 sons (well, 3 sons, as you shall see). When I developed the scripts, here were my priorities:

  • It’s about the boy, and the event must reflect his interests. He must approve the script.
  • It should be a Scouting event with maximum attendance of family, Scouts and friends (in that order).
  • It’s an entertainment event, so it should be something the audience enjoys.

I recently emcee’d an ECOH for the Kasman family. Marty Kasman is an Eagle Scout, as well as a recipient of the Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope. He wrote the script for his son Daniel’s ECOH with these priorities:

  • Inspire younger boys
  • Demonstrate the good that Scouts do

There are many resources below that will guide you in preparing for the ceremony.  Here are a few observations and tips that I encourage you to consider:

1. Schedule the event when it’s most convenient for the people you want to be there. If the ECOH is scheduled at the regular troop meeting time, you’ll probably get a lot of boys … but weeknights are difficult for family and friends to travel any distance to attend. Weekends are always best for them (and worst for the boys).

2. Don’t do the same old tired ceremony that the boys have seen many times. A little creativity goes a long way. Remember, it’s an entertainment event.

3. The boy(s) being honored should be as involved in the creation of the event as they want to be. Some boys will want to be very involved, though few are really capable of writing a complete script.

4. The ceremony should reflect the boy. In Christopher’s case, he was the Senior Patrol Leader (the boy leader of the troop) at the time, and had been helping do Scout campfires since he was in Cub Scouts. It was perfectly natural that his ECOH should be a campfire event, complete with singing, storytelling and S’Mores. Michael, on the other hand, teamed up with his buddy Lyle (my honorary 3rd son), and they wanted their event to be a party. Their ECOH had a “normal” ceremony … and was followed by a dance with actual girls in attendance (go to a few ECOHs and you’ll see how unusual that is!). I haven’t seen either of those ideas done as an ECOH since.

5. If you have non-Scouters attending that don’t know what an ECOH is, make sure you have a friendly emcee that will explain what’s going on as it happens.

6. Special appearances by treasured Scouters are very popular with the guys in khaki. At Christopher’s event, I was able to present a district award to a Scouter who had coordinated Christopher’s Eagle project for a local park (where Christopher now works!). This Scouter happened to be celebrating his 60th year as an Eagle Scout, and the ovation when he was introduced brought tears to his eyes. Make memories.

7. Have a good photographer on hand that is not an immediate family member. You know how much I love photography. I failed at capturing ECOH memories in photographs. Twice.

8. One traditional element that makes very little sense to me is gathering letters of congratulation from VIPs. If you request a congratulatory letter far in advance, you can generally get them from mayors, senators, celebrities – even Presidents. Here’s my question: does your son really care if he has a form letter from a congressman in a notebook on a shelf that he’ll never look at again? If so, great. If not … put your efforts into more productive pursuits.

9. Every ECOH these days seems to include a slide show of photos from the Eagle’s Scouting career. Those can be fun … for a few minutes. Three minutes, great. Five minutes … uncomfortable. Anything longer than that really doesn’t matter, because you will have lost most of your audience.

10. Use your resources … other adults from you son’s patrol and troop will be happy to help you pull this event off. Non-immediate family members, too. Don’t try and do it all yourself, because you will make yourself crazy. And why would you do that on a day made for celebration with your son?


Christopher Mowry’s ECOH Script

Eagle Court of Honor Handbook

MacScouter’s ECOH Handbook’s Court of Honor

Eagle Scout Mike Rowe’s Speech At The 2013 National Jamboree

Free Cole Withrow   2 comments

Cole Withrow

Cole Withrow, in a picture on the “FreeCole” facebook page.

This story has gone viral in the 48 hours since the incident … and it’s currently a tragic affair.

One honest mistake that he immediately tried to correct … and an Eagle Scout and high school senior is facing prison.

The story is still developing, but here’s where we are as of this writing:

1. David “Cole” Withrow, from Princeton, NC, went skeet shooting with friends over last weekend.

2. He left one (or perhaps two, reports vary) shotgun(s) in his truck by accident, which he discovered when he reached for a book bag in the Princeton High School parking lot Monday morning.

3. After locking the guns in his truck, he went to the office, and called his Mom to come get the guns. He knew they were not allowed on school property, but also knew he was not allowed to leave school grounds once he had entered them that morning.

4. School officials overheard the conversation. Cole was arrested and expelled from school.

5. North Carolina mandates a 1-year expulsion for bringing a gun onto a high school campus.

6. After initially standing by his expulsion, the Johnson County Superintendent Ed Croom, has now offered Cole the opportunity to serve a 10-day suspension and then finish school on another campus. He will not be able to attend the graduation ceremony with his class.

7. He still faces the felony charge.

8. His college admission is also now unclear. Scholarships may be voided due to the felony arrest. However, Liberty University has stepped forward to award Cole a scholarship & make sure he can finish high school over the summer, in time to enroll at Liberty this fall.

9. His family isn’t commenting to the press, and the legal proceedings continue.



“Zero Tolerance” is fine … until you come up with one of those shades of gray situations, which this obviously is.

Yes, Cole made a mistake by forgetting that he had guns in his truck. Once that mistake happened, he apparently had no option but to be arrested, expelled and imprisoned. Really? It’s a wrong law, and I hope that Princeton High School, Johnson County and North Carolina can see their way clear to appropriately extricating all involved parties from this mess.


UPDATE: Cole “Knew” The Guns Were In His Vehicle

The Blaze

WTVD-TV, Raleigh-Durham

The President and the Boy Scouts   Leave a comment

Gerald R Ford, Eagle Scout, 1929

Gerald R Ford, Eagle Scout, 1929

Every President since its 1910 founding has served as the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America.

Teddy Roosevelt, newly ex-President in 1910 was given the unique title of “Chief Scout Citizen.”

5 Presidents, or half of the Presidents that could have been Scouts, were actually Scouts:

John F Kennedy, Star Scout, 1930

John F Kennedy, Star Scout, 1930

John F Kennedy, the first President born in the 20th Century, was the first who was a Boy Scout as a youth. He rose to the rank of Star.

Gerald Ford was the first and only Eagle Scout to become President.

Bill Clinton and George W Bush were both Cub Scouts.

Barack Obama was a member of the Indonesian Scout Association; he was the equivalent of a Cub Scout.

The link below chronicles the support of Scouting rendered by all Presidents, from Teddy Roosevelt forward.

More Presidents Fact Sheet

Portraits: Gerald R Ford   Leave a comment

President Ford, first official photo

Gerald R Ford (1913 – 2006)

The 38th President of the United States, 1974 – 1977

AKA: Leslie Lynch King, Jr (his birth name), Jerry, Mr. Nice Guy

From: Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan

College: University of Michigan (class of 1935), Yale Law School (class of 1941)

Betty Ford

Ford’s marriage to Betty was delayed until after his first election to the House, as he was not sure how the voters would feel about his marrying a divorced ex-dancer.

Married to: Elizabeth Bloomer Warren

Children: Michael Gerard, John Gardner, Steven Meigs, Susan Elizabeth

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: waiter, dishwasher, boxing & football coach, lawyer, US Navy (Lieutenant Commander), US Representative, Vice President

In His Words:

Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, on Right

Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, on Right

“I believe in friendly compromise. I said over in the Senate hearings that truth is the glue that holds government together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.”

“If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises… I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman — my dear wife — as I begin this very difficult job.”

“All my children have spoken for themselves since they first learned to speak, and not always with my advance approval, and I expect that to continue in the future.”

“I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers.”

“It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Kinstler painted Ford ten times.  "He wanted me to keep trying," he said.

Kinstler painted Ford ten times. “He wanted me to keep trying,” he said.

“The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?”

“I gave a speech in Omaha. After the speech I went to a reception elsewhere in town. A sweet old lady came up to me, put her gloved hand in mine, and said, ‘I hear you spoke here tonight.’ ‘Oh, it was nothing,’ I replied modestly. ‘Yes,’ the little old lady nodded, ‘that’s what I heard.'”

Not true: On September 8, 1974, Ford gave President Nixon a full pardon for any crimes he committed against the United States while President.  This was extremely controversial.  Critics claimed the pardon must have been some sort of corrupt bargain that had been struck between the two men before Ford was nominated as Vice President. All parties denied that there had been such a deal.  The New York Times called it “a profoundly unwise, divisive and unjust act.”

Ford testified before Congress about the pardon; he was the first sitting President to do so since Abraham Lincoln.

In 2001, Senator Ted Kennedy said that he had opposed the pardon at the time, but in time he had come to the belief that history had proved that Ford had made the correct decision.

True: Ford is the only President who also earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

A star football player at the University of Michigan, Ford helped lead the team to two undefeated seasons and national championships.  Ford became the only future President to tackle a future Heisman Trophy winner in 1934 when he tackled Jay Berwanger, who won the award in 1935.

President Johnson appointed Ford to the Warren Commission, who investigated the assassination of President Kennedy. He was an outspoken proponent of the single-assassin theory.

Ford was the first Vice President confirmed to office under the procedures outlined in the 25th Amendment.  After Agnew’s resignation, Nixon had sought advice from senior Congressional leaders about whom he should choose as a replacement.  House Speaker Carl Albert said, “We gave Nixon no choice but Ford.”

The Official Portrait: Among Everett Raymond Kinstler’s more than 1200 portraits are such well-known personalities as Tony Bennett, Carol Burnett, James Cagney, Betty Ford, Gene Hackman, Katharine Hepburn, Lady Bird Johnson, Paul Newman, Peter O’Toole, Gregory Peck, and John Wayne. Others include authors Arthur Miller, Ayn Rand, Tennessee Williams, and Tom Wolfe; Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Harry Blackmun; business and government leaders such as John D. Rockefeller lll, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 6 U.S. Governors, four US Secretaries of State, and the presidents of universities and colleges including Brown, Harvard, Oklahoma, Princeton, Smith, Wellesley, Williams, and Yale.

Kinstler has painted more than 50 cabinet officers, more than any artist in the country’s history. Seven Presidents — Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — have posed for him. His portraits of Ford and Reagan are the official White House portraits.

Gerald Ford, Presidential Portrait

Gerald R Ford Signature

Carry A Nation: Temperance and Terrorism   Leave a comment

Carrie A Nation

I’ve got a very specific vision of the ladies that fought for temperance in our country.  It’s Sergeant Sarah Brown from Guys & Dolls.  Her heart is pure, her motives above reproach, and she just wants to save sinners from themselves.  How could anyone disagree with that?

Jean Simmons played Sergeant Sarah Brown in the 1955 film version of “Guys and Dolls.”

Lyrics by Josie de Guzman:

Follow the fold and stray no more
Stray no more, stray no more.
Put down the bottle and we’ll say no more
Follow, follow, the fold.
Before you take another swallow!
Follow the fold and stray no more
Stray no more, stray no more.

And then I became acquainted with Mrs. Carrie A. Nation.  This bible-toting Jayhawk believed she was under orders from God to go into saloons and bust them up.  Here’s what she said happened to her in June 1899:

The next morning I was awakened by a voice which seemed to me speaking in my heart, these words, “GO TO KIOWA,” and my hands were lifted and thrown down and the words, “I’LL STAND BY YOU.” The words, “Go to Kiowa,” were spoken in a murmuring, musical tone, low and soft, but “I’ll stand by you,” was very clear, positive and emphatic. I was impressed with a great inspiration, the interpretation was very plain, it was this: “Take something in your hands, and throw at these places in Kiowa and smash them.”

So what did she do?  She grabbed a bag of rocks (which she called “smashers”) and went to Kansas saloons, and busted them up.  She was sometimes arrested, sure … and kept going back.  Her husband at that time, Mr. David A. Nation, told her that to maximize damage she should take a hatchet with her.  Her biographer (Kevin McQueen (2001). “Carrie Nation: Militant Prohibitionist”.  McClanahan Publishing House.) reports her response:  “That is the most sensible thing you have said since I married you.”

Two things happened after that momentous conversation:  she always carried a hatchet to her future saloon attacks … and their marriage ended in divorce in 1901.

Carry A. Nation (who adopted that spelling to emphasize the alliteration of her name) wanted her picture taken with a hatchet in her hand, as the above photo shows.  This was one scary lady!  She believed in violent attacks to achieve her goal of ending the influence of liquor in our country.  She believed in her “God-given right” to destroy any private property she chose with her hatchet.  And that was one of the most noted faces of temperance in Kansas.

Mike Rowe has had some dirty jobs, but he’s also a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

How Booze Built America

For another viewpoint on how demon rum affected America, check out the Discovery Channel 3-part series of that name, hosted by Mike Rowe (who’s an Eagle Scout, by the way!).  The series offers some fascinating explanations of the influence of alcohol from our founding fathers to today.  It’s a fun 3 hours.  He suggests a drinking game in one episode, saying some viewers are taking a sip of beer every time they hear “beer” in the show.  Didn’t participate myself, but have fun!

One fun piece of trivia from the show:  John Wilkes Boothe was in a bar prior to his assassination of President Lincoln.  Also in that same bar that night:  the head of Lincoln’s security detail for the evening.

The Drunkards Progress

Here’s a great graphics from the temperance era that traces the life of a person who drinks alcohol … from the first glass to the grave:

Here’s the text that appears beneath each step:
Step 1. A glass with a friend.
Step 2. A glass to keep the cold out.
Step 3. A glass too much.
Step 4. Drunk and riotous.
Step 5. The summit attained. Jolly companions. A confirmed drunkard.
Step 6. Poverty and disease.
Step 7. Forsaken by Friends.
Step 8. Desperation and crime.
Step 9. Death by suicide

Temperance, Booze and Drunkards

There is no doubt that alcohol can destroy lives, as it did destroy Carry A Nation’s first husband (researchers believe her broken heart is ultimately why she became such a passionate campaigner for temperance).

The home I grew up in did have alcohol in it … at the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper.  My dad rarely, rarely drank a beer, but he had a client that gave him a pint of schnapps as a Christmas present for several years.  He accepted the gift … and the bottles ended up under the dirty clothes.  They stayed there, sealed, until I found them as a high school student (OF COURSE) and asked Mom what they were doing there.  I still don’t know why that was the right place to hide store them, but there they were!

Here’s what I believe:

  1. Terrorist acts against saloon owners have no place in our society.
  2. If you are head of security for the President, stay out of the bars if POTUS is going to Ford’s Theatre.
  3. All drinkers do not commit suicide.
  4. When you have kids under the age of 21, booze should be rare in your home.  Hiding it in the dirty clothes hamper is optional, but proven effective.
  5. Under age drinking is, in fact, illegal.  Don’t allow your kids — any kids — to have access to alcohol in your home.  It’s illegal.
  6. If you choose to drink, check out my search for The Perfect Margarita!

I am an Eagle Scout   8 comments

August 1, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout Board of Review.  I am proud to be an Eagle Scout.

There are great resources to explain the Eagle award and what it represents.  One President of the United States earned the award … as did the first man on the moon, a current Supreme Court Justice and many, many more noteworthy individuals.  I celebrate their accomplishment, and ask you to consider a few facts about Eagle Scouts:

  • They are significantly more likely to have worked to solve problems in their community than non-Scouts.
  • Eagle Scouts are 55 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have held a leadership position at their workplace.
  • They are more likely to be active readers.
  • Eagles are 72% more likely to attend live entertainment events than non-Scouts.
  • Eagle Scouts are 100% more likely than non-Scouts to have a designated family meeting place in the event of an emergency.
  • Eagle Scouts are 45% more likely than non-Scouts to agree they always treat people of other religions with respect.
  • Eagle Scouts are 34% more likely than non-Scouts to have donated money to a non-religious institution or charity in the community within the last month.

Teaching my children to live a life in service to God, family, community and country was of paramount importance to this parent.  Scouting focuses on those core values in an environment of personal achievement, comradery and FUN.

About 2% of all Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. That has trended up recently, with about 5% of all Scouts earning the award in 2008.

Of course, Scouting is about outdoor activities … and Scouts are known to be strong environmentalists.  They know how to tie knots, go camping and build a fire.  Don’t think for a moment that becoming an Eagle is about those things.  Learning outdoor skills is just one of the methods used by Scouting to build knowledge and leadership in young men.  However, those skills are not the key result of the program.

My sons are both Eagle Scouts, and it’s had an important impact on their lives.  For one example, both Michael and Christopher got their first jobs as a result of their Scouting experience.

Christopher actually learned of a job opportunity with LA County while leading a Scout outing.  He got the job, and he’s been promoted by the County several times since; he’s currently a Recreation Supervisor and in charge of 12 natural areas in northern LA County.

The cloth badge is sewn on the shirt; the medal can be worn in its place on more formal occasions. Once a boy turns 18, he no longer wears the badge or medal on his uniform.

Michael didn’t know Scouting was important to his job with Rocketdyne until one day at lunch.  Some co-workers were talking about what they would do if they were washed overboard at sea (Note: rocket scientists often have odd conversations).  One of his peers calmly related that he would inflate his clothing – a technique learned by all Eagles as they complete the Swimming merit badge. All of Michael’s peers were amazed to learn that everyone at the table knew the technique … and, further, all were Eagle Scouts.  Apparently a degree in engineering from a prestigious university was only one thing recruiters were looking for!

To become an Eagle Scout, each young man must complete over 300 separate requirements.  They must earn 21 different merit badges, and complete the requirements to the satisfaction of an adult expert in that field.  They must demonstrate leadership by planning, inspiring others, and working with them to complete a service project of benefit to their community, church or school.  On six different occasions, they must stand before a board of review made up of community leaders, and demonstrate the Scouting spirit and leadership skills required to wear the different rank badges they must earn on the trail to the Eagle badge.

Eagle Scouts will know how to camp – and they’ll know what to do in a nuclear emergency, too.  They’ll have written a letter to their congressman.  They’ll know how to take care of money.  They’ll know first aid for a broken arm and a cut finger.  They’ll know the best knot to tie down a friend’s suitcase on a roof rack, too.

Once a young man has earned the award, they are an Eagle Scout for life.  I earned my Eagle in 1972 while in Troop 58, Maitland, MO.  I earned merit badges in Salesmanship and Journalism, which proved to be directly relevant to my success in my chosen career.  My Eagle Scout service project was developed in conjunction with the Graham Community Betterment Association in Graham, MO.  I actually assigned the street numbers to all of the buildings in Graham, and communicated their new street addresses to each resident and business owner in Graham (population 213!).

I know two keys to my success were my Scoutmasters, Eddie Hillman and Franklin Hardy.  Most important, however, were my Mother and Father.  Dad drove me to Scout meetings every Tuesday night.  Mom helped make sure I got the requirements done — I distinctly remember some gentle, uh, encouragement, to get my Eagle Scout service project done.  They got me there, and I am an Eagle Scout.

Here I am at the Pony Express Council Eagle Dinner in 1972. I’m wearing the Explorer uniform of the Camp Geiger Staff, which I proudly served on in 1972 and 1973.

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