One of the things that always impresses me about Scouting is the generosity of everyone who is involved. From the parent who is part of the cooking team at a Cub camp to the Leaders and so on. But it’s the stuff that people do which is ‘above and beyond’ that is always the most impressive.

For instance, I know if I have a question or problem, that as well as ringing the Info Centre at Gilwell and speaking to my District’s people, I can post a question on Escouts or PTC Media’s forums or email any number of Leaders in the UK, Europe or the USA. And by doing this, I will get the info I need. They don’t need to do this, but we always like to help our fellow Scouts (A Scout is a Member of the Worldwide Family of Scouts – UK Scout law number 4).

Another recent example of generosity is the creation of a WordPress theme for Scouting websites designed by Chris Hawes (see the Be Prepared link in the Scouts in the UK section of my links). Chris has made this theme for his District’s site and then offered it to anyone who wants it for their site! So I’ve used it on my District’s new site, which I’ve recently re-launched (after waiting since March to hear what the District wanted, I got bored and did it anyway!). You can see it here. Since the original release, Chris has made a couple of variations which can bee seen and downloaded from here.

So many thanks to Chris for his hard work and to all those Scouts out there who do that extra bit to help others!

Mike Rowe

If you live in the US, you’ll know who he is, but if you live anywhere else, like me, you’ll probably say ‘Who?’.

He is a TV host who hosts a show called Dirty Jobs, amongst others, and is someone who is promoting the importance on the ‘blue collar trades’ and the fact that there is a need for people to be trained in such areas (plumbing for example) and that everyone should not necessarily have a degree (as seems to be a common theme these days).

He was a Scout when he was a boy and is an Eagle Scout.

He has taken it upon himself to promote Scouting and it’s values and achievements. He will even send a personalised letter to any Eagle Scout who wants one (see the example here). He recently appeared at the BSA’s recent Jamboree (unlike a Mr. Obama who sent a video & went on a chat show, much to the annoyance of a lot of Scouts) and spoke to all the Scouts and their Leaders about the need to get out and get dirty while staying physically and mentally clean.

But the thing that interests me is that he has done all this off his own back. As far as I know, he doesn’t have an official position within the BSA, but has decided that Scouting is something that is important and relevant to the youth of America and he is going to tell people that.

However, I can’t think of anyone over here who is doing a similar thing. We obviously have Bear Grylls doing his thing as Chief Scout, but he, as are thousands of other adults, is a volunteer within Scouting. There is no one I can think of who is outside Scouting in an official capacity doing the same as Mike Rowe and I guess we’re the poorer for it. If we had someone who is in the media spotlight, be they a sports person, musician or politician, for example, who is willing to say ‘ this is my team, record or policies I’m promoting and I got here partially because of the skills, lessons and fun I had in Scouts / Guides etc as a kid. Take a look you might enjoy it’.

I wonder if anyone out there is prepared to say that?