A few months ago the “Internet Scouting Council” or Virtual Roundtable that I and other fellow Scouters follow via Twitter floated the idea of swapping Council Shoulder Patches. It stems from Boy Scouts swapping/trading CSP’s when they meet at Jamborees or anywhere. Apparently a lot of people do this….to extreme. I was never in Boy Scouts, so it was lost on me. I do get it. I have a small coin collection and I save concert tickets that I have gone to.
With this round of CSP trading I was late to the game for two reasons. First, Scoutmaster Jerry , Allan Campbell and I are in the same Council. I did not want to send out the same one they might be. Ok, bad move since these two have patches that I do not have. I quickly came up with the idea of sending out my first/home council’s CSP. Montana. I was going back to Montana for work and my 25th High School Reunion. Found the Scout shop and bought a bunch. I actually bought three different kind. So, for those who swapped with me…not all of you got the same one.
The other reason was…did I really want to do this? After I saw people were sending/getting them and were happy….I figured that I needed to do this as well.
This brings me to Scouting Friends. Over the past 12-24 months since I have been on Twitter/Facebook/Wordpress within my Scouting channel (I have a personal twitter/facebook account) I have gotten to know a lot of great people. While most of my contact has been electronic, only a few have been in person. Allan Campbell is in my District as the Cubscout Roundtable Commissioner and now Program Chair. It’s because of him I agreed to take on the Training Chair. Jerry Schleining is in the same Council but different District. His ASM Scott is in my patrol for the 2009 Wood Badge Course. I met him in person at Scott’s beading. Jerry and I were also on staff as Troop Guides during the 2011 Wood Badge course this Spring. The only other two that I have physically met offline are Phil Peck and Kevin Devin.
Since I travel a lot I am able to meet up with others. I mentioned one day that I was going to Couer D’Alene for work and Phil chimed in that he is close by. We figured out that Sandpoint, ID is closer. He works there and I have a store there as well. Ok, Coffee at Starbucks. We met and chatted for about an hour. Great guy. This led to an invite later to a Roundtable to speak about Wood Badge. It was part of his ticket. Great! I am there. Two Roundtables in one week and speaking at another Council. How cool is that! I have since met up with him again and had dinner at his house. If you ever get an invite to Phil’s house for Dinner…GO. (He & family have an invite to my house in Portland)
I just met with Kevin Devin up in the Chief Seattle Council this week. I knew he was up in the Seattle area but thought he was in a different Council than Seattle. We met up at a restaurant and swap stories and how we got into Scouting. He is a Pack/Troop Trainer in Scouting but is a Trainer in real life. Odd how that works. We talked about concerns, funny stories and what mattered to us both within and outside of Scouting. He ended up buying me dinner, which was completely unexpected. (I am buying next time.)
Why is this all important or why blog about it? It’s the simple fact that through Scouting we would have not have met. It’s because of our belief of what Scouting is and does for our Boys helped bring us together. We have this common bond and understanding that allows us to communicate together. It really does not matter what religion, race, creed, political party or employment status we have, we are Scouters and believe in that program.
I value each of the people that I meet online and find it great to meet them in public. It was Baden-Powell’s dream that if boys of all nationalities, race, color, etc can come together and be friends that as they grow-up into Men, Peace would be easier to created. This is just an extention of that dream. I think BP would approve. Each patch that I now have, has a story behind it. It’s a lot better than just going to scoutstuff.org and buying that CSP.
So, be warned…if there is a way that I can get to your area (or you to mine) I would love to meet for coffee/dinner and/or campfire. Thanks for swapping patches with me.
Yours in Scouting