Kayaking Merit Badge


“A great American, John Wayne, passed away many years ago. One of his last public appearances was at a dinner. He was riddled with cancer and knew he was close to death. The purpose of the dinner was to benefit a land purchase for a Scout Reservation called John Wayne Outpost Camp. At this dinner, Wayne recited the Scout Law. Then he did something unusual, he said the twelve points of the Scout Law are “nice words”. “Trouble is,” he continued, “we learn them so young we sometimes don’t get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him, with a few things I have picked up in more than half a century since I learned it.”

Then Wayne proceeded to explain the importance of the Scout Law, breaking it down for the guests at the dinner, much like he would have for his grandson.”

TRUSTWORTHY The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look at any man in the eye. Lacking it he won’t look back. Keep this one at the top of your list.
LOYAL The Very word is life itself, for without loyalty we have no love of person or country
HELPFUL Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other, we help ourselves, not to mention mankind. Be always full of help — the dying man’s last words.
FRIENDLY Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions – and do – but make sure and start with brotherhood.
COURTEOUS Allow each person his human dignity which means a lot more than saying, “yes ma’am” and “thank you sir”. It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more… earlier in life. Save yourself that problem. Do it now.
KIND This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But its like your bicycle, it’s just no good unless you get out and use it.
OBEDIENT Starts at home. Practice it in your family. Share it with humanity.
CHEERFUL Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing.
THRIFTY Means a lot more than putting pennies away, and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything.
BRAVE You don’t have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavyweight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day’s work and living the best life they know how against the law of odds.
CLEAN Soap and waters help a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts and don’t ever forget it.
REVERENT Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time.

All three of my boys participate in the scouting program. Rusty is a Boy Scout second class, Ozzie is a Blazer Scout, and Tyler is in Cub Scouts.

The attributes spoken about in the Scout Law are ones we value and encourage in our own children. I can’t think of a better model for living than this model laid out for the young men in the Scouting program.

Toby was very involved in the scouting program as a youth and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Every Wednesday the boys meet with their scout troop at church. We have encouraged them to actively work toward earning their own rank of Eagle Scout and have set the guideline that our sons can’t get their driver’s license until they have earn their Eagle. (The girls must earn their personal progress medallion…a spiritual goal based program offered through our church… before they can get their driver’s license)

We are blessed to have great boys in our boy scout and cub scout troop. We are also blessed with GREAT leaders that my boys enjoy and respond to. In a  world where trustworthy, kind, loyal, courteous men often go unnoticed or are even mocked, I am grateful for good men leading my sons by example…

faithful Scout leaders that reinforce the values we teach at home and make the experience fun.


This past week Rusty’s Boy Scout troop finished the last of  the requirements needed to earn their Kayaking merit badge. The initial skills were learned and practiced in the pool of a family at church. 🙂  Rusty LOVED working on this merit badge (what boy wouldn’t)?! They spent the last few Wednesdays preparing for the final task:

going down to the local river and applying the skills they have been studying. Rusty enjoyed being on the water. It was a perfect evening for it with nice weather and little wind.

Here’s a look at their time on the water…








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