Baloo's Bugle

August 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 1
September 2007 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Express
Webelos: Citizen & Communicator
Tiger Cub


Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month.  You can reach him at or through the link to write Baloo on   CD

Roundtable Prayer

CS Roundtable Planning Guide

Father, we stand before you as leaders of youth.  Help us to guide our boys along the tracks toward manhood.  Bless us and watch over us, and keep our wheels on the rails leading toward your purpose.  Amen

The Iron Road

Scouter Jim, Bountiful UT

In a barren wasteland just north of the Great Salt Lake is Promontory Summit.  It is just ten or so miles south of the headquarters of Morton Thiokol, where the booster rockets for the Space Shuttle were developed and built.  Promontory Summit, however owns its own legacy as a National Monument. 

On May 10, 1869, a large group of men from both the east and west of the United States joined together marking the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.  This final stretch went from Omaha Nebraska to Sacramento California.  The west had been open for migration for over twenty years, but the completion of this railroad would break the flood gates wide open and make an arduous journey of many months hard travel by horse or ox into an easy trip of days by way of the Iron Road.

Today, relatively few people make the trip coast to coast by rail, but the lionís share of Americanís freight is still moved by rail from our ocean ports and all across the land.  Our nationís economy depends on the Iron Road.

The only trains I have ever ridden were the zoo train, an amusement park ride, and a local commuter line. 

I do remember, however, standing in line with thousands of other Utah School children at the State Capital Building in Salt Lake City in May 1969 to see the original Golden Spike brought from California in celebration the Centennial of the completion of the Iron Road.

On another occasion as a Scoutmaster in the Uinta Mountains of Utah with my Troop of boys we saw the ruins of cabins built by the Tie-Hackers, the men who harvested and shaped the railroad ties from the mountain forest for the Iron Road.

The work on this Transcontinental Railroad was begun in the west on January 8, 1863 in Sacramento by the Central Pacific Railroad and in the east on December 2, 1863 on the Missouri River bluffs by the Union Pacific Railroad.  There was no diesel-powered equipment to grade the roadbed or move dirt or rails as the railroad moved along.  All this work had to be done by hand. 

After building east passed the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Central Pacificís Charles Crocker claimed the CP could lay 10 miles of track in one day.  The Union Pacific scoffed and bet that it couldnít be done.  Taking up the challenge and with a little planning, on April 28, 1869, the Central Pacific laid 10 miles of track in one day.  It would only take another twelve days to complete the job.

As we teach our boys about trains and the Cub Scout Express, let us help them learn what can be done with great effort and planning.  Even what seems impossible is possible with planning and great effort.  Letís go lay some track!


Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a great source of inspiration for Cubmasterís minutes, material for an advancement ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover.

I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.Ē Yogi Berra

The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write... Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the story's narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up.  Chris Van Allsburg

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.  Corrie Ten Boom

The United States as we know it today is largely the result of mechanical inventions, and in particular of agricultural machinery and the railroad.  John Moody

Canals might indeed linger for a time as feeders... but every one now realized that the railroad was to be the great agency which would give plausibility to the industrial organization of the United States and develop its great territory.  John Moody

In 1862, when the charter was granted by the United States Government for the construction of a railroad from Omaha to the Pacific coast, the only States west of the Mississippi Valley in which any railroad construction of importance existed were Iowa and Missouri.  John Moody

Imagine someday riding the railroad to visit relatives in the Lower 48, enjoying beautiful scenery and spectacular views aboard a train.  Frank Murkowski

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can't say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.  Harriet Tubman

There seemed to be an interesting connection between a generation of pioneers coming to the Gold Rush and then 20 years later the building of the railroad and the connection of California to the rest of America.  Michael Winterbottom

The Boy Scout train, 1930.  Such was the importance of Scouting in the early twentieth century that a Royal Scott Class Locomotive was named ĎThe Boy Scoutí

People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing.
That's why we recommend it daily.
Zig Ziglar

The history of the human race
is the history of ordinary people
who have overcome their fears
and accomplished extraordinary things.

Brian Tracy

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.



Cub Scouting At Its Best

Circle 10 Council

You are serious minded,
Because you care so very much

You are funny,
Because you canít help it.

You are hard-nosed and hardheaded
Because you want to maintain high quality.

You can welcome a different idea,
If it benefits the boys.

You welcome an argument to sharpen the mind.
You like peace,
To give thoughts, time to root and grow.

You are happy inside,
No matter what.

You say, ďThis is the way we do it,Ē
To share experiences.

You speak my language
Itís called Love and Hope
for the youth of the entire world.

You are Cub Scouting at its best,
And you are beautiful

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