Baloo's Bugle

October 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 15, Issue 3
November 2008 Theme

Theme: Seeds of Kindness
Webelos: Citizen and Communicator
Tiger Cub
Achievement 2

THEME RELATED STUFF

Fun Facts About Kindness:

Alice, Golden Empire Council

«  Giving a smile is actually easier than giving a frown – it takes fewer muscles!

«  In 2007, 163,000 volunteers at the National Park Service donated 5.4 million hours of time worth $101 million or the equivalent of 2,596 full time employees!

«  80% of the people in this county give to nonprofits.

«  Only 10-12% of financial giving is provided by foundations and 5-6% comes from corporations.

«  Most of the money given by individuals is from middle and low income people, not the super wealthy!

«  Eleven percent of households contributed to religious causes only.

«  Twenty-one percent of households contributed to only secular causes.

«  Thirty-four percent contributed to both religious and secular causes.

«  Only 28.8% of the people in this country do the actual volunteer work for the many service organizations and projects in this country – so your time does matter!

«  Recognition in front of their peers is the most valued form of “payback” for volunteers – so remember to recognize parents, leaders and others who help your scout program!

«  The median amount of time that people volunteer is 52 hours a year, ranging from 21% who spend from one to fourteen hours up to the 28% who donate between one hundred and four hundred hours a year.

More Good Pack and Den Activities

Alice, Golden Empire Council

SMILE!  Did you know it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown?  Make a conscious effort to smile at everyone!

Remind yourself every day to look for opportunities to be kind.  When someone drops a pencil, struggles to get packages through a door, take the opportunity to help.

Have each boy commit to doing a kind deed each day for the next month.  Share the story of the unknown London Scout who helped Jim Boyce find his way in the fog – bringing scouting to America was a direct result of this kindness!

Bake cookies or rolls as a family or den and then have fun doing “doorbell ditching” – a favorite for all seven of my children when they were young.  We would park around the corner, then one family member would ring the doorbell and race back into hiding.  If you really want to enjoy it, NEVER admit it was you!

Fill Dollar Store baskets with fresh fruits for the elderly.  This could be done in a neighborhood, or with the help of a church, senior center or chartered organization.

Sign up to help serve a meal at a local shelter, such as Loaves & Fishes or Salvation Army.

Penny Power - Collect pennies from everyone in your pack from now till Dec. 1st.  Use the money collected to purchase needed items for a local group, such as Toys for Tots. You might be surprised how much penny change is just lying around!

Take part in a local food, toy, winter coat drive.

With your children, go through and pick out items in good condition, such as toys, books, clothing – then let everyone go with you to drop off your donations.

Have a Pack “Make a Difference Day” – everyone can participate in making, buying or donating items for other people to use.  In the past, my pack made wooden toys, cleaned and dressed dolls, made marble bags and filled them, made checker games or  other board games – projects can be based on advancement and elective ideas, and families can also work on their own projects at home.  See Websites.

Help start or support a local urban garden.  A bare plot of earth can support a garden than supplies good food at low cost.  For ideas on how to get started, go to www.heifer  > Our Work > Our Initiatives > Urban Agriculture > Heifer International's Urban Agriculture Program

Volunteer to help clean up and/or prepare a garden at a local school.  Many schools now devote some space to a vegetable garden to help kids learn about healthy food choices.  Check with local schools, garden clubs, or “Green” programs – again, ask a reference librarian for local contacts.

Team up with your chartered organization - If they have a site, the Pack can provide man hours, tools, seeds, etc.  needed for an urban garden. Produce can be given to a local food bank or Senior Gleaners.

Collect blankets and towels for a pet shelter – Check with a local shelter, wild animal care center or veterinarian for what they need first.

Choose a seeds of kindness symbol  – bring it out whenever someone is caught being kind. This could be as simple as a paper “Caught you being kind” that is put on a pillow, to a special statue that makes its appearance on the dinner table whenever a kind deed has been seen.

Give a Hundred – Keep this in mind for the Hundredth Year celebration – but for this theme, commit to doing a Hundred Acts of Kindness, donating a Hundred items or a Hundred quarters, etc. to a charity or service project.

Choose a project from Heifer International – projects range from $10 to $5000, from  a share in planting seedlings, urban gardens, providing a flock of chicks or a cow or water buffalo, and lots of other choices as well, all over the world.  See more information at Websites.

Check out the “Seeds of Kindness” website– one of their “rules” is to do something personally, not to just give money to a charity. “Google” Seeds of Kindness to see some ideas. They have some great examples of how people decided to sow their own  “seeds” – here are some ideas from them:

·         Purchase donation certificates at your local grocery store, or donate directly to a local food bank or charity of your choice.

·         Some families paid utility bills anonymously for neighbors.

·         Talk to a local children’s hospital; find out what toys would be appropriate for their use, then buy and donate them.

·         One group uses fast food coupons, buys as much product with them as they can afford, then give them out to homeless people they find in their area once a month.

Or go to http://www.seedsofkindness.com/

Save some seeds – be kind to future generations:  go to www.seedsavers.org for information about how to help save seeds, especially heirloom varieties.  This organization helps gardeners share seeds – and many people are finding that heirloom varieties have better flavor and nutrition.  They even have gift certificates.  Check it out – you might be able to actually “sow” some seeds!

Need help finding a project? 

«  Go to: www.usaweekend.com/diffday and click on Project Ideas on the left side. 

«  Ask! – Check with your school, church, local charities such as the American Red Cross, food banks, senior gleaners, neighborhood service organizations or local volunteer centers. 

«  Check online – google a type of giving you are drawn to, or go to the Points of Light website and use the interactive map to find a volunteer center near you – they have lots of projects and contacts.

Some personal rules for satisfying giving:

Give anonymously – not knowing who the benefactor is leaves the receiver feeling loved by and grateful to all!

Keep your eyes and ears open – when you see or hear of a need, fill it!

Be creative – and let children offer their creative ideas as well.

Share the bounty – if you have season tickets to a sports event, concerts, theatre and can’t use them, share them.

And of course, you can literally share the bounty – flowers or produce from your garden, or even the seeds from a successful growing season! 

Let everyone participate – even the youngest children can make play doh (recipe in Cub Grub) or pick out pictures to use to make a picture dictionary for another child.

Make an inventory of the talents and supplies available to you – you might be surprised at how much you have to offer!

Keep a “Giving” Diary –  it could be personal, family or a scrapbook for a den or pack project. Include pictures of preparations, and ask everyone how doing the service project made them feel.

Think about personal passions – if you are especially interested in the environment, help clean up a local creek or “adopt” a local bus stop or neighborhood playground.  Make a commitment to go by on a regular basis and pick up trash. Another environmental way to share seeds of kindness is by giving a gift of trees ($60) or a share of seedlings ($10), both thru Heifer International.  (See websites)

Contact local volunteer bureaus for some ideas for a project you can do.  If you don’t know where they are, check with a local librarian – she will have a listing of local possibilities.

Recognize other people and what they contribute.  Every week choose people who quietly perform service – the church organist, the neighbor who takes in your garbage can – send them a thank you note or put a container of cookies or some flowers on their doorstep by way of saying “thanks for what you do.” Boys could also give service to a cubmaster, grandparent, pack chair, or someone else who helps make the scout program go.

Pioneer Nurseryman

Scouter Jim, Great Salt Lake Council

Johnny Appleseed certainly went about
Spreading Seeds of Kindness   CD

In about 1797, a young twenty-two-year-old man packed a bag with some personal belongings, a sack of apple seeds harvested from Pennsylvania cider mills and headed west into the new American frontier.  His name was John Chapman, but he would become known as “Johnny Appleseed.  He just didn’t travel around scattering apple seeds, he was a practical businessman.  It was required by law that settlers plant fifty apples trees the first year on a new homestead.  Apples were a good food source and stored well.  John took his bag of seeds into the wilderness, and found a likely spot for growing trees.  He would clear out the land by chopping the weeds and brush by hand.  He then planted his apple seeds in neat rows and surrounded them with brush fences.  He had many plots of land where he would raise apple trees.  He never carried a gun and had no fear of man or beast.  The Indians accepted him as a friend, and it was said, he would talk to the animals while he worked.  He stayed ahead of the pioneers as they moved west. He would sell his sapling trees for a few pennies each or trade them for whatever people had to trade.  Sometimes he would take used clothing in trade for his valuable trees, which was usually worn and too large for his small frame. Each fall he would travel east on foot  and by canoe to acquire new seeds for new crops of trees.  John never married but loved, and was loved, by those he lived among.  No one knows how many millions of seeds he planted in the hundreds of nurseries he established in the Northwest Territory, now the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.  Many of his seedlings traveled across the plains of North America in covered wagons to grow to feed families in the west.  John Chapman worked the soil and left the land and everything and everyone else better than he found them.

 

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