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Scoutmaster Minute — The Holiday Spirit

posted Feb 6, 2010, 12:52 PM by Ralph Heredia
 
Holiday Spirit… giving gifts, helping others, hanging decorations, Christmas songs playing in every store, joy, peace, love, family, friends, co-workers, eating, gathering, shopping, spending, traffic, crowds, long lines, credit cards, parking lots, rude behavior, road rage, frustration, pressure, attitudes…STOP!

Holiday Spirit. Holiday. Holy Day. A day dedicated to religious observances or to a religious festival. Although we are reminded each year of the significance of the Christmas holiday, do we really stop to think about what it means? Whether you are a Christian or not, in our culture the Christmas holiday is a special time that has been dedicated for us to observe the birth of Christ. If we take some time to reflect on our thoughts, behaviors, relationships and actions, we may find that we have missed opportunities throughout the year to have a positive influence on those around us. The holiday season should represent an opportunity to remedy any gaps we have created. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the behavior that we would like others to exhibit. Behaviors are contagious. A good deed is often returned by another good deed and a smile is met with another smile.

So what is the Holiday Spirit? One of the requirements for every Boy Scout rank advancement is to demonstrate Scout Spirit. This requirement is assessed by the Scoutmaster and is one tough requirement to measure. Anyone who works with kids knows that some kids have a lot of spirit! Sometimes that spirit is not always directed in a positive manner. So, in Scouting we have many opportunities to interact with boys that have lots of spirit.

Fortunately, we have tools that help guide our actions and become the measure for assessing Scout Spirit. I have found that these tools are universal and not constrained to just the Boy Scouts. The Scout Oath teaches us to do our best, to do our duty to God, our country and to ourselves. The 12 points of the Scout Law give us tools to deal with just about any situation we are thrust into.

The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared”, a message that helps us plan ahead and gives us a good dose of healthy feedback when something happens that we did not prepare for. And the Boy Scout slogan is “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Remember the contagious behavior (good deed and smile) I mentioned above.

So, if Holiday Spirit can be compared to Scout Spirit, then during this dedicated time of observance, we have the tools to deal with the stresses of the season. And if we truly commit to live by the Scout Oath and Law, our thoughts, behaviors, relationships and actions will be guided by these principles. Imagine if we all were committed to these principles! Would we have better relationships, better communities, a better world? So, think of the Holiday Spirit as the result of practicing our tools for dealing with the stresses of the season! The Holiday Spirit is the result of OUR actions. The re-payment for our good deeds and the return we get when we practice our fundamentals. It’s a great lesson for us adults, but think about the impact we will have on our kids if we practice the Holiday Spirit every day of the year!

As we approach the holiday season, look for opportunities to practice the Holiday Spirit. See if your rewards are not re-paid many times over!

Bill Edge is the Scoutmaster for Powdersville Troop 210.
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