Philmont Training Center


This video offers a great introduction to the Philmont Training Center (and not just because it includes footage from one of my conferences). PTC Is a great training opportunity and a great family vacation all rolled into one. I’ll be there this summer. Will you?

Eagle Scout Photos



I’ve often (probably too often) compared Eagle courts of honor to weddings. There are many differences, of course, including the lack of a bride, but there are many similarities as well.

One such similarity is – or should be – the presence of a photographer. These days, of course, virtually everybody has a camera or three, so getting photos is easy. But it’s still important to designate an official photographer who doesn’t have any other duties on the day of the big event.

I also encourage folks to get a formal portrait in addition to shots of the ceremony. Twenty-five or 50 years from now, your new Eagle Scout will treasure that photo – and so will his family. (One of my favorite photos of my father-in-law is a studio shot taken around the time he became an Eagle Scout.)

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider this shot from the 1938 Handbook for Scoutmasters!




As winter descends on Atlanta, BIrmingham, and other southern cities, I’m reminded of Eagle Scout Paul Siple, the co-creator of the wind chill factor. An Eagle Scout and Sea Scout, Siple twice went to Antarctica with Admiral Richard Byrd.



As the tagline promises, I’ve created this blog as a repository for ideas related to writing, Scouting, and writing on Scouting. I talk about the books I sell at, my other Scouting-related writing projects, and other items of interest. I hope you find the blog of interest. If you have ideas to share, just post a comment on the About page.

New at Color Certificates



I’m excited this year to feature two new products at color versions of the popular Eagle Mountain Certificate and Eagle Mountain Certificate–Mentor Edition. (The Eagle Mountain Certificate is shown here.)

Each certificate costs $15 and is personalized with the recipient’s name and ceremony (or board of review date). The mentor certificate also includes the Eagle Scout’s name.

If you prefer the classic parchment versions of the certificates, those are still available at just $9 each. All prices are postage paid.

For details or to order, click here.

Preparing for College


This year, a law firm in San Diego called Harrison and Boddell is offering a new $1,000 Scouting scholarship. The only requirement (aside from involvement in Boy Scouting or Girl Scouting) is to write a 400-600 word essay on how Scouting prepared you for college. (Details are here).

That assignment got me to wondering about how my time in Scouting prepared me for college. There were countless ways, but two that come to mind relate to the merit badge program. When you think about it, every merit badge is like an introductory course: Swimming 101, Leatherwork 101, etc. So going to college and taking English 101 or Psychology 101 was only natural. Also, earning a merit badge (outside summer camp or a merit badge class) is like taking an independent study class. So it was no big deal to me when I needed to take some correspondence courses to get core requirements out of the way.

How did Scouting prepare you for life after high school? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.