The Legend of the Stuffy Box

Stuffy BoxFor my twelfth birthday several years ago, my Grandpa Ross (who was a scout with the 30th troop in Hamilton) gave me a small box full of many little treasures. When I opened the box I found inside a rolled up ‘scroll’ bound by a birthday ribbon tied in a bow. The Scroll

You could tell it was (supposed to look) old because of the (tea bag) stains and marks all over it ;) I opened up the scroll and inside I read the following:

The Legend Of The ‘Stuffy Box’

What is a ‘Stuffy Box?,’ more common folk might ask … it is the beginning of a long journey.

Every twelve year old boy should have a stuffy box.

What is the origin of the stuffy box? Well, it is a modern day legend, and let me tell you that legends are very difficult to begin. In fact, this may be the only labelled stuffy box known to mankind, so you are at the beginning, Dorian!

The term stuffy box comes from your Great Grandpa Lloyd. When your Grandpa, Ross, was a boy, he enjoyed rummaging through his Dad’s little boxes that could be found in our shed. They could contain almost anything …. Screws, bolts, springs, washers, pieces of electric cord, broken pieces of plastic from a curtain rod, or whatever.

The great thing about Great Grandpa Lloyd is that he had a lot of stuffy boxes … you could find several in the shed, a couple in his personal desk, some near his easel and paint, easily one in the washroom, and on and on it goes. He is the true founder of the stuffy box movement.

You are now ready to begin your stuffy box journey. Dorian. Do so with honour and pride!

There are things about a stuffy box you should know. First, it can never be made of new material. It must always come from a pre-existing purpose. In your case, this stuffy box was a pre-existing wine box. The lid had to be reversed and many coats of Varathane were applied by your Grandma. Special wood letters were applied to make ownership unmistakable.

Second, the wise care of a stuffy box includes having one place to keep it where it never moves.

Third, it’s preferred if it gets scuffed and chaffed a bit. You want it to look rough and rustic. It’s a working man’s treasure box … in it you can keep anything you want … a favourite screw driver, coins, stamps, nuts and bolts, candy, a pocket knife, whatever. Odd stuff.

It’s not really a secret box … that is the stuff of another legend. It is more a place to put stuff when you don’t know where to put stuff.

Every few years it’s a good idea to add another stuffy box to your collection. It doesn’t have to look the same, or even be labeled … it just needs to be a good container for stuff. Make the year ahead be full of good stuff, Dorian. Collect good stuff. Do good stuff.

Love,

Grandpa Ross.

I have shared this letter with you so that you can begin your own stuffy box journey.  Please ‘Do so, with honour and pride!’

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Law #3 A Scout’s Duty is to be Useful and to Help Others

3a4f72a1-6eab-4e27-83a5-00f9ef7e1aa4_zpshz72wdltOne of B.P.’s (Baden-Powell) laws for Scouts is to have them do at least one “good-turn” for someone each day.  Here B-P explains in his book Scouting for Boys:

“So, with the Scouts, it has been made one of our laws that we do a good turn to somebody every day.  It does not matter how small that good turn may be, if it were only to help an old woman lift her bundle, or to guide a child across a crowded street, or to put a halfpenny in the poor box.  Something good ought to be done each day of your life, and you should start today to carry out this rule, and never forget it during the remaining days of your life.  Remember the knot in your necktie and on your Scout’s badge – they are reminders to you to do a good turn.  And do your good turn not only to your friends, but also to strangers and even to your enemies.”

And that’s not just for Scouts either.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone got into the habit of doing at least one kind thing each day?  Scouts are supposed to be helpful to others as much as possible.  Here is another paragraph from Scouting for Boys:

“…And he is to do his duty before anything else, even though he gives up his own pleasure, or comfort, or safety to do it.  When in difficulty to know which of two things to do, he must ask himself, ‘What is my duty’ that is, ‘Which is best for other people?’ – and do that one.  He must Be Prepared at any time to save life, and to help injured persons.  And he must do a good turn to somebody every day.”

Try to start thinking of ways you can help serve the people in your life!

 

 

 

Rescue the Captors

IMG_7331The book, Rescue the Captors, is an amazing autobiography by a 28 year old bush pilot who flies dangerous mission flights in Columbia.  It is a true story, written from within a Marxist guerrilla camp, of how a young pilot named Russell is captured by soldiers who mistake him for the son of a wealthy American, but he is actually just from a small missionary family.

Here is a section, describing his kidnappers:

Unknown to those on the outside, Russell had sized up the situation and decided that most of his captors where really captives – of a negative, violent mentality inconsistent with even their own ideals.  He decided that instead of viewing his kidnapping as a terrible disaster, he would look at it as an opportunity to Rescue the Captors.

Rescue the Captors is a powerful story; filled with interesting discussions, adventure, and high-flying fun, including gunfights, fighter plane battles, and drug-busting adventures!  This book is not your average missionary story, and is a great read for anyone, young or old.

It has the perfect mix of adventure, history, politics, and much more, all woven into one spectacular story.  When Russell is captured, he decides not to just sit and mope, but instead uses it as an opportunity to share the good news of God’s love to his captors.  It is really quite a fascinating story, and I recommend it to each and every one of you.

Here is a small section to give you a taste of the book, from an early scene where the main character is trying to escape:

About twenty yards away, he threw his German assault rifle to his shoulder.  With a terrible look of hatred on his face, he pulled the trigger.  His gun went “click.”  It had misfired.  Quickly raising my revolver I sighted for his chest and pulled the trigger.  The hammer fell on an empty cartridge – I was out of bullets!  Giovani, seeing my gun, hit the dirt, falling behind a tree.  I could hear him trying to chamber a new round, but he seemed to be having trouble with his gun.  I frantically tried to break the nylon cord, dragging Manuel a few yards in the process.  I threw myself down on the ground, behind the only cover I could find – a clump of banana trees.  The rope was tight around my right arm and neck, choking me.  I clawed frantically in my pocket hoping to find more cartridges and reload my revolver.  I new the bananas wouldn’t stop the bullets the guerrillas would soon be shooting at me.

As I lay there, literally at the end of my rope, I wondered what it would feel like to die.  It appeared to me that my life would end in just a few seconds.  I was powerless to do anything about it, so I lowered my head and waited for the end to come…

 

It really inspired me to realize that the circumstances that seem so terrible to us, can really be made into opportunities to share God’s love.

 

Law #1 A Scout’s Honour Is To Be Trusted

IMG_3438It is important for Scouts (and everyone else too) to be trustworthy and honourable.  So, if you say you will do something, you must do it.  Here is what Baden-Powell (B.P.) thought about in his book, Scouting For Boys:

If a Scout says “On my honour it is so,” that means it is so, just as if he has taken a most solemn oath.

Similarly, if a Scout Officer says to a Scout, “I trust you on your honour to do this,” the Scout is bound to carry out the order to the very best of his ability, and to let nothing interfere with his doing so.

If a Scout where to break his honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly when trusted on his honour to do so, he would cease to be a Scout, and must hand over his Scout badge, and never to be allowed to wear it again…

Often these days it is not considered that your word is trustworthy, unless you say something like “I promise”.  You should always be trustworthy, by not telling lies even in games.  If someone always told the truth, his friends would eventually learn always to trust him.  If you only tell the truth half the time, how will people ever know when they can trust you?  Here is what God thinks about it in his word, the Bible:

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’

You will make and keep a lot more friends if you do as you say you will, and do not lie.

Scouting For Boys

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The book Scouting for Boys was among the first books about scouting that I acquired.  Written by Robert Baden-Powell in the year 1908, it is said to be second only to the Bible, as the most influential book for youth ever published!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in scouting.  It is, in my opinion, one of the best manuals for woodsmanship, pioneering, camp craft, health, and scouting in general.

Here is a quote from the forward of Scouting for Boys:

“By means of this book I hope that anyone, even without previous knowledge of scouting, may be able to teach it to boys, in town just as well as in the country.”

This quote adds to my point that you can be a scout wherever you are, whether in the city, the suburbs, or the countryside.

Scouting for Boys is full of stories, games and activities, tips on woodcraft and health, and so much more.

For example, one section of the book focuses on chivalry.  It has a few games to play, and titles of books to read on that subject.  There are even plays that a group of people can act out!  Here is one of the games mentioned:

“Knight Errantry: Scouts go out singly or in pairs or groups.  If in town, to find women and children in want of help, and to report, on their honor what they have done to help.  If in the country, call at farms or cottages and ask to do odd jobs for nothing in return.  The same game can be made into a race called a ‘Good Turn’ race.”

I highly recommend this book to you, and would rate it 5 out of 5 stars!