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!

 

 

 

Chipmunk

chipmunk

You are likely to spot a chipmunk at some period of time, probably during the summer when they are out and about, gathering supplies for the winter.  You probably won’t be able to watch it for long though, because they are always on the move, and will likely notice you before you notice them!

During the summer, a chipmunk spends a lot of its time gathering nuts and seeds, and storing them up for the winter.  If a chipmunk discovers a corn cob, a pile of seeds, or some other source of food, it has enough room in the pouches of its cheeks that it could probably cram in ten or twelve corn kernels.  But rather than just trying to stuff in as many as it could, the chipmunk is so orderly and neat, that it carefully organizes and places each kernel.  In so doing, it is able to carry about thirty corn kernels in each trip!  It is important for chipmunks to carry as much as possible in each trip, so as to minimize the amount of times it enters and exits its home.  Otherwise, watchful predators could be able to find the chipmunk’s home and then lay in wait to catch it.

Chipmunks are very tidy and orderly.  If some of their food starts to rot or get moldy, they immediately take it out and dispose of it.  They keep a separate room as their bathroom, and change the grass or straw bedding as soon as it is soiled.  That way they avoid a foul smell which could also inform hungry predators as to the whereabouts of the chipmunk’s home.

I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from a chipmunk about keeping our rooms (and houses!) clean and tidy.  The chipmunk has to be clean and orderly to survive.  We don’t have to in order to survive, but it does feel much nicer when you walk into a tidy bedroom, doesn’t it?