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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Camping in the woods on Christmas Eve
T'was the night before Christmas
And all through the woods,
Not a scout was stirring, they were all being good.
Their sneakers were hung by the camp fire with care.
In hopes the delivery guy, soon would be there…
And I in my Neckerchief,
And Mr._______ in his Cub-Cap,
Had just settled down for a short camping nap,
When deep in the woods there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sleeping bag,
To see what was the matter.
Away to the tent, I flew, I was scared,
I grabbed a hammer and shovel,
In case it was bear.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Scouter Clause, with some pizza and root beer.
He was a little old scout, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, He was scared of ticks.
More rapid than an Eagle Scout the pizza’s they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name,
Now sausage, now peppers, now onions and pepperoni,
On meatball, on, ham. On, hold the anchovies.
To the top of the tents, to the top of the trees,
Dash away, Dash away, with extra cheese.
As I got to my feet and was turning around,
Into the campsite, he came with a bound.
He was dressed all in uniform from his head to this toes.
His shirt was garnished with badges and bows.
A bundle of pizzas he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a new scout, doing the opening ceremony, for his pack,
His eyes, how they twinkled, His dimples so merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a berry.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old scout,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
Gave out the pizza and then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger onside of his nose, and checking his compass,
Down the trail he goes,
I sprang to my feet, to the boys gave a whistle and up they all flew, like the down of a thistle.
We ate all the pizza and drank all the soda,
Our stomachs, all felt like they would exploda.
And we heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, Merry Christmas Pack #____, and to all a good night.
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My First Christmas In Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees
around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
It was always most important
in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other,
as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing or love
he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and
wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.
This poem was written by a 13 year old boy who died of a brain tumor that he had battled for four years. He died on December 14, 1997. He gave this to his Mom before he died. His name was Ben.
Every time a hand reaches out
To help another....that is Christmas
Every time someone puts anger aside
And strives for understanding
That is Christmas
Every time people forget their differences
And realize their love for each other
That is Christmas
May this Christmas bring us
Closer to the spirit of human understanding
Closer to the blessing of peace!
> The Outdoors
> Dutch Oven
Mexican Lowfat Pinto Beans Bean Soup
4 c Water 1 lb Pinto beans 1 md Onion, chopped 1 t Minced garlic 1/2 t Lite sait, optional 1 t Cumin seed 1 cn Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, undrained soak beans overnight. Mix water, beans and onion in a 4-qt. Dutch oven. Cover and heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Add just enough water to cover beans. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. cover and...
Eagle Oath Home
I (re)affirm my allegiance to the three promises of the Scout Oath.I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself the obligations and responsibilities of an Eagle Scout. On my honor, I will do my best to make my training an example and my status and my influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in my troop, in my community, and in my contacts with other people.To this I pledge my sacred honor....
> Cub Scout
Cub Scout Safari Closing Home
Cubmaster (returning to jeep):We made it through our Cub Scout Safari. The road was a little bumpy along the way. So be careful on your way home. You never know what wild animals lurk around. You may have a Tiger or Wolf in your car. Or a Bobcat or Bear in your living room. There may even be a Webelos around your house....
> About Us
Two Enemies Two Best Friends Home
In these challenging times there are many stories to give us inspiration, to make us think, to remind us life is not always easy and that there are many forks that we can take along the way. We can choose to take the safe road, we can choose to climb a mountain, or we can choose to build a road. The story I am going to tell you spans over ten years and is about a two friends and...
> The Outdoors
> Dutch Oven
Ill Eat Those Veggies Home
olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 red pepper, diced 1 green pepper, diced 2 large cans tomatoes 1 tbs cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper 2 cans mexicorn 2 cans black beans 1 jar picante sauce 2 large onions, dicedSauté onions in olive oil in Dutch oven. Add garlic when onions are clear and continue to sauté until golden brown. Add spices and mix well. Add peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and "stir well. Cook...
> Scoutmaster Minutes
It All Depends Home
A lot of you Scouts have been working on the Communications skill award and merit badge, and I hope you've learned the importance of communicating clearly. (Show walkie talkie. ) With this little device I can throw my voice a half-mile, maybe more. But what good is it if I don't communicate clearly? Suppose I radioed you on this walkie-talkie and said "Go, man! Trapped in cave. In trouble at Spencer’s Mountain. " Sounds like I'm...
> Flag Closing
The Rabbi The Soap Maker Home
A Rabbi and a soap maker were walking along and the soap maker questioned the Rabbi by asking, "What good is religion? There's been religion for a long time, but people are still bad to each other" The Rabbi was silent until they saw a boy who was dirty from playing in the street. The Rabbi asked the soap maker, "What good is soap? We've had soap for many, many years and people still get dirty" The soap maker protested...
> Cub Scouts
Fitness Fun Warmup Exercise Home
Make sure the boys have plenty of room to move around. The leader should read it in a slow monotone at first while letting the boys go through the motions. Then try it in the sing-songy rhythm a little faster. Continue to repeat it, faster and faster, until either the boys or the leader collapse! Hands on your hips, hands on your knees, Put them behind you, if you please. Touch your shoulders, touch your nose Touch your ears, touch...
Judge, Bailiff, 3 (or more) Scruffy Guys, Peanuts (person) Setting: Courthouse Judge: Order in the court! Order in the court! Bring in the first case! (Bailiff brings in a scruffy guy.) Judge: What's your problem? #1: Duh, I like to throw Peanuts against walls! Hic! Judge: 30 days psychiatric treatment! Next! Judge: What's your problem? #2: Duh, I like to throw Peanuts out the window! Judge: 30 days psychiatric treatment! Next! (Judge becomes increasingly bored) Judge: Oh, not another, What's...
Paper bag Dragon Home
You will need: Large brown paper bag, scissors, tissue paper, craft glue, poster paint (or crayons, or markers), paint brush, newspaper. 1. Cover the table with newspaper. Cut the bag in half on a diagonal. Cut two nostril holes in the side of the bag. (Actually, you’ll use these to see out.) 2. Glue long strips of tissue paper onto the bag for streamers; then paint on colorful designs. Let dry completely before wearing your dragon costume....
Soda Bottle Bowling Home
Gather 10 empty 2-liter soft drink bottles. Fill each with a few inches of sand or water. Set up the “pins” in the traditional triangular shape, and take turns bowling with a soccer ball or something similar. (It would be a good idea to do a trial run, insuring the ball is heavy enough to push over the pins with a given amount of sand inside.)...
> Flag Closing
Preparation: 9 Cubs enter each with a card with the appropriate letter on them.C - is for Christ, who birthday we observe H - is for Happiness to those we serve R - is for Reverence and a prayer from above I - is for Incense, a Wise man gave in love S - is for Snow, a blanket so pure and white T - is for Time, as it stands still tonight M - is for Mary, the mother...
Thanksgiving tree Home
Copy the leaf pattern onto green cardstock, as each person enters the room give them a few leaves to write why they are thankful we live in such a beautiful place, the things they like to do in nature, or what they can do to preserve the health of this planet. Provide strings and have them tie their leaves to the branches of a stick that has been “planted” in a bucket of sand. (How green is your tree?)....
> The Outdoors
Black Bear Chili Home
4 cups dry black beans 2 tbs cumin 2 tbs oregano 1/2 cups olive oil 2 lbs flank steak, cut into cubes 2 large onions, chopped 1 green pepper, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 1/2 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp salt 1 large can crushed tomatoes 1/4 cups jalapenos, sliced 1 red bell pepper 6oz Romano cheese, grated sour cream warm flour tortillasPlace beans in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Remove...
> Cub Scout
The Beginnings Of Home
PROPS: Egg, cup of flour, package of seeds, 13 – star American flag.CUBMASTER: (Calls up Cub Scouts to be advanced and his parent(s). He picks up each symbol and explains in his own words how each is the beginning of something very special. The egg of a chicken, the cup of flour is of a cake or cookies, the package of seeds of a great harvest of food from our country. The flag is the beginning of our country. The...
> Cub Scout
Scouting Is Opening Home
Cub 1: As we prepare to join together in a banquet to celebrate the birthday of Scouting, it is important to remember why we chose to join the Scouting movement. Cub 2: Scouting is a program for young men and boys which is much bigger than just the people who are Scouts. When we join together, we are able to do more and be more than just ourselves. Cub 3: Scouting is a sea of blue and gold uniforms. Scouting...
> Cub Scout
Investment Closing Home
Cub 1: We would like to thank you for spending the evening with us.Cub 2: The time you spend with us is time well spent.Cub 3: You show us you value or program.Cub 4: Through your action you set the example.Cub 5: The return on your investment will be men of character in the future.Cub 6: Good night everyone....
Cub Brothers Den Closing Home
(Props: Large blue candle and large gold candle; denner and assistant denner)DENNER: "For our closing today would you all please form a living circle around the table? (Denner and assistant should be at head of table inside the circle.) As you join hands you see before you two candles one of blue and one of gold. The blue candle represents the loyalty that we as Cub brothers show our country and each other." (He lights blue candle.)ASSISTANT DENNER: "The yellow...
> The Outdoors
> Dutch Oven
Low Fat Cassoulet Home
Beans 1 lb Dried large white beans (such as Great Northern) 1 lb Dried red kidney beans 2 lb Smoked ham hocks (about 4 medium) 7 cn (14 1/2-oz) beef broth 1 cn (14 1/2-oz) diced peeled tomatoes, drained 1 tb Minced garlic 1 ts Ground allspice 2 10-oz packages frozen large lima beans, thawed Meats And Leeks 1 5-lb duckling (thawed if frozen), cut into 8 pieces 2 1/4 ts Ground allspice 2 lb Trimmed lamb shoulder or lamb...
Boy Scout Camp 2 Home
They say at good ol' Pico the food is mighty fine Ev'ry time you eat it your life is on the line Chorus: Oh, I don't want no more of Boy Scout Camp Hey, ma, I wanna go But they won't let me go Hey, ma, I wanna go ho-o-ome They say at good ol' Pico the showers are mighty fine They're either freezing cold or scalding your behind chorus They say at good ol' Pico the girls are mighty...
> Flag Closing
Setting The Example Home
Adult or Den Chief: What Indian boys learned was very important. It prepared them to take care of themselves and their families. They grew up to be responsible, contributing members of their communities. Everything they needed to know they could observe being done by adults around them. They learned to preserve their culture by watching and doing and by listening to stories told by their elders.(Cub Scouts hold up cards one at a time, say the slogan and read the...
> Cub Scout
Helpful to Others Home
Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting said this to Scouts everywhere:"I think that when the sun goes down, the world is hidden by a big blanket from the light of heaven, but the stars are little holes pierced in that blanket by those who have done good deeds in this world. The stars are not all the same size, some are big, some are little, and some men have done small deeds, but they have made their hole in the...
At number three Old England Square, Mark well what I do say; At number three Old England Square, My Nancy Dawson she lives there: And I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid! CHORUS: A-roving, a-roving; since rovings been my ru-i-in, I'll go no more a-roving With you fair maid! My Nancy Dawson she lived there, Mark well what I do say; She was a lass surpassing fair, She'd bright blue eyes and golden hair And I'll go no...
> The Outdoors
Taco Casserole Home
2 pounds hamburger 6 tortillas cheese grated 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cans enchilada sauce 1 small can tomato sauceBrown meat and garlic. Add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes. Tear tortillas and layer pan with tortillas, meat, cheese. Repeat with cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. ...
Pop Commercial Home
Have one fellow standing, holding an unopened pop bottle, the next holding a bottle opener (or stands ready to open the container, one hand as if holding the container and the other hand raised over it), the other two doing nothing. The first guy examines the bottle real close and passes it to third guy who guzzles it, pretend or for real, and passes the empty container to the last guy. This guy looks at the empty bottle or container...
Wolf Advancement Ceremony Home
Arrangements: Tom-tom, artificial fire, Cubmaster dressed as AkelaASST. CUBMASTER: The Cub Scout plan of advancement follows Akela's life story. Some of our Cub Scouts are following in Akela footsteps tonight.CUBMASTER: When Akela was little, he was taken on short trips into the forest among the great streams and tree. Here from the Wolf he learned the language of the ground, the tracks, the way to food. Much the same as Akela, the following Cub Scouts have achieved the Wolf rank...
> Campfire Stories
Cremation of Sam McGee Story Home
This Story has scary parts and is meant for Boy Scouts, Webelos scouts. Decide for yourself if it is appropriate for your younger scouts or not. Notes: This story can be told as a scary story around a campfire. It has a humorous ending. There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold, And the arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold. The northern lights have seen...
My Body Home
Let the boys take turns outlining each other’s body on butcher paper. Then let them fill them in. They can either draw in the parts of the body (organs, bones, etc.) or drawn themselves (clothes, hair, etc.). Hang on the wall or display at pack meeting. ...
> Cub Scout
Good Will Opening Home
Setting: Eight uniformed Cub Scouts line up across front of room holding large cards with letters to spell out G-O-O-D-W-I-L-L. Each boy shows his card is he speaks. G - Greetings we bring now to everyone. O - On this special night of holiday fun. O - Once again it's that special time of year. D - We're doing our best to spread holiday cheer. W - Welcome to our meeting. it's sure to be worthwhile. I - Would you...
Thanksgiving MatchUp Home
1. One action done in the morning2. Poultry in the Hay3. Jack-o-lantern dessert4. A springtime blossom5. Used by the percussion section of a band6. An automobile and 60's music7. Day of the week that Thanksgiving falls on8. Medicine that's very serious9. Cleveland's baseball team10.Sounds made by 3 people eating fast &chewing loudly11. Girl's name a. pumpkin pieb. Gobble, gobble, gobblec. drum stickd. Pilgrime. Indiansf. dressingg. Thursdayh. Turkey in the Strawi. Mayflowerj. Plymouth Rockk. Grace...
Corn Popper Home
Materials: Piece of metal wire window screening, about 2’ square Wire coat hanger Tools: Felt-tipped pen or crayon Yardstick Large scissorsUsing a felt-tipped pen or crayon and a yardstick, draw an equilateral triangle (all 3 sides the same length) with each side about 18-24 inches long. Using a large pair of scissors, cut out the triangle, saving a piece of the scrap. Fold in about ½ inch along all 3 edges; you can do this with your fingers, using the...
> Cub Scout
Bobcat Induction Ceremony Fire Of Friendship Home
Equipment: A short piece of stick for each boy, ceremonial fireWill all new Cub Scouts and new Leaders please come forward and form a semicircle behind our campfire? You have come here tonight seeking admission to the friendship and fun of Cub Scouting. You have learned the things necessary to become a Bobcat. Will you give the Cub Scout sign and repeat with me the Cub Scout Promise? Will the parents or guardians of these Cub Scouts please come forward...
> Boy Scouts
Personal Equipment List Home
Quantity Equipment Notes 1 1 1 1 Backpack Sleeping Bag Sleeping Pad Ground cloth 2 qts 1 each 1 each Mess Gear Water Bottle Plate, Bowl and Cup Fork and Spoon 1 per trip 1 per trip 1 1 per trip 1 1 1 1 1 1 per trip 1 per trip 1 per trip Clothing Scout Shirt Baseball Cap Tee Shirt Sweat Shirt Jacket Shorts Long Pants Socks Underwear Boots Rain Gear Belt Depends on weather 1 1 1 1 1 Toiletries Toothbrush & Paste Brush and Comb Soap Wash...
The Fox Home
Oh the fox went out on a chilly night, prayed for the moon to give him light. He had many a mile to go that night before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o. He had many a mile to go that night before he reached the town-o.So he ran 'til he came to a great big pen, where the ducks and the geese were kept therein. He said "One of you is going to grease my chin...
Energy Wasters Hunt Home
Before your den meeting starts, go and plant energy wasting items for the boys to find, such as; water running, lights on, refrigerator door slightly ajar, recycle items in the trash and so on. Give them a piece of paper and give them a limited time to go around the yard and the house. When they finish, review their list and discuss how energy was being wasted. Then, as a group, go around and correct the situations....
Chicken Lips And Lizard Hips Home
Chorus: Chicken lips and lizard hips and alligator eyes Monkey legs and buzzard eggs and salamander thighs Rabbit ears and camel rears and tasty toe-nail pies Stir them all together, it's Mama's Soup Surprise. Oh, when I was a little kid I never liked to eat, Mama'd put things on my plate, I'd dump them on her feet, But then one day she made this soup, I ate it all in bed, I asked her what she put in it,...
> Scoutmaster Minutes
The Snake That Poisons Everybody
It topples governments, wrecks marriages, ruins careers, busts reputations, causes heartaches, nightmares, indigestion, spawns suspicion, generates grief, dispatches innocent people to cry in their pillows. Even its name hisses. it's called gossip. Office gossip, shop gossip, party gossip. It makes headlines and headaches. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it fair? is it necessary? If not, shut up. ...
Ozark Mountain Chili Dinosaur Food
3 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb bacon, cut into pieces
2 oz Gebhardt's chili powder
1/2oz dark chili powder
3 lb chuck roast, cubed red pepper to taste
1 can beef broth
1 lb hot pork sausage
1 can green chilies, minced
1/2 tsp dried habenero chilies
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 can tomato sauce
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 tbs salt
4 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 cups oregano tea (1 tsp oregano steeped in hot water 30min)
THIS RECIPE WILL FEED A WHOLE TROOP.
Fry bacon in a #14 Dutch oven until just crisp. Add onions, garlic, and all chili powder. Sauté until onions are clear. Brown beef in large skillet, a pound at a time, adding sprinkles of red pepper while browning. Use a little broth to keep from sticking. Add each batch to Dutch oven after browning and stir. Brown pork sausage and green chilies. Add habeneros when sausage is just about brown. Stir into Dutch oven. Cook 15 minutes. Add spices, tomato sauce, rotel tomatoes, and remaining broth. Mix well and cook for 30 minutes. Add oregano tea and Tabasco. Simmer covered for 15 minutes and serve.
1/4 c. dirt (cocoa)
1/3 c. swamp water (milk)
1 c. crushed bones (sugar)
1/2 c. fat (butter)
2 c. grass (uncooked oatmeal)
1/2 c. squashed bugs (peanut butter)
Mix dirt and swamp water. Add crushed bones and fat. Bring mixture to a boil. Add grass and squashed bugs. Boil mixture one minute. Cool the dinosaur food and place on waxed paper by spoonfuls.
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Rope Box � Camp Gadgets
When I was a young Scout, in my first Troop, still unable to tie any knot I didn't learn in Webelos, I went on a campout. Turns out on this outing we made a huge tower out of poles and... Pasta Fundrasing Idea
I recently discover a new fundraising opportunity for Scouts that is unusual, a bit insane, and a lot of fun. So I contacted them and asked if they would be interested in being a sponsor – they were! We all... A Christmas Mistake
Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments,... The Christmas Scout
The Christmas ScoutBy Samuel D. BoganIn spite of the fun and laughter, 13-year-old Frank Wilson was not happy.It was true that he had received all the presents he wanted. And he enjoyed these traditional Christmas Eve reunions of relatives -... SM tips: Awards 101
What are the requirements for the 50-Miler Award? What recognition items are available for the National Honor Patrol Award? Where can I find more information on the Leave No Trace Award?You can find the answers to those... What is The Best Way to Travel to Philmont?
Now that we have explored all your travel options and the difficult logistics and many pitfalls of this trip, it’s time to explore the best choice…HIRE A REPUTABLE TOUR COMPANY like Blue Sky Adventures!When you really study this option, this... Boy Scout excel Tracker Sheet
While searching the web today, I found a really nice excel tracker sheet for boy scouts. At the bottom you will notice the different levels to fill out as they progress all the way to Eagle. Feel free to download... New Scouting Year for a New Cub Scout Roundtable Commissoner
Hello Everyone,Hope the Summer was good to you and welcome to another year of Scouting. Last year I was asked to take over my District's Roundtable and as part of that organizing the Cub Scout side.Tonight was the first Roundtable... SM Tip: Mind Your Own Business � or Else
Submitted by Raymond GrayWay back in January, I offered a suggestion for breaking adult leaders of the habit of undermining youth leaders. The idea was to create a variation of a cuss jar, charging a fine of... Setting the Trip Up On Your Own…Easy? Not a Chance.
Now that you have won the lottery and have your travel options laid out in front of you - what will you choose?? There are many difficulties about setting this trip up on your own…from cost to safety to reliability....
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Blogs and Podcasts
Scoutmaster Minute Sunday Mornin’ Coffee – Starbucks
This morning took a little walk in a local park on the Sandy River and had a great cup of coffee.. Enjoy this weeks Sunday Morning Coffee as we try our... LDS Scouter Sacrifice
I was talking to our ward's newly called Relief Society president one day. She was called around the same time as our new bishopric. Her husband was in the old... Scouter Adam Spirit of Eagles Pack 170
From the Connecticut Yankee Council Webpage: Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families in Newtown today and in the difficult days to come. We are heartbroken about... scoutmastercg.com Support the Helpers
I am passing this on as a positive action you and your Scouts can take in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy: Colin is a paramedic in Calfornia, here’s his suggestion on how... PTC Media MSPP #123: The 2012 Egg Drop Competition
The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have been spending a spring weekend at Camp Watchamagumee each year for over twenty years. Many years ago we held a contest during the outing... A Scoutmasters Blog MSPP #123: The 2012 Egg Drop Competition
The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have been spending a spring weekend at Camp Watchamagumee each year for over twenty years. Many years ago we held a contest during the... Melrose Productions MSPP #123: 2012 Egg Drop Competition
The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 compete in the 2012 spring Egg Drop Competition at Camp Watchamagumee.... scoutmastercg.com Talking With Scouts About Tragic Events
Talking with Scouts about tragic events is one way we can help relieve some of the anxiety, anger and uncertainty we all feel; lend perspective, and find constructive action in response to...
Thoughts to Ponder
It was just a few more days until Christmas in San Francisco, and the shopping downtown was starting to get to us. I remember crowds of people waiting impatiently for slow-moving buses and streetcars on those little cement islands in the middle of the street. Most of us were loaded down with packages, and it looked like many of us were beginning to wonder if all those countless friends and relatives actually deserved so many gifts in the first place. This was not the Christmas spirit I'd been raised with.
When I finally found myself virtually shoved up the steps of a jammed streetcar, the idea of standing there packed like a sardine the whole way home was almost more than I could take. What I would have given for a seat! I must have been in some kind of exhausted daze because as people gradually got off, it took me a while to notice that there was room to breathe again.
Then I saw something out of the corer of my eye. A small, dark-skinned boy, he couldn't have been more than five or six, tugged on a woman's sleeve and asked, "Would you like a seat?" He quietly led her to the closest free seat he could find. Then he set out to find another tired person. As soon as each rare, new seat became available, he would quickly move through the crowd in search of another burdened woman who desperately needed to rest her feet.
When I finally felt the tug on my own sleeve, I was absolutely dazzled by the beauty in this little boy's eyes. He took my hand, saying, "Come with me," and I think I'll remember that smile as long as I live. As I happily placed my heavy load of packages on the floor, the little emissary of love immediately turned to help his next subject.
The people on the streetcar, as usual, had been studiously avoiding each other's eyes, but now they began to exchange shy glances and smiles. A businessman offered a section of newspaper to the stranger next to him; three people stooped to return a gift that had tumbled to the floor. And now people were speaking to one another. That little boy had tangibly changed something, we all relaxed into a subtle feeling of warmth and actually enjoyed the trip through the final stops along the route.
I didn't notice when the child got off. I looked up at one point and he was gone. When I reached my stop I practically floated off that streetcar, wishing the driver a happy holiday, noticing the sparkling Christmas lights on my street in a fresh, new way. Or maybe I was seeing them in an old way, with the same open wonder I felt when I was five or six. I thought, "So that's what they mean by And a little child shall lead them...."
Written by Beverly M. Bartlett