Thursday, January 08, 2004

Licking District Trailmarkers – The Scouter SKC/BSA Feb. 2004

District Award of Merit

At January’s Annual Meeting and Awards Night, the highest honor a district in Scouting can bestow was presented to the following three Scouters.

Licking District’s recipients for the “District Award of Merit,” a silver knot on a midnight blue background, are:

- Trig Gamble
- Ina Heath
- Joy Stovcik

Congratulations to these leaders in the Scouting movement who have given so much to unit and district operations over many years!

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Scout Week – Feb. 1 to the 7th

Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath bracket the observance of Scout Week this year. For 94 years, since Feb. 8, 1910 when Congress chartered the Boy Scouts of America, anniversary events have marked this “birthday” of the World Scouting Movement in our land.

Since William D. Boyce, an American magazine publisher, got lost in the London fog and was helped by an “Unknown Scout” who would accept no tip or reward for simply “doing his duty,” the ideals of Scouting have spread from Baden-Powell’s initial vision through “Scouting For Boys” in 1908 to a global movement for character development and leadership training through outdoor education by the patrol method.

Many units will participate in special worship leadership roles in their chartering organization if it is a church or synagogue, either on Scout Sunday Feb. 1 or Scout Sabbath Feb. 7. On Saturday, Feb. 7, a civic celebration of our organization’s birthday and the work of leadership in this council will be held in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse at the center of Columbus.

Come celebrate Scouting with fellow Scouts and Scouters from all across central Ohio and northern Kentucky.

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Pinewood Derby

District Pinewood Derby information is still in development; contact Bill Burgess at the information on our masthead, or Brian Parkhill (current number?). Remember to follow the standard guidelines for car construction. Packs will be contacted when date and location are finalized.

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Spring Camporee

Our Order of the Arrow youth leaders, with Mark Rhodes as their adult adviser, are preparing to meet you all out at the Hartford Fairgrounds (north of Croton, in northwest Licking County) Friday through Sunday, April 23-25. On Tuesdays Feb. 3 and Mar. 2, at our District Roundtable, much more information will be available. If you don’t want to wait for the March “Scouter” to learn more, come by First United Methodist Church in Newark at 7:15 pm those nights and get the latest, breaking news, plus info you can use to improve your troop or pack!

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Trailside Notes

Well, I thought we wouldn’t have much more to say about Lillian on “Survivor: Pearl Islands” (the pirate edition!), but then she made it into the final two.

Lil, a Scouter from Dan Beard Council down around Cincinnati, had been voted out earlier, scrambled back into the tribe on a return challenge, and survived down to the finish, all while wearing a full set of class A’s.

Interestingly, or maybe I should say “sadly,” Lil ended up publicly regretting that she had worn a Scout uniform on the fateful “formal night out” that led to their walking the plank. While her garb held up better than anyone else’s (Armani suits and silk dresses – they don’t wash and rinse well in salt water with sand scrubbing, but Scout Supplies’ finest takes the proverbial licking and keeps on lookin’ good), she found the uniform a handicap in that it made it hard for her to. . .lie.

Oddly, she kept saying that you have to keep a distance between who you really are (and she did and does say that being a Scout following the Oath and Law is who she really is) and how you play games. And there’s no doubt, since they said so, that the other players finally voted her out of the final prize because. . .they held her to a higher standard because of the uniform, and matching what she said to who she claimed to be.

Is who you are in a game really different than who you want to be? Well, it is harder to be the big winner, but maybe that’s the point, Lillian. On the other hand, she picked – after showing amazing toughness in the final challenge and the fitness that should be the best advertising for serving as a Scout volunteer – for her final opponent not the loathed fellow who would have guaranteed her the win, but the better woman who then took the million dollars.

So values came through in the end. . .and she did get a six figure prize for number two. Bet her Friends of Scouting contact called her up right away!

If you have ideas for material in the Licking District Trailmarkers, e-mail Jeff Gill at

And regularly check out!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 1-11-04
By Jeff Gill

Are you following the Mars lander excitement? The probe named “Spirit,” soon to be followed by its twin “Opportunity?”
OK, so you’re more excited about Pete Rose’s chances about getting into the Hall of Fame; hey, I’m glad he finally admitted what everyone already knew. Personally, they should reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson, then work on Charlie Hustle, but what do I know?
But just down the road from some great aerospace expertise at Boeing (formerly the Newark Air Force Base) plus with the excitement of NASA finally getting a hit right across the sweet spot, this space geek can’t help being excited about another chance to don those cool red-and-blue 3-D googles and see pictures leap off your computer screen.
Hard to believe that it was 1997 when we last wore those geek insignia in front of our terminals, and saw the “Sagan” Pathfinder probe roll across the Martian surface.
Sorry about the “Beagle 2” probe out of the European Space Agency (ESA, for all us geeks) built by Great Britain, which either went down a crevasse and can’t get a cell signal, or just plain broke. But NASA is trumpeting “We’re back!” and you can’t blame ‘em for being happy about hitting a target dead on from literally a world away. Good job, y’all, and we’ll be clicking to see the latest cool real time pics from the Mars surface.
Sunday, Jan. 11 at 10:30 am is a new service for “New Life Community,” a new church start from scratch out of the Methodist Church in our area. They will have their first Sunday morning worship down at the Middle School and all are welcome. Brian Harkness is the pastor, and with a good start-up crew supporting him, this should be a good development for the vitality of our Lakewood area.
This new church may build at some point between here and Pataskala, but for now they’ll be in the middle school auditorium. Come to sing contemporary Christian praise music and worship in a relaxed setting.
Speaking of the wide variety of faith communities around the Hebron Crossroads, has your church or organization announced a special push for “Souper Bowl” Sunday? Feb. 1 is the date this year for the Super Bowl contest, and on that Sunday, for which many shop a bit extra, you’re invited to balance your own “festival of excess” around the football excitement by purchasing an item of canned goods for each snack item you buy, and donating it to local food pantries.
Hebron Christian Church will be promoting a “Souper Bowl Sunday,” (since soups are a great canned item for pantry support) and I hope you’ll do a bit of help in your area for those in need. Can I also thank those who dropped canned goods off before Christmas at our church to support the work of the LEADS Food Pantry? Good work, all. . .
The Lakewood Girls are having a good basketball season overall under new coach Bob Gilbert; on a night last week, the ladies were struggling, but this writer believes that if they take that durn bungie cord off the hoop on their end, the final score will be much more even. Against Granville, the Little Guy and I saw the most amazing rim-revolving shots from the Lakewood team, while the Blue Aces were shooting into a funnel.
Otherwise, they played great. Take the manhole cover off the hoop, and the whole game changes!
Next week, we’ll have a few words about those New Year’s resolutions. For now, don’t give up! You thought of it, you can do it. See the Hebron Crossroads for some inspiration as the weeks turn into months. . .
A regular reader noted something by e-mail worth passing along: all those shots of staggering “mad cows” you’ve seen on TV the last few weeks were universally from Great Britain years and years ago. Really. There is no extant film of the Canadian sick cow, let alone the US specimen who turns out to be from Canada. Makes you feel a bit different, doesn’t it?
There is a whole “science” of risk awareness that notes how we discount or at least deal well with a large possibility that has a good chance of minimal impact. . .like car accidents, where we think we’re in control even when we aren’t. . .versus very, very small odds that obsess us when the result is utterly fatal and uncontrollable, like AIDS and mad cow.
Dear reader, the best way you can protect yourself from mad cow’s effects is to. . .fasten your seatbelt. Yet many Americans these last few weeks will stop eating beef, but keep leaving seat belts unbuckled or not wearing helmets on their bikes, motor or otherwise. Statistically, the latter choice makes for a meaningful chance in your prospects, while dropping ground beef may barely give you a measurable edge in avoiding unpleasant futures.
Or only paying off the minimum on your January credit card bills, which means you might as well ask a guy named Guido to break your kneecaps now, but that too is a whole ‘nother column, so just start buying a can o’ soup for every bag o’ chips and such these next few weeks, and we’ll see you at the Hebron Crossroads!

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a Bears and Steelers fan; since you won’t hear much about the NFL from this point forward out of him, you may safely submit your suggestions for stories of local interest to 928-4066, or e-mail