Feb. 25, 2018 – Baden Powell Sunday: What’s In Your Cup?

Along with the memorial flowers this morning, we have also placed 24 red roses, along with a mixture of yellow and purple flowers …
24 because that is our group number: we are 24th Kitchener.
The red roses and yellow accent flowers, along with their green leaves and stems are the 3 colours of our group necker. (point to my necker) — Every Scouting group has one – it is part of your official scout uniform. We all wear the same uniforms no matter where we live in Canada – so Cubs in Alberta will be wearing the same coloured shirt as Cubs in Ontario, but our neckers are unique to our group. So the combination of gold, red & green is very special to the 24th Kitchener Scouting family.

As well, the bouquets include the colours purple & white, which symbolize the World Wide Brotherhood of Scouting. The flowers that proudly display our group & World colours this morning are placed in loving memory of leaders, or Scouters as we call them, who have passed away … they have “gone home”… but the lessons they taught us, the laughter they brought us, and the difference they made in so many lives lives on … and so we take this time today, to remember them and to give thanks for their contributions to the Scouting movement.


Candle lighting prayer

“Stars that shine together form a galaxy. Buildings that stand together begin a city. People who work together make a difference.

The Scouting movement is one that sees people of all ages … from all walks of life … from every language and culture and religion around the world come together in brotherhood & sisterhood to live out a value system based on a promise and law with a common goal…. to help build a better world, where people are self-fulfilled as individuals, and can give back to society in a positive way … each one using their own gifts.

The movement welcomes diversity ….. our differences ….. different languages, religions and traditions. We are richer, and stronger, because of those differences.”

Light the first candle
“We light the first candle in friendship for all of the people who are older or younger, taller or smaller, richer or poorer than we are.”

Light the second candle
“We light the second candle in friendship for all people who worship differently than we do.”

Light the third candle
“We light the third candle in friendship for all people of a different nationality or background than ours.”

Light the fourth candle
“We light the fourth candle in friendship for all people who are of a different color than we are.”

Light the fifth candle
“We light the fifth candle in friendship for all people from all countries all over the world.”

Light the sixth candle
“We light the sixth candle in friendship for all people who don’t run, walk, see, hear, or learn the same way we do.”

Light 7th Candle
“We light the last candle for everyone here today. Each one of us is unique and special.”

“As you watch the flames, notice that the light from each candle is the same as the others even though the outside of each candle is different. So, too, are all of us in the world. We wear different clothes, speak different languages, follow different religions or beliefs, we like different foods and sing different songs. And yet, we all belong to the same human race. And we share a common responsibility – to take care of this world ….to leave it a little better than we found it…..and to take care of each other.


Reading: Tribute to a Volunteer
The more you give, the more you get,
the more you laugh, the less you fret.

The more you do unselfishly,
the more you live abundantly.

The more of everything you share,
the more you find that others care.

The more you love, the more you’ll find,
that life is good and friends are kind.
For only what we give away,
enriches us from day to day.


Opening Message

If I am holding a cup of coffee, and someone bumps into me, and I spill what’s in my cup everywhere … what comes out of my cup? (coffee) … right …. I spill coffee because that’s what was in my cup. If it had been tea, I’d have spilled tea … whatever was in my cup, that’s what I would have spilled.

How many of you have ever been handed a glass or cup of milk, or juice…or water … or something … and before you had a chance to set it down in front of you, you heard the words …
“now don’t spill it” …. (mom ever say that to you? ‘don’t spill it’?)

I bet many of us.
And as an adult, how many of us may have said those same words … or, at the very least, thought them … don’t spill it …

I know I have.

Well today, we’re changing the rules. Today, we want you to imagine you are holding a cup ….a cup that is full … full right to the top … and we don’t want you to set it down, being careful not to spill whatever is inside …Quite the opposite … we WANT you to spill everything that’s in your cup … and we want you to spill it all over all of the people that are around you …

Now, I’m not saying that when we go in to have hotdogs and cupcakes after the service today, that there’s going to be a food fight ….. I’m not saying that we want you to take your cup of tea or your glass of peach juice and dump it on someone … that wouldn’t be very nice … not to mention it would be really really messy ….

No, we’re talking about a different kind of cup today …. We’re talking about what’s inside of you …. The cup inside you that holds things like kindness, your smiles, your joy & laughter, and patience, and thankfulness …

In the song that the Beavers shared with us – the Hokey Pokey – we put our Whole Self In …..and then we put our Whole Selves Out …

We fill our cups inside … and we spill them out ….

When we do that, we need to make sure we have filled our cups with the right stuff … because what we put in our cup is what’s going to spill out ….


One smile begins a friendship,
One handshake can lift a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame a goal.

One step will start the journey,
One word will start a prayer.
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make the difference,
You see, it’s up to you.


Message Part 2
Last summer, some of our Scouts and leaders from 24th Kitchener , and thousands like them of across the country, the U.S. and even Europe, travelled to Nova Scotia to attend the 13th Canadian Jamboree …an international event that takes place every 4 years and for many, it is the experience of a lifetime …last year, over 5,000 Scouts and Scouters gathered at Camp Nedooae, not far from Halifax, for a week of activities, and badge trading, and scouting fun & fellowship …

Scouter Bud and I attended the Jamboree as Offers of Service … we were just 2 of the hundreds of volunteers in the background who helped make things happen … the Jamboree officially opened on Saturday, July 8. We arrived on the Wednesday before so that we could be there to help get our subcamp set up.

If you think of a Jamboree site as being a small town – and that’s kind of what it is ….you have your grocery outlet, and transportation hub, and activity central … anyway, the places where the Scouts & their leaders (or Scouters) set up camp and “live” for the week are called subcamps … kind of like neighbourhoods or subdivisions in a town or city … Scouter Bud would work in one of the subcamps for the week, helping do whatever needed done, and I was part of Care Corps, a subcamp Chaplain … put simply, my role was to try to make sure people were happy and were having a good time… that Scouts and Scouters alike had a listening ear … someone they could lean on if they found themselves a bit overwhelmed, or if things got a bit stressful … not that being with 4,000 kids for a week or 10 days, kids that aren’t yours, would be at all stressful …

So, Scouter Bud and I arrived on Wednesday … troops would start arriving on Friday, some on Saturday …but there was much to be done in those few short days before the Scouts arrived …

Now, when you head out for a week long adventure like a jamboree, you never really know what all you’re in for … I mean, you can look on Google maps to try to get an idea of what kind of terrain you’ll be dealing with … is it flat? hilly? How far is it to walk to where I’ll need to go each day? But that’s not quite the same as actually being there to see for yourself.

And yes, you try to make sure you are prepared for whatever comes your way with weather… like a heat wave (like in Newfoundland in 2014 … the first one in as long as locals could remember .. daytime highs in 30’s every day, humid, stinkin’ hot), or for unseasonable cold snaps (like in Calgary in 2013 when it was up to 30 during the day and went down below Zero at night) … or some rain – that’s normal, right? But again, with weather, it’s like anywhere … you don’t really know until you get there.

In the information packages that went out to all Offers of Service months before our arrival, we were ‘warned’ that it was quite a distance from our subcamp to the dining tent, where the Offers of Service (like Scouter Bud and I) had to go twice a day to get our meals … Scouts & leaders cooked their own meals at their campsites … OOS went to the dining tent …. When Scouter Bud and I arrived, and walked around a bit to try and figure out first of all, ummm… where are we? And our subcamp is WHERE? And how do we get there from here? …..
And it was at that moment we quickly realized …. Oh my, they weren’t kidding. It’s a bit of hike from what would be our subcamp to the dining hall …. Like a few kilometers … each way …

Quick question … anyone here ever have your parents or grandparents tell you that when they were little, they had to walk to school, in the snow, no shoes … and it was uphill both ways?
Ever hear that? If you did, I think your parents & grandparents were from Camp Nedooae in Nova Scotia …. Because that trek to and from the dining hall really was uphill both ways …

So, ok, there would be some walking involved. By the end of the week, I would find myself walking between 12 and 20 kilometers every day. But we can do that. Not to worry.

Oh, and Did I mention the rain? Be prepared for it? Do you know what happens when it rains, and there’s dirt on the ground? And you mix the 2 together?

Yup …. Mud …. And if you take a lot of dirt, and add a lot of rain … yup, you wind up with ….. a LOT of mud!

I didn’t know this before arriving at the site, but in 2003, Hurricane Juan went through the Atlantic provinces, destroying thousands of acres of forest – literally knocked trees right over — flattened acres and acres of forest —- you see, the bedrock is so close to the surface of the ground there, the roots of the trees can’t go down as deep as they do here … they roots spread out instead of down … so in the hurricane winds, the trees were easily toppled over …

Why am I telling you this?

Because when Scouter Bud and I finally got to the top of that hill, and found the location of what would become our subcamp, we stopped and just stared. It literally looked like someone had come in and clear cut hundreds of acres of trees ….

So imagine, this “town” built on multiple levels of a hill … and there are no trees to stop the dirt from blowing away … or to stop the mud from flowing downhill after it had been raining, almost nonstop, for several days ….

The result?? … rivers of mud. Literally. Camp Nedooae was quickly and aptly renamed Camp Mudooey …and with good reason ….

Rather than try to tell you, here’s short video to show you ….

That was taken on the Saturday, when troops were arriving and trying to set up.

Not really ideal, but as they say in Scouting, there’s no such thing as inappropriate weather, just inappropriately prepared people.

So, back to when Scouter Bud and I arrived ….uphill … both ways … in the rain …. And the mud …
… for the next 3 days, we did what we could to make our subcamp – our neighbourhood – as liveable as possible for the approximately 1000 Scouts and Scouters who would be moving in to our Subcamp in just a few days … and the whole time we were working, I know I was not the only one who couldn’t help but think … wonder … worry … how in the world are we going to make sure everyone is happy and has a good time when they get here and see this? There was literally a small river of mud running under my tent … and I certainly wasn’t the only one experiencing that special spa treatment …

Moving day came and all hands were on deck. People pitched in and helped one another where they could. Our subcamp quickly filled in. We trenched, and spread gravel, and rerouted mud rivers … again, not really ideal, but we made it work.

And of course, with every large scale operation like a jamboree, there were other challenges thrown in, just to make life even more interesting … like 4 hour lineups the first day at the grocery tent where all Scouts had to go to get supplies each day … and portable toilets that always seemed to be out of toilet paper … and adult showers that seemed to always be out of water … oh, and if you were one of the lucky troops to be in a subcamp that was considered “up on high ground” ….so, at the top of the hill, with grass on the sites, far less mud … well, you lucky campers got to share your site with ticks … hundreds, and hundreds of ticks …
Tick pullers became a standard piece of equipment very quickly.

Now, the Jamboree Activities were to start on the Monday, and as a member of Care Corps, after the first couple of days of people being in camp, our team could see that there were some groups who weren’t handling things as well as others … and I wasn’t sure exactly what I could do to change that.

I couldn’t stop the rain.
I couldn’t take away the mud.
We knew that as each challenge was faced … the shower issues, and bathroom issues … they were being addressed … but not always fast enough for some folks …

This was not my first Jamboree … it was my 4th … I know how much work goes in to getting to one … I’ve been part of that effort. And I know the level of excitement – and sometimes anxiety – that a Scout – and their Scouters –experience when they are about to take part in an adventure unlike any other.
And I didn’t want a little bit of mud and some lineups to ruin this for them.

I have NO idea what possessed me to do what I did next … maybe it was a lack of sleep, or a slight lapse in sanity …. It just kind of happened on the first day of activities ….

I was up at my usual time … which is stupid early … and I headed up and down and up the hill to get breakfast, and then headed to the transportation site, where all groups that were being bussed to activities for the day would gather.

And THIS is what I found myself doing … (video)

I became the crazy Walmart greeter in the glow-in-the-dark hat.
(And honestly, I was not medicated … although I’m sure some folks thought maybe I should have been…)

And I did that, every morning for the next 4 days.

By day 3, Wednesday … the day that is often the tipping point for many, after being away from home for almost a week, camping with hundreds of people you don’t really know, maybe getting on one another’s nerves a bit …. By day 3, Scouters were stopping to tell me how much they appreciated that little shot of energy first thing in the morning. They wanted to know if I could bottle it and sell it.
The Scouts all wanted high fives, and it became a game with some as they tried their very best NOT to give me that smile before they got on the bus or before they went back up that hill.

And Scouters soon recognized me … with that hat, I was kind of hard to miss … and that walk up the hill soon became a place where stories were shared, and frustrations were released, and the realization that “you are not alone in this” made that moment, that day, suddenly a little easier to walk through.

Every day of that Jamboree, I had a choice about what to put in my Cup.

I could have just as easily spent 10 days complaining bitterly about the rain, and the mud, and the ticks, and the lack of toilet paper, and having to shower at 4 in the morning before the tanks ran out of water, and the porridge that was so thick that not only did your spoon stand straight up in it, but when you tipped your bowl over, it wouldn’t come out of the bowl (not kidding … we have pictures)…. It’s not like I would have had to look very far to find something to complain and grumble about … but in the end, that wouldn’t have solved anything, and it certainly wouldn’t help me do what I was there to do …
It was actually easier, in many ways, to laugh about it. And it’s not like I had to look very far to find something to laugh about,
or something that at least made me smile.

The rain did eventually stop.
The mud did eventually dry up … although, can I tell ya … I had to soak my tent and groundsheet for 3 days when I got home before they’d come clean ….and I had to throw my sandals out (but I got a nice new pair out of the deal  )
Sanitation crews worked as quickly as possible and resolved the issues.
Lineups and delays were dealt with and quickly sorted out.
That darn hill didn’t get any smaller, and it was still uphill both ways, but it became an amazing place to check in with people.

And friendships were made and strengthened … and badge trading happened for hours on end … and something as simple as handing someone a Werthers and saying “Thank You for doing what you’re doing” put a smile on their face ….and Scouts and Scouters left after a week, having conquered a challenge like no other …. Because they, too, had a choice every day of that jamboree … what goes in my cup today? And what will come out when I spill it?


Closing Message

Every year, we send you home with something that will remind you of our time here together .. something that will remind you of the thought for today.

And today is no different. Today, you will go home with a wee cup …. We hope that you will hang it some place where you can see it every day… that it will be a reminder that what goes in your cup is what is going to come out when you spill it …


As the handouts are being passed around, I leave you with parting words from the founder of the Scouting movement, Lord Robert Baden Powell …

“Dear Scouts – If you have ever seen the play “Peter Pan” you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.

Remember, it is the last time you will ever hear from me, so think it over. I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy- stick to your Scout Promise always- even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it.

Your friend, Robert Baden Powell

You get to choose what goes in your cup

You get to choose when and how you spill it

What an AMAZING gift that is … what an amazing opportunity ….

Each and every day, YOU get to decide how to fill it, and how to spill it.

Now, how cool is that!


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