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Scoutmaster's Minute January 2015
The Scout Salute and Handshake
Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect. Back in the days when George
Washington was general of the Continental Army; men carried weapons for their protection. When they met one another there was an uneasy moment as each watched the other’s right hand. If it went toward his sword or gun, there was a battle, but if it went to his hat it was a salute of friendship or respect.
The left-handed shake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Baden-Powell knew over a hundred
years ago in South Africa. He saluted them with his right hand, but the Ashanti chieftains offered their left hands and said: “In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and protection.”
The Ashanti knew of General Baden-Powell’s bravery, for they had fought both against him and with him, and they were proud to offer him the left-handed shake of bravery.
During February, we will honor the birthday of two brave men: General Washington, founder of our nation, and General Baden-Powell, founder of our Scouting movement. As you use the Scout salute and handshake, remember these two great men.
Mrs. Colleen Harlow with Alliance of Wild Animal Rehabilitation and Education (AWARE) will be visiting the Troop meeting on Nov 18 (next week). Mrs. Harlow will bring animals for display and education to the troop meeting. As one of our service project for the year, troop members are encouraged to contribute one or more of the items listed on our AWARE page. Please bring your contributions to the Nov 18 meeting.
Click Here for more info about AWARE and Troop 2860.
Mystery Island 9-20-2014 to 9-21-2014
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The Origin of the Left Hand Shake
The left hand shake goes way back to the origins of Scouting, and was inspired like many original Scouting concepts, by Baden-Powell’s Army career.
When Captain Baden-Powell entered the capital city of the Ashanti people in 1896 he was met by one of the chiefs who came to him holding out his left hand. Baden-Powell held out his right hand in return but the Chief said "No, in my country the bravest of the brave shake with the left hand".
This was because African Warriors typically carried a spear in the right hand and a shield in the left. To shake left-handed meant you had to put down your shield and put your life in the hands of the other person.
As the new scouts get acquainted into our troop, they will soon find out that, while we aren’t putting anyone’s lives in danger, they will experience a process where they soon learn that they can’t do this alone. Transitioning into boy scouts is just that – a process – and to jump-start this, we are headed to Verdun Adventure Bound camp later this month. The scouts will be going through a series of team building exercises and challenge courses. They will be required to “lean” on other scouts, in that they must participate as a TEAM to complete the challenge. In this system, as they “put down their shield” they will be putting their scouting lives into the hands of their fellow scouts. What a better way to acclimate into a new troop!
Before you know it (and maybe even before you are ready), your recent Webelos graduate will be showing more bravery, maturity, and responsibility than you could ever imagine.
All this from a left hand shake.
January 2013 Search and Rescue Camp
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Troop 2860 Calendar
Troop 2860 Calendar