A difficult journey made bearable
July 25, 2005the day Michael J. Shibe, my husband and the father to our sons (Eagle Scouts Brent and Neil and Eagle candidates Paul and Karl), was killed in an electrical accident at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree was the first of many difficult days for us.
We are grateful to our friends in Scouting across the country for the many ways they rose to the occasion.
The salute at the jamboree by President Bush and other dignitaries, the BSA events held here in Alaska and in the rest of the country, and your individual prayers, messages of support, and generosity (from patches to cash gifts, quilts, photographs, and more) have helped to make this very difficult journey bearable.
Scouting helps to teach our youth how to manage life's horrendous events with grace and dignity, and the response by troops and adult leaders from all over the country and around the world reminds me why the BSA is an organization so worthy of our involvement.
Kris Green (Shibe)
An Eagle was prepared for Katrina
As regional director of operations for Extended Stay America Hotels, I rode out Hurricane Katrina at our hotel in Metairie, just west of New Orleans. Due to advance preparation, we were able to accommodate some of the first evacuees from New Orleans (who were dropped off by helicopter in a vacant lot next to the hotel), and we were able to reopen only three weeks after being flooded with two feet of water on the ground floor.
Our experiences were written about in the Oct. 3 edition of Hotel/Motel magazine (www.hotelmotel.com/hotelmotel/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=184541). The article noted my explanation for why we were so prepared and willing to help evacuees: "I am an Eagle Scout. I was born for this."
Since then, I have received over 150 e-mails from people inside and outside my company who had seen the article, referring to the fact that I am an Eagle Scout and, in most cases, noting how they also are involved in some way with Scouting.
It was great to see that there are so many people associated with Scouting.
In addition to precautionary actions, such as moving ground floor furniture to higher floors, repositioning generators, and arranging to have a contractor on-site to begin repairs immediately after the storm, Fair protected all cars in the hotel parking lot by covering tailpipes with plastic bags and rubber bands, to keep water out of the engines.
Remembering a good cat
I recently started as a Tiger Cub leader, and the first copy of Scouting magazine I received was the November-December 2005 issue. One night, after reading the Family Talk column, "Using Humor to Help Guide Your Family Through Life," I told my wife, Patricia, and our 8-year-old daughter, Lexi, that my parents' cat, Bob, had died the day before.
Our family loved the cat, which was friendly and outgoing, and my wife and daughter were very sad.
One of Bob's unique characteristics was that he had lost part of his tail, and what remained was only about four inches long. Remembering the Scouting magazine article, I asked my daughter what she thought Bob would look like in heaven. Would Bob have the same tail he had on earth, or would God give him a normal tail?
My daughter started laughing and said, "No, Dad, God would give him a very, very long tail."
Picturing this, my wife started laughing. We were sad about the cat's death, but the humor of his short tail made for some lighter discussions about Bob. We later gave our younger children the news about the cat in a similar way, and it had the same positive effect.
We were all sad about Bob's passing, but humor helped our children, and us, with our loss.
Copyright © 2006 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.