In My Own Words
Thoughts on Education, Artistry, and Leadership

My blog includes my #BuildingBetterBrains project, articles I've been invited to contribute, and remarks from events at which I have been asked to speak, in addition to comments written specifically for my web audience.

Please send your comments and critiques; they are always appreciated.

It’s easy to do something fun for a little while. People join clubs and social groups all the time, but in short order, something else comes up to replace it. For Mike Rowe, the famous television personality and host of Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel, this relentless succession of activities is his living. Each week, he helps everyday Americans do some of the most disgusting, dirty professions—for a day—and then he moves on. It’s great television.

Hundreds more staff members are arriving at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia to prepare for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. In just a few days, about 45,000 thousand Scouts and their adult advisors will descend upon the site to enjoy an eight-day extravaganza of Scouting history, activities, and learning.

Although some Jamboree staff members have been here at “the Hill” for about a month, the bulk of the 4,500 volunteers arrive in a 72-hour span, and then only have days to build an entire city, complete with police, fire, and public works departments. There will be a network to distribute cooking ingredients to 21 sub camps, where the Scouts will be cooking for themselves. The Jamboree has its own postal service (and ZIP code!), and sanitation department. Engineers, educators, doctors, and dining hall stewards all come together in a very short amount of time to make it all happen for the campers.

Little more than one hundred years ago, legend says traveling American business man William D. Boyce found himself lost in fog of London. Lost. No map. No directions. Nowhere to turn.

He was not prepared.

Fortunately for Boyce, the English boy he encountered was prepared. Recognizing the man’s confusion, the boy offered his assistance and helped Boyce to his destination. The unnamed boy following the oath he took as a Scout, in which he promised “to help other people at all times.” Boyce was thankful, learned his lesson about being prepared, and decided to learn more about these English Boy Scouts. He found out that their motto was “Be Prepared,” among other things. Eventually, he brought the Scouting movement to the United States, where it was officially founded in 1910.

I am joining over 45,000 Scouts, Scouters (adult advisors), and staff members who are descending upon a remote site in Virginia for the National Scout Jamboree this week. We will be celebrating a century of history for the Boy Scouts of America.

Remarks at the Highlander Leadership Awards
April 15, 2010 at 5:00 PM
The Stockdale Center at Monmouth College

Let’s once again congratulate all of our Highlander Leadership Award nominees and winners!  True to the spirit of this occasion, it’s fitting that everything you have enjoyed here tonight was organized by student leaders. Please join me in thanking Michelle Bruce, Cris Escobar, and Katie Argentine!

Now, this year saw more students nominated for Leader of the Year than ever before, as well as the first Coach to be nominated for Advisor of the Year, and the first student-created program executed successfully by a group other than a recognized student organization.  This is fantastic.