A Scouter’s holiday gift guide: 28 things you won’t find on a typical wish list

Instead of fancy sneakers, Paul wants hiking boots. Rather than an expensive vacation, Angela would like a trip to Wood Badge. And save your money on Pete, because his main wish for the holidays is simply to be a better Scoutmaster.

It’s the season for holiday gift guides, but the 2013 version for Scouters is quite different from the lists published by newspapers, magazines and websites this time of year.

And different is just the way we Scouters like it.

Earlier this week, I asked Scouting magazine’s Facebook friends this question: What’s on your holiday wish list this year?

Here are 28 great responses that include items you can wrap and put under the tree and those intangibles money can’t buy. There’s even one item that hasn’t been invented yet, so don’t get your hopes up on that one this year.

I’m certain all of the Scouters included on the gift guide below have been nothing but nice this year, so here’s hoping all of their wishes come true. Take a look after the jump. And happy holidays!

Things that’ll fit in a box

This first list of items includes things you can purchase, place in a box and surround with wrapping paper.

  1. Robert C. wants a Big Agnes Fishhook tent.
  2. Wayne B. would like a JetBoil backpacking stove.
  3. Allie C. is asking for a Kelly Kettle.
  4. Rachel C. likes the BioLite campstove.
  5. Paul F. desires a new pair of hiking boots.
  6. Jerry S. craves a canoe — “oh, and a paddle to go with it.” (Good luck fitting that under the tree!)
  7. Win R. requests a new golf driver, “so I can be a better instructor for the Golf merit badge.” (Sure, Win. Sure.)

Things you can buy but can’t wrap

You can purchase the things on this next list, but they’re experiences instead of physical items. Sometimes those make the best gifts!

  1. Betty M. would like a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch
  2. Ray K. would like a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.
  3. Mark K. would like a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.
  4. Joshua R. would like a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch. (Sensing a theme?)
  5. Rhonda S. asks for a trip to Sea Base for a volunteer training conference.
  6. Angela M. says “I’d love a paid Wood Badge experience! I have heart and time, but no extra money.”
  7. Rob P. agrees with Angela on the Wood Badge idea. “My first invite was 20 years ago. Can never get the time off and be able to afford it at the same time.”

Things money can’t buy

Keep your credit card in your wallet, because you can’t buy the things on this next list. They’re priceless!

  1. Tom P. would like “to lose enough weight to go to Sea Base with my unit.” (A New Year’s resolution and holiday wish. Best of luck, Tom.)
  2. David H. wants to finish his Wood Badge ticket. (You can do it!)
  3. Emil K. desires more time with his son for “hiking, camping, skiing or whatever it may be.”
  4. Sandy S. also needs more time for camping. “I even wondered if my kids would object to Christmas morning in a tent,” she says.
  5. Terry C. needs time, too. Specifically, “that hour a week that Scouting supposedly takes.”
  6. Dan V. has a different take on the “more time” theme, and he aims his request at business leaders by wanting “more employers to admit Scouting is useful and giving their Scout-leading employees the needed leave to organize the yearly summer camps.” (I like it.)
  7. Andrew C. requests eight to 10 Scouts to join his troop.
  8. Pete P. doesn’t ask for much, simply “to be a better Scoutmaster.”
  9. Tim G. wants “For my Webelos son to come to enjoy, respect and appreciate the outdoors as I do. I prefer nature’s video game over the one on the screen indoors.”
  10. Bud M. just needs more volunteers. (Don’t we all?)
  11. Jonathan R. has a request not for himself but for his son whom he wants to get “over the Eagle Scout write-up hurdle!”
  12. Tom S. thinks of others and asks for “the entire Scouting community to have a safe and happy holiday season!” (You said it, Tom.)
  13. Dave H. has a humble request: “1,000 additional traditional members, 500 more trained leaders, a 35 percent increase in FOS and 100 percent of Scouts attending summer/day camp.” (Dream big, Dave!)

A thing that hasn’t been invented yet

We’re outta time, but I’ll leave you with this final item:

  1. Matthew P. wants “A time machine….so I could go back and earn the Eagle rank I never got close enough to.” (Once you find it, Matthew, let us know!)

What are you asking for this year? Leave a comment below.

13 thoughts on “A Scouter’s holiday gift guide: 28 things you won’t find on a typical wish list

  1. Rhonda S…come on down and join us at Sea Base in January 2014. There are some great conferences and the weather is great too!!! 🙂

  2. Great article! Great list of “wishes”! As an Assistant Scoutmaster and OA Chapter Adviser, my wish is for great scouting and great camp experiences for all willing scouts and scouters!!

  3. If you want to attend Wood Badge but are concerned about being able to afford it, please consider applying for a scholarship! Many councils offer scholarships that range from partial to full tuition; contact your council’s Wood Badge coordinator for more information.

  4. I would just like to wish all my scouts and parents over the last 18 years, Merry Christmas. May they enjoy family, peace and joy. Remember to run the 12, in everything you do.

  5. BSA Membership fees of $12 (including unit accident insurance) locked in for the next seven years would be an awesome stocking stuffer!

    Lacking that, a hand held coffee grinder would be neat. 😉

  6. a zero degree sleeping bag for my Tenderfoot Scout, help for my Hubby on his Woodbadge Tickets, to finish my Woodbadge tickets and for all of us: A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE NEW SCOUTING YEAR!!

  7. For the Day Camps & Summer Camps to be successful and for paid professional staff to realize that constructive criticism is just that – and not a negative – and for MORE communication in the world of Scouting.

  8. Hi-I’m the Rhonda S—couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my wish posted! (does that mean Santa sees our list???-In that case-I’d like to go to Philmont in Aug-for the 2nd part of the Venture class I want to attend at Sea base! ;~) Thanks for passing our wish lists to the North Pole!

    To the WB wishers—-please check out WB Scholarships-our Council has more than we give out each time. There are also employers covering some expenses (along with time off) because they know sending them off to their cooperate training is similar-but much less $–but WB is even BETTER! To those who say no time off-our Course Director wrote letters to employers on the employees behalf’s explain what a unique opportunity this training is & how it can be helpful even during their work. Some Units help with some of the costs. Also-grab a WB change jar…it can all add up! It truly is the best gift you can give yourself & your Unit, Dist, or Council—you will not only become a better leader-but the other lasting effects are incredible!

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