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.

About Bryan Wendell 2904 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.