Baloo's Bugle

June 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 11
July 2007 Theme

Theme: Rockets Red Glare
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
Tiger Cub


Thanks to Scouter Jim, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month.  You can reach him at or through the link to write Baloo on   CD

Roundtable Prayer
CS Roundtable Planning Guide

Today and every day, we thank Thee for the freedom we have.  Amen.

By the Rocket’s Red Glare
Scouter Jim

Most of us have stood at attention while the Star Spangled Banner was played or sung.  Do we remember where it came from and the long journey it took to become our national anthem.

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through clearing smoke toward Fort McHenry to see an enormous flag flying proudly after a 25-hour British bombardment of the fort. Key was inspired to write a poem, which was later set to music.  Mr. Key had found himself a captive of the British Navy after securing the release of his friend of Dr. William Beanes.  Dr, Beanes had been captured after he had arrested two drunken British sailors.  During the War of 1812, the British Forces would burn important government records in captured towns.  As a public official, Dr. Beanes was responsible to protect the records of the State of Maryland.

During his detainment, Francis Scot Key stood watch through the night from the deck of a British ship anchored about eight miles below Fort McHenry during its bombardment.

It was from this site that "the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" finally gave him "proof through the night" that the flag was indeed "still there," flying high and victorious, over the fort.

During the night, the British had fired nearly 1,800 bombs, rockets and shells at the Fort, with about 400 landing inside. As the day's early light dawned, Key penned his feelings of thrill and relief on the back of an envelope.

As the British fleet withdrew, Key and his companions were sent ashore to Baltimore.

The next day, in a hotel, he made a good copy of his poem and showed it to some of his wife's Baltimore relatives. They immediately had it printed and distributed throughout the city on a handbill entitled "The Defense of Fort McHenry."

A couple of weeks later, it was published in Baltimore newspapers, and under the name, "The Star-Spangled Banner," gained enthusiastic popularity. An actor-singer then sang it, using the English tune to which Key had matched its meter, at a public performance.

During the Civil War, with Union and Confederate forces rallying to its strains, Key's creation became nationally popular. However, it took several more decades, another war and the Great Depression for it to be named the official anthem of the United States. President Herbert Hoover signed the Congressional bill proposing that it be so into law on March 3, 1931.

When we look at the banner of our nation and sing our National Anthem, let us remember those brave defenders of Fort McHenry and the millions of Americans that have given their all for the freedoms we enjoy.  Thank you Baltimore and the soldiers of Fort McHenry.   Thank you Francis Scott Key for your loyalty, bravery and talent. Thank You American for the sacrifice you have given; of your husbands and wives; fathers and mothers; sons and daughters; and for your  brothers and sisters.  Let Freedom Ring!

It’s Just a Piece of Cloth
Santa Clara County Council


It's just a piece of cloth, that's all it is
Just a piece of cloth.
But when a little breeze comes along, it stirs and comes to life
And flutters and snaps in the wind, all red and white and blue....
Then you realize that no other piece of cloth could be like it.
It has your whole life wrapped up in it...
The meals you eat, the time you spend with your family,
The kind of things boys and girls learn at school,
The strange and wonderful thoughts you get in church. Those stars on it...
They make you feel just as free as the stars in the wide, wide, deep night.
And the stripes....they are the bars of blood
To any dictator who would try to change this way of life.
Just a piece of cloth, that's all it is
Until you put your soul into it and give it meaning;
Then it is the symbol of liberty and decency and fair dealing for everyone.
It is just a piece of cloth
Until we breathe life into it.
Until we make it stand for everything we believe in
And refuse to live without it.


Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a great source of inspiration for Cubmaster’s minutes, material for an advancement ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover.

The whole inspiration of our life as a nation flows out from the waving folds of this banner.  ~Author Unknown

If anyone, then, asks me the meaning of our flag, I say to him - it means just what Concord and Lexington meant; what Bunker Hill meant; which was, in short, the rising up of a valiant young people against an old tyranny to establish the most momentous doctrine that the world had ever known - the right of men to their own selves and to their liberties.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

There is not a thread in it but scorns self-indulgence, weakness and rapacity.  ~Charles Evans Hughes

I am whatever you make me, nothing more.  I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become.... I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution.  I am no more than you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be.  I am whatever you make me, nothing more.  ~Franklin Knight Lane

When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there.
~Joseph Rodman Drake, The American Flag

It is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the men whose people have been here many generations.  ~Henry Cabot Lodge

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.  ~Abraham Lincoln

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis

The cement of this union is the heart-blood of every American.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

He loves his country best who strives to make it best.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.  ~William J. Clinton

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.  ~James Bryce

Our great modern Republic.  May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.  ~Ulysses S. Grant

Territory is but the body of a nation.  The people who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life.  ~James Garfield

I believe in America because we have great dreams - and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.  ~Wendell L. Wilkie

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.  ~Robert J. McCracken

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.  ~Bill Vaughan

We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights.  ~Felix Frankfurter

We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.  ~John F. Kennedy

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