Monday, April 20, 2009


Cover letter
April 30, 2009
Boy Scouts of American
Merit Badge Department
Dear Sirs:

I am an organizational psychologist, semi-retired after years of consulting, still teaching human resource management courses at the School for Career Development at Midway College near Lexington, Ky. I have taught many courses over many years on communication and of course that is a central issue in my current college teaching. I also teach storytelling both to managers, psychologists, volunteer Spellbinder tellers, and to children.

Besides over 300 articles and handouts (communication and storytelling), I have published two books using story to teach specific communication skills. One of them, Win Win Finesse is reviewed on my web site.

The Spellbinder storytelling group to which I belong is a national volunteer group whose mission is literacy development in youth though storytelling. In Lexington, I tell in four public schools, Shriners Hospital and elsewhere. We are sponsored by the Lexington Public Library. This proposal is not made by or on behalf any organization. This is my initiative, encouraged by many others.

My proposal is that the scouting tradition be enriched by Storytelling in three ways: a) a new merit badge, b) in planning for campfires, and c) in mentoring skills for leaders.

I understand BSA has a Merit Badge in Communications and some may feel that this Storytelling award is a duplication because the previous badge suggests use of story I have prepared a table for the comparison of Communicating with Storytelling as behavioral focus and contrast these in the attachment. Please feel free to discuss any of this further with me.

In addition, we have complied a list of stroryteling mentors and coaches from a list of over four thousand persons from 49 of our 50 states. The 2006 previous initiative also received letters of support from Donald York, Director of National BSA Relationship Division, Jerry "BP" Riggs (Lord Baden-Powell Historian), governors, legislatures, and university presidents. Upon request we have copies of these items.

I am ready to assist in this project pro bono in every way possible. I consider this a privilege to be of service in this way. Thank you for your for your consideration.


Paschal Baute
Curriculum Vitae posted on my web page.
Incidentally, when an undergraduate at University of Notre Dame, many years ago, I applied for a position with the Scouts but was not accepted.

Table comparing communication with Storytelling.
Proposal in the format required.




II. Award proposal (short title)

III. Description, Rationale

IV. How the Proposal Relates
(what it will do for Scouting)

V. Draft of Award Requirements

VI. Additional Information

VII. Appendix: Resumes

Executive Summary

Storytelling Merit Badge. Leadership across all cultures, across millennia, has employed he art of storytelling to transmit tradition, values and vision. Today, storytelling is said to be the “secret language of business leadership.” Storytelling requires the use of imagination, memory, insight, and creative joining of words, meaning with sound for a meaningful presentation to occur. Therefore, Storytelling enriches not only the literacy development but also the mental and social development of the young scout and fits well all scouting objectives. The storytelling merit badge would serve as a capstone to Communicant, Public Speaking and Debate badges.

We prpose also that storytelling become a regaulr and schedule part of camprifre activbirties and a mentoring tool for schout leaders by creating guidebooks for both.



submitter’s Name:

Paschal Baute, (lead) with Charlie Eyer and David Cooke

Contact information (lead person only)

Address: 4080 Lofgren Court, Lexington, Ky 40509

phone 859-293-5302 Email


Scouting Affiliation: see Appendix for all three summiteers

Organizational Affiliation of Dr. Baute

Spellbinders of Lexington, sponsored by Lexington Public Library.
Dr. Baute is an Organizational Psychologist and Instructor in Human Resource Management, School for Career Development, Midway College, Midway, Ky. See his website for his Curriculum Vitae.


Short Title of Award Proposal: Enrich Scouting by Storytelling in: 1) Merit Badge, 2) regular and planned campfire activities, and 3) mentoring tool for Scout leaders.
III. Description of Rationale


1. The great and honored mission of scouting has been to convey, teach, train and mentor the transmission of enduring and preeminent cultural values to the younger generation;

2. This honored Scouting tradition has flowered into many personal projects conducive to their valuable mission, in a diversity of merit badges and outdoor activities;

3. From primitive times the cultural agent for the transmission of values has been oral storytelling. Almost one hundred thousand years before the written word, from the time of pre-historic man with ceremonial graves, storytellers were the honored shamans whose art and skill nourished the values of family and tribe;

4. Storytelling today remains a formative and powerful means of inspiring and motivating human endeavor. National, regional and state festivals are emerging, with a national nonprofit group Spellbinders organized to promote literacy development by storytelling in our public schools. Libraries are promoting such initiatives and event workshops to teach storytelling to youth.

5. Business leaders and human resources managers are promoting storytelling as a powerful tool to inspire and motivate. (The Secret Language of Leadership, by Steve Denning,; Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, by Annette Simmons) In fact, a renaissance in the appreciation of storytelling is recognized even in business leadership and organizational change;

6. Kentucky has a long tradition of oral storytelling, nurtured orally by Appalachian folklore and now regional festivals such as that in the Cave Run annual Festival and the National Storytelling festivals at Jonesboro, Tennessee, now in its fourth decade. Kentucky has its own Storytelling Association with annual conventions. Lexington has its own Spellbinder storytelling group telling in our public schools and other venues;

7. Youth stroryteling is blossoming as an area of national endeared, with Storytelling Showcase Olympiads in many states. (National Youth storytelling Showcase) and prominent teachers (Kevin Cordi) promoting this activity. The heuristic power of stroryteling for literacy development is
recognized by progressive public libraries (such as the Lexington, Ky Public Library) in offering workshops for youth in storytelling. Festivals of Youth Telling are being spined by such as the National Storytelling Network.

8. New research in the field of Cognitive Science demonstrates that the human mind is already hardwired for metaphor and story; that story is the way we learn well and remember best; (George Lakoff, Metaphors We Live By, etc_

9. Here in Lexington, Kentucky, Spellbinders such as Dr. Baute and Charlie Eyrer have found excitement and enthusiasm among children librarians when we invite and coach children to tell stories. Librarians of these public schools observing us have stated this telling by the children multiples the literacy development compared with simply listening to stories.

10. The wisdom traditions of the world recognize and value the power of story. Storytelling is not only a vital part of every religion but found everywhere in film, TV, popular fiction and classical literature; The Power of story for Healing is now widely recognized with an explosion of literature on healing story, Narrative Therapy, and Narrative Medicine.

11. All the persons in Scouting whom we have consulted, are excited about the possibility not only of adding storytelling as a Merit Badge, but as a regular campfire promotion activity, and even the use of story for the mentoring by scout leaders, in the spirit of Baden Powell visiting the campfire.

12. The benefits to the individual scout, scouting activities and to scout leadership are many. These are detailed in Section IV following for description of how Storytelling would, both from an educational and a psychological viewpoint, enhance and enrich the Scouting tradition. In summary, storytelling promotes development, social development, emotional development and leadership development as expected outcomes.


1. We, the undersigned, urge the adaption of storytelling by BSA as a valuable educational tool to accomplis their mission, in three ways.
A.) The adoption of a Storytelling Merit Badge, with appropriate guidebook; B) Storytelling as a regular campfire activity that encourages appreciation of oral stroryteling with its seven universal themes (Christopher Booke);
and C) Adding storytelling as a mentoring lore for scout leaders, with appropriate guides and education.(Annette Simmons and Steve Denning)

2. Storytelling Merit Badge. Leadership across all cultures, across millennia, has employed he art of storytelling to transmit tradition, values and vision. Today, storytelling is said to be the “secret language of business leadership.” Storytelling requires the use of imagination, memory, insight, and creative joining of words, meaning with sound for a meaningful presentation to occur. Therefore, Storytelling enriches not only the literacy development but also the mental and social development of the young scout and fits well all scouting objectives. The storytelling merit badge would serve as a capstone to Communicant, Public Speaking and Debate badges.

3. That the mission of scouting is enriched by extending a focus on Storytelling not only as a merit badge endeavor but as adding to the lore of campsite activities. We propose that it is within the spirit of Baden Powell visiting the campfire that scouting be enriched by young storytellers learning and telling stories from folklore and family traditions. We even make bold to suggest that scouting can be enriched by an activity holding such power for development of literacy and leadership;

4. That Dr. Paschal Baute and the undersigned, some already active in oral stroryteling and scouting, will undertake to assist BSA develop materials to support and sustain this new valuable Scouting tradition; We offer this as a pro bono contribution to scouting.

It is noted that many resources to encourage and develop this activity already exist. Dr. Baute and others have already written and punished, taught and demonstrated these skills, and trained others, including other professionals in the power of storytelling.

Respectfully submitted:

Paschal Baute. Ed. D. , Organizational Psychologist, Lexington Spellbinder. f
URL Www,

Charlie Eyer, Lexington Spellbinder. Email

David r. Cooke, Human Resources Manager with extensive scouting experience. (See attached resume of scouting at Appendix)

Jack Duff, Eagle Scout. Troop[ 21, Lexington, Ky.

Steve Mobley, CEO, Mid Atlantic Business communications, Portsmouth, VA.

Articles available on request.
Baute, Paschal/ Why Children Should Be Encouraged to Learn to Tell Stories, 2009.
Baute, Paschal, What Story Does, 2009.
Baute, Paschal . Why We Tell Stones, Live in Story and are a Storied People.2009.
Baute, Paschal. Who and when did Storytelling Begin, 2009.
Baute, Paschal . Stories We Crave, Found in All Cultures, a Short Review, 2009.
Baute, Paschal. The Very First Story Ever Told, 2009.
Baute, Paschal. “Is the Human Mind Hardwired for Story and Metaphor?” National Spellbinders Newsletter, Spring, 2009/
Dening, Steve. The Secret Language of Leadership; The Leaders Guide to stroryteling.
Hamilton, Mary. “When Children Tell Stories, Storytelling provides”
Simmons, Annette. Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins; The Story Factor.

IV. Discussion of how the award proposal relates
to the primary areas of consideration below.


A. From an educational viewpoint.

One youth educator experience in youth storytelling put it this way: “From an educational standpoint, storytelling:
1) is a way to introduce and teach literacy to struggling readers;
2) is a way to invite life-long learning and reading;
3) is inter-disciplinary, it can encompass history;
4) increases listening skills, story creates story spaces;
5) stimulates creativity, language, and even computation skills;
6) teaches higher thinking skills, storytelling addresses all learning styles’
7) is a cooperative learning tool;
8) advocates a common shared value of young and old’
9) is a non-competitive means of advancing all students;
10) most of all, storytelling is a shared, cooperative, and engaged learning experience..” (Kevin cordi, URL

B. From a Psychologist and Human Resource Management Specialist:

1) Increases communicating skills;
2) Exercises the imagination;
3) Offers actual experience in making “”ad hoc” decisions while on their feet;
4) Provides vicarious experience in coping skills,
5) Requires practice attaching meaning to sound;
6) Educates in the elements of drama which are the elements of life;
7) Secures learning narrative form and convention;
8) Develops poise in public speaking;
9) Evokes an increased sense of community;
10) Provides training in leadership skills as storytellers learn to be responsive to their audience.
11) Obtains an appreciation for diversity as tales come from many countries and cultures;
12) Stimulates wisdom, as the storyteller steps into an ancient role. For many millennia it has been the role of the storyteller to inspire and motivate and transmit cultural values.(Note: seven of these are found in Mary Hamilton;s excellent article “When Children Tell Stories, storytelling provides.”.” and are listed with permission. She is preparing to post the article listed above under reference on her URL, where she explains each learning.)

C. Aside from the contribution to the personal development of the scout, we propose that adding and inviting this focus in campfire activities and the mentoring lore of scout leaders can greatly enrich the entire scooting tradition,

V. Draft of the Award’s Requirements.

1. Candidate will explain briefly the value of storytelling in history with three examples, one of which can be from his or her own faith tradition.
2. Candidate will explain needed and important aspects of effective storytelling.
3. Candidate will give examples of at least four kinds of story.
4. Candidate will be able to tell a “Who am I” kind of story.
5. Candidate will demonstrate stroryteling is a performance art, by use of voice, demeanor, timing, inflection, etc.
6. Candidate will demonstrate his mastery of these elements on at least four occasions, school, scout meeting, Cub scouts, campfire, etc.
7. Candidate will be able to explain and demonstrate that the plot element of a problem or mystery to be solved, some challenge to be overcome, is what hooks and holds the listener.
8. Candidate will choose one of these three activities and give a written report to his leader: A) attend a storytelling event or festival; B) interview a storyteller, professional or a Spellbinder volunteer: C) or explain the various kinds of stories, the universal themes found in all cultures.
9. Candidate will tell the story of the history, including tradition and values to a scouting campfire, either a) ‘of Baden Powell, b) of his scouting tribe, or c) of his country, or d) that of his own family.

VI. Additional Information for Consideration.

Resources, both publications and people, are many and diverse.

The list of resources in print already suggested is not intended to be complete but only suggestive. I have personally found wide interest in this project. Kentucky?

Youth storytelling interest groups are available, as well as regional and state olympiads and showcase competitions for young storytellers The National Youth Storytellers Showcase coordinates yearly showcase events as well as regional and national youth telling events.

Many storytellers are willing to help with this project. Rachel Hedman, a professional storyteller, has collected over 4000 signatures from 48 states to endorse a Storytelling merit badge. She has reserved a special online network of storytellers willing to mentor and coach scout leaders. This says there is a large community of persons ready and eager to assist in this project. Rachel Hedman Email:
Rachel’s URL:

Stephen M. Mobley (small business owner and CEO) called this proposal “Awesome!” Said he: “As a business owner this early experience for a 12-16 year old will be invaluable for their leadership development. I think all effective leaders must be comfortable and effective speaking to a few, or a group.” Personal communication.

Denning, Stephen, author of The Secret Language of Leadership, and The Leaders Guide to Storytelling, and four other books has many resources already in print that would be helpful.

Youth storyteller Kevin Cordi, experienced in teach-in youth telling has handbooks and supports this proposal. .

A copy of this proposal was placed in the hands of Kelly Hampton, BSA Lexington office, Bluegrass Council, on April 20, nine days ago. We have not head yet from him.

Paschal Baute, lead person in the proposal has many published materials available free. Experienced scouting volunteers are keen on the proposal and ready to help. There is an abundance of help available for this project.

VII. Appendix Scout Resumes (3)

1. Paschal Baute. Ed. D. , Organizational Psychologist, Lexington Spellbinder. former Council President, Pack 188, Winchester, Ky.
Curriculum Vitae URL Www,

2. Charlie Eyer, Lexington Spellbinder, former Commissioner, Cub Scouts, Mobile, AL

3. David R. Cooke, 455 Retrac Rd Lexington, Ky, 40503

A. Registered Scouting Positions of Mr. Cooke:

Approximate dates:

1. Den Chief
2. Assistant patrol leader
3. Patrol leader
4. Senior patrol leader
5. Order of the Arrow - work days
6. Assistant Scout Master, Ocanechee Council
7. Scout Master, Troop 205, Ocanechee Council
8. Explorer Advisor, Ocanechee Council
9. Cubmaster, Bluegrass Council
10. Assistant Scout Master for troop 473 Bluegrass Council
11. Chair of the District SME finance committee;
12. Committee Chair/Membership, Bluegrass Council
13. District/Unit Commissioner,Unit Commissioner, Troops 473, 205 & 206;
Bluegrass Council
14. Vice President for Membership and Executive Council Board member,
Bluegrass Council
15. Vice President Membership, Bluegrass Council

B. Other positions of Mr. Cooke (not registered):

1.As Bishop in a newly established ward, Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, organized first Scouting program in Congaree, South
Carolina, holding meetings with Church and community leaders

2.Oversaw Cub and Scouting program and served as committee chair, 1974-1978
(Columbia, SC)

3.Trainer for basic Scout course for Leadership and Merit Badge Fairs,

4.Merit Badge Counselor, Merit Badge fairs and individually.1960-1994

5.Participant in LDS Scout Training Seminar for one week at Philmont Scout
Camp in New Mexico 1990

6.Chair SME Thoroughbred District 1987/88.

7.Troop fund auditor, Troop 473.

C. Scouting Awards of Mr. Cooke:

1. Earned all Scouting ranks as a youth (1942-1962)
2. Duty to God
3. Scouters Training Award
4. Commissioners' Arrowhead
5. Scouter's Key
6. On My Honor
7. Wood Badge 1989
8. Philmont trained 1990
9. Silver Beaver 1990

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