Scoutmaster Minutes
Troop 33 - First Lutheran: DeKalb, Illinois

Thoughts and Stories
Cliff Golden - Troop 33 Scoutmaster

For Cliff's Bio, click here


On February 14, Valentines Day, a gunman burst into Cole Hall at NIU and shot 22 students, killing 5 of them before taking his own life. It was the worst tragedy to ever happen in DeKalb. I don’t know anything I can say to make any sense of that. It was a senseless act.

Instead I’d like to focus on all those things that do make sense

The Scout Motto is, “Be Prepared”.

That’s what the NIU Police were, they were prepared. The first officers arrived on the scene 29 seconds after the 911 dispatch. The gunman stopped shooting when he realized police had arrived. If they’d arrived later, more shootings would have occurred. Their unbelievably quick response saved lives.

Within two minutes of the 911 dispatch, 10 officers were on the scene, each of them trained as Emergency Medical Technicians. They began triage and treatment of the wounded even before paramedics were on the scene. That immediate care, no doubt saved lives.

The DeKalb Fire Department was right behind the police with professional paramedic units. Behind them were even more units from across DeKalb County and beyond. Together they saved lives.

The newly opened Kishwaukee Hospital, with its expanded emergency services was capable of handling the wounded and airlifting the most critical to regional trauma centers. They were prepared. They saved lives.

Of the twelve points of the Scout Law, among them are Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Brave, and Reverent. Those were represented by the caring response of NIU faculty, staff, and students, our area communities, along with people from across the nation. Churches in DeKalb and Sycamore set up prayer services and vigils. Students created memorials and tributes.

University campuses across the nation offered support, especially Virginia Tech, who suffered their own mass shooting less than a year ago. Still fresh in their pain, they reached out to NIU, with faculty and staff contacting their counterparts at NIU. Their mascot is the Hokie. “Hokies for Huskies” became their motto.

The Billy Graham Ministry immediately sent disaster response chaplains to DeKalb. Other grief counselors and ministers were hard at work. Nearly 500 volunteer counselors from across the nation arrived for the return of students. There was a counselor in every classroom.

NIU held a Campus Vigil on Feb 15th, Five Minutes of Silence Feb 21st, and the Campus Memorial Service at the Convo Center on Feb 24th. At each of these healing events people shared their grief and support, caring for one another.

Emergency services were well prepared and people everywhere, caring for one another, demonstrated a profound strength of community. These are the important lessons we take from this tragic event.

The words, “Be Prepared”, and Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Brave, and Reverent, are more than just words in Scouting. These words represent some very powerful ideals that can bring strength and comfort to even the most tragic of circumstances.

Listed here are some essays and thoughts regarding the Scouting program. This page is under construction and will probably be slow to grow, so please be patient.    


- Boy Run Program
- Fundraising
- High Adventure
- Philmont Scout Ranch
- Sports verses Scouting
- Troop Bylaws    


Cliff Golden

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TROOP 33 - DeKalb, Illinois
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