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Looking in, Looking Ahead at APR Scout Leaders Summit 

Gerakan Pramuka, with warm and generous hospitality, hosted the largest APR Scout Leaders Summit on 22-25 April 2017 in Bali, Indonesia, with the participation of around 150 delegates, guests, and

Kicking & Screaming Episode 8 recap: ‘Survival of the Fittest’

Bryan on Scouting - птн, 28/04/2017 - 05:01

The Kicking & Screaming premise was tantalizingly simple: Pair 10 of America’s most hardcore survivalists with 10 “total divas.” Toss that tumultuous 20 into the wild and see what happens.

Well, what happened was the one Scoutmaster in the group made it all the way to the end, besting seven other survivalists, many of whom are seasoned military veterans.

I initially planned to cover Eagle Scout Terry Fossum and his partner Natalie, a pink-and-blue-haired professional gamer, until the two were off the show. That day never came. Natalie and Terry, using skills of leadership and teamwork he learned in Scouting, coalesced into a team and reached the season finale.

They enter the final episode as one of three remaining teams. That means a 33.3 percent shot at the big prize: $500,000.

Start a fire and get ready for your complete recap of Kicking & Screaming Episode 8: “Survival of the Fittest.”

Note: The show is rated TV-14, so parents are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended.

Spoilers follow. 

A three-for-all

Let’s reintroduce you to the final three:

  • Terry, an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster, and Natalie, a professional gamer
  • Brady, a former Marine, and Claire, a former Miss Wyoming
  • Ben, an Air Force specialist, and Juliana, a model

Host Hannah Simone congratulates the remaining teams. “You must be so proud of yourselves right now,” she says.

“I’m proud of my partner,” Terry says, deflecting credit.

“Aww,” Natalie says.

Today’s challenge has the highest stakes yet. The winner doesn’t get to gorge themselves at a buffet or select a team to send to an elimination challenge. The two winners move on to a head-to-head battle. The loser goes home — a whisper short of the finish line.

You could forgive Terry for feeling like he’s on a high school basketball team playing against the Golden State Warriors.

“We’re the underdog,” he says. “Going up against Ben, the Air Force survival instructor, and Brady, the special ops Marine sniper. But that’s all right, you know, underdogs are known for fighting. And we’ll keep on fighting.”

The challenge goes like this: Crack some coconuts, and use the water inside to fill a tube that will float a key to the surface. That key will unlock a two-man saw the pairs will use to cut down a coconut tree stump.

As the tree falls, it will raise a flag. First two teams to raise the flag advance to the final showdown.

Claire says she’s never touched a saw in her life, meaning there’s going to be a learning curve here. Later, she goes one step further in her confession.

“I’ve never even seen a saw in my life,” she says. “Yeah, so, the struggle is real.”

Brady and Claire find a very efficient system for draining the coconuts. They crack them right above the tube so no water is wasted. Consequently, their tube fills up quickly. They’re the first to get their key and can begin sawing.

Terry and Natalie are next.

Any Scout knows you need a rhythm to use a two-handed saw. You might say there’s a push and a pull to it.

“We’ve got this,” Terry says, “because we use two-handed saws in the Boy Scouts.”

While the saws for the other two teams keep bending and becoming dislodged from their grooves, Terry and Natalie continue a smooth, steady cutting motion.

And then: timber! Terry and Natalie are first to topple their tree. They’re moving to the final two.

Brady and Claire finish second. Ben and Juliana, who had become close friends with Terry and Natalie during the show, are gone.

Actually, it is a picnic

Hannah tells the two remaining teams that they’ll be going separate directions for the day, with each team given a picnic and time to reflect on their journey.

After a stop at a stunning waterfall, Terry and Natalie dine on sandwiches, cheese, grapes and extra sandwiches. Food has been scarce throughout the competition, so this is necessary fuel.

With full bellies, Terry and Natalie look back.

Natalie, who hadn’t spent much time outdoors before the show, has learned a lot from the man she calls her “jungle dad.”

“Being here I’ve gotten sad, but you’ve always been there to back me up and make me feel happy again,” she says.

“You know I’m giving you a hug, right?” Terry says. “I’m so proud of you.”

This is for $500,000

“Going into this final challenge, which team can bring it back together?” Terry asks. “Focus what little remaining energy they have and be ready to go.”

Cold and exhausted, Terry and Natalie have little left in their tanks. He asks if she wants to practice making fire in case that’s part of the final challenge.

Maybe later, Natalie says.

Their opponents, meanwhile, have successfully started a fire mere feet away. They’re ready.

At the challenge, Hannah asks the competitors whom they’d help with their share of the $500,000.

“It’s been my life goal to be able to inspire more people,” Terry says. “This would give me the opportunity to be able to reach out to more people, and that means the world to me.”

Here’s how the final challenge will work: The survival experts, Terry and Brady, have been teaching outdoor skills to their partners throughout. Now those one-time novices will put those skills to the test.

“So, this challenge will begin with your survivalists stranded on a raft and depending on you,” Hannah says.

The challenge involves a rather complicated obstacle course, but I’ll do my best to explain.

The novice must dig up a handle and reel in her partner who’s sitting on the raft. Together they will use part of that raft to knock down a bunch of spears. The survivalist will use those spears to hit a target, releasing a piece of flint. Next, the novice must start a fire using that flint. The fire will light a torch that’s used to set a cauldron ablaze. First team to light its cauldron wins $500,000.

Did you follow all that? Ready … go!

Frantic digging. Frenzied cranking. Rapid raft disassembling.

Spears are knocked from their perches high above. Knots are untied. Spears are aimed and thrown.

Through each step of the way, Terry and Natalie are a step behind.

But then the two novices reach the fire-building portion and are neck and neck. At this point, it’s looking like whichever team can create fire first will win.

Terry can’t help with his hands, but he does use his voice to encourage Natalie and offer helpful tips.

“On the dry part,” he says. “Use the blade, use the blade!”

“And we. Have. Fire,” Hannah says. “Terry and Natalie running to the cauldron. … Can they keep their flame alight?”

And then:

“We have fire, and we have a winner!” Hannah says. “Terry and Natalie, the comeback kids!”

Terry, now $250,000 richer, is stunned.

“There’s no way in the world this was gonna happen,” Terry says. “And it just happened.”

Stray observations
  • Terry, the fashion icon: This is the first time I noticed that Terry wears a World Crest patch on his green pants. Nice detail.
  • Terry, the meteorologist: When the clouds portended a storm, it was Terry who warned the rest of the group (and the film crew) that it was probably time to take shelter.
  • Terry, the hero: When the storm caused the days-old shelter to collapse, Terry and Brady held it up so that Natalie and Claire could crawl out. Then all four rebuilt the roof so they could sleep.
  • Terry, the champion: Seriously, a big congrats to Terry and Natalie on their win. Terry, you represented Scouting well. Kudos!
Bonus: Boy Scout interviews Terry, his Scoutmaster

Joshua is from Troop 400 in Washington state, and Terry was his Scoutmaster. The young man got to interview Terry at the beginning of the season. Here’s that two-part interview below.

Inner-city Scout troop forms three Special Olympics basketball teams

Bryan on Scouting - чтв, 27/04/2017 - 18:47

The best way to break down stereotypes about a person is to spend as much time with them as you can.

In the case of Troop 4 of Worcester, Mass., that meant forming not one but three Special Olympics Unified Sports basketball teams.

What started as another big Troop 4 service project has grown into something inspiring and magical.

Unified Sports teams are unique because they include both people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through on-the-court teamwork, these Scouts have developed a better understanding of individuals different from themselves.

“It’s a way to spend time with people that I normally wouldn’t get to spend time with,” says Rosend, a Star Scout. “All the stereotypes that I believed in are gone. Now I believe that my teammates with disabilities are awesome, and I want to thank Special Olympics for giving me this special opportunity to change my perception.”

A tradition of service

Troop 4, part of the Mohegan Council., has completed a service project every month for the past two years.

They have cleaned an ocean beach, helped collect and make maple syrup for a nonprofit, and built shelves for their chartered organization. The Special Olympics Unified Sports team is the troop’s biggest project yet.

But in the beginning, Troop 4 wasn’t sure whether the Scouts could find enough athletes to start a single team. The Scouts created and distributed fliers around the community and realized those worries were unfounded.

More than 25 individuals with disabilities showed up to the information session. That was enough for three teams, each with a mix of individuals with disabilities and Scout partners.

Darrell, a Second Class Scout, is one of those partners. He says it’s a role that “really shows what being a Scout is all about.”

“You get to show leadership, be a team player, and serve the community,” he says. “It really makes me happy to see the Special Olympics athletes so happy. It lights my heart.”

Triple the impact

Troop 4’s three Special Olympics Unified Sports teams are organized by the ability level of the Special Olympics athletes. The chartered organization lets the troop use its gym, and the teams hold 10 practices and eight to 10 games per season.

Each team exemplifies a new term called “diversability,” a repositioning of disabilities as something empowering, not limiting.

There’s a team of 7- to 14-year-olds with more pronounced disabilities like Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. On this team, younger Scouts serve as one-on-one, on-the-court coaches. Each Scout gets paired with an athlete during practices and games.

There’s a mid-level unified team of athletes who have disabilities like autism or traumatic brain injuries. Here, the Scouts encourage the athletes, facilitate the flow of the game, and pass, shoot and score right alongside them.

And there’s a high-level team of teens and young adult males with diagnoses like ADHD or mood disorders. The competition at this level is high, and the Scouts on the team are on their high school’s basketball team as well. Here, the unified partners are completely equal to the athletes.

Through his time on the team, Ronald, a Life Scout, has had his eyes opened.

“It’s a beautiful experience,” he says. “Before joining Special Olympics, I had an image in my mind of who people with disabilities were, and now I see that it’s completely different. It really bothers me to see that people still think the way I did, because, in reality, the athletes are just like us.”

Ronald says one of his teammates even donated $200 worth of cans to a bottle drive to help fund his Eagle Scout service project.

“This made me realize that we are all connected, even outside of the basketball court, and that people with different backgrounds can come together for the good of society,” Ronald says.

Success at the highest level

The troop’s high-level team is, fittingly, called the Eagles.

After an undefeated season — 10 wins, no losses — the Eagles were picked to represent the hundreds of Special Olympics basketball teams across Massachusetts at a Boston Celtics game in March.

Scouts of every rank were represented — Scout all the way to Eagle. They were on the court before the game and played in an exhibition game at halftime.

During the Celtics’ game, some of the Scouts were shown dancing on the big screen.

Special Olympics and Scouting

Lauren Hopper, a Troop 4 assistant Scoutmaster, says more Scout troops should volunteer time with a Special Olympics Unified Sports team.

The Scouts who participate, she says, put their leadership skills to use.

“Unified Sports facilities tolerance and inclusion, and we have found that our Scouts who participate have developed a broader understanding of their role in the community,” Hopper says. “Currently, our entire patrol leaders’ council are unified partners. Based on our experience, serving as a unified partner perfectly complements National Youth Leadership Training and other youth trainings offered through Boy Scouts.”

How to replicate the Troop 4 Special Olympics Unified Sports experience in your community

Do your Scouts have a passion for sports and service? Learn more about Special Olympics Unified Sports teams at their official site.

This isn’t just basketball. There are dozens of sports available, and volunteers are always in need.

Troop 4’s inspiring story

Troop 4 was founded in 2009 in an inner-city neighborhood of Worcester. Of the troop’s 28 registered Scouts, 27 are from low-income families.

“Because of this, every Scouting activity or trip we participate in is funded almost solely by fundraisers that the Scouts plan,” Hopper says.

That isn’t easy in a troop that has only three adult leaders and four active committee members — all of whom work other full-time jobs.

“The role of an adult leader can seem difficult at times,” Hopper says. “However, we have never allowed lack of money or adult volunteers to get in the way of trips or activities.”

Troop 4 has traveled to nine states over the past three years. They have kayaked and surfed, hiked and gone deep-sea fishing, snowboarded and mountain biked.

“Most of our Scouts reside in areas of the city where gang activity is rampant, so we feel it is important to offer trips outside of the city as often as possible,” Hopper says. “My first year as an assistant Scoutmaster, I asked a Scout during his board of review to describe one thing he learned in Scouting that he uses in his everyday life. He proceeded to talk about the different type of gun misfires, how to react when they happen and how to apply first aid to a bullet wound.

“This Scout was 12 years old.”

In spite of — or perhaps because of — their difficult surroundings, the Scouts want to give back to their communities.

Says Hopper: “This, along with a shared love of basketball, is what prompted our troop to start a Special Olympics team.”

This is how you organize the inside of a troop trailer

Bryan on Scouting - ср, 26/04/2017 - 16:00

In Troop 101, even the layout of the troop trailer follows the patrol method.

Everything in the 6-foot-by-12-foot trailer is organized by patrol. That means each group of Scouts is responsible for its own stuff.

Patrol gear goes on the right side. Every patrol box, tent and cooler bears its patrol’s name: Ninja, Cobra, Jaguar or Shark.

Troop gear goes on the left side. Labels indicate exactly what belongs: spices, paper towels, garbage bags and more.

The troop is part of New Jersey’s Monmouth Council. Troop 101 Scoutmaster Peter Grasso has read my other blog posts about troop trailers and thought it was time to share what he and his Scouts had come up with.

“Over the years I’ve seen your articles highlighting various trailer designs and always said that we had to send you pics of our trailer,” he writes. “Well, I finally got around to doing it.”

The facts
  • The trailer is 6 feet wide and 12 feet long. It was designed to support a four-patrol troop.
  • Everything is easily accessible, labeled and laid out to support the patrol method.
  • Each patrol has a patrol kit contained in a 24-gallon Rubbermaid ActionPacker container, as well as four tents and a lantern.
  • Troop equipment includes Dutch ovens, water jugs, frying pans, etc. and a kit for the adult patrol.
  • The front of the trailer has a two-burner and a three-burner Camp Chef stove.
  • There is plenty of room for fire buckets, axe yard equipment, staves, flags, coolers and dry boxes.
  • The patrols’ shelves are not flush against the wall. Hidden between the shelves and wall are six folding tables, one for each patrol and two for the adults. These tables, when unfolded, have a metal extension for the Coleman stoves which are part of the patrol kits.
  • The Troop 101 budget contains a provision to update each patrol’s equipment every four years. That means Troop 101 can update a single patrol every year.
The photos

 

The challenge

Think your troop’s trailer is as good as this one? Prove it! Send photos and the story behind them to scoutingmag@gmail.com.

Happy Birthday Eurasia Scout Region / C днем Рождения Евразийский Скаутский Регион

26 апреля. Вроде бы ничего особенного в этой дате для многих, но тех кто помнит, это событие века.

More than a quarter of members of Congress have some connection to BSA

Bryan on Scouting - вт, 25/04/2017 - 16:00

Scouts reach some high places. They summit Mount Everest, walk on the moon, become CEOs and win Super Bowls.

Some even make their way to the highest political offices, like the U.S. Congress.

Of the 535 members of the 115th U.S. Congress, 147 have some sort of connection to the BSA. That’s 27.5 percent.

I’m defining “connection” as one or more of the following:

  • They were in Scouting as a youth (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer, Sea Scout, Explorer)
  • They earned the Eagle Scout rank
  • They served (or are still serving) as a BSA adult volunteer

These Scouting alumni come from nearly every state and represent both major political parties. The list includes an impressive 32 Eagle Scouts.

The 115th Congress meets from Jan. 3, 2017, to Jan. 3, 2019. Below, a state-by-state breakdown.

One quick note

Eagle Scout status was confirmed against National Eagle Scout Association records.

Youth member or adult volunteer status was self-reported by the office of the member of Congress. If you know of a representative or senator with Scouting ties who isn’t included, please leave a comment.

Scouting alumni in the 115th Congress Alabama

Youth members

  • Sen. Richard Shelby
  • Sen. Luther Strange — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Robert Aderholt
  • Rep. Mo Brooks
  • Rep. Mike Rogers
Alaska

Youth member

  • Rep. Don Young

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Arizona

Youth members

  • Sen. John McCain
  • Rep. David Schweikert

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. John McCain
Arkansas

Youth member and adult volunteer

  • Rep. French Hill — Eagle Scout
California

Youth members

  • Rep. Ken Calvert
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal
  • Rep. Jeff Denham
  • Rep. John Garamendi — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Darrell Issa
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Ed Royce
  • Rep. Adam Schiff
  • Rep. Mike Thompson

Adult volunteers

  • Rep. Julia Brownley
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney
  • Rep. Adam Schiff
Colorado

None

Connecticut

Youth member

  • Rep. John B. Larson
Delaware

Youth member and adult volunteer

  • Sen. Tom Carper
Florida

Youth members

  • Rep. Gus Bilirakis
  • Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart
  • Rep. Neal Dunn — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Dennis A. Ross
  • Rep. Darren Soto

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Dennis A. Ross
Georgia

Youth members

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson
  • Rep. Sanford Bishop — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Jody Hice
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk

Adult volunteers

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson
  • Rep. Sanford Bishop
Hawaii

None

Idaho

Youth member

  • Sen. Mike Crapo — Eagle Scout
Illinois

Youth members

  • Sen. Dick Durbin
  • Rep. John Shimkus

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Danny Davis
Indiana

Youth members

  • Sen. Todd Young
  • Rep. Larry Bucshon
  • Rep. Luke Messer
Iowa

Youth members

  • Rep. Steve King
  • Rep. David Young
Kansas

Youth members

  • Sen. Jerry Moran
  • Sen. Pat Roberts

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. Jerry Moran
Kentucky

Youth members

  • Sen. Rand Paul
  • Rep. Andy Barr
Louisiana

Youth member

  • Sen. John Neely Kennedy
Maine

None

Maryland

Youth members

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings
  • Rep. John Sarbanes

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Jamie Raskin
Massachusetts

Youth member

  • Rep. Jim McGovern
Michigan

Youth members

  • Sen. Gary Peters — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Mike Bishop
  • Rep. Dan Kildee
  • Rep. Fred Upton

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Debbie Dingell
Minnesota

Youth members

  • Rep. Rick Nolan
  • Rep. Tim Walz
Mississippi

Youth members

  • Sen. Thad Cochran — Eagle Scout
  • Sen. Roger Wicker
  • Rep. Trent Kelly — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson

Adult volunteers

  • Sen. Thad Cochran
  • Sen. Roger Wicker
Missouri

Youth members

  • Rep. Lacy Clay
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
  • Rep. Sam Graves — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. Roy Blunt
Montana

None

Nebraska

Youth members

  • Rep. Don Bacon
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Don Bacon
Nevada

None

New Hampshire

None

New Jersey

Youth members

  • Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
  • Rep. Chris Smith — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Leonard Lance
New Mexico

Youth members

  • Sen. Tom Udall
  • Rep. Steve Pearce

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Steve Pearce
New York

Youth members

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer
  • Rep. Chris Collins — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Joseph Crowley
  • Rep. Brian Higgins
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Chris Collins
North Carolina

Youth members

  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield
  • Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr.
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry
  • Rep. Mark Meadows
  • Rep. David Price

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr.
North Dakota

None

Ohio

Youth members

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown — Eagle Scout
  • Sen. Rob Portman
  • Rep. Steve Chabot
  • Rep. Bob Gibbs
  • Rep. Bob Latta
  • Rep. Steve Stivers — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Steve Stivers
Oklahoma

Youth members

  • Sen. James Lankford
  • Rep. Jim Bridenstine — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Frank Lucas

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Steve Russell
Oregon

Youth members

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio
  • Rep. Greg Walden — Eagle Scout
Pennsylvania

Youth members

  • Sen. Pat Toomey — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Lou Barletta — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteers

  • Rep. Charlie Dent
  • Rep. Mike Kelly
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson
Rhode Island

Youth members

  • Sen. Jack Reed
  • Rep. James Langevin
South Carolina

Youth members

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham
  • Rep. Jim Clyburn
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan
  • Rep. Mark Sanford — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteer

  • Rep. Joe Wilson
South Dakota

None

Tennessee
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Jim Cooper — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Phil Roe — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteers

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander
  • Rep. Jim Cooper
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Texas

Youth members

  • Sen. John Cornyn
  • Rep. Joe Barton
  • Rep. Kevin Brady
  • Rep. John Culberson
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Sam Johnson
  • Rep. Michael McCaul
  • Rep. Ted Poe
  • Rep. Pete Sessions — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteers

  • Rep. Joe Barton
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert
  • Rep. Kay Granger
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee
  • Rep. Pete Sessions
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry
Utah

Youth members

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch
  • Sen. Mike Lee — Eagle Scout

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch
Vermont

Youth members

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders

Adult volunteer

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy
Virginia

Youth members

  • Sen. Mark Warner
  • Rep. Don Beyer
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly
  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte
  • Rep. Donald McEachin — Eagle Scout
  • Rep. Bobby Scott
  • Rep. Scott Taylor
  • Rep. Rob Wittman

Adult volunteers

  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte
  • Rep. Rob Wittman
Washington

Youth members

  • Rep. Rick Larsen
  • Rep. Adam Smith
West Virginia

Youth members

  • Sen. Joe Manchin
  • Rep. David McKinley — Eagle Scout
Wisconsin

Youth members

  • Rep. Sean Duffy
  • Rep. Paul Ryan
Wyoming

Youth members

  • Sen. John Barrasso
  • Sen. Mike Enzi — Eagle Scout
How to contact these individuals with Scouting ties

I’m betting these Scouting alumni in the House and Senate would enjoy hearing from fellow Scouts and Eagle Scouts.

You can learn how to contact the senators here and the representatives here.

Thanks to the BSA’s Scott Olson for the info.

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, so time to #ThankAScouter you know

Bryan on Scouting - пн, 24/04/2017 - 16:00

A year ago, Troop 443 of North Carolina was on a weekend campout when the Scouts made a daunting discovery: They didn’t bring enough food.

“We realized that our patrol members failed to plan for all our food needs,” writes Star Scout Miles L.

One of the Troop 443 adults, DeeAnn Vincent, quietly left camp, went to a grocery store and purchased additional supplies. She did this without fanfare and with her own money. She never asked for reimbursement from the Scouts or their parents.

Miles admits he and his fellow Scouts probably deserved to survive on scant supplies that weekend. That would’ve taught them an important lesson about being prepared.

But instead, they learned a bigger lesson about doing a Good Turn when nobody is watching. About compassion. And, yes, they still learned that other lesson anyway.

“Without her kindness, we would have gone hungry. And we deserved that,” Miles says. “But we never failed to plan for enough food at any camp after that.”

Miles’ story about DeeAnn — a leader who went above and beyond in the service of Scouts — is repeated again and again in packs, troops, teams, crews, ships and posts across the country.

For Volunteer Appreciation Week, we’re encouraging everyone to #ThankAScouter they know, using that hashtag on social media. To get you started, here are more great stories of terrific Scouters.

Grisell Rodríguez, who maintains a ‘super standard of excellence’ in the Puerto Rico Council

Pack 831 had been closed for business for four years. There weren’t enough Scouts or leaders.

Enter Grisell Rodríguez. She started with seven Cub Scouts and now has 14. All of the pack’s leaders are Youth Protection trained and taking additional training for their jobs.

Pack 831 is thriving and will add four Lions this fall.

“With a program packed with adventure, service projects and camping, the Cubmaster has maintained a super standard of excellence,” writes Lizzette Quinones. “All the Cub Scouts thanked her. Hooray for Grisell!”

Linda Veach, a ‘Scout’s best friend’ in the Middle Tennessee Council

Linda Veach does a little of everything for her district in the Middle Tennessee Council.

She’s been the Popcorn Kernel, day camp director, Cub Scout-level trainer, and has led multiple campouts and family weekends.

That’s why Joyce Wheaton calls Linda a “Scouts’ best friend.”

“She can always be counted on to do whatever is needed for Scouting, especially for the Cub Scouts,” Joyce writes.

Tim Williams, who brings a ‘strong belief in the value of Scouting’ to the Twin Rivers Council (N.Y.)

Tim Williams became an Eagle Scout in the 1970s in Florida. When he moved to New York in 2001, he figured it was time to give back to the program that had given him so much.

So he contacted Beth VanSchaick and asked how he could become involved.

He became an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 56. Since then, he has served as committee chairman, Eagle Board of review member and district commissioner.

“I think it’s important to mention, in all this, that Tim has no children of his own,” Beth writes, “merely a strong belief in the value of Scouting.”

The leaders of Troop 4, who helped the Allohak Council (W.Va.) troop turn 100

You don’t get to 100 without doing something right.

That something, in the case of Parkersburg, W.Va., Troop 4, has involved dedicated leaders making sure Scouts get everything they want out of the program.

The troop turned 100 on April 7, 2017, and the Scouts above emailed me to publicly thank “our leaders who volunteered for our troop throughout the years that made us reach a century.”

This includes, they write, Scoutmaster Rachel and Assistant Scoutmasters Al, Brandon, Doc Whitaker and Mr. C.

“Without you all, we would be nothing,” the Scouts write.

Another thank you goes to the leaders of Troop 4’s affiliated Cub Scout pack, Pack 4. The Cub Scout program at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church had become dormant but is back and better than ever.

Now, the Cub Scouts below told me, “we have lots of fun in Scouting because of their caring.”

The Ninja Scout’s Scoutmaster in the Cascade Pacific Council

Jackson Meyer, the Eagle Scout who competed on the NBC reality competition show American Ninja Warrior, is joining the #ThankAScouter fun.

His appreciation goes to the Scoutmaster of Troop 642 of Seaside, Ore.

Without him, Jackson says, “I never would’ve achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. I probably wouldn’t have made it past Tenderfoot.”

Watch Jackson’s video below:

More #ThankAScouter fun

The #ThankAScouter movement is a way to celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week by thanking an adult leader you know.

Join the excitement by using that hashtag on social media, leaving some remarks below or emailing me your story.

Even more #ThankAScouter posts

Here are some more great comments from Facebook:

#ThankAScouter images to use and share

Feel free to use these Scouting magazine images on social media to celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Bring your family to experience the 2017 National Jamboree as visitors

Bryan on Scouting - птн, 21/04/2017 - 16:00

Want to experience the fun of the 2017 National Jamboree but can’t be there for the whole 10 days?

Become a Jamboree visitor.

Bring your family or friends and live the adventure for a day or two — or more.

The Jamboree is July 19 to 28 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia; visitors are welcome July 21 to 27. The per-day visitor price? Less than half the cost of a day at Disney.

Learn more and buy your visitor passes today. Read on for additional details.

What can visitors do?

This year there are two types of visitors: observers and participants. It’s helpful to go over each separately.

What can observers do?

“Observer” visitors get to enjoy to the Summit Center, the hub of Jamboree activity. That means access to:

  • Stadium shows
  • Military exhibits
  • Conservation trail
  • Disabilities Awareness Area
  • Sustainability Treehouse
  • Merit badge areas
  • Retail shops
  • Food stores
  • Brownsea Island
  • A wide variety of other exhibits and displays

Visitor access to activities is based on availability. Activities may be closed because of unsafe weather conditions. Jamboree visitors can visit with participants, but visitors do not have access to the base camps or participant-only activity areas.

What can participants do?

For an additional cost, “participant” visitors can enjoy everything listed under observers, plus:

  • Boulder Cove (a bouldering area)
  • Challenge course
  • Skateboard plaza
  • Mountain biking
  • Climbing
  • BMX bike riding
When can I visit?

Visitor hours are:

Friday, July 21: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 22: 9 a.m. to end of show Sunday, July 23: 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, July 24: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 25: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 26: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 27: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (note the early closing time) How much does it cost?

What can I bring?

Do bring water bottles and a small daypack. Wearing sunscreen and a hat is a good idea, too.

Don’t bring a backpack, picnic basket or cooler.

Where do I park, and how do I get there?

You’ll park in a visitor lot and hop on the visitor shuttle to get to the entrance. Visitor shuttles run regularly, and the cost is included in your Jamboree pass.

Is there a video about Jamboree visitors that will get me really excited?

Yes! Here you go:

OK, I’m in. Where do I buy my tickets?

Learn more and buy your passes here. See you at the Jamboree!

What if I still have questions?

Email 2017.jamboree@scouting.org or call 972-580-2489.

Are you ready?

World Scouting News - птн, 21/04/2017 - 11:36

Are you “Prepared: for a changing world”?

Top 5 Reasons why you should use the Scout Congress App

World Scouting News - птн, 21/04/2017 - 11:31

This year’s mobile app for the World Scout Education Congress is going to be awesome! Here are just a few benefits and reasons why you don’t want to miss out on the app:

Accommodation at KISC

World Scouting News - птн, 21/04/2017 - 10:36

When you arrive, we will welcome you and help you find your room. All accommodation is in Scout style shared bunk rooms.

Getting to Kandersteg

World Scouting News - птн, 21/04/2017 - 10:29

Once you arrive in Switzerland the easiest way to get to Kandersteg is by train which will take about 3 hours from the major airports. The trains are very regular and high quality.

Preparing yourself

World Scouting News - птн, 21/04/2017 - 09:50

With so much choice how do you prepare to use your time? First, think about the educational challenges facing your NSO and your society.

Regional Scout Committee members meet in Bali

Regional Scout Committee meeting is ongoing, with APR Sub-Committees chairmen, regional consultants and some World Scout Committee members attending.

Kicking & Screaming Episode 7 recap: ‘Fear Pong’

Bryan on Scouting - птн, 21/04/2017 - 05:01

The Fox reality show Kicking & Screaming pairs hardcore survivalists with people who have little experience in the outdoors. Now that Eagle Scout Terry Fossum has made it deep into the show, I’ll recap every episode until he’s eliminated … or wins?

New episodes air at 9/8 CT Thursdays on Fox. Note: The show is rated TV-14, so parents are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended.

Scouts will eat some weird things. Blueberry-chocolate pancakes, potato-chip hamburgers and spaghetti with ranch-dressing sauce. (I’ve seen — and tried — all three while on assignment for Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines.)

But even Scouts with the strongest stomachs might balk at eating worms, grubs and bat wings.

When $500,000 is on the line, though? Almost anything becomes edible. That appetizing decision faces the four remaining teams on Kicking & Screaming.

The Final Four includes the team that’s become the favorite of the entire Scouting community: Scoutmaster Terry and his partner Natalie, a pink-and-blue-haired professional gamer.

In six episodes, Terry has helped transform Natalie from someone who avoids the outdoors into a confident, happy camper.

“I play videogames for a living, so Day One coming here, I had not been outside in a long time,” she says. “But now I love this place called ‘outside.'”

Let’s find out how Terry and Natalie did in the penultimate episode. Set your dirty clothes by the campfire as I serve up your complete recap of Kicking & Screaming Episode 7: “Fear Pong.”

Spoilers follow.

Call him ‘mer-man’

For no reason at all, the contestants decide to turn Terry into a mermaid. They bury him under the sand and shape the sand into mermaid form.

They even carve a scaly pattern into Terry’s new tail, and Terry can’t help but think of Troop 400 back home.

“The boys in my troop are gonna laugh their butts off at this,” he says.

Exercising their ultimate power

Previously on Kicking & Screaming, Terry and Natalie won the elimination challenge against Jason and Elaine. But there was a twist in Episode 6: Nobody was eliminated.

Before the prize challenge begins in Episode 7, Terry and Natalie must send one team straight to the elimination challenge. It’s their reward after winning last week.

“You earned ultimate power,” says host Hannah Simone. “The decision you make could be the most important one of the game.”

“There is one team we believe to be the strongest among them all,” Terry says. “And if we have a chance not to go up against them, we’d like to take that chance not to.”

They choose Brady, a former Marine, and Claire, a former Miss Wyoming.

Let’s eat

Brady and Claire must sit out the prize challenge. The three other teams — Terry and Natalie, Ben and Juliana and Jason and Elaine — will compete for the prize: a few hours exploring Fiji’s coral reefs on a luxury yacht.

Five-star dining with a private chef on a yacht in Fiji?

Hey, just like a Scout trip!

Next, Hannah welcomes the teams and sets the stage.

“Survival in the jungle often comes down to eating things you would never normally eat,” she says.

So they’ll dine on stuff like grubs, worms and roasted bat wings.

Hey, just like a Scout trip!

Here’s how it will work: teams throw a softball-size pineapple toward another team’s bucket. Make the shot, and that bucket is gone. The team whose bucket is hit has to eat whatever’s under their bucket. Refuse to eat, and you lose. Lose all your buckets, and you lose.

Terry and Natalie pick Jason and Elaine first. Natalie sinks her shot in Jason and Elaine’s bucket, meaning Jason and Elaine get to eat … bat wings! Somewhere, Bruce Wayne is glowering.

Several rounds later, Hannah opens a tray to reveal 10 worms. Terry and Natalie must eat five each.

“The funky thing about these worms is, man, these suckers are active,” Terry says. “They’re jumping around, they’re trying to crawl off.”

They finish their 10 worms quickly. Later, it’s live grubs the size of rolls of quarters. After much squirming (from the contestants and the bugs), Terry and Natalie eat those as well.

“The body was squishy and gross,” Natalie says, “and I will never eat cream of corn again.”

Second place is just fine

Jason and Elaine are the first to lose all their buckets, so they’re off to the elimination challenge. Ben and Juliana win, so they’re off to enjoy the yacht.

For Terry and Natalie, a second-place finish is just fine. No five-star feast, but no elimination challenge either. They’re safe, and guaranteed a spot in the final three in next week’s season finale.

Translation: Scoutmaster Terry and professional gamer Natalie now have a 33.3 percent shot at a half-million bucks.

Jason and Elaine lose in a tough elimination challenge, meaning Terry and Natalie will face Brady and Claire and Ben and Juliana in the finale.

It’s been an entertaining, and strange, journey. I can’t wait to see how it all ends next Thursday night.

Stray observations
  • Loved this quote from Terry: “The most important factor in all of survival is attitude. Attitude is everything.”
  • Terry tells the group that smoke from a campfire is “great for killing the nasty smell in your clothes. Kills the bacteria.” Is that true?
Missed an episode?

Watch full episodes and learn more about Kicking and Screaming here.

At U.S. military academies, Eagle Scouts and former Scouts are everywhere

Bryan on Scouting - чтв, 20/04/2017 - 16:00

Scouts who enter our nation’s military academies find themselves with a leg up on their classmates.

Leadership, patriotism and service? Those are characteristics Scouts are known for.

No surprise, then, that student applications from cadets and midshipmen at U.S. military academies reveal an impressive number of Eagle Scouts and former Scouts.

Here’s a look, academy by academy.

U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

There are 4,200 total cadets in the 2016/2017 class.

That includes:

  • 716 Scouts (17.0 percent)
  • 425 Eagle Scouts (10.1 percent)

Also worth noting:

  • The academy provides camping facilities to Scout groups. Learn more here.
  • The academy will send congratulatory letters to new Eagle Scouts. Go here for more.
U.S. Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.)

In April 2017, West Point released a class profile that averages data about cadets since 2012.

The academy admits an average of 1,183 cadets per class.

That includes:

  • 239 Eagle Scouts (20.2 percent)

Also worth noting:

  • The West Point Camporee, an invitation-only event sponsored by the U.S. Military Academy, is happening at the end of April. Activities include knot tying, a leadership reaction course, RB-15 (Zodiac) paddle, fire building, fitness challenge, Commander’s Challenge, land navigation, wilderness survival, first aid and more. Find more on the West Point Scoutmasters’ Council Facebook page and see this Boys’ Life video from the event.
U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)

The Naval Academy keeps robust statistics on Scouting participation among its midshipmen.

In the Class of 2016, there were 918 male midshipmen.

That includes:

  • 186 Scouts (20.3 percent)
  • 109 Eagle Scouts (11.9 percent)

Also worth noting:

Detailed statistics on male midshipmen:

Class of… Class size Scouts Scouts % Eagle Scouts Eagle % 1988 1236 355 28.7% 87 7.0% 1989 1237 349 28.2% 97 7.8% 1990 1227 349 28.4% 85 6.9% 1991 1199 308 25.7% 104 8.7% 1992 1204 244 20.3% 84 7.0% 1993 1264 356 28.2% 119 9.4% 1994 1092 221 20.2% 83 7.6% 1995 990 279 28.2% 84 8.5% 1996 1069 314 29.4% 106 9.9% 1997 1015 276 27.2% 101 10.0% 1998 1018 250 24.6% 98 9.6% 1999 962 292 30.4% 138 14.3% 2000 1011 268 26.5% 114 11.3% 2001 961 252 26.2% 129 13.4% 2002 1036 228 22.0% 95 9.2% 2003 1029 278 27.0% 114 11.1% 2004 1021 257 25.2% 126 12.3% 2005 1040 267 25.7% 130 12.5% 2006 1025 264 25.8% 128 12.5% 2007 1019 248 24.3% 139 13.6% 2008 988 238 24.1% 140 14.2% 2009 990 230 23.2% 147 14.8% 2010 960 246 25.6% 129 13.4% 2011 948 239 25.2% 131 13.8% 2012 1005 232 23.1% 125 12.4% 2013 995 243 24.4% 133 13.4% 2014 988 208 21.1% 110 11.1% 2015 989 193 19.5% 95 9.6% 2016 918 186 20.3% 109 11.9% 2017 931 182 19.5% 100 10.7% 2018 896 184 20.5% 116 12.9% 2019 866 173 20.0% 118 13.6% 2020 852 147 17.3% 104 12.2% U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, N.Y.)

We have reached out to the Merchant Marine Academy and will update this post once we hear back.

In the meantime, here are the stats from the Class of 2014: 225 graduates, of whom 25 are Eagle Scouts. That’s 11.1 percent.

Worth noting:

  • The Merchant Marine Academy hosts the Kings Point Camporee this month, where some 300 Boy Scouts will participate in tours, hands-on demonstrations and simulations.
U.S. Coast Guard Academy (New London, Conn.)

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not ask about Scouting participation on its applications.

Worth noting:

Hat tip: Thanks to the BSA’s Scott Olson for the data.

APR Adult Support and APR Youth Programme Sub-Committees meet today

The APR Adult Support Sub-Committee and APR Youth Programme Sub-Committee had their simultaneous meetings today and reviewed the implementation of the strategic priorities under the APR Plan 2015-2

Before cancer took him, Scout wrote a powerful poem reminding us to live every day to its fullest

Bryan on Scouting - ср, 19/04/2017 - 16:00

Evan Mario Macrone never let cancer hold him back from enjoying Scouting.

And in a poem he wrote three months before he died, he encouraged all of us to let nothing hold us back from enjoying life.

The poem is at the bottom of this post, but I first wanted you to learn more about this incredible young man.

Evan’s remarkable life

Evan was just 11 when he got the diagnosis: an aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma. He endured 17 rounds of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation and several surgeries.

Through it all, he kept going to Scout meetings and attending campouts with Troop 22 of Tampa, Fla. He completed as many rank and merit badge requirements as he could, making it up to First Class. Even when a relapse forced Evan to use a wheelchair, that didn’t slow him down. He continued to show up at meetings, wearing his Scout uniform with pride.

Evan went to his final troop meeting on March 6. He died nine days later, at age 13. His family and his best Scout friend were by his side during those final moments.

On April 10, Troop 22 presented Evan’s family with the Spirit of the Eagle Award. The award recognizes the contributions of a Scout who died because of an illness or accident.

Evan’s second home

Evan’s favorite part of being a Boy Scout was camping. And his favorite place to camp was Camp Woodruff in northern Georgia.

Whether at camp or at a Scout meeting or in school, Evan was kind and friendly to all.

“He reached out to others who needed a friend when they may not have had one,” says his mom, Katherine.

It’s in that spirit that Evan’s mom, dad and two brothers established a campership in Evan’s name. It means that every summer, one Scout who might otherwise be unable to attend camp will get to go.

It’s what Evan would have wanted.

Evan’s parting thoughts

Evan wrote the poem below in early December. The message is powerfully clear: Squeeze as much as you can out of each and every day.

School Days: A Poem
by Evan Macrone

Throughout life I have learned
That you can’t stay clean on a camping trip
Even if you shower every day
That you can’t enjoy delectable doughnuts from Dough
Or pizza hot out of the oven
That you can’t avoid bites by bugs
From pesky gnats, ticks, and no-see-ums
And you can’t get a thick sanctuary from the weather
Just a stuffy, flimsy tent.

But you also can’t hike mountain trails
Go canoeing, kayaking, small-boat sailing,
Tubing, skiing, sightseeing, fishing,
Pioneering, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving
Cook meals for friends
Sleep under a night sky full of stars
If you are cooped up at home, hunched over,
Playing a video game
Or at school,
Taking an arbitrary test that will uniquely decide your future
Of being cooped up in an office till you croak.

So go and get out there
And maybe live a little
Cause God knows,
You could get cancer any day
Or get caught in a car accident
And how many days before that
Will you regret?

Unicorn Frappuccino? After that, Starbucks needs to introduce these 5 Scouting-themed Frappuccino flavors

Bryan on Scouting - вт, 18/04/2017 - 20:54

The fabled Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino is, apparently, a real thing.

Even a Scout or Scouter with the most pronounced sweet tooth might think twice. Starbucks says it’s “made with a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle.”

A sour mango drink? Yikes!

But of course I’ll try it once. Maybe four times.

This hullabaloo over the Unicorn Frappuccino got me thinking that Starbucks needs more Scouting-themed Frappuccino flavors.

The coffee chain offers a seasonal drink called the S’mores Frappuccino, which blends marshmallow-infused whipped cream, milk chocolate sauce and a graham cracker crumble.

It’s a campfire in a cup, and it’s quite tasty. That’s a good start, but here are five other flavors Starbucks must add to its menu immediately.

Peach Cobbler Frappuccino

This staple of Dutch oven cooking blends peaches, cinnamon, brown sugar and other ingredients into a gooey, delicious dessert.

A version of this you can enjoy through a straw? I’d buy one.

If the decision-makers at Starbucks need a recipe to convince them this is a good idea, here’s this beloved one from Scouting magazine.

Trail Mix Frappuccino

Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and anything else you can munch on while hiking. That’s what makes a good trail mix.

To make a good Trail Mix Frappuccino? Just throw all that stuff in the blender and see what happens.

For ideas on what to put in the trail mix, check out this essential Boys’ Life guide.

Monkey Bread Frappuccino

Another Dutch oven favorite among Scouts is monkey bread — a mouthwatering breakfast concoction of baked, bite-size cinnamon dough.

For the drinkable version, Starbucks could take the best elements of monkey bread (cinnamon and brown sugar) and blend them with coffee. The twist would be the topping: monkey bread crumbles.

Maple Pancake Frappuccino

As a Scout, I loved making pancakes with my patrol. If it was Saturday morning, we were flipping flapjacks.

Maple-flavored coffee is already a thing, and this Frappuccino would add little bits of actual pancake to that pleasant pairing.

The only downside: Starbucks would need to supply extra-wide straws for maximum pancake enjoyment.

Caramel Popcorn Frappuccino

A little salty and a little sweet, a caramel popcorn drink could be a lot good.

The Scouts are known for selling popcorn, so this one’s a great fit.

Oh, and idea: a portion of every purchase benefits local Scouting? (It doesn’t hurt to ask!)

Now it’s your turn

What Scouting-themed Frappuccino flavors would you add to this list? Make your case in the comments.

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