Scouting September 2000

News Briefs News Briefs

Edited by Scott Daniels

Roy L. Williams is named new Chief Scout Executive of the BSA

Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams

Roy L. Williams became Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America on June 1, following the retirement of Jere B. Ratcliffe. Williams assumed his new position after serving nearly seven years as director for the BSA's Western Region, headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.

Williams began his BSA career in 1972 as a district executive with the Longhorn Council in Fort Worth, Tex. He served as Scout executive of the Jayhawk Area Council in Topeka, Kan. He also served as director of the Boy Scout Division at the national office before being named Scout executive of the Narragansett Council in Providence, R.I., in 1990.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Williams received a bachelor's degree in business administration. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children.

Last Chance to Enter Our 'Great Tastes in Camp Cooking' Recipe Contest

There's still time to enter your favorite Dutch-oven recipe in Scouting magazine's Great Tastes in Camp Cooking recipe contest. Entries must be submitted by postal mail or electronically via the entry form on the Scouting magazine Web site,

Entries must be postmarked no later than Sept. 30, 2000, and received no later than Oct. 4, 2000. Mail entries to Great Tastes in Camp Cooking Contest, Scouting Magazine, S204, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

Rules for entering

Winners and prizes

A grand-prize winner for "best recipe overall" will receive a $400 BSA Supply Division gift certificate. In each category, winners will receive Supply Division gift certificates: 1st Place—$300; 2nd Place—$200; 3rd Place—$100. In addition, all winners will receive a Leatherman Pulse compact multipurpose tool.

Winning recipes will be published in the March-April 2001 issue of Scouting magazine and also on the magazine's Web site,

James E. West Fellowship program offers a way to honor veteran Scouters while contributing to council endowment funds

The BSA's James E. West Fellowship Award provides a unique opportunity for individuals or groups to simultaneously honor outstanding volunteer leaders and provide funds to support local Scouting programs.

Scouters in the Braddock Trail District of Pennsylvania's Westmoreland-Fayette Council accomplished both goals in dramatic fashion when they presented a West Fellowship Award to Bob Miller, a 65-year veteran of Scouting, and a second West Fellowship Award in the name of Miller's late wife, Betty.

A James E. West Fellowship Award, named in honor of the first Chief Scout Executive, recognizes a contribution by an individual or a group of at least $1,000 to local council endowment funds. (The gift must be in addition to, and not replace or diminish, the donor's annual Friends of Scouting support.)

A Special Honor

According to Dick Schmidt of the BSA's Finance Support Division, more than 12,000 West Fellowship Awards have been presented since the program was introduced in 1993, representing a contribution to Scouting of about $20 million. However, most awards have gone to the individual donors, Schmidt points out. Few, like the two awards to the Millers, have been given in someone else's name by groups of donors specifically as tributes or memorials to longtime Scouters.

"The Millers had already received most of the traditional Scouting awards," explained district commissioner Eamonn Walsh, "so we thought this would be a special way to honor them."

The awards were presented at a district dinner in October 1999, attended by many of the 65 donors who had contributed $3,500 in the names of Bob and Betty Miller. Others sent nostalgic, often emotional letters, recalling how the couple's long, dedicated service to Scouting had touched their lives. The letters were bound into a book and read aloud at the dinner.

"I was deeply honored and very proud and grateful, especially for the award to my late wife," said Miller, a retired schoolteacher. "I've been involved in Scouting at some level since I was 12 years old, but this was different from anything I'd ever experienced."

Miller was district camping director for eight years and still spends hundreds of hours each year working on camp building projects. He has also held many district and unit level posts and is still a commissioner of Troop 150, Scottdale, Pa. His wife, Betty, had served as a camp nurse for nine years.

A James E. West Fellowship Award is an especially fitting way for councils and districts to recognize veteran volunteers, the BSA's Dick Schmidt says. "It would be wonderful to see more adult Scouters honor their former Scoutmasters, either living or dead, with one of these awards," he said.

Scouters in the Braddock Trail District plan to do exactly that. "We're hoping to make this award an annual event," said Eamonn Walsh.

Three Awards

The BSA endowment recognition program also includes these two awards: The 1910 Society, for current gifts of $25,000 or more; and The Founders Circle Award, for deferred gifts with a minimum value of $100,000.

The James E. West Fellowship Award embroidered square-knot insignia (shown at left) is worn above the uniform left shirt pocket, indicating a Scouter is a James E. West fellow. Membership in the other two endowment programs is indicated by wearing a device on the same knot: the 1910 Society (BSA Supply No. 19118), shown at far left, or the Founders Circle (Supply No. 00929).

Program Resources by the day, week, and month

Sept. 5-9
Celebrate creative play and humor. Once Labor Day is over, it's time for Play Days, a celebration of creative play and humor from Sept. 5 to 9. For a free information packet on cultivating win-win play situations and about the positive power of humor, send a 99-cent, self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Humor Project Inc., 480 Broadway, Suite 210-C, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-2288. You may also call (518) 587-8770 or see http://www.humorproject. com.
Sept. 10-16
Eat more fruits and veggies. "Fruits and Vegetables by Popular Demand" is the theme of this year's National 5 A Day Week, from Sept. 10 to 16. The event is designed to encourage Americans to eat at least five servings of fruits or veggies daily for improved health. For information about the event, sponsored by the Produce for Better Health Foundation and National Cancer Institute, see or call (302) 235-2329.

Sept. 16
Focus on clean waterways and beaches. The world's waterways and beaches will get a face-lift during the 15th annual International Cleanup Day on Sept. 16, coordinated by Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness and Education) and the Center for Marine Conservation.
Last year, 88 countries cleaned up their lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. To find a clean-up project in your area or for information on organizing your own, call (800) 729-7234, ext. 448, or see

—Melanie Radzicki McManus

BSA supply catalog is now online

The BSA's 2000 Official Catalog is now available on the Internet at The Web site features all the products contained in the catalog plus the newest items available from the Supply Division in a quick and easy-to-navigate format.

Visitors can browse the catalog, select merchandise, and print a shopping list to take to their local Scout shops. The shopping list includes the item number, description, and price. Additionally, if visitors key in their zip code, a listing of their council and the nearest Scouting retailers will be added to the shopping list.

Special features such as new items, special promotions, and easy custom design instructions make this a useful tool for customers and retailers alike. As part of the Supply Division's commitment to continuous improvement, visitors can review and comment on any product in the e-catalog.

North Carolina Scouter is recognized for service to youth with disabilities

Lewis H. Wood of Danbury, N.C., is the 2000 recipient of the Woods Services Award. Presented by the BSA and the Woods Services and Residential Treatment Center, Langhorne, Pa., the award recognizes exceptional service to and leadership in the field of Scouts with disabilities.

Wood has positively influenced the lives of dozens of youth with learning disabilities, multiple physical disabilities, and neurological impairment. He helped found Troop 440 in 1980 and has served as Scoutmaster since 1989, working with parents, teachers, and doctors to understand the needs and challenges of each boy. Two of his Scouts have attained the Eagle rank and now serve as assistant Scoutmasters.

His years of service also include providing program opportunities for Boy Scouts with disabilities, such as long-term summer camping, special hikes, and other appropriate activities, and involvement in community service projects, including Scouting for Food.

Wood involved Troop 440 with a more traditionally programmed troop that he also leads. This collaborative effort benefits the boys of Troop 440 and increases the awareness, understanding, and acceptance of others by those Scouts who do not have major disabilities.

Wood was nominated for the award by the Old Hickory Council, Winston-Salem, N.C., which noted that his contribution was made in a challenging rural county made up of many small communities.

Each council can nominate a person for the Woods Services Award. Nominations for 2001 (form No. 89-258H) are due in the national office, S212, by Dec. 31, 2000.

Scouting and Boys' Life features win national awards

The article, "How Society Fails Boys— And What We Can Do About It," by Janis Leibs Dworkis in the May-June 1999 issue of Scouting magazine, earned a Silver Award in the annual competition sponsored by the Society of National Association Publications (SNAP). More than 800 entries were submitted by publications for 1999.

Boys' Life, the BSA publication for young readers, has received the following awards:

City canyons offer a different kind of hiking experience

Not all hiking trails run up mountainsides, along the seashore, or through dense woods. Some of the most fascinating opportunities for hiking can be found right in the heart of a major city.

Take the Pittsburgh Hiking Trail, for example. Laid out and sponsored by Troop 224 of the Greater Pittsburgh Council, the trail features the history, architecture, art, industry, and culture of one of America's most interesting cities. Hikers travel through such varied areas as the Strip, the Old Allegheny district, Point State Park, downtown, Station Square, and Mount Washington. They also get a chance to ride a railway and the city's subway system and to earn a patch.

For a booklet including maps and a list of camping sites in the Pittsburgh area, send $3 plus 7 percent sales tax to Pittsburgh Hiking Trail, P.O. Box 97881, Pittsburgh, PA 15227.

National Public Lands Day offers service opportunities

Sept. 23 is the seventh annual National Public Lands Day. At more than 250 sites across the country, some 50,000 volunteers will team with community partners in improvement projects designed to give something back to the lands we enjoy for recreation.

Participants build and refurbish trails, install signs, repair docks, paint buildings, clean up along roads and streams, gather seeds, remove invasive plants, protect archeological sites, and help make facilities accessible to all.

In addition to federal lands, projects also include city, county, and state locations.

Participating federal agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation coordinates the program.

Its Web site,, contains information on locations of scheduled projects, plus information on how to organize a local project.

Volunteers can register via the Web and by calling 1-800-vol-teer (865-8337).

A Scouter's legacy

Two momentous events took place for 12-year-old Robert Gray of Marion, Ohio, back in 1922. He contracted polio, the dreaded crippling childhood disease of the era. And he became a Boy Scout.

In Scouting, Robert found hiking and other rigorous outdoor activities that improved his health, strengthened his weakened legs, and gave him a lifelong mission. In Robert, Scouting found a tireless worker and supporter who spent three-quarters of a century helping build its programs.

"Scouting isn't just something you do when you wear the uniform," he was fond of saying. "The Law, the Oath, and the motto are rules to live by."

When Dr. Robert T. Gray died in 1998, he had been an Eagle Scout for nearly 70 years and had served for decades as an adult volunteer in what is now the Heart of Ohio Council—as well as on various national committees. His BSA honors included the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, Silver Buffalo, Distinguished Eagle Scout, and James E. West Fellowship awards.

During his lifetime, Dr. Gray influenced the lives of hundreds of boys and young men, said Randy Mosteller, district executive of the council's Marion District. And that influence now will continue in a new way. Prior to his death, Dr. Gray asked that his extensive collection of Scouting memorabilia be donated to the BSA National Scouting Museum as a living legacy for present and future Scouts and Scouters.

"He wanted to promote Scouting on down the line," explained his oldest daughter, Kay Schirtzinger of Columbus, Ohio, who toured the museum recently with other members of the Gray family.

The collection features early BSA camping equipment, numerous trophies and awards, and historic uniforms.

Annual Project SOAR promotes council conservation efforts

In April, about 1,500 Scouts and leaders from the Longs Peak Council traveled to Fort Robinson State Park in northwestern Nebraska for a weekend of tree planting. In addition to completing a major conservation project, all participants qualified for the council's Project SOAR patch for the year 2000.

SOAR stands for Save Our American Resources, the BSA's national conservation initiative introduced in the 1970s.

Since 1980, Longs Peak Council (which covers northern Colorado, eastern Wyoming, and western Nebraska) has offered an annual Project SOAR patch. Scouts who complete at least three hours of work on conservation, environmental, or beautification projects are eligible to purchase the patch, which features an endangered or threatened species.

Longs Peak troops and packs participate in many conservation efforts, but since 1990 the annual Fort Robinson weekend has been a favorite way to introduce the conservation ethic behind Project SOAR and earn the annual patch.

In 1989, a forest fire burned more than 16,000 acres of Fort Robinson State Park. The following year, about 200 Longs Peak Scouts made a weekend trek to the park to plant new trees. The event now attracts Scouts and Scouters from the Longs Peak Council, plus others from neighboring councils.

"Fort Robinson is a fun and useful project that benefits not only the local communities but the nation as a whole through reforestation," said Scoutmaster Wayne Moeller of Troop 184 in Loveland, Colo. "Participating in the weekend helps teach boys the importance of rebuilding."

Some Scouts in Troop 184 have attended the weekend for six straight years, Moeller said, adding that the event is one of the troop's major camp-outs and that the Scouts look forward to earning the newest SOAR patch.

Troop 82 in Fort Collins, Colo., is another regular at Fort Robinson. The Scouts enjoy earning the patch, said Scoutmaster Terry Everett, and they are impressed when they see the size of the trees that the troop planted eight years ago.

The success of the council's program has been recognized by many national organizations, including the Keep America Beautiful Foundation, National Arbor Day Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Take Pride in America, and the International Congress of Ecology.

Proceeds from sales of the $3 patch help fund community projects that portray the spirit of Project SOAR, such as Nebraska's Wild Cat Hills Nature Center, the Wyoming Wildlife Commission's Grizzly Bear Project, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife's River Otter Project.

Terry Dunn, Longs Peak Council program director, said the council sells about 200 patches each year to qualified participants.

This year, the council is also selling a large Project SOAR 20th anniversary commemorative patch. The anniversary patch is available to anyone for $8, Dunn said, and the proceeds will support the joint conservation efforts of Longs Peak Council and the communities it serves.

—Carol Jones

Weekend of bugs, cavemen, more

Cub Scouts and parents attending boy-parent overnight camp-outs in the Coronado Area Council in Kansas know their weekend will have a fun, imaginative theme.

In 1999, 85 Cub Scout-parent teams participated in "Wild Bug Safaris," collecting insects to place in plastic containers for viewing and later release.

"We had lots of moths, beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, ladybugs, and roly-polies," said Dave Allen, the council's camping director, "and, fortunately, almost no chiggers or mosquitoes to bother us."

The Cub Scouts received a special Bug Safari patch and a "Cricket Lickit" (a lollipop with a plastic bug inside). And there was plenty of "bug juice" (otherwise known as fruit drink) to go around.

"We've been doing the parent-Cub Scout camp-outs for more than 20 years," Allen said, "and after a while, everybody gets tired of the same old thing. Now we plan our themes well in advance and try to make each one something a kid will remember for a long time."

"Hillbilly Heaven" and "Hawaiian Holiday" were some previous themes. All three camp-outs this year featured a "Caveman Adventure."

"We had a 'Caveman Olympics,' with events like rock-rolling and prehistoric golf, 'dino-burgers' for lunch, and adult volunteers dressed up like Fred Flintstone and his pal, Barney," Allen said.

Scouts combine a ballpark outing with a special night of camping

Like their counterparts in many other communities across the country, Scouts in Columbia, S.C., attend a special "Scout Night" hosted by a local baseball team. But unlike most other locations, this year the Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers didn't exit Capital City Stadium after the Class A Capital City Bombers of the South Atlantic League finished their game. Instead, they set up camp in the outfield and spent the night.

The Bombers are a New York Mets farm club; their nickname was inspired by the famed Doolittle Raiders of World War II, who trained near Columbia, S.C., for their historic 1942 raid on Tokyo. The unique sleepover was the team's idea, and "sounded like a really neat experience, so we decided to try it," said Allen Lane, assistant Scout Executive of the Indian Waters Council.

The Bombers have sponsored Scout Nights for several years, but this year's event, scheduled in early May, was the first to last until the next morning. Security and portable toilets were provided by the team. Some stadium lights were left on for convenience, and the gates locked for safety.

Auction action benefits Scouting

Interested in a trip to Disneyland? How about a Sun Valley ski package? Maybe a grand piano or some solid-oak furniture? Golf clubs? Backpacks? Sleeping bags? Fishing gear? A year's supply of ice cream?

The above and more—from snowboards and stereos to airline tickets and original artwork—were available to the highest bidders when the Snake River Council of Twin Falls, Idaho, held its second annual Boy Scout Benefit Auction in mid-June.

"We had a conglomeration of everything," said council Scout Executive John F. Calbreath, "and everybody who donated merchandise or showed up to bid on it benefited more than 6,100 boys in 435 Scouting units."

The council's first auction in June 1999 turned a profit of more than $15,000. When two area restaurants donated large amounts of equipment, another auction brought in an additional $12,000.

"This year, of course, we hoped for more bidders, more donors—and more profit," Calbreath said. "Auctions are very staff-intensive and take a lot of work, but they are a great way for the community to help Scouting."

Puerto Rico statue honors Baden-Powell

A life-size statue of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, is a new attraction at the Puerto Rico Council's Camp Guajataka. The statue is valued at $25,000 and was designed by Jesus Ortiz-Torrez, a well-known local artist. It was the idea of Caribe District Chairman Amado Pereira, who led the funding campaign, setting the pace with a lead gift of $10,000. The names of Scouters who contributed $50 to the fund are engraved on ceramic tiles around the statue platform; this latter effort raised an additional $3,000 for the camp's maintenance fund.

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Copyright © 2000 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.
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