ScoutingJanuary-February 2002

News Briefs News Briefs

Edited by Scott Daniels

Apply now for staff positions at BSA national high adventure bases

This summer the BSA will hire about 950 people to work at Philmont Scout Ranch, 160 at the Florida Sea Base, and 120 at the Northern Tier bases. Jobs range from crew guide to mountain bike instructor to food server.

Applicants must be physically fit, age 18 (by June 1) or older, and available to work from May 30 to Aug. 21 (through Aug. 31 for the Florida Sea Base). Starting salary is based on experience and ranges from $718 to $1,000 per month. Room and three meals a day are included. Contact each base for an application and information:

  • Philmont Scout Ranch, Route 1, Box 35, Cimarron, NM 87714, (505) 376-2281,
  • Northern Tier National High Adventure Programs, P.O. Box 509, Ely, MN 55731, (218) 365-4811,
  • Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, P.O. Box 1906, Islamorada, FL 33036, (305) 664-4173.

BSA service projects win awards in Colgate Youth for America campaign

For innovative and successful service projects, 52 Scouting groups were honored in the 2000-2001 Colgate Youth for America campaign. Winners received grants from $100 to $1,000. They included 28 Boy Scout troops, 17 Cub Scout packs, one Venturing crew, two local Scout councils, a council district, an Eagle Scout group, a Sea Scout ship, and an Explorer post. The top three BSA winners were:

  • Tecumseh Council BSA, Springfield, Ohio ($1,000), for its five-day summer Challenge Camp, which provides children from troubled communities with opportunities to learn new skills and build self-esteem through personal achievement. Adult staff teach camping and outdoor skills as well as sports and crafts to girls and boys in grades 4 to 6.
  • Boy Scout Troop 636, Jim Thorpe, Pa. ($500), for creative money-earning activities resulting in the purchase of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) for local police, who use the emergency equipment to treat heart attack victims prior to the arrival of ambulances. Members of Troop 636 are routinely certified in CPR and first aid. Last year, three Scouts were certified on the defibrillators as well.
  • Cub Scout Pack 51, Clarendon Hills, Ill. ($300), for an ongoing Scouting for Food campaign that assists the local food pantry in helping needy families. Each month, the pack identified the major needs of the pantry and dens took shifts on collection days at local food stores.

In addition to BSA units, the program honors projects of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girls Incorporated, Camp Fire Inc., and the National 4-H Council.

A list of all 2000-2001 winners is available at (click on "Colgate Cares"), along with information for entering the next competition. Entry forms can be printed out and mailed to Colgate Youth for America, P.O. Box 1058, FDR Station, New York, NY 10150-1058, or obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the above address. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2002.

Scout is honored for book collection service project

In 1997, on a trip to the African nation of Tanzania to meet pen pals and deliver donated supplies to a rural school, Ryley Berg realized the school had no library. Back home in Woodbury, Minn., he enlisted the help of his fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 71 and classmates in a school club to collect books to meet that need.

The result was nearly 900 books, which were sent to two rural schools in Tanzania. In recognition, Ryley was named one of two honorees from his state in the 2001 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, which annually honors high school and middle school students for outstanding volunteer community service.

The program, which is sponsored by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, drew more than 22,000 applications in 2001. It has honored more than 30,000 young volunteers since 1995.

Two winners from each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are named in February. In May in Washington, D.C., 10 of the 104 finalists are honored as national winners.

More information is available at or from Prudential, 751 Broad Street, 16th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102, (973) 802-4568.

Pennsylvania Scouts Win International Envirothon

The "Green Flash" squad of Eagle Scouts from Troop 57, North East, Pa., defeated teams from 41 states and seven Canadian provinces in winning the 2001 Canon Envirothon scientific competition. (Front, from left) Carson Engelskirger and Jeremy Stempka; (rear) Justin Pierson, Troop 57 Scoutmaster John Hallenburg, Markus Fish, and Doug Fynan.
Photograph by John Halenburg

A team of Scouts from Troop 57 of North East, Pa., displayed exceptional knowledge of environmental problems and solutions to win first place in the 2001 Canon Envirothon, an international scientific competition for high school-age youth sponsored by Canon U.S.A. As the only Envirothon team representing a BSA unit, the Pennsylvania Scouts defeated other winning teams from 41 states and seven Canadian provinces.

To win, the Troop 57 team had to develop the best and most comprehensive plan for dealing with urban household non-point source pollution in the Pearl River Watershed, a major environmental concern in the Jackson, Miss., area, where competition finals were held.

All five members of the winning Troop 57 team—Carson Engelskirger, Markus Fish, Doug Fynan, Justin Pierson, and Jeremy Stempka—are Eagle Scouts and veterans of past Envirothon competitions. Along with the team championship, each Scout received a $3,000 college scholarship.

"These boys have put in hundreds of hours of study and research on environmental issues," says John Hallenburg, who has served as Scoutmaster of Troop 57 for the past 23 years. "Unlike other Envirothon teams, we receive no backing or support from our local high school, and all our training takes place within the context of the traditional Scouting program."

Nicknamed the "Green Flash," the troop-based team entered its first Envirothon in 1992 and won the first of 10 straight annual countywide competitions. "We beat out 28 high school teams in our county in 2001, then defeated 65 other county champions to win the state title and the right to represent Pennsylvania in the international competition," Hallenburg says.

In the troop, 17 boys have served on Envirothon teams, and 14 have become Eagle Scouts. Hallenburg credits the program with helping to keep many older Scouts active in the troop.

Eagle Scout Justin Pierson, now an environmental science major at Allegheny College, says its BSA background gives the "Green Flash" an important edge in the competition. "We've grown up together hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking," he says. "We study on our own whenever we can. We have a love of the outdoors—and we love the competition."

—Bill Sloan

Order of the Arrow offers special opportunities for service and leadership development

In June 2001, The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., hosted a reunion for individuals who served as models for many popular illustrations by the late Norman Rockwell. Above, Thornton Percival, of Suquamish, Wash., the former Cub Scout who modeled for two Rockwell paintings—"Boy Scout Hiking," featured on the cover of the 6th edition of The Boy Scout Handbook (1960), and "Saluting Boy Scout," for a 1959 U.S postage stamp—signs autographs for fans.
Photograph by Michael Lavin Flower

The Order of the Arrow, Scouting's national honor society, offers Arrowmen numerous special opportunities to help fulfill the OA purpose of promoting Scout camping and developing in members "a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others."

  • In the Scoutreach Mentoring Program, a joint effort by the BSA national Scoutreach Division and the OA, Arrowmen help identify and assist urban and rural Scout troops whose camping and advancement programs are below standard.

    Arrowmen act as a "positive change agent" by increasing advancement and camping opportunities for Scouts in urban and rural troops with struggling programs. Their participation also provides additional positive youth and adult role models and results in more urban and rural Scouts becoming eligible for OA membership. A three-patch recognition program is available.

  • The Arrowman Service Award recognizes OA members "who go beyond their immediate responsibilities to help and guide others to new heights." The award, which may be earned for the years 2001, 2002, and 2003, focuses on three areas of service: personal, chapter/lodge activities, and general service to the community.
  • Two special 14-day summer programs offer a combination of high adventure, service, leadership, motivation training, and instruction in wilderness maintenance and low-impact camping skills. Participants are expected to use their experiences to benefit their troop, chapter, lodge, and council programs.

The National OA Wilderness Voyage, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, is under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service and run by experienced OA staff members from the BSA's Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Canoe Base in Ely, Minn. The first half of the voyage focuses on portage trail and campsite maintenance within the Boundary Waters; the second half is a canoe adventure chosen and planned by participants.

The National OA Trail Crew, at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico, is under the direction of the Philmont Conservation Department and run by experienced OA staff members. The first week focuses on trail construction and maintenance; the second week is a backpacking trek designed by participants.

Details on applying for the programs listed and others are available on the OA Web site, Information is also available from lodge chiefs or local council service centers.

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