News Briefs

Enter the Boys' Life reading contest

Young readers have two months left to enter the 2003 Boys' Life "Say Yes to Reading!" contest. Entrants write a report of 500 words or less on "The Best Book I Read This Year." Books can be fiction or nonfiction. Enter reports in one of three age categories: 8 years old and younger; 9 and 10 years old; 11 years and older.

The contest is open to all Boys' Life readers. All entrants receive a free Pedro patch—but only if they include a letter-size, stamped (37 cents), self-addressed envelope with their report. (Include name, address, age, and school grade with each book report.)

First-place winners in each age category will receive a $100 gift certificate good for any product in the Boy Scouts of America Official Retail Catalog. Second-place winners will receive a $75 gift certificate, and third-place winners, a $50 certificate.

Send all reports and stamped return envelopes for the free patch to Boys' Life Reading Contest, S306, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Entries must be postmarked no later than Dec. 31, 2003.

Philmont Training Center Offers Learning Opportunities for Summer and Fall 2004

The Philmont Training Center (PTC), the BSA national facility at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, N.M., offers weeklong training conferences from June through September for council, district, and unit volunteers, professional Scouters, and junior leaders. Also available are age-specific activities for family members, including (except during weeks 1 and 12) a Mountain Trek hiking program for youth 14 to 20 years old.

Philmont is located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeastern New Mexico. The area is rich in history and natural beauty, and the conference schedule allows time for family activities, day hiking, and recreation.

Families arrive on Sunday and depart the following Saturday. Meals are served in dining halls; housing is in large, two-person wall tents on platforms, equipped with electricity, bedding, and towels, located near showers and restrooms, medical facilities, and recreation areas.

Conferences feature the latest tools, audiovisuals, and techniques and are led by a faculty of experienced Scouters.

Fees include meals, lodging, and conference and family program materials: conference participants, $345; spouses and children over 20, $250; children ages 6 to 20, $200; ages 3 to 5, $135; 2 and under, $45; Mountain Trek, $265; and National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC), $265.

Participants must have local council approval; some conferences require previous training experience, strong Boy Scout camping skills, and/or top physical conditioning. Contact council service centers or the Philmont Training Center, Cimarron, NM 87714, phone (505) 376-2281, fax (505) 376-2629, e-mail More information is also available at

PTC Summer/Fall Schedule for 2004

June 6-12: Council and District Operations/Boy Scouting. District Key Three; The District Committee; Administration of Commissioner Service; The Unit Commissioner; Training Management Seminar; Junior Leader Training Conference (JLTC) for the 21st Century.

June 13-19: Council and District Operations/Venturing/Boy Scouting. Administration of Commissioner Service; District Key Three; The District Committee; The Unit Commissioner; Council Key Three; Council and District Activities; Delivering the Venturing Program; Teaching Basic Outdoor Skills.

June 20-26: Cub Scouting. Pow Wow Leadership; Cub Scout Outdoor Program; Strictly for Cubmasters; Putting "Pizzazz" into Cub Scouting; Cub Scout Roundtables; Training Cub Scout Leaders; Webelos Scout to First Class Scout; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC).

June 27-July 3: Boy Scouting. Boy Scout Advancement; Order of the Arrow National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar; JLTC for the 21st Century; Making Boy Scouting Grow; Strengthening Scouting Through Diversity; Working With Scouts With Special Needs; Strictly for Boy Scout Trainers; Strictly for Scoutmasters; NJLIC.

July 3-9: Mormon Relationships Week. Scouting in the LDS Church (by division invitation only; contact the LDS Relationships Office, 801-530-0004); NJLIC.

July 11-17: Religious Relationships/Boy Scouting. Membership/Relationships Committee; Scouting in the Catholic Church; Scouting in the Church's Ministry; Scouting in the Church of Christ; Scouting in the Jewish Community; United Methodist Scouter's Workshop; Teaching Basic Outdoor Skills; Using the Scout Oath and Law in Your Unit; NJLIC.

July 18-24: Council and District Operations/Scoutreach/Professional Development. Council Key Three; District Key Three; The District Committee; Administration of Commissioner Service; The Unit Commissioner; Scoutreach Conference; Teaching Basic Outdoor Skills; PDL 2; NJLIC.

July 25-31: Professional Development/Finance/Boy Scouting/ International. PM 1; PM 2; Major Gifts/Endowment; Endowment Fellowship Week; Strengthening LDS Units; Teaching Basic Skills; JLTC for the 21st Century; Troop Operations—The Relation Between the Committee, Scoutmaster, and Scout; International Scouting; NJLIC.

Aug. 1-7: Venturing/Boy Scouting. Venturing—The Crew; Venturing—Council and District Administration; High Adventure and Sports for Crew Program; Venturing Programming for Religious Groups; Venturing Advancement; Training Venturing Leaders; Venturing in the LDS Church; Sea Scouting; Kodiak and Kodiak-X [the Venturing program's new leadership courses]; Teaching Basic Outdoor Skills; NJLIC.

Aug. 8-14: Cub Scouting/Health & Safety. Training Cub Scout Leaders; Leading Pack Camping; Health and Safety/Risk Management; Strictly for Cubmasters; Webelos Scout Program; Supercharging Den and Pack Programs; Cub Scout Roundtables; New Directions in Membership Growth; NJLIC.

Aug. 15-21: Boy Scouting. Boy Scout Advancement; Teaching Basic Outdoor Skills; Creating the Great Adventure; Boy Scout Roundtables; Using the Scout Oath and Law in Your Unit; Strictly for Scoutmasters; Strictly for Boy Scout Trainers; JLTC for the 21st Century; Scouting and Conservation USA.

Sept. 12-18: Fall Conference Week. Teaching Advanced Outdoor Skills*; High Adventure Trek Planning*; Climbing and Rappelling*; Teaching Leave No Trace*; Project COPE Director Training*; Scouting for the Home Schooled; Utilizing Council Properties.

*Requires signed Philmont Level A Medical Record.

Boys' Life earns praise from President Bush, wins awards for excellence

President George W. Bush can be added to the list of fans of Boys' Life, the BSA magazine for young readers.

When Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams sent a copy of the March 2003 issue to President Bush, for the purpose of sharing the winning entries in the magazine's "Red, White, Blue & You" patriotic photo contest, the president replied with the letter shown at right.

The high level of Boys' Life editorial quality was also recognized in the annual competition sponsored by the Association of Educational Publishers (EdPress). The magazine received two 2003 Distinguished Achievement Awards: Best Fiction for young adults for "North to Freedom," by G. Clifton Wisler, February 2002; and Best Illustration for young adults for "Jeff's War," illustrations by Marc Burckhardt, July 2002.

In all, 12 BL articles, photos, and illustrations were named as finalists in six of the 16 categories for young adult magazine content and design.

In the EdPress competition for adult audience publications, Scouting magazine received two awards for the article "Behind the Mask of Teenage Anger," in the September 2002 issue.

The photograph by Tom Hussey, digital imaging by Stephen Schmitt, won the Distinguished Achievement Award for photographs, while the article, by Janis Leibs Dworkis, was one of four finalists in the How-To Feature category.

Venturing introduces the new Quest Fitness and Sports Award

Recognizing that sports are an important activity within crew programs, the Quest Fitness and Sports Award has been added to the advancement program for Venturing, the BSA program for young men and women age 14 to 20.

Like the popular Ranger Award for Venturing's outdoor emphasis, the Quest Award is a challenging program for Venturing's sports emphasis.

While working on QUEST, a Venturer will be required to learn more about what makes up a nutritional diet as well as design a personal exercise plan based upon lifestyle, fitness level, and desire for a healthy and long life.

The award also aims to introduce Venturers to a sport or sports that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment. As required for many other awards in the Venturing program, Venturers must share what they learn with others. This can be done through sports clinics or presentations to other groups.

Flanked by his sister, Christina Marino, and brother, Ricky Marino, Marine Cpl. Alexander Tabares is welcomed by Scouts and leaders at Miami International Airport. Tabares, an Eagle Scout from Troop 529, Miami Lakes, Fla., was one of four Marines from South Florida in the Anti-Tank TOW/Scout Company of the 2nd Tank Battalion, based in Miami, who were injured in combat on April 4 when their convoy was ambushed just south of Baghdad. "We are so proud of Alex," said Jeff Herrmann, South Florida Council Scout executive, who was on hand to welcome Tabares. "His bravery under fire is an inspiration to all of us."
Photograph by Doug Lunsford

Scouts honored by Prudential for quality service projects

After learning that William Tell Aggeler High School in Los Angeles, which is attended by juvenile offenders, did not have a library, Chas Duff, 14, of Chatsworth, Calif., offered to provide one.

The determined eighth grader developed a plan to remodel an old locker room, obtained necessary approvals, and received donations of building materials and skilled labor from local businesses, unions, and civic groups.

Volunteers from his school, church, and Boy Scout Troop 22 helped level a cement floor, paint walls, install carpet, and build shelving. Others helped catalog and shelve books.

"My project idea came from three things that are very important to me," Chas said. "The first is reading, the second is helping people, and the third is doing the right thing."

In recognition, he was one of the 10 middle and high school students from across the nation named as America's top youth volunteers in The 2003 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which annually honor students for outstanding volunteer community service. The program, sponsored by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, had more than 24,000 applications in 2003.

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

Chas Duff
Photograph Courtesy of the Duff Family

Other Scouts representing their states as finalists were:

  • Thanh Tran, 17, Washington, D.C. Responding to a request from his leader in Troop 494, he designed a bowling game with water bottles and tennis balls for a communitywide Vietnamese Moon Festival. After testing the idea on younger Scouts, he recruited members of his and another troop to help manage the game station during the festival.
    Thanh said he was "excited to have a chance to be a leader in my Vietnamese community and to have a positive influence on young kids" by participating in a festival that offered "a great opportunity for Vietnamese kids who were born in the United States to better understand part of their culture."
  • Andrew Newton, 18, Florence, Ala. He established a program that has, over the past two years, resulted in the collecting and refurbishing of more than 100 used personal computers for donation to nonprofit agencies. After determining the computer needs of local schools, churches, and agencies, he recruited experts and volunteers, including members of Troop 3.
    After delivering the refurbished computers to such places as the Cerebral Palsy Center and North Alabama Christian Children's Home, Andrew and his volunteers taught the staffs of the different organizations how to use their new PCs.
  • Jack Moffit, 18, Mannford, Okla. Local students can study nature and science in an outdoor setting as a result of Jack's efforts to turn a local dumping ground into a nature/science area, with 2,000 feet of trails, a classroom-size gazebo, picnic/study tables, bird- and bat houses, and more. To construct what he envisioned as "a classroom outside where you could learn more about nature and science," Jack recruited and supervised more than 350 volunteers from his school, Troop 257, local businesses, and churches.

More information on the program is available on the Web at or from Prudential, 751 Broad Street, 16th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102, (888) 450-9961.


14—years the annual Motorsports Breakfast has been held in the Cascade Pacific Council, Portland, Ore., raising more than $300,000 to support Scoutreach efforts, resulting in the Scouting program reaching more than 7,000 at-risk youth. The June 2003 event honored Chris Pook, chair-man and CEO of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (C.A.R.T.) series; race driver Emerson Fittipaldi; and the Rose Festival Association, a long-time promoter of the C.A.R.T. race in Portland.

90—years of age celebrated by Eagle Scout and 38th president of the United States Gerald R. Ford at a community birthday party on July 30 in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. Scouts and families from the Gerald R. Ford Council were among the 15,000 persons attending the event.

600—number exceeded by a record attendance at the Chattahoochee Council's annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner honoring State Representative Tom Buck of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue told the audience how he greatly respects what Scouting teaches youth, while State Senator George Hooks paid tribute to Representative Buck and to Scouting's character-building components.

1,400—Scouts and more who attended last spring's sixth annual Hatfield Merit Badge Challenge in the Dan Beard Council (Cincinnati). Classes were available for 45 different merit badges, with instruction provided by 280 merit badge counselors. Scouts earned more than 2,500 badges during the event, which for the first time was held at three high schools.

Go online with Scouting magazine's Web site

The newly redesigned and enhanced Scouting magazine Web site,, offers a variety of resources and information for Scout leaders and others interested in Scouting and the BSA.

Shortly after each print edition is mailed to subscribers, the issue's entire editorial text and many photographs and illustrations are posted on the site. In addition, every issue back to September 1998 is available in the archive section. The following are among the redesigned site's many new features.

  • a daily tip on hiking and camping skills and techniques from Karen Berger, author of Scouting magazine's Outdoor Smarts column.
  • a regularly updated selection of recommended articles of special interest to Scout leaders, accessible in the archives.
  • a listing by subject of available archived articles, along with search capability for locating past articles containing a specific word, name, or Scouting term.

Visitors can still submit a letter to the editor or a Worth Retelling story, or respond to or submit questions for the Front Line Stuff column. You can also test your wits with an interactive version of the Family Fun Page.

A customer service page provides a way to e-mail questions about a magazine delivery or change of address for either Boys' Life or Scouting. Another section enables leaders to post detailed information about upcoming unit anniversary celebrations.

Although the full text for Cub Scout Program Helps and Boy Scout Troop Program Features is not included, the schedule of 2003-2004 Cub Scout themes and Webelos Scout activity badges and suggested troop program features through August 2004 are listed.

Other site resources include

  • annual magazine indexes back to 1993 and selected earlier years.
  • rules for entering the current reader participation contest, plus winning entries from previous photo, recipe, and essay contests.
  • articles about the history of Scouting magazine, from the 90th, 85th, and 75th anniversary issues, plus a PDF file version of the first issue (April 1913).
  • policy on permission for reprinting articles.
  • guidelines for writers and cartoonists.
  • rate information for advertisers.

Enhanced Handbooks for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts

Enhanced editions of the handbooks for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts are now available.

The new Wolf Handbook (BSA No. A33450), Bear Handbook (No. A33451), and Webelos Handbook (No. A33452) have been updated for relevance to today's youth, appropriateness of content, ease of use, and perceived challenge to the reader. Many elements proven successful over time have been retained, but topics were eliminated that have become dated and no longer challenge today's Cub Scouts and their families.

Some specific revisions include

  • Character Connections (that draw on Cub Scouting's 12 Core Values) integrated into selected requirements in each book.
  • age-appropriate outdoor program activities infused into both the requirements and the electives in each book.
  • advancement and elective trails enhanced to create a progressively more challenging pathway that logically prepares boys for the next rank in Cub Scouting and prepares Webelos Scouts for Boy Scouting.
  • the Webelos handbook reformatted and enhanced, particularly the Webelos badge and Arrow of Light Award requirements.

The enhancements to the requirements in the books will not affect the advancement of boys using earlier versions of the books. They can continue using their current books until they have completed all requirements in those books.

Based on availability, Cub Scouting youth members may use either the current handbook or the new handbook. As boys enter the program or advance in rank by the dates indicated below, they are required to use the new books.

—Boys who become Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts after Aug. 1, 2004, will be required to use the new book for the corresponding rank.

—Boys who become Webelos Scouts after Aug. 1, 2005, will be required to use the new Webelos Handbook.

Web site is source for a variety of service opportunities

Scout units and individuals looking for service opportunities will find a variety of possibilities at the Web site for the USA Freedom Corps (

The USA Freedom Corps was organized in 2002 by President George W. Bush to stimulate and facilitate opportunities for Americans to help their communities through volunteer service.

When visitors to the Web site enter their geographic area and type of service interest, they are provided with a list of local community organizations that utilize volunteers.

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November - December 2003 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2003 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.