News Briefs

Jamboree-on-the-Air is Oct. 16-17

The 47th annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA), sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, takes place Oct. 16-17.

Thousands of amateur radio stations and nearly a half million Scouts and Guides will participate around the world. In the United States, some Cub Scout dens and Boy Scout patrols participate as guests of local amateur (ham) radio operators. Other ham operators set up stations at BSA district and council events scheduled to coincide with JOTA.

JOTA frequencies are: SSB (phone)—3.940, 7.270, 14.290, 18.140, 21.360, 24.960, and 28.390 MHz; CW (Morse code)—3.590, 7.030, 14.070, 18.080, 21.140, 24.910, and 28.190 MHz.

Free wallet-size participation certificates are available from Jamboree-on-the-Air Cards, S221, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope large enough to hold the number of cards ordered. All orders must be received by Jan. 31, 2005.

JOTA patches ($3.50 each, postpaid) are also available from the same address. Send check or money order, payable to Boy Scouts of America, by Jan. 31, 2005.

A new CD and a Web site added to Boy Scout membership tools

The BSA's Boy Scout Division has released a new CD and developed a companion Web site,, to help volunteers and youth members share Scouting's message with interested boys and their parents.

The CD includes video testimonials from parents, activity information for youth, and links to national BSA Web sites.

CDs have been shipped to councils in sufficient quantities for delivery to all troops. Troop leaders are encouraged to make copies of the CD for their Scouts and troop parents to use in contacting people about joining Scouting.

Included in the CD package are promotional cards people can distribute to encourage others to visit the new Web site. The site includes the material on the CD plus a troop locator that allows visitors the opportunity to locate the Boy Scout troops that exist in their vicinity.

In addition to these new tools, the specially designed Scout recruiter patch incentive will again be awarded to all Boy Scouts who recruit a new Boy Scout this fall.

The patches are supplied at no charge to Boy Scout leaders by the national office through council service centers.

Apply now for NESA scholarships

Eagle Scouts who are graduating high school seniors and will attend an accredited college or university that awards at least a bachelor's degree may qualify for a scholarship awarded by the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA).

Candidates must have received the Eagle Scout Award before applying, demonstrated leadership ability in Scouting and strong participation in activities outside Scouting, and achieved an SAT and/or ACT score acceptable by the standards set by the review committee.

Available scholarships include:
Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarships (Form 58-702A)—one $48,000 scholarship (up to $12,000 per year) and four $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 a year for four years). Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have the endorsement of a volunteer or professional Scout leader who knows them personally.

Elks Foundation Scholarships (Form 58-702A)—four $8,000 scholarships ($2,000 per year) and four $4,000 scholarships ($1,000 per year).

National Eagle Scout Scholarship Fund (Form 58-702A)—12 scholarships of $3,000 (a lump sum).

Hall-McElwain Merit Scholarships (Form 58-714)—80 scholarships (20 in each of the BSA's four regions) of $1,500 (a lump sum). They are based on merit and are open to high school seniors through their undergraduate junior year in college.

Both applications will be available on the BSA Web site at; at local council service centers; or from NESA, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

Applications must be postmarked after Oct. 1, 2004, but no later than midnight Jan. 31, 2005, and received by NESA no later than Feb. 5, 2005.

Illinois pack's recycling project wins state EPA honors

Pack 464, Minooka, Ill., was honored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in 2003 for its printer cartridge/cell phone recycling program, one of seven youth groups chosen to receive the IEPA director's "Green Youth Award."

Last March, members of the pack, chartered to the Minooka Lions Club, traveled to the state capital of Springfield to be recognized by the House of Representatives there.

Scout parent Craig Nemitz helps with the pack's recycling efforts.

Pack 464 of Minooka, Ill., was recognized at the state Capitol in Springfield as one of the 2003 Green Youth Award winners for their ink cartridge and cell phone recycling efforts. State Representative Careen Gordon, right, hosted the group.
Photograph Courtesy Of Craig Nemitz

"Area schools, businesses, and individuals have become strong supporters of the recycling program," Nemitz said. "The community is more aware of 'e-waste' recycling, and Scouts have a better grasp of the good they can do. By recycling these items, they've prevented toxic materials from entering our landfills."

The pack utilizes two cartridge-recycling companies, WKR Inkbucks and AAA Environmental Inc., and averages approximately $2 per acceptable ink-jet or laser-jet cartridge it recycles.

Pack 464 collects old cell phones, pagers, PDA's, and digital cameras to recycle through Recycling for Charity ( Collection boxes at local businesses are routinely emptied, and Nemitz packs their contents up for transport to the recycler—which pays for the shipping.

Nemitz brought his car to one pack meeting to collect phones and cartridges but had to return home for his pickup truck. Youth members and their families had more phones and cartridges than his car could hold.

In 2003, Pack 464 recycled more than 820 cartridges, which generated about $1,600, and got about $550 for the 272 cell phones and pagers collected.

—Jean Tyrell

Scout teams are now eligible to enter rocketry contest

Boy Scout and Venturing teams can enter the Team America Rocketry Challenge 2005, a nationwide model-rocket competition. Teams of three to 15 members (who are in the seventh through the 12th grade) design, build, and fly a model rocket that carries one or two raw eggs and returns the egg(s) uncracked. Participants represent schools or national nonprofit youth organizations like Scouting.

Created in 2003 by the Aerospace Industries Association to celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight, the competition is co-sponsored by the National Association of Rocketry, an organization of model-rocket enthusiasts.

In 2004, nearly 7,000 students on 600 teams took part in regional and national competitions for more than $60,000 in prizes. Deadline for entering is Nov. 30, 2004. More information is available at

Two new BSA awards honor volunteers and organizations

The BSA Scoutreach Division has introduced two new recognitions to honor volunteers or organizations for service that directly benefits Hispanic-American/Latino and Asian-American young people.

The ¡Scouting...Vale la Pena! and the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Awards are modeled after the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award and share similar council procedures and criteria.

Nominees are chosen for outstanding services and demonstrated involvement in developing and implementing Scouting opportunities for Hispanic-American/Latino or Asian-American youth.

Recipients are nominated by local councils and approved nationally. Nomination forms (Nos. 11-193 and 11-194) are available from local councils.

The forms provide helpful information on the purpose of the awards, complete council procedures, criteria, and forms for ordering awards and optional recognition pieces.

Persons at all levels of Scouting involvement, from executive board to district Scouters to unit personnel, are eligible.

Scouter's generous gift expands impact of new edition of World War II prayer book

A book that first had widespread impact on the spiritual lives of U.S. military personnel during World War II and that is being distributed in a new edition to today's servicemen and women will also reach thousands of Boy Scouts due to the generosity of Anderson Chandler, Topeka, Kan., a BSA National Executive Board member and World War II veteran.

The project began in May at the Americanism/Duty to Country breakfast at the BSA National Annual Meeting in Chicago. Evan Hunsberger, one of five recipients of the BSA's Young American Awards, was being honored for his special Eagle Scout project, the revision and distribution of a new edition of Strength for Service to God and Country, a book of daily devotional messages originally published during World War II.

Evan's project was done both as a service to the military and a tribute to his grandfather, Eugene. As a Navy corpsman (medic) in World War II and a pharmacist's mate in Korea, his grandfather had read from the pocket-size devotional to lonely or wounded servicemen in hospitals, and later to Boy Scouts at campfires during more than 60 years as a Scoutmaster.

"My grandfather was a very devoted father, Scout leader, teacher, and man of God," Evan told the annual meeting audience. "If someday I can be half the man my grandfather was, I know that my life will be complete."

Later, each Scouter at the meeting's Leadership Luncheon received a copy of the new edition of the devotional. Attendees included Anderson Chandler, who recalled the impact the earlier edition of the book had had on him during World War II. As a result, he decided to donate enough money so every Scout in the Jayhawk Council in Kansas could receive a copy.

And each book received by a Jayhawk Council Scout also includes this special message from Chandler:

...I am giving you this copy of daily devotional messages titled "Strength for Service to God and Country." When I enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 as a 17-year-old youth, my parents gave me a copy of this book. I read it each day, and it helped me during the time I was in the service. Somehow I lost my copy of it, but at the 2004 Boy Scouts of America annual meeting in Chicago they distributed copies [of the new edition] to us...I hope you will read the appropriate page each day, as I do.

Yours in Scouting,
Anderson Chandler


8—years the Crossroads of America Council has kicked off its annual Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign with a Governor's Luncheon, at which business, civic, and community leaders hear about Scouting's impact on central Indiana. The 2003 event last December—which featured as guest speaker Indiana's new Governor Joe Kernan, who had succeeded the late Frank O'Bannon, a Distinguished Eagle Scout and regular speaker at past luncheons—resulted in pledges of more than $403,000, one-third of the council's FOS goal for 2004.

11—percent of Scouts who achieve the Eagle rank in the state of Utah, versus 3.9 percent nationally. One reason, say leaders in the three councils serving the state—Trapper Trails, Great Salt Lake, and Utah National Parks—is that a higher percentage of all boys in Utah are in Scouting: 60 percent versus 19 percent nationally. But another reason, they add, is that the predominant religion in the state, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helps create a goal-oriented atmosphere that assists boys in attaining Scouting's highest rank.

13—years the Crossroads of America Council and Marsh Supermarkets have held a Cookout on the Circle in downtown Indianapolis in June to help send disadvantaged youth to summer camp. At the 2004 event, more than 4,000 visitors paid $7 ($6 in advance) for a grilled chicken or bratwurst lunch prepared by Scouts and Scouters. Since 1992, the event has served an estimated 34,000 meals and raised more than $250,000 to send more than 4,800 Scouts to summer camp.

20—years the Yellow Jacket District in the Chattahoochee Council (Columbus, Ga.) has hosted a weekend winter Freeze-O-Ree, which the district bills as "the council's premier camping event." The 2004 edition, held at the council's Camp Gallant, was attended by 378 Scouts from 32 units, plus 30 Webelos Scouts who attended with a troop. The program featured a variety of indoor and outdoor events, including a log pull, knot relay, fire building, and a team-building game.

40—years the Jewish Committee on Scouting in the Theodore Roosevelt Council (Massapequa, N.Y.) has held a religious awards breakfast to honor Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts who have earned their Jewish religious awards during the current year. Adult recipients of the Shofar Award and Todah Award for service to the Jewish Scouting community and all new Eagle Scouts were also invited to the 2004 event in June, which was attended by 150 Scouts, leaders, and family members.

'Sarge' in Charge

By Nettie Hunsaker Francis

Las Vegas Scoutmaster Anthony (Sarge) Jones wants to help inner-city youth receive the same benefits of Scouting that he enjoyed as a Scout.

Scoutmaster Anthony (Sarge) Jones has an advantage that many Scout leaders don't have: He sees his Scouts at school. Jones is a patrol sergeant for the Clark County (Nevada) School District Police Department. He patrols at several local middle schools during the day and volunteers as Scoutmaster of Troop 323 on evenings and weekends.

"I have constant communication with my kids and see them in their natural peer groups," Jones says. "I tell them that in Scouting, school, and life, it's the effort that counts."

His Scouts are familiar with effort and determination, because they come from inner-city Las Vegas, where gang violence is common.

"These are the worst neighborhoods I've seen during my career here," says Jones. However, as a Scoutmaster, he hopes to give his Scouts another perspective.

"My goal is to use the activities of Scouting to get them out of the gang mentality. And because they are city boys, most haven't ever been fishing or hiking."

Making a difference

A city boy himself, Jones is from Memphis, Tenn., where he was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout, achieving Eagle Scout and earning the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow.

For Jones, his Scouting success was due to his parents' support and the program's enticing activities; he credits his experience as a youth for his current dedication to Scouting.

"At first my parents demanded that I be involved in Scouting," he comments. "Then I started to really enjoy the activities, and soon my two younger brothers were involved. Scouting became our 'family thing.' I know Scouting can make a difference in the lives of young men, especially those from urban neighborhoods."

Twelve years ago, Jones spearheaded the organization of Troop 323, which is chartered to the Clark County School District Police Department. School district employees and police officers, including Chief of Police Elliott Phelps, form the troop committee, and assistant Scoutmaster Steve Ufford is also a district patrol officer.

The troop meets weekly and holds at least two activities per month. Outdoor skills, such as camping and hiking, are emphasized.

"The boys go places they haven't been and gain experiences they don't get in the city," says Shane Mitchell, district director for the Boulder Dam Area Council.

Jones adds: "When new boys go on their first hike, it's great to watch the older, more experienced Scouts giving them encouragement. They'll say, 'You might think you can't make it, but you can.' Afterward, the boys feel very good about themselves."

Instilling values

The self-confidence they gain carries over into their schoolwork. When boys first join the troop, their grade point average is usually below 2.0. Now the troop average is 2.8, and one-third of the Scouts have at least a 3.5 or higher.

To date, Troop 323 has produced two Eagle Scouts: Jesus Ahedo and Gerimar Hicks, who are now both attending college.

"Gerimar was a typical city kid with no wilderness experience," says Jones. "On his first outdoor adventure after joining the troop, he caught his first fish. And his experience in Scouting introduced him to a new standard of life."

Gerimar now studies medicine at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. The troop program also emphasizes leadership skills.

"When I first served as senior patrol leader, I was scared," says Life Scout Quentin Roop. "But Mr. Jones believed in me, and I was able to do it."

"Scouting has taught me to be honorable," Star Scout Richard McCleary says. "Before I joined the troop, I never thought about [things like] being trustworthy, loyal, or helpful. Now, I've learned the Scout Law, and it's my standard."

If there is a "secret" to the success of Troop 323, says District Director Shane Mitchell, it's because "Mr. Jones really cares about kids. He can read them inside out and backward."

Jones has led Troop 323 for 12 years, and Steve Ufford has been assistant Scoutmaster for three, but they never complain about the time and effort required.

"Every day in Scouting is a memorable experience with these boys," comments Ufford. "Despite the challenges that surround them, they aren't on drugs and haven't been arrested. And they're doing well in school."

"It's great to see a young man turn his life around and demonstrate respectable manners and exceptional leadership qualities," Jones adds. "Scouting parallels life, and if these boys are successful here, they will be capable of being just about anything they want to be."

Freelance writer Nettie Hunsaker Francis also serves as Cubmaster of Pack 64 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Scoutmaster Is a Survivor

By Bebe Raupe

Photograph Courtesy Of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Lillian Morris captured the nation's attention on the TV show "Survivor," but in Loveland, Ohio, she's better known as the dedicated Scout master of Troop 617.

Lillian Morris didn't set out to become a nationally known Scoutmaster. But nearly winning $1 million in a segment of the TV reality series "Survivor: Pearl Islands" brought her to the attention of millions.

In Loveland, Ohio, however, where she's led Troop 617 for almost 13 years, "Big Lill" has been known for her dedication, enthusiasm, and energy long before TV fame came knocking.

Morris wanted to get involved as a leader with Boy Scouting when her son, Clayton, moved up from Cub Scouts in 1991. She met with staff from the Dan Beard Council and agreed to assume the leadership of a new troop in the area north of Cincinnati.

She built Troop 617 (which is chartered to the Twenty Mile Stand Lions Club) from the ground up, stressing a "personal responsibility" credo for her 87 Scouts, who range in age from 11 to 18.

"When a boy leaves the troop, whether after six months or after he has made Eagle, I want him to have learned the value of teamwork and leadership," she says. "If a Scout gets a positive sense of belonging, and a glimpse of the potential he possesses, then I've succeeded."

Recruiting and delegating

Troop 617 "is one of the best, programmatically" says Fort Ancient district executive Greg Simms. Nearly every week the Scouts go camping, have a recreational activity, or work on advancement—a feat that Morris achieves by marshaling the troop's parent resources, says Simms.

"She tells parents from the start that the only way a large group like this can do so much is if everyone is involved," he explains. "Lill is tactfully bold and blunt. If someone isn't pulling his or her weight, she lets [the person] know in a nice way."

Morris believes the best leaders know how to recruit help and how to delegate responsibility. This is her strength, she says, pointing to 38 adult troop assistants who oversee rank progress and merit badges.

"I insist, though, that anyone who helps with the troop is there for all the boys, not just their own son," she says.

Like many women who serve as unit leaders, Morris was viewed as something of a novelty at first. But she has proven she can handle the job as well as anyone.

She has accompanied Scouts on two high adventure mountain treks at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and served as an assistant Scoutmaster at two national jamborees. And she's scheduled to serve as Scoutmaster for the council contingent at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree.

A good balance

"Lill's...effective," says Troop 617 committee chairman Don Goepper. "She can be gruff or gracious, depending upon the occasion."

Goepper has worked with Morris for seven years and believes she is a powerful role model for young men coming of age in a world of gender equality.

"She demands respect, and they give it. If they need to be disciplined, she believes in addressing it immediately, then moving on. She likes to keep things on the lighter side so that things stay fun," he says.

"She strikes a good balance: an authority figure who makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome."

Morris says her main reward comes from watching boys grow into admirable young men. Her son became an Eagle Scout and graduated from the troop years ago, but she stayed on.

"I love everything about Scouting," she says. "I do this job not because I have to, but because I want to. Every point of the Scout Law stresses a positive aspect of personality. Today, when so much of our culture tends to be selfish and negative, it makes me proud to know I can help instill good, basic values in the generation coming up."

Freelance writer Bebe Raupe lives in Loveland, Ohio.

Surviving 'Survivor'

Unexpected "twists" came from the start when Lillian Morris appeared on the CBS reality show "Survivor."

Having impressed program executives with her Scouting acumen, Morris was asked to wear her Scout leader uniform for publicity photos with other competitors. She understood she had been allowed to take the uniform along with her personal effects as a "luxury item" which would not be part of the actual competition.

However, she wasn't aware that, instead of posing for pictures, the group would be forced off a boat and straight into the game—with only the clothes on their backs.

"They tricked us," she says. "I never intended to compete in uniform."

Surviving "Survivor" is the hardest thing she's ever done, Morris says. Her Scouting skills, however, kept the experience from beating her.

She was the only one in her "tribe" who knew how to make a fire, sharpen a machete with a stone, and tie sturdy knots. The need to boil water, to kill infectious bacteria, was critical, but the tribe's pot kept falling over until Morris built a tripod to suspend it over the flames. No one else knew to boil a flea-infested blanket to make it usable.

Unfortunately, practical skills couldn't overcome the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of the game. After being initially "voted off," Morris returned as an outcast, determined to succeed for her family back home.

"The first nine days I tried my best to be up-front...with the other competitors," she says. "That approach failed, and I realized I had to change my ways if I had any hope of winning. I owed it to my family to try." As emotions raged and hardship took its toll, Morris says her internal restraints frayed, particularly when it came to language. Comments she says she normally would never allow herself to make came flying out of her mouth. She credits these lapses to the extreme physical and emotional conditions of the competition.

"You haven't had decent food or water for days. You're sleep-deprived and eaten up by bugs," she says. "And you're surrounded by people you really can't trust."

According to Troop 617 parent Kathy Skeels, Morris's action during the final round of "Survivor" was an example of how she "walks the walk" of Scouting.

When selecting a competitor to go with her before the final jury, Morris chose a hardworking mother, the eventual winner, rather than another person she probably would have beaten, but whose behavior she did not want to reward. Her decision cost Morris $900,000.

This was an incredible lesson for the troop, says Skeels. "The boys were crushed to see her lose, but they were so proud to see her make the right choice. They'll never forget that."


J. C. Watts Jr. is new national Venturing committee chairman

J. C. Watts Jr.
Photograph Courtesy Of J.C. Watts Companies

In June, J. C. Watts Jr. became the new chairman of the National Venturing Standing Committee. A former U.S. Representative from the fourth district of Oklahoma, Watts is now chairman of J.C. Watts Companies, a multifaceted communications and business development firm in Washington, D.C.

Watts is also well known for his career as a college quarterback for the University of Oklahoma, during which he helped his team win two consecutive Orange Bowl titles.

"We welcome J. C. Watts," said Charles J. Holmes, national director of the BSA Venturing Division. "His experience representing community interests and his community service will align nicely in leading Venturing, the nation's fastest-growing program for 14- to 20-year-old young adults."

BSA highlights accomplishments at National Annual Meeting

The following accomplishments for 2003 were highlighted at May's BSA National Annual Meeting in Chicago:

• In 2003, the BSA reached more than 4.7 million youth, due in a large part to the efforts of 1.27 million volunteers.

Cub Scouting served 1,914,425 Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts at Dec. 31, 2003.

Boy Scouting membership totaled 997,398 at Dec. 31, 2003.

Venturing, the BSA program for young men and women age 14 through 20, served 288,395 members at Dec. 31, 2003. One of the fastest-growing youth organizations in the country, Venturing introduced the Quest Award in 2003 to promote physical fitness among young people.

Learning for Life had 17,468 organizations nationwide using its classroom-based programs to help young people develop life skills, positive attitudes, values, and career awareness. The program had 1,555,226 total youth participants, and 34 local Scout councils achieved the Learning for Life Quality Council Award.

Camping: 47.6 percent of Cub Scout membership enjoyed a day camp, resident camp, or family camp experience. And 59 percent of Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts participated in a long-term camping event.

High Adventure: A record number of youth attended the three BSA national high adventure bases, in Minnesota, Florida, and New Mexico. Total attendance represented a 3.7 percent increase over 2002.

• The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms was awarded by the National Court of Honor to seven Scouts and Scouters for unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving, or attempting to save, a life at extreme risk to self. Other awards for lifesaving and meritorious action were presented to 343 Scouts or Scouters.

• The Eagle Scout Award was earned by 49,151 young men, the second-highest number ever in a single year. National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) membership continued to grow, topping 288,000 members, a 3.5 percent increase over 2002.

• The Quality Unit Award was achieved by 59 percent of all packs, troops, teams, and crews, while 104 BSA local councils (34 percent of all councils) earned the Quality Council Award. Criteria for the council award include meeting standards in growth in membership, traditional units, and Learning for Life groups; percent of units earning the Quality Unit Award; operating fund revenue versus expenses; and new outright gifts to the endowment fund.

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers earned more than 85,000 Religious Emblems. (The awards are owned by their respective denominations and are authorized for wear on Scout uniforms by the approval of the BSA National Religious Relationships Committee.)

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October 2004 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2004 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.