ԪNews Briefs

News Briefs

Scouts can participate in both Jamboree-on-the-Internet and Jamboree-on-the-Air

During the weekend of October 15-16, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers can communicate directly with their counterparts in countries around the globe by participating in two events sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI) uses computers and the Internet, to enable Scout groups, under the supervision of leadership, to contact other Scout groups, via e-mail messages, Scout chat rooms, and audio and video exchanges.

Although individuals can participate in JOTI, the emphasis of the Internet exchange is for units to participate at Scouting events, providing special opportunities for Scouts who do not have computers, access to the Internet, or are disabled.

Organizers should prepare and register for participation in JOTI by visiting two Web sites: www.joti.org (which includes a list of necessary software, rules for participating, and information on creating a temporary e-mail address); and www.scoutlink.net (which provides a safe and supervised chatting environment).

Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) marks its 48th anniversary this year, as more than 400,000 people around the globe will exchange Scout greetings via amateur (ham) radio.

Since 1957 JOTA has been thrilling Scouts and helping them fulfill the requirements for the Radio merit badge. Many local ham radio operators and clubs invite Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to visit their stations. Others set up stations at BSA district and council events scheduled to coincide with JOTA.

Among the largest temporary stations are K2BSA/5 at the Circle Ten Council's Camp Wisdom in Dallas and other K2BSA stations assigned to other areas across the country.

In New Concord, Ohio, Scouter and ham radio operator Billie Dickson has worked with JOTA participants in the Muskingum Valley Council for more than 25 years, operating several stations at the council's camp.

"All kids are into computers right now, and radio is still a novelty to many of them," he says. "They know they can talk to their buddies online anytime—but not to people on the other side of the world."

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.

Wallet-size participation certificates and temporary patches for both JOTI and JOTA are available. The card certificates are free and can be ordered from the International Division, S221, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079 (specify the number of cards needed).

Patches for both events at $4 each are available in limited quantity and will be sent after Aug. 1. Order early (check or money order only, payable to Boy Scouts of America) from the same address as the card certificates.

For more information, contact the BSA International Division at (972) 580-2401 or intnldiv@netbsa.org.

Scouting World Mourns Loss of Four Leaders Who Died in a Tragic Accident at the National Scout Jamboree

On July 25 at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., four veteran Scout leaders with the Western Alaska Council were killed when a pole of the dining tent they were helping to set up touched an overhead power line.

Killed were Michael J. Shibe, 49, Mike Lacroix, 42, and Ronald H. Bitzer, 58, of Anchorage; and Scott Powell, 57, who had recently moved from Anchorage to Perrysville, Ohio.

In his address to jamboree Scouts six days later, President George W. Bush paid tribute to the fallen leaders.

"The men you lost were models of good citizenship, leaders who stepped forward to serve a good and selfless cause," he told the assembled 40,000 Scouts and leaders plus more than 30,000 visitors. "As Scout leaders they devoted themselves to helping young men develop the character and skills they need to realize their dreams. These men will always be remembered for their leadership and kindness. And you Scouts honor them by living up to the ideals of the Scouting they served."

The Western Alaska Council established a fund for donations made specifically to the Bitzer, Lacroix, Shibe, or Powell families; or a general donation can be made to be divided among the four families.

Donations should be mailed to: Troop 711 Families c/o Western Alaska Council BSA, 3117 Patterson Street, Anchorage, AK 99504-4041.


Adding to the tragedy at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree was the death on July 24 of Scouter Albert Puff, 57, of Stella, N.C., who suffered a heart attack while serving on jamboree staff as a security dispatcher. He was an assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 61 in Newport, N.C., in the Raleigh-based Occoneechee Council.

Apply now for National Eagle Scout Association 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)—64 scholarships (16 in each of the BSA's four regions) of $1,000 (a lump sum). They are based on merit and are open to high school seniors through their undergraduate junior year in college.

Applications will be available on the BSA Web site at www.scouting.org/nesa/scholar; at local Scout council service centers; or from NESA, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

Scholarship applications must be postmarked after Oct. 1, 2005, but no later than midnight Jan. 31, 2006.


years Troop 66, chartered to the Jesse Hay Memorial Association, Thompson, Conn., has maintained a 24-hour missing child station at the annual Woodstock Fair in Woodstock, Conn. Ten Scouts and five adults are always on duty and can usually reunite a child with parents within 15 minutes. Other regular participants from the Connecticut Rivers Council at the annual fair—which marked its 144th anniversary and attracted nearly 260,000 persons in September 2004—are Scouts from Troop 25, chartered to the United Methodist Church, Putnam, Conn., who since 1959 have performed authentic Native American dances for fairgoers.

Eagle Scouts originally from the Coronado Area Council in Salina, Kan., currently living in 48 states whose addresses were located since 2003 as the result of a search conducted by council volunteers with the help of a research company. The "lost" Eagles were sent a special newsletter with an invitation to both join the council's Eagle Scout alumni association and become involved in Scouting in any of a variety of ways. As a result, many new facility improvements and outreach programs have been created through the generosity of Eagle Scout alumni and their families.

years celebrated in 2005 by the Oregon Trail Council, Eugene, Ore., which was founded in 1925. On July 9, Scouters celebrated another significant anniversary, 50 years for the council's Camp Baker. In January, "to ensure that Scouting remains strong and relevant in the future," the council launched its Golden Eagle Club, for individuals who contribute $1,000 or more to the annual Friends of Scouting campaign.

grant issued by the East Portland Rotary Club to the Cascade Pacific Council, Portland, Ore., to fund enhancements to the council's COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course at the council's Scouters' Mountain facility. The grant is one of many community contributions by local Rotary clubs in honor of the national service club's 100th anniversary celebration in 2005. Longtime supporters of Scouting, Rotary clubs currently hold the charter to 1,402 packs, troops, and crews.

Missouri Scouter Is Recognized for Her Service to Youth With Disabilities

Jane L. Grossman
Photograph Courtesy Of Jane Grossman
Jane L. Grossman of Chesterfield, Mo., has been selected as the 2005 recipient of the Woods Services Award. Presented by the BSA and the Woods Services and Residential Treatment Center, Langhorne, Pa., the national award recognizes exceptional service and leadership to Scouts with disabilities.

Since 1987, Grossman has served in a variety of positions for special needs Scouting, impacting the lives of thousands of youth with disabilities. She has supported or given leadership to all the special needs program activities throughout the Greater St. Louis Area Council, including many leadership positions on the council's special needs committee.

One of her greatest contributions has been the training of persons throughout the council on how to work with Scouts with disabilities. Combining her special needs expertise and Boy Scout training, she developed workshops for Cub Scout leader pow wows, Scouting "universities," and other venues. (One course she developed trains leaders for serving Scouts with attention deficit disorder.) She is also a Disabilities Awareness merit badge counselor.

Nationally, Grossman was a presenter at the 2003 Outdoor Leader Seminar at the Florida Sea Base, and for several years she has served on the faculty of the Scouts With Disabilities Conference at the Philmont Training Center in New Mexico.

Grossman has received the District Award of Merit for noteworthy service to youth at the district level and the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth within the council.

BSA Introduces Ready & Prepared Award

The BSA Ready & Prepared Award encourages Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews to incorporate safe practices while enjoying challenging activities.

Earning the award helps units focus on areas that can reduce fatalities and serious injury, such as driver and passenger safety, BSA Youth Protection policies, precautions for aquatics activities, premises safety and first-aid readiness, and personal fitness and safety.

The award has two levels: for the Gold Award, units complete 10 mandatory requirements and three elective requirements; for the Silver Award, 10 mandatory requirements and six elective requirements. (After earning the Gold Award one year, a unit can work on the three additional elective requirements and earn the Silver Award the following year.)

Depending on the award earned, youth and adult members of a unit wear either a gold- or silver-bordered BSA Ready & Prepared Award patch, and the unit is entitled to display a gold or silver BSA Ready & Prepared ribbon.

In addition, units earning the Silver Award also will be acknowledged in Boys' Life magazine.

Get information on specific requirements at council service centers or on the BSA Web site, www.scouting.org/awards/10-278/index.html.

An award application (No. 10-278) can be downloaded from the Web site, to be submitted to the local council at the time a unit recharters.

Major revisions and new courses introduced for adult and youth leadership training

Traditional training courses for Boy Scout youth leaders and Webelos Scout and Cub Scout adult leaders are undergoing major changes.

  • For Boy Scout youth leaders, the new National Youth Leadership Training, introduced in the fall of 2004, was the first in a series of major revisions. The second phase of troop youth leader training, it replaced the junior leader training courses conducted by councils. (See "A New Vision of Youth Leadership" in the October 2004 Scouting magazine.)
  • The latest revision to be introduced is the new Troop Leadership Training. The first phase of youth leadership training, it is conducted in the troop by the Scoutmaster and the senior patrol leader. Its three one-hour modules introduce youth to an overview of leadership opportunities and provide an understanding of ways to work with others to make the troop successful.
  • In 2006, the third and final phase of youth leadership training will be updated when the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience will replace National Junior Leader Instructor Camp. Offered only at the Philmont Training Center in New Mexico, this level of training provides advanced leadership and communication skills to equip Scouts to return to their councils and troops as fully prepared youth leaders.
  • The new Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders is designed to be part of the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training event, with break-out sessions for Webelos leaders. However, the course may be delivered as a stand-alone session for Webelos den leaders. (It is highly recommended that Webelos den leaders complete Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders before scheduling a Webelos den camping event.)
  • The availability of online training has been greatly enhanced with the introduction of The Learning Center. A source for online training for new volunteers, it is accessed via a link on council Web sites.

An updated online version of Cub Scout Fast Start is the first training component introduced on The Learning Center. It includes innovative features to make the training more fun as well as informative.

In the near future, The Learning Center will include other training components, downloadable files, and links to other BSA sites.

Five Heroes From One District

It's unusual for more than one Scout or Scouter from the same council, let alone the same district, to receive a BSA national lifesaving or meritorious action award in the same year. But in 2004 it happened to five Scouts in the Butterfield Trail District of the Westark Area Council, Fort Smith, Ark.

Five winners of the BSA lifesaving and meritorious action awards were honored at the Westark Area Council annual dinner. From left, Douglas deKunffy, Carl Gott, Brandon Herring, Christopher Dawkins, and Elliott Bell.

The highest award, an Honor Medal With Crossed Palms (for demonstrating exceptional skill or resourcefulness at extreme risk to one's own life while saving or attempting to save a life) went to Eagle Scout Brandon Herring of Troop 16. He and two other student pilots and an instructor pilot were in a plane that crashed during a flying lesson. After assisting fellow Eagle Scout David Howlett to escape from the wreckage, Brandon suffered second- and third-degree burns in helping the instructor (who later died from injuries sustained in the crash) to get out of the plane.

Eagle Scout Elliott Bell, Troop 226, and Scout Christopher Dawkins, Troop 110, also received Honor Medals (for demonstrating unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to one's own life).

Elliott gave first aid to and moved an injured driver away from a burning truck; Christopher rescued a distressed swimmer from the bottom of a pool.

For pulling a distressed swimmer to safety, Webelos Scout Douglas deKunffy of Pack 2 received a Heroism Award (for saving or attempting to save a life at minimum risk to self).

When his father had a heart attack, Scout Carl Gott of Troop 146 administered CPR until emergency service arrived. He was awarded a Medal of Merit (for an outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character reflecting an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others).

Lifesaving and meritorious action awards are presented by the BSA National Court of Honor, based on the type of action and degree of danger involved.

In 2004, in addition to the five Scouts from the Westark Area Council, 311 other Scouts or Scouters received an award for their heroic action.

Council's Patrick Henry public-speaking program a 25-year hit

The fiery words of Revolutionary War patriot Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death!" are still inspiring young Virginians 230 years after they were spoken.

Thousands of Scouts in the Heart of Virginia Council have learned the fundamentals of public speaking over the past quarter century by participating in the Patrick Henry Program.

In cooperation with area Toastmasters clubs and using their model for teaching public speaking, the program offers Scouts 12 and older the opportunity to earn either the Public Speaking or Communications merit badge by completing its three three-hour training sessions.

Scouts learn skills that can last a lifetime, says Kerry Baker, the council's director of development, who has overseen the program for eight years.

Besides learning to speak effectively before an audience, Baker says, participants gain experience in parliamentary procedure, salesmanship, and other forms of communication.

"We schedule the program on successive Saturday mornings in January and February, when there's not much camping or outdoor activity scheduled," she explains. "This year, we had about 200 Scouts in classes for Public Speaking and 100 for Communications."

The Toastmasters organization supplies about two-thirds of the merit badge counselors. "The program was the brainchild of Frank Wood, a local Toastmaster and Scouting volunteer, who had the idea of putting the two groups together to teach more kids communication skills," Baker notes.

Talks by keynote speakers from the community highlight each year's opening session.

"This year, our guest speaker was an 80-year-old woman, and she absolutely wowed them," Baker says.

Each Scout in the Public Speaking group addresses his class. Merit badge counselors then collect the best speeches, drawing several from a hat to be repeated for the entire group of Scouts and parents at a closing ceremony.

"Some of these kids can really knock your socks off when they get to talking about camping," Baker says.

—Bill Sloan

Business publication names BSA Chief Scout Executive Roy Williams one of 50 top leaders of nonprofit organizations

In its eighth annual poll, The NonProfit Times, a leading business publication covering the field of nonprofit management, has named Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, as one the nation's top 50 outstanding leaders of nonprofit organizations for 2005.

"Williams is the model of standing up for mission when some in the community think that mission should be modified," the magazine stated in its Aug. 1, 2005, issue. "The Boy Scouts are who they are and millions of Scouts past and present form an advocacy community and backbone of tradition in community service."

"The 2005 NPT Power & Influence Top 50" included leaders of a diverse range of organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the Ford Foundation, the United Way of America, YMCA of the USA, Points of Light Foundation, National Urban League, the Internal Revenue Service, and the State of California.

The 50 top nonprofit organization leaders were honored at a dinner on Sept. 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

United Kingdom will host the 21st World Jamboree in 2007

From July 27 to Aug. 8, 2007, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Scouting, the 21st World Jamboree will take place in England, where Sir Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in 1907. The site will be at Hylands Park, Chelmsford, in Essex, 30 miles northeast of London.

Hosted by the United Kingdom with the theme of "One World, One Promise," the jamboree will be attended by 40,000 young people representing national Scouting associations from all parts of the globe.

The program will include a variety of challenging activities, a trip to Gilwell Park (the home of Scouting in the United Kingdom), workshops and activities at the jamboree site in the Global Development Village and World Scout Centre, and participation in a community service project.

The BSA is scheduled to send a contingent of 80 troops and Venturing crews, requiring 320 adult troop and crew leaders. In addition, the jamboree will need another 800 volunteers as International Service Team staff members.

Details are available at local Scout council service centers and on the national BSA Web site (http://www.scouting.org/jamboree/world/index.html). Applications must have local council approval before going to the regional office for final selection.

New online tool assists Scout leaders in assessing skills

A new Boy Scout Leader Assessment Tool is helping both veteran Scout leaders and those just starting out to determine their leadership strengths as well as areas in which they may need more training.

Since July 2004, approximately 1,700 leaders per month have visited the BSA national Web site, www.scouting.org/boyscouts/training/start.jsp, or their own council Web sites, to use the online tool.

"For years, we struggled with the question of how veteran leaders can make sure that they're still up to date on their training," says Russ Hunsaker, a 35-year Boston-area volunteer who served as chairman of the National Training Committee while the tool was being perfected. "It took the committee 18 months and a lot of field testing to design it, but this tool is the answer.

"It used to be that once you were trained, you were trained, and that was it," Hunsaker adds. "But the fact is that times—and boys—have changed tremendously over the years."

Because of this, leaders need new methods of dealing with youngsters' shorter attention spans, wider-ranging interests, and an array of diversions and distractions that didn't exist a decade or more ago.

"Today's Scoutmaster, for example, needs to know effective ways of separating kids from the electronic gadgets that they've become so attached to," Hunsaker says. "Otherwise, they're likely to be in front of their computers instead of going hiking or camping."

The new assessment tool is simple to use but must be done in one sitting, requiring from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on leadership position.

The test is completely confidential and includes no personal information. Leaders give only their position in Scouting, council name, training experience, and Scouting tenure.

"You sign in for whatever your job is—Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, commissioner, committee member, and so on," Hunsaker explains. "A committee member usually needs only about 30 minutes, but a Scoutmaster may need up to an hour and a half."

On finishing, the leader is presented with a list of his or her three best skill areas, three areas that need improvement, and suggestions for helpful training courses.

—Bill Sloan

Apply for European camp staffs

Scouters age 18 to 30 can learn about Scouting in Europe and develop their leadership skills by working as a volunteer staff member at a Scout camp in Europe. Applicants must be registered BSA members and able to work for a minimum of six weeks.

Information and applications are available from the BSA International Division. Applications must be approved by the local Scout council and the International Division before being forwarded to the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement for final selection by individual host centers.

Placed applicants pay their own travel to and from the Scout center, after which the European Scout Region will refund a portion of an individual's travel costs.

Application deadline is March 15. For more information, contact BSA International Division, S221, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079; phone (972) 580-2403; fax (972) 580-2413; e-mail escoggin@netbsa.org.

Top of Page

October 2005 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2005 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.