News Briefs

21st World Scout Jamboree

The 21st World Scout Jamboree will be held in the United Kingdom from July 27 to Aug. 8, 2007, bringing together 40,000 Scouts, leaders, and staff for 12 days of adventure, friendship, and personal growth.

The BSA is sending 3,200 American Scouts, Venturers, and leaders to the jamboree, located at Hylands Park, an area of rolling green parkland with patches of woodland near Chelmsford, a town with a history dating back thousands of years. The location is near both London and Gilwell Park, home of Scouting in the UK and also one of the jamboree's program venues.

To attend, a youth should send a completed world jamboree application to his or her local Scout council office. A check or money order for the initial payment of $500, made out to the Boy Scouts of America, must be included.

Adult leaders must meet the requirements on the adult application and receive council approval. Regions will then select potential leaders, and regional committees and the national office will conduct in-person interviews for final selection.

Youth and adult applications can be downloaded and more information obtained at

Robert W. Peterson, 1925-2006

Longtime Scouting magazine contributing editor Robert W. Peterson, 80, died Feb. 11, 2006, in Salisbury Township, Pa.

After a career as a newspaper reporter, Bob Peterson became a fulltime freelance writer in 1966. His association with Scouting magazine first received special recognition when his name appeared as a contributor on the masthead in 1970. He produced countless articles for both Scouting and Boys' Life, as well as merit badge pamphlets and other BSA materials.

He was also the author of numerous books, the best known of which was Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams (Oxford University Press, USA, 1992). Other books included The Boy Scouts: An American Adventure (written in conjunction with the BSA's 75th anniversary in 1985); Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years (Oxford University Press, USA, 1990); and Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football (Oxford University Press, USA, 1997).

Report To The Nation

Photograph By Michael Roytek

In March, BSA youth delegation members—accompanied by official hosts Terry (a BSA National Executive Board member) and Peggy Dunn of Leawood, Kan.—delivered the annual Report to the Nation to Congress. In addition to meeting with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the group's five days in the nation's capital included a visit to the White House to meet President Bush and stops at numerous government agencies, memorials, the Smithsonian Institution, and Arlington National Cemetery. Shown above in the front row is Boy Scout John (J.P.) Cruz, Toms River, N.J., flanked by the Semones brothers, Bear Cub Scout and Heroism Award recipient Curtis (left) and Wolf Cub Scout and Medal of Merit recipient Samuel, Lewisville, N.C., with Eagle Scout and National Order of the Arrow Chief Sean Murray, Norwich, N.Y., at right. In the back row are Boy Scout and Medal of Merit recipient Phillip Barquero, Roseville, Calif.; Boy Scout and Honor Medal With Crossed Palms recipient Michael Wedekamm, Parkersburg, W.Va.; National Venturing President Amy DiFrancesco, Sun Valley, Idaho; and Boy Scout and Medal of Merit recipient Charles (C.J.) Suber, St. Louis, Mo. Learn more about the group's visit at

Tiger Cub and Boy Scout advancement news

· Effective June 1, a Tiger Cub must earn the Cub Scouting Bobcat badge as his first badge of rank after joining a pack. Earning the Bobcat badge is then followed by earning the Tiger Cub badge.

· Boy Scouts can invite friends using Web site e-mail. The e-card, a new feature available to Scouts and leaders on the Web site, helps a Scout complete the new First Class requirement to invite a friend to a troop meeting or activity.

To use the e-card, a Scout goes to, clicks on "Tell a Friend," enters his name and his friend's name and e-mail address in the designated boxes. He selects the action images he thinks his friend would be interested in doing, then chooses music and a message.

After previewing the e-card, he sends it to his friend.

· Cooking requirements modified due to fire bans. Fire bans, some lasting as long as six months or more in a significant portion of the country, have prevented many Scouts from completing Tenderfoot requirement 3 and Second Class requirements 2e, 2f, and, in particular, 2g (which calls for cooking a meal "over an open fire"). Because of this, a substitution has been approved by the National Advancement Committee allowing Scouts to use a cookstove, charcoal, or, when no outdoor cooking is allowed, a kitchen stove.

The substitutions are allowed only during periods of fire bans as issued by appropriate authorities.

Ready Kids campaign offers valuable resources

Scouting volunteer leaders and parents are urged to make use of the resources in the Department of Homeland Security's Ready Kids campaign.

The campaign was launched in February to help parents and teachers educate children ages 8 to 12 about emergencies and how they can help their families prepare.

Ready Kids is part of the larger Ready campaign, developed by the DHS and the Advertising Council for the purpose of educating Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

A Web site,, includes a Ready Kids section, with games and puzzles for children and downloadable materials, developed by Scholastic Inc., for use by parents and teachers.

In Scouting, Ready Kids resources can also assist with earning advancements, activity badges, and the BSA Emergency Preparedness Award and the Ready and Prepared Award.

Subscribe online to Scouting magazine

All BSA registered adult volunteers receive Scouting magazine as part of their $10 annual registration fee.

Now, for only $9.95, nonregistered individuals can purchase a one-year subscription to Scouting (six issues) on the magazine's Web site at:

Issues of the magazine are January-February, March-April, May-June, September, October, and November-December.

Project replaces library books lost in hurricane

When Michael Ward of Troop 406 in Phoenix, Ariz., learned that Hurricane Katrina had destroyed all 9,612 books in the Anniston Elementary School library in Gulfport, Miss., he resolved to dedicate his Eagle Scout project to collecting enough books to restock the library.

Michael Ward stands in front of the more than 30,000 books ready to be shipped to Gulfport, Miss., to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Photograph Courtesy Of Kelly Ward

After getting approval from his local school board, Michael sent fliers about the book drive to the 32 schools in his district. Students were eager to help, collecting books and donating school supplies, while the school district agreed to deliver the books to a central location.

When Michael invited local businesses to participate, a bookstore chain set up donation boxes in every store. Another bookstore dedicated its annual book drive to the cause. Books began to pile up.

More than 200 volunteers from schools, churches, and Scout troops helped to sort and package the books, which a local trucking company volunteered to carry to Gulfport.

As stories about the drive appeared in the news, donated books arrived from unexpected sources. An 88-year-old woman sent a thick reference dictionary that had belonged to her sister. A retired teacher called a participating bookstore, wanting to donate her entire collection of children's books to "that boy on TV."

Recently retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a longtime Arizona resident, donated a copy of her new children's book, Chico.

"This is a great idea," she told Michael as she autographed the book. "I don't know what could matter more in a community than the library."

The final count was more than 33,000 books. Needless the say, librarians in Gulfport were overwhelmed when informed that so many books were on their way from Arizona.

"Thirty thousand books! Wow! I do not know what to say!" exclaimed Iris Collins, librarian at Anniston Elementary, in an e-mail to the Ward family. "[Although we do] not have a location [at the moment] to store the books, our superintendent of schools has said that he will make space."

The total was enough to completely restock the Anniston Elementary library and provide surplus books to the local Gulfport high school and four public libraries that also lost their collections to the hurricane.

— Loralee Leavitt

3.5 million cans equal new home for Katrina victims

Don't tell the Scouts of the W.D. Boyce Council in Central Illinois that you can't build an entire house from aluminum cans. They know better because they've done it—and a displaced New Orleans family who lost everything in the ravages of Hurricane Katrina last August has a brand-new home as proof.

Approximately 2,000 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts collected more than 3.5 million aluminum beverage cans worth more than $50,000. The money was presented to local Habitat for Humanity organizations.

Participants in the W.D. Boyce Councilšs 2005 Scouts CAN campaign included Cub Scouts Sam Fishel and Austin Stephens of Pack 85, Morton, Ill. They are shown here atop a collection box for Cub Scouts and the general public to deposit aluminum cans.
Photograph By Scott M. Fishel

In mid-November, volunteer workers from Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria (Ill.) began building a local Scout-sponsored house for a New Orleans father and his two young daughters.

"While construction was going on, our boys went to the site regularly on Saturdays to provide refreshments for workers and help pick up trash related to the project," said SuZan Severson, marketing specialist for the council.

"Habitat has a rule that workers have to be at least 16 to do actual building, but several of our older Scouts did qualify for painting, landscaping, and other duties. And by going to the site, the younger Scouts could see firsthand what their cans were accomplishing."

Scouts who achieved personal can collection goals were recognized with patches and personal congratulation cards signed by Scout Executive Fred Wallace.

"It's a true honor to see the Scouts' hard work recycling cans translate into a home for this Katrina-affected family," said Fred Kowalske, director of the Peoria Habitat group.

"Our hope," added Aluminum Association spokesperson Patrick Kelly, "is that when other organizations see what one dedicated group of youth was able to accomplish, it will inspire them to get involved and allow us to build more homes across the country—one can at a time."

As part of a councilwide project for the BSA's Good Turn for America (, Scouts in the W.D. Boyce Council began participation in November 2004 in the Cans for Habitat program (, a national partnership between the aluminum industry and Habitat for Humanity International.

"[The council] has quickly become a leader in the program because of its tremendous efforts in recycling aluminum cans," said Cans for Habitat spokesperson Jennifer Goodman.

— Bill Sloan and Cathy Fishel

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May - June 2006 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2006 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.