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News Briefs

Annual National & Global Youth Service Day is April 20-22

Millions of young people across America and around the world will participate April 20-22 in the annual National & Global Youth Service Day, an event designed to start youth on a lifelong path of service and civic engagement and jump-start yearlong youth-led efforts.

The BSA is a national partner in this service initiative. Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity teams, and Venturing crews are encouraged to conduct a service project during April 20-22 and input information into the BSA's Good Turn for America Web site, www.goodturnforamerica.org.

Go to www.ysa.org/nysd for more information on participation and projects.

Catholic Scout scholarships available

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) is offering the Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Distinguished Scout Scholarship, to be awarded to three outstanding Catholic high school seniors who are registered in a BSA troop, team, or crew.

The scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $2,500, were established by John and Julie Doerr to continue the legacy of the late Emmett J. Doerr, a dedicated Scouter and NCCS member.

In addition to being a practicing Catholic, applicants also must be an Eagle Scout or have earned Venturing's Silver Award.

Full eligibility requirements plus an application are available at www.nccs-bsa.org/business/EJDscholarship.php.

Applications must be received by the NCCS by April 1, 2007.

April Is Youth Protection Month

Nationwide, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and for the seventh consecutive year, the BSA has designated April as Youth Protection Month for councils, units, families, and community organizations.

Local councils will conduct youth protection training for more than four million youth and adults. Many councils will also provide this training, through BSA videos and DVD's, books, and an Internet course, as a community service to other youth-serving agencies.

During Youth Protection Month, each unit is encouraged to participate in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ensure that unit adult leaders (and other interested adults) take the online Youth Protection training, available at http://olc.scouting.org/info/ypt.html. The training is also available in DVD format, "Youth Protection Guidelines: Training for Volunteer Leaders and Parents" (BSA No. AV-09DVD01).
  • Discuss with youth in a unit meeting the exercises in "How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide." (These are found in the pullout pamphlet in the front of youth and adult handbooks. The guides can also be downloaded in PDF format at www.scouting.org/pubs/ypt/resources.html.)
  • Using the meeting guides (available in PDF format in English or Spanish at www.scouting.org/pubs/ypt/resources.html), present the age-appropriate, award-winning BSA training to youth and parents:

    For Cub Scouts—"It Happened to Me" (No. AV-09DVD11)
    For Boy Scouts—"A Time to Tell" (No. AV-09DVD04)
    For boys and girls age 11 to 14—"A Time to Tell for Learning for Life" (No. AV-09DVD05)

    For young adults (boy or girl, ages 14 to 20)—"Youth Protection: Personal Safety Awareness" (No. AV-09DVD27).

  • In Cub Scout packs, distribute and discuss the Power Pack Pals comic books, which focus on bullying (No. 33980), Internet safety (No. 33981), and personal safety (No. 34750).

For availability of BSA resources, contact your local Scout council service center or go to www.scoutstuff.org.


17—years the National Capital Area Council (Bethesda, Md.) has held a November V3 Hike-O-Ree for Venturers, Sea Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts age 13 and older. Participants choose one of 15 hikes of about 10 miles with varying degrees of difficultly in the area of Front Royal, Va. The event also includes a Friday night campfire, high adventure rally on Saturday night, and a service project on Sunday morning.

23—years Scouts from the Chickasaw Council (Memphis, Tenn.) have placed U.S. flags on the graves of military veterans at the Memphis National Cemetery in time for Memorial Day. The event begins with a procession of 2,500 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, followed by a memorial service and the placing of flags on 46,890 graves.

55—years the National Capital Area Council(Bethesda, Md.) has hosted an autumn High Adventure Bison Banquet (with a menu featuring buffalo steaks). Scouts and leaders describe highlights of NCAC-sponsored high adventure trips from the previous year and offer tips and ideas for planning future expeditions.

75—years of operation of the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation celebrated by the Hawkeye Area Council (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) at a council camporee last September. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, and families participated in activities ranging from today's geocaching and slingshot target shooting to Scout skills and games from 75 years ago; and they visited exhibits and demonstrations by area conservation, outdoor, fire and police, and emergency services agencies.

2,263—free pinewood derby cars given by the Central New Jersey Council in its 2006 "Race for 5" campaign to more than 35 Cub Scout packs in the council's six districts which exceeded their 2005 membership by five or more new youth members during fall recruitment. The cars represented an increase of 249 over the previous year.

$1,256,582—relief funds provided in 2005 and 2006 by the National BSA Foundation's Hurricane Relief Fund to nine BSA councils and their employees following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Within hours of the first hurricane, the foundation established a dual-purpose Hurricane Relief Fund and set up www.scoutingfriends.org as an online donation point. It created the Fund to Rebuild Scouting, to help affected local councils rebuild their programs and facilities, and the Employee Relief Fund, to help BSA employees and their families piece back together their lives and homes.

High adventure bases seek staff

This summer the BSA will hire about a thousand people to work at Philmont Scout Ranch, 140 at the Florida Sea Base, and 180 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. 22 (from mid-May through Aug. 31 for the Florida Sea Base). Starting salary is based on experience and ranges upward from $868 per month. Lodging and three meals a day are included.

Contact each base for an application and information:

  • Philmont Scout Ranch, Seasonal Employment, 17 Deer Run Road, Cimarron, NM 87714, (505) 376-2281, camping@philmontscoutranch.org.
  • Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases, P.O. Box 509, Ely, MN 55731-0509, (218) 365-4811, info@ntier.org.
  • Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, P.O. Drawer 1906, Islamorada, FL 33036, (305) 664-4173, www.bsaseabase.org.

American Indian Scouting Seminar

The 50th American Indian Boy Scouting/Girl Scouting Seminar will be July 7 to 11 at East Central University in Ada, Okla.

The seminar—designed to teach about American Indian culture and to teach American Indians about Scouting—is an opportunity for councils to gain knowledge and resources for supporting Scouting in the American Indian community.

The annual event is conducted by the American Indian Scouting Association (AISA—a joint venture of the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Boy Scouts of America) and hosted by a local tribe or American Indian community. Tribal and Indian community leaders attend, as do Boy Scout and Girl Scout volunteers and staff; American Indian, Native Alaskan, and non-Indian troop leaders in Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting; and 12- to 17-year-old youth registered in Girl Scouting or Boy Scouting.

The event features workshops for adult volunteers and professional staff on Indian culture and Scouting relationships, including organizing Scouting in Indian communities. Youth workshops and programs are also available. Highlights include a parade of traditional clothing, a pow wow with music and dancing, and a visit with the Chickasaw Nation, the host for the 2007 seminar.

Registration forms for the American Indian Scouting Seminar are available at www.americanindianscouting.org or at your local Scout council service center, or write to Scoutreach Division, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

(Read Scouting magazine's report on the 49th AISA seminar, which was held in 2006 at Oklahoma's Cameron University, at www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0701/a-shar.html.)

Special Council Events Focus on Safety Instruction

Safety is always a key consideration for unit programs at every level, from Tiger Cubs through Venturing. For details on current BSA policies and procedures for safe activities, leaders should consult the Guide to Safe Scouting (BSA No. 34416E, available online at >www.scouting.org/pubs/gss).

To reinforce the information in the guide, however, several councils have developed hands-on, interactive learning experiences for unit leaders. For example:

The Connecticut Rivers Council schedules two special Safety Nights each year to provide Scoutmasters, Cubmasters, and other adult volunteers with training materials and information they need to deliver fun and adventurous programs to youth in a safe manner.

"We offer a total of four different Safety Night programs every two years—Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Climb On Safely, and Trek Safely," said Deb Miclette, council executive secretary. "All of them are free to our volunteers. Each night's program lasts about three and a half hours and is conducted by a trained teacher to help leaders understand the BSA standards and guidelines that need to be followed in these areas."

The same programs also are offered during summer camp, but many leaders are unable to take advantage of them at that time, Miclette added. The council's next Safety Night is scheduled for March.

In Indiana's Calumet Council, John Beebe, chairman of the council's Risk Management Committee, oversees an annual Risk Fair, where Scouting volunteers learn everything from performing CPR to operating an automatic electronic defibrillator to calculating proper insurance coverage for Scout-related activities.

The daylong fairs, which originated in 2003, are held each April at the First United Methodist Church in Munster, Ind., and typically attract between 50 and 70 adult volunteers and older Scouts.

"Each participant pays a nominal fee of $10 to $12, which includes a hot lunch, the cost of a copy of the BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting, other instructional materials, and a special patch," Beebe said. "We stick with practical methods of improving safety—including teaching the proper way to wash dishes outdoors and how to dispose of leftovers. We try to emphasize simple things that people tend to forget or overlook."

And finally, Scouting volunteer Donald Smith, a member of the Risk Management Committee in New Jersey's Patriots' Path Council, has created a PowerPoint slide show called "SafeScout." It is used to augment a safety video produced by the BSA national office, "Scouting Safetyíń∂Begins with Leadership" (BSA No. AV-09VO25), or used as a shorter stand-alone presentation to promote safety during challenging outdoor activities.

Copies of the presentation can be obtained by Scouters nationwide from the BSA's Risk Management Division, at (972) 580-2228 or vsavoy@netbsa.org.

—Bill Sloan

Cubmaster Bill Thornton poses with members of his team, the Grays, who proudly wear the "All-Star Medallions" each player received for participating in the Miami Valley Council's Scoutreach All-Stars summer baseball program.
Photograph Courtesy of the Miami Valley Council

Ohio council uses baseball to bring Scouting to more urban youth

Stephen Ross, a full-time teacher and coach at a junior high school in Dayton, Ohio, doesn't claim to know much about paleontology. But as a Scouting volunteer in an innovative Scoutreach program with the Miami Valley Council during the spring and summer of 2006, Ross demonstrated plenty of skill in, as he puts it, "resurrecting a dinosaur."

"Baseball was basically dead and buried in the urban neighborhoods of Dayton," said Ross. "Kids in kindergarten there learned to dribble and shoot a basketball, or toss a football around, but most had never had a baseball in their hands and didn't know a home run from a strikeout."

This was due in part, Ross said, to the fact that the inner city no longer offered places to play baseball. Most of Dayton's municipal parks once included practice diamonds, but the city had gradually converted this increasingly unused land to other purposes.

All that began to change in February 2006, when Miami Valley Council Scout Executive Ken Wade, a member of the same church as Ross, asked him to take on the task of bringing baseball back to life among 9- to 11-year-old boys in the predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

Using funds from several local organizations, as well as the BSA National Council, the new recruitment initiative would combine Cub Scouting and baseball to reach more underserved urban youth.

The result has been the Scoutreach All-Stars, which fielded five teams in 2006 and has registered 15 teams for its league this summer. Each 12- to 14-member team is affiliated with a Cub Scout pack, usually chartered to a local church. At the end of a 12-game schedule, the top teams compete in a championship playoff series, followed by two teams of league all-stars competing in a "Baseball Jamboree."

"Educating these kids in baseball fundamentals and helping them reach a competitive level of play has been an amazing experience," said Ross, who served as the program's first commissioner. "Local churches and businesses have been a tremendous help by sponsoring teams and packs and providing equipment and places to play."

Ross has turned over his commissioner's post to Scouting volunteer Bill Thornton for the second season, but he still works with the program.

And when dozens of boys take the field in June for their first games as Scoutreach All-Stars, the whole community will be able to see that both Scouting and baseball (otherwise known as Ross's "dinosaur") are alive and well in urban Dayton.

—Bill Sloan

Annual council banquet honors First Class Scouts

While many councils recognize each year's crop of new Eagle Scouts at an annual banquet, the Lincoln Heritage Council in Louisville, Ky., also offer a similar tribute to all Scouts who have achieved the rank of First Class.

For 18 consecutive years the banquet's keynote speaker has been former University of Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum, an inductee (1994) into the sport's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

More than 200 Scouts, parents, and Scoutmasters attended the 2006 banquet, held in October in the dining hall at the council's Camp Crooked Creek. Scouter Tammy Wells designed the impressive ceremony. Wells is chairman of the event and co-chairman of the council's program committee, as well as the mother of three Eagle Scouts and wife of a fourth.

An Order of the Arrow ceremony team of Eagle and Life Scouts paid tribute to their new First Class Scouts, while Crum, who won two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championships and led his team to six NCAA Final Fours during 30 seasons at Louisville, encouraged the honorees in his talk to complete the path to Eagle.

"Denny is a great friend of Scouting," said Clint Scharff, the council's director of support services, who helped organize the event. "We're extremely grateful for all the support he's given our program over the years."

Now a two-decade tradition in the council, the banquet "would be impossible for us to do without people like Tammy Wells and Coach Crum," Scharff said. "It's a long trail from Tenderfoot to Eagle, and we think it's important to give our First Class Scouts a boost like this along the way. We know from experience that it helps keep older kids in the program."


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March - April 2007 Table of Contents

Copyright © 2007 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.