News Briefs

BSA invites its youth members to enter 100th Anniversary Logo Contest

In 2010 the Boy Scouts of America will stage a spectacular yearlong birthday party celebrating 100 years of service to the youth of the nation. By entering the 100th Anniversary Logo Contest, registered BSA youth members have an opportunity to be a special part of this historical occasion.

The national competition aims to find the perfect design of a logo for the BSA’s 100th anniversary celebration. Winning designs will be used throughout the celebration.

The contest is open only to registered youth members of the BSA. Full details can be found on the BSA Web site at

Entries can be submitted through Nov. 30, 2007, by mail or electronically through the Web site. Judging will be in December with winners announced in January 2008.


It seems like most everyone these days has an iPod or some other form of MP3 audio player. But did you know that you can use it to download more than the latest top tunes?

The BSA’s Web site now features “National Commissioner’s Podcasts” by BSA National Commissioner Donald D. Belcher, who provides tips for energizing unit programs and building strong Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity teams, and Venturing crews.

The podcasts focus on youth retention, commissioner recruiting, and the new unit Centennial Quality Awards program. All are available for downloading at

For those new to podcasting, you will need podcast client software to manage the files and play the audio. Many brands of software are available, some free of charge. To obtain information, search the Internet for “podcast client,” then view the software’s manual to find out exactly how to subscribe to and download a podcast.

As part of the BSA’s centennial observance, new podcasts will be added online each year until 2010. A total of 11 podcasts are now available, according to Keith Christopher, director of leadership support services at the national office. Newly added for 2007 are podcasts on annual service plans, problem solving in key areas, and setting up a tracking system for commissioner unit visits.

“I can’t claim responsibility for the idea,” said Belcher, who earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1953 and is now in his fourth year as national commissioner, “but I think podcasts are a great way to improve our practices and a wonderful forum for focusing on major issues at the unit level.”

Boys' Life Wins No. 1 Periodical Of 2007

It’s official: Boys’ Life magazine is the best youth periodical in the country. At a Washington, D.C., event in June, Boys’ Life won four educational press Distinguished Achievement Awards including, for the first time, the prestigious Periodical of the Year award.

Competition was first-rate; BL’s competitors included all the major names in the youth publishing field: National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick, Nickelodeon, Weekly Reader, Highlights, youth publications from Time and The Wall Street Journal and many others.

The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), a national, nonprofit professional organization for the educational publishing industry, conferred the awards. AEP’s Distinguished Achievement Awards are among the most respected award programs among youth publishers.

Entries are evaluated on traits such as efficacy, usability, and overall educational value. An expert panel of educators, editors, designers, and technology specialists judge them.

Boys’ Life also earned Distinguished Achievement Awards in three categories targeting readers in grades 6 to 8. The article “10 Survival Tips” by Mark Anders, which appeared in the March 2006 issue, earned one. “The Nature in the Details,” an illustration by Mark Elliott that appeared in the September 2006 issue, also received an award. So did “The Sun and the Clouds and the Water,” a short story by Carl Deuker and Marian Deuker in the November 2006 issue.


Popcorn sales of $2,265,112 in its 2006 campaign in the Simon Kenton Council (Columbus, Ohio) shattered the previous record of $2,090,305.

The council rewarded its top 10 Scout salesmen with an evening of dinner and video games followed by attendance at a basketball game between Ohio State and Iowa State.

With sales of $7,050, Scout Tanner Hatcher was the council’s top seller.

The 13-year-old seventh grader from Troop 12 (which is chartered to the Cornerstone United Methodist Church, Portsmouth, Ohio) offered these sales tips for Scouts and Scouters, as recorded in the council newsletter, The Scouter.

  •  Set a sales goal. (Tanner started at $2,500, then went to $5,000, then to $10,000.)
  •  Know your products.
  •  Inform your customers where their money goes.
  •  Always wear your Scout uniform when selling. (Editor’s note: This applies only to a councilwide product sales campaign. In a unit sales effort, youth members should not wear uniforms so that the product can “be sold on its own merits without reference to the needs of Scouting,” according to the Unit Money-Earning Application, No. 34427, available at
  •  Participate in Show and Sells [selling directly to the public by setting up displays at supermarkets, churches, malls, etc.].
  •  Have a troop “blitz day” [when all unit members concentrate door-to-door sales in a specific neighborhood or community, followed by a fun activity or celebration event].
  •  Sell to family, friends, and local businesses (pointing out that the products make great employee or customer gifts).
  •  Form a sales team with your mother and grandparents.
  •  Make a personal thank-you card to give each customer when delivering an order.

EARLY-BIRD FOS drives score big for districts

Many Scout councils and districts are at the halfway mark in their Friends of Scouting (FOS) fund-raising efforts this month, but two districts in the Utah National Parks Council have already wrapped up successful 2008 drives and are preparing for their 2009 campaign.

There’s nothing new about getting an early start on FOS campaigns in the Uintah and Kings Peaks Districts, says district executive Paul Hitchcock, who serves both areas.

“This has been going on for about 40 years,” he said. “It was already a tradition when I came out here.”

The districts, including many units chartered to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have a good reason for winding up their campaigns before other districts even get started, Hitchcock pointed out.

“It works really well for us,” he said, “because it keeps us from having a second major project going on at the same time as our annual fall recruiting drive.”

Typically, the FOS campaigns begin in early June, rather than in September or October as in most districts, Hitchcock noted.

“We have our kickoff in June, and each unit puts together a list of established and prospective Friends of Scouting, he said. “Our goal is to wind up the campaigns by July 24, which is a statewide holiday in Utah, designated as ‘Pioneer Day.’ On that date, each district hosts a Pioneer Day breakfast to celebrate reaching our financial goals. It’s a communitywide event, and everyone is welcome.”

Both districts consistently surpass their goals, according to council Scout Executive Tom Powell,
and the totals grow from year to year.

The 2007 breakfasts drew approximately 4,500 persons—3,000 in the Uintah District and 1,500 in Kings Peaks—and when breakfast was over, the districts had collected nearly $75,000 each.

“Oh, we have a few stragglers up until late August but not many,” said Hitchcock. Of course, in many other districts nationwide, those “stragglers” would be classified as “early birds.”

-- Bill Sloan


The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (left), is presented the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by BSA President William F. (Rick) Cronk during an August ceremony in San Francisco.

Justice Breyer earned his Eagle Scout rank as a member of Troop 14 in 1952.

Also attending the ceremony was Justice Breyer’s brother, the Honorable Charles Breyer, United States District Court judge in San Francisco, and his Scoutmaster, Joseph Ehrman III.

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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.