One Shining Moment

Scouts have had massive jamboree gatherings before. But thanks to the magic of technology, this summer will bring the largest family reunion in Scouting’s history.

At 8 p.m. EDT on July 31, “A Shining Light Across America” will broadcast across the country from the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. The BSA’s entire family—Scouts, adult volunteer leaders, alumni, families, and communities—has a chance to take part in this unforgettable experience.

Scouting plans to make the exciting program, including top entertainment acts, stunning visual effects and music, and appearances by well-known former Scouts, accessible nationwide via Webcast. Select councils, districts, and units will receive the broadcast by one-way satellite transmission, while others will take part by two-way satellite transmission—allowing them to broadcast their own Shining Light activities back to the jamboree site.

As part of this event, local councils, districts, and units will gather in venues large and small to host their own local activities leading up to the Shining Light broadcast. For ideas about creating your own memorable activities, visit and access the Shining Light Toolkit on YourSource.

Planning is also well under way for Shining Light activities in New York City, according to Bill Kelly, a development officer with the Greater New York Council.

On July 31, Kelly says, jumbo video screens in Times Square will air the broadcast, and visitors can camp at two local facilities accessible by public transportation from Manhattan.

A Brush With History

Over the 100-year history of the BSA, the organization has had only two official artists: the immortal Norman Rockwell, whose iconic paintings from 1913 to 1976 became the public face of Scouting for millions, and former Boys’ Life art director Joseph Csatari, Rockwell’s colleague and friend for more than a decade who took up the torch.

Now, Csatari has captured the essence of the 100th Anniversary in a beautiful painting that will preserve the special memories of this year. Get the 11-by-14-inch poster for $5.99 or a handsome framed print for $99.99. Find information on ordering both by searching for “1910-2010 Csatari” at

Reflecting from his studio in South River, N.J., on the history he and Rockwell made so vivid, the 80-year-old Csatari notes that the values and traditions of Scouting remain as strong today as ever. “American values, family values, and Scouting values are synonymous,” he says.

Cutting Edges

If you’re wondering just how many more goodies and gadgets the geniuses at Victorinox can add to the Swiss Army Knife, the answer seems to be: plenty.

The newest add-ons bring the venerable multipurpose blade into the digital age. In addition to the usual features such as scissors, file, corkscrew, saw, and opener, check out the cutting-edge capabilities of these two models:

  • Victorinox Remote: packs a dual-channel transmitter capable of controlling a home garage-door opener and other products operating on a high-frequency receiver. 

  • Victorinox Presentation Master: sports a removable USB flash drive with secure data encryption, fingerprint authentication, and up to 32GB storage (shown at right). It also features a laser pointer and a Bluetooth remote for notebook or PC. It’s available in a “flight-friendly” version (without blades), so you’ll have no hassles with airport security.

Prices range from $100-$300. For more information, go to

You've Got NAYLE

It’s time to sign up for this summer’s National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) sessions. NAYLE, a high-adventure Philmont experience, enhances the leadership skills taught to Boy Scouts at the unit and council level. And now, for the first time, Venturers are eligible to attend.

“The kids have a fantastic time out there, and it really impacts their whole view of life and leadership skills,” says Mary Stevens, committee chair for Troop 84 in San Rafael, Calif.

NAYLE campers live in a patrol setting at Rocky Mountain Scout Camp, where they use leadership skills to resolve exciting and challenging backcountry situations. This wilderness encounter motivates participants to follow a life of helping others succeed based on the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. NAYLE equips youth to become better troop and crew leaders, National Youth Leadership Training staff members, and/or superior camp staff.

For information about dates, costs, and eligibility requirements, go to

Get Your Motor Running

With Scouting virtually everywhere during this centennial year, you’ll also have an opportunity to see it on the racetracks of America thanks to the launch of a marketing program called BSA Motorsports.

This spring and summer, check out the No. 19 IndyCar roaring to victory (we hope!), in the Izod IndyCar series all around the world, including the world-famed Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

The Scout car is driven and maintained by Dale Coyne Racing based in Plainfield, Ill., the team that has developed drivers such as Paul Tracy and Roberto Moreno.

“Racing is a modern-day way to connect with youths and to further Scouting’s dedication to expanding tomorrow’s leaders through education, math, science, and engineering,” says Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca.

Coyne, a former Scout with the Rainbow Council in Joliet, Ill., believes the Scout car will reap large payoffs that go beyond winning and losing as Scouts learn and apply the disciplines of science and technology using the excitement of racing.

“The message we’ll convey is the significance of education and the value of preparing for a rapidly advancing high-tech world,” Coyne says.

You can see the car in races televised nationally on Versus or ABC. Or see it in person at one of 13 remaining stops on its schedule, including 10 in the United States, two in Canada, and one in Japan.

Upcoming race dates in the U.S.:

  • May 1 -- Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
  • May 30 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • June 5 -- Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Tex
  • June 20 -- Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
  • July 4 -- Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y.
  • Aug. 8 -- Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
  • Aug. 22 -- Infineon Raceway, Sonoma Valley, Calif.
  • Aug. 28 -- Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill.
  • Sept. 4 -- Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
  • Oct. 2 -- Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

Leaders' Digest

Here’s a book you can tote along on the next camp-out, if you need to say something memorable around the campfire. The Scouter’s Companion: Tips and Stories Celebrating 100 Years (Gibbs Smith, $9.99) crams its 144 pages with wisdom for young and old alike.

The Scouter’s Companion captures the essence of the Boy Scouts through songs, stories, quotes, and poems from dozens of famous names. You’ll want to ponder its contents again and again.

Look for it soon at

Come to the Reunion

Scouting has a message to your former Scouting peers who may have drifted away from the BSA: You were part of the first 100 years of Scouting; now join us for the next century. To encourage them to re-engage, the office of Alumni Relations has sent out almost half a million invitations to a reunion at the 2010 jamboree. And you’re invited. Alums can visit and click on the Alumni tab to get started. Once they receive the invitation and send in an RSVP, alums are set for a memorable day on July 30.

When they arrive at the jamboree, they’ll be given a special map that will direct them to exhibits and events. They can attend an Alumni Gathering in the arena at 1 p.m., where they’ll enjoy an hour of entertainment and remarks by Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca.

Oh, and one other perk: Anyone who signs up will receive a free “Reveille” cell phone ring tone.

“Our alumni program is a new and exciting direction,” says Bill Steele, director of alumni relations for the BSA. “The ring tone is just the first of many benefits from registering as an alumni, with many more to come.”

The Annual Report

To highlight the achievements of the Boy Scouts of America in 2009, Scouting delegates presented the organization’s Report to the Nation in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27. Delegates included (from left) Colin Byers, Sabrina Delgado, Anthony Thomas, Edward Myers, Connor Rieve, Morgan Johnson, Matthew McGroarty, and Bradford Lichota.

One Year, Two Rare Finds

For collectors, 1935 offered two fascinating symbols of Scouting’s past. The first is the 25-Year Veteran patch. This patch was used only for a year, and less than 100 were issued. Its only recipients were individuals who were part of the BSA for all 25 years since the program’s founding in 1910. The fully embroidered 25-Year Veteran patch featuring the Roman numeral XXV debuted a year later. All veteran patches were discontinued in 1972.

Our other patch, also from the 25th Anniversary year, comes with a sobering story. Scouting issued this jamboree shoulder strip for Scouts from Region 8 (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming) who planned to attend the 1935 jamboree in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the jamboree was canceled because of a polio outbreak in the nation’s capital. Scouts from all across the country were en route to Washington, many on trains, and had to turn back. The shoulder patch was issued under the old 12-region system that existed before today’s four-region system. That’s why these old shoulder patches have been a major collecting draw at jamborees and, no doubt, will be again this summer.

Present at the Creation

As we look forward to this summer’s jamboree, it’s also a good time to look back at the first jamboree in 1937—almost 75 years ago. With the country still gripped by the Great Depression, about 25,000 Scouts descended on Washington, D.C., pitching tents around the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin.

Among the throng was Bill Martin, now 86, who was one of about 20 Western Montana Council young men to attend. The year before the event, Martin’s mother had told him he could go to the jamboree if he earned his Life Scout rank. So he headed off to summer camp determined to reach the goal. Martin earned more than enough badges and even received a letter of commendation from a Scout executive lauding his hard work.

The 1937 jamboree was a huge hit in the media. Time magazine reported that the most popular pastime among the boys was swapping an odd assortment of souvenirs: “Wampum, pine cones, mounted birds, sharks’ teeth, sponges, pickled scorpions, and the ever-popular horned toads.”

Martin came home and plunged back into Scouting activities, becoming the first Eagle Scout in his town of Libby. The years have dimmed Martin’s memories of the jamboree. But, as he told the Daily Inter Lake of Northwest Montana, one thing stands out in his mind: museums. “I saw more museums in 30 days than I saw the rest of my life,” Martin says. “We went to museums in every city we stopped in.

Top of Page

May - June 2010 Table of Contents