Archive for the ‘Eagle’ Category


I sat down with Dakota, the troop’s next Eagle Scout, this weekend to begin work on the slideshow presentation that will be shown at his court of honor next month. We quickly discovered this was not going to be as easy as past slideshows. In fact, it was going to take awhile to put this one together.

Dakota joined the troop about the same time that I switched to digital photography and left film behind. That means I have a lot more photographs of Dakota than any other Troop 68 Eagle Scout to date. In the past, I would have several dozen pictures to pick from. With Dakota, I had over 800! By the time we finished narrowing down the number we still had ninety pictures that would be good to use in the slideshow. Past slideshows only used 30-50 pictures. Previous slideshows were 3 to 5 minutes long. This one would be a lot longer if we were to use them all.

I left the final decision to Dakota. After all, it was his court of honor. He really did not want to drop any of the photos. Okay then, it was time to choose the music. I thought he would choose a couple country songs for the presentation but he surprised me when the first song he picked was a song by KISS, Rock And Roll All Nite. The second song he choose was Young, by Kenny Chesney. These two songs gave us nearly seven minutes, but since I like to transition the photographs to the beat of the songs I realized this would not be enough. We needed one more short tune. Dakota started looking through the song collection and surprised me one more time when he chose Bird is the Word, by The Trashmen.

Three completely different songs within one Eagle Scout slideshow presentation! I shook my head. I did not know how this was going to turn out but Dakota seemed to think it would provide a few laughs for the audience. I could not argue with that.

Over the next one couple hours, with Dakota sitting next to me, I began to edit the slideshow. It is finished except for the last picture, a photo of Dakota in his Scout uniform. I have to say, even though the presentation will be about ten minutes long, I think it is going to keep the audience’s attention. It will provide a few giggles.

Dakota has decided that only he and I will see the slideshow before the court of honor. Even his parents will have to wait. I hope everyone enjoys it. I plan to post it to the Melrose Scout Production Podcast next month, after the ceremony.

100 Days of Scouting: Day 27 .

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    When Mike Rowe attended the 2010 National Jamboree Arena Show the Boy Scouts went nuts! At that moment he was more popular then a rock star. And to top it off, he is an Eagle Scout. Did you know that a couple of Scouts had the chance to interview him while he was at The Hill? Yes they did. They asked him why he was not wearing his uniform. They asked him why he did not use all his powers to get a Dirty Jobs merit badge passed by the national office. They even got him to sing a song he remembered from his days as a Boy Scout. In other words, it was a fun video to watch.

    100 Days of Scouting – Day 8

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      I usually try to keep this blog in an upbeat mood, but I received a letter today from Justin Szalsa, the director of 759: Boy Scouts of Harlem, with some unhappy news this morning. One of the stars of the film, Colin “KC” Byers, has passed away. Here is Justin’s letter, reprinted with his permission:

      Dear friends of 759,

      I am writing you to report some very sad news. As some of you already know, our friend Colin “KC” Byers, an Eagle Scout and a star of “759,” died suddenly on February 1st . He would have celebrated his 18th birthday on February 9th.

      Colin was struck down within a matter of hours by a massive brain trauma related to a blood disorder called ITP that developed very rapidly. Some of you may know that Colin organized a blood drive for his Eagle service project and made it a point to regularly donate blood.

      For the Byers family this is a second tragedy in too short a time–Colin’s father, the composer Patrick Byers, died just a few months earlier after a battle with cancer. Colin leaves behind his mother, Jennifer, two younger brothers and a younger sister—along with a very large family and huge group of friends. The Scouts of New York City, The Village of Harlem, Troop 759, Miss Ann, Mr. Sowah, Jake and I are devastated by the loss of our friend. Please remember Colin and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

      For those of you in New York City, there will be a memorial service in Colin’s honor at LaGuardia High School at 100 Amsterdam Avenue at 65th Street on Saturday, February 12th from 10AM-noon.

      Also, many of you have asked how you can materially support the Byers family. The Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils have offered to assist anyone who’d like to make a donation to support the family. The gift will not be tax deductable but your support will go directly to the family. Simply indicate on your check “Byers Family”and mail it to

      Byers Family
      c/o Greater New York Councils
      Boy Scouts of America
      350 Fifth Ave, #430
      New York, NY 10118

      Finally, Albert Maysels, one of the greatest American documentary filmmakers who I admire very much said to make a good documentary you have to love your subjects. Jake and I love KC, Patrick and the rest of the Byers family. We will miss them.

      -Justin Szlasa

      Update: A video has been posted to YouTube in memory of Colin –
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbLWnAtFTMM

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        If you have been following me for awhile you are aware the I have a Flickr account to which I have posted thousands of pictures featuring over thirty years of Scouting in Melrose. I also belong to several Flickr Scouting themed groups, and I am the administrator for the Flickr Wood Badge Photos group.

        I wanted to recently find a group to share photos from Eagle Scout ceremonies and celebrations. I did a search and to my surprise I did not find a public group. So I decided to start one. I decided to name it simply “Eagle Scouts”. It can be found HERE.

        I invite you to share your photos of your troop’s Eagle Scout courts of honor and celebrations. Be sure to join the group. Let’s make this a great group to showcase those special Boy Scouts who have attained the rank of Eagle.

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          The Eagle Scout theme continues with Around The Scouting Campfire #15. The show begins with Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, looking through the Troop 68 photo albums. This leads to Scoutmaster Steve explaining his methods of creating a slideshow to be shown at an Eagle Scout’s court of honor. Michael, an Boy Scout from Troop 68, shares his thoughts and a story or two about how he became an Eagle Scout. Buttons shares some facts about Eagle Scouts, along with a few jokes. Then it is time for a scoutmaster conference about a Scout being cheerful.

          Steve and Buttons thank PTC Media (http://www.ptcmedia.net) for allowing this program to be a part of the family of Scouting related podcasts. We also thank the Boy Scout Store (http://boyscoutstore.com) for sponsoring this show. Be sure to take a moment to check out their website. Finally, we would like to thank you, our listeners, for downloading Around The Scouting Campfire.

          Send us your emails. We would love to hear from you. You can contact Buttons at buttonst68@yahoo.com. You may contact Scoutmaster Steve at stevejb68@yahoo.com. Please rate the show and/or leave a comment at the iTunes store or at PTC Media forums.
          You can also follow the hosts at Twitter at twitter.com/stevejb68 or twitter.com/buttonst68
          .
          Download episode #15 by clicking HERE.
          Subscribe to the RSS Feed – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MelroseScoutingAudioPodcast
          This podcast is found on iTunes at
          http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=307979159.
          .
          Show notes:
          Eagle Scout Slideshows – http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=278
          Speech of Eagle Scout Michael S. – http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=365
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            Scoutmaster Steve and Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, return for this month’s episode of the Around The Scouting Campfire podcast. This episode is dedicated to all Eagle Scouts. Steve and Buttons talk about a recent Eagle court of honor held in Melrose, and play some audio snippets from the ceremony. Steve talks about the scoutmaster conference for the Eagle Rank. Buttons reads a ceremony he would like to include in his Eagle court of honor someday.

            Steve and Buttons thank PTC Media (http://www.ptcmedia.net) for allowing this program to be a part of the family of Scouting related podcasts. We also thank the Boy Scout Store (http://boyscoutstore.com) for sponsoring this show. Be sure to take a moment to check out their website. Finally, we would like to thank you, our listeners, for downloading Around The Scouting Campfire.

            Send us your emails. We would love to hear from you. You can contact Buttons at buttonst68@yahoo.com. You may contact Scoutmaster Steve at stevejb68@yahoo.com. Please rate the show and/or leave a comment at the iTunes store or at PTC Media forums.
            .
            Download episode #14 by clicking HERE.
            Subscribe to the RSS Feed – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MelroseScoutingAudioPodcast
            This podcast is found on iTunes at
            http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=307979159.
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              Boy Scout Troop 68 recently honored another of its members who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Alex K. is the troop’s eighteenth Eagle Scout. That means it was time for me to create another slideshow for an Eagle court of honor. Alex and his mother picked out several pictures from before when he joined Scouting, and I had plenty of pictures of his years in Scouting. Alex picked out the two songs used, both of which caught me by surprise, but they seem to work out very well.

              To honor Alex K., our newest Eagle Scout, I add his slideshow to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast. I hope you enjoy it as well as the audience did at his court of honor.

              More information and videos about the Eagle Scouts of Troop 68 can be found at the troop’s Eagle Hall Of Fame: http://melrosetroop68.org/EagleHall.html

              Click here to DOWNLOAD this Podcast
              Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
              or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
              Check out other Scouting podcasts at PTC Media.

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                The Eagle Project is one of the biggest challenges to attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. For many Scouts it is probably the first time they have ever had to plan, prepare, and conduct such an activity. Dozens, even hundreds, of hours will be spend on a project. Papers need to be signed, people and groups contacted, materials bought, and refreshments need to be provided. It is quite a job for a teenager to carry out. Yet they do, and communities benefit from the projects.

                There has recently been an article passed along in Scouting groups about an Eagle project that helped a group of children half a world away. Alex Griffith, a sixteen year old from Maryland, decided to help an orphanage in Russia when it came time for his project. It was the same orphanage that he lived in before he was adopted by Dwight and Jenny Griffith as a young child. To understand the enormous nature of this project here is an except from an article on the CNN website:

                Alex devoted 2 ½ years to his Krasnoyarsk Playground Project. In addition to recruiting more than 500 volunteers in five countries, he raised more than $60,000 by soliciting help from local Rotary Clubs and joining forces with other Boy Scouts for candy sales, car washes and barbeque fundraisers. Alex oversaw every aspect of production, from designing and purchasing the playground to shipping equipment overseas.

                The whole article can be seen at:
                http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/09/10/cnnheroes.alex.griffith/?imw=Y
                Be sure to check out the project’s website for the facts and figures from this project: http://www.krasplayground.org/ (By the way, the picture shown with this article is from this website.)

                This was an awesome project. And tell the truth, another awesome aspect of this project is that CNN decided to list Alex as a CNN Hero. It is great to see a national news agency picking up a positive story of Scouting.

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