Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Eagle in The Newspaper

I was looking forward to receiving this week’s Melrose Beacon, our local weekly newspaper. An article about Dakota, our newest Eagle Scout, was included in it. I was curious as to were it would appear in the paper. It took the top fifth of page 5, and it featured a picture of Dakota with his proud parents.

Herman, the writer of the article, attended the Eagle court of honor. His story included quotes from the ceremony and parts of his interview of Dakota and his parents. It also told the readers a little information about his Eagle project.

I wish I could have you read the article, but the newspaper website is offline. The newspaper was recently sold and the new owners have been working on having a new site created.

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    Our local weekly newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has been working for a few weeks on an article about the 100th anniversary of the first Boy Scout troops formed in Melrose. Herman, the writer of the article, has sent me a few emails requesting information and the chance to proofread the story which was printed in the April 13th edition. The article began on the front page, lower left corner, and continued on page 3. It included pictures of the current Boy Scout troop and Cub Scout pack. (Unfortunately, the newspaper’s website in down so I cannot post a link for you to see the article.)

    The Melrose Beacon has supported the local Scouting program for over three decades. Coverage began in 1980 with short articles written by one of the troop committee members and myself about what the Boy Scouts were doing during their troop meetings. Once a month, we would submit an article about the troop’s activity, along with a picture or two. It was a great way for the community to see what the Boy Scouts were doing.

    We do not submit weekly article these days. Usually, it is once a month, covering our weekly activity or a special event like a court of honor, a service project, or an Eagle Scout ceremony. Articles will still include a picture or two.

    I have written hundreds of article over the past 30 years. (I guess you could call them my blog before there was blogging.) I would write the stories by hand and then drop them off at the Beacon office. These days it is all done by email.

    The Melrose Beacon has recently come under new ownership. There is also a new editor. I am thankful that they still plan to continue supporting the local Scouting program. In addition to the recent 100th anniversary article, they will soon be publishing an article about our latest Eagle Scout and one about our waffle supper fundraiser. This week’s newspaper included a story about the troop’s weekend outing at Camp Stearns. I plan to submit a photo of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts taken in front of the Fire Department’s ladder truck taken during the troop’s open house last Monday.

    Does your local newspaper support your Scouting program? Do you need to submit your own articles or does the paper send someone out to cover the event?

    100 Days of Scouting: Day 74.

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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 –

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        A few days ago I wrote about a full page ad in the weekly newspaper celebrating the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the local Scouting program. The spread featured pictures of the local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. It was pretty impressive.

        I received a copy of the Sauk Centre Herald yesterday. (That is the weekly newspaper in our neighboring town that is also owned by the same group as our Melrose Beacon.) I was quite surprised to see a two page ad about Boy Scouting in the center of the first section. The spread features photos of Sauk Centre Troop 25 and Pack 25, Brooten Troop 66, and BBE Pack 667. Sixteen businesses sponsored the ad. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture.

        Does your local newspaper do something similar? Let us know about it by leaving a comment.

        Note: The names of the boys have been deleted from the picture as per the Guide To Safe Scouting guidelines.

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          The Melrose Beacon, our local weekly newspaper, arrived in the mail today. I was pleasantly surprised to see a full page “ad” celebrating the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, along with pictures of the Melrose troop and pack. The spread included The Boy Scout Oath, the Cub Scout Promise, and the Law of The Pack. Information about our council and hot to join a pack or troop was also covered.

          The Melrose Beacon was recently purchased by the same group that owns a local weekly newspaper in Sauk Centre, our neighboring city to the west. The Sauk Centre Herald has included a two page ad featuring the local troops and packs (including Melrose) for the last few years. This year our troop and pack were featured in our own community newspaper.

          Boy Scout Troop 68 and Cub Scout Pack 68 would like to thank the Melrose Beacon and the local businesses who supported this week’s full page feature. The businesses were CAP Enterprises, Kraemer Lumber, Melrose VFW Club, Freeport State Bank, Stearns Electric Association, Loren Pundsack Collision Center, Spaeth Sodding and Nursery, Rahn’s Oil and Propane, Catholic Aid Association, Melrose Pharmacy, Diversicom, and Hennen Lumber Company.

          Isn’t this a great story for 100 Days Of Scouting, Day 2?

          Click on the picture to see a larger picture of the ad. The boys names have been removed in keeping with the B.S.A.’s Youth Protection policy.

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            This is fantastic news, or as Buttons the radical Boy Scout would say, “Totally awesome!”  The World Jamboree will be coming to the United States this decade. According to the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page:

            Great news!

            The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve has been chosen as the site for World Scout Jamboree 2019! Make sure you head over to their Facebook and congratulate them! The North American Scout Associations (Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada, and the Scout Association of Mexico) won the bid to host the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

            Are you going to make plans to attend?

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              I recently wrote a blog post about the historical discovery that a Boy Scout program was started in Melrose way back in 1911. I also submitted the post to the Melrose Beacon, our local weekly newspaper. This week’s issue arrived today and the (slightly altered) article found on page 5. And very large, I might add, taking nearly half a page with the photos. (Click on the photo to get a larger version.) Kudos to the Melrose Beacon for supporting the Scouting program in Melrose for the past 31 years.

              The article has also been posted to the newspaper’s website. It can be found at

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                As a followup to the previous blog article I thought it would be nice to know which presidents have attended BSA National Jamborees.

                Following are presidents that have attended National Jamborees:
                1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt
                1950 – Harry Truman
                1960 – Dwight D. Eisenhower
                1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson
                1989 – George Bush
                1997 – Bill Clinton
                2005 – George Bush

                In 2001, George Bush was unable to attend due to inclement weather on the night originally scheduled, and had a schedule conflict on the rescheduled night. Ronald Regan’s 2nd polyp surgery was July 13, 1985 – before the Jamboree (July 24 – 30). He hosted a State Dinner July 23, followed by a trip to Camp David, so would have been well enough to travel.

                I would like to thank “Be_Prepared” from the forums for this information.

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