Archive for the ‘News’ Category


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.

More information can be found at: http://newsblaze.com/story/2011011309300100001.pnw/topstory.html

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
    http://www.albanyenterprise.com/articles/2010/12/04/melrose_beacon/community/boyscouts.txt

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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 Scouter.com forums for this information.

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        I am not afraid to say it. President Obama  has lost a few points of respect with me this week when he decided to join the five hosts of The View television show instead of talking to the 40,000 Boy Scout and leaders at the BSA National Jamboree.

        I know, I know. Speaking at the National Jamboree is not in the President’s job description. He only does it if he wants to do it, and if his schedule allows it. But you know, he accepted the position of the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. Why wouldn’t he want to address the young men who are the future of our country. And do it live at the event?

        I understand the Jamboree participants will watch a prerecorded message from President Obama. That is better than nothing. At least the Boy Scouts were worth his time to record a video.

        I attended the 2001 National Jamboree. President Bush was scheduled to appear at a arena show to speak to us. Unfortunately, a storm went through the area and the show was postponed until the next evening. President Bush was not able to make it the following night so he recorded his message for us to watch on the big screens at the arena. (I personally did not mind watching the video. It saved us the time and trouble of going through presidential security.)

        The difference between these two events was that President Bush made the effort to attend the Jamboree, where President Obama did not. It gives me the impression that he decided to sort of brush off the Boy Scouts.

        Come on Mr. President! This is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. You had a captive audience of nearly 40,000 young men of every race and background, the future of this great country. This event was not something that just came up suddenly. The planning for this Jamboree was going on for years. You could not find the time in your schedule to address the Scouts?

        Yet, you could find time in your schedule to appear on a national daily talk show, and do some fundraising. This gave me the impression that being a celebrity is more important to you then being a leader of this country. And I know I am not the only person to feel this way.

        Mr. President, you could have taped your talk show interview at any time. You only have one week to speak to the young men at the 100th anniversary BSA National Jamboree. In my humble opinion, you blew it.

        Of course, this is my opinion and not the opinion of the Boy Scouts of America. I realize that not everyone shares my point of view. I also realize that the President will probably never read this blog post. But this is something that has been weighing on my mind this week so I wanted to write about it.

        How to you feel about the President skipping a live appearance at the National Jamboree? Please keep your comments civil or I will delete them.

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          The trial is over. After seven years of court battles the trial about wether the Cradle Of Liberty Council, BSA, can stay in the building they paid to have built and pay for the yearly costs, has come to an end. (If I understand correctly, the council has always paid the maintenance costs of the building on the land they rent from the city for $1 a year.)

          It appears that the Boy Scouts have won. According to the philly.com website:

          “A federal jury Wednesday decided that Philadelphia violated the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment rights by using the organization’s anti-gay policy as a reason to evict them from their city-owned offices near Logan Square.”

          The full article can currently be read at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20100623_Federal_Jury_Decides_in_Favor_of_Scouts.html?submit=Vote&oid=1&mr=1&97011914=Y&cid=8500281&pid=97011914

          So, does this mean it is over? I doubt it. It sounds like the city of Philadelphia’s lawyers are already looking toward their options for the next round of legal battles.

          I find it simply amazing that when you consider all the good that Scouting has done for that community, and how that building has not cost the city a dime to build and maintain, and how the city has so many other pressing problems to take care of, that they spend so much time, money, and resources to trying to evict the Boy Scout council. Scouting has been such an asset to Philadelphia. Seems to me like the city has received quite a bargain from the Cradle of Liberty Council.

          It does not make much sense to me. I guess that is why I am not in politics. Wouldn’t it be great if some rich supporter of Scouting would just buy the property and donate it to the council?

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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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              We have all heard of famous Eagle Scouts like Neil Armstrong, Steve Spielberg, and Ross Perot. But today’s Boy Scout may have a little trouble identifying with these gentlemen. After all, they are (dare I say it?) old. How about someone younger, someone 20, 30, or 40 years closer to the age of today’s Boy Scouts?

              If you are a tech geek you may remember a television show on Tech TV several years ago called The Screensavers. The show featured a young man by the name of Kevin Rose. Kevin loved modifying computers and finding those special programs to make it run better and do more. He rapidly became a popular member of the show and soon became the host.

              After The Screensavers was canceled, Kevin turned his interests to the internet. He and his friends began a little website called Digg.com which soon became an internet sensation. He is one of the driving forces of Revision 3, an internet television site, and occasionally appears on the This Week In Tech podcast with his old friends Leo Leport and Patrick Norton.

              During a recent Diggnation podcast episode Kevin admitted to Alex, his co-host on the show, that he was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout. In fact, Kevin earned the rank of Eagle Scout when he was only 16 years old, and went on to earn two Eagle palms.

              Kevin and Alex went on to discuss merit badges that Kevin had earned, goinf camping, and building campfires. It was pretty obvious that Alex was not a Scout when he was younger. These two guys are still very much like college guys even though Kevin is now 32 years old.

              Watch the Diggnation episode HERE.

              I had never thought of Kevin Rose as an Eagle Scout when I watched him on television and later on his podcast. He always came off to me as a bit of a rebel. But he is also very smart, seems to know what he wants, and he knows how to get there. Now, when I look closer at what he has accomplished in his short time as an entrepreneur, yes, I can see the traights of an Eagle Scout. But as a scoutmaster, I do wish he would watch his language a bit more and drink less beer.

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                The Sauk Centre Herald is a weekly newspaper published in the city of Sauk Centre, which is the first town to the west of Melrose, the city I call home. The Herald is one of three local newspapers that does a good job of supporting the local Scout troops and packs.

                A few years ago I recieved a phone call from one of the Herald staff asking for a picture of the troop. They were planning on doing a full page spread in the issue coming out during Scout week to recognize the area Scout units, and wanted to include pictures of the Scouts and leaders. I was quite impressed when I saw the issue a few weeks later.

                Last December I was contacted by Robin who works for the Herald. The paper was planning on doing their yearly Scout tribute again for the first week of February and needed a new group photo. Luckily, she contacted me just before the troop’s December court of honor so I was able to get a current group photo.

                When the issue arrived on the newsstand I was quick to pick up a copy. Once again, I was very impressed with the job done by the Sauk Centre Herald staff. It was two full pages featuring photographs of troops and packs from four local communities. And it was in full color. And it had other Scouting information included, like the Scout Law and the vision of Scouting.

                I told Robin about this blog and asked if it would be alright to share the two page spread with my readers. She was happy to ablige and emailed the full size pdf files to me. After taking the names of the Scouts off the pages (online youth protection, you know) and resizing the pages a bit, I have up loaded them to the troop’s website. Click a link and take a look. See if you do not agree that the Sauk Centre Herald did a great job.

                Page 1 (Boy Scouts)
                Page 2 (Cub Scouts)

                Wouldn’t it be great if all local communities did something like this for Scout Week?

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