Pay attention, because there’ll be a test later.
Boy Scout families — both current and former — can score $250 SAT or ACT test-prep computer programs for less than $20. That means the study materials, shipping, student support, and streaming content can be yours for less than half what it costs to take the actual tests themselves.
It’s $19.99 for either the SAT or ACT test-program, which includes 11 hours of video instruction, 3,000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive diagnostic tools, sample questions, and practice tests.
Have a student who’s taking both tests? Grab both programs for $39.98 — a huge savings over the $499.98 list price.
Mac or PC? Doesn’t matter, because the software — available either as a DVD or streamed online — works on either platform.
Longtime blog readers might recognize this program as a continuation of the eKnowledge and the SAT/ACT Donation Project I mentioned a year ago and in 2010. In the years since it began, eKnowledge, which says its mission is helping Scouts and Venturers to Be Prepared for these important standardized tests, has sent more than 4,500 Scouting families this software. And it has received hundreds of thank-you notes from Scouting families, with comments such as: Continue reading
Updated, April 30: Apple iOS version now available
They say this summer’s National Jamboree will be the most-connected ever. Well, this is a great start.
Version 1.0 of the Jamboree Summit App is available on Apple and Android devices. The Android app clocks in at just over 10 MB and costs $0.99 in the Google Play store. The iOS version for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch weighs 15 MB and costs $0.99 at the App Store.
The AT&T-sponsored app, intended for use by participants, staff, and visitors to the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, provides up-to-date information on all programs and activities being held at the Summit this summer. See some screenshots below. Continue reading
Doing Your Best, even in adverse circumstances, is part of Scouting’s core.
So we shouldn’t be too surprised that Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar, finished third in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — even after starting third-to-last.
A qualifying mishap forced Wilson to start the race in 25th place, so he had to make up a lot of ground. But he and his team did just that, propelling the Dale Coyne Racing BSA car to its best-ever finish.
That’s great news for the Coynes, longtime supporters of Scouting. But it’s also great news for the BSA’s brand. Seeing the BSA’s website and logos on a car competing for the checkered flag essentially means free advertising for the BSA. And a better finish equals more air time.
The ultimate goal: Get non-Scouts talking about the Boy Scouts of America and get current Scouts and Scouters thinking about the ways they can use BSA Racing to promote STEM initiatives in their own units. Continue reading
Which merit badges had Scouts rushing to counselors and Moms and Dads rushing to the sewing machine last year?
Here’s your answer. In January 2012, I presented a list of 2011′s most- and least-popular merit badges based on sales numbers from the Supply Division. This year’s numbers come from the BSA Program folks and are based not on sales but on the actual number earned, meaning they should be more accurate.
As you’d expect, the 12 most-earned merit badges from 2012 were all Eagle-required. Those merit badges provide extra motivation for Scouts to finish them on their journey through the ranks. But the badges that ranked 13 to 130 have some interesting takeaways:
A bit of good news from West, Texas, today. Longhorn Council Scout Executive John Coyle says he’s learned the members of Pack 494 and Troop 494 in West are all safe and accounted for after the deadly explosion there Wednesday night.
Coyle’s assistant director of field service and four field staff members have spent the day in West distributing water and providing other help. It’s just another example of Scouts and Scouters pitching in when and where they’re needed.
Other Scouts are joining in the Good Turns. Troop 308, one of Longhorn Council’s larger troops in nearby Waco, Texas, is conducting a collection of essential goods on Sunday.
So if you live near there, stop by the First United Methodist Church in Waco at the corner of Lake Air drive and Cobbs drive. The collection will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21. These are the items they need: Continue reading
The Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee today released its membership policy resolution, which proposes removing the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and maintaining the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.
The resolution, if passed, would be effective Jan. 1, 2014. You can read a summary below or see the complete text at this link (PDF).
Next up, the resolution is sent to all voting delegates, a group of volunteers from every BSA council, who will put it to a vote at the National Annual Meeting next month.
The resolution comes after a lengthy review process in which the BSA gathered perspectives from inside and outside the Scouting family. The five-page Membership Standards Study Initiative Executive Summary (PDF) explains in detail the key findings from this review.
For those with questions, the BSA has prepared this comprehensive list of FAQs (PDF) about the resolution.
Here’s the resolution: Continue reading
Update, 3:48 p.m. April 19: Read the latest here.
I was sickened to read about last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, just 90 minutes south of the BSA’s National Office in Texas.
West, a tight-knit community of 2,700, is part of the Longhorn Council, and Longhorn Scout Executive John Coyle told me this morning that his council’s volunteers and professionals are prepared to mobilize and help when and where they’re needed.
“If we can help any portion of the community, we will,” Coyle said. “Right now they need professionals.”
In other words, it’s too early to do anything without interfering with first responders who are still searching for survivors. Coyle did say the council has a troop and pack in West, but he hasn’t yet been able to get in contact with those unit leaders.
“Our district executive was trying to get in touch with some of the leaders down there, but he just couldn’t get through last night. When we can find out what is needed to help our units, we will take action,” he said. “I do know that right now the community is looking for financial support and blood donors.”
So if you live in North Texas, please get to a blood donation center as soon as you can. As for donations of supplies or cash, I’ll post again about that when I get details.
More to come. Continue reading
Though certainly not a requirement for earning the Eagle Scout Award, an Eagle Scout Service Project video can be icing on the cake, celebrating and commemorating a boy’s hard work and planning.
And with HD cameras built into modern smartphones and inexpensive, user-friendly video-editing software available, it’s easier than ever to produce high-quality videos like the ones I’ve chosen to show here.
So allow me to present the first-ever Bryan on Scouting Golden Eagle Awards for Eagle Scout videos. I’ve watched several-dozen so far, and they’re all great. But I’ve singled out five in particular for these awards, which come with neither a statuette nor any prize money — just my pat on the back for a job well done.
So, without further ado… Continue reading
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, N.Y.
Boy Scout log cabins, I’ve seen before. But a Scout cabin built inside a church?
That’s got to be one of a kind. Since its construction in February 1928, a Scout-built log cabin in the basement of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church has served as Buffalo, N.Y., Troop 2′s meeting spot.
But as this New York Times story points out, the 85-year-old cabin was dismantled yesterday as the church undergoes massive renovations. The church itself is on the National Register of Historic Places, so the exterior can’t be touched. But everything inside, including the Scout cabin, has to go to make room for the renovations.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for Troop 2. Continue reading
When two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon yesterday, Bruce and Bonnie Showstack were standing where they have for the past decade of races — two blocks from the finish line.
The Showstacks, both longtime Scouting volunteers in the Boston Minuteman Council, have spent the past 10 to 12 years working in Section 12, the area where runners receive their medals and meet loved ones.
But at 2:50 p.m. Monday, elation turned to panic when the explosions killed three and injured more than 170.
Thankfully, Bruce, Bonnie, and the other Scouts and Scouters volunteering at the race are shaken up, but OK. And this morning, Bruce and Bonnie — pictured above before the race began — took the time to call me and relay their experiences from yesterday’s marathon. Continue reading