Join the Eagle celebration live from your couch

Can’t be in Texas for tomorrow’s big Eagle Scout party?

I’ve got the next best thing: Watch the Eagle Scout Heritage Celebration streaming live to your computer.

At 11 a.m. (Central) on Saturday, Aug. 11, watch a live webcast of the Eagle Scout Heritage Celebration’s Kickoff Event from the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Tex.

Eagle Scouts who attend in person receive a commemorative patch and free museum admission. But everyone watching at home can join in on the fun that includes a keynote speech from Boy Scouts of America National Commissioner and Distinguished Eagle Scout Tico Perez.

Also on view to the public for the very first time: Joseph Csatari’s 100 Years of Eagle Scouts painting. Csatari was commissioned by the National Eagle Scout Association to create a new painting honoring the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award. The model for the artwork, Eagle Scout Matthew Dobromilsky, will host the signing of a limited number of prints that will be sold following the program.

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10 ways to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Eagle Scouts

There’s only one award from my childhood that I still list on my résumé.

It isn’t “Honorable Mention, fourth-grade Science Fair,” and it’s definitely not “Participant, junior-senior talent show.”

It’s the Eagle Scout award, that instantly recognizable achievement I share with more than 2.1 million men out there.

Turning the calendar to August this morning got me thinking about Scouting’s highest honor. It was 100 years ago this month that Arthur Eldred became the first young man to earn Eagle.

In other words, the monthlong party begins today! Here are 10 ways to celebrate:  Continue reading

Photo by Daniel Giles.

Jamboree arena show wins Excellence in Live Design Award

Rappers Jay-Z and Eminem, the musical “Promises, Promises,” and the Boy Scouts of America.

An odd trio, sure, but they all have one thing in common: They’re among the winners of the fourth annual Excellence in Live Design Awards, handed out last week.

The rappers won for Best Concert, the musical snagged Best Theater Production, and the BSA won Best Corporate Event for its 100th Anniversary show at last summer’s national Scout jamboree. Continue reading

The Boy Scouts of America: 101 years and counting

100th Anniversary Cake Photoshopped to say "101"

Yes, this image was Photoshopped to say "101." I call it "recycling."

Every Feb. 8 is special to those of us who are passionate about the Scouting program.

Each year, the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America’s founding gives us a chance to reflect on the previous year while also looking ahead to the future.

So first, let’s reflect.

A year ago today, I wrote a post about the official start to the BSA’s 100th Anniversary celebration. I think you’d agree that the Year of Celebration that followed was a great success at every level—national, council, district, and unit.

For me, it was awesome. Last summer, I spent an unforgettable five days on a whitewater rafting trip with a troop from California. (You can read about my trip in the May-June 2011 issue of Scouting magazine.)

And then there was the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. I had been to jamborees before, but this one took the cake. I’ll never forget meeting Scouters from across the country. It was my first time meeting such a diverse group of Scouters, and I quickly realized that accents vary, but we all speak the same language when it comes to Scouting.

What’s next for the BSA? Well, let’s continue to show the nation that even though we’ve been around for more than a century, we’re still relevant and vital to today’s youth.

It’s all dependent on you, the volunteer Scouter. The BSA needs your dedication and motivation to succeed. So Happy Birthday, BSA, and here’s to another year of great memories!

Happy 100th birthday, Kenya Scouts Association!

Kenya_Scouts_Association The Boy Scouts of America isn't the only Scouting organization celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.

The Kenya Scouts Association, one of 160 recognized national Scout organizations in the world, has also reached triple digits in 2010.

As reported in an Associated Press article published in The Washington Post, the Kenya Scouts Association is the oldest Scouting organization in Africa.

Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, who made Kenya his second home, organized Africa's first Scout meeting at a church in Nairobi on Nov. 24, 1910. One-hundred years later, Scouts in Kenya are 400,000 strong.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki presided over the 100th Anniversary celebration held this month in Nairobi. 

"I note that over the last 100 years, Scouting has continued to contribute greatly to the character formation of thousands of our nation's youth," he told The Associated Press.

Sound familiar? Replace "thousands" with "millions" in that quote, and President Kibaki could be speaking about the Boy Scouts of America. It seems that you can find the positive effects of Scouting in any of the movement's 160 countries and 28 million members worldwide. 

Congratulations, Kenya Scouts Association, and good luck in your next 100 years!

Dallas-based Circle Ten Council holds its Centennial Camporee


Scouters and Scouts have been celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America all year. All across the country, we've heard from volunteer leaders who have attended celebrations large and small. The one common thread: They all involve Scouts doing what they do best—getting outside to have some fun!

The Circle Ten Centennial Camporee in Dallas last month was no exception. Some 6,500 Scouts and Scouters met at Dallas Executive Airport for a weekend of excitement.

Activities included a human-size game of foosball (pictured above), pioneering, archery, orienteering, an Order of the Arrow village, patch trading, rock climbing, and much more.

Representatives from Lockheed Martin Corp., the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Mavericks, the City of Dallas, and the Dallas Police Department were there, too.

In fact, instead of telling you all that went on, why don't we just show you? Find more photos after the jump.

Continue reading

California Scouts play a record-breaking game of marbles


When there's a Guinness World Record on the line, playing a game becomes serious fun.

That was surely the thought going through the minds of the 876 Scouts who broke the record for "Most People Playing in a Marble Tournament" in late September at the California Inland Empire Council's 100th Anniversary celebration.

Some 6,000 Scouts, Scouters, and parents attended the three-day celebration, but the highlight for many was the record-breaking marble tournament. The final count of 876 people beat the previous record by 148 players.

But this wasn't your father's game of marbles. The guys were playing WarStone, a new card and marble game from Duncan Toys. Michael Brown, WarStone project leader for Duncan Toys, said the record's significance extends beyond this one event.

"Breaking the Guinness World Record is a win for all of the 3.5 million Scouts across the United States,” he said. “It was an incredible effort by all of the Scouts to work together as a team to achieve success."

How to observe Veterans Day with your Boy Scout troop or Cub Scout pack

With nearly 24 million veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces living among us, chances are good that at least one of these American heroes is a family member or close friend of you or someone in your Scouting unit.

Though these men and women deserve our recognition and thanks every day, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, the official day during which we remember our veterans. Take a moment to watch the video above. It’s an inspirational look at Veterans Day and what Nov. 11 means to the individuals being recognized.

With Scouting’s excellent relationship with the military, thousands of packs, troops, teams, and crews across the country have been and will be taking time to recognize veterans in their community all week.

What’s your unit’s plan? If you’re still looking for ideas, Scouting magazine is here to help.

Write a letter to a veteran

In 2010, the BSA released some tips for Scouts on writing a letter to a veteran. Here are a few:

  • Remain positive. Some veterans are sick or under a lot of stress. They’d love to hear happy stories about what you’re doing.
  • Remember that veterans may be men or women, old or young, and of all ethnic backgrounds when writing your letter.
  • Be creative! Draw pictures or send photographs of your school, Scout activities, or favorite things from home.
  • Say “thank you” for their service, and let them know why you think patriotism is important.
  • Write stories about your family, Scouting unit, school, and other things that you do.
  • You can even make it fun by sharing your favorite jokes!
  • Ask who you’re writing if he or she used to be a Scout.

Invite a veteran to speak to your unit

Many veterans would feel honored when asked to come speak to your unit about their experiences serving our country.

To find an interested veteran, try contacting a veterans group chapter or VA hospital in your area. This facility locator should help you get started.

Hold special activities at your next meeting

Take a moment to remember veterans at your meeting, even if you aren’t inviting a veteran to speak to your unit.

This Teachers Guide (link opens PDF) was prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs specifically for school classrooms, but there are clear applications for a unit leader looking to design an activity for younger or old boys.

Have a Scout recite a Veterans Day speech

A simple way to honor this special day might be to ask one of your Scouts to recite a Veterans Day speech given by a U.S. President or other top official.

You’ll find dozens of speeches available on the VA’s site, including last year’s speech by President Barack Obama, several addresses by George W. Bush, and two by Gerald R. Ford, the only president who was an Eagle Scout.

More ideas?

Have any more ideas? Let us know in the comments section below.

And because we can never say it enough: Thank you, veterans!

Total contributions to The Summit reach $100 million


Additional gifts that add up to $50 million have brought the total contributions to The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve to more than $100 million, the Boy Scouts of America announced today.

The BSA, at a special presentation at the Summit site in West Virginia this morning, announced it had received a $25 million gift from The Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation and a gift of an undisclosed amount from Mike and Gillian Goodrich.

Those gifts, coupled with some anonymous donations, brought the total announced this morning to more than $50 million. Add that to the $50 million already donated by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, and the total has surpassed $100 million in less than a year.

That money helps ensure that the Summit is on track to host the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. It was announced today that the next jamboree will be held July 15–24, 2013. BSA officials also plan to put in a bid to host the 2019 world jamboree.

When it’s not hosting jamborees, the Summit will serve as the BSA’s fourth high-adventure base, helping complement existing bases in New Mexico, Minnesota, and FloridaContinue reading