One square knot at a time, Pennsylvania Scouts create a record-breaking rope chain


Take the simple formula for tying a square knot (right over left, left over right) and repeat 4,189 times. 

That's how a group of more than 2,000 Scouts, adult leaders, and parents broke the world record for the longest knotted rope chain created in five minutes. The event happened earlier this month at a huge event held by the New Birth of Freedom Council in York County, Pa.

Once the 4,190 lengths of rope were tied together, the chain stretched 9,744.2 feet, or about 1.85 miles. That shattered the previous record of 6,788 feet set in May in Japan.

To put it in different terms, the rope would span more than 32 football fields.

This type of record-breaking event is well-suited for Scouting. It combines the skill of tying a square knot, something every Scout learns, with the spirit of teamwork that the Scouting program helps instill in young men and women.

Read more about the record at the event's official Web site. It even received coverage in the local newspaper and on the local Fox news station.

(Special thanks to the New Birth of Freedom Council's scout executive, Ron Gardner Jr., for sending us this story.)

Meet the winners of the nationwide geocaching pinewood derby

GITG_logo Geocaching is the perfect mix of outdoors fun and high-tech gadgets. That explains why it's such a hit with today's Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers.

Take the participants of the Race to 2010, for example. The BSA just released the list of winners of that exciting race. But first, here's a reminder of what the race was all about:

"Pinewood Derby cars representing every council will race across America using geocaching. The cars will be Travel Bugs, moving from cache to cache across America. Scouts and Scouters can track their car’s progress, read posted comments, and log the miles it travels on"

As with most Travel Bugs, there was no official finish line for the cars, because the BSA hopes to see them zooming across the country for many years. But most of the cars' designers were determined to send the cars to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree for a special pit stop. 

The BSA looked at all of the cars that made it to the jamboree and selected five winners. Check them out after the jump. 

But before you do, don't think the Get in the Game! geocaching fun is over just because the Race to 2010 winners have been announced. There's still plenty of time to organize a 100th Anniversary-themed geocaching event.

And by the end of the year, Boy Scouts can begin to earn the all-new Geocaching merit badge

Now, back to the winners…

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Dallas-based Circle Ten Council announces $25 million gift


Dallas-based Circle Ten Council announced yesterday that it received a $25 million gift from The Rees-Jones Foundation. The donation, one of the largest an individual council has ever received, will be used to help fund ScoutReach in the council and to improve Circle Ten's four camp properties. 

The Rees-Jones Foundation is led by Trevor Rees-Jones, an Eagle Scout. Until now, he was probably best known for his role as president and CEO of Chief Oil & Gas, an oil exploration and drilling company headquartered in Dallas.

But in 2006, he created The Rees-Jones Foundation with his wife, Jan. They're pictured above at yesterday's recognition ceremony posing with several Scouts who are already benefiting from the council's ScoutReach program.

ScoutReach helps bring Scouting to urban and rural youth who may lack the financial resources to afford to participate.

Trevor Rees-Jones and his wife said they want economically disadvantaged youth to have the same kind of Scouting opportunities that he himself enjoyed as a member of Troop 70 in the Dallas area. Thanks to their gift, that dream is taking shape.

Rex Tillerson, BSA president and also the CEO of Exxon-Mobil Corp., was personally on hand to thank the Rees-Joneses for their gift.

“Today is a time to give thanks for the generous commitment and the incredible leadership of Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones,” Tillerson said. “The vision that Jan and Trevor have will allow Circle Ten to provide a first-class outdoor experience at our facilities for all Circle Ten youth and will make possible the Scouting program for youth who might not otherwise be able to participate in Scouting.”

The $25 million gift is a significant step toward the council's Centennial Campaign goal of raising $90 million by the end of 2012. They plan to dedicate $28.5 million of that money to capital projects and the remaining $61.5 million to the council's endowment fund.

Circle Ten board president Sherwood Blunt Jr. emphasizes the importance of this campaign for the next century of Scouting in North Texas.

“Supporting this campaign is about more than helping the Scouts of today," he said. "This campaign is really about securing the future of Scouting for the youth of tomorrow.

Recap: Boy Scouts of America on “Jeopardy!” (the sequel)

For the second time in 2010, “America’s favorite quiz show,” the half-hour of answers and questions known as “Jeopardy!”, featured a category all about the Boy Scouts of America.

As you may remember, the program showed some love for the BSA in late February, too. You can see the answers and questions from that episode here. On Tuesday, the Clue Crew and Alex Trebek were at it again.

As they did in the February episode, Jimmy and Sarah of the Clue Crew visited California’s Camp Winton, located in the Golden Empire Council.

The “Boy Scout Activities” category featured five questions, and contestants answered each of them correctly on the first try. The total sum for answering all five questions correctly? A cool $4,600 (one of them was a Daily Double). If the rest of us could get that kind of cash for knowing BSA trivia, we’d be rich!

The category and clues were new, but the $800 answer from the February episode probably looked familiar to those watching on Tuesday.

If you missed the episode, don’t worry. Here are the five answers from the special category. See how many you know, and then follow the jump to check your work.

$200: When a properly prepared Scout gets out on the water, he doesn’t leave shore without a PFD, short for this.

$400: To qualify for a Bugling merit badge, a Scout must know 15 calls including this one sounded at the end of the day.

$600: When Scouts swim safely, they use this system in which one Scout looks out for the other and vice versa.

$800: Patterns a Scout can use to build a fire include cross-ditch, pyramid, and this one named for a Native American structure.

$1,000 (Daily Double): From the French for summoning, it’s the practice of a Scout safely lowering himself down a mountainside.

Follow the jump to check your work. Good luck!

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Boy Scouts of America to be featured again on “Jeopardy!”

Jeopardy-logo Pick up your signaling buzzer, and set the DVR, because we've just received word that the iconic quiz show "Jeopardy!" will once again feature a special category about the Boy Scouts of America.

The episode, which will air nationwide on Tuesday, Sept. 28, will contain a five-question category called "Boy Scout Activities."

Three of the answers contain video clues that were shot on location at the Golden Empire Council's Camp Winton.

You may remember that in late February, "Jeopardy!" had an all-BSA category in honor of the organization's 100th Anniversary. Read our recap of the questions and answers from that episode here.

Check the official "Jeopardy!" site to find out when the show airs in your area. 

If you won't be able to tune in, don't worry. We'll have a recap next week that will include all of the answers and questions from the category.

Own the official jamboree calendar and DVD

JambocalRelive the celebration of a lifetime through pictures and video with the official 2010 National Scout Jamboree calendar and DVD.

The $10 calendar, seen at left, features high-quality photos of the excitement of the 2010 jamboree. It's a 16-month calendar that runs from September 2010 through December 2011.

Calendar orders will ship on Nov. 1.

The jamboree souvenir DVD, produced by the team at Boys' Life, costs $15.95 (or less if you order 12 or more).

The DVD will showcase all of the action at the jamboree, including the action centers, the Order of the Arrow's Mysterium Compass, the Venturing Mine, and, of course, the excellent arena shows.

Production is under way now as the team sifts through hundreds of hours of footage to produce an excellent keepsake. They're expecting to be done and ready to ship in November.

The UPS Foundation delivers $100,000 grant to the BSA

Bsa-upsThe UPS Foundation announced today that it will give a $100,000 grant to the Boy Scouts of America in recognition of the organization's 100th Anniversary.

The grant will go to local councils to help fund conservation programs. Local councils can apply for $10,000 grants to support the development or implementation of conservation programs in their area.

The role of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers in conservation efforts has long been a cornerstone of the BSA. And The UPS Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the world's largest package-delivery company, has long supported groups who make a difference in their community.

Making a difference? Scouts have been doing that for 100 years.

"Every day, Boy Scouts across the country learn vital life skills, as well as to value and appreciate the world around them — so we are proud to support the Boy Scouts of America's 100–year effort to educate youth on the positive impact they can have on our environment," said Ed Martinez, director of philanthropy and corporate relations for The UPS Foundation.

Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca made sure to formally express his gratitude to The UPS Foundation.

"The importance of good stewardship of the land is taught to every young person in the program," he said. "We appreciate the grant provided by The UPS Foundation, which will ensure that the newest generation of Scouts will learn more ways and better ways through the generous contribution."

Pennsylvania’s New Birth of Freedom Council is born


In his 1863 Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln uttered these words:

"This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Those words helped define the Civil War and the nation. Now, a phrase from that speech has inspired the name of a new Boy Scouts of America council.

The New Birth of Freedom Council was officially formed last month when board members from the Keystone Area and York-Adams Area councils selected that name for their merged council. The name was one of more than 100 suggestions from members.

According to the council's Web site, board members wanted "an appropriate name that would be meaningful and represent all parts of the council area."

"In the end," the site reads, "the prominent role that our area has played in the history of the United States and President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address were the driving influences behind the selection of the new name."

With a new council name comes a new shoulder patch. The striking design of the patch above will ensure that Scouts and Scouters who belong to this council will catch the eye of their peers.

The council is based in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and serves the Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry, and York counties.

Scouts struggle to keep a straight face while interviewing Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe is funny. Whether he's advocating the removal of the word Clean from the Scout Law or addressing 70,000 Scouts and Scouters as the Ambassador of Dirt, he knows how to make people chuckle.

Well, he's at it again in a new video, seen above. In it, two Boy Scout reporters try to remain professional while interviewing Rowe at the jamboree.

Rowe, an Eagle Scout and host of "Dirty Jobs," jokes that he's very much in favor of a Dirty Jobs merit badge. He also says that the jamboree is so fun that it should be held not every four years but twice a day. Yes, 730 jamborees a year. He might be onto something.

Watch the final chapters of the Adventure Base 100 videos

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately. And the BSA's series of Adventure Base 100 videos were 29 great things for Scouting.

Each short video showcased a stop on the traveling exhibit's tour of the country. Above you'll see the final video, shot at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree and in Washington, D.C.

The Adventure Base 100 exhibit will continue the rest of its journey without the film crew from Around the World Productions. AB 100 will be in Indianapolis this weekend and St. Louis the weekend of Aug. 20-22. (See the full schedule here.)

But before you make plans to see AB 100 when it's in your area, make time to watch each of the AB 100 videos. Because the exhibit is the same at each stop, the filmmakers focused on the city's culture and found interesting stories among local residents.

Considered separately, each video tells a great story about the Scouting program in that community. Taken as a whole, the videos show how the language of Scouting is spoken nationwide.

Adventure Base 100

: Indianapolis, Ind
., Aug. 13-15 (Indiana State Fair)

: St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 20-22 (Ballpark Village)

the jump for links to all 29 AB 100 videos.

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