Rockwell collection on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Spirit-of-America A new exhibition that opened this month highlights Norman Rockwell, the preeminent American storyteller and the first official illustrator of the Boy Scouts of America.

Fifty-seven major Rockwell paintings and drawings make up “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.” The exhibition is on display from July 2, 2010, until Jan. 2, 2011, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Those involved with the BSA know about Rockwell’s relationship with Scouting. Hired as an illustrator for Boys’ Life in 1913, Rockwell spent his career creating iconic Scouting images.

But this exhibition showcases a never-before-seen side of Rockwell: the connection between his images of American life and the movies. That makes sense, because the art comes from the private collections of two of America’s top filmmakers—George Lucas, best known for creating the Star Wars franchise, and Steven Spielberg, director of Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, and Jurassic Park (to name a few).

Oh, and did we mention that Spielberg, a two-time Oscar winner for Best Director, is an Eagle Scout? He gives much of the credit for becoming a director to the Cinematography merit badge.

Bringing together three American legends—Rockwell, Lucas, and Spielberg—offers a deep meaning for Elizabeth Broun, museum director.

“Like Rockwell, both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg embrace the idea that ordinary people can become unlikely heroes,” she said. “I am delighted that the Smithsonian American Art Museum is organizing the first exhibition to explore these new connections between Rockwell’s art and the movies.”

In addition to the large display of Rockwell’s art, visitors can see a 12-minute film that features interviews with Lucas and Spielberg about why Rockwell’s art appeals to them.

Ready to plan your visit? Scouts and Scouters who will be in the Washington, D.C., area this month will want to circle July 24 on their calendar. That’s Scouting Family Day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. From 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., families can enjoy activities inspired by Scouting’s values, including games, scavenger hunts, demonstrations, and storytelling.

If you’ll be stopping by another time, be sure to check out the museum Web site for all the info you’ll need to plan a visit.

Adventure Base 100, Vol. 26: Boston, Mass.

Scouts are pretty comfortable on trails of all kinds. Whether it's a hiking path through a massive forest or the Trail to First Class, they'll find their way.

Those instincts pay off in Boston, where following the city's famous Freedom Trail is a rite of passage for Scouts. In the video above, you'll join Adventure Base 100's team as they tag along with a group of boys who are learning more about the important role Boston played in forming our nation.

As if having Adventure Base 100 stop in their back yard wasn't enough for Bostonians, the visit coincided with the Fourth of July holiday weekend, making for a truly patriotic celebration.

Adventure Base 100

: Baltimore
, Md., July 17-18 (Rash Field)

: Washington, D.C., July 23-Aug. 8 (The National Mall)

the jump for links to previous AB 100 videos.

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BSA unveils fresh, new marketing campaign

Though the organization’s values have remained largely unchanged in the past 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has always evolved with the times. From introducing new merit badges to expanding the program to include young women, the BSA knows the importance of staying current.

That’s also true with the BSA’s marketing team. Take as an example the new set of print and video materials meant to entice non-Scouts into learning more about the excitement of Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing. It’s a continuation of the effective “Words to Live By” campaign that the BSA started last year.

What’s different is the design. Gone are the white backgrounds of last year’s campaign. They’ve been replaced by bright colors that will catch a potential Scout’s eye.

Check out the designs seen at left. The bold colors, sharp photography, and crisp writing will make these materials stand out. They’re available now for units, districts, and councils to use to promote Join Scouting nights and other recruitment events.

The materials are easily customized. There’s space at the bottom for a quick message, and then most of the back is blank to leave room for important facts, such as the time and place of weekly meetings and information on who to contact to learn more about the BSA.

Check out all of the print materials, many available in both English and Spanish, on the BSA Marketing Web site. The fliers are expertly tailored for the program’s age group. Different campaigns are available for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers.

You also don’t want to miss the new television spots that accompany the campaign.

Shot in a documentary style, the short, quick-hitting videos are a look at Scouts in their natural element: the outdoors. Most of these videos are also available in English and Spanish and all can be downloaded for your use.

What do you think of the new campaign? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

BSA representatives meet with Obama to discuss top concerns for nation’s youth

Whlogo A group of Boy Scouts of America youth members and executive
leaders met with President Barack Obama today to discuss top priorities for the
organization’s next century of service.

During the White House meeting, the president and the BSA delegation
shared their mutual goals for addressing key concerns for our nation’s youth: healthy
living, service to the community, and environmental stewardship.

Obama has shown his support for each of these issues by
introducing three relevant programs: Let’s Move!, United We Serve, and America’s
Great Outdoors

As has been the case with every U.S. president since William
Howard Taft, Obama serves as the Honorary President of the BSA and helps
recognize the achievements of more than 50,000 Eagle Scouts each year by
signing their Eagle Scout cards.

Obama’s three initiatives match several concerns not just
for the BSA but also for the entire country, said Chief Scout Executive Bob

“Health, community service, and preserving our environment
are priorities for all Americans,” Mazzuca said. “Our first 100 years in
Scouting taught us the importance of these issues to America’s youth; our next
century of Scouting will focus on creating programs to expand our efforts in
these areas.”

To show its commitment to these issues and in honor of the
BSA’s 100th Anniversary, the organization presented Obama and the first lady,
Michelle Obama, with two camperships for Scouts in their home councils. These scholarships
will help two Scouts attend summer camp: one each from the Aloha Area and Chicago Area councils.

While at summer camp, these two deserving Scouts will see
first-hand how much fun it is to stay active in the outdoors and learn how preserving
our environment is critical in today’s world.

The camperships were presented by the youth members of the BSA's delegation. This group was made up of young people who represent several of the BSA’s programs. Eagle Scout Brad Lichota, national Order of the Arrow chief, led the
youth members.

Others were Cub Scout Raphael Cash from Bowie, Md.; Venturer
Shannon Hoff from Falls Church, Va.; Sea Scout M. Robert Marks from
Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Boy Scout Arnold Mears from Parkville, Md.

Adventure Base 100, Vol. 25: East Hartford, Conn.

A week at Scout camp is a summer highlight for hundreds of thousands of boys (and adults) each year. In its latest Webisode, the Adventure Base 100 team visits J.N. Webster Scout Reservation, a 1,200-acre camp operated by the Connecticut Rivers Council.

Like most camps across the country, Camp Webster offers more activities than any boy could complete in a week. Watch as Scouts ride a zip line, practice archery, and learn to safely shoot a black-powder rifle.

An Adventure Base 100 video about summer camps is a fitting match. AB100 offers non-Scouts a look at what kind of excitement awaits them in Scouting, and summer camp is the fulfillment of that promise.

Want to see some more examples of what makes a Cool Camp? Be sure to check out Scouting magazine's Cool Camp features.

Adventure Base 100

Buffalo, N.Y., July 10-11 (Taste of Buffalo)

: Baltimore, Md., July 17-18 (Rash Field)

the jump for links to previous AB 100 videos.

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260 boys receive Eagle Scout Award in largest-ever court of honor

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor last weekend was so big that it took an entire football stadium to hold it.

The court of honor was a big part of Utah’s annual Stadium of Fire, one of the country’s largest Fourth of July celebrations each year. More than 50,000 people filled BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo for the event.

In all, 260 boys were presented with their Eagle Scout badge, which “set a record for the most to receive the award at the same time, with
recipients coming from 10 states and 14 Boy Scout councils to
participate,” the Deseret News reported.

It’s the latest example of Scouting taking the national spotlight during its 100th Anniversary celebration.

“For those who wonder if Scouting is still around, this is a great way
to say, ‘We sure are,’” Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca told the Deseret News. “This is sort of a
reaffirmation to the American people of the value that Scouting adds.”

In addition to Mazzuca, other noteworthy people were in attendance. Country superstar Carrie Underwood sang the National Anthem, and Provo resident Leonard “Woody” Woodland was recognized. At 98, Woodland is considered the oldest-living Eagle Scout.

Thousands of Eagle Scouts in the audience held up Eagle Scout emblems to create what producers called the largest “Eagle’s Nest” ever formed.

Stadium of Fire was formed in 1980 and has since included appearances by the Osmonds, the Beach Boys, Bob Hope, Toby Keith, the Blue Man Group, and many more.

Don’t be in the dark about “A Shining Light Across America”


Local units, districts, and councils have been celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Scouting all year. But on July 31, it'll be time for everyone in America to come together for one "Shining" moment.

Organizers are calling "A Shining Light Across America" the one moment of the 100th Anniversary Celebration "not to be missed." And Cracker Barrel has all the details you need to ensure that you and your pack, troop, or crew are ready for the big event.

If you haven't heard, "A Shining Light Across America" is the big centennial extravaganza on July 31. Those who are attending the 2010 National Scout Jamboree will see the show in person, but the rest of the country won't miss out on the fun.

Many councils, districts, and units have Shining Light viewing gatherings planned. For those currently without plans, don't worry. There's still time to get ready for the event.

Whether you're ordering some pizza and hosting a viewing party with your pack or just sitting around the computer watching with your family, you won't want to miss this celebration.

Here are the details:

  • When to watch: The Centennial Celebration preshow will be available online starting at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) on July 31. The main show will be available for viewing at 8 p.m. (EDT), and the broadcast will conclude at approximately 10:30 p.m. (EDT).
  • What you'll watch: The organizers have also provided a detailed look at the show's agenda (link opens PDF). The exact schedule is subject to change.
  • How to watch: The video will stream live at a special link on Ustream and on the Shining Light tab at the BSA's Facebook page. You'll also be able to watch right here on Cracker Barrel using the embedded Ustream video.
  • Test your equipment: Be Prepared for the big night. Make sure the computer you plan to use has high-speed Internet access and is capable of streaming stutter-free Ustream videos. Click on any live Ustream feed to test this in advance. If you're hosting a viewing party, consider the size of your group when configuring both video and audio. To ensure the best picture quality, the Webcast option is recommended
    for small- to medium-sized groups on a screen no larger than 120 inches
    (9 feet wide by 6 feet high).

A celebration like this only comes around once every century. Don't miss it!

UPDATE (July 7, 12:15 p.m.): We spoke with the event's organizers to get the answer to a reader's question. It turns out you will be able to view the Shining Light broadcast after the event. It will remain available at the same link you use to watch it live. Good news for those who may be away from their computer on July 31 or those who are attending the jamboree who want to watch it again!

Exclusive interview with Alex Lloyd, BSA IndyCar driver

As driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar, Alex Lloyd has a built-in fan base of millions of Scouts, parents, volunteers, and alumni.

And when he finished fourth at the May 2010 Indianapolis 500, he wooed many more fans who have never been involved with Scouting. Hundreds of thousands in the stands and millions more watching the live national broadcast saw Alex’s impressive day.

I caught up with Alex last July for an exclusive interview during a rare break in his busy schedule. He chatted with me on the phone from his home in Indianapolis.

Bryan: You had a relatively slow start in the four races leading up to the Indy 500. Talk about how you stayed the course during those early struggles.

Alex Lloyd: Racing’s no different than any other career or activity. You have your bumps along the way, and sometimes those mountains can seem like Mount Everest and you can’t imagine how you’re going to get to the other side. It’s a matter of digging deep and picking yourself up. Keep working and believing in yourself and your team and the guys around you. We knew that we could do the job, and we wouldn’t let the disappointing start prevent us from achieving what we want to achieve. That never-give-up attitude applies to every aspect of life. We have proof for myself and the team and Scouts and anybody watching—it pays off to take that kind of approach.

B.W.: You were a Scout in England, where it was founded. How was that?

A.L.: Yes, I was in Scouts for three or four years in Manchester.  My mom was a volunteer, and when I was in the Cub Scouts she would come in and help look after everybody. It was a lot of fun. When it came about that I was going to be driving the Boy Scouts car and I looked into it, I didn’t realize how many of my family members had been involved in Scouts.

B.W.: What did you think when you were first approached by the Boy Scouts of America?

A.L.: They explained it to me, and I got pretty excited. I could see that this was a fantastic opportunity for myself and the team. You’re meeting so many different kinds of people, the leaders and the kids, and you get to share all of this. You work with a lot of sponsors and a lot of different companies as a driver. And most of them involve very corporate events. You put on your suit and tie and meet people. That’s fine, but I’ve just found this [partnership with the BSA] so refreshing.

B.W.: What are the BSA events like?

A.L.: Other sponsors’ events have never been a chore for me, but these kind of events that we do with the Scouts, I love doing them. I wouldn’t want to miss them. Say I’m told to stay there for an hour. Well, I love to spend more time there than that. You talk the kids, and they ask some really good questions. “How fast do the cars go?” “What’s it feel like to drive one?”

At the end of the day, when I’m driving one of these cars I feel like a kid again. And the parents and the adult leaders enjoy seeing their kids get fired up about something. It’s like the ultimate pinewood derby car.

B.W.: What would you tell an adult leader who’s thinking of taking his or her Scouts out to one of your races?

A.L.: It would exceed what he would expect in terms of how much he would enjoy it. You don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy these kinds of events. You can enjoy the nice weather, the whole setting. You can just go and have fun. Compared to NASCAR, IndyCar is really open and not cut-off. We say, “come in and let us show you the cars.” You come away thinking that trip was worth it. It’s good fun, it’s educational, and it’s a great activity to do.

B.W.: What has been the BSA presence at the races so far?

A.L.: We’ve got tons of Scouts. You can really feel the Scouts out there. It’s been impressive to see everybody come out there in their uniforms. It’s quite a presence. Drivers come up to me after and say, “Wow, we saw so many Boy Scouts out there.”

I’ve been amazed at how many people are affiliated with the Boy Scouts. There just seems to be so many people that are involved or know somebody involved. Even in the people that aren’t involved, I’ve found so many cheering on the Boy Scouts car. I’ve had a number of people say, “I’m not a Scout, but I’m cheering for the Scouts.” Everybody knows somebody that’s been involved in the Scouts. Everybody knows something about them. You have that kind of relation where, “That’s a cool thing,” As opposed to some random company that you might not know anything about. Everybody cares about kids and seeing kids grow up in the right manner.

B.W.: Thanks for chatting with us, and good luck this season!

This July, send your Scouts on a quest for adventure (and great prizes)


Next month, Scouts from across the country will converge in Washington, D.C., for ScoutQuest, a high-tech, interactive search that anyone can play.

ScoutQuest is held July 24 and 25; the 2010 National Scout Jamboree begins the next day. Players will be sent to several noteworthy spots in our nation's capital, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Archives, the International Spy Museum, and, of course, Adventure Base 100. For a comprehensive map of all the ScoutQuest sites, consult this map (link opens PDF).

Scouts will use their smartphones—or borrow yours—to scan special Quick Response (QR) codes. With each code, players will uncover clues and get their passport stamped at each stop on their journey. Each code will also reveal a story, providing a unique view of the place and its connection to Scouting, one of the largest youth service organizations in the world.

Do your boys need more incentive? Each clue unlocks a secret code that can be entered on the ScoutQuest Web site beginning July 24. Players will be entered for prizes that include a mountain bike.

QR codes, such as the one seen at left, can be easily read by any of a number of free apps for your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android-powered smartphone.

Will you be in the D.C. area during ScoutQuest and be interested in becoming a volunteer? Send your information to

Adventure Base 100, Vol. 24: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Venturing Crew 2000 takes the spotlight during Adventure Base 100's latest stop. In the video, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based crew introduces the unique aspects of the Venturing program.

Billed by Crew 2000's members as "a transition between Boy Scouts and the real world," Venturing is the high-adventure arm of the Boy Scouts of America. The program is targeted at boys and girls ages 14 to 20. (Boys and girls who are 13 and have completed the eighth grade are eligible, too.)

Crew 2000, like many Venturing crews, uses travel to expose its members to the world around them. The group's next big trip is to Hawaii; in 2011, they'll visit Peru.

Adventure Base 100

Boston, Mass., July 1-4

: Buffalo, N.Y., July 10-11

the jump for links to previous AB 100 videos.

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