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Where are Scouts going this summer?

Update June 7, 11:12 a.m.: We stand at an impressive 683 pins! Keep commenting with the location you’re visiting (be as specific as possible) and your unit number. I’ll update the map regularly.


Perhaps the better question would’ve been where are Scouts not going this summer?

Earlier today on our Facebook page, I asked where packs, troops, teams, and crews are headed for their summer adventures. More than 175 responses later, the answer is “far and wide.”

There’s Venturing Crew 505′s trip to Alaska’s Denali National Park, several units visiting the Florida Sea Base, a Transatlantic Council visit to the U.K., and pretty much everywhere in between.

I’ve compiled it all in an interactive, searchable Google map. You can click each marker to see which Scout unit is visiting that location. You can zoom in close. And you can uncheck Boy Scouts and Venturers if, for example, you’re only interested in seeing Cub Scout packs. Speaking of, the blue markers indicate Cub Scout packs, green markers represent Venturing crews, and red markers are for Boy Scout troops.

Several units are headed to Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve, so I spread those markers out a little to make every submission visible.

Want to put your unit’s summer adventure on the map? It’s not too late.  Continue reading

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Learn how to work with Scouts from different economic backgrounds

scoutcast-logo1Scouting isn’t free.

Yes, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to be a Scout than to participate on a club soccer or lacrosse team. But there’s still a cost in Scouting — dues, uniforms, gear, activity fees, travel expenses, printed materials, and more.

Within one pack, troop, team, or crew you likely have parents who live comfortably and those who live paycheck to paycheck. You could say the socioeconomic status of our Scout families is as diverse as our Scouts themselves.

So how do you handle this situation and give everyone an equal Scouting experience? And what happens if a Scout family’s economic situation changes — perhaps a parent loses a job, for example?

Take some time to ask yourself: Are you doing all you can to handle economic diversity within your troop?

Start by listening to the June 2013 ScoutCastJoining the hosts for this important topic is the team leader of the Council Fund Development Team, Mark Moshier, who shares ways to keep funds from hindering a Scout’s involvement.

And continue the conversation by sharing your ideas in the comments section below.

The most important CubCast ever

Cub Scout leaders, if you only listen to one CubCast this year, this should be it.  Continue reading

BSA membership resolution passes with more than 60 percent of vote

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After an extensive discussion within the organization, the Boy Scouts of America’s approximately 1,400 volunteer voting members chose to adopt the membership policy resolution and remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

The final vote breakdown was 61.44 percent for the proposal, and 38.56 percent against. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Voting results were tabulated and certified by TrueBallot, an independent, third-party voting firm.

Read more at this site, or find the full text of the BSA’s official media statement below:
Continue reading

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BSA membership policy resolution released, will be voted on in May

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

swim-board

Here’s one swimming record you could actually break

Can’t swim the 100-meter butterfly in less than 50 seconds?

That’s OK — nobody but Michael Phelps can. But I did just hear about a swimming record you and your Scouts do have a chance to break.

Register now to participate in the Guinness World Record attempt for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, held at pools and lakes around the world at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 18.  Continue reading

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Find your path: Track down a National Trails Day event near you

Last year's patch. This year's design hasn't yet been released.

The official National Trails Day patch. Get yours at ScoutStuff.org.

Maybe you’ll walk in the footsteps of the Wright Brothers in Ohio, hike from scene to scene in an outdoor production of Snow White in Boulder, or bike through redwoods in California.

Wherever you are, there’s surely a National Trails Day event near you.

So save the date for Saturday, June 1, to take your Scouts or Venturers to a local hike, cycling event, horseback ride, trail-maintenance project, paddle trip, health fair, geocaching activity, photo safari, or birdwatching expedition.

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, which I’ve blogged about annually since 2010, is a great way to show people in your community that Scouting and the outdoors go hand in hand. Who knows a trail better than a bunch of Boy Scouts or Venturers?

To start, search for an activity near you. Continue reading

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Take the pledge: Help Scouts drink right, move more, and snack smart

healthy-kidsFor anyone who’s seen a Boy Scout patrol return from grocery shopping with six family size bags of sour-cream-and-onion potato chips.

For anyone who has set out snacks for a Cub Scout den and seen the boys eat everything but the carrots and celery sticks.

Or for anyone who’s watched a Venturer finish two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade during a three-mile hike.

For all those Scouters and more, the Healthy Kids Hub is for you.

In 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So if the statistics hold up, one out of every three Scouts in your pack, troop, team, or crew has this common health problem, which could mean immediate and long-term effects on his or her well-being.

But it’s not all bad news. The BSA is one of nine extracurricular organizations that have joined up with Healthy Kids Out of School to develop guiding principles for turning this country’s worsening childhood obesity epidemic around.

What’s in it for you? The Healthy Kids Hub, which launched today. The Hub is a gold mine of resources developed by leading universities, after-school organizations, and nonprofits designed to be used by adults who work directly with kids.

These aren’t dull academic journal articles about obesity; these are graphically rich tools you can use right away.

The resources include easy-to-digest information on a wide range of topics, such as ideas to encourage kids to drink water instead of sugary sports drinks, suggestions for outdoor and indoor games, and low-cost, healthy snack ideas.

It’s all based around the three Healthy Kids Out of School guiding principles:  Continue reading

scoutcast-anger

Learn to manage a Scout’s anger in this month’s ScoutCast

scoutcast-logo1Like The Hulk, you don’t wanna see Scouts when they get angry.

But it’s a natural human emotion, so it’s bound to happen in your troop. When it does, do you know how to respond?

Learn how in this month’s ScoutCast, the monthly podcast for Boy Scout leaders.

Download the episode or listen to it through your browser to hear an interesting conversation with Suzette Rizzi, a 25-year licensed social worker in Illinois and a member of the National Committee for Scouts With Special Needs, as she shares with us the skills and strategies for manage anger in ourselves and the youth in our troop.

April 2013 CubCast

Continue reading

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Let’s talk: Announcing the 2013 Jamboree on the Air/Internet dates

Can’t attend the 2013 National Jamboree this summer? Consider the next best thing.

Mark your calendars today for the 2013 editions of the Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet, held this fall. As the names imply, the events give Scouts a chance to communicate with fellow Scouts from across the country or around the world through the power of amateur radio or the Internet.

This year’s JOTA and JOTI are set for Oct. 19 and 20, and if last year’s numbers are an indication, turnout should be big.  Continue reading