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It’s no secret: NSA Deputy Director is a Distinguished Eagle Scout

Inglis-portraitWhile you were probably surprised to learn about the National Security Agency’s secret spying programs back in May, you might not be shocked to find out one of the top officials at the NSA is an Eagle Scout.

After all, we already know Eagle Scouts make great politicians, athletes, entertainers, businessmen, Scoutmasters, dads and well-rounded guys. Why wouldn’t an Eagle Scout sit atop the NSA as its Deputy Director, the top civilian at the agency who essentially serves as chief operating officer?

In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek blog post, titled “Hidden Hand: Chris Inglis, the Eagle Scout at the NSA,” writer Michael Riley introduced us to Inglis, who has worked for 27 years at the NSA. The blog post is brief, but we did learn that Inglis acts like an Eagle Scout at the office. Just read this compliment from the article:
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Money for NESA scholarships up 165% since 2007

NESAEmblem_SpotUpdated, Oct. 2: The opening of the 2014 scholarship window has been delayed to Monday, Oct. 7.


Being an Eagle Scout pays off, in some cases literally.

The National Eagle Scout Association offers scholarships for Eagles entering college, a big help for families as tuitions continue to rise at universities nationwide.

Graduating high schoolers can apply for 2014 NESA scholarships beginning Oct. 1, 2013, with a submission deadline of Dec. 31, 2013.

But today, let’s look at some statistics that illustrate how the impact of those scholarships has grown over time. Continue reading

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Own autographed jamboree gear worn by Mike Rowe

Update, Aug. 5: Bidding on the main auction finished at $910! The winning bidder was anonymous per eBay policy, but if he or she wants to contact me to be recognized, please fell free.


Mike Rowe has some C.R.A.P. to sell you.

That’s “Collectibles Rare And Precious,” of course.

The Eagle Scout, Dirty Jobs star, skilled labor advocate and memorable speaker at this month’s jamboree is auctioning and selling some signed jamboree gear to benefit his foundation.

Rather than trying to explain it myself, I better let Mike handle that. Just watch this video in which he compliments the Scouting organization and shows what he’s putting up for bid or purchase: Continue reading

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Video: Eagle Scout Mike Rowe tells Scouts to work smart AND hard

9330066163_b958b31ea7Eagle Scout Mike Rowe once got the worst advice he’s ever heard.

A teacher, Mr. Dunbar, told him to “work smart, not hard.” Ever heard that advice from a boss or teacher?

At Saturday afternoon’s stadium show, Rowe rewrote Mr. Dunbar’s bad advice, telling the crowd of tens of thousands of Scouts, Scouters and Venturers that the key is to “work smart and hard.” And he needs the help of all of us in the Boy Scouts of America.

If anyone can rouse a crowd through hilarious stories and inspiring words, it’s Mike Rowe. He did it at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree and at the BSA’s 2012 National Annual Meeting. The third time was his best yet.

The former Dirty Jobs host has embarked on a mission to increase the profile of skilled labor, where 3 million jobs are waiting “for people willing to get their hands dirty.”

The problem: Too many people consider skilled labor to be a “vocational consolation prize,” Rowe said. “I’m not talking about you guys,” he said. “The Boy Scouts get it. The Boy Scouts have always got it.”

Watch the full video of Rowe’s speech after the jump. Continue reading

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Money for Eagle projects: Lowe’s grant program back for 2013-2014

Eagle Scout projects make a visible difference in the community, but they aren’t cheap to complete.

So that’s why Lowe’s, the home-improvement giant with more than 1,700 stores, has teamed up with the BSA and local Scout councils to give selected Eagle Scout candidates $100 grants for their projects.

The grant program debuted in 2012 to great success. Last year, more than 3,000 Life Scouts received $100 each toward their Eagle projects. That’s a generous gift of $300,000 from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.

Well, there’s good news for future Eagles and their parents. The BSA announced this week that the grant program will continue beginning this month. And it’s grown, as well. This time, Lowe’s is offering 3,600 grants to deserving Eagle projects.

In 2012, councils received and distributed the cards. This time, however, things will run a little differently. Continue reading

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The BSA’s Chief Scout Executive is now blogging, tweeting

As the Boy Scouts of America’s 12th Chief Scout Executive, Wayne Brock continues a solemn tradition that dates back to November 1911 when James E. West became the first Chief.

But let’s remember July 2013 as the moment when Chief Brock started a new tradition, one Mr. West never could have seen coming.

Yes, our Chief is now blogging and tweeting.

Over at the Chief’s Corner blog, which launched yesterday, you’ll get words of wisdom directly from the man who is effectively the BSA’s CEO. Through his posts, Chief Brock will bring Scouts and Scouters closer to the movement while showcasing the magic of Scouting for those who aren’t yet members.

I’m told the Chief will post once or twice a week and focus on issues relevant to the Scouts and Venturers with whom you work. That means leadership, service, adventure, health, and more. From time to time, Chief Brock will share updates on his travels across the country to visit packs, troops, teams, posts, ships, and crews.

And on Twitter, follow @bsachief for the latest dispatches from Chief Brock. The account has been used off and on since 2010, but along with the launch of Chief’s Corner, you can expect great insight and information on a more-regular basis.

Or, as the Chief himself tweeted last week:  Continue reading

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Photo finishes: Before-and-after shots of 25 Eagle Scout projects

With apologies to the ubiquitous convenience store chain, more Eagle Scout projects went up last year alone than the total number of 7-Elevens currently open worldwide.

Yes, the number of 2012 Eagle Scout projects bested the number of worldwide 7-Elevens by a score of 57,976 to 50,250.

I bring up this incongruous comparison to remind you that there’s an Eagle Scout project on every corner. There’s probably one within walking distance from you right now. Think about the scale of this for a second: Some 50,000 new Eagle Scout projects are completed each year. That’s roughly 137 significant improvements to the community every day, improvements created by the best, brightest, and most-prepared leaders around.

The Eagle Scout Service Project is a remarkably powerful force that’s transforming our country for the better each time a city park, church, or school gets repaired and beautified.

Let’s celebrate this transformation by looking at 25 great Eagle Scout projects. And like any good makeover, the best way to appreciate the change is through before-and-after photos. Enjoy, and congrats to these young men.  Continue reading

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An update on Pip, the Eagle Scout from Season 2 of ‘The Voice’

While in Scouts, Pip sang at Courts of Honor and other troop functions.

While in Scouts, Pip sang at Courts of Honor and other troop functions.

Last night’s finale of Season 4 of The Voice got me thinking about Pip, the Eagle Scout who got much more than 15 minutes of fame as a contestant on Season 2 of the hit NBC show.

Pip, known in his Scouting days as Phillip Arnold, started singing at Boy Scout courts of honor as a member of Marietta, Ga., Troop 287. Years later, Pip appeared on The Voice and advanced to the quarterfinals as a member of Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s hand-picked team.

If you missed Season 2, take five minutes to watch my favorite Pip performance, his rendition of “House of the Rising Sun.” I got chills when I first heard it.

A few months after his time on The Voice, Pip flew to Orlando, Fla., to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of 1,500 Scouting volunteers and professionals at the BSA’s 2012 National Annual Meeting. Catch the video of his performance below. Continue reading

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He was one merit badge from earning Eagle when …

eagle-washWith the finish line tantalizingly close, you’ll never guess what slowed down John L. on his trail to Eagle.

John, a Life Scout from Texas, had finished his position of responsibility requirements and completed his Eagle Scout project. He had signatures from his counselor and Scoutmaster on the blue card for his final required merit badge.

But enter the washing machine, an enemy of any teenage boy. You see, John’s blue card was in the pocket of his pants, and this photo from his Scoutmaster shows what was left after the spin cycle.

Of course, John’s Scoutmaster, Bob Olafson, shouldn’t have any trouble getting a new blue card with the proper signatures. But Bob couldn’t help but share this fun, tragic anecdote with his fellow Scouters.


Top photo from Flickr:  Some rights reserved by Drregor

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Extreme makeovers: Send me before-and-after pics of Eagle Scout projects

Before: Indian cemetery makeover

Before: Indian cemetery makeover

The journey to Eagle benefits more than just the young man who earns the award.

He leaves his community a better place, most visibly through his Eagle Scout Service Project.

I’ve blogged about how to find Eagle Scout project ideas, explained that blood drives and other drives are acceptable projects, and showcased some top-notch Eagle project videos.

Now I’m interested in the before-and-after photos each Eagle Scout is required to include with his final project.

I’d like you to email your best ones to me. But first, these requirements:  Continue reading