2014 NESA scholarship window opens; this year’s application online only

Eagle Scouts, get your typing fingers ready.

The application window for the prestigious and highly competitive National Eagle Scout Association scholarships is officially open.

For the first time, NESA will only accept applications submitted online. So forget the printer and stamps and switch on the laptop.

Also new this year is a minimum SAT or ACT score for academic scholarship applicants (1800 SAT or 28 ACT). Like last year, applicants must be members of NESA to apply, but it’s easy to purchase or renew a membership.

NESA will award Eagle Scouts more than 200 academic and merit scholarships, ranging in value from $1,000 to $50,000 each. As always, many will apply but only a select few will receive scholarships.

Before you send the 2014 scholarship application link to Eagle Scouts in your family, troop, team, post, ship or crew, read the following requirements carefully. Some of these have changed from previous years.  Continue reading


Write on! Constitutional essay contest gives Eagle, Life Scouts a shot at cash

You the Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America, in Order to form a more perfect understanding of the U.S. Constitution, establish awareness of our nation’s Founding Documents, and secure some Free Money, do indeed need to enter this Bill of Rights Institute Eagle Scout Competition 

OK, so maybe my version of the Preamble doesn’t match the original, but it still contains an important message.

That message: The Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization “whose mission is to educate young people on the ideas of the Constitution and the rights it protects,” has launched its second annual Eagle Scout Competition.

One grand prize winner will score $1,000 for himself and $500 for his unit. Two runners-up get $500 for themselves and $250 for their units.

To enter, Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts between the ages of 14 and 19 must write two short essays based on the topics listed below. The deadline — Feb. 10, 2014 — will be here before you can say “more perfect Union,” so send this to your Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts right away.

Complete rules and info after the jump. Continue reading


Enter to win BSA-themed sunglasses, Scouting magazine patches

Can wearing sunglasses count as doing a Good Turn?

Sure, if you’re sporting Merit Shades.

Every time you purchase a pair of the new officially licensed Boy Scouts of America sunglasses, Merit Shades donates a pair of sunglasses to a child in Haiti.

The $40 sunglasses — available for $20 with promo code MERIT — come in two flavors — red and white for Boy Scouting and blue and gold for Cub Scouting. (See more photos after the jump.) Each pair is built from 90 percent recycled plastic and features polarized lenses. They come in a zippered case with a carabiner for easy attachment to a backpack or belt loop.

Merit Shades sent me 20 pairs of its sunglasses to give away to blog readers, meaning 20 of you will be wearing these to your next Scout campout or unit meeting. I’m also throwing in two Scouting magazine 100th Anniversary patches for each winner.

To enter the contest, click here. And for a closer look at Merit Shades, follow the jump.


merit-shades-boyscoutsmerit-shades-cubscouts2 merit-shades-cubscouts



Calling all cooks! Enter our sizzling recipe contest

Are you the next Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis when it comes to camp cooking? Share your specialty recipes with us in the new Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines Campout Cuisine Contest.

From Dutch oven concoctions to foil-pack delicacies and more, submit your favorite recipes and a photo of the finished products. You can even get your Scouts involved in the youth-only category! Entrants can submit one recipe per day, but each entry must contain a different recipe.

We’ve tapped two experienced outdoors chefs, Tim and Christine Connors (authors of several camping cookbook series), to serve as judges of the best campout creations. They’ll choose three adult entries and three youth entries to each receive an MSR Dragonfly stove (a $140 value). But even if your recipe isn’t chosen as a winner, it could still be published in an upcoming issue of Scouting magazine — earning you $50.

Contest ends Oct. 31, and winners will be announced in December.

You can also swap your favorite campout recipes with other Scouters on the Scouting magazine Pinterest page. If you pin and share your own creations (tagging with #scoutingcuisine), we’ll repin our favorites.

So fire up the skillet and start firing off your ideas!


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


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


Enter daily to win KIND Snack Bars

Early spring, a complimentary box of KIND Snack Bars arrived at the Scouting magazine offices. The sweet, savory, and spicy snack bars quickly disappeared.

(Mmm. We take product testing very seriously.)

The KIND bars make a great afternoon treat, but they’re even better when enjoyed outdoors — on a hike, a long bike ride, or during an afternoon on the lake. The basic ingredients, like dried fruit and nuts, help make the bars guilt-free (with only 5 grams of sugar) while giving you a long-lasting snack to fuel your busy Scouting activities.

This month, four lucky winners in the July Fuel Up Giveaway will receive 12 KIND Snack Bars to help boost their energy during active endeavors. Enter daily for a chance to win before the contest ends July 31.

Good luck! And look below to see if you were one of four winners in June’s Get Your Feet Wet Giveaway featuring Merrell Footwear. Continue reading


Enter daily to win a pair of Merrell Barefoot water shoes

Go barefoot at the lake without worrying about stepping on a painful rock thanks to a pair of Vibram-soled shoes.

The Merrell Barefoot Water Torrent Glove shoes protect bare feet during your favorite water sports — from stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and more.

Enter to win one of four pairs of the Merrell shoes in the GET YOUR FEET WET GIVEAWAY, ending June 30.

Four winners will be randomly selected to choose their style (men’s/women’s) and color of Merrell Barefoot Water Torrent Glove shoes (a $100 value).

Good luck!

The GEAR UP AND GET OUT GIVEAWAY has ended with 4,000 entries. The winners of the May giveaway will be announced by June 7.


Enter daily to win Hydrapak, Road ID gear

Spring is here—so get outside!

To help make sure you’re ready for the adventures on your Scouting schedule, we’ve put together the Gear Up and Get Out Giveaway, featuring the Avila Hydrapak water reservoir ($60) and Road ID’s Wrist ID Elite personal identification armband ($30).

Three randomly selected winners will take home a prize package including both of the items above. With these new additions to your gear supply, you’ll be ready for mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and more.

And new this month, we’re asking entrants to tell us: Where are you exploring this spring?

Submit your entry along with your favorite getaway location and you could be randomly selected as one of three winners after the contest ends May 31.

Good luck!

We received more than 7,000 entries in the Be Prepared GiveawayThe below names were randomly selected as our six winners:

  • Adrienne Rubin, a committee member in Priceton, N.J.
  • Rick McKinstry, a Cubmaster in San Antonio, Texas
  • Terrel Schimpf, a pack trainer in Monett, Mo.
  • Dan Buchman, a Scoutmaster in Spring Hill, Kan.
  • Charles Raymo, an assistant Scoutmaster in Hickory, N.C.
  • Frank Ibero, a crew adviser in La Vista, Neb.

Buy a Samsung device on AT&T, get a free jamboree-edition solar charging kit

att-charging-2Updated | July 10, 2013

There’s just one problem with all that Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming Scouts and Scouters will do at this summer’s national jamboree.

All those Web-connected devices can only go as far as the batteries inside them.

So, hook up with Samsung and AT&T, an official sponsor of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

Now, when you purchase a new Samsung smartphone or tablet and sign up for a two-year plan with AT&T, you’ll get a commemorative, jamboree-edition Goal Zero Switch 8 solar charging kit (a $100 value) for free.

The pocket-size kit will fully charge a smartphone and gets its juice from the sun’s rays, meaning you won’t be tethered to a charging station at the Summit all week — though those will be available for the non-solar Scouts and Scouters among us.  Continue reading