Jamboree calls on Carly for opening stadium show at the Summit

Carly-2The hits just keep on coming.

Exactly one month after the BSA locked in Train to close the 2013 jamboree, we now know who will kick things off at the Summit Bechtel Reserve next summer.

It’s Carly Rae Jepsen, the 27-year-old Canadian songstress whose single “Call Me Maybe” won MTV’s Best Song Of 2012 honors and has been seen more than 360 million times on YouTube — and counting.

Carly, who’s up for two Grammy Awards in February, will headline the “Welcome to the Summit” show on Tuesday morning, July 16, at the stadium (the area known as the arena at past jamborees).

If, somehow, you’ve missed the video or the dozens of spinoffs it spawned — from the USA Olympic Swim Team, NASA, Sesame Street, and the U.S. Armed Forces, to name a few — you can watch the original below. But fair warning: The infectious tune will stick in your head till July.

Need proof that Scouts are Carly fans? Watch thousands of Arrowmen at NOAC 2012 singing their hearts out to Carly’s hit:  Continue reading


Train on board for closing stadium show at 2013 jamboree

Three-time Grammy winners Train will headline the closing stadium show at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, the Boy Scouts of America announced today.

For my money, this is the biggest musical act to perform at a national Scout jamboree since the Beach Boys in 1985. And I’m told it’s the earliest in the jamboree planning cycle that a headliner has signed on. That’s good news for participants and staff already registered for the jamboree, and it’s yet another enticing reason for Scouts and Scouters not registered to join us next summer in West Virginia.

You surely know Train, the pop-rock group from San Francisco that has performed together since 1994. And you know their hits, including “Meet Virginia,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “Calling All Angels,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” and recent singles “Drive By” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.”

Train — consisting of Pat Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar), and Scott Underwood (drums) — will perform Saturday, July 20, at the closing event, called the “Celebration of Scouting” show. They’ll light up the new stage at the stadium (the area called the arena at past jamborees) in front of tens of thousands of excited Scouts, Scouters, and visitors.

Train’s a big name for the jamboree, but they certainly aren’t the first recognizable people to speak, sing, or perform on the event’s big stage.

This isn’t a complete list, but here are some big-name guests at past arena/stadium shows (note that I’m only including in-person guests, not those who appeared via video):

Continue reading


Why do we love Scouting? Let us count the ways …

Young or old, single mom or new dad, Scouting has millions of fans across the country.

I know why I love the Boy Scouts of America—it was my gateway to this awesome job, for one—but I wanted to hear others’ stories. So I pinged our friends on Facebook with this simple question: Why do you love the Boy Scouts of America?

You really should take a moment to read all of the answers at this link. It’s enough to remind us why we do what we do for this organization.

But if you’re short on time, I’ve culled my 15 favorite responses below.  Continue reading


Far out! Jamboree on the Air event crosses the final frontier

How do you expand the reach of an event that’s already global?

Find something out of this world.

This weekend, the National Scouting Museum became the only Jamboree on the Air location on earth to enable 10 Scouts to directly communicate with the International Space Station as it hovered 255 miles above Earth.

The turnout was great, and — as you can see above — the event caught the eye of local news stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Scouts chatted with NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, who holds the record for the longest space flight by a woman. It was all part of JOTA, the annual event that links Scouts around the world.

The long-distance call was made possible through a program from NASA and the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. It is one in a series of educational activities in the United States and abroad to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

If you weren’t there in person, you can watch a stream of the event here.

Final thought: Anyone want to guess how long until Scouts are talking to someone on Mars?


What’s the longest pinewood derby in the world? Guess again

The track stretched 335 feet, 6 inches. That’s 111 yards, for you football fans out there.

If most pinewood derbies are sprints, consider this one the Boston Marathon.

Earlier this month, the Boston Minuteman Council broke the Guinness World Record with a pinewood derby track stretching 335 feet, 6 inches. That beat the previous record by more than 70 feet.

Just how long was the track? Imagine you’re standing on the goal line of a football field. The track would stretch just past the back of the end zone on the other side.

Or consider this comparison: Most tracks, including the one I raced on as a Cub Scout, are 30 to 40 feet long, making this one roughly 10 times longer.

The design was inspired by the Zakim Bridge in Boston.

And they did it in style. The track, which started at a height of 15 feet, was modeled after Boston’s Zakim Bridge (seen at right), the world’s widest cable-stayed bridge.

The record-breaking attempt was part of the council’s SOAR (Scouting’s Outdoor Adventure on the River) event. Just from browsing the event’s Web site, it looked like a blast.

Congrats to all involved in this exciting accomplishment!


Get gritty: Celebrate ‘Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day’

Do your typical weekend plans involve dirt and Scouting? Step things up a notch! Add some rubber to the mix with a mountain-biking outing.

Tomorrow’s the perfect time to head out to your local mountain-biking trail to celebrate Saturday Oct. 6 as “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” hosted by the International Mountain Biking Association.

Check out this interactive map of the U.S. to locate a “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” event near you.

Young mountain bikers—from Tiger Cubs to older Scouts and Venturers—will stun you with how easily they pedal on gritty surfaces. Their catlike reflexes allow them to zip around sharp turns like Indy-500 drivers!

Besides being a great way to get some exercise and add a new activity to your troop or crew, a mountain-biking trip is a good excuse to get Scouts ready for what they’ll experience at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. The home of the jamboree, the brand-new Summit Bechtel Reserve, touts a three-tier trail system allowing Scouts to choose the difficulty of their mountain-biking experience (shown in the photo above).

Before you head out, be sure to review page 34 of the Guide to Safe Scouting for information on cycling safety.

And don’t forget to “Like” the International Mountain Biking Association on Facebook and enter to win one of two Specialized mountain bikes.

Wherever (and whenever) you choose to mountain bike, we hope you and your Scouts enjoy the ride.


The Ultimate List of Scouting Apps

Once upon a time, we used maps printed on paper to find our way. We studied laminated sky charts to identify constellations. We counted seconds after thunder strikes to locate storms.

What were we thinking?

Today, thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone, we can do all that and more with a few taps.

As Scout leaders, we can now carry a library, GPS, weather radio, compass, map, camera, and field guide in our pocket. But which apps are worth downloading or — in some cases — paying for?

I tapped our Facebook friends to find out.  Continue reading

Where Am I - Golden Arches

May-June ‘Where Am I?’ winner and location revealed

The May-June “Where Am I?” contest was tough, judging from the relatively small number of guesses. Only 315 entries were received, compared to 666 in the March-April contest. Many readers guessed “Arches National Park.” However, the true location of this picture is thousands of miles away from the sunburnt-orange Utah arches.

The answer? Twin Arches at Big South Fork National River and Recreation area in Tennessee. Congratulations to our winner, Lynn Jaffe, a committee member with Troop 719 in the Old Hickory Council, North Carolina.

And, just because we know you like a challenge, try your geography skills at a new “Where Am I?” contest starting today. Scouting magazine takes a break from printing in the summer months, but we’re still hosting a contest to keep our readers sharp. The same rules apply: Read the clues, examine the photo, and submit your guess. We’ll randomly select a correct guess to award one winner a $100 Supply Group gift card.

The “Where Am I?” — Sculpted Solace contest ends Aug. 13.

Good luck!


Points in the Paint: Ohio troop’s trailer a slam dunk for the BSA

Want to get your unit’s recruiting up to speed?

Consider hauling your “Join Scouting” message everywhere your pack, troop, team, or crew travels.

Start by taking a page from Canton, Ohio, Troop 4’s playbook, which just wrapped its trailer with a complete visual history of the unit.

Michael Gorfido, assistant Scoutmaster, writes that the trailer has been “completely wrapped with graphics that tell the whole Troop 4 history in picture form and a nifty timeline that features WD Boyce, Baden-Powell, handbooks for each period, and the history of Scouting, including the 100th year celebration. It’s really cool.”

Troop 4 was formed in 1915, making it the oldest continually chartered troop in the Buckeye Council, Gorfido says.

“Our troop has more than 150 Eagles, a storied history of very committed Scoutmasters, has participated in Pipestone every year, Klondike, and goes to Philmont every other year,” Gorfido continues. “I transferred my son there two years ago because of the rich heritage and wanted him to experience that.”

Find some more photos of Troop 4′s mobile masterpiece below. Continue reading


Video: Eagle Scout Mike Rowe shares his Scouting story

Here’s a new job for Mike Rowe, he of Dirty Jobs fame: Keynote speaker at a gathering of BSA professionals and volunteers.

Rowe traded his usual duds — well, he kept the jeans — for a nicely pressed shirt at this month’s National Annual Meeting in Orlando.

The Eagle Scout and Discovery Channel star who bulldozed his way onto the Scouting scene at the 2010 jamboree earned the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award at the event. Then he gave a 20-minute, off-the-cuff speech that you won’t want to miss.

Check it out:  Continue reading