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Wilson steers BSA IndyCar to second-place finish

In IndyCar racing, 1.1930 seconds can mean the difference between hoisting the winner’s trophy and settling for second place.

Justin Wilson knows that all too well.

Wilson, who drove the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar to a second-place finish at Sunday’s Go Pro Grand Prix in Sonoma, Calif., knew he had a car that could win. And though second place is something of a consolation prize, Wilson was content with his third podium finish this year (along with Long Beach and Detroit).

“It was great to be back on the podium again with the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car,” Wilson said. “Everyone at Dale Coyne Racing has worked so hard to get a great result this weekend. We have had some ups and downs this year, and have run some really good races, but ended up finishing eighth or ninth. So today was some redemption and it helped us in the championship point standings.”

Indeed Wilson, who finished just behind winner Will Power in Sunday’s race, moved up to seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship point standings. That’s out of 38 drivers, I should add. Continue reading

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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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Bezos mentions ‘Scout troops’ in letter to Washington Post employees

Everyday Americans care about the Boy Scouts of America. You know it, I know it, and, as it turns out, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos knows it.

Bezos made headlines yesterday when he bought The Washington Post for $250 million.

But what you might not have seen was this letter from Bezos to employees of The Post. In it, Bezos explains that “the values of The Post do not need changing.”

Among those values: newspaper readers, who care about Scouts troops, among other important elements of their community. Bezos writes: Continue reading

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Go west, young men: Scouts begin coast-to-coast bike ride with a purpose

lucky13-logoTen Scouts, two leaders, 3,700 miles, and something to prove.

This morning, a group of Scouts from Troop 845 in Chapel Hill, N.C., dipped their tires into the Atlantic Ocean in Havre de Grace, Md., and headed west for the Oregon coast.

But their 10-week trip, dubbed Lucky 13 for the year 2013, is hardly a pleasure cruise.

The young men are following the lead of Scouts from their troop who took a similarly grueling cross-country journey in 2005, 2007, and 2010.

“Their epic tales of adventure,” Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Burnham told me, “have inspired us to take off this summer and ride 3,700 miles over 10 weeks from coast to coast.” Continue reading

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BSA IndyCar turns in top-five finish on racing’s biggest stage

indy-1When the going gets tough, Scouts shift into high gear.

And as it turns out, so does the Boy Scouts of America IndyCar team.

Justin Wilson, driver of the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 car, overcame a tire problem that dropped him to 24th midrace all the way to a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Wilson had the fastest lap of the day — 226.940 mph — don’t try this at home — and had the highest-finishing Honda behind four Chevrolet engines.

With a crowd of 300,000 watching from the stands and 5.7 million viewers in front of TVs at home, Wilson zipped around the track, showing off his racing skills and the BSA colors and logos that cover his car.

Whenever the BSA car does well, Scouting benefits from the positive exposure and the almost-subliminal message that the BSA is closely connected to science, technology, engineering, and math.

And don’t forget, all of this publicity comes at no cost to the organization or its members. For that, we have to thank Scouting benefactors Dale and Gail Coyne, who were surely smiling at Indy on Sunday.

Wilson was smiling, too.

“The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car was fantastic today,” Wilson said after the race. “Early on we were moving forward. We made adjustments on every pit stop until by the end of the race we had a great racecar. The guys gave me great pit stops, and we just kept working away at it to get a top-five. There is nothing quite like doing 225 mph around here.”

The IndyCar Series resumes next weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix in Belle Island, Mich. Both races can be seen live on ABC starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

View lots more photos of Sunday’s Indy 500 after the jump, all courtesy of my friend and colleague John R. Fulton Jr. …  Continue reading

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Oklahoma Scouts and Scouters ready to assist after tornadoes

Some rights reserved by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Some rights reserved by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Updated 1:03 p.m. May 14 with info on need for volunteers at May 21 event. See bottom of post.


Eldon Fossey, Scoutmaster of Troop 75 in Moore, Okla., was at work when the deadly tornadoes passed through yesterday, killing at least 24 and leaving horrific damage.

As soon as they got the all-clear, Eldon’s boss told everyone to leave. It took Eldon two hours to make the seven-mile drive home.

Thankfully, his house was three-quarters of a mile north of the tornado’s path. Other people in his life weren’t so lucky. A Scout in Eldon’s troop and Eldon’s brother-in-law had their houses completely leveled. When I talked to Eldon, he was on his way to his mother-in-law’s house, which was still standing but no longer structurally sound.

Understandably, Eldon had little to report as he focuses on helping his immediate family. But, thankfully, he didn’t know of any deaths in his 50-member troop.  Continue reading

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One man’s life: shaped by John Wayne, the U.S. Navy, and the BSA

Entrepreneur and Eagle Scout Ken Krogue.

Entrepreneur and Eagle Scout Ken Krogue.

Where do our values come from?

For Ken Krogue, the Eagle Scout and Forbes.com contributor, the idea of values first showed up in Scouts, were further developed at the U.S. Naval Academy, and even made an appearance in a classic John Wayne movie.

In this excellent article, posted today, Krogue takes us on his life’s journey. It all started, as it does for many of us who were Scouts as kids, with a great leader.

Krogue writes:  Continue reading

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An update on the Scouts and Scouters in West, Texas

A bit of good news from West, Texas, today. Longhorn Council Scout Executive John Coyle says he’s learned the members of Pack 494 and Troop 494 in West are all safe and accounted for after the deadly explosion there Wednesday night.

Coyle’s assistant director of field service and four field staff members have spent the day in West distributing water and providing other help. It’s just another example of Scouts and Scouters pitching in when and where they’re needed.

Other Scouts are joining in the Good Turns. Troop 308, one of Longhorn Council’s larger troops in nearby Waco, Texas, is conducting a collection of essential goods on Sunday.

So if you live near there, stop by the First United Methodist Church in Waco at the corner of Lake Air drive and Cobbs drive. The collection will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21. These are the items they need:   Continue reading

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Longhorn Council stands ready to help the people of West, Texas

Update, 3:48 p.m. April 19: Read the latest here.

I was sickened to read about last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, just 90 minutes south of the BSA’s National Office in Texas.

West, a tight-knit community of 2,700, is part of the Longhorn Council, and Longhorn Scout Executive John Coyle told me this morning that his council’s volunteers and professionals are prepared to mobilize and help when and where they’re needed.

“If we can help any portion of the community, we will,” Coyle said. “Right now they need professionals.”

In other words, it’s too early to do anything without interfering with first responders who are still searching for survivors. Coyle did say the council has a troop and pack in West, but he hasn’t yet been able to get in contact with those unit leaders.

“Our district executive was trying to get in touch with some of the leaders down there, but he just couldn’t get through last night. When we can find out what is needed to help our units, we will take action,” he said. “I do know that right now the community is looking for financial support and blood donors.”

So if you live in North Texas, please get to a blood donation center as soon as you can. As for donations of supplies or cash, I’ll post again about that when I get details.

More to come.  Continue reading

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Two blocks from blasts, ‘adrenaline kicked in’ for Boston Scouters

When two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon yesterday, Bruce and Bonnie Showstack were standing where they have for the past decade of races — two blocks from the finish line.

The Showstacks, both longtime Scouting volunteers in the Boston Minuteman Council, have spent the past 10 to 12 years working in Section 12, the area where runners receive their medals and meet loved ones.

But at 2:50 p.m. Monday, elation turned to panic when the explosions killed three and injured more than 170.

Thankfully, Bruce, Bonnie, and the other Scouts and Scouters volunteering at the race are shaken up, but OK. And this morning, Bruce and Bonnie — pictured above before the race began — took the time to call me and relay their experiences from yesterday’s marathon.  Continue reading