(Updated Feb. 19, 2013) Earning the Eagle Scout Award is something to write home about — literally.
Politicians, astronauts, celebrities, and other recognizable figures have been sending hand-signed letters to new Eagle Scouts for, well, 100 years.
The very first congratulatory letter was sent in 1912 when the first Eagle Scout, Arthur R. Eldred, received a note from James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive.
Today, parents and Scout leaders can request these scrapbook-worthy keepsakes from pretty much anyone with a mailbox.
But who is known to respond, and how do you contact them? And when do you send off these requests anyway?
To help, I searched the Internet and consulted a source closer to home — my dad, who sent away for the letters included in this post when I received my Eagle.
How much for high-quality software to get your Scouts ready for the SAT and ACT?
A. Too much.
B. A pretty penny.
C. An arm and a leg.
Got your answer? Pencils down; let’s check your work.
Your 10-cents-per-text plan seems cheap when you consider this: Pressing send behind the wheel will soon cost you 3,000 times that amount.
Thanks to a new bill signed into law this month, handheld cell phone use in West Virginia — the home state of the Summit Bechtel Reserve — is against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $300.
The law, sure to make West Virginia’s roads safer, comes as Scouts and Scouters prepare to descend on the state for next summer’s national Scout jamboree.
If you’re among the tens of thousands who will attend, visit, or serve on staff, here’s what you need to know:
Every hour in the United States, a child dies from a preventable injury.
Car crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls took the lives of more than 9,000 children in 2009, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this week. Preventable injuries kill more Americans under age 19 than any other cause.
And for every one child who dies, 925 more are treated in emergency rooms.
Fortunately for Scouts and Scouters, the BSA has been a health and safety pioneer for more than a century, working with medical and risk management experts to make the program one of the safest out there. (Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety, anyone?)
That doesn’t mean injury prevention happens by itself, though. Following the BSA’s carefully worded safety guidelines can help you avoid a trip to the emergency room on your next campout — but only if you’ve actually read them.
You’ve got 60 seconds; make them count.
After a pack or troop meeting filled with learning, fun, and fellowship comes the grand finale: the Scoutmaster’s or Cubmaster’s Minute.
Consider it a closing argument to your Scouts — one last chance to inspire before they head home.
But how do you find a message that’s relevant, powerful, and memorable that can be crammed into 60 seconds?
I’m here to help. I scoured the Internet, asked our Facebook friends, and used my own experience watching my dad and other great Scoutmasters deliver memorable messages to find these 10 ideas:
A Scout is Clean, but what if his mouth isn’t?
Dirty words can soil the reputation of any Scout (or Scouter), but a swift response from you can make the guilty party think twice next time.
But what is that perfect reaction? How do you ban bad language in your pack, troop, team, or crew?
The solutions below will help you decide. I swear!
Ready to take your pack, troop, team, or crew to new heights?
Schedule a ride in a tethered hot-air balloon. The activity, which previously wasn’t approved, was officially OK’d this week by the BSA’s Health and Safety team.
Notice I said tethered hot-air ballooning — not the kind where you ride for miles like the Wizard of Oz. Unlike traditional hot-air ballooning, the tethered variety uses at least three lines connected to the ground to keep the balloon from moving horizontally. The BSA has set the maximum permitted height at 70 feet.
Now, don’t go buying a balloon and trying this yourself. The balloon must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, and the pilot must be certified and insured.
Before planning a ride, familiarize yourself with some key requirements:
Maybe. But here’s the debate: Should you allow your Scouts to bring their smartphones on camping trips?
Sure, Scouters and Scouts can do it all with these powerful gadgets. A smartphone (or tablet) is a watch, an alarm clock, a digital compass, a camera, a GPS navigator, a Boy Scout Handbook, a constellation map, an encyclopedia, and a guide to tying knots—all in one device.
Costs and size are down, while battery life and cell coverage are up.
And with those factors in mind, many troops, teams, and crews now allow Scouts to carry an iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry on campouts—with certain restrictions, of course.
Still, how did Scout units come to that decision? And if Scouts can bring their smartphones or tablets camping, how can you ensure that they don’t abuse the privilege?
To find out, I asked our Facebook fans for their take on the subject. Here’s what I learned:
The Major League Soccer season starts March 10, and with it comes an exciting opportunity for Scouts and Scouters nationwide.
As I told you in January, MLS and the Boy Scouts of America joined forces this year.
But what does that mean for your pack, troop, team, or crew?
To help you learn more about this alliance and understand how to connect with the MLS team near you, I’ve compiled a team-by-team guide.
- Dates for Scout Nights
- Links to the team’s season schedule
- Contact numbers and e-mail addresses for buying group tickets for your unit
- A list of the players on the team who were Scouts or are Eagle Scouts
Let’s kick things off, shall we?
The Boy Scouts of America might be the most patriotic organization in the U.S.
But don’t take that to mean we endorse any one political party.
The same applies to your pack, troop, team, or crew. You and your Scouts should Do Your Duty to Country but not by endorsing any one candidate.
During election years, though, the line between patriotism and political favoritism becomes thin, making it important to remind you of the BSA’s official policy on Scout participation in political rallies.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and the BSA’s official answers: Continue reading