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Photo Fridays: Scouting for Food (23 photos)

The trees have shed their leaves in many parts of the country, and that can only mean one thing: It’s Scouting for Food time.

The annual collection of canned goods and other donated food items strengthens the vital link between Scouting units and their surrounding community.

For this Photo Friday, check out 23 photos of Scout troops giving back: Continue reading

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In Sandy’s wake, BSA Chief relays call for help

I mentioned a few ways to help Scouts and Scouters affected by superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, but today we’re getting more details about the toll on local Scout councils and what some units are doing to help.

In a letter sent this morning, BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock said that council camps in the northeast have suffered downed trees and destroyed buildings. Council offices have been severely damaged. And Scouts, Scouters, and BSA professionals have lost personal property and valuables.

Brock writes that Scouts and units have almost certainly lost “camping gear, uniforms, trailers and other supplies.”

In addition to suggesting ways to help through donations of money and time, he also spotlights two examples of Scout units doing what Scout units do whenever there’s a tragedy: cheerfully serving others.

Read our Chief’s complete letter below:  Continue reading

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Photo Fridays: Scouts Doing Service Projects (46 photos)

Saying that Scouts serve their community is a bit like saying fish swim or dogs bark.

Service is in Scouting’s DNA.

So it’s no surprise that when I asked for photos of Scouts doing service projects last month, the response was huge. Check out the proof below, in the form of 46 photos sent in by real Scouters like you.

Scouts Doing Service Projects” is the latest in my Photo Fridays series, a feature that highlights real photos from real Scouters like you. We’ve already seen Cub Scout FunHigh AdventureFunny Moments, Great Moments at Summer Camp, and learned that Scouters Can Have Fun, Too.

The next Photo Friday topic: JamboreesE-mail your best shots to me, and include your name and home council.

Enjoy these 46 photos, and my thanks to the Scouters and Scouts who took time to give back to their community:  Continue reading

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Getting away and giving back, Philmont style

Give and you shall receive.

At this fall’s Volunteer Vacation at Philmont Scout Ranch, participants give a week of trail service and receive an unforgettable adventure in the captivating Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeast New Mexico.

The American Hiking Society and the Boy Scouts of America joined forces to craft this trail stewardship event, which will take place Sept. 23 – 29, 2012.

It’s a perfect combo. You do a Good Turn for Scouting, meet like-minded Scouters and Scouts, and spend a week at Philmont.

Sign up today! A week of trail building has got beat a week of building Excel spreadsheets.

Here are the details:

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Check the BSA’s tool-use guidelines before your next service project

Hey, you with the post-hole digger! Let me see some ID!

When it comes to service projects, nobody does it better — or safer — than the Boy Scouts.

But before you gather equipment for your next Good Turn, ask yourself some questions:

Can my 14- and 15-year-old Boy Scouts use lawnmowers and string trimmers to cut the grass at the local church?

Can my 16- and 17-year-old Venturers use a chain saw and log splitter to cut firewood for elderly residents?

In this case, the answer is no and no.

That’s why it’s critical to follow the Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations, a new document that details how old Scouts should be to use certain hand tools and power tools at service projects (including Eagle Scout service projects).

I’ve got complete details below.

Continue reading