In letter, parents of Cub Scout victims of Sandy Hook shooting thank BSA family

Sea-Scout-Sandy-Hook-1We’re one big family in Scouting, and that’s true in times of joy and times of sorrow.

When two Tiger Cubs were tragically killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in December, the Scouting family stepped in to comfort the parents of 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler.

Scouts and Scouters from around the world, some total strangers to the Kowalskis and Wheelers, contributed nearly $65,000 (and counting) to the fund set up by the Connecticut Yankee Council, said Tony Vogl, the council’s development and marketing director.

“This does not include the countless cards, certificates, framed pictures, blankets, and other trinkets from packs and troops around the world,” he continued. “We at the Connecticut Yankee Council share a sense of pride and purpose as the Scouting family truly came together to support our newest members in a time of great sorrow.”

The love came from outside the council, too. In August, the National Capital Area christened its newest 22-foot sailboat the Benjamin Chase.

Steven and Rebecca Kowalski and David and Francine Wheeler have been overwhelmed by the response from the Scouting family, and they wrote this letter, which Vogl asked me to share with you:  Continue reading


Sea Scout ship to honor Tiger Cubs killed in Sandy Hook shooting

newtownLike all of us, Todd Skiles was overcome with grief when he heard about the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

But when news broke that two of the young victims were Tiger Cubs, Skiles and the Sea Scouts of Ship 100 in Gainesville, Va., wanted to find a way to honor and remember 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler.

That’s why the National Capital Area Council next week will christen its newest 22-foot sailboat the Benjamin Chase.

You see, Skiles wasn’t content letting the name of the perpetrator be all people remember from this tragedy. Continue reading


Can Tiger Cubs attend resident camps?

That’s a trick question. Yes, they can.

Effectively immediately, the policy forbidding Tiger Cubs from attending resident camp has been reversed.

As Scout Wire first reported yesterday, the change allows Tiger Cubs to go to resident camp with their adult partner or guardian. What’s a resident camp? The BSA defines it, at least for Tiger Cubs, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts, as “a council-organized overnight camp of at least two consecutive nights in duration that operates under council-retained leadership.”

Overnight camping by Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens as dens is still not OK.

The language in the Guide to Safe Scouting and other publications will be updated as those documents are reprinted. In the meantime, the Age Guidelines in the Guide to Safe Scouting now read:  Continue reading