‘Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?’ air date confirmed

tougher-logoLet the countdown officially begin.

Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?, the National Geographic Channel reality show I first told you about early last year, finally has a confirmed air date.

Mark your calendars for 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) on Monday, March 4. The six-episode series continues every Monday night until the season finale on April 8.

A Monday night show seems tailor-made for Scouting, because many Scout units meet on Monday nights. Why not make watching the show a part of your weekly meeting? Scouts or Scouters could facilitate a discussion about the show during the commercial breaks and after it’s over.

Now’s the time to check your provider’s programming guide to make sure you subscribe to a TV package with the National Geographic Channel. Here’s the channel number for a few major TV providers: DirecTV, 276; Dish, 186; Verizon FiOS, 121 (SD) 621 (HD); ATT U-Verse, 265 (SD) 1265 (HD).

Need something to tide you over until March? First read Scouting magazine’s behind-the-scenes look at the show. Then watch a new, official trailer after the jump…  Continue reading


Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

Update (Jan. 31): The BSA has provided this page for leaving feedback about the membership policy. Alternatively, you can email

Update (Feb. 5): Thanks to everyone for their valuable feedback. After more than 2,100 comments in the past week, I’ve determined that it’s time to close the comment thread on this post.

The Boy Scouts of America is discussing whether to remove the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation, the organization announced today.

If approved, the move would end any national policy regarding sexual orientation of members and hand the responsibility of accepting members and selecting leaders to chartered organizations. Chartered organizations could then handle this task in accordance with their mission, principles, and/or religious beliefs.

The news was announced in an email sent by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock to all National Council employees this afternoon and confirmed through a media statement posted to

“Let me be clear that the change under discussion would allow chartered organizations to determine how to address this issue,” Brock writes. “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

Discussion on the proposed policy change will continue during the National Executive Board meeting in Texas next week.

If the board takes action related to the membership policy, Brock says, it will be promptly communicated to all professionals and volunteers.

And I’ll post the news here on Bryan on Scouting, as well.


Amateur radio operators: Wear your smarts on your sleeve


With apologies to the Buggles, I’m happy to report that the radio star is alive and well.

Well, the ham radio star, at least. And now the BSA offers a special patch for licensed aficionados of amateur radio. The Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip, above, shows others that you’re available for communication services for events, like Jamboree on the Air, and emergencies.

The requirements for the strip couldn’t be simpler: You must be a registered youth or adult member with a valid amateur radio license, of any class, issued by the Federal Communications Commission, known to you and me as the FCC.

That’s it. If you’re eligible, grab the $1.59 strip (Supply No. 617431) from the Boy Scout Supply Group at 800-­323-­0736 or The strip’s release date is Feb. 15, and you can’t preorder it. So mark your calendars to fire off an order the day after Valentine’s Day.

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BSA’s Scott Teare takes the reins of World Scouting

wosm-logoScouting is global. The movement was created outside of the U.S., and BSA members make up just 10 percent of Scouts worldwide.

So it’s big news when one of the BSA’s own is tapped to lead the World Organization of the Scout Movement and its 30 million members in 161 countries.

A big BSA huzzah to Scott Teare, who left his post as director of the Boy Scouts of America’s International Division to serve as Secretary General of World Scouting. That makes Teare the CEO of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, a job that tasks him with “promoting and safeguarding the interests of the movement.” He’ll do so from the World Scout Bureau’s Central Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Teare, who has earned World Scouting’s prestigious Bronze Wolf Award, takes office at a crucial time for World Scouting as it undergoes changes in its current management and relocation processes.

The American Teare follows past secretaries Luc Panissod of France, Eduardo Missoni of Italy, Jacques Moreillon of Switzerland, and László Nagy of Hungary.

In an interview published on World Scouting’s official Web site, Teare explains his humble beginnings in Scouting:

“I joined the Cub Scouts at the age of eight,” he writes. “I remember sitting in the back of the school bus with my buddies learning the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack. At that particular moment in time, the center of the entire Scouting universe was right there in my little neighborhood where I sat with my best friends. Who could ever have guessed that joining the Cub Scouts would lead me to a lifetime of friendships that would eventually span the globe?”

And now, decades later, Teare gets the chance of a lifetime as he helps guide World Scouting and “do everything possible to reach more young people with the ‘magic’ that Scouting brings to change lives.”

Help me extend well wishes to Scott from the US of A!


BSA Chief visits Newtown, presents Spirit of the Eagle Award to Tiger Cubs’ parents

newtownIn a touching gesture, the two Tiger Cubs killed in last week’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have been awarded the Spirit of the Eagle Award.

BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock and other top professionals presented the families of Chase Kowalski and Benjamin Wheeler with the award, “an honorary, posthumous special recognition for a registered youth member who has lost his or her life in an accident or through illness.”

Wayne shared with the BSA family some details from his emotional visit. I can’t imagine the overwhelming heartache he witnessed as he attended three wakes and a funeral for Tiger Cubs Chase and Benjamin, as well as for two girls who were sisters of Cub Scouts in Newtown’s Pack 170.

The photo above, shared by CBS Reporter Paula Reid, shows Scouts saluting 6-year-old Benjamin at one of those events. What a powerful image. (Note: Paula tells me the Scouts will likely be featured in her story on The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley at 6:30 p.m. Eastern today, Thursday.)

Take a moment to read Wayne’s heartfelt letter below. In it, you’ll find details on the outpouring of support that’s already been felt in Newtown — phone calls, e-mails, and letters from Scouting families from all over the world.

And Wayne shares info on how to send supportive cards and letters or make a donation to a memorial fund established by the Connecticut Yankee Council.

Here’s the letter:  Continue reading


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


Does an early start ensure Blue and Gold success? Oh, yeah!

cubcastIs December too early to start planning for the Blue and Gold banquet?

Nope. Though February seems forever away, planning ahead ensures you don’t fall behind.

Start with the December Cubcast, which contains some handy tips for making your next banquet successful and stress-free.

Listen up as hosts Sam and Janet learn from Darlene Sprague, member of the national commissioner support team and board member of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council.

Boy Scout leaders: The wait is almost over! The Boy Scout version of Cubcast, which I mentioned in September, debuts January 2013. 


Pack or troop having trouble at school? Try this

When I was in Cub Scouts, my elementary school — just down the street — was the perfect pack meeting place.

The gym was spacious, the location convenient, and the closet full of equipment for games and activities.

These days, not every pack, troop, or crew has it so lucky. Many school districts have essentially banished all Scout units and told them to meet elsewhere. That’s frustrating, but instead of complaining, let’s act.

Enter the BSA’s Adopt-a-School program. It flips the traditional relationship between a school and a Scout unit upside-down.

Instead of a Cubmaster or Scoutmaster approaching a principal and saying, “Here’s what we need,” the Scouter starts by asking, “How can we help?” It’s a win-win for the community — Scouting gets stronger, and the schools are improved.

Here’s how it works:  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):

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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