86-year-old volunteer still going strong, plus other good news from this week


John McKenzie, who turns 87 next month, is still going strong as a Scouting volunteer in Aurora, Illinois. A retired teacher, McKenzie, who lives in an independent living center, raises up to $10,000 per year for the Scouting program in his community, just because he wants to.

“… devoting his professional career to kids was not enough for McKenzie, who realized the many benefits he received as a Scout and wanted to pass them along.

In 1972 he became Scoutmaster for Troop 11 and has continued to support this troop of 31 boys, which meets weekly at Wesley United Methodist Church, ever since. McKenzie also has volunteered at the district level, including as summer camp program director and camp director. Known as a mentor for Scout leaders, he’s currently a merit badge counselor for Three Fires Council.”

Read more about this exceptional volunteer in this column from the Chicago Tribune.

Virginia Scouts excelling in rocketry

Troop 17 from Charlottesville, Va., has qualified for a spot in the NASA Student Launch Rocketry finals.

“It only takes one launch for any person who’s 11 years old and new to Scouting to be completely hooked on rocketry,” says the troop leader. “We’ve had to build two different rockets, one about 10 feet tall, one about six feet tall. We’ve built payloads, custom circuit boards, programmed 100 lines of codes, all of us and you know, we’re a team ranging from ages 12 to 18.”

Read more and watch the video from NBC29 in Charlottesville.

Eagle Scout candidate devotes project to nonprofit that helped her when she was a child

The Santa Rosa Kid’s House, a child advocacy center in Milton, Fla., was there when Jaide Hood needed it as a child. Now 17, Jaide decided it was time for payback by dedicated her Eagle Scout project to the organization.

“I wanted to do something that meant something to me,” Hood says. “I know all Eagle Scout projects are very important, but I wanted something to be a little more personal.”

Read more in this story from the Pensacola News Journal.

Arizona Scouts BSA troop eager to grow after surviving the pandemic

Like a lot of BSA units out there, Troop 64 in Avondale, Ariz., had to really get creative to keep Scouts engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks in large part to leader Jason Robinson, Troop 64 has come out the other side, and is now eager to keep growing.

Read more about Robinson’s inspiring vision for his troop in this story from the West Valley View community newspaper.

About Aaron Derr 454 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.