Archive | August, 2008

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Florida Yotuh Wins William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup

Posted on 07 August 2008 by Dan

Patrick Arrington, 15, of Pinecrest, Florida was awarded the silver trophy at the closing ceremonies held at Annapolis Yacht Club, July 18, 2008, after sailing his Vanguard 420s in 14 fleet races. His teammate was disqualified for off-the-water conduct at the end of the regatta.

Arrington, a member of Sea Scout Ship 1946, Coconut Grove, FL, defeated Hayley Anderson, 18, and Gareth Moore, 16, of Christchurch, New Zealand. It was the fourth time a New Zealand team placed second in the international youth regatta. Jeff Adam and Delana Stoica of the Del Mar took third.

A sophomore at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Arrington is hoping to study biophysics in college. In addition to Sea Scouts, he is currently a Life Scout with Troop 840 in Pinecrest, Florida where he is working on his Eagle Scout service project, collecting used sails for impoverished fishermen in Haiti.

Approximately 80 young men and women gathered at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, to compete in the week long regatta. Sea Scouts from New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, sailed against youth from across the United States. The winds were light and variable most of the week, with a southerly breeze freshening on Thursday, building to 12 knots on the final day on July 18th.

The biennial event is underwritten, in large part by William I. Koch, the Palm Beach industrialist and last American to successfully defend the America’s Cup. Other sponsors include General Motors, which awarded the Chevrolet Sportsmanship Award, and West Marine.

Sea Scouts are divided into two fleets: more experienced sailors compete for the Koch Cup, and a second fleet sails for the Kiwi Cup, a Maori carving donated by New Zealand Sea Scouts. Both trophies are displayed at the Boy Scout Museum in Irving, Texas.

Eric Johnson, 17 of Mercer Island, and Levi White, 16, of La Conner, Washington, won the Kiwi Cup.

“The most interesting part of the Koch Cup is that it’s an international event,” said Eric Johnson. “Meeting people from different countries and seeing how similar we all are was cool. One of the last things I imagined was that we would be representing our country in any competition other than the Olympics. It felt like was sailing for America or at least the Pacific Northwest.”

Paula McFarland, Zone Manager for Chevrolet, presented the Chevrolet Sportsmanship Awards to Monica and Ryan Orphan, of Woodland Hills, CA and Franklin Simmons and Gary Burner of Akron, OH.

Sea Scouts is part of the Venturing Division of the Boy Scouts and is open to men and women between the ages 14 and 21 who learn leadership skills through seamanship.

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AT&T Donates $3 Million to BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

Posted on 05 August 2008 by Dan

The Boy Scouts of America announced today that AT&T has donated $3 million to kick off nationwide support for the youth organization’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. The announcement came during the opening of the BSA’s Annual National Leadership Training Conference in Nashville.

AT&T is the first major donor to step forward with a multi-million dollar contribution and will serve as Scouting’s official communications partner during the 100th Anniversary celebration. Feb. 8, 2010 marks 100 years of Scouting in America for one of the country’s largest youth-serving organizations.

“AT&T’s support is critical to the success of our 100th Anniversary celebration,” said Robert Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive. “Their generous donation will facilitate the engagement by millions in our effort to energize the Scouting program and demonstrate the value of Scouting to our great nation.

“We cannot thank AT&T enough for all the support they have shown Scouting in the past, and the major investment they have made in Scouting’s future,” Mazzuca added. “We are also very excited at the prospect of others who will join AT&T to support Scouting’s 100 year heritage.”

AT&T’s partnership with the BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration brings together the principles the BSA was founded on nearly a century ago and still lives by today — leadership, character, service, environmental stewardship, health, wellness and achievement.

“Supporting our communities and young people has been a major focus for AT&T for more than a century. We’re committed to helping America’s youth succeed — in school, in the workforce and in life,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, who is serving as the national chairman for the 100th Anniversary Celebration and is a member of the Boy Scouts of America national board. “History shows that Scouting puts kids on a more solid path toward success — staying in school, earning higher wages, even owning a home. We are pleased to be part of this significant milestone in Scouting’s history.”

Over the next two years, BSA will reintroduce to America the contributions Scouting makes in communities across the country and the positive impact Scouting has on millions of young lives. The 100th Anniversary celebration will include major national events, activities, and initiatives to engage nearly 3 million youth and 1.2 million volunteers; an estimated 50 million Scouting alumni; and the general public.

The celebration will focus on a number of key strategic areas:

1) National Effort — Leadership, resources, and infrastructure to deliver a consistent nationwide program.

2) Nationwide Engagement — Activities to engage millions of Americans in the celebration, re-kindle memories of Scouting experiences, and reconnect alumni with the Scouting program.

3) Highlighting Leadership — Community service and achievement programs; a national Hall of Leadership recognizing outstanding Scout volunteers; and a renewed focus on the generational bond in Scouting.

Additional program initiatives will include strategically targeted advertising, public service announcements, and proactive communications. More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at http://www.scouting.org/100years.

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Camp Pico Blanco Damaged in California Wildfire

Camp Pico Blanco Damaged in California Wildfire

Posted on 04 August 2008 by Dan

Camp Pico Blanco, the oldest Boy Scout camp along the central coast, has not escaped the damage caused by the ongoing Basin Complex Fire. Located adjacent to the Los Padres National Forrest, this 800 acre camp provides year-round camping opportunities for thousands of youth from across central and northern California each year.

The fire started on June 21st as a lightning strike in the Big Sur area. This fire soon spread out into surrounding areas and on June 25th scout leaders made the decision to move campers to alternate locations until camp was safe for their return. Council staff, including Scout Executive Albert Gallegos, worked closely with the council Camping Committee to locate safe and alternate locations. Ultimately, Boulder Creek Scout Reservation in the Santa Cruz mountains was selected as the site for the Cub Scout Resident Camps and National Youth Leadership Training. Boy Scout Troops from throughout the area have been re-directed to other Scout camps throughout California for their summer camp experience.

Last week a BSA inspection team was escorted through the camp property by fire service personnel where they saw first hand the destruction this fire has caused. Scout Executive Gallegos said, “The sight was incredible. Just about every section of camp landscape has been burned by the fire.” He went on to indicate that damaged trees have come down throughout camp and, along with loose rock, are falling on roads and hiking trails. “There are still a number of sections of camp that are actively burning or smoldering,” Gallegos added.

In addition to the damage to some trees and brush, Pico Blanco has suffered a loss of some facilities. The Camp Rangers’ home and associated generator and water tanks are a total loss. Two of the outhouses have burned to the ground. Since their walk through last week the scouts have been notified that a tree came down on the rifle range, rendering it unusable. All of the other camp buildings used to deliver program appear to be safe, in particular the Hayward Lodge Dining Hall and the Crosby Kitchen. Other structures such as the new Haynes Charitable Foundation Water Treatment System and the water storage tanks are intact. However, all of the above ground water lines have been destroyed and are in need of replacement.

Gallegos is certain that the effort of the firefighting crews is largely responsible for saving most of the buildings. “When we vacated camp, the firefighters were working hard to add clearance around each of the buildings, providing an even larger fire break around them,” he said. Scouts from throughout the area are pleased to hear that key areas in camp are still standing. “I love going to Camp Pico Blanco and am sad I can’t go there this summer. I am glad the firefighters were able to save camp so I can go back there next year.” said Nathan Hagler, a First-Class Scout from Troop 60 in Spreckels.

Camp Pico Blanco is now officially closed until further notice. It will take months of work to perform the tasks necessary to make this camp safe again for use. Damages and recovery costs are expected to exceed a half million dollars. Although there will be some insurance claim funds available to restore buildings, those funds will certainly not cover all the damage throughout camp.

The scout council executive board met in emergency session on July 17th and has started work on the recovery process. Recovery Committees related to areas of concern such as erosion control, forestry management, trail rehabilitation, road reconstruction and water system management have been formed to provide guidance to the necessary repair work.

It will take the time, talent and resources of scouting families, scouting alumni, and the community to bring this camp back to a place where young people can thrive again. Cash donations in support of this effort will be greatly appreciated and can be sent to the Camp Pico Blanco Recovery Fund, c/o Haruda Scout Center in Salinas. Individuals that are willing to serve on a specific recovery committee or work party are encouraged to contact the Haruda Scout Center as well.

Recovering from a loss such as this will not be easy. With the assistance of the community, the scouts believe they will be prepared to open in time for the 2009 camping season.

Donation Information:
Monterey Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Camp Pico Blanco Recovery Fund, Account #702
Haruda Scout Center
55 E. San Joaquin St
Salinas, Ca 93901
831-422-5338
Fax: 831-422-1816

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