Archive | December, 2009

Out with 2009, In with 2010…

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Out with 2009, In with 2010…

Posted on 31 December 2009 by Dan

First, I want to thank everyone for the well wishes and sticking with Scouting News this past year.  I’ve been deployed to Iraq the last year, which has been a hamper on the growth and sometimes timeliness of Scouting News.  The good news is I will be back in the states towards the end of January and will be taking the Spring to build up my websites, so plan on seeing good things in the New Year!  (I talk about some of the “big things” at the end of this post.)

Here is a look at 2009…

Some random stats:

Number of Posts in 2009: 333  (short of my 1/day goal!)

Number of Spam Comments Since Site Launch: 19,618

Busiest Day of 2009: Monday, July 27, 2009  (Unfortunately this was due to the story of Timothy Nunn’s death at Philmont)

Slowest Day of the week: Saturday  (This is good, Scouts and Scouters should be out camping on the weekends ;)

Sponsors / Advertisers:
I really hate having advertisements on Scouting News, however after running a couple of Scouting sites for years losing money, I decided Scouting News had to pay its own bills.  Since Google Adsense doesn’t pay those bills anymore, I looked towards outside companies.  I have turned down a few companies that I didn’t trust, or didn’t think would be a good fit.  I only let companies that are a good Scouting fit, and that I have faith in, advertise here on Scouting News.

A big thanks to http://www.BoyScoutStore.com for being our main sponsor in September and December (Jan 2010 too!).   If you haven’t checked them out, they offer a great selection of Scouting collectibles, gifts, memorabilia, funny patches, and more.  Adam and his partners are firmly rooted in the Scouting organization, and run an outstanding business.

I’m also very grateful to Gregg and his partners over at TrailStop.com for sponsoring a couple of contests.   If you haven’t checked out TrailStop.com yet, they offer a wide selection of Boy Scouts of America® Officially Licensed Products. Most products are discounted from the item’s list price and they guarantee your satisfaction 100%.

I also have to thank Joshua, over at BoyandGirlScouts.com for providing an early copy of Alvin Townley’s book, Spirit of Adventure for my review of Spirit of Adventure.  Because of his generosity I had another contest in which I gave away a couple copies of the book!

Top Referral Sites of 2009:
(where you came from, other than search engines and Twitter!)

1. HalfEagle.com (A great site that features all kinds of great Scouting Blogs)

2. Scouter.com (A forum for Scouters, can get rowdy at times)

3. BoyandGirlScouts.com (Joshua, hoping you are able to return to blogging in 2010!)

4. Facebook.com (I don’t think Facebook needs an explanation, but I just made a Scouting News fan page!)

5.  Wikipedia.org (Turns out Scouting News has been referenced a few times.)

Top Posts of 2009:
(based on pageviews)

1. New Merit Badges for 2009 & 2010
Published August 13, 2009
Introduced the new merit badges coming out in 2009 and 2010 that have been announced. They include: Robotics, GPS/GIS, Scouting Heritage, and Scuba. Most of the folks who commented were excited about all of these new additions, especially Scuba. A few folks were curious about which badges they would replace, but thus far I have not heard of any Merit Badges getting the cut.

2. Embroidered Centennial Ring Emblem
Published July 28, 2009
Showcased a new patch issued by National Supply to be placed around the World Crest. A lot of the folks that commented on the post thought the patch was cool, with some caution to it leaving permenant marks on the uniform. “Settummanque, the blackeagle (Mike Walton)” chimed in with a detailed comment that highlighted some of the tidbits he learned in discussing this particular patch with folks at National.

3. Subaru Forester Pinewood Derby Commercial
Published February 18, 2009

This commercial, which wasn’t on the air very long had two strikingly different effects on Scouters.  Some folks thought it was extremely tacky to dress Boys in what they felt were Brownie vests, while the other half seemed to appreciate the exposure and message the commercial featured.

4. Gone Home: Scout Collapses While Hiking at Philmont Scout Ranch
Published July 27, 2009
The sad announcement of Timothy Nunn’s death while hiking at Philmont. This story touched the hearts of Scouts and Scouters all over the Country. We heard from folks getting off the trail or just about to start a trek at Philmont to parents expressing their sympathy.

5. If you Don’t Complete Your Ticket
Published December 12, 2007
This humorous Wood Badge video has been a top stop for visitors since it was posted on Scouting News, and it deserves the spot. If you have taken Wood Badge or just get annoyed buy the Wood Badge hype, this video is comical. (No offense to those who live, breath, and sleep Wood Badge – I’m a three-beader myself.)

That’s a Wrap:
Overall, 2009 has been a year of growth and challenges for Scouting News.  I couldn’t have done what I do here, without the help of many, including YOU the reader.  Please continue to provide feedback, comment on stories, share your Scouting news, and keep on visiting!

What will 2010 hold for Scouting News?

  • Since I will be back in the grand ole USA, you will see more posts.
  • The largest contest Scouting News has ever seen will be held around the actual BSA anniversary (Feb 8th).  If you are a company that would like to get into the action, with a prize, contact us!
  • On site Coverage of the 2010 National Scout Jamboree!

Thanks for a great year, and hear is to an even better 2010!

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Cub Scout Cookie Good Turn

Cub Scout Cookie Good Turn

Posted on 28 December 2009 by Dan

The Register-Guard has a write in letter that made me proud to be associated with the Scouting program and proud to be a Soldier.  The letter is from a Soldier, who while eating out, was treated to a cookie by a Cub Scout.  Not only did the Cub Scout make a Soldier’s day, the Soldier made the Cub Scout’s day as well.

 “In Cub Scouts, I am supposed to do a good turn daily for somebody,” he said. “And I wanted you to have this cookie as a way to show you how much I appreciate what you do for me and my family and my country.”

 Wow! All of these powerful words coming from a little boy made me choke up a little bit. He then asked me if I knew who the Cub Scouts were. Little did he know that he was talking to an Eagle Scout. I then proceeded to tell him about my Eagle Scout award and all of the great things he has to look forward to in his Scouting career. He was so excited that he couldn’t stop telling me about the things he had done recently and how he aspired to earn the title and rank of Eagle Scout someday.

Read the entire article at The Register-Guard.

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Gone Home: John Alline, Jamboree Director

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Gone Home: John Alline, Jamboree Director

Posted on 21 December 2009 by Dan

John Alline, the Jamboree Division Director, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on December 19, 2009.  Mr. Alline was 58 years old.

Mr. Alline was a 36-year employee of the Boy Scouts of America and was currently the Director of the National Jamboree.  Mr. Alline was also the previous Associate Director of the Order of the Arrow.
 
According to his obituary, a private memorial will be held at a later date, and memorial contributions may be sent to the National Boy Scout Council or any local council.

Mr. Alline is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Jean; daughters, Jennifer Garber and her husband, Jim, of High Ridge, Mo., Erika LaCourt and her husband, Vinni, of League City, Melanie Alline of North Richland Hills; granddaughters, Callie Garber and Kayla LaCourt; sister, Mary Gerassimenko and her husband, Michel, of Lahaina, Hawaii.”
 
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=john-lowell-alline&pid=137595782

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New Jersey American Water Donates Supplies to South Jersey Boy Scouts

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New Jersey American Water Donates Supplies to South Jersey Boy Scouts

Posted on 20 December 2009 by Dan

New Jersey American Water LogoIn spirit of the holidays, New Jersey American Water has donated several items to the Boy Scouts of Southern New Jersey. Fixtures and appliances including kitchen cabinets, a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, counter tops, and bathroom vanity, were delivered from a house owned by the company to the scouts’ camp in Alloway, NJ.

“Thanks to New Jersey American Water, our scout camp will be more inviting and allow us to have more activities for the scouts,” said Tony Ortiz, a ranger with the scouts. “The appliances are in great condition and our scouts are very appreciative of this donation.”

The house at 723 Evesham Road in Runnemede, NJ is scheduled to be demolished in early 2010 and eventually be replaced by equipment to improve water service and reliability to Runnemede. In October, New Jersey American Water loaned use of the house to the Runnemede Volunteer Fire Department to conduct life-saving rescue exercises.

“New Jersey American Water is a friend to the areas in which we provide service,” said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. “Whether we’re investing in infrastructure and creating jobs, extolling the benefits of conservation, or reaching out to young people through organizations like the Boy Scouts, our company wants to play a role in bettering communities throughout the state.”

New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.

 Source: New Jersey American Water

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U.S. Mint Unveils Design for 2010 BSA Centennial Coin

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U.S. Mint Unveils Design for 2010 BSA Centennial Coin

Posted on 19 December 2009 by Dan

Update: The U.S. Mint has published the release date for the BSA Centennial Commemorative Coin.

The Boy Scouts of America is one step closer to seeing its 2010 BSA Centennial Silver Dollars being minted!  We’ve been following this story as it has progressed; with the bills introduction back in April of 2008, the Senate passing the Centennial Commemorative Coin Act in October of 2008, the Fine Arts Commission being disappointed by the designs in January of 2009, to yesterday when the final design was unveiled.  We will keep following the 2010 BSA Centennial Coin as more information is released!

2010 BSA Coin ObverseThe United States Mint unveiled designs for the 2010 Boy Scouts of America Centennial Silver Dollar.  The Boy Scouts of America Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 110-363) authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue silver one-dollar coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner approved the coin’s designs on September 16, 2009.  The obverse (heads side) design, by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver, depicts a Cub Scout in the foreground with a Boy Scout and female Venturer in the background saluting.  The Venturer represents how the Boy Scouts of America organization has evolved over the past century to serve all the youth of America, including girls.  Inscriptions on the obverse are CONTINUING THE JOURNEY, 1910, 2010, IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY.

2010 BSA Coin ReverseThe reverse (tails side) design, sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz, features the universal emblem of the Boy Scouts of America.  Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, BE PREPARED, E PLURIBUS UNUM and ONE DOLLAR.

The United States Mint will mint proof and uncirculated versions of the 2010 Boy Scouts of America Centennial Silver Dollar in 90 percent silver.  Mintage is limited to 350,000 coins across all product options.  Surcharges collected from sales of the coin are authorized to be paid to the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, which will make funds available to local councils in the form of grants for the extension of scouting in hard-to-serve areas.

Additional information about the 2010 Boy Scouts Centennial Commemorative Coin Program is available at http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/commemoratives/index.cfm?action=2010BoyScouts .

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage.  Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.  The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

Source: United States Mint Press Release

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BSA Launches 100th Year With Scouting Experience of a Lifetime

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BSA Launches 100th Year With Scouting Experience of a Lifetime

Posted on 18 December 2009 by Dan

BSA Tournament of Roses Parade FloatOn Jan. 1, 2010, a new century begins for the Boy Scouts of America, and with it comes an invitation to the nation to experience Scouting like never before. Kicking off the celebration is the BSA’s participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade, with a float entitled: “Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey.”

“This is an incredibly exciting and important time for our organization,” said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “The methods of Scouting continue to evolve to reach the current and future generations, but the Scouting message is the same as it was a century ago. We invite Scouts, alumni, volunteers, and the public to join in our celebration throughout the country over the next year. We are excited about what the future holds, and invite America to continue to be a part of the journey.”

In Pasadena, Calif., more than 300 Eagle Scouts will represent the BSA as they march beside an adventure-filled float like no other, complete with Scouts camping, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and enjoying the thrill of “flying” along a zip line. Keeping with the parade theme “A Cut Above The Rest,” each Eagle Scout represents the highest achievements of Scouting, and each has a powerful story to tell. The Boy Scouts 100th Anniversary Youth Ambassador and 2 millionth Eagle Scout, Anthony Thomas, will travel from Minneapolis to Pasadena to participate in the inaugural activities.

While a 100th Anniversary may seem like an occasion to reflect on an impressive past, the BSA is looking towards the future. Eight major national 100th Anniversary engagement programs have been designed to reintroduce Scouting to the next generation of young leaders and reconnect millions of alumni with the organization. The BSA’s strategic approach to its 100th Anniversary celebration has garnered the support of organizations such as AT and T, ExxonMobil, the United Nations Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation, and other organizations.

Immediately following the Tournament of Roses Parade, the BSA launches “Adventure Base 100,” a 10,000-square-foot interactive campus featuring immersive and exciting Scout-related experiences. Adventure Base 100 will travel the country throughout 2010, providing more than 40 markets with a hands-on view of Scouting and the difference it makes in the lives of millions of youth.

“Adventure Base 100 is a chance to give visitors a view of the history and the future of the Boy Scouts of America,” said John Gottschalk, current national president of the BSA, and chairman of the Omaha World-Herald Corporation. “We are bringing the Scouting experience into the heart of dozens of communities and rallying the country to join us in ‘Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey.’”

While in Pasadena, Adventure Base 100 will be open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.at 2800 E. Sierra Madre Boulevard, and will include:

  • A high adventure ropes course for all visitors more than 4 feet tall weighing less than 250 pounds.
  • A multi-sensory experience that will offer visitors the sights, smells and sounds of Scouting via the campus IMAX-like video “GoScouting! Dome.”
  • An overview about what it takes to become an Eagle Scout, the highest level of Scouting.
  • A chance to speak with members of local BSA councils to learn more about Scouting.
  • A traveling Scouting museum featuring an overview of the BSA’s amazing history, including an exhibit of rare artifacts collected by the organization over the last 100 years.
  • Interactive digital displays, including a virtual build-and-race your own Pinewood Derby car and a touch-screen merit badge wall.As Adventure Base 100 tours the country, local BSA councils will provide their own artifacts to be featured in the BSA’s 100th Anniversary National Time Capsule.

About the Boy Scouts of America
The Scouting movement is composed of 2.8 million young people between the ages of 7 and 20 and 1.1 million volunteers in more than 290 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit http://scouting.org/.

More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at www.scouting.org/100years.

Source: Boy Scouts of America Press Release

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Scouts Help Santa Help Disadvantaged Students

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Scouts Help Santa Help Disadvantaged Students

Posted on 17 December 2009 by Dan

ABC 4 News has a story about some Scouts in Utah who teamed up with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a handful of pilots:

Instead of a sleigh – Santa is using a Cessna.

And Santa has a lot of help – a half dozen boy scouts and a handful of volunteer pilots. They all gathered at Salt Lake City Airport number two in West Jordan to get ready for an early Christmas delivery to disadvantaged students at an elementary school in Wendover. 14 year old Boy Scout Jon Olson says this is all about “sending supplies and toys to students who are in need.”

Read the rest of the article at ABC 4 News.

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Baylor Researchers Launch Study of Prosocial Benefits of Scouting

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Baylor Researchers Launch Study of Prosocial Benefits of Scouting

Posted on 16 December 2009 by Dan

Baylor_logoAccording to the Scout Law, a Boy Scout is “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

But does he stay that way as he grows up?

That’s a question never scientifically studied — until now. Researchers with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion have received a two-year, $992,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a series of studies examining the impact of Scouting in fostering positive youth development and healthy, virtuous behaviors — termed “prosocial behavior.”

The grant was awarded to the institute’s co-directors, Dr. Byron Johnson and Dr. Rodney Stark.

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. Founded in 1910, the BSA provides programs for young men and women designed to build character, give training in the responsibilities of participatory citizenship, and develop personal fitness. The purpose of Scouting is to help youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethical decision-making skills, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that carry over into adulthood.

Throughout the Boy Scouting program, Scouts are encouraged to advance in rank over time culminating in the rank of Eagle Scout. In addition to having achieved all the lower ranks, to become an Eagle Scout, a boy must earn 21 merit badges and design and complete a leadership service project. In 2008, around 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that large numbers of adolescents involved with Boy Scouts, especially those achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, see dramatic changes in their lives. These changes include the development of character virtues such as patience, kindness, humility, service, purpose, honesty, duty, tenacity, and commitment–all prosocial behaviors.

Johnson, the project’s principal investigator, cites the lack of existing studies that definitively show the prosocial benefits of Scouting.

“Unfortunately, there has been very little research on Boy Scouts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals are essentially nonexistent,” Johnson said. “We need empirical answers to a number of important questions: Does Scouting matter? Is Scouting associated with beneficial results over time? Do Eagle Scouts value their Scouting experiences more than other Scouts? Does this vary for different eras? In other words, do Eagle Scouts from the 1950s differ from those of the 1980s?”

Stark, co-principal investigator, describes the study’s methodology. “Answering these questions requires large nationally representative samples of men who have taken part in Scouting and of men who did not. Consequently, we will work with the Gallup Organization to identify a nationally representative sample of men who were and were not Scouts.”

The comparisons between non-Scouts and former Scouts, especially Eagle Scouts, will be used to gauge popular assumptions about the effects of Scouting, such as:

• Former Scouts have a better-quality family life.
• Former Scouts are more religious.
• Former Scouts are better citizens.
• Former Scouts are more generous contributors to charity.
• Former Scouts are less likely to drink or use drugs.
• Former Scouts are healthier and more apt to participate in fitness activities.
• Former Scouts are better educated and have higher occupational status.
• Former Scouts are more patriotic.
• Former Scouts are more likely to report that they are “very happy.”

Dr. Kent Hill, vice president for character development at the John Templeton Foundation, points to this important gap in knowledge that the study will begin to help fill.

“Studies produced over the next several years from Baylor will help to identify the factors, if any, that contribute to these young people in developing and sustaining prosocial behavior,” Hill said. “Further, this research will enhance our understanding of what differentiates those adolescents who experience growth from those who do not, and will begin to tell us how Scouting results in benefits later in life.”

The BSA will celebrate its centennial in 2010, and the head of the organization, Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca, says he looks forward to seeing results of the research. “For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has used outcomes research to strengthen our programs and curriculum. The research produced by Baylor University is very important and at this crucial time–we expect to learn a great deal from the research as we embark on our next 100 years,” Mazzuca said.

About the Boy Scouts of America
Serving nearly 2.8 million young people between the ages of 7 and 20 with more than 290 local councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

Source: Baylor University Press Release

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Rally to Save William H. Pouch Scout Camp

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Rally to Save William H. Pouch Scout Camp

Posted on 13 December 2009 by Dan

The Staten Island Advance has an article about a rally to save Camp Pouch Scout Camp.

In an attempt to prevent a beloved piece of Island history from falling into the clutches of private developers, approximately 1,500 Scouts and supporters of William H. Pouch Scout Camp braved the cold yesterday evening to rally against the potential sale of the Sea View site.

Armed with candleholders reading “Scouting without Pouch… Ouch,” the hundreds in attendance filled the lawn in front of Susan Wagner High School prior to the camp’s annual holiday lighting ceremony. They came from all five boroughs, with some even from Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida to sign petitions preventing the site from being sold.

Read the rest of the article and see pictures at the Staten Island Advance.

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Philmont Staff Application Process

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Philmont Staff Application Process

Posted on 12 December 2009 by admin

The Philmont Staff Association has an informative post about the seasonal staff hiring process to help alleviate any concerns prospective applicants are having.

“we do not have a deadline on when applications need to be submitted. Received application information is entered into the database and placed under the department of the first choice, for review. We have several managers that hire for the different departments and do so in between their normal Philmont jobs, so it is a tedious and time-consuming process to fill the 1,000+ positions needed for the summer season. When someone is offered employment, an email is sent out right away with details”

While you are visiting the Philmont Staff Association website reading the rest of the post, read about their Annual Fund Drive and help out if you can.

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