As the holidays approach, no doubt many Scouts will be taking part in a variety of great holiday-themed fundraisers like selling wreaths, trees, and candy, but these Scouts in Florida have a fundraiser that seeks to brighten the lives of everyone in their community. Recently, this article from Florida Today covered the unique Scout-run Space Coast Lightfest.
Featuring a display of 2.7 million twinkling lights installed over a 1.1 mile stretch in a local park in the community, this fundraiser is in its fourth year of management by the Brevard County Boy Scouts and draws more than 15,000 vehicles each year.
Speaking to a local reporter, Scout Ryan C. said, “It feels nice to do something for the community. I love seeing all the beautiful lights, and I really like preparing the lights so other people can enjoy them. It makes adults feel like a child again.”
Shanna Richardson, Boy Scouts of America Central Florida Council field director, also spoke to Florida Today and said, “This is a great Brevard County event. It is not just a Boy Scouts event, but a community event. It is such a staple in our area. People come out in droves to attend the event. They come from neighboring counties and visit if they are here on vacation. We are so proud to be a part of this event.”
In addition to the Scouts helping raise funds to support Scout activities, they also use the event to help conduct a toy drive. The 2014 event helped support more than 6,000 families through the toy drive, and the Scouts hope this year’s drive will be even better.
It was with profound sadness that we learned of the passing of Justin Wilson. From 2012-2014 Justin drove with Dale Coyne Racing, including the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car. During this time, he attended countless events on behalf of the BSA and worked to educate, inspire, and invest in America’s youth. While he was a world-class driver, he was an even better person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.
To read more about Justin’s association with the BSA, please visit Bryan on Scouting.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Boy Scouts of America welcomes veterans to the Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve on Sat., July 18, 2015. This event is open to West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) members and their families.
Brig. Gen. Charles Veit, the WVNG Assistant Adjutant General – Army, will be the keynote speaker on a special Friday night dinner for veterans. Veit served as the military’s Joint Task Force Commander for the 2013 National Jamboree. The Task Force was comprised of active and guard members from all over the country. Because of his steadfast dedication and immense involvement in Scouting, including obtaining his status as Eagle Scout at age 15, his military service as a general officer, and role in the National Scout Jamboree, Veit was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in October 2014.
“It’s a tremendous partnership between the Boy Scouts and the WVNG,” Veit said. “The amazing thing about the Summit is that they have so many events and activities. The BMX bike course is Olympic quality. The only shooting sports range in the U.S. that is larger is the one the NRA has. It’s the largest bouldering site. There is no place that has all those things at that level in one place. It’s going to be an incredible event for all the veterans, their dependents, for everyone who comes to use the facilities.”
The Summit is the new home of achievement, adventure, and innovation in Scouting. With world-class facilities and a focus on outdoor action sports, the Summit, home of the National Scout Jamboree since 2013, will welcome veterans to take part in fun-filled adventures. The reserve is comprised of more than 14,000 acres and is adjacent to the New River Gorge National Park. These trails together open up a recreation area of more than 85,000 acres.
The inaugural event will include a wide variety of activities for everyone. The day will start with the 2K Walk/Run/Roll Race where three-person Scout and veteran teams will compete around the Summit Stadium. Teams will continue to compete for awards and prizes in a series of events that will challenge their abilities in unique ways. Marksmanship opportunities, product demonstrations, and other live entertainment will be on the site all day. Lunch and dinner will be provided, and the day will conclude with a closing ceremony, including a performance from country artist Aaron Tippin.
The very deserving attendees will be able to experience the Summit Center Activities, including: canopy tours, challenge courses, BMX race tracks, a skateboard park, a static archery range, the Sustainability Treehouse, zip lining, kayaking, and fishing.
WVNG soldiers and airmen and their dependents (up to three) can register before July 15 by heading here. Registration will close once the allotted numbers are met. This is a closed event with limited space, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve online registration must be completed prior to arrival (there will be no exceptions for non-registered personnel).
Parking and check-in will be at the Glen Jean Armory in Mount Hope, WV. Transportation to and from the event will be provided. Parking at the Summit Bechtel Reserve is reserved for veterans with disabilities. Check-in is 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and no late arrivals will be authorized. Service members’ valid military ID will be needed at time of registration. For more information, please contact Lt. Col. Timothy Vandeborne at 304-561-6487 or Col. Robby Scarberry at 304-993-0061.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Council elected Dr. Robert M. Gates, former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence, as the organization’s national president. Dr. Gates spoke to the Scouting family during the organization’s National Annual Meeting. Read his prepared remarks here: