Scouting can change your life, especially as its programs strike the perfect balance between staying consistent and evolving for the modern Scout.
Take it from Eagle Scout Rob Huddleston who found himself interning for a congressman on the basis of a common Scouting bond. Now that Huddleston has a son of his own to send into Cub Scouts, he’s recapped a few of the things he thinks parents should know about the program of today. He shares a unique point of view as a parent who’s attained all of Scouting’s ranks, now watching the process begin again through the eyes of his son.
At the top of the list is Scouting’s unified Scout Oath and Law. This means Cub Scouts don’t have to memorize one oath and law for Cub Scouts, only to have to turn around and memorize another for the transition to Boy Scouts. Placing all emphasis on one Scout Oath and Law also gives kids time to understand the meaning behind the phrases they recite at meetings, Huddleston explains.
He also highlights the increased involvement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in Cub Scouts. The program now includes hands-on activities covering subjects from the scientific method to zoological observation.
He explains, “Not only does it mean that Scouts will be preparing the boys to be productive adults in the 21st century, it also means that the program is focusing on things that 21st century boys like and care about.”
Huddleston rounds out his top ten list with a few Cub Scout activities that have long been staples of the program but are now bolstered to keep kids engaged. Service to the community, camping skills, fire building, and, of course, knot tying have remained foundational to the program. But current Scouts develop these adventure-fueling skills further than ever before.
Read the rest of Ron Huddleston’s list in the full post on GeekDad.
One year into the Boy Scouts of America’s Exploring program, young Buena Park Explorer Vince Parra faced a battle that threatened to halt his quest for his police badge.
At 16, Parra found out he had bone cancer. He beat two rounds of the disease with the vigor that earned him the immense respect of his Exploring and police force peers. They voted him the most inspirational Explorer in 2013 and 2014.
This August 18-year-old Parra passed away.
At his funeral, law enforcement personnel from at least 15 law enforcement agencies in Orange and Los Angeles counties flooded the ceremony at Church of Our Fathers at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Hundreds of attendees spilled out of the doors of the church.
Following mass, Para’s nurse Laura Fonseca, Explorer progam advisor Officer Joey Hoover, and Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez shared their memories of the Explorer.
Their words triumphed Para’s unwavering positivity.
“I took over (Explorer Post No. 474) last November,” Hoover said, “and if you didn’t know what Vince had already been through with his cancer, you would never have known.”
Fonseca shared Para’s incredible bravery, providing a glimpse at his harrowing life.
“He was a warrior, and we got to see that in the hospital,” Fonseca said. “We want you all to know how strong and brave he was … no matter how hard things got, how sick he became, I never saw a tear. He was always smiling and making us laugh.
And then this warrior received a long-awaited honor in celebration of his life. Holding up a Buena Park Police Officer badge, Sianez bestowed the badge to Para posthumously.
“I wanted him to take this with him because he’s going to need it,” Sianez said. “I’m sure that as he moves on that he will continue to be a public servant.
Para reached his dream because of his tenacity and the tremendous impression he left on his colleagues, friends, and family.
When it comes to retiring American flags that are tattered or worn, Old Glory is in good hands with a Boy Scout.
One Eagle Scout hopeful in Fort Gibson, OK, is making it even easier to give flags the proper disposal. Quentin P., along with other Scouts in his troop within the Indian Nations Council, installed a dropbox for flags ready for retirement. The new box is at the local American Legion, a veterans’ organization that focuses on service to veterans, service members and communities across the nation.
After flags are dropped off, Scouts collect them and retire the emblems in a respectful manner. An authority on American flag retirements, the Boy Scouts of America has a code for the ceremony. Quentin’s project ensures flags in his area are treated with the care outlined in this code.
Quentin explained to Tulsa’s News On 6, “It would be more convenient for them, and us, to drop off the flags and then we can retire them respectfully because most people don’t know what happens to tattered and worn out flags.”
Latino Magazine’s Fall issue highlights the organization that has one hundred years of experience preparing youth for life’s challenges and successes.
The article chronicles the story behind the founding of the Boy Scouts of America, as W.D. Boyce drew inspiration from a dutiful Scout in the U.K. More than two million Scouts later, the organization still strives to model youth into productive, well-rounded adults.
With many hispanic leaders at the helm of this mission, the BSA continues to cultivate youth development in every community in the country.
In the article, newly appointed Chief Diversity Officer Ponce Duran explains, “Scouting will continue to be a valuable and relevant program because of our diverse staff, volunteer leadership, and membership.”
Duran’s role evolved from the BSA’s need to ensure diversity remained a priority in the organization. With an extensive Scouting background and a track record for embracing diversity in his position as southern region director, Duran was the right man for the job.
On Duran’s appointment as the BSA’s first chief diversity office, Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh explained, “We believe every child should have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from Scouting’s adventures. Ponce will help strengthen Scouting’s connection to diverse cultures and communities and further our commitment to giving kids fun experiences and instilling values and character that last a lifetime.”
But Duran is not the only hispanic leader ensuring the success of Scouting in communities nationwide. BSA National Commissioner Tico Perez, CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions Ralph de la Vega, founding member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce José Niño, and many others have a hand in shaping the movement.
Learn more about the Latino leaders at the forefront of the Boy Scouts of America by checking out the coming issue of Latino magazine – hitting shelves September 15. You can also catch a peak at the article below.
What’s the best Young Adult book of the 21st century? Stefan Beck of The Daily Beast contends it doesn’t involve vampires, werewolves, tributes, or mazes. It’s a nonfiction book, in fact. And it’s influenced the lives of millions with practical tips that prepare young adults for life.
The Boy Scout Handbook has been the go-to book for Scouts for more than one-hundred years. The first edition of the book was published in 1910 and penned by Ernest Seton, who drew inspiration from Lord Baden Powell’s Scouting for Boys. Over the next century, the book evolved to include information on first aid and must-have information for modern Scouts, like internet safety.
A former Tiger Cub and son of an Eagle Scout, Beck decided to check out the latest edition of The Boy Scout Handbook to see what he had missed out on by leaving the program.
What he found was a values-imparting handbook that challenges youth to grow into moral and ethical adults.
“I would not hesitate to say that a child with nothing but the Handbook to guide him is better off than he would be thrown upon the tender mercies of the culture at large,” Beck remarked.
Beck examined the handbook and the Scouting movement from many different perspectives. In the end, he heralds the book for its youth development content, from the deep dive into lifesaving skills to the brief advice on honoring senior citizens.
“The organization fosters a sense of belonging to your community and world, not least by reveling in its own connection to the past,” he explained.
Beck’s review of this classic might make you laugh. It might make you mad, at times. But overall, it communicates the critical importance of The Boy Scout Handbook to kids and young adults of today.
In response to one author’s account of gaining adventure and discovery after relying on the book in 1923, Beck marveled, “If you can learn how to do that from a mere book, it must be a damned remarkable book. Better get your copy today.”
Learn more about why Beck wholeheartedly endorses this character-building book by reading his post on The Daily Beast.
Eagle Scouts have been hatched for more than a century within the youth-developing nest that it the Boy Scouts of America. They’re a rare bird even in 2015 – only 6 percent of Scouts reach the rank.
But in September of 1912, there was only one Eagle Scout.
His name was Arthur Rose Eldred, and at 17-years-old he faced a board of review boasting the Boy Scouts of America’s founders, including Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard. He received the Eagle Scout rank on September 2, 1912. (Eldred actually found out he would be receiving the honor on August 31, but the Eagle Scout medal was still being designed.)
Almost dubbed Wolf Scout, the Eagle Scout rank only marked part of Eldred’s incredible accomplishments.
The month before he was due to receive the honor, Eldred helped rescue a fellow Scout from drowning. His bravery secured him the Honor Medal.
Eldred went on to graduate from Cornell University, join the Navy, serve in World War I, and establish himself as an agricultural and railroad industry executive.
Throughout his life, Eldred continued his dedication to Scouting. He served on Eagle Scouts’ boards of review and was the troop committee chairman for Troop 77 in New Jersey.
His groundbreaking Eagle Scout rank marked the path more than two million young men would follow. Even in his own family, the four generations that followed Eldred secured the rank.
Now, astronauts, politicians, movie stars, a president, and leaders who shake up the world as we know it can say they’ve earned Eagle Scout. But before them all came Eagle Scout Arthur Rose Eldred.
Did you know Eagle Scouts traveled to every corner of the world this summer to explore some of the most interesting spots for scientific study? Swimming with sharks, examining narwhals, hanging with monkeys – it’s all in a day’s work for the National Eagle Scout Association’s (NESA) World Explorers.
NESA selected Eagle Scout Colby Schindel to head to the Galapagos Science Center to track and tag turtles. He recounts how his unbelievable summer began:
“‘Get your dive gear. We’re going out to catch sea turtles.’ This was the first directive I heard on my first day at the Galapagos Science Center on the Island of San Cristobal, the very island where Darwin conducted much of his research for ‘The Origin of the Species.’ Within an hour, I was assigned to a team and in a boat headed to the surrounding bays. In the water, we would spot a sea turtle, grab it from behind by its carapace, and ride it to the surface where the entire team would work to hoist it into the boat for tagging.
“The mechanics of tagging are not always easy. The turtles weigh between 60 and 200 pounds, use their fins as a defense, and by the way, have teeth like hacksaws. We used two different techniques for tagging: smaller turtles were tagged on a fin; larger, yellow-green and black-green males were tagged with satellite transmitters after drilling through the carapace.
“The turtle tagging project is an ongoing effort to track the behavior, migratory patterns, and condition of the sea turtle population. Each turtle is photographed, examined, weighed, measured, and tagged. Sometimes, we would find a turtle already tagged, update our information, and compare it in the data bank. The project has far-reaching implications, not only for the protection and conservation of the species, but it will contribute critical information to other fields of study including biodiversity and climate change. One ancillary outcome already being investigated is to recommend restrictions on boat paths and wake speeds in highly populated areas.”
Schindel spent his days completing the fieldwork of a lifetime. Submerged in an aquamarine abyss, the Eagle Scout was surrounded by creatures few of us will spot.
Here’s how he chronicled the experience:
“As a diver, I welcomed being in the water nearly everyday. The Galapagos offers diving like nowhere else I’ve been. Many of the island species are both terrestrial and aquatic. Seal lions, blue and red- footed boobies, marine iguanas, pelicans, and penguins swim right along with humans. And, the number of sharks, rays, and turtles is incredible. Even though situated on the equator, the water remains cold from the effects of the Arctic currents.”
Another uncommon sight for your average land-farer: a seal sprawled across a park bench. But Schindel stumbled across one and snapped the picture below.
“The respect given to the animals in the Galapagos is unique. Everywhere on the islands there is evidence of efforts to protect the natural ecosystem and the various species.
“The towns and parks are full of people and animals coexisting. Beachgoers and swimmers share the sand and water with the local fauna.”
The magnitude of this opportunity was not lost on this Eagle. He shared:
“Combining my academic program, my diving skills, my Scouting history, and my love of adventure with a field study was an extraordinary opportunity …
“My sincerest appreciation and gratitude go to the National Eagle Scout Association and the Galapagos Science Center for allowing this Eagle to soar.”
Carrying 141 merit badges and a slew of Cub Scout belt loops and pins may sound heavy, but it’s no burden. Just ask 17-year-old Joseph C. of the Utah National Parks Council who earned every merit badge, Cub Scout rank, and Cub Scout award available to him.
The Scout’s dedication to exploring every badge allowed him to sample more than one-hundred career fields and refine a variety of life and leadership skills. The ultimate merit badge quest didn’t come without challenges though.
The son of immigrants who don’t swim and aren’t Scouts, Joseph had to rely on Scout
leaders for guidance. His parents, however, grew familiar with the program through their son’s dedication to Scouting.
“We asked his Scout and youth leaders and others to encourage him along the way,” Joseph’s father Felipe explained. “We reminded him of his commitment that he made to himself to take on this challenge, and to persevere and see it through.”
And in the process of gathering badges, a few emerged as favorites for the Eagle Scout. At the top of his list is the recently-released, innovative animation merit badge.
Part of the appeal of the badge for Joseph was that it was the last one to complete his tremendous collection. But he liked the modern appeal of what he learned garnering the achievement.
“I like seeing 3D animation done well, mainly in CGI movies,” he said of earning the animation merit badge.
Outside of Scouting, Joseph is an accomplished musician and set to graduate from high school with an associate degree from Utah County Academy of Sciences. After that, he’s headed on a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.