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This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Spokane Father Looking to Form First Area Unit for Girls

Samya H., right, and her brother, Joshua, practice tying knots in anticipation of Samya joining a new girls-only unit her dad is forming. Photo: KREM.com

Kevin Hall’s kids love to camp, tie knots, and spend time outdoors. They also love the thrill of seeing a Pinewood Derby car go flying down the track as part of the activities and experiences offered by their local Cub Scout pack.

But until recently, only one of Hall’s children could officially participate — his son, Joshua.

This left his daughter, Samya, on the sidelines. As he told a reporter with Spokane, Washington’s, KREM 2 News (story featured courtesy of 7KTVB.com) this was unacceptable to his adventurous daughter.

“She loved camping with the family and she was wondering, ‘Why does he get to go to summer camp? Why does he get to do all of these fun things? Why does he get to make those Pinewood Derby cars and race them?’” said Hall, who serves as an adult volunteer.

Thanks to the BSA’s historic announcement last fall that the organization would begin accepting girls into the Cub Scouts program in 2018 and older girls for a new program in 2019, Samya will soon have the option to officially join the program she has been viewing from afar for years.

“Lo and behold, I found out that there was actually discussion happening at the national level for Boy Scouts about that possibility,” Hall said. “And I was like, ‘Oh great! Let me start talking to people and see about getting this started.” To get the ball rolling he organized a meeting for interested parents and their daughters in March, and he is now exploring the possibilities of starting a new girls-only unit.

According to the KREM article, Samya was “overjoyed” when she found out she could join Boy Scouts.

“You know, there are leaders being built, and it’s great to see that the leaders of our country in the future are coming up with the morals and principles of the Scout Oath and Law,” he said.

Read the full story (including a video clip featuring Kevin Hall) on 7KTVB.com. To learn more about how the BSA is welcoming girls into the Cub Scout program, check out the Bryan on Scouting article on that topic.

For the latest updates on Family Scouting, visit www.scouting.org/familyscouting.

Scouts Place Thousands of Flags for Memorial Day

This Memorial Day marks the 50th anniversary of Scouts placing thousands of flags at the graves of the servicemen and servicewomen buried in the Willamette National Cemetery. These Scouts are like many others around the nation who use this opportunity to honor the sacrifice of these individuals ahead of Memorial Day.

As the Scouts from the Cascade Pacific Council of the BSA place each flag, they say a word of thanks to the service members, just as they have for decades. And while the reverence and respect are the same as years past, what’s different this time around is that the Cub Scout boys are joined by Cub Scout girls.

“It is amazing, and being able to do it now with both of them as Cub Scouts is even more awesome,” said Jenny, the mother of a Cub Scout son and daughter. “It’s the one thing we look forward to every single year. It’s kind of a tradition to come up here every year.”

“… I get to go honor people in the military, and I get to sit by my grandpa’s grave for a little while,” said Calvin H., one of the Scouts who shared why this is an important event.

Be sure to watch the entire moving story from KATU 2 News in Portland.

Statement on BSA-LDS Relationship

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) deeply appreciates the long-standing relationship we’ve had with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a chartered organization. While Scouting remains a beloved program for many LDS families, the Church has decided to pursue programming that helps it meet the needs of their increasingly global membership and will no longer charter units after December 31, 2019. We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units and wish the Church all the best as it prepares to introduce the new program in 2020.

There are many religiously-affiliated programs that are offered alongside Scouting, and as such, we are confident that many LDS Scouting families will go on to enjoy Scouting for years to come – continuing the legacy of LDS youth who have become Eagle Scouts and community leaders. For LDS families who want to continue the tradition of Scouting beyond 2019, the BSA will ensure a smooth transition to community-sponsored units that will welcome youth previously served by LDS-sponsored units.

At the same time, the Boy Scouts of America is excited about our future and the opportunity to grow by providing families more options for their children to benefit from the incredible character-building experiences we provide.

Click here to read a joint statement from the BSA and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pinewood Derby Serves as Entry Into World of Scouting for Hudson Valley Girls

Cub Scout Pack 223 in Poughkeepsie, NY, has been holding annual Pinewood Derby races since its founding in 1966.

With more than a half-century of tradition to draw on, much about the March event at the Town of Poughkeepsie Senior Center felt familiar: Colorful wooden cars, hand-crafted by kids with help from their parents; the smell of popcorn and other treats in the air; and all eyes shifting anxiously from the long metal track to the leader board after every race.

Beyond that, however, this year’s race was a bit different. For the first time, girls were able to participate in the popular event as official members of the Boy Scouts of America.

In all, four area girls competed in their first Pinewood Derby as members of Hudson Valley Council Pack 223.

Two of Hudson Valley Council’s newest Cub Scouts take part in their first Pinewood Derby. Photo: Spectrum News Albany

“They should have let girls in the club before,” said Cub Scout Hayley C., 7, in a story published by Spectrum News Albany. “Because maybe girls can learn the same as the (boys).”

In the article, the girls’ parents said the BSA’s welcoming of girls is going to show that some activities — once associated with just boys — are for everyone.

“She’s competing in other things with boys at the same levels of them,” said Danielle Daudier, whose daughter just joined Pack 223.

Some of the boys quoted in the story said they like the Scout experience even better with girls included.

“I mean, it’s just great,” Cub Scout Aiden T. said. “We needed girls this year, and, I think, a lot of years.”

To access the full article, plus a brief video on the event, visit Spectrum News Albany.

To learn more about some of the details on welcoming girls into the Cub Scout program, check out the Bryan on Scouting article on that topic.

For more information and the latest updates on Family Scouting, visit www.scouting.org/familyscouting.

Twin Brother and Sister Enjoying Scouting Together, Hope to Someday Earn Eagle

When Ian W. heard that his twin sister, Tatum, could join him as a Webelos Scout, he was glad she would get the same opportunity he had.

J’aime, the twins’ mother, knew her daughter would be excited about the news that girls could begin participating in Cub Scouts. But before she decided to move forward to sign Tatum up for Cub Scouts, the family talked it over with her brother Ian.

This Twin Brother and Sister Duo are Enjoying Scouting Together, Hope to Someday Earn Eagle
This twin brother and sister are now part of the Cub Scout program together, and both hope to someday earn the rank of Eagle Scout. (photo: John Doyle, fosters.com)

Family Scouting was a new concept, and Ian and Tatum’s parents wanted to be sure everyone would feel good about each twin having the chance to participate in the Scouting program.

“We ran it by [Ian] to see if it was OK with him, and he was very excited to have her involved,” J’aime said.

Tatum had long-dreamed of joining her twin brother officially for Cub Scouting activities. For the past two years since he joined, she hadn’t been able to get involved. Now, however, as part of an Early Adopter Cub Scout pack in the BSA Daniel Webster Council, she has the opportunity to participate in an official capacity.

“She wants to do all the cool stuff — she’s super into science, she’s into camping, the outdoors, making fires,” said J’aime.

She’s also into the idea of facing challenges to progress toward Scouting’s highest rank.

Tatum wants to continue in Scouting and eventually earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Her twin brother Ian has the same goal. Together, the pair feel they could one-day be among the first twin brother-sister duos to earn the rank of Eagle Scout at the same time.

To learn more about how this twin brother and sister duo is enjoying their Scouting experience, be sure to read the full article in Fosters.com.

For more information and the latest updates on Family Scouting, visit www.scouting.org/familyscouting.

 

 

 

Girls Across U.S. Officially Join Scouting Family After Years of Unofficial Participation

When Cub Scouts became an official program of the Boy Scouts of America in 1930 — catering to boys from 8-12 who were too young to join the main Boy Scouts program — just over 5,100 boys were registered by year-end.

What’s not reflected in that official count, however, is the unofficial participation of a group that likely numbered in the thousands, as well: their sisters and other female friends who didn’t want to miss out on all the games, crafts, and fun events as the first Cub Scout dens began meeting weekly at member’s homes.

Thanks to the BSA’s historic decision to welcome girls into the ranks of Cub Scouting this year, and into a program for older youth beginning in 2019 that will allow them to work toward the Eagle Scout rank, these girls now can enjoy all the benefits of membership.

Watch a brief video on Michigan Crossroads Council’s newest Cub Scouts at fox17online.com. (Photo: Fox 17)

According to Steven Boyer, a lifelong Scout and current assistant Cubmaster of Pack 3283 in Belmont, Mich., it’s a change that is long overdue. “They’re doing it anyways — let’s let them be part of the pack and let them be part of the family. The Cub Scout family.”

Boyer said his daughter was disappointed to learn she couldn’t join Cub Scouts upon entering first grade. This was before the BSA’s announcement last October that girls could join the program. When she heard the news that she would soon be welcome, she was ecstatic.

“We got her a uniform on Saturday morning, and I think she hasn’t taken it off since,” he said.

To read more about Michigan Crossroads Council’s newest Cub Scouts, head to fox17online.com.

In Arkansas, Michael McNamara also is excited to register his three daughters with the BSA. They, too, have been unofficial participants in the activities and leadership lessons of the BSA’s programs. “They’ve been in Scouting for a while, just never able to wear the uniforms or get the patches,” he said. “Now, they can officially be registered and earn all the things that boys do.

“They can be part of a group of families that go out and do camping, go out and do rock climbing, canoeing, boating, swimming, day camps, they just get to do so much stuff,” McNamara added.

He said he’s excited to have his girls as official members of Cub Scout Pack 12. “They have always been in the shadows and not able to participate,” he said. “Now they’ll be official and able to earn those ranks.”

Read the full story on ArkansasMatters.com.

BSA Clears Up Misconceptions About Path to Eagle Scout Rank for Utah Scout With Down Syndrome

Update: April 4, 2018

We are inspired by Logan and his family’s commitment to Scouting, and we are so glad he will remain a part of our Scouting community.

We appreciate the care taken by the family’s attorney to bring the best outcome for Logan and look forward to working with the family toward our shared goal of ensuring Logan can receive his Eagle Scout rank in a way that is empowering for him.

Moving forward, we are committed to avoiding this type of misunderstanding and will take appropriate steps to ensure it is known that Scouts with disabilities are welcome, celebrated and empowered through Scouting.


Many local volunteers and Scouting professionals at the Utah National Parks Council have worked closely with Boy Scout Logan Blythe and his family to deliver a positive experience in our programs.

We apologize for the confusion and want to be very clear: the option to earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been – and still is – available to Logan. We remain inspired by his dedication to Scouting, and we hope to continue working with Logan and his family to support him in the effort to earn the rank of Eagle Scout through the engagement of our National Disabilities Advancement Team.

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs. The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for him.

Since its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has served youth members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Scouting is uniquely positioned among youth programs to meet the needs of children with special needs by providing diverse programs and social experiences.

At its core, Scouting fosters the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, and we are committed to continuing the Boy Scouts of America’s long history of working with Scouts with disabilities, including Logan Blythe, to help them succeed in and beyond Scouting.

FAQ

Were Logan’s merit badges revoked?

No, Logan still has the merit badges he worked on.

 

Was Logan demoted to a Cub Scout?

No, Logan is still registered as a Boy Scout.

 

Will Logan be able to earn his Eagle Scout rank?

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank.  The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs.

The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path for him to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for their situation.

These Brave Scouts Stopped a Wildfire

A wildfire might not be a normal part of a hiking experience, but every year, thousands of Scouts go hiking, and, while they don’t always know what they’ll encounter on those hikes, a good Scout knows it’s important to be prepared.

Scouts Stop Wildfire
Scouts talk about stopping a wildfire while on a hike (photo: NBC KING 5 News)

Such was the case for several Scouts from the Boy Scouts of America Chief Seattle Council. They were on a multi-day hike through the Central Cascades when they came upon a wildfire. When the Scouts saw the wildfire, the flames were small, but they were beginning to spread and had an ample fuel source of dried brush and wood nearby.

The Scouts knew that, in this remote area, if they didn’t act quickly and carefully, the wildfire could spread and damage a much larger area.

“The fire was very close to a heavily treed area with a lot of flammable material,” said one of the Scout’s fathers who was on the hiking trip. “If they would not have found this when they did, it could have been much worse.”

The Scouts grabbed items from their packs that would hold water, and they started a bucket brigade to carefully transfer water from a nearby stream to help put out the fire.

“Plan for the worst; hope for the best,” said Jesse F., the Scout troop’s historian. “The Scout’s motto is: be prepared. Luckily we had lots of pots.”

It took the Scouts and their leaders nearly two hours of steady water to extinguish the flames. As they did so, one of the leaders from the group used a satellite phone to call for additional assistance from forest rangers.

Two firefighters hiked into the forest the following day to help ensure that the wildfire was completely extinguished and had not spread.

To learn more about how these Scouts acted bravely to help prevent a fire from burning more of the forest, be sure to see the full story from NBC KING 5 News.

Teen Earns Eagle Scout by Helping Puppies

Roberto D. has always been a fan of animals. In particular, he loves puppies.

He and his family are big supporters of their SPCA, so when it came time for Roberto to complete his Eagle Scout project, helping out the puppies at the SPCA was a natural fit.

Teen Earns Eagle Scout by Helping Puppies
He constructed dog beds for a local animal shelter. (photo: Ryan Miller, Enid News & Eagle)

Roberto worked with a team of family members and other Scouts to construct several dog beds so that the puppies at the SPCA could lounge in comfort.

Earning Eagle Scout is something that runs in Roberto’s family. His father Jaime and his two uncles had earned Eagle Scout in the same Scout Troop years ago, so when Roberto joined Cub Scouts, he always knew he was going to work to earn Eagle one day.

Of course, Roberto’s journey toward Eagle required him to overcome some challenges his father and uncles never had to face.

Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age, Roberto was aware that he would have issues with mobility as he grew older, but he never let that stop him from experiencing all that Scouting has to offer. He went on hikes and trips with his Scout unit, and other Scouts would help him along the trails so that they could all complete the hikes together.

He also earned all of the merit badges necessary for Eagle as well as many additional badges – some even his father thought he wouldn’t be able to earn.

“It’s always in the back of my mind he’s going to have so many difficulties, but seeing him flourish and be able to do a lot of the things in my mind I didn’t think he’d be able to do, I was really proud that he was able to prove me wrong with a lot of things,” his father said.

To learn more about this impressive Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America Cimarron Council, be sure to read the full story in the Enid News & Eagle.

 

Eagle Scout Saves Four Lives While Surfing

When Eagle Scout Caden E. hit the beach with his family to go surfing, little did he know that another family at the beach that day would need his help to save their lives.

It all started like a normal day with a few small waves and plenty of fun in the sun for Caden and his family. As a kid who has been surfing for several years, Caden decided to paddle a little farther down the beach in search of a bit more of a challenge.

Eagle Scout Saves Four Lives While Surfing
Caden saved four lives while surfing. (photo: Sherry Morrison)

As he paddled toward another break, he noticed a woman far out in the water, frantically waving her hands. He paddled toward her and saw that she had two small children clinging to her, and another small boy was a few feet away. All of them were struggling to stay above water.

The family had been pulled out to sea by a rip current, and they’d been unable to fight the current and swim back to shore. Fatigue was beginning to set in for all of them.

Caden managed to help the woman and the two children with her onto his longboard to help them stay afloat, but as he was doing so, the young boy was overtaken by exhaustion and slipped beneath the waves.

In that moment, Caden knew he had to do something, so he dove down into the water and retrieved the boy, pulling him back to the surface and onto his surfboard.

Once everyone was on the board, Caden began paddling away from the rip current and eventually back toward shore. As he did so, lifeguards and others were swimming out to help bring everyone all the way back to the beach.

“This is an example of the highest ideals of the Boy Scout program,” said John Crowder, a district representative with the Boy Scouts of America Tidewater Council. “This is the sort of person that you’d want to be or want your son to be.”

For his lifesaving efforts, Caden received the Medal of Merit.

To learn more about this remarkable Eagle Scout, be sure to read the full story in The Virginian-Pilot.