Category Archives: Uncategorized

How STEM Scouts Creates a Learning Culture Beyond the Classroom

Photo: FiOS1 News

A group of scientifically-inclined 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in Northern New Jersey Council are learning lessons beyond just science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through team work, experiments, and exciting topics, the STEM Scouts program is helping these young geniuses develop character, leadership, and academic strengths they’ll use long after their school days are behind them.

Teacher and STEM Scouts lab leader Diana Robles knows the importance of a curriculum that teaches kids in a way that’s both fun and relevant to modern science, and with the help of the STEM Scouts program, she’s filling that need for her students. In a recent interview with FiOS1 News, she explained how this updated approach to learning augments her teaching and helps her students.

“As we know, we live in a very technology-driven world, so we need to make sure that we are adapting our teaching methods to meet the needs of the changes that are going on around us so that we can really prepare these kids for the future.”

The STEM Scouts program, which is offered to boys and girls from elementary to high school, teaches science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun and engaging way though learning modules. As pictured in the video below, the “What’s the Matter?” module teaches students about the states of matter though discussions and fun experiments with solids, liquids, and gasses, and how they can change.

According to Robles, the benefits of the STEM Scouts curriculum don’t end in academia. Through hands-on activities, STEM Scouts have an opportunity to build skills like teamwork, communication, and critical thinking.

Fifth grade STEM Scout Archie M., who wants to be a scientist one day himself, explained to FiOS1 News, “It helps me talk to my friends easier because we work as a group now and it helps me in science class.”

See for yourself how STEM Scouts is providing kids with exciting learning experiences in the video below from FiOS1 News, and the full article here.

For more information on the STEM Scouts program, and to find a lab near you, visit

Scouts Respond Quickly to Motorcycle Crash Victims

scouts, emergency preparedness, first aid, boy scouts
Troop 93 jumped to the scene of a motorcycle crash to provide assistance before EMTs arrived. (Photo credit: Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch)

First aid and emergency preparedness are essential lessons every Scout learns. You hope for safe conditions, but when the skills are needed, they can mean the difference between life and death. Such was the case for Scouts from the Pathway to Adventure Council‘s Troop 93 of Lake Zurich, IL when they helped save two motorcycle riders near their hiking site.

On June 27, the Scouts were hiking the Sunday Gulch Trail in South Dakota when they heard a motorcycle slide off the road nearby. Five of the Scouts – Jacob, Seanan, Liam, Matthew, Mark – and Scoutmaster Burke immediately ran to the scene to help the two victims that were trapped under the motorcycle.

The fast-acting Scouts lifted the Harley-Davidson off the unconscious riders and stayed on the scene to provide first responder assistance and divert traffic. They called 911 using their two-way radios and ran up the road to call for additional help.

The Scouts found a fellow hiker who happened to be a trauma nurse and was able to assist before paramedics and other emergency responders arrived.

ABC 7 Chicago reports that both victims regained consciousness before being loaded in the ambulance.

Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch officials say the troop credits Scouting and their first aid training for knowing how to respond quickly and calmly in an emergency situation.

To get the full story on how these brave Scouts helped two strangers in need, visit ABC 7 Chicago.

life scout, teen

Life Scout Saves Teen Sailor After Boat Capsizes

life scout, teen
15-year-old Life Scout Ian B. saved a fellow teen sailor after noticing a capsized boat in poor weather conditions. (Photo credit: Danielle Beaty)

When faced with a life-threatening emergency, preparation may make all the difference. Being prepared for these situations makes it possible to act carefully, swiftly and as calmly as possible. Which is exactly what 15-year-old Life Scout Ian B. of the Tidewater Council did when he noticed a capsized boat on the Pasquotank River on September 15, 2017.

Ian was participating in a sailing program at the Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies when the weather quickly became overcast and windy. The weather became so dangerous that Ian and his classmates brought the boat to shore.

Soon after docking, a capsized boat caught his eye in the distance with no visible sailor present. The sailing instructor was nearly 45 minutes away, so Ian knew he had to act fast. He dove into the water and swam 150 yards to the scene.

The Scout found 14-year-old Saige M. alongside the boat in distress with an improperly fastened life jacket. Ian correctly fastened the jacket, quickly making the struggling teen more comfortable. He then instructed Saige to float on her back while he grabbed the bow line of the boat and back strap of her jacket to tow both to shore.

The brave Life Scout was awarded the Honor Medal for his incredible lifesaving feat. Yet, to Ian, saving the struggling teen was second nature.

Simply put: “It is what a Scout does when he sees someone in trouble,” he said.

To read the full story of this Scout’s heroic efforts, visit The Outer Banks Voice.

Philmont Scout Ranch Announces Backcountry Closure for 2018 Summer Season

The safety of our youth participants, volunteers and staff is the priority at Philmont Scout Ranch and for the Boy Scouts of America.  Because of the unprecedented risk of fire and the risk this poses to the safety of those in available trek areas, we have made the difficult decision that the Philmont Scout Ranch backcountry will remain closed for treks and individual programs for the remainder of the 2018 summer season.  This closure applies only to Philmont’s backcountry programs.  All other areas and programs at the Philmont Scout Ranch, including the Philmont Training Center, will remain open all summer.

Unfortunately, the extremely dry conditions at Philmont have continued unabated since June with fire danger in northern New Mexico currently classified as “extreme.”  The fire danger has led to closure of most public lands near Philmont Scout Ranch.  State and federal lands surrounding the Ranch have remained closed or have since been closed to public access due to the fire danger, including large areas that were closed in the last week.

We have been monitoring the situation since the Ute Park fire began earlier this summer. A few days ago, the Morris Creek fire was discovered in the southern portion of the Ranch. This was part of the area being considered for alternative trek routes that had to be re-routed due the damage sustained in the Ute Park Fire, which forced the cancellation of the first part of the season. Because of the Morris Creek fire, these alternate trek routes have now been eliminated. Additionally, two new fires have been reported in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that highlight the continued high fire danger in the area, which is currently experiencing exceptional drought – the most severe classification associated with water shortages.

Over the next few days, our staff will be contacting the lead advisor or contingent leader of affected crews confirming the refund, offering a trek at Philmont for the 2020 season, and answering any questions. Please wait and allow the Philmont team to contact your crew – your assistance will help make sure that Philmont phone lines remain open.

The Philmont ranger motto is “scramble – be flexible,” and our inspiring staff is living up to that spirit. Although they expected to be delivering backcountry adventures to Scouts and Scouters this summer, they have enthusiastically taken on the difficult work that needs to be done, ensuring that we will be ready to fully re-open next year. We are humbled and thankful for their willingness to roll up their sleeves, pitch in and meet the challenges we have faced; truly, they reflect the very best on Scouting and our nation’s youth.

As difficult as this situation has been for our Philmont family and for Scouts across our country, we have been truly inspired by the incredible perseverance and commitment shown by our staff, the resourcefulness displayed by displaced crews to find other summer adventures, and the understanding and good wishes from thousands of Scouts and Scouters from around the world.

We thank you for your continued understanding, your support, and your cooperation.


Q: Does this mean that Philmont Scout Ranch will be closed this summer?

No, this closure applies only to Philmont’s backcountry programs.  Philmont’s Camping Headquarters and Base Camp area, the Philmont Training Center, the new National Scouting Museum, the Chase Ranch, and the Kit Carson Museum at Rayado will remain open all summer.  Training courses at the Philmont Training Center and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) will proceed as scheduled.  This decision does not affect Philmont’s fall programs, including Autumn Adventure and fall PTC training conferences.

Q: Which programs are affected by the closure?

The following programs scheduled for this summer are cancelled:  7- and 12-day treks; and individual backcountry programs, including Rayado, ROCS, Trail Crew, STEM and Ranch Hands.

Q: Will refunds be issued to the affected crews?

Yes, refund checks for all affected crews will be sent to the lead contact advisor on Monday, July 9, 2018.

Q: Will affected crews be offered high adventure opportunities elsewhere?

We will encourage crews to attend programs that still have capacity. While Sea Base is at capacity right now, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is ready to help deliver a great adventure program this summer, and there is limited space still available at Northern Tier, too. Crew advisors and councils can call SBR directly at 304-465-2800 or Northern Tier directly at 218-365-4811.

Q: What will happen if our crew already paid for airfare?

Our National BSA leadership has been working with airlines to assist crews with refunds, changes, and credits. Please refer to the following contacts for support.

American Airlines         1-800-221-2255

Southwest Airlines       1-800-435-9792

Alaska Airlines              1-800-654-5669

Amtrak                         1-800-872-7245

Q: What is the financial impact of this closure?

Although we know there will be a significant impact, it is difficult for us to assess the entire financial impact at this moment. Even so, we know that this is the right decision because the safety of our youth participants, volunteers and staff is our priority.

Q: What will be the impact to the seasonal staff?

Philmont seasonal staff will be given the opportunity to stay and continue to work on projects at Philmont, but they can also choose to go home if they prefer.


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:

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 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 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

How This Scout’s Eagle Project Is Providing Care for Children

Garret is a young man on a mission. That mission – to bring joy to children in his community and achieve his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout.

“That’s been my goal since I was 5-years-old,” Life Scout Garret B. shared with KSWO ABC 7 News. “To be an Eagle Scout, and that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.”

The Scout is spearheading a project in which he is creating “blessing bags” filled with toys, snacks, books and other gifts for kids attending a local camp in his Tyler, Texas, community.

“The bags aren’t going to change anyone’s life,” he humbly remarked. “But we really want to show kids, ya know, they’re special, and that people are thinking about them.”

Garret was inspired to develop the project after he served on mission trips with his church. He found his inspiration after one specific trip where he passed out lunches to underprivileged youth.

“When I got back, I said, how can I do this in my community?” he said.

Garret hopes the project will brighten the lives of 400 children in his community as part of the Summer Playground Program, a nine-week camp in Tyler.

To learn more about this Eagle Scout project, head to the full story and a video at KSWO ABC 7 News.

9-year-old Scout Saves His Mother’s Life

Connor G. was awarded the Medal of Merit after saving his mother when she suffered a heart attack. Photo credit: WSB-TV 2 Atlanta

Thanks to a young man’s quick-thinking and emergency training in Scouting, a mother is alive and well today after her son jumped into action to save her.

Scout Conner G. acted without a moment to lose when his mother suffered a heart attack and needed immediate assistance.

Connor’s mother, Christie, asked her son call 911 and he the quickly got on the phone with operator Karnia Lake, who says this was her first emergency call on the job.

“Sometimes that’s how you learn. That’s the best way to learn, is to jump into the deep end,” Lake shared with WSB-TV 2 Atlanta.

Just as a Scout is trained, Connor remained calm through the entire experience, relaying instructions from the operator to his mother. Paramedics were soon at the scene to render aid.

Christie looks back at the incident still in shock over what happened.

“Just the reality of it. That I could not be here right now, and I would’ve left my son without his mother,” she said.

Though Connor’s level-headed demeanor said otherwise, he too, was scared, but he says that his Scout training taught him to stay calm.

“I was nervous and I was afraid that I was gonna lose my mom,” Connor said. “I’m just so grateful for that second chance,” he said.

Connor was awarded the Medal of Merit award for his meritorious actions that saved his mother’s life.

Learn more about this Scout’s bravery under pressure by reading the full story and watching a video from WSB-TV 2 Atlanta.

Ute Park Fire Prompts Philmont Program Announcements

The safety of our youth participants, volunteers and staff is a priority for everybody at Philmont Scout Ranch and the Boy Scouts of America.  While efforts continue to extinguish the Ute Park fire currently burning in the back-country, the anticipated damage and inability to access the affected areas makes it currently impossible to host back country programs.  Until the fire is extinguished, the areas are inspected and the damage assessed, it is impossible to definitively state when those programs will resume.

At this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all backcountry treks that were scheduled to take place in the Philmont backcountry from June 8 – July 14, 2018.  We hope that back country treks may resume after July 14, 2018 with altered itineraries, assuming the back country is safe and infrastructure is restored.

Additionally, programs scheduled to take place at Philmont Training Center will also be canceled through June 23, 2018. The Philmont Training Center expects to welcome back participants beginning with Philmont Family Adventure on June 24, 2018.

The NAYLE program, which takes place at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp seven miles south of the Philmont Base Camp and is unaffected by the Ute Park Fire, will go on as scheduled.

Over the next few days, we will be contacting the lead advisor or contingent leader of all crews that are impacted by this decision, starting with those that are scheduled to arrive first, as well as affected PTC coordinators. Thank you in advance for allowing the Philmont team to contact your crew – your assistance will help make sure that Philmont phone lines remain open.

We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to continuously evaluate the fire and air quality to ensure that we can safely deliver outstanding program.

Thank you for your support and patience.

Ute Park Fire Impacting Philmont Scout Ranch

The Boy Scouts of America has confirmed that the Ute Park fire in New Mexico is affecting the Philmont Scout Ranch. Thankfully, youth members have not yet arrived at Philmont for the summer so there are no youth participants on-site.

Our Philmont staff are now back on the unaffected areas of the Ranch with the clearance of the authorities overseeing the situation after having been previously evacuated. All are safe and in good spirits. Additionally, livestock have also been moved to unaffected areas of the Ranch and are safe.

Currently, there are numerous resources from local, state and federal partners working to suppress this fire on the ground with support from multiple aerial firefighters. Additional incident management resources have also arrived to reinforce operations.

Damage assessments are difficult to assess currently, so we don’t know the total toll the fire has taken on structures and facilities.

We are thankful that no staff have been harmed, and for the outpouring of support from the community in response to this incident. Our thoughts are focused on the wellbeing of those responding to contain the Ute Park fire. We are grateful for their continued efforts.

For more information on the fire, please visit:

Unique Eagle Scout Project Creates Better Home for Animals at the Zoo

Xavier M. developed an Eagle project that constructed hammocks for gorillas, chimpanzees and a cheetah at the Biopark’s Rio Grande Zoo. Photo credit: KRQE

A young man with a passion for helping animals came up with a novel idea to make living conditions for animals at the Albuquerque Biopark Zoo more comfortable. The idea popped into his head during a recent trip to the San Diego Zoo.

“[He is] an amazing young man, great leader,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Eddie Vargas to KRQE.

Xavier M., a Scout in the Great Southwest Council,  spearheaded an Eagle Scout project that constructed hammocks out of discarded fire hoses for gorillas, chimpanzees and a cheetah at the Biopark’s Rio Grande Zoo.

“I’ve always liked animals, I’ve always liked to go to the zoo, I’ve always liked monkeys and stuff,” Xavier explained.

Xavier’s dad, Chris, says they used to go to the zoo “all the time” when he was younger.

“He saw that the apes were playing on these rubber hammocks so he asked about them and they said they’re made out of recycled fire hose so he said ‘I want to do that for the Albuquerque zoo,'” Chris said.

The Scout teamed up with Biopark to determine what the animals needed and worked with local engineers to ensure proper design.

“I’m so proud it makes me want to cry cause he warms my heart daily,” said Xavier’s mom, Angela.

Several Fire Departments donated fire hoses to help make Xavier’s Eagle Scout project a reality.

The Scout is thankful for the help and donations from his community and says he hopes the animals will enjoy his project.

“We have plenty of volunteers, we have people working together and it’s just amazing to see all this and I’m excited to see what they’re going to be like at the zoo,” Xavier said.

To learn more about Xavier’s Eagle Scout project, visit