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By: JenFletcher       On: 2011-09-20

September 7th marked the release of the BSA’a newest merit badge: the Chess Badge. This badge is definitely not for the feint of heart and it’s nothing to “play” around with; there are some very stringent requirements for earning this badge. You can find information for this and every other Merit badge at the Scout Manage website. Good luck!...[More]

By: JenFletcher       On: 2011-09-19

When I joined the Girl Scouts as a child in the (ahem) early 80’s, the beginning level was Brownies. We sold calendars in the Spring and Cookies in the fall/early winter. I proudly wore my brown jumper, sash, socks and penny loafers to school on days I had meetings. I’m pretty sure my dad still has my brownie sashes – I had 2 because of all the patches I earned.We started every meeting by saying...[More]

By: webmaster       On: 2011-09-17

After months of promoting itself through Facebook, The Summit Bechtel Reserve-the new BSA high-adventure base currently under construction in West Virginia-has unveiled a new website. You can check it out at Like everything else about The Summit, the new site is an intriguing mix of serious high adventure and cool technology. And like everything else about The Summit, the site invites the active involvement of Scouts. In fact, Scouts who respond to the...[More]

By: webmaster       On: 2011-09-15

Ever since I became an adult Scouter, tour permits have been required for certain troop outings-typically those beyond council borders, although local rules varied. I long ago lost count of the tour permit applications I filled out. But no more. Tour permits-both the local and national variety-have been replaced by the tour plan form. The change is more than just a semantic one. The new form is quite different from the old one. In...[More]

By: JenFletcher       On: 2011-09-13

My boys just joined Cub Scouts - I can't tell you how proud I am of them! Not only are they starting out on a great life path, but they're also continuing their parents' Scouting legacy.In an effort to learn more about the "other" side of Scouting, I went on a web hunt and came across a website called TroopTrack. What a cool site! This website is basically web-based scouting software! I know, there...[More]

By: JenFletcher       On: 2011-09-11

I remember, as a child, hearing my parents say they would never forget where they were and what they were doing the day "they killed Kennedy". I also remember wondering how one little thing could stand out in their memories so strongly that they would always remember such mundane things as sweeping the floor or buying a pack of gum. I understand now.Ten years ago, at 9:45am CST, I was playing a game of...[More]

By: webmaster       On: 2011-09-10

Scouting's newest merit badge, Robotics, debuted this week, just in time for National Robotics Week. It made quite a splash, too. Hundreds of newspapers ran a wire-service story about it, and the merit-badge pamphlet even showed up in lights in New York's Times Square. Robotics is being billed as the first interactive merit badge. At, your Scouts can find extensive resources to help them earn the badge. Robotics is just one aspect of the...[More]

By: webmaster       On: 2011-09-08

At our last troop committee meeting, our Scoutmaster announced that he's ready to step down. He has done a great job in his four years or so at the helm, but he has also traveled the path from on fire to burned out. Three names immediately surfaced as likely replacements, but then someone suggested one of our 20-something Eagle Scouts as a possible candidate. And that got me to thinking about another of our...[More]

By: JenFletcher       On: 2011-09-04

Sept. 1 marks the first day of Scout Surge 9/11, a blitz of service projects and other activities designed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011. Troops across the country are holding flag-retirement ceremonies, participating in community events, and gathering to watch the film “New York Says Thank You,” which tells the story of New York City first responders. (The film has a special Scouting connection because some of...[More]

By: webmaster       On: 2011-09-03

In Scout troops across the country, Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly important communication tools, often edging out phone trees and email as the most popular ways to send and receive information.For all their benefits, however, social media have their limitations as well. You have to be 13 to sign up for Facebook, for example, and social-media sites create the potential for the sorts of inappropriate adult-to-youth contact that would never be acceptable in the...[More]

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McKnight participates in 23rd World Scout Jamboree
Stephen McKnight recently returned from the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Kirarahame, Japan. McKnight, a south Charlotte resident and son of Beth McKnight and the late U.S. District Judge H....

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