Scouting News

20 Oct 2021 | 2:14 pm
Thank You Note Template for Thanking a Special Person

It is really important for kids to learn how to say “Thank You”. Gratitude is something which needs to be taught, and Cub Scouts is a perfect forum for doing this.

The link at the bottom of this article is for a template for a thank you note. Use this template to help your Scouts write a thank you note for somebody who has made a difference in their lives. Have them take the time to write it on a blank piece of paper, rather than just filling in the blanks. The form is just to help give them some structure and specifics for writing the note.

For some special cards to write in to say “Thank You” to your favorite Den Leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, or other Scouter, see these “A Scouter Is…” spoof on the Scout Law note cards.

A Scouter Is Note Cards

20 Oct 2021 | 12:07 pm
An image of a magnifying glass and a question mark with the Bear Forensics Adventure beltloop.

About the Bear Forensics Adventure

Forensics is one of the Bear elective adventures. For the Bear Forensics adventure, Cub Scouts learn about law enforcement methods which are used to solve crimes.

Bears will learn how to fingerprint. They also explore chromatography, analysis, and other crime-solving techniques. They also visit a police station, which can also be used as a requirement for Paws for Action.

Resources for Bear Den Leaders and Parents

Other helps for the Bear Forensics Adventure

Learn more about your local crime stoppers with these relate ideas and achievements:

Making Plaster Prints

Make a plaster print using Plaster of Paris. They can print their hand or foot or objects. This makes a fun craft to go with this adventure.

Kids Against Crime Cub Scout Theme

This Cub Scout theme has more activities and games related to crime fighting.

Related Awards

This adventure can be used to fulfill requirements for these STEM awards:

20 Oct 2021 | 10:50 am

What Does a Troop Committee Do?

Like all BSA units, Scouts BSA Troops have committees. Since a troop is lead by the youth, rather than being lead by the adults as in a pack, the committee functions differ.

The main difference it that instead of carrying out much of the work themselves, committee members are providing the support and resources which the youth leaders of the troop need.

A Scouts BSA Troop committee is essentially the board of directors for a Scouts BSA Troop. This committee is a group of at least three people who assist with supervision and management of a the unit. They help provide the resources that the youth leadership need to carry out their plans. The committee also ensures that a Scoutmaster has the resources and support to provide the program in accordance with BSA policies and regulations.

A typical description is given below. Adjust it to meet the specific needs of your troop.

Responsibilities of the Scouts BSA Troop Committee

There must be a minimum of three adults on the committee. They must agree to the principles of the Boy Scouts of America. Members are selected by the chartered organization. The committee is responsible for a variety of tasks:

Regardless of the size of the troop committee, these responsibilities must be performed:

  • Recruit new adult leaders, including  the Scoutmaster and one or more assistant Scoutmasters. These leaders must be approved by the chartered organization.
  • Provide a place for the troop to meet.
  • Serve as a link between the Troop and the chartered organization, making sure the troop functions within the mission of the Boy Scouts of America and within the mission of the chartered organization.
  • Make sure the troop charter is renewed on time annually.
  • Ensure that the troop has a strong outdoor program.
  • Serve on boards of review.
  • Work with the youth leaders and the Scoutmaster to deliver a quality, year-round  program to the youth.
  • Maintain a troop treasury.
  • Purchase equipment as necessary.
  • Find resources so that all troop members may participate, regardless of need.
  • Encourage all adults in the troop to obtain the appropriate training for their positions.
  • Provide support to the Scoutmaster in working with youth with special needs and in dealing with discipline issues.

The most efficient way for the committee to run is to assign specific tasks to specific members. A well organized committee supports the youth leaders and makes the Scoutmaster’s job much easier, ensuring that a quality program is delivered to the youth.

More Resources

Find helps and ideas for your Troop Committee below.

Board of Review Questions

What sort of questions are typically asked during a Board of Review?

Annual Troop Parent Meeting

It is good to engage all of the parents in the unit, even the ones who aren’t serving on the Troop Committee.

Leadership Succession in a Scouts BSA Troop

What do you do when adult leader succession not clear? What if the way things have been done are not in line with BSA standards?

Recognition Certificate

Fill in the blanks to make a certificate for Scouts or Scouters.

Committee Positions

Here are some BSA resources for some of the specific committee positions.

What Does a Scoutmaster Do?

Even though Scouts BSA Troops are “youth led”, they need lots of adult guidance. The Scoutmaster is a mentor for the youth leaders.

What Do You Do If You Can’t Find a New Scoutmaster?

What happens when the Scoutmaster wants to “retire” and nobody else is willing to take his or her place?

Registering a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

Does a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster have to be registered for the position?

Funny Recognition Awards for Adult Leaders

Here is a long list of awards with very punny names. 🙂

Nap on Safely Training

Lighten the mood at camp by having a spoof training.

Scout Moms, Dads, and Leaders

Share ideas, questions, and resources on this Facebook group.

What Can Be Done to Ensure That Unit Finances Are Handled Correctly?

What if you get involved in a Troop Committee or Pack Committee and find out that there is no accountability for the money?

Conflicts with Unit Fundraising

How do you handle it when your fundraiser always seems to be at the same time as another nearby unit?

Adult Leadership or Socializing?

What do you do when the adults who are coming on campouts are more interested in socializing than in providing appropriate supervision for the youth?

20 Oct 2021 | 10:33 am
As part of the Boy Scouts of America Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the organization is offering a $1.8 billion settlement to the roughly 82,000 claims that have been filed against them for sexual ...

20 Oct 2021 | 10:12 am
The scouts were outside the mall, dropping off items from a fundraiser when the shooting happened Sunday afternoon.

20 Oct 2021 | 7:07 am
When Cub Scouts from Pack 228 visited District Judge Ron Arnoni’s Bethel Park office Monday, he asked if they knew the reason for the robe. “It makes you look cool," he said was his favorite answer.

20 Oct 2021 | 7:00 am

From Acadia in Maine to Joshua Tree in California and beyond, our country’s national parks hosted 237 million people in 2020. 

But despite the continued popularity of these wide-open spaces, there’s one National Park Service offering that remains lesser known.

It’s the Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger program, which offers an oval-shaped patch to Cub Scouts and Scouts who participate in “organized educational activities or volunteer service projects for a minimum of 10 hours at one or more national parks.”

Last year, Cynthia Curley-Obrero, a Webelos den leader from Pack 540 of Atlanta (Atlanta Area Council), was discussing the award with Jake Boling. He’s the park ranger at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia.

“Jake was saying that it really hasn’t been a very active award — maybe due to a lack of exposure,” Cynthia says. “My son, William Kai, was the first to achieve it at our local park service site.”

When you get to know William Kai, you’ll see it’s no surprise that he was the first to earn it at Kennesaw Mountain. After all, William Kai is one of the biggest fans of the national parks that you’ll ever meet.

“I like national parks because they honor historic places and they’re beautiful,” he says. “You can see so much natural beauty and animals and scientific wonders.”

Park Ranger Boling agrees, saying the Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger program is important because it encourages Scouts to protect all that natural beauty for future generations. 

“One ongoing issue in many parks is a lack of funding and personnel shortages,” he says. “Many parks depend on volunteers and community service work. By attending educational programs that the parks offer, Scouts are learning more about the resource and will be more likely to be better stewards and set good examples.”

How William Kai earned the award

Because of the pandemic, some of William Kai’s work was completed virtually and approved by the corresponding park service sites. 

In person, he visited Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park and completed the park’s Junior Ranger program. 

He added virtual visits to a range of park service spots, such as Yellowstone National Park, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

Over Memorial Day weekend 2020, William Kai participated in the National Park Service Virtual Campout put on by Biscayne National Park. In June 2020, he was an active part of the weeklong Junior Ranger Virtual Summer Camp run through Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Through this mix of in-person and virtual educational activities, William Kai far surpassed the 10-hour minimum required to earn the patch. But more importantly, he developed a deeper affinity for our national parks. 

“I won’t ever forget the beauty in our parks,” William Kai says. “I think I have a passion for it because it’s fun to go places and learn.”

Speaking of going places, William Kai hopes to make in-person treks to more park service locations soon. 

“I don’t know which one I want to go to next because there are so many to choose from,” he says. “Alaska would be interesting because I could learn about the indigenous cultures and how nature is different from the lower United States. And I want to see glaciers.”

A little help from Mom

William Kai joined Scouting in 2018 as a Tiger. He fell in love with the outdoor activities and what he was learning in den meetings, especially hands-on activities based on animals, nature and science.

William Kai’s mom knew that the park service and its many sites — and websites — would complement her son’s interests perfectly. 

“Having taken a monthlong road trip west to camp and hike in national parks when I was in my twenties, I knew the magic the parks had to offer,” Cynthia says. “I saw a landscape so different from my expectations that demonstrated the beauty of the geology in the United States, watched animals in their natural habitat, marveled at the ruins and art of earlier civilizations, saw so many stars in the sky — all those experiences were more powerful than the normalcy of any other given day.”

Wanting to provide those kinds of memories for her son, Cynthia introduced William Kai to the Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Award.

“The award creates direct contact with what the NPS has to offer, which in turn teaches why it’s so important for us to continue supporting the parks,” Cynthia says. “The NPS supports so much that Scouting encourages — an appreciation for our community, large and small. It’s a perfect complement to Scouting.” 

20 Oct 2021 | 1:33 am
Arkansans that have filed sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America have until Dec. 14, 2021, to vote to accept or reject the proposed $1.8 billion settlement offer ...

19 Oct 2021 | 7:36 pm

Join the National Scouts BSA committee and Scouters from around the country to learn more about the Scouts BSA program Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 8pm Eastern during our live office hours.

This Q&A session is great for all Scouts BSA leaders – including Senior Patrol Leaders – to focus on implementing the Methods of Scouting in your Troop. We will cover the following topics:
• Guide to Advancement
• Merit Badges

To give your questions top priority, please email them to by October 26th. When submitting questions please identify yourself as a youth or adult. All questions will be answered, either during our live presentation or later. Space is limited for the live event, a recording will be sent to all who register.

We look forward to hearing from you and speaking with you soon!

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19 Oct 2021 | 3:40 pm

We are so excited to have Vishal Vijay join our Youth Sustainability Panel on October 24, 2pmET, alongside Naila Moloo and Stella Bowles! As a young teenager, Vishal (now aged 20) co-founded EveryChildNow, a youth-run national nonprofit that focuses on youth empowerment and child poverty alleviation. Since it began, EveryChildNow has impacted more than 500,000 people and helped lift families out of the cycle of poverty. Don't miss our LIVE Youth Sustainability Panel and you can ask Vishal and his co-panelists questions to further your sustainability journey.

19 Oct 2021 | 2:34 pm
The 18th Annual Leadership dinner to support the Chippewa Valley Council Boy Scouts of America was held Tuesday evening at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire. It was a night to honor the Scouts, ...

19 Oct 2021 | 11:53 am
A Delaware bankruptcy judge Tuesday told parties in the Boy Scouts of America's Chapter 11 case that she would delay ruling on whether to shield mediation communications from discovery while she ...

19 Oct 2021 | 9:34 am
There are five candidates running for four spots on the. Democratic First Selectman Matthew Hoey is running unopposed for first selectman. Four incumbents are also running for re-election: Democrats ...

19 Oct 2021 | 8:47 am
Must be 21 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. Sioux Council, Boy Scouts of America is seeking Part-Time Program Aides for 10-15 hours per week in… $16 an hour
From Indeed - Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:47:51 GMT - View all Sioux Falls, SD jobs

19 Oct 2021 | 8:26 am
Zac Lobel, senior at Newton North High School and scout in Newton Troop 205, is doing an Eagle Project working for the city of Newton urban forestry department.

19 Oct 2021 | 8:00 am

On July 18, 1968, a bulldozer working on a road construction project in Yonkers, N.Y., struck an underground gas line, resulting in a stream of gas shooting into the air.

Nearby stood John Kane, the senior patrol leader for Troop 4 in Bronxville, N.Y. It didn’t take long for the 15-year-old to realize the severity of the situation.

He could smell the dangerous, flammable gas filling the air around him. He worked at a restaurant nearby that contained a kitchen with open flames on gas-burning stoves.

As the construction workers scattered from the scene in terror, young John had a decision to make.

Five decades later, on Dec. 1, 2019, Thomas Kane, 17, John’s nephew, also with Troop 4, awoke early in the morning in his Scarsdale, N.Y., home to find his room filling with smoke.

Thomas called 911, then tried to put the fire out with a wet shirt. But the flames were spreading too fast, and Thomas knew it was time to go. As he escorted his father, mother and sister out of the house, Thomas realized his grandparents were still in their room on the home’s top floor, likely unaware of the emergency.

At that moment, with his home rapidly filling with smoke and fire, young Thomas had a decision to make, too.

Both John and Thomas chose bravery.

As a result, both earned lifesaving awards from the BSA’s National Court of Honor. And both were featured in Scouts in Action — exactly 51 years apart.

Never tell them the odds

The chances of something like this happening are, in a word, slim.

In 1969, the year the elder Kane was officially presented with his award, BSA records show that there were more than 250 lifesaving awards presented to Scouts across the country. The editors of Boys’ Life (at the time) would have had to choose 12 of them to feature in the magazine over the next year.

The BSA’s current top lifesaving awards (from left): Heroism Award, Honor Medal and Honor Medal with Crossed Palms.

In the years that followed, the system by which Scouts earn lifesaving awards changed. Nowadays, many of these same awards are presented at the council level, meaning the records would no longer be kept at the national office.

Still, in late 2020, the editors of what was about to be called Scout Life magazine had to examine, scrutinize and evaluate several dozen stories of Scout life-saving heroism to select the subjects for the 10 issues of the magazine that would be printed over the following 12 months.

But maybe this is the most important thing: It wasn’t until after Thomas Kane was selected to appear in Scouts in Action that the Scout Life staff realized his uncle had appeared in their magazine 51 years earlier.

What are the odds?

Being prepared

Troop 4 appears to have a long history of helping to save lives. So much so that their website has an entire page dedicated to it.

There was the time on a hike up a steep hill that three older Scouts came across a woman suffering from exhaustion, unable to move, while her companion looked on with no idea how to help. The Scouts wrapped the woman in a blanket to keep her warm, gave her some water, and raised her feet to improve blood flow as Troop 4 adults called for help.

Then there was the time a Scout was playing a casual game of football when one of his companions began suffering from symptoms that only the Scout recognized as a heart attack. An emergency room physician confirmed that the Scout saved the boy’s life by rushing him to a hospital so quickly.

And then there was that fateful day in 1968, when SPL Kane just happened to be standing nearby as that bulldozer ruptured a gas line.

“Turn Off Your Stoves and Call the Fire Department!”

“I remember there was a jet of gas going up hundreds of feet into the air,” says John, now 68, from the home he shares with his wife in the mountains of western North Carolina. “It was pushing the trees apart.

The framed copy of Scouts in Action from 1970, still hanging in the home of John’s mom.

“I thought it was a good idea to turn off the pilot light and divert traffic from the area until the authorities could show up and cut this thing off.”

While others around him panicked, John remained calm. He told the restaurant’s owner to turn off all the stoves and call the police, then he ran into the street and directed traffic away from the scene. When the police and fire department arrived, John’s work was done.

He said appearing in Boys’ Life maybe wasn’t that big of a deal to him, but it certainly was to his mother — a framed copy of the story hangs on the wall of her Hartsdale, N.Y., home to this day.

When John first joined Troop 4, he remembers an older Scout name Howie Rakov who took many of the younger boys under his wings. Today, “Howie” is Dr. Howard Alden Rakov DDS, and he’s the Scoutmaster of Troop 4, where Thomas is currently a member.

“He Saved His Family From A Fire!”

When Thomas turned on the lights and saw smoke in his room at 5 a.m., he immediately knew the situation was serious. He sprung out of bed, threw on some clothes and began yelling to wake up everyone else in the house.

An excerpt from Thomas Kane’s Scouts in Action.

Knowing they were going to have to evacuate and realizing it would be freezing outside, Thomas began gathering jackets and sweaters to make sure everyone would be as comfortable as possible. He soon realized his grandparents, who were sleeping in the upstairs bedroom, hadn’t come out.

“This was when being a Boy Scout became very useful, for I had to be brave,” Tom wrote in his statement to the BSA’s National Court of Honor.

He ran upstairs, woke his grandparents and calmly explained that they all needed to get out of the house right away.

Once outside, Tom handed out the clothing that kept his family warm until the fire department arrived.

“I believe my Scout training really helped me handle this emergency,” Tom says. “Fortunately, no one was hurt. I am very thankful for the training and experience I gained through Scouts.”

You can read John Kane’s Scouts in Action from August 1970 here.

Click here to read Thomas Kane’s Scouts in Action from August 2021, along with most Scouts in Action comics from recent years.


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