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Monster Bash This Weekend!

October 22, 2014

Boys Scouts Host “Monster Bash” This Saturday, October 25
Wear your costume, bring a buddy and come have some safe Halloween fun!

(Omaha, NE) – October 20, 2014 – Hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council, the Monster Bash is open to all youth – registered Scouts and the public. Kids and parents are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite costume, and be prepared for some fun, safe Halloween-themed activities, including hands-on crafts, movies, trick or treating, bounce house, ghost hunting, and more. Bring the whole family and friends!

The Monster Bash is this Saturday, October 25 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Durham Scout Center at 12401 West Maple Road, Omaha, NE. Families and youth may come and go at any time, or attend the entire afternoon. Cost is only $5.00 per youth. FREE for adults and children two-years-old and under. Youth must be accompanied by parent or adult. To be sure we have enough crafts and materials for everyone, please register online at

For more information and questions, please contact Mike Evano at 402-514-3019 or Christine Salisbury at 402-514-3006.

Author – Dixie Wagner, Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America

It’s Boy Scout Popcorn Selling Season!

September 26, 2014

Boy Scouts will be knocking on neighbor’s doors selling sweet and savory popcorn from September 27 through October 26, 2014.

(Omaha, NE) – September 23, 2014 – Local Scouts will be out selling popcorn in your neighborhood Saturday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Scouts use the money from popcorn sales to fund summer camping; to purchase gear needed for everything from high adventure to their local Scouting program; to earn scholarship money; and to earn commission for their pack, troop or crew. Most importantly, they learn skills such as salesmanship, organization, and money management which helps build their confidence and character for our future leaders of tomorrow.

You can support and help encourage our boys by buying popcorn from the Scout who knocks on your door. Or, you can order popcorn online to support a Scout you know. Just contact him and request his online order key code. Don’t know a Scout to buy popcorn from? Call the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council at 402- 431-9BSA (9272), and a Scout in your community will stop by your house. However you get some delicious Boy Scout popcorn – enjoy! And, feel good about doing a good thing by supporting the Boy Scouts of America.

Check out some of the popcorn products offered this year:

  • The 2014 popcorn product line-up includes new Campmaster© popcorn flavors and specialty sports tins featuring a new Blackshirts design for the Nebraska Huskers, a new design for the Iowa Hawkeyes, a new Cyclone Nation design for the Iowa Cyclones, and a new tin design for the Creighton Bluejays. Each tin is filled with multiple popcorn packets with different flavors, such as – Butter Toffee, White Cheddar Cheese, Sweet ‘N Salty Kettle, and Yellow Cheddar Cheese.
  • Other popcorn products include some old favorites – Supreme Caramel Popcorn with Whole and Crushed Almonds, Chocolatey Caramel Popcorn, Butter Toffee Caramel Corn and microwaveable Extra Buttery Movie Theatre. New this year for first-time ever is Cinnamon Crunch included in tins.

Visit the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council Popcorn Products web page to view all available products and detailed descriptions at

Following is our schedule for 2014 Boy Scout Popcorn Campaign Events

  • Sept. 26 – Popcorn Kick-Off at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at campsites
    #55 – #62. Come join Scouts and families for a campfire, haunted house, corn maze, and much more! Food is available for purchase at Vala’s, or you are welcome to bring something for the campfire. Cost is $9.00 per person for Scouts in uniform and families.
  • Sept. 27 – Popcorn Sale Begins!
  • Oct. 26 – Popcorn Sale Ends.
  • Nov. 15-17 – Popcorn Final Order distribution – If you wanted something your Scout salesman didn’t have in stock, he would order it for you, and deliver your popcorn at this time.

About Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council – 2014 Popcorn promotional video:

Share the Adventure of Scouting!

September 17, 2014

You’re an important part of Scouting. You bring Scouting to life for youth and families throughout our communities.

We all know that Scouting is a fun, exciting program that builds character, leadership, and fitness in young people.

Let’s make sure everyone knows!

Share the awesome video below by email and with your friends on social media. While you’re at it, invite them to join them at your next
pack, troop or crew meeting!

Like this?
Follow the Boy Scout of America on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

11th Annual Scout Day

September 5, 2014

For more information, please contact 
Officer Jenny Nelson at 402-444-3479.

New Photo Contest Announced!

September 2, 2014

popcorn photo contest

The Eagle has Landed at Camp Eagle

August 18, 2014

IMG_3484  Eagle 1

Through the generosity of Mutual of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha Bank, and Dan Neary, 2008 chairman of the Mid-America Council board, a statue of an eagle, the symbol of our freedom and representational of the highest rank in Scouting, graces the entrance of Camp Eagle, a premier Boy Scout camp located near Cedar Bluffs, NE.

The statue of a bald eagle in flight with wings spread wide is aptly titled, Bald Eagle in Flight. With a 20-foot wingspan, and constructed of cordon steel mounted on a pedestal, the awe-inspiring statue weighs 3,000 pounds and stands nearly two stories tall.

The dedication ceremony for the statue was held Saturday at 10:00 a.m., August 16, 2014 at Camp Eagle, Covered Wagon Scout Ranch, 2911 County Road 15, Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.

Dan Owens, John Rickert, Mike Homa, and Eric Magendantz

Dan Owens, John Rickert, Mike Homa, and Eric Magendantz

John Rickerts welcomed all to the dedication ceremony and introduced the guest speakers. Guest speakers included Eric Magendantz, Troy Schmidtke, and Dan Owens. Rickert serves as properties committee chairman for Mid-America Council (MAC), Boy Scouts of America, is an Eagle Scout and a long-time member of Nani-Ba-Zhu.

Troy Schmidtke

Troy Schmidtke

He said, “When I first read the email about the eagle last spring, I knew Camp Eagle should be its home, and was ready to find the funding through NBZ members donations.” John didn’t have to go that route, because the MAC properties committee, the board, and everyone wanted the eagle to land at Camp Eagle.

Eric Magendantz, Mid-America Council Scout Executive shared the story of the eagle during the ceremony. Bald Eagle in Flight is the work of artist Todd Andrews. Find more information about Todd Andrews and his commissioned sculptures at

Tony Schmidtke, LEED®AP project manager for the eagle statue project and with the Weitz Company, explained the construction of the eagle and base, “Below the eagle are two 8 foot by 8 foot precast concrete foundations. Each weighing 20,000 lbs. These foundations have steel embed plates that were cast into the concrete to allow the two precast concrete pedestals to be connected by a series of welds.”

“The two precast concrete pedestals are a colored concrete with an exposed aggregate finish. Those pedestals also have embed plates welded into them so the base of the eagle could be welded down. After the eagle was set, the frame below the eagle was painted and the landscaping was completed. Each feather of the eagle is made of steel and welded in layers on the frame,” Schmidtke concluded.

Artist Todd Andrews signature from 1980

Artist Todd Andrews signature from 1980

Schmidtke pointed out the exact feather signed by the artist – look for the third feather closest to the body of the eagle on the right side, on the bottom of the wing.

Mike Homa, president of the Mutual of Omaha Bank stated, “The eagle was originally on top of the bank in downtown Lincoln. About 3 years ago the bank relocated and the eagle statue was placed in storage in a Mutual of Omaha storage unit in Blair. Last spring, I sent out an email invitation to several organizations to see if they would be interested in the eagle. And if so, what would they do with it, and how would the eagle have a positive impact on the mission of their organization?”

“There is no doubt in my mind that Camp Eagle is the best home for the eagle, and I hope having the eagle statue here inspires and motivates Scouts and families,” shared Homa.

One of the highlights, and most colorful participant in the dedication ceremony, was Sidney Has No Horses in ceremonial regalia. He is a medicine man for the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation. He sang and blessed the eagle, and spoke of lessons learned and those to be learned by youth and leaders at Camp Eagle and those gathered.

Medicine Man Blessing the New Eagle

Medicine Man Blessing the New Eagle

While he spoke, Rod Van Horn, a member of NBZ and long-time Scouter, passed smoking sage leaves among the circle of attendees and the eagle statue to purify the statue and members ready to receive the blessing. Four Red-tailed hawks were spotted circling above the eagle statue during the ceremonial blessing in previously empty, blue skies.

NBZ stands for Nani-Ba-Zhu, the honorary camping and service society in the Mid-America Council. Men who entered the program as youth are still passionately dedicated to it today, and work tirelessly to improve the program, membership, and the Mid-America Council Scout camps. Saturday was a regalia building day for NBZ members, and after sunset an NBZ advancement ceremony was conducted around the campfire. Many Scouts and leaders at Camp Cedars for the NBZ weekend walked over to see the eagle statue at Camp Eagle. Read more about NBZ:

The Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America sincerely thanks Mutual of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha Bank, and Dan Neary, former chairman of the Mid-America Council for their generous donation. And, also thanks the following Eagle project contributors: The Weitz Company; American Concrete Products; Performance Engineering; Mid-America Council Properties Committee Chairman, John Rickert; Project Engineer, Bob Soukup; Project Manager, Troy Schmidtke; Project Lead, Doug Carlson; Jimmy Brasch, Scott Erikson, Steve Kuzelka, Mike Mayne, and Marty Wiedenman.

Read more about the eagle:
Former Lincoln eagle lands at Camp Eagle, thanks to Mutual of Omaha donation:

Read more about Todd Andrews and his art works:

Author and photos – Dixie Wagner, Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America

Liver Transplant Patient Gives Back

August 15, 2014

Boy Scout Organizes Toy Drive for Pediatric Patients Hospitalized at The Nebraska Medical Center

Omaha, Neb – At the age of 13, Doug Pepper noticed his eyes were turning yellow. The teen from Indianola, Iowa was also fatigued. A trip to the doctor confirmed, Pepper had autoimmune hepatitis – his body’s immune system was attacking his liver.

Doug supply drive

“It’s caused by a virus that can be in your body for a number of years. Mine was there without any symptoms,” explains Pepper. “At first, doctors in Des Moines tried using fluids to heal my liver, but it finally got to the point where I needed a transplant. They gave me the choice of going to the Mayo Clinic or The Nebraska Medical Center.”

In December 2012, Pepper underwent a successful liver transplant at the med center. During his almost 7-week stay, Pepper relied on the Child Life Services staff to keep his spirits high.

“They had plenty of activities that allowed me to meet new, different-storied people. I really enjoyed art days, watching movies, pet therapy and a special visit from some Monster Jam drivers. Child Life completely changed my stay at the hospital.”

Iowa supply drive 2

Almost two years after his transplant, Pepper is working towards becoming an Eagle Scout with his home troop in Iowa. To help achieve his Eagle Scout goal, Pepper has organized two supply drives for Child Life Services. The first drive was held in Indianola on August 9. Pepper and his troop collected 1,143 supplies along with gift cards and cash donations. The second drive will be held in Omaha on August 16.

“Even in the hospital, kids need opportunities to be kids,” says Lisa Wallace-Spech, child life specialist at the med center. “Play is such an important tool in helping children cope with hospitalization. Supporting Doug in this drive will not only help him in reaching his goal of achieving Eagle Scout, it will also help him and his fellow scouts with the opportunity to help others in the community.”

The Omaha supply drive will be held on Saturday, August 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the front doors of the Walmart on South 72nd Street. Due to the safety and well-being of patients, all toys and supplies must be new to reduce the risk of infection. Those interested in donating are encouraged to give:

  • Easy read children’s books
  • DVD’s (nothing rated R)
  • Puzzles (under 200 pieces)
  • Play dough and small cookie cutters
  • Bubbles (in a spill proof container)
  • Thomas & Friends toy trains
  • Barbie Dolls and clothing
  • Craft supplies (markers, scissors, crayons, glitter glue, acrylic paints, fuzzy posters, canvases, items to paint, etc.)
  • Games for teenagers (playing cards, UNO, Skip-Bo, etc.)
  • Gift cards to Walmart and iTunes

Iowa supply drive

“People should donate because it goes to help hospitalized kids who are going through a difficult time in life,” encourages Pepper. “I’m doing this because I can relate to their experience.”

Pepper plans to deliver all the donations to the med center on Saturday, September 6. The supplies will be used in the hospital’s playroom and Teen Room for group and individual activities. Toys will also be taken to the child’s bedside if they are too sick to come out of their room. Other supplies will be used as gifts during carnival night and patients’ birthday parties.

“It really gives meaning to everything Doug has been through,” smiles Wallace-Spech. “We are the lucky ones to get to know kids like Doug and the impact they make.”

If you’re unable to attend the Omaha supply drive, but would still like to make a donation, contact the hospital’s Office of Development at (402) 552-2029.

WHAT: Supply drive for Child Life Services at The Nebraska Medical Center. Supplies will help pediatric patients who are staying at the hospital.

WHEN: Saturday, August 16 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Walmart at 1606 S. 72nd Street, Omaha, NE

OTHER: If you plan to attend, please contact Jenny Nowatzke (402) 740-8148.

With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Top Hospitals in cancer, neurology/neurosurgery, pulmonology, gastroenterology, urology and nephrology. It has earned J.D. Power and Associates’ Hospital of Distinction award for inpatient services for six consecutive years and has also achieved Magnet recognition status for nursing excellence. As the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this 627 licensed bed academic medical center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at


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