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ArrowTour to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society – Order of the Arrow

May 22, 2015

100_yr_anniversary_logo

(Omaha, NE – (May 21, 2015) – 2015 marks the Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society’s (Order of the Arrow) 100th anniversary. The Order of the Arrow (OA) and its members, known as “Arrowmen,” will commemorate this exciting anniversary milestone with a U.S. cross-country tour to help reflect, connect, and discover the OA’s past, present and future.

ArrowTour will make 110 stops across the country during the summer of 2015, to give current and former OA members, Scout and adult volunteers and Scouting alumni a chance to be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration. The tour stops are free and open to the public.

On Friday, June 19, 2015, ArrowTour will stop at Camp Cedars, 2911 County Rd 15, Cedar Bluff, NE from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“For almost 100 years, being a servant leader is what the Order of the Arrow has been all about,” said Alex Call, national chief of the Order of the Arrow. “It is our hope ArrowTour will be an opportunity to tell the story of the Order of the Arrow by reflecting on our past, and at the same time motivating others to give of themselves in service to others in the future.”

ArrowTour guests will have an opportunity to participate in a program which includes a show recognizing the Order’s rich history, and empowering participants to help shape the organizations future. The tour stop also includes interactive exhibits with activities such as silk-screening, branding wood and leather, and challenging games.

Participants will have a chance to meet some of the OA’s national youth leaders. Alumni can learn about the Scouting Alumni Association and local alumni efforts to supporting Scouting in our area.

An exclusive ArrowTour trading post will carry ArrowTour and OA centennial merchandise for sale. More information about the ArrowTour routes and program can be found at http://arrowtour.oa-bsa.org. You can also keep up with the tour as it makes its way around the country by following @ArrowTour on Twitter.

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, the OA’s purpose is to recognize those Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. And through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way which warrants similar recognition, such as promoting camping and responsible outdoor adventures, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp. And also develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation crystallizing the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922, and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948, the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community.

About the Order of the Arrow

For more than 99 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth. 2015 marks the Order of the Arrow’s 100th anniversary.

Scouts Step Up When Need is Greatest

May 8, 2015

Drew SFF 1 2015-04-18Scouting for Food drive delivers thousands of meals for those who need it

OMAHA, NE., May 8, 2015 – Scouts took action to fill the nearly empty shelves of the Food Bank of the Heartland, Food Bank of Siouxland, Inc., and other local community food banks in the Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America.  Scouts collected 208,145 meals for those who need it.  Our goal was to collect 161,150 meals.  This year we collected 46,955 meals over our goal!  These meals are provided by 355,234 food items.

“The timing of the Boy Scouts Scouting for Food drive is ideal,” said Brian Barks, Director of Development and Communications for Food Bank for the Heartland.  “From April through September the Food Bank sees donations dwindle but the need for assistance remains high.  This drive not only generates much needed food, but increased awareness to the problem of hunger in our communities.”

IMG_5859One out of five kids in Nebraska and western Iowa live in a food insecure home. This means they don’t have consistent access to the food they need to help them grow and thrive.  For 21 years, the ConAgra Foods Foundation has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council to create the Scouting for Food drive, aimed at feeding these children and others in our communities who are in need.

“These are wonderful results that provide critical resources to help feed children and others in the area who don’t always know where their next meal may come from,” said Chris Kircher, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and President of the ConAgra Foods Foundation.  “ConAgra Foods appreciates and applauds the hard work of the Scouts and the remarkable generosity of the entire community.”

This year was the 5th year Hy-Food drop off 2015-04-18 HyVee 168 & MapleVee assisted the Scouts with Scouting for Food.  Hy-Vee stores served as drop locations for donations from April 11-18. Additionally, stores sold $5 and $10 bags to donate to the drive.  Donations from purchased bags totaled $4,165.

Additionally, this year, the Omaha Beef helped grow the campaign by collecting food donations at games in April.  DPI Management chose to support Scouting for Food as their service project at their annual corporate conference this year as well.

“We are so proud of our Scouts, leaders, families, and communities. Thank you to everyone who helped those in need of meals and responded to our Scouts’ call to action. Thank you to ConAgra Foods Foundation for sponsoring this effort, year after year, and Hy-Vee for their continued support of our partnership with the Food Bank for the Heartland and Food Bank of Siouxland.  Thank you also to the Omaha Beef and DPI Management for supporting Scouting for Food,” said Eric Magendantz, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council. “A Scout is helpful is one of the twelve points of the Scout laws we live by.  Community service is one of the promises we make to the parents of our Scouts, our communities, and those who find themselves in a place of need,” he said.

Across the Mid-America Council, 4,197 Scouts and 3,646 adult leaders participated in the 2015 Scouting for Food drive.  Scouting for Food occurs simultaneously in 58 counties in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The food collected in those counties benefits the people who need it locally. Scouting for Food is the largest coordinated community service project the Mid-America Council does every year. Scouting for Food began in the Mid-America Council in 1989.

For more information, visit www.mac-bsa.org/ScoutingForFood.

SFF & sponsors logo 2015

Save 25% on Camp Gear Saturday, May 2

April 29, 2015

Get Ready for Camp Fb 2015-04-29

Cub Scout awards getting updated to match new Cub Scout program

April 9, 2015

The countdown continues to the debut of the new Cub Scout program. As of today, it’s T-minus 54 days until the June 1, 2015, launch.

News about the update seems to show up weekly as we get closer to go time.

The most recent announcement: The requirements for the National Den Award, National Summertime Pack Award, Cub Scout World Conservation Award and Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award have been revised to reflect the new program.

You can find the information at the always-helpful Scouting Wire.

Or read on to find out more about these awards.

National Den Award

What it is: The National Den Award recognizes dens that conduct a quality, year-round program. It can be earned only once in any 12 months. The 12-month period (charter year, calendar year, etc.) is determined by the pack committee.

Service projects, field trips, character development, and Cub Scout camping are areas that are emphasized. Dens earn the award as a team, not as individual den members. The recognition is a ribbon for the den flag or den doodle.

Requirements

A. Have at least 50 percent of the den’s Tigers, Cub Scouts, or Webelos Scouts attend two den meetings and one pack meeting or activity each month of the year.

B. Complete six of the following during the year:

  1. Use the denner system within the den.
  2. In a Tiger den, use shared leadership and rotate the boy/adult host team.
  3. Have 50 percent of the den go on three field trips per year. A field trip may be used in place of a den meeting.
  4. As a den, attend a Cub Scout day camp, Cub Scout or Webelos Scout resident camp, or a council family camping event with at least 50 percent of the den membership.
  5. Conduct three den projects or activities leading to a discussion of the Scout Law.
  6. Have 50 percent of the den earn at least three elective adventure loops or adventure pins.
  7. Have 50 percent of the den participate in a patriotic ceremony or parade.
  8. Have 50 percent of the den participate in a den conservation/resource project.
  9. Have 50 percent of the den participate in at least one den service project.

See page 43 of the new Cub Scout Leader Book.

National Summertime Pack Award

What it is: This award encourages packs to keep the fun going all year long. Instead of hibernating in the summer, packs who earn this award schedule activities in June, July and August (or during other school vacations if the pack is in a year-round school).

How it’s earned: Dens with an average attendance of at least half their members at the three summer pack events are eligible for a colorful den participation ribbon. Boys who participate in all three pack events are eligible to receive the National Summertime Pack Award pin, which they can wear on the right pocket flap of their uniform. This is an individual recognition for boys, not adults.

Cub Scout World Conservation Award

What it is: This award provides an opportunity for individual Wolf Scouts, Bear Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers to “think globally” and “act locally” to preserve and improve our environment. This program is designed to make youth members aware that all nations are related through natural resources.

Requirements for this award must be completed in addition to any similar requirements completed for rank.

Wolf Scouts must:

  1. Earn the Paws on the Path adventure.
  2. Earn the Grow Something adventure.
  3. Complete requirements 1 and 2 from the Spirit of the Water adventure.
  4. Participate in a den or pack conservation project in addition to the above.

Bear Scouts must:

  1. Earn the Fur, Feathers, and Ferns adventure.
  2. Earn either the Bear Goes Fishing or Critter Care adventure.
  3. Complete requirement 3 from the Baloo the Builder adventure by constructing a bird feeder or a bird house as one of the options.
  4. Participate in a den or pack conservation project in addition to the above.

Webelos Scouts (Including Boys Earning Arrow of Light Rank) must:

  1. Earn the Building a Better World adventure.
  2. Earn the Into the Wild adventure.
  3. Earn the Into the Woods adventure.
  4. Earn the Earth Rocks adventure.
  5. Complete requirements 1, 3a, and 3b in the Adventures in Science adventure.
  6. Participate in a den or pack conservation project in addition to the above.

Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award

What it is: Cub Scouts can earn the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award in each of the program years as long as the requirements are completed each year. The first time the award is earned, the boy will receive the pocket flap award, which is to be worn on the right pocket flap of the uniform shirt. Each successive time the award is earned, a Wolf Track pin may be added to the flap. Leaders should encourage boys to build on skills and experiences from previous years when working on the award for a successive year.

Requirements

All Ranks

Attend Cub Scout day camp or Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camp. Additionally, complete the rank-specific requirements as follows:

Tiger Scouts

Complete the Backyard Jungle adventure, and complete four of the outdoor activities listed below.

Wolf Scouts

Complete the Paws on the Path adventure, and complete five of the outdoor activities listed below.

Bear Scouts

Complete the “Bear Necessities” adventure, and complete six of the outdoor activities listed below.

Webelos Scouts

Complete the Webelos Walkabout adventure, and complete seven of the outdoor activities listed below.

Outdoor Activities

These activities must be in addition to any similar activities counted toward rank advancement and can be accomplished as a family, a den, or a pack.

  • Participate in a nature hike in your local area. This can be on an organized, marked trail, or just a hike to observe nature in your area.
  • Participate in an outdoor activity such as a picnic or a fun day in a park.
  • Eplain the buddy system, and tell what to do if lost. Explain the importance of cooperation.
  • Attend a pack overnighter. Be responsible by being prepared for the event.
  • Complete an outdoor service project in your community.
  • Complete a nature/conservation project in your area. This project should involve improving, beautifying, or supporting natural habitats. Discuss how this project helped you to respect nature.
  • Participate in your pack’s earning the Summertime Pack Award.
  • Participate in a nature observation activity. Describe or illustrate and display your observations at a den or pack meeting.
  • Participate in an outdoor aquatics activity. This can be an organized swim meet or just a den, pack, or family swim.
  • Participate in an outdoor campfire program. Perform in a skit, sing a song, or take part in a ceremony.
  • Participate in an outdoor sporting event.
  • Participate in an outdoor Scouts Own or other worship service.
  • Explore a local city, county, state, or national park. Discuss with your den how a good citizen obeys park rules.
  • Invent an outside game, and play it outside with friends for 30 minutes.

Need more info?

For additional information and the latest on the changes coming to Cub Scouting, head toscouting.org/programupdates. That’s where you’ll find the most recent FAQ’s, transition guidelines, presentations and other materials to support the new program launch.

Posted on April 9, 2015 by in Awards, Cub Scouting // 0 Comments

Host Families Sought in NE/IA for Exchange Students Interested in Scouting

April 8, 2015

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CCI Greenheart, a nonprofit agency, is searching for volunteer host families who are passionate about scouting and who are interested in cultural exchange. Exchange students are 15-18 years old, they speak English, have medical insurance, and their own spending money. They reside with local families from August through early June, attend the local public high school, and participate in family & extracurricular activities. Our host families provide a room, meals, and a caring environment. For more information, please contact Alicia Morrison at 402-253-6898 or complete an inquiry at: ccigreenheart.org

Featuring:

Juan (boy, Spain) – age 17 – enjoys scouting, camping, going to the gym, video games, travel, biking, bowling, martial arts, skiing, soccer, listening to music, cooking, watching tv, outdoor activities, dancing, tennis. He has no pet allergies or dietary restrictions. His interviewer says, “Juan is a mix of 3 cultures being Colombian, Spanish and Catalan. He speaks 3 languages and would love to share these 3 cultures with his American host family.”

Yanmeng (girl, China) – age 16 – enjoys scouting, camping, fishing, outdoor activities. She also enjoys basketball, bowling, going to the gym, Golf, Ice skating, Ping pong, Roller skating, Rowing, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Attending theater, Ballroom dancing, Dancing, Drama (acting/set building), Drawing or Painting, Listening to classical music, Listening to popular music, Photography, Playing an instrument, Singing, Beach, Collecting, Cooking, Gardening, Greenheart Environmental Activities, Handicrafts, Knitting, Model building, Movies, Outdoor activities, Puzzles, Sewing, Student government, Television, & Watching sports. She has no pet allergies or dietary restrictions.

2015 Summer Staff Openings at Northern Tier

March 17, 2015

Paddle.  Portage.  Get Paid. 

You’ll be challenged.  You’ll be inspired.  You’ll make a difference in someone’s life.

Northern Tier is a National High Adventure Program of the Boy Scouts of America with locations in Ely, MN,  Atikokan, ON, and Bissett, MB.  We offer 6-14 day, fully outfitted, guided, wilderness canoe treks for Scouts, Venturers, and Leaders. Northern Tier relies heavily on quality to staff to provide a meaningful program on the trail and great support on base.  Paid internships are available.  Northern Tier is willing and able to help you customize your experience to meet the needs of your program.  Let us know how we can help.

Come deliver wilderness experiences that last a lifetime!

Positions Available

  • Interpreter – Formerly referred to as a guide, this person works primarily with the participants on their 6-14 day trips.  They provide crews with an orientation and outdoor skills training, and area resource to the crew for safety purposes, environmental awareness and historical background.
  • Trading Post – Retail sales for both trail and souvenir items.
    • Food Service – Prepare meals for both on base and trail.
    • Maintenance – Assist in the maintenance of the base.  See additional details.
What is provided?
  • Community living – room and board
  • Two weeks of intensive paid staff training
  • Certification in Wilderness First Aid and CPR
  • Gear use including pack, tent, PFD, etc.
Qualifications?
  • It is helpful to have paddling and outdoor experience, however the most important qualification is the ability to work well with people.
  • Most positions begin in late May and end in mid-August.
  • At least 18-years of age.
Past Staff Stories
  • “I truly feel like the summer of 2013 has been the best summer I have ever had. I will hold on to these memories until the end of my days!”  – Ethan Hardy.
  • “This summer Up North has been the best yet!  I can’t wait to share it with my brother and parents in a few days.” – Jacob White.

Applications available at www.ntier.org.  For more information, call 218-365-4811, or email:  jobs@ntier.org

Top 5 merit badges for a spring break staycation

March 6, 2015

For Scouts and Venturers, spring break often means a supertrip — a weeklong outing that wouldn’t be possible over a weekend.

But what about those Scouts staying home? They can still find time for Scouting, if they choose, by completing some spring break-friendly merit badge requirements.

Here are five merit badges for making the most out of a spring break staycation.

Each one has requirements Scouts could earn during their school-free week, and all are waymore fun than doing homework.

Know of some I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Salesmanship-MB5. Salesmanship

Spring break trips — to the beach or to the slopes — can be pricy. But rather than destroying the piggy bank for a week of frivolity, an enterprising Scout might try to fill his coffers instead.

If he earns Salesmanship merit badge, he’ll learn the self-confidence, motivation, friendliness and persistence needed to pull in some cold, hard cash.

For example, check out requirement 5B: “Sell your services such as lawn raking or mowing, pet watching, dog walking, snow shoveling and car washing to your neighbors. Follow up after the service has been completed and determine the customer’s satisfaction.”

Who knows? He may be able to fund next year’s spring break trip this year.

Astronomy-MB4. Astronomy

This one’s tailor made for the night owls.

Working on Astronomy merit badge during spring break means Scouts can stay up stargazing as long as they want — without suffering any ill effects at school the next day.

Maybe he’ll use the free time to plan and participate in a three-hour observation session (requirement 8B) or star party (requirement 8C).

Or perhaps he’ll make a nightly check-in with the moon for requirement 6B: “Sketch the phase and the daily position of the Moon, at the same hour and place, for four days in a row.”

Golf-MB3. Golf

Is sun in the forecast? What better time than spring break for earning Golf merit badge?

Since us working stiffs have to be in the office all week, the golf courses of America should be refreshingly wide open for Scouts to swing away.

Once they’ve learned the rules and proper techniques, Scouts earning Golf merit badge complete the greatest requirement of all, requirement 8: “Play a minimum of two nine-hole rounds or one 18-hole round of golf with another golfer about your age and with your counselor, or an adult approved by your counselor.”

Fore!

Chess-MB2. Chess

Is rain or snow in the forecast? Here’s a merit badge that’s fun in any weather.

Chess merit badge is more than just seeing who can checkmate their opponent first. It covers a variety of winning tactics, including some I’ve never heard of: clearance sacrifice, decoy, discovered attack, double attack, fork, interposing, overloading, overprotecting, pin, remove the defender, skewer, zwischenzug.

Spring break offers a nice opportunity for Scouts to gather and complete requirement 6C: “Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.” Set up the board, pop some popcorn and get playing.

But be warned, chess-playing parents: Once your Scout earns this one, he’ll be tough to beat.

Model-Design-and-Building-MB1. Model Design and Building

Why spend spring break merely watching sci-fi movies when you could create something that might appear in one?

That’s Model Design and Building merit badge, and requirement 5 is awesome: “Build a special-effects model of a fantasy spacecraft that might appear in a Hollywood science-fiction movie. Determine an appropriate scale for your design—one that makes practical sense. Include a cockpit or control area, living space, storage unit, engineering spaces, and propulsion systems.”

That could be one of the BSA’s greatest — and least-known — merit badge requirements.

What else?

What other merit badges make sense for spring breakers? Let me know in the comments.

Other “top 5 merit badges” posts

Looking for others in my “Top 5 merit badges” series? Click here.

Posted on March 6, 2015 by in Merit Badges, Top 5 merit badges

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