Monthly Archives: August 2010


So last week just after the first Arena show, which I listened to most of on QBSA Jambo Radio, I felt compelled to write an Editorial piece about the Scouts for my local newspaper.  Their usual submission requirements are no greater than 350 words…this came in around 1,000.  I had figured that it would not get run.  But looking at the paper’s website, it was there this morning!

Middletown Journal – Distinguished Century of Achievement

Of course given the number of “…” in there they heavily edited what I sent them to fit in the allotted space.

I will put the version I sent them below.  Any typos or info errors in either version are my own.  I think they’re all correct but the only one I’m not sure about is the number of National Jamborees.  I put 17 in my article, but then I heard it referred to several times as the 16th.  Did we disavow one of them?  Looking at the Wikipedia article, it appears that we had Jambos in 1937 (makeup for 1935 being cancelled due to an outbreak of polio), 1950, 1953, 1957 (my dad went to this one), 1960, 1964, 1969, 1973 (two locations with staggered start dates but I only counted this as one), 1977, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005 & 2010.  Anyway, kind of a sidebar but still.  Here’s the article:

“We need the Scouts now more than ever.”

During the next week over 50,000 young people and their leaders from every state in our nation have converged on Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree.  This year’s jamboree marks both the last to be held at AP Hill, and also the centennial celebration of the Boy Scouts of America.  It is the seventeenth national jamboree held by the BSA since the first was held in 1937.  Included in this group are several Middletown boys and adults, we wish them good luck and safe travels!

Scouting first began worldwide in England in 1907, formed by Lord Robert Baden Powell.  In 1910, a group of men that included Cincinnatian Daniel Carter Beard brought the Scouting movement to America.  For the last 100 years, the BSA has been the nation’s largest and most effective youth leadership training program for young men and women.  The BSA has had over 110 million members over the last century, with current youth membership of approximately 4 million.

During this centennial celebration, it is a good time to reflect on the positive impact Scouting has had on our country for the last 100 years.  In each of those key times in our nation’s history, the Scouts have stepped up to serve.  From food and scrap drives, selling war bonds and planting victory gardens during the first and second world wars, to assembling care packages sent to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan today.  Cleaning up our city, county, state and national parks, there are no better friends to the outdoors than the Scouts!  The Scout Slogan is “Do a good turn daily,” and it is not just lip service.

Scouting has helped produce some of the most prolific leaders in the fields of industry, technology, science, athletics and politics.  The list of prominent men and women who were Scouts is quite long and includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates, successful businessman and former presidential candidate Ross Perot, former first ladies Barbara and Laura Bush, and US Presidents John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush and Gerald Ford, the only President who was an Eagle Scout.  Eleven of the twelve men who have stepped foot on the moon were Scouts; the first and last were Eagle Scouts.  And thousands of other members of the space program were Scouts first.

While it is easy to rest on one’s laurels after such a distinguished century of achievement and service, now is when we need the Scouts more than ever, and they are responding.  When technology is making the world smaller and the sound of kids playing outside is fading into distant memory, Scouting is at the forefront of taking back the outdoors for kids…and taking the kids outdoors.  The Scouting program, at all levels, is primarily an outdoors program, but it is not only outdoors.  Changes to the program have been made to recognize that kids are more tech savvy than most adults these days.  At most levels of Scouting, there are opportunities to learn about balancing one’s life, one of the most important things our kids today can learn.  A whole day spent on the computer, in front of the TV, or exercising only the thumbs playing video games or texting is a day wasted.  Through Scouting, our youth are learning that idea of balance – financially, nutritionally, and in the way they spend their time.  They are learning about new ideas, skills and hobbies that can later lead to a career.  They are learning the value of education and of hard work.  They’re learning that the best way to help yourself is to help others.  And they’re having FUN while doing so.  Scouting is “fun with a purpose,” our founder famously noted.  That purpose is to prepare our youth to succeed in the future.

The lessons of morals, ethics, character, conservation, leadership and citizenship youth gain through their involvement in Scouts prepare them for a great future.  With Scouting, the only limit to the success a young man or woman can attain is their own determination, effort and imagination!  These are lessons that cannot be learned on a sports field and sadly are no longer being taught completely in the classroom anymore.  There are not many organizations anymore where people say “On my honor” and mean it…Scouts is one of those.

We in Middletown have had the good fortune to have a strong Scouting presence, having formerly been the home of our own Boy Scout Council.  There are several Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and a Venturing Crew that would love to help teach your son or daughter join the adventure that is Scouting!  While membership drives primarily happen at the beginning of the school year, youth can join at any time year round.  Most of the area’s Scout Leaders are fully trained and have years of experience.  Like Everett Sherron, who has recently passed over 70 years of affiliation with the Boy Scouts!  We have some of the best camps in the nation and being between Dayton and Cincinnati have a large number of opportunities for Scouts to participate in a whole host of different experiences.

Cub Scouting is for boys aged 6-11 (generally from the completion of kindergarten through the spring of fifth grade).  Boy Scouts is open for boys from age 11 (fifth grade) through their 18th birthday.  Venturing is the high adventure, coeducational program for young men and women who are at least age 13 and have completed eighth grade through their 21st birthday.  For more information on Scouting, including how to join a unit in our area, visit or call Dan Beard Council at 513-577-7700.

If everyone lived their life by the points of the Scout Law – Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent – just think of what a great place that would be!  Think globally, act locally – be a Scout!

Scott Walker
Committee Chairman
Cub Scout Pack 19
Hopewell District
Dan Beard Council
Boy Scouts of America

Bye-Bye Gurlz!

“No girls!  For a whole week!  Oh yeah!”  That’s what my son (Webelos II, 90% done with Arrow of Light and slacking hard) has been saying, anyway.

Because this morning I dropped off my daughter (Jr. Girl Scout, Bronze Award recipient) and my wife (Juliette Coordinator for the NOVA Service Unit of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Secretary for Cub Scout Pack 19) at Brandi’s house.  Brandi is Pack 19’s former Cubmaster, the Crew Advisor for Crew 1 and the Service Unit Manager for NOVA Service Unit, in addition to running her daughter’s Girl Scout Troops.  A service unit is the GS-USA equivalent to a BSA district, though usually a bit smaller.  NOVA covers all of Middletown and Monroe, and supposedly Madison will be joining the fold soon from what I hear.

Anyway, the girls are probably just getting into Tennessee at this point as they make their way to Savannah Georgia on a Girl Scout pilgrimage of sorts.  Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA.  I’m sure they’ll have a great time!  Their departure makes our houndmutt Buckeye the lone female of the house.  Naturally, she is in charge.

While the girls are gone, Jon and I will be trying to knock out those last few requirements to put him over the top for his AOL.  The only one we cannot complete is to be an active Webelos for six months after completing 4th grade or turning 10 years old.  Sadly, I have not mastered time travel just yet (that would be an interesting Craftsman/Scientist/Engineer activity badge crossover project I think), so we’ll have to finish up everything else and wait until late September to mark off that final checkpoint.

Hopefully my wife can enjoy the trip and not worry about the state of the house so much.  It was mostly clean when they left, and she’s convinced that when they get back the property will be unrecognizable as a livable human habitat.  Like we’re just a bunch of dirty messy smelly boys or something?  Go figure.

We’ll let you know just how high you can stack pizza boxes once they’re empty.  And build a pyramid out of root beer cans.  That counts towards engineering or something I bet.

Scouts will be at National Night Out

National Night Out is a program that has been running in Middletown for the last decade or so.  Each year at a different city park there is a community-wide free event where the public can come and a free meal (hot dog, chips & a soda) and visit with a large number of community organizations (public and private), sign up for stuff and gret free swag.

The police are usually there, and they bring the SWAT stuff and the K-9 units as well, the kids enjoy that.  The fire department generally makes a big showing and brings their smoke house, a trailer that they use with kids to simulate a fire condition in the home and how to get out safely.  Usually the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is there, as is the Humane Society, Parks Department (now defunct), Keep Middletown Beautiful organization, military recruiters and a whole host of others.

Every year we go to this event and I say to Jenny, “You know, the Scouts should be out here recruiting!”  And we never are, and we go home and I forget all about it.  Until the next year, when we show up and I say to my wife, “You know, the Scouts should be out here recruiting!”

This year, we are! 🙂

I happened to catch an article on the Journal’s website about this year’s event and it quoted Sgt. Jim Cunningham.  Jim also happens to be the dad of one of our pack’s newest Tigers.  So I emailed Jim and asked how we could get the Scouts in there.  He emailed me back and said we’re on the list…it’s good to know people, I suppose.

So I called my DE and he will be there and I will be there with my Webelos.  I am going to be sure to wear my Commissioner uniform because I am not planning on recruiting for Cub Scout Pack 19.  I am recruiting for the Boy Scouts of America.  At this event we can target all age groups – elementary aged boys for Cub Scouts, middle school boys for Boy Scouts and older boys and girls for Venturing.  I am especially stoked to be recruiting for Venturing and Boy Scouts, the Cubs have a pretty good recruiting system in Middletown with lots of access to the schools but after Webelos the recruitment drops to near zero.

I will be trying to get some of our other Commissioners out there to help with recruitment efforts as well.  Sure, I could ask my Pack leaders but I ask so much of them already I don’t want them to have to recruit for Scouts to join possibly other units.  If you are a commissioner for Hopewell district and happen to read this blog (far fetched as it may be to think I have followers after blog post #4), can you please try to be there?  I’m going to try and bring out some flags and poles and swag, etc.  Our DE is trying to do the same.  I still need a pop-up shelter and I want to have something for the kids to do.

If I could figure out how to rip “A Shining Light” off my DVR onto DVD, I would so totally do that and set up a TV or laptop playing that in the background.  Wishful thinking I know; that’s who I am, I always find a way to over-do it at the last minute.

Details on the National Night Out in general and this week’s event in Middletown specifically are available at the links below.

I will try to post an update on how the event went on Wednesday.  If you have recruited at your community’s NNO before, leave a comment and tell me how it went!

Yours in Scouting,


Who:  Open to the public, all are welcome!
What:  National Night Out
When:  Tuesday August 3, 2010 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Where:  Jacot Park (4501 Grand Avenue, Middletown OH 45044)

National Night Out’s website –
Middletown’s 2010 NNO Flyer –

Pack 19 has a program!

So back in June we held our “Annual Pack Program Planning Meeting.”  Actually we had two.  The Cubmaster couldn’t be at the actual meeting, so he and I, our Outings Chair and one of our Webelos Den Leaders met at Fricker’s and talked out some ideas that he had.  At the actual meeting, his Assistant Cubmaster was present and threw in some input as well, and we kind of knocked together a rough cut with that input, our previous year schedules and input from parent and boy surveys done in June and feedback from Pack and Den Leaders present.  Then we all got busy with a million other things and it kind of was left to stew for a month.

Yesterday we had the meeting to do the final review and approval of the schedule and a budget.  I took what we had come up with and used budget figures and actual expenditures from previous years to come up with a new budget.  The goal was to keep things affordable.  Our biggest issue is that our Charter Organization also sponsors Upwards Basketball and during January and February we do not have access to our normal Pack Meeting location because Upwards has practices scheduled during those times.  For 2010 we tried setting up off site meetings with ice skating and bowling and the cost was several hundred dollars increase to our budget.  This time around we put in rollerskating for one but the other we are going to hold a traditional (lower cost) Pack Meeting in an alternate location.

So we came up with a budget of just over $2500 for the fiscal/program year 2010-2011 (September 1 through August 31).  Based on a 50 boy pack which is usually our goal to be at after recruiting, we are looking at an annual fee of $72 without Boy’s Life Magazine and $84 with Boy’s Life (we made BL optional when we switched to ISA’s).  I am working on a condensed schedule to send out and upload to the pack websites.  We are going to have $half of the $72 due by August 31, and the other half due by December 31 (if the boy wants BL that $12 is due by 8/31).

I hope that this will help eliminate some serious problems we’ve had the last few years at recharter time.  We will see how it goes.  This is the first time we’ve done the pack fee due in August rather than November since we officially voted our fiscal year to run September through August last year.  Last year’s pack fee was around this same amount but due to the change in fiscal year it was that much only for 8 months!  This is a definite slash in our operating budget but none of us saw any obvious issues anywhere.  Pack Meetings will run lean but the pack has a very large inventory of items already that should satisfy most needs and since we don’t do snacks at pack meetings we don’t have to worry about food.

If I ever get so savvy with the blog that I can upload documents, I’ll share what we did.  I’m psyched that we have this part done and can now look forward to the program stuff.  Like skydiving this Saturday and the Reds’ Game a week from Tuesday!

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