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Issue 163 – March 4, 2009

Dear Andy,

Our Senior Patrol Leader is doing a great job planning meetings, but he’s having a hard time coming up with new, fresh ideas that will keep our Scouts engaged and participating. He’s asked me if there’s a guidebook with ideas—Do you know if there’s such a book? (Matt Palladino, ASM, Nashua Valley Council, MA)

Yes, there are definitely aids for troop meeting programs as well as troop outdoor activity programs! Run down to your Scout Shop (orScoutstuff.org) and get your hands on TROOP PROGRAM FEATURES—Volumes I, II, and III (No’s. 33110A, 33111, and 33112). These are just what you’re looking for!

 


Dear Andy,

What should be done with a Scout’s funds when he leaves the troop and is no longer in Scouting? Is it appropriate to give the funds to the Scout? We have a boy who has decided to leave Scouting, and he has approximately $1,000 in his Scout account with the troop—he earned this money as part of troop fund-raising projects over several years. In addition to helping pay for Scouts’ summer camp, etc., the troop itself also benefited from this and other Scouts’ efforts, receiving 50 cents of every dollar earned, credited to the troop’s general account. (J. Campbell, Southwest Florida Council)

I’m sorry to hear of any boy wanting to drop out of Scouting, but life is a series of decisions and we make the best ones we can, at the time we have to make ’em. Just one thought (only a hunch, BTW)… If he’s dropping out because the troop is telling him he has to show up some specific percentage of meetings (to advance or whatever), then maybe the troop needs to better understand that Scouting is the one activity in a teen-aged boy’s life that doesn’t demand that he show up all the time! That, if he has a sport that’ll keep him away for a season, or a school drama club that’s going to be in intensive rehearsal for a bunch of weeks, or a band that requires showing up for every practice and he’s got to be there or he’s history, it’s OK—His troop and fellow Scouts will miss him, but it’s not the end of the world! However, if he’s simply decided to not continue any further, then he should be given what he’s earned, simple as that! It is, after all, his money, and no one else’s, and we sure don’t want to use this as a way to hold him “hostage”!


Dear Andy,

First, I want to tell you how much I love your column and how it has helped our Troop. Thank you for being there for the boys and the adults.

My son is an avid Scout. He’s 12-1/2 years old, is almost a Star, and he has earned 22 elective merit badges already. In completing his higher ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle), will the elective merit badges that he’s already earned count for each rank, or will he need to earn “new” elective merit badges to go to Star and then Life and then Eagle? I’m asking because I’ve been told that these don’t count because he got them too early, and he’ll have to earn new ones as he goes up in the ranks.

We’re in a small but great troop and I don’t want my son to get to Eagle and then find out that he doesn’t meet the requirements. (Sue Sharley, MC, Longhorn Council, TX)

Ahhh… Flattery will get you…everywhere!

For rank advancement, your son does not need to earn any more non-required merit badges. Of the 21 he’ll need for Eagle, 12 are required and 10 can be any at all (even “duplicate-required” badges, which can go in the non-required category when he fills out the application for Eagle). There’s absolutely no BSA stipulation that says he can’t use merit badges he’s already earned! Whoever told you that any merit badges he’s earned won’t count because they were earned too early doesn’t know what he’s talking about—That sort of statement reveals a huge misunderstanding of how the BSA advancement program works. You’d better check this out further, to make sure this isn’t the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair or Troop Advancement Chair talking, because if it’s anyone beyond a non-registered parent who has no training or reading in his or her background, then this isn’t such a “great” troop after all. In fact, they’re pretty screwed up, and it’s likely to backfire right into your son’s face! Get clear on this immediately! Or maybe you just heard it wrong, in which case we’re all going to breathe a lot easier!

Hi Andy,

Thanks! I talked to my son last night and he has another question: Will his “extra” merit badges, that he’s already earned, count for Eagle Palms? (Sue Sharley)

Absolutely! And if anyone ever tries to tell him differently, all he has to say, ever so politely, is, “Would you please show me that, in writing by the BSA?”


Dear Andy,

I’m currently a Den Leader for my younger son’s Bear den. My older son is a Second Class Scout, in a troop. Am I permitted to be both a Den Leader in a pack and an Assistant Scoutmaster in a troop? (Don Mower)

Yes. Page 2 of the application tells us that we can’t hold two positions in the same unit, but you’re talking about one position in each of two different units, and that’s perfectly OK.


Hi Andy,

Our troop has a patrol interested in earning the National Honor Patrol Award (page 23 in the Boy Scout Handbook), and I’m having trouble finding out any more information on this other than what’s in the handbook. The problem we’re having is with requirement 4: “Complete two good turns or two service projects approved by the Patrol Leaders Council.” The patrol wants to use helping out on a fellow Scout’s Eagle project for one of the service projects. The question is two-fold: First, does the patrol have to do their own good turn or service project, or can they use something already in place or in motion by the troop or by another Scout; second, can the Scouts that do this get credit for service for this patrol award and rank advancement too? Since the requirement has no amount of time or any other quantification, some Scouts want to split the time they spend on the Eagle project for this award and rank advancement. Meanwhile, our troop has a strict “no double-dipping policy,” meaning service done for rank advancement can’t count for a merit badge, and service done for one’s school or church can’t count for Scouts. The requirements for this patrol award are kind of vague and I can’t find more detailed clarification to help guide the Scouts. Is this award for patrols that do the requirement outside of what the troop and other Scouts are already doing, is this for a patrol that goes above and beyond the other patrols in the troop, or what? Should they be doing their own good turn or service?

Then there’s requirement 3: “Take part in at least one hike, outdoor activity, or other Scouting event.” We’re happy that this patrol wants to take this extra step, but we must clarify how to meet the requirements according to the BSA, so that if we have others that want to do this award also, we’ll be fair to all and we’ll keep in the “spirit” of this award.

Were can I find out more information on this? Please help! (Amy Carney, Troop Advancement Chair, Old Colony Council, MA)

Fortunately, this is a no-brainer that won’t demand that your troop create any extra “rules.” In the first place, every patrol in your troop can earn this. The requirements are also listed on page 34 of the Patrol Leader Handbook, including where the first star (of many that can be earned!) is sewn! Second, let’s understand that this award can be earned again and again, over many, many three-month periods, for many years—there’s absolutely no limit on the number of stars that can be worn around the patrol medallion!

The key thread and the underpinning to this award is: The patrol and its members do this stuff together!

Therefore, requirement 3 doesn’t need to be done separately from a troop hike, outdoor activity, or Scouting event; it means that the whole patrol does this,as a patrol, in field or activity uniform, with their flag and yell and Patrol Leader at the helm, and so on!

This award also insures that the troop has Patrol Leader Council meetings—there’s no substitute! Notice, in requirement 8, that that’s the “magic number”: Eight members is the maximum in the patrol and if they have less than this they’re expected to add at least one member in that three-month period.

Requirement 4 is, likewise, a no-brainer. If the troop’s doing a service project for your sponsor, let’s say, and the patrol is all there, working together, as a patrol, and their work has been pre-approved by the Senior Patrol Leader and other Patrol Leaders in the troop (but not by the Scoutmaster, because he’s a consultant to but not a member of the PLC), then it’s a slam-dunk: They qualify! Further on this, when a whole patrol shows up in Scout uniform to help a fellow Scout with his Eagle project, that’s nothing short of spectacular! It is, in fact, one of the most important things we adults-in-the-background are trying to instill in young men through the Scouting program! Of course this would count! And, if individual Scouts want to use this time toward Second Class requirement 4 (which, let’s remind ourselves, is one little hour and they’ll be devoting a lot more than that to a friend’s Eagle project), or even Star or Life requirement 4, what’s the big deal? “Double-dipping” shouldn’t be an issue here, because the National Honor Patrol Award requirement is about the whole patrol doing this together as a patrol.

That said, I’d sure encourage a patrol (all patrols, in fact!) to design and carry out their own Good Turns! This can be as simple as scrubbing down the troop meeting room to clean up the scuff-marked floor to helping a neighbor with shopping while he or she is recuperating from a hospital stay, or cleaning up a messy town park that’s become overrun with litter.

The idea is to help find ways for patrols (and their Scouts) to succeed; not to put barriers in front of them! This is a Boy Scout-level “carrot” for strengthening the Patrol Method in your troop; it’s not an LSAT for the Supreme Court! Stay in perspective, go with your heart, and you’ll always be right!


Dear Andy,

We’re a newly-formed troop, and we have five Life Scouts but no Eagle ceremony equipment. Woodworking is a hobby and I’d like to make “keepsake” ceremonial candelabras for the upcoming Court of Honor that the troop can then retain. I’d like to use two to three Scouts who need to finish Woodworking merit badge to create these. I’m looking for photos or sketches of different candelabra—ideally I’d like to have a selection of three to four to present to our committee, so they can decide which would best fit our troop. Any suggestions would be very helpful. (John Pretzell, ASM)

Start here:http://www.nesa.org/PDF/COH-order.pdf and then let the Scouts use their imaginations! Be sure you’ve lined up a registered Merit Badge Counselor before they begin this work! Again for emphasis: This needs to be a Scout decision; not a “committee decision.”

Andy,

It’s possible that I wasn’t clear on my instructions. I’m looking for a sketch, photo, or drawing of different Eagle Court of Honor “props” that I could replicate. If I wanted to purchase items, I could easily do that at various web sites. I was looking for something unique. (John Pretzell)

You were absolutely clear. The “Eagle Court of Honor” print by Joseph Csatari that I directed you to shows the classic Scout Oath candle-holder, plus two six-candle logs for the Scout Law. No, you weren’t expected to buy that print! From it, however, you can create whatever you’d like! If, however, you’re looking for some “cookie-cutter” or “official” candle-holder, I can’t help you much, because this is an area where you have complete freedom to create whatever your vision happens to be! “Unique” comes from inside you–not from the outside. If you can buy it; it’s not “unique.”

Now, how about giving this challenge to your Scouts? The ceremony is, after all, for them, so why not they design it? Otherwise, they’re merely another form of arrowhead-chippers, and what we’re trying to do in Scouting is create hunters!


Dear Andy,

While going through some things that belonged to my uncle, who was in Scouting many years ago, I found a pin that may be Scouting-related. It appears to be made of copper and it’s about the size of a half-dollar, with a scalloped edge. On the front is a figure in a straw hat, hoeing in a garden on the left side, with trees and what appears to be a bird house in the background. At the top, there are three birds flying across the pin, and on the right side rows of perhaps jars of canned goods stacked on shelves. In the center is a shield that says “Helping to win the war” at the top, stripes going down the shield, and a hoe and spade crossed in the middle of the stripes. On the bottom of the pin, in the middle, are intertwined letters that I think are “LSA.” On the back of the pin it says “Awarded by W.D. Boyce, Chief Totem, Lone Scouts of America.” Under all that, it looks like it says “AM. BADGE CO. CHICAGO” (the letters are very small and the first two are hard to read).

I’m guessing it’s some kind of Scout pin. Can you tell me anything more about it? (Rachel Hudson)

Yes, it’s definitely a Scout pin. William D. Boyce was the Chicago publisher who, in 1910, brought the Boy Scout program across the pond from England to America. In 1915 he founded the Lone Scouts of America—that’s what that “LSA” in the pin stands for. It may have value to collectors, and I’ll put you in touch with one I trust.


Dear Andy,

Do you think that when a Scout volunteers to help at a Pinewood Derby, or he serves on the volunteer staff at a Cub Scout weekend, these should be approved as service hours? I know one troop that says yes, but the one I’m in says no. It’s confusing. (Scout’s Name & Council Withheld)

About the troop that doesn’t “allow” service hours to be rendered to Scouting: Their error is that they’ve mistakenly taken the project requirements for the Eagle Scout rank—which in this particular instance can’t be for the BSA or any of its councils, districts, or units—and expanded that to include ALL of Scouting, for Scouts working toward Second Class, Star, and Life ranks. This simply isn’t the case. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll “see the light” and I’d be concerned about what else they have wrong, that they don’t even know they’re doing wrong.

Go visit that other troop, and if you like what else they’re doing, go join ’em! Remember this always: You don’t “marry” any troop—You join the one you like and avoid the ones that get it wrong! And, if you have friend in the troop that’s getting it wrong, go visit that other troop together!


Dear Andy,

I’m looking on how to make a bowstring (Archery merit badge requirement 5c) with my son, and I’ve not been able to find easy instructions. Do you happen to have some or know where I might locate them? Everything I see seems too complicated and expensive for a rig and string! My son started the merit badge at Scout camp, but didn’t complete it. Now he wants to finish it before going to camp once again this summer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. (Emily Price)

Stop looking, please. This is not for you and your son to do. This is for him to do, with the guidance of a registered Archery Merit Badge Counselor. You’re unquestionably a devoted, caring, and supportive mother, and I have nothing but admiration for you, but it’s time to let go a little bit, because Scouting works hard to teach young men like your son personal resourcefulness, and when Mom does stuff like this for him, it gets in the way of what Scouting is trying to accomplish for your son. It’s OK to step back a little bit and let those wings of his that you’ve been nurturing begin to grow a bit on their own!


Dear Andy,

I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction for where I can find replacement badges and uniform. I was in Cub Scouts from 1993 to 1996. Recently, my uniform and badges were destroyed in a fire. I started as a Bear, earned my Bobcat, Bear and Webelos badges. All my stuff—pins, badges, everything!—was in one box. I‘m hoping to find the same style badges and pins if possible. (Russell Whitaker)

eBay is probably your best bet. There are also any number of Scouting badge and memorabilia traders and sellers that you’ll find by simply Googling, say, “bobcat pin” or “wolf Cub Scout badge” and so on… Good luck with this! I’m sure sorry that that fire happened, but all your stuff’s find-able. Just a little patience will get you there! In fact, consider going on down to your local council’s Scout Shop and just telling ‘em your story and what you need!


Hi Andy,

 

Trying to get information for my father on the requirements for the International Scouter Award and the Speakers Bank square knot. Can you help? (Kathy Dohner, LaSalle Council, MI)

You’ll find these and their descriptions at thewww.Scouting.org website. Just wander around a bit…


Dear Andy,

I’m trying to find the history of the BSA’s original chartering. In particular, I saw a list of prominent men who had met at the YMCA headquarters in New York City in the summer of 1910. Apparently, the U.S. President and former U.S. President were there, along with a number of others who supported the BSA organization. Could you help me to find the list of those men? (Darrell E. Groman, Scouting Historian, Bluffton, OH)

I’m going to guess that your best resources are probably those you’ve already checked out: The Jeal and Hillcourt B-P biographies and some early handbooks. You might also check the New York Times microfiche files—maybe there’s a news article? Not being a historian myself, these are my best suggestions. But I’d love to know what you discover! The “president and former president” would, of course, have been Taft and Roosevelt, in that order, but whether they were they on speaking terms at that time is dubious.


Dear Andy,

I’ve been Scoutmaster of our troop for almost two years and I’ve become concerned about our financial state, from the standpoint of “an embarrassment of” rather than a dearth of riches. We’ve gone from about ten to around three dozen active Scouts, quickly. Our Committee Chair and Treasurer are very good with budgets, and we’re careful about what we spend troop funds on for campouts, summer camp, and so on. This week, we purchased a new troop equipment trailer to replace our existing trailer, which had become too small, and we were able to do this $4,250 purchase as a cash transaction.

Here’s our problem: No matter what we do, our bank balance just keeps increasing! Between popcorn and annual greenery sales, we generate large amounts of revenue each year. Most of this goes into individual Scouts’ accounts, but we also have revenues that go into the troop’s general account. We run the spectrum in individual selling efforts: We have some Scouts who will generate $2,000 to $4,000 in sales, year in and year out, and we have others who do nothing at all in this arena. (Although we hand out the packages to the Scouts, it’s not being pushed and we have no mandatory quota system of any sort.)

Regular troop dues are $10 a month, and there is a $100 initiation payment when a boy first joins the troop—this is used to buy his neckerchief and slide, handbook, troop insignia, etc.

So, right now, after buying the new trailer, we still have more than $20,000 in the bank! Since we’re not trying to be a for-profit group, I’m having trouble with the idea of carrying such a large bank account. But the troop’s “Old Guard” wants to keep the money just as it is, their rationale being: “In case of emergency.”

What “emergency”?

Is there a “good enough” amount that we might work towards? I’m thinking maybe a rebate system, to put, let’s say, two-thirds of the $20K into Scout accounts, to help pay for summer camp and so on, using a pro-rated sharing based on how long (whole years) a Scout has been in the troop, or something like that. Any thoughts would be appreciated. (Bob Hendrick, SM, Circle Ten Council, TX)

Used to be that Scouting units were expected to “zero out” at the end of each re-charter year. This assured that any money raised or earned in the prior 12 months was to the benefit of the Scouts and Scout families in the troop who’d actually earned it! This was actually a pretty decent rule, for pretty obvious reasons.

Having been a Scoutmaster as well as a Cubmaster, and a Commissioner with direct unit contact for the past two decades, I can think of absolutely no reason at all why any Scouting unit needs a non-directed “war chest” of $20,000… or $10,000… or even $5,000! This kind of money just isn’t necessary to hold on to, and, frankly, begins to be in the category of financial “invited hazard” or fiduciary “attractive nuisance.” Today’s headlines tell us that a flaw of human nature is greed, and that “follow the money” is often the crime-solver’s best path to understanding what went wrong.

Now I know we’re all Scouts and I know, also, that we’re all coming from positions of honesty and forthrightness, and we all want to do the right thing. Problem is, an amount as large as we’re talking about here begins to take on a luster of its own and becomes a temptation even for the most straight-backed of us. It’s not the fault of any one of us. It simply becomes an increasingly attractive temptation. Even more importantly: It’s not being used to benefit anyone!

Moreover, saving it “for an emergency” makes no sense, either, because that’s what insurance policies are for! You can insure all of your troop’s equipment and gear for a tiny annual premium, thus totally eliminating the need for “rainy day money.”

My grandfather taught me well: Money not put to use is the same as not having it. Having money but not making it work hard is the same as being broke! I’ve learned over many years of trail and error that my grandfather was absolutely right. That 20 grand isn’t doing anything, for anyone! It has, however, taken on a life of its own, and now some folks are going to strongly resist invading any of it, simply because it exists!

So, what to do. Here, you all have several options that I believe are worth considering…

– Take $15,000 of the total and distribute it proportionally across all three dozen or so “Scout accounts,” with the understanding that the funds will be used this summer for camp fees, camping trips, and other outdoor activities.

– Use the money for a major troop outdoor event, such as aGrand Canyon trip, or a Philmont trek, or the 2010 Centennial Jamboree.

– Give $15,000 of it to your council, in the form of 15 James E. West Fellowships, divided amongst your adult leaders, perhaps, and your 2008-09Eagle Scouts.

– Give some large portion of it to your chartered organization, for something permanent, such as a “troop room” in the building, complete with plaques honoring all Eagles in the troop, past Scoutmasters, etc., that are mounted on the walls of that room.

– Give some large portion of it to your chartered organization, to be used in whatever way they can best put it to use.

– Underwrite a special, one-of-a-kind service trip, such as “Homes For Hope” or “Habitat For Humanity” or other good cause that involves a combination of using funds and rolling up your sleeves.

– Consider: Does Plano or your neighborhood need a park rehabilitated, or a sports playing field (soccer, baseball, etc.) complete with bleachers, backstop or goals, PA system, etc.

– Create a troop scholarship fund. Develop the criteria (e.g., must be an Eagle, etc.) and give a $1,000 (or more) check to the awardee(s) every year for the next “x” years until the money’s depleted. Maybe put the full $20,000 into a troop endowment fund, wherein only the interest can be used for a scholarship.

– Build a new building at your council’s summer camp.

– Give a portion of it to the Little Sioux Scout Reservation, with your troop’s name on whatever’s built or re-built.

– Or any combination of these…

You’re getting the idea, right? The big idea is put the money to use! Right now!

An amount of this magnitude can make a huge difference somewhere. It can do what nickels and dimes can’t. And, it can do so in a way that’s both visible and significant.

Sit down with your fellow troop volunteers and brainstorm. Once you all decide to put the money to use, rather than just let it sit there, you can make a real difference in the world around you! This is a wonderful opportunity and I sincerely hope you take advantage of your unique situation! Thanks for finding me, and for asking one of the very best questions I’ve ever received!

Thanks! I agree: I want it sharply reduced, and your first idea is the one I’m most in favor of, being as it’s the Scouts who raised the money in the first place! So, to my thinking, the Scouts should benefit from the funds. Since summer camp costs are looming, I’ll propose to the committee a distribution to the Scouts’ accounts. (Bob Hendrick)

Your goal sounds excellent. As you progress, here’s another consideration: Does the troop want to do fund-raisers as a way of life, so to speak, or would the troop be better off deciding on an activity goal and then raising the money for it, instead of money-then-activity?


Dear Andy,

Are Wolf Cub Scouts eligible to earn the BSA Physical Fitness Award? (Mike Azzario)

Absolutely! Go here:usscouts.org/USSCOUTS/advance/PhysicalFitness.asp


Dear Andy,

This question was from a very inquisitive Wolf Cub Scout in my den (it caught me off guard, and I didn’t have an answer for him): Who was the very first person to register as a Cub Scout? You might give me the name of the pack and what council he was in also, to save time. Maybe even who was his Den Leader also. (David Rediger, DL, Prairielands Council, IL)

Interesting question, and although I’ve definitely been accused of “knowing all…seeing all,” fact is, I’m an advice columnist; not a historian. Although sometimes I might sound like an “information desk,” that’s typically based on previously published BSA data, information, policies, handbooks, and so on, that I frequently quote from in order to provide underpinning to the advice I offer. Your brightly inquisitive Cub Scout might want to send his question to the national office in Irving, Texas, and see if someone there can help him out! Great question… Some good “research” can come out of this!


Dear Andy,

We have a Scout who just transferred from our troop. He said that he didn’t receive his “blue cards” for Aviation and Space Exploration merit badges after completing the requirements. His “TroopMaster” Scout History Report does list these as having been completed in ‘03 and ‘04, respectively. Since it’s been so long, he has no current contact information for the original Merit Badge Counselors, so he’s asked me for “new” cards for each of these. Can I do this? Please advise. (Troop Committee Member, Far East Council)

When a Scout completes a merit badge, he keeps the applicant’s stub of the “blue card” and turns in the other two parts. Then, he receives a merit badge card signed by his Scoutmaster, and of course the badge itself. Is this Scout telling you that he has neither his stubs nor his cards? Does he have stubs and cards for other merit badges? If so, why are these two the only two missing? Show him page 187 in his handbook and ask him if that’s the procedure he followed. BTW, that is the procedure your troop follows, yes? (I’m asking because that’s the only procedure that’s supposed to be followed.)

Meanwhile, if the data base software shows his having completed these merit badges, then what he needs are the merit badge cards, not the blue card stubs, and he can write to his former Scoutmaster to obtain them. This is clearly his responsibility; not yours. (Taking personal responsibility and fixing one’s own mistakes are two of the things we’re trying to imbue in our young people, through the Scouting program. Stick with it! It’s time for him to “rescue” himself!)

 


Dear Andy,

As a new member of our troop committee, I’ve been asked to help manage and oversee the troop’s equipment, including responsibility for the troop’s equipment budget. I’ve been told that some troops have operations manuals that cover these topics as well as others. Is there any way I might get or see one or more of these manuals? I’ve tried online, but I’ve had no luck. (Glenn Jorgensen, Golden Empire Council, CA)

Does this troop not have a Quartermaster? This is a Boy Scout leadership position of considerable responsibility. It’s an appointed position. Check theScoutmaster Handbook for the details. Then, your responsibility becomes one of coaching and mentoring the Scout, rather than managing equipment, and that should be a lot more interesting and rewarding for you!

As for budget, I’m sure there’s a history for the troop, and so starting with that, and with the checking account, etc., would be your best bet.

Always keep in mind: Scouting’s not rocket science. Ph.D.’s, CPA’s, or MBA’s not required! Good sense: Yes.

 


Dear Andy,

Looking at the very first requirement for the Webelos Athlete activity badge, what is the “Perseverance Character Connection”? I’ve tried to look it up in a number of places, but I haven’t been able to find any information on it. Any help would be much appreciated. I just need to know if it’s something I need to work into a den meeting or not. Thanks. (Joseph Ovard, WDL, Cascade Pacific Council, OR)

The National Cub Scouting Character Connections Program, introduced in ’02, contains 12 “core values,” and the “character-building” part of the process is called “Character Connections” (aka “CCs”). CCs connect the values to the activities and advancement of Cub and Webelos Scouts, and include activities that encourage “knowing,” “committing,” and “practicing” each core value.

Here are all 12 of them (you’re interested in no. 8):

1. Citizenship: Giving service, showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities. (Related req’s: Tiger Cub: 2-Where I Live, Bear: 3j-What Makes America Special, Webelos: Citizen Activity Badge)

2. Compassion: Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others. (Related req: Bear: 24f-Be a Leader)

3. Cooperation: Being helpful and working together with others toward a common goal. (Related req: Wolf: 10a-Family Fun)

4. Courage: Being brave and doing what’s right regardless of our fears, the difficulties, or the consequences. (Related req’s: Wolf: 12a-Making Choices, Bear: 11g-Be Ready, Webelos: Readyman Activity Badge)

5. Faith: Having inner strength and confidence based on our trust in God. (Related req’s: Tiger Cub: 5-Let’s Go Outdoors, Wolf: 11a-Duty to God, Bear: 1a-Ways We Worship, Webelos: 8-Faith)

6. Health & Fitness: Being personally committed to keeping our minds and bodies clean and fit. (Related req’s: Tiger Cub: 3-Keeping Myself Healthy and Safe, Webelos: Health and Fitness Activity Badge)

7. Honesty: Telling the truth and being worthy of trust. (Related req’s: Bear: 18h-Jot it Down, Arrow of Light: 7)

8. Perseverance: Sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult. (Related req: Webelos: Athlete Activity Badge)

9. Positive Attitude: Being cheerful and setting our minds to look for and find the best in all situations. (Related req’s: Wolf: 6a-Start a Collection, Webelos: Scholar Activity Badge)

10. Resourcefulness: Using human and other resources to their fullest. (Related req: Bear: 21g-Build a Model)

11. Respect: Showing regard for the worth of something or someone. (Related req’s: Tiger Cub: 4-How I Tell It, Wolf: 7a-Your Living World, Bear: 8g-The Past is Exciting and Important, Webelos: Naturalist Activity Badge)

12. Responsibility: Fulfilling our duty to God, country, other people, and ourselves. (Related req’s: Tiger Cub: 1-Making My Family Special, Wolf: 9a-Be Safe at Home and on the Street, Webelos: Handyman Activity Badge)

As you can see, your Webelos Scouts have already done quite a few of these in their years prior to now. You’re about to do No. 8 (above). The details are described in the very first requirement for this activity badge. It’s largely a conversation. The boys’ parents can do this with them, or you can. Dealer’s choice.


Dear Andy,

How do we get a letter from President Obama for my son’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor? How should it be worded? Thank you. (Diane Chado)

It’s absolutely straightforward… Write a formal letter to President and Mrs. Obama at The White House (you know the address), tell them that your son has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and ask for a letter of commendation. Then mail it and wait a bit. Best wishes and congratulations to your son –

Happy Scouting!

Andy

Got a question? Have an idea? Send it to AskAndyBSA@yahoo.com. (Please include your POSITION and COUNCIL NAME or TOWN & STATE)

(March 4, 2009 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2009)<=”” McCommish=”” Andy=”” ©=”” Copyright=”” –=”” 2009=”” 4,=”” (January=””>

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About AskAndy

Andy is a Board Member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Andy has just received notification by his council Scout Executive that he is to be recognized as a National Distinguished Eagle Scout. He is currently serving as a Unit Commissioner and his council's International Representative. He has previously served in a number of other Scouting roles including Assistant Council Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and--as a Scout--Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His awards include: Kashafa Iraqi Scouting Service Award, Distinguished Commissioner, Doctor of Commissioner Science, International Scouter Award, District Award of Merit (2), Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scouter's Key (3), Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, Cliff Dochterman Rotarian Scouter Award, James E. West Fellow (2), Wood Badge & Sea Badge, and Eagle Scout & Explorer Silver Award.

Read Andy's full biography

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