About NetCommish

Michael F. Bowman is Vice President for Services and Board Member, U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. He has served as the primary webmaster for the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. since 1997 and has operated the NetCommish web site since 1994. More information about The NetCommish
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Scouting Alumni Page on Facebook Opens

There is a brand new Scouting Alumni Association page on Facebook. Mike Walton, fellow USSSP Board Member, wrote on our Facebook page:

“Bill Steele, the BSA’s point person on so many program items, and his team has set up a new resource for people like myself — and many of you — and our friends. Check out the Scouting Alumni Association now on Facebook and contribute where and when you can!! https://www.facebook.com/ScoutingAlumniAssociation

Head on over to Facebook and like the page. Feel free to comment on the page’s timeline. You’ll find some great information there.

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Supporting Scouting

I saw this today in my in box and thought it worth sharing – there are some great points here. NCAC asked recipients to share the message and so I am. Credit goes to NCAC for the content below:

A Special Bulletin from National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

NCAC’s E-Source: Keeping you in the loop

On Thursday we gave thanks. On Black Friday we sought the sales. And on Cyber Monday we shopped ‘til our fingers dropped. Today…called “Giving Tuesday” by some…opens the holiday giving season.

In that spirit, we present to you…

5 Reasons NOT To Support Scouting This Holiday Season

5. Scouting is just for well-to-do families from the suburbs.

Scouting serves young people and families in rural, urban and suburban areas. Some Scouting units support themselves through dues and fundraising while others receive support from generous individuals and organizations in the community. NCAC is dedicated to ensuring all who want to participate in Scouting have that opportunity. Last year, the Council provided more than $32,000 in scholarships for inner city youth to go to summer camp, where many have their first experience in the great outdoors.

4. Scouting is old-fashioned and doesn’t teach youth the skills they need to succeed today.

The values of the Scout Oath and Law are timeless and will always be relevant as the Scouting program continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s young people. NCAC recently launched BSA’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initative to help get young people excited about learning the skills – through merit badges such as Environmental Science, Architecture, Computers, Robotics, Invention, Programming and Digital Technology – that they need to compete in our global marketplace.

3. Boy Scouts is an all volunteer organization, so there’s no need for my donation.

Scouting is a volunteer-led organization, with countless hours dedicated after work and on weekends by volunteers. Supporting them on a daily basis are Scouting professionals who engage community organizations as chartered partners, recruit youth members and volunteers, organize activities, set up training opportunities, assist with paperwork and seek contributions from the community to maintain and grow the program. NCAC is blessed to have more than 21,100 registered adult volunteers supported by 75 Scouting professionals serving more than 56,400 local youth. But they can’t do it alone. It truly takes the community – individuals and organizations – to make Scouting happen.

2. My Pinewood Derby was not a good experience.

The Pinewood Derby is an iconic part of Scouting and one that many Scouting alumni remember for the rest of their lives…some more fondly than others. Through activities like the Pinewood Derby, Klondike Derby and Raingutter Regatta, NCAC teaches young people valuable lessons about craftsmanship, sportsmanship and how to work on a project from start to finish. Win or lose, these activities help mold their character and create lasting memories.

1. Everyone knows that one person can’t make a difference.

Yes, you can! In fact, one person reaching out to help is often the only thing that can make a difference. Our Scouts learn from the Scout Law “to help other people at all times.” Lead by example. With your support, NCAC can keep its commitment to ensure that every young person who wants to take part in Scouting has that opportunity.

We all know there are many good reasons TO give to Scouting.

Scouting transforms lives. And as our community demographics and the needs of today’s youth change – as the need for Scouting grows – so too does NCAC’s need for your leadership, participation and support.

Forward this email to your friends, family, co-workers and business associates. Be proud of the organization that you support and ask others to join you in ensuring that our high-quality, volunteer-led, character-driven program continues to offer young people the adventure and personal growth that can only be found through Scouting.

Give today and know that your gift will ensure young people learn the values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – which will never go out of style and will always be relevant.

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Thanksgiving Day – Scouter’s Prayer


With reverance in our hearts,

We, Your many children of many beliefs,

United in common purpose,

Gather to offer this our humble prayer,

In Thanksgiving:

As Scouters we are thankful for:

The many gifts and talents given to our fellow Scouters,

and to ourselves;

The freedom we have to join together and as a team

accomplish more than any of us could alone;

The opportunity to be of service to young people,

parents, other Scouters and our community;

Our joy at seeing so many young people become excited

as they grow and are able to meet challenges;

Being reminded by their ceremonies and legends

that he who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest;

And most importantly we are thankful for the gift

of knowing that our prayers are heard.

We each in own way take this moment to silently

add our own thanksgivings . . . (pause)

With thanks in our hearts we offer our prayers

and ask that You, the Great Scoutmaster of All Scouts,

be with each of us until we meet again.


By Michael F. Bowman

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USSSP – Potential Disruptions Due to Hurricane

The U.S. Scouting Service Project is operated by volunteer Scouters across the U.S. Three of our team members are located in the path of Hurricane Sandy and near where the storm is projected to make landfall. Because authorities are warning of power outages which may disrupt local communications, we ask that you please be patient over the next several days if you write to us and do not get an immediate response.

Virginia’s Governor has declared a state of emergency in advance of the approaching storm. So, Scouts and Scouters, if you are in the projected storm path, this is a good time to live “BE PREPARED” and be ready to lend a hand.

Local authorities are offering these tips for those in the path of the storm:

Get a Kit! Stock or re-stock your emergency supply kits (including extra batteries, etc.). Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies.

Stay Informed: Have a NOAA Weather Radio at home and at your worksite. Like a smoke alarm, NOAA Weather Radios sound when there is an emergency in your area. You can also sign up for weather alerts and emergency messages from your local government.

Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit www.weather.gov (http://mobile.weather.gov/ on your phone) for the latest forecast.

Make a Plan and Plan Ahead: You can design your family emergency plan at www.ReadyNOVA.org or get a family emergency plan worksheet at http://www.ReadyVirginia.gov/. Here are additional reminders:

Communication – be sure friends and family know how to contact you in an emergency. Teach family members how to use text messaging, because text messages can often get through when a phone call won’t.

Prepare your Home: Clean out your gutters and storm drains to improve the flow of rain waters, and reduce possible flooding and ponding situations.

Flood Safety: Hurricanes bring heavy rains, storm surges, and possible flooding. Avoid walking or driving through any flooded areas – it takes only six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult, and two feet to move a vehicle. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Food safety – power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.

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Ask Andy Gives Advice via Scouting Magazine

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Scouting Magazine‘s recent article: Unit Commissioner Shares How To Strengthen Scout Units/. You’ll find a collection of great tips for Commissioners along with a recent picture of Andy (Hal Daume).

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One Oath, One Law for All

Say good bye to separate oaths and laws for each program within Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A resolution to use the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Sea Scouts, and Venturing was approved yesterday morning by the BSA’s executive board. Apparently some of the changes begin in the next Scouting year (September 2013- August 2014). Read more about this on Scouting Magazine’s Blog, Bryan on Scouting, at http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/10/17/bsa-to-use-scout-oath-and-scout-law-for-all-programs/

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Retro Patrol Patch

Cartoonist Rich Diesslin is offering a free 3″ retro patrol patch with the purchase of either a CD or book of his Scouting Cartoons. The patch for the Flying Flaming Screaming Penguin Patrol is depicted below:

Flying Flaming Screaming Penguin Patrol

To find out more about the patch visit http://usscouts.org/usscouts/cartoons/2012nov.asp.

And for those of you that just like the odd patch, they are for sale at $5.00 each when purchased separately.

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Remembering an Eagle Scout

Neil Armstrong, an Eagle Scout, was the first person to set foot on the moon.  Most of you have heard the news of his passing earlier today.  This is small tribute to him.  (Click on the image to see the full sized version)  (Click here to go to our Facebook page and share this image)

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2013 National Jamboree

BSA is asking what jamboree activity you are looking forward to the most at the 2013 National Jamboree on Facebook (Click here to go add your comment).   The question is posted next to an image of what looks like the 2013 National Jamboree logo or patch.

2013 National Jamboree

The image links to the 2013 National Jamboree web site where registration is open to participants and staff and where you can find lots of great information about the Jamboree. 


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Chaplain Resources

We are pleased to announce that BSAchaplain.org has joined the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.’s family of web sites.  You can visit this site at http://bsachaplain.org, where you will find resources for adults serving as chaplains and youth leaders serving as a chaplain aid. 

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