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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

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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

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 has joined the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.’s family of web sites.  You can visit this site at, where you will find resources for adults serving as chaplains and youth leaders serving as a chaplain aid. 

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Baloo’s Bugle – August 2012

The August issue of Baloo’s Bugle with September theme information is now available at  Baloo’s Bugle has loads of information for Packs and Dens to help with monthly program needs.  This month features the Core Value of Cooperation and is available in both Word and  PDF versions.

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Supplemental Pack Meeting Themes

These are the supplemental Pack Meeting Themes for the rest of this Scouting year and the next Scouting year.  They are meant to enhance the meaning of the Core Value for each month.

Month Core Value Supplemental Pack Meeting Themes to Enhance the Meaning of the Core Value
Set A
2012 – 2013
September Cooperation Hometown Heroes
October Responsibility Jungle of Fun
November Citizenship 50 Great States
December Respect Holiday Lights
January Positive Attitude Abracadabra
February Resourcefulness Turn Back the Clock
March Compassion Planting Seeds of Kindness
April Faith Cub Scouts Give Thanks
May Health & Fitness Cub Café
June Perseverance Head West Young Man
July Courage Cubs in Shining Armor
August Honesty Kids Against Crime
    Set B
    2013 – 2014
September Cooperation Amazing Games
October Responsibility Down on the Farm
November Citizenship Your Vote Counts
December Respect Passport to Other Lands
January Positive Attitude Lights, Camera, Action
February Resourcefulness Invention Convention
March Compassion Pet Pals
April Faith My Family Tree
May Health & Fitness Destination Parks
June Perseverance Over the Horizon
July Courage The New Frontier
August Honesty Heroes of History
    Set C
    2014 – 2015
September Cooperation Under the Big Top
October Responsibility Dollars and Sense
November Citizenship Give Goodwill
December Respect Stars and Stripes
January Positive Attitude Yes, I Can
February Resourcefulness Litter to Glitter
March Compassion Aware and Care
April Faith Soaring the Skies
May Health & Fitness Backyard Fun
June Perseverance Go for the Gold
July Courage Under the Sea
August Honesty Play Ball


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Knots Presentation

With thanks to James Eager, District Advancement Chair, Thunderbird District, Gulf Ridge Council, and Mike Walton (Settummanque) we are pleased to offer Scouters a training presentation on adult awards that addresses the recent changes to what square knots will be available in the future. You can download the PowerPoint training presentation that James Eager put together at:

The presentation provides great visuals to make it very easy to understand the changes to square knots.

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Knots Knowledge

Recently I was asked:  “Do you have any updates on the knots?”   The Scouter asking wanted to know the new knot requirements and get a complete list of which ones are being phased out.  Then more and more emails started coming in, so I thought I’d share with you what I learned at the National Meeting.

There will be specific information along with glossy handouts given out during All Hands. In the meantime, the BSA approved the following changes, most of which we have posted on the U.S. Scouting Service (USSSP) Facebook page.

  • The six Cub Scouting (Training) Awards are history.  They end as valid training/service awards after 1 Jan 13.  Those who have earned any of those awards may continue to wear the medallion(s) and the associated square knot insignia until it becomes no longer serviceable.  There is no “grandfathering” — if you are still working on tenure, the tenure for the old award ENDS 31 Dec 12 and you must start over with new tenure anytime after the release of the requirements for the new training awards/key (which is planned for 1 Nov 12 now).
  • Cubmasters will be able to earn the Scouters’ Key Award as a Cubmaster.  The Scouters’ Key was previously only available for Scoutmasters, Varsity Coaches, Venturing Advisors, Sea Scout Skippers, Unit/District/Council Commissioners, and District/Council Committeemembers.  There are new requirements for the Key which incorporates current standards (Journey to Excellence, participation in civic and community activities, Roundtable attendance, etc.) which are DIFFERENT from the old Cubmaster (Training) Award.  It will take a Cubmaster between three and five years to earn the Key — same standard as earning the Key in other programs.
  • Assistant Cubmasters and ALL OTHER CUB SCOUTING VOLUNTEERS may earn the Scouters’ Training Award as a Cub Scouter. The requirements for Cub Scouters has been revised to include Journey to Excellence goal attainment, outdoor activities, community activities and other items. This award replaces the Pack Trainer and Cub Scouter (Training) Awards.  This award will take two years (like other Scouters’ Training Award catagories) to earn.  It may be earned once as a Cub Scouter.
  • Den Leaders (without regard to specific types of Dens) may earn the Den Leader Training Award.  There is a new blue and gold medal which will match the gold on blue square knot insignia which will be used for this award (but there is discussion about using the existing Pack Training square knot insignia instead, so stand by there since it contains the colors of the medal’s ribbon better). This award is unique is two regards: one, it will take ONE YEAR of tenure as a Den Leader to earn the award; and two, it may be earned three times (as a Tiger Den Leader, as a Wolf/Bear Den Leader, and as a WEBELOS Den Leader) with appropriate devices to be worn on the ribbon of the medal as well as on the square knot insignia.
  • There will be a “Unit Trainer Award” but there are still discussion on what form it will take and whether or not a square knot is the appropriate personal recognition for the Award.  It was not designed to go away until 2014 anyway. **The Cub Scout Pack Trainer (Training) Award will be discontinued 31 Dec 12.**
  • The old “origami” folding tracking/progress cards are also history.  Replacing them will be single sheets, with more space for signatures and more explaination (no more “eye chart” type) which fits better in folders and binders.
  • Somewhere around November of this year, the Guide to Awards and Recognitions (or GAR) will be released to the field.  There are significant changes in that publication which I’ve highlighted (again, if you are a holder of one or several of these awards, you may continue to wear the award and it’s associated square knot insignia until they become no longer serviceable).
  • The four “Relationship Awards” will all be represented by a single square knot insignia, currently referred to as the “Relationship Awards square knot emblem” (the Meany Labor, the Young Rural/Urban, the Pena Hispanic, and the Asian Service Awards). Small lapel pins/devices will be made to represent each of the four awards.  With that, the older square knot insignia will be discontinued.
  • The fourteen “Community Service Awards” will continue to be awarded through outside organizations, but there will continue to be ONE square knot emblem representing the various awards. Also, the decision on whether youth members who receive such an award can wear the knot emblem will be lifted (finally — it just made sense).
  • The Heroism Award we previously announced was going away has been restored and will continue to be presented. The issue has been the “level of heroism” between the four heroism awards (Certificate of Merit, Merit Medal, Heroism Medal, Honor Medal).  **This will remain in place until discussion within the National Court of Honor is complete**
  • The three Commissioner Service Awards will be consolidated but because the effective date of it is down the road (2014), there will be a little discussion about “in the future this award may be consoldiated with other Commissioner Service Awards” in the publication.
  • The Spurgeon Award along with the second version of the Silver Award, which is currently called the “Exploring Award” to avoid confusion with the current Silver Award will be discontinued.  The Venturing Leadership Awards and the associated square knot insignia has already been discontinued as of this spring; and the Boyce Organizer Award’s square knot insignia will be discontinued in 2014 although one can still receive the Organizer lapel pin and/or tie bar as personal recognition pieces.  Same goes with the Sea Badge — the Sea Badge will continue to be the Sea Scouting training recognition but there will be no BSA-manufactured “cloth patch” to go along with the emblem.
  • Finally, you already have seen the information about the discontinuance of the Speakers Bank and the local adaptation of the Alumni Award. There is a new certificate for the Alumni Award.

All of this will be explained during All Hands coming up, either in person or via electrons/paper.  Once the status of most of the awards have been made, I’ll be adding an additional catagory piece on my Badge and Uniform Site called “currency” or “status” along with this information and in the case of those awards being discontinued, why and when.

Hope this helps out!!



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