The first episode of, "Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?" was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, March 4, 2013. The series continues through April 15, 2013.
There were a lot of comments on Twitter, Facebook and other channels about the show. The photo above shows a canoe jousting contest. Some people didn't care for some of the games and thought they weren't aligned with the methods and purposes of Scouting. Other people were ecstatic that the Boy Scouts of America was able to show the fun and excitement of our programs.
For those of you who missed the episode, Bryan Wendell, who writes at blog.scoutingmagazine.org, provided a recap. Read it here...
Did you watch the episode? What did you think about the style and substance? We welcome your thoughts and invite you to join the conversation by leaving a comment below.
The new reality TV show, “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?”
will premiere on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m. (Central) and will air weekly through Monday, April 15.
Previews show the a group of Boy Scouts competing in outdoor events against a group of adults. Visit the website, toughscout.com for more information on the show.
We'll be providing some updates during the first show through our Twitter feed, @stlbsa. After the premiere, we'd like to hear your reviews on the show as we have a discussion through the comments section below.
Six Scouts were presented with the Supernova Award
, the new recognition that's part of the Boy Scouts of America's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative, at the February Roundtable in the New Horizons District.
For their first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch. After that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and the three devices represent each of the four STEM topics.
Want more information on the BSA's STEM initiative? Click here...Read story on St. Louis Suburban Journals website.
One of the new features of the 2013 National Jamboree will be that all tents, cots, dining flys and cooking gear will be supplied for council contingents. When Boy Scouts and Venturers arrive at the Summit, the equipment will be waiting for them. Youth members will still have to set up their campsite, but this eliminates a great deal of transportation and logistical challenges that were a part of past National Jamborees. Troops often had to raise additional funds to purchase equipment for previous National Jamborees in addition to the participant fees.
During previous National Jamborees, the council's contingent would have a "shakedown" at Beaumont Scout Reservation to make sure all troops and participants had all equipment. The gear would then be loaded onto a 50-foot trailer and hauled to the east coast. A few days later, the Jamboree participants traveled by bus, toured Washington, D.C., and then met their tractor trailer at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, the site of previous National Jamborees.
The Greater St. Louis Area Council's 2013 National Jamboree contingent is planning to tour Washington, D.C., again. The traveling should be less stressful knowing the troop equipment will be furnished and ready when they arrive at the Summit.Get more information on attending the 2013 National Jamboree
Watch a video of troops, crews setting up camp at the Summit
We're sharing the story of an Eagle Scout who is one of the top college football players in the United States. He's not from the Greater St. Louis Area Council, but he sets an example for Scouts who want to pursue success in Scouting and competitive athletics.
Manti Te'o is an All-American linebacker at the University of Notre Dame. He's a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, given to the top college football player in the country. He will lead the undefeated Fighting Irish into the national championship game on Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami.
Sportswriters and sports announcers who watch Te'o play are impressed by his leadership and character. Earlier this month, Te'o talked about Scouting's influence on his life. Read the story
from the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune
. He talked about his priorities during a LaSalle Council fundraising event.
"If you noticed, none of those things that I stated include what I am most known for -- football," he said. "I believe that football is something that I do. It's not who I am."
Te'o also was the subject of a post
on the blog, Bryan on Scouting
, at Scouting Magazine. Bryan Wendell writes,
"His family, his religion, and his time in Scouting put him on a path
toward a strong mind. As he grew into his 6-foot-2 frame, he added a
powerful physical presence. Ninety-six tackles and six interceptions
later, it’s easy to see why he’s in the national spotlight."
Te'o is proof that young people can excel in Scouting and athletics. Balancing multiple extracurricular activities and academics is challenging, but rewarding.
Do you know a Scout who excells in athletics? You're welcome to share their story by leaving a comment below.
I am honored to have this opportunity to tell you about the best Venturing event in the nation. It just so happens that it occurred at Beaumont Scout Reservation here in the Greater St. Louis Area Council.
To start out the magical weekend, the “tri wizard cup” helped us select the 2012-13 VOA officers with more than 300 Venturers and Advisors at the council elections. You may be wondering why it was the “tri wizard cup” that helped choose. This 39th annual Fall Fun Rally was a whimsical Harry Potter-themed event with 1,326 people from all over the nation in attendance.
One of the really neat things about the Fall Fun Rally is that all the activities are youth-run. The council VOA along with the district VOA officers work throughout the year to help plan more than 100 events for the weekend.
We made it especially hard this year because most events followed the Harry Potter theme. We had events such as Hypogriff riding -- a.k.a. horseback riding -- or a helicopter landing in Scoutcraft Field. We even had a group come out and set up a quiditch field. How would you like to run around with a broom between your legs while throwing a ball back and forth trying to score points for your house team? After a fun-filled day, we ended with the Yule ball and a good old cup of butterbeer (cream soda and butterscotch topping).
The weekend included some very special guests. Our council’s Dustin Readenour, National Venturing president, and Sarah Mittrucker, National Venturing vice president, were in attendance. Both were helping out wherever needed. We also had Lizzie Wisman, Central Region Venturing president, from Michigan in attendance. Robert Rescot, a past St. Louis and Central Region Venturing officer, joined us for a few hours at the event before heading to Barnes Jewish Hospital on Monday for brain surgery. He is doing fine and the tumor was fully removed and found to be benign.
Emily Mausshardt, Central Region Area 3 Venturing president, led the Area 3 officers in coordinating and teaching many of the training sessions offered during the weekend. This included two Venturing Youth Protection Training sessions held in an effort to train all of our adult Advisors before the end of the year. The area officers also ran the Friday evening program of Harry Potter trivia in full English accents.
On Saturday afternoon, 11 of the 15 districts elected new district VOA officers. I am really looking forward to working with each district to help increase the efficiency of their district over the course of the next year.
Before I end, I want to take a brief moment and thank the board members for their support of the youth serving in positions within this council, because these are the building blocks the youth need to gain the courage and strength to run for positions outside of our council. Our council is the only council in the nation to have had two youth serve as the National Venturing president. This is because the Greater St. Louis Area Council is the best Venturing program in the nation! Our resources allow us to develop the leaders of tomorrow through your efforts for our council as a whole.
Without you, we could never support the youth like we do in this council.
I would like to thank you very much for inviting me to be here and I look forward to working with you all over the course of the next year!
The following is the text of a presentation that Austin Smith, newly elected chief of the Shawnee Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, made to the Executive Board of the Greater St. Louis Area Council on Sept. 27, 2012.
I've been involved in Scouting since I was 6 years
old and am now 17. As a
young Scout, I discovered certain things about myself I could not have
discovered if I were not in Scouting. For starters, I love the outdoors and all
the activities that go with it. I enjoyed every camping opportunity I could,
ranging from North Star District’s camporees to the Swift Base Weblos Mini-Camp. In Cub Scouts, I learned how to work toward goals, work with others, and
always do my best.
As I crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 940 at St. Angela
Merici Catholic School in north St. Louis County, I found yet another passion:
leadership. I began to climb the ranks in my troop and benefit from the
experiences I received in them. In an effort to further my leadership skills, I
attended National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and
further developed my skills by serving on staff the following year.
I became very
involved in many other activities outside of my troop. I became a dedicated
member of my district camporee staffs. I was elected into the Order of the
Arrow, joined ceremonial teams, and interviewed to be a chairman
on North Star's chapter board. When I was old enough, I joined a
Venture crew. I learned about the Catholic Committee on Scouting and served in roles that included my faith. Through these numerous
activities, I was simply enjoying myself and doing what I liked. I enjoyed
leading others in the same activities I enjoyed participating in as a young
Scout. I didn't even think of how I could benefit from what I was doing in the
future. I simply enjoyed learning how to lead, serve, and communicate through
these multiple activities.
As time went on and I grew more advanced in my skills of
leadership, I also advanced in the positions I held in each of these programs.
By the time I turned 17, I had been senior patrol leader of my troop, master of
ceremonies at Catholic Encounter Weekend, campmaster of North Star's camporee,
chapter chief, and youth director in NYLT. In the next few months, I earned my
Eagle and, most recently, was elected as the chief of Shawnee Lodge.
learned the skills needed to be a leader. Now, because of Scouting, I am able to apply my skills in real situations that teach me more lessons. The opportunities I am gaining from my learning
experiences are immense. At 17,
I had the leadership skills and opportunities that most people never get the chance to experience. Each program helped me reach a pinnacle and my full potential. And now, influenced by Scouting, I want to do that with my
I’ve also noticed, as I’ve grown up and started to choose
what type of person I would like to be, that many of my ideals and morals stem
from the Scout Oath and Law. The friends I made in
Scouting are friends I want to be with any day and not just
Scouting events. Their ideals come from Scouting as well. Scouting has
not only taught me valuable skills, it guided me in my choice of friends and
I applied my leadership skills
through opportunities given to me through Scouts. I
helped start a youth group in my parish, I hold leadership positions in my
school, I apply what I learned at my job, and I founded and lead an
actual business, Ignatian Business Leaders. It acts as a club with the
purpose of business education and experience through my school, St. Louis
University High. These examples are only the beginning of what I am achieving because of what Scouting has given me.
As I serve as chief of Shawnee Lodge this coming year, I
pledge to use what I learned from Scouting to promote, enhance, and
maintain the camping and service programs so others may benefit from them. I appreciate everything Scouting has done for me. From
you, to the adults who supported me throughout my Scouting career, to the
friends I encountered while doing what I love, I have been impacted in a
tremendous way and I will appreciate it for the entirety of my life.
I found my best and lifelong friends in Scouting. I
learned valuable lessons and skills through my Scouting experiences. I
formed my ideals and morals from what I have been taught in Scouting. My life ambitions and passions were developed in Scouting. I am who I am because of the Scouting program, and now I want to give
Chief, Shawnee Lodge
Order of the Arrow
Many adult volunteers from the Greater St. Louis Area Council serve the Boy Scouts of America at the regional and national levels.
Barry Bingham, a veteran leader from our council, was named the Central Region Program Impact chairman in September. He will be responsible for adult and youth leadership training, advancement, recognition, Venturing
and program development. He also will oversee delivery for the Central Region, which covers 13
states and 72 councils including the Greater St. Louis Area Council. The councils serve more than 530,000
youth and 220,000 adults.
He will become
a member of the Central Region Executive Board.
Mr. Bingham served Scouting in our council for more than 20 years as
Scoutmaster, Wood Badge course director and National Youth Leadership Training course Scoutmaster. He served as the contingent leader for five troops at the national jamboree and was a jamboree Scoutmaster. He also was a world jamboree Scoutmaster.
He served in several other district and council training assignments, including the last strategic plan. He was on the faculty at the Philmont Training Center and Sea Base
seven times. He served most recently as the Area 3 Program Impact chair for
11 councils, including the Greater St. Louis Area Council.
Mr. Bingham always welcomes new ideas or strategies for improving the Scouting program. You are welcome to leave a comment below or contact Mr. Bingham directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations and good luck to Mr. Bingham in his new role. And thanks to all our leaders who serve Scouting at all levels.
Learning to be a good steward of resources and teaching service to others are lessons found throughout the Boy Scouts of America programs. They are central to the Order of the Arrow (O.A.), Scouting's national honor society that promotes outdoor programs and service to Scouting.
The Greater St. Louis Area Council has two O.A. Lodges--Anpetu-We and Shawnee Lodges. Both held fall events on Sept. 7-9 at Camp Lewallen and the S bar F Scout Ranch. Thousands of Scouts and leaders attended. Hundreds who were elected into the O.A. during summer camp completed their induction into the organization. Hundreds more sealed their membership in the O.A. by earning the Brotherhood Honor.
Members of our O.A. Lodges contribute hundreds of thousands of hours of service to our council's camps and programs each year. During last weekend's events, new members completed various service projects as part of their induction. They were joined by hundreds of other O.A. members who participated in service projects to maintain or enhance our camps.
One of the projects was clearing foilage around the low-water bridge near the Swift Base at S bar F and moving tons of rock to prevent erosion. Dozens of Scouts and leaders worked together on similar projects.
Do you remember a service project you participated in that was challenging and continues to help others today? If you're an O.A. member, do you recall the service project you completed for your Ordeal membership in the O.A.? If you just completed your Ordeal membership, can you share what the experience mean to you?
All are welcome to leave a comment below and join our conversation on service and giving back to the Scouting program.
Above, a Scout looks at tons of rock that O.A. members placed on the sides of
the low-water bridge near Swift Base at the S bar F Scout Ranch on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012.
Venturing is one of the best kept secrets in America.
When recently polled, only 2.74 percent of Americans knew that the Venturing Program existed. The 2011-12 National Venturing Cabinet challenged themselves to increase the accessibility of the Venturing Program by developing a Peer-to-Peer Recruitment Kit that units can use to promote their own Venturing crews. Throughout the years, Venturing has discovered that the best tactic in recruiting new members is by current Venturers inviting their friends along to events. The National Venturing Cabinet worked with the National Office to develop this year’s Fall Recruitment Campaign into the Peer-to-Peer Venturing Recruitment Kit.
The great thing about this kit is that each crew can personalize it to fit their crew needs including posting meeting or open house information directly on the fliers. The Venturing Recruiting Toolbox kit can be found at www.scouting.org/venturing under crew support. Included in the kit are four different fliers featuring Venturers in action all over the country, a brochure that includes marketing teasers, information on how to join and the basics of what Venturing is. There is also a fact sheet to answer questions about Venturing. All of these files are available as PDFs to download and make copies as needed.
The other part of the National Office Recruitment Campaign for this year is located at www.scouting.org/marketing under National Recruitment Campaign. It has an E-blast and contains fliers, billboards, posters, yard signs, door hangers, bookmarks and postcards -- available in English, Spanish or bilingual as downloadable PDFs.
Thanks to the National Venturing Cabinet and the National Office, you now have the resources to get the word of Venturing out there. It is up to each of you to make this happen. I challenge you to put this toolbox to the test!