High Praise for our High Adventure Leadership

We often hear stories from our councils and others about extraordinary and heroic acts performed by Scouts to help or save others. The following story is from a Scoutmaster who, with members of his troop, experienced a powerful “Be Prepared” moment that spoke volumes about how Scouting changes lives. Scoutmaster Howard Hudson of Troop 990 in West Chester, Ohio was in the midst of enjoying a canoe and portage trip with his Scouts at our Northern Tier High Adventure Camp when they suddenly found themselves in a battle for survival. I’ll let Scoutmaster Hudson pick up the story from here – please read on.

Dear Mr. Brock,

I wanted to take a few moments to convey my admiration and appreciation for your staff at the Northern Tier High Adventure Camp. My name is Howard Hudson. I am the Scoutmaster for Troop #990 from West Chester, Ohio. We are the troop that got caught in bad weather and whose canoe trip across Basswood Lake would evolve into a ten hour survival situation.

First let me say how impressed I was from the beginning with the Northern Tier experience. The careful planning and preparation was evident at once. The equipment was top-notch and in great condition. (I would be very grateful for the quality of my Personal Flotation Device a few days later!) Kevin Dowling and his entire staff were friendly and courteous at all times and always very helpful to the leaders and the boys. The orientation was very thorough and provided information that would later lead to our rescue. 

From day to day as we canoed for miles, portaged for what seemed like miles, and set up and broke camp, my boys pushed themselves. They were tired. They were sore. But they did not quit. Our Interpreter was a remarkable young man named Cody Loucks. Cody was an Eagle Scout, a Scout Professional for seven years and an Interpreter at Northern Tier for the past three years. Cody did an outstanding job pushing the boys when they needed to be pushed, keeping them focused and task oriented when there was work to be done, yet at the same time he always kept things upbeat and fun. Read more »

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Scout Champions the Environment One Drop at a Time

I am always fascinated by the mechanisms by which our Scouts serve their communities. We often see Scouts who have a love for the outdoors, enjoy helping the elderly, or are driven to gather food for the needy.

But it’s not often that you find a Scout serving his community with barrels.

Scout Alex Sivak of Clarendon Hills, Illinois, is using rain barrels to take a unique approach to water conservation.

Alex Sivak Rain Barrel Project

Alex Sivak, member of Boy Scout Troop 51, stands with one of his rain barrels at Sloan Triangle in Downtown Clarendon Hills // Photo courtesy of Chuck Fieldman/Sun-Times Media

For his Eagle Scout project, Alex launched a convincing campaign to help businesses understand why rain barrels are so important to the environment. (For instance, did you know that a quarter inch of rain falling on an average roof yields more than 200 gallons of water?) Thanks to his efforts, business owners bought recycled barrels and set them out on their premises to capture rain water. Read more »

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Why reaching out to new cultures is so important

Our commitment to expanding Scouting’s reach to new neighborhoods came to mind as I read a recent Bryan on Scouting blog about a group of refugee families that fled brutal treatment by government leaders in their home country of Myanmar in Southeast Asia to find new homes in the U.S. They settled in Salt Lake City and many of the refugee boys joined Troop 1262, part of the Great Salt Lake Council.

Reaching out to underserved neighborhoods is important to Scouting. We hope to inspire young people in these communities to have life-changing experiences that will help them be strong leaders and good citizens. We also learn a great deal about different cultures and how the values within those cultures benefit Scouts from other communities. We learn from each other.

Scout Troop 1262

A Scout from Troop 1262 enjoys canoeing at Scout camp. // Photo courtesy of Bob Roylance and LDS Church News Archive

The importance of our outreach commitment became evident as I learned how 11 of the refugee boys earned their Eagle Award recently. It’s a powerful tribute to Scouting’s values.

These young men and their families displayed tremendous courage to flee their home country. Now, thanks to the guidance of Scoutmaster Bob Roylance and other Scouting volunteers, these young men have bright futures. Many are straight-A students and are looking forward to professional careers. I can’t help but wonder whether they would have had the same opportunities in their home country if they hadn’t settled in our country and experienced Scouting. Read more »

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