Sunday, September 28, 2008

November 22, 2008 - Childrens Day Parade

Childrens Day will be on November 22, 2008 at Woodley Park, Van Nuys. Save the date.

Importantly, 200 to 300 Scouts in uniform have been invited to participate in the opening parade on that day in the AM.

This is a great opportunity for Scouting to be visible en masse in and for our community.

And Scouts can plan to stay at the event all day thereafter,without charge! There will be lots of activities.

See for the details of Childrens Day. This is a huge event in which we will participate.

Talk it up in your units, your PLCs, your unit committees. We will need LOTS of Scouts, in uniform, in the parade.

Check your email for the registration form, and return it no later than November 12, 2008, to your Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner or Assistant District Commissioner. If your commissioner is unavailable or you don't have one, return this form to Judy Soyster.

Yours in Scouting,

Judy Soyster
WLACC Scout Organizer for the Parade

David I. Karp
Relationships Chair
Western Los Angeles County Council BSA

October 6, 2008 - Red Cross Blood Drive

There will be a Red Cross blood drive 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6, at the Vons at 20440 Devonshire St., Chatsworth. Contact for information. Donations will help replenish blood supplies used to help those injured in the Metrolink train wreck.

Any person age 17 or older (age 16 if accompanied by a parent) and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood.

Many thanks to those who recently donated to the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center at the Ralph's supermarket.

To donate at other times, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit For Spanish, please call 1-866-POR-VIDA (1-866-767-8432). The UCLA Blood and Platelet Center can also be reached at (310) 794-7217, ext 2.

For family and friends of victims, the L.A. Fire Department has two hotlines to call for information on hospital patients: (213) 847-2117 and (213) 847-2118.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

November 13, 2008 - Great Southern California ShakeOut

Dear fellow Scouts and Scouters,

I am sending out this message in a massive effort to encourage you all to sign in and sign up for the largest Earthquake Drill in US history which takes place on Thursday, November 13 at 10:00 AM.

Please go to and sign up your units, yourself and family members so that all the Scouting units in Southern California can be represented. "Be Prepared" Please Do it Now!

We have signed up 3.4 million folks so far and expect around 5 million people to participate in the event.

It is very simple and it is free! There is very informative and useful information on the site that you can share with your loved ones.

The scientific community says that we are overdue for "The Big One" and it could happen any day up to about 35 years from now. "Be Prepared"

When you register please indicate that you are a Boy Scout Troop, Cub Pack, Venture Crew or a Post and please add your council and unit number as well.

When you go to the site you will see that there is a "What can I do" section devoted to Scouting. You can even click into your county and see the number of units and business groups that have signed in.

If you have a unit that would like to set up a display in a backyard showcasing a "how to" camp after an earthquake, please let me know. We will be happy to come and take pictures and place them in the Scouting section of the ShakeOut web site, to give people visiting the site a first hand view of how Scouts are prepared.

Please contact me if you have any questions and I will "Do my Best" to answer them!

Erik Torgerson
(818) 219-8036
Regional Associate for Scouting with the Great Southern California ShakeOut
Co-Founder Eagle ScoutParents, part of the National Scout Parent initiative and Scout Alumni Connection
ESP/Emergency Survival Preparedness Program

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2009 Philmont Expedition

The Western Los Angeles County Council is in the process of filling two crews for a 2009 Council Philmont Expedition. The dates for the expedition are as follows:

  • Saturday, August 1, 2009 - Depart Los Angeles via Amtrak
  • Sunday, August 2, 2009 - Philmont Bus and Early Arrival
  • Saturday, August 15, 2009 - Depart via Philmont Bus
  • Sunday, August 16, 2009 - Arrive Los Angeles via Amtrak

This will be a council contingent made up of Scouts and Scouters from WLACC. The fee is anticipated to be $1,400 per person. This is an all inclusive fee covering transportation, food and all incidental expenses for the two week expedition.

Reservations are first come first served. The remaining spaces are expected to fill up very quickly. A deposit of $347.50 per person is due immediately in order to hold your space with the contingent.

Training hikes will be required. Some can be done with your home unit and others will be required crew training hikes.

Initial reservations and questions should be directed to Jeff Feldman, Council Contingent Leader, at (818) 535-9494 or

There are still spaces available for adults as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Metrolink Crash update

It is nice to see our Scouts in a positive light.

Metrolink Train Crash: Updated Through 6:30 P.M., Sept. 13 - News Story - KNBC | Los Angeles

Concerned Family Members

A "unification center" was established at Chatsworth High School, 10027 Lurline Ave., where relatives can meet with injured passengers. A phone line was established for that center at 818-678-3422.

"Our prayers go out to those who lost their lives, to their families and to their loved ones," Villaraigosa said.

Tyrrell said a hotline -- 800-371-5465 -- was established for relatives of passengers looking for information. A city hotline has been set up at 213-847-2117.

"We're just trying to cope with the situation as best we can," she said. "As you can imagine, it's just a tragedy. It's heartbreaking."

Lester Salay, a 52-year-old local Boy Scout troop leader, went to the scene with other troop members as soon as they heard of the disaster. The Troop 921 members passed out bananas and bottled water to police and fire personnel.

"The minute we saw it on television, we mobilized," he said. "It was unbelievably hectic with the lights and sirens and confusion -- mass confusion."

Salay, who was wearing a Scout uniform, met a man who had been active in the Scouts as a youth and was upset because he had a relative on the train.

"All I could do was help him and hug him," Salay said.

We are not heroes nor are we out for the "glory", we simply did what our Scout oath expects of us by helping others in need.

I am very proud of my Troop Leaders (Melissa Vogt and Robert Uzan) who aided in this tragic event.

October 25, 2008 - Stoney Point Clean-Up

Greetings fellow Scouters and Community Volunteers,

Please mark your calendars for our 6th annual Stoney Point Clean-Up Project 2008

Saturday, October 25th from 8:00 am to Noon.

Please be advised: If you are participating as a Scout Pack, Troop or Crew, a BSA Tour Permit is required.

If you are attending as an individual or family a BSA permit is not required, however everyone attending will have to sign an additional/separate "Waiver of Liability" prior to starting the clean-up.

I am very grateful to all of the volunteers who have joined in this event in years past, as the number of participants has grown larger each year and so has the trash that we have picked up. (I still can't forget finding an entire phone booth stashed amongst the trees and brush)

Thanks in advance to everyone, past and present for bringing your environmental and community spirit to this event.

Volunteers Needed - Can you sew from a simple pattern?

TrinityCare Hospice would like to offer dying patients or their surviving family members a comforting bear made from the hospice patient's own clothing, pillows or other material they may find comforting.

While the patient themselves are on hospice service, the Burden Bear can calm restlessness, be a source of non-medical pain relief, and offer a sense of peace as they face the end of their life. For our surviving family members, the Memory Bear is a way to keep the essence of their loved one close by, assisting them through their grief.

Volunteers will complete the Bears in their own homes upon arranging to obtain the material and deliver completed projects to one of our centrally located hospice offices(Cerritos, Torrance or Van Nuys).

For more information contact Ida Vernay, Volunteer Coordinator, via email or visit the TrinityCare Hospice website.

These bears were made for two teenage daughters who were losing their father to cancer. The blue bear was made from a dress shirt he wore to work (he was a lawyer) and the black one was made from a sweatjacket he frequently wore on the weekends. The gentleman was able to select the clothing pieces himself and give the bears to his daughters a few days before he died. He passed away on Christmas morning 2007.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 2008 - Astronomy Merit Badge

This should be of interest to our Scouts and Scouters. -- David Lichtman

DOOMED SPACECRAFT: Jules Verne is about to become a fireball. On Sept. 29th, with NASA aircraft looking on, the 22-ton European spacecraft will plunge into Earth's atmosphere over the south Pacific Ocean and harmlessly disintegrate. Jules Verne recently spent five months docked to the space station where it delivered supplies, used its engines help the station avoid a piece of space junk, and served as an impromptu bedroom for the ISS crew. Mission accomplished, the doomed spacecraft is now making its final orbits around Earth glowing about as brightly as Polaris (the North Star). US and European observers are favored with flybys this weekend. If you'd like to see Jules Verne, check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing times:

October 6, 2008 - Troop 911 Golf Tournament

Attention all Scout troops and packs!

Want to make some easy money? Troop 911 will pay your Troop or Pack $50 for each golfer you register. That's $200 for a foursome! Our Fundraiser is your fundraiser. Make sure each registration form includes your Troop number on the form and check in order to collect your money.

Hello Scouting Family and Friends;

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 911 is hosting their seventh annual golf tournament and banquet on Monday October 6, 2008, at Knollwood Country Club, in Granada Hills, California. In order to help make this tournament a success, it being their only major fundraiser for the year, the Troop is asking you to please support this annual event.

There are several ways in which you can help. We are looking for golfers, sponsorships, and donated items or gift certificates that can be awarded as prizes or raffle gifts. It would be greatly appreciated if you would like to support this worthy cause.

As you know, Scouting is a valuable community resource. The Scouting experience teaches our youth leadership, responsibility, and life skills. Scouts from our Troop devote thousands of hours working on community service projects at our local schools, churches, parks and shelters. Your support will help continue these efforts.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing you there!


Michele Smith
16831 Los Alimos Street
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Troop 911 Committee Member
Balboa Oaks Committee Member
- Public Relations
- Merit Badges & Midway

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

October through December 2008 - Cahuenga District Cub Training

Attention all Cub Scout leaders!
  • Are you a brand new leader floundering in a sea of self-doubt?
  • Are you an old hand who needs to polish up on his/her skills?
  • Or have you just been procrastinating about attending training, even though you know it’ll help you be a better leader and make your life easier in the long run (not to mention earn that snazzy "Trained" patch!)?

Whatever your Cub Scouting status, have we got the trainings for you!

The Cahuenga District (in regular cooperation with the Balboa Oaks and Las Colinas Districts) proudly presents the fall 2008 training schedule for Cub Scout Leaders to help make this coming Scout year a breeze.

The entire Cahuenga Training Calendar through June 2009 can also be downloaded from this site.

So, come, expand your horizons, have fun doing it, and make your Scout leadership easier...

Please don't delay--
We need your sign-ups today!

See you at Training!
Greg Small

Cahuenga District Training Chair

October through November 2008 - Troop 513 (Bill Hart) Swimming and Skating Merit Badge Clinics

Troop 513 (Bill Hart District) will be conducting our fall merit badge clinics as follows:

Swimming Merit Badge - attendance on the 2 dates below is required!

October 11 - Saturday - 10am-12noon - Santa Clarita Aquatics Center (Sports Complex off Centre Pointe Drive)
October 18 - Saturday - 10am-12noon - Santa Clarita Aquatics Center (Sports Complex off Centre Pointe Drive)

CPR demo/presentation will be covered during these dates.

Fee = $8.00 per scout.

Skating Merit Badge

November 15 - Saturday - 10am-12noon - SC Skate Park (Sports Complex off Centre Pointe Drive)

November 22 - Saturday - 10am-12noon - SC Skate Park (Sports Complex off Centre Pointe Drive)

Helmets required on the Skating clinics. (and of, course - roller blades/skates).

RSVP to if you are interested so I can send the detailed requirements for the merit badges.

These are offered on a first-come first-served basis and participation is limited due to pool and park capacity.

Jocelyn Reyes

Scoutmaster - Troop 513

Valley Trails Ranch, Castaic

VT Ranch offers scout troops and youth groups year-round outdoor experiences to meet everyone's needs. From camping and badge opportunities, to team-building programs and retreat services, Valley Trails is there to meet your needs.

Set on over 200 acres, Valley Trail Ranch offers groups of all sizes opportunities to experience many stimulating and enriching challenges to build group cohesion. The ranch offers participants a 45 ft high rock wall, 4 element high ropes course, 500 ft zipline, low ropes course, sports activity areas, air conditioned dining hall, and indoor/outdoor meeting areas.

Allow our staff to customize a team building program to meet your group's desired outcome. Experienced staff and team leaders will guide your group through a range of activities, and challenges that will be remembered by all and lead to greater productivity.

Our experienced retreat staff are available to help program your stay to meet your group's goals and accommodate any budget. Groups can choose to simply rent the grounds for tent camping and basic outdoor adventures or utilize the ranches air-conditioned cabins. During the day groups participate in team-building activities, high and low ropes programs, swimming, field games, and much more. At night your group will eat s'mores and sing songs at the amphitheater, go on night hikes, and experience all the excitement of a rustic outdoor environment. VT ranch has a commercial kitchen that provides delicious camp meals geared to any group's dietary needs. Ask the retreat staff about breakfast on a stick or our famous apple crisp cake. Whether it's a corporate or leadership retreat, scouting or religious event, or private rental, VT Ranch is the ideal environment for your group.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact our office at 661-257-0266, or visit us at

VT Ranch is an ACA Accredited User Group Facility

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 28, 2008 - Troop 328 Blood Drive

Please Donate Blood!
Make a Difference and Save a Life.

American Red Cross Blood Drive
St. Catherine of Siena Church, Reseda, CA

When: Sunday, September 28. Between 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: St. Catherine of Siena Church Parking Lot, 18115 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

For information contact:
Manny Gallegos (818) 881-8382
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 328

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Metrolink Crash

As most of you have heard by now, there was a horrific crash on the tracks of Chatsworth between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific Freight Train. I am asking everyone to band together as a community and spread the word to all the schools in the area, churches, synagogues and other community members and organizations and help develop a plan as well as execute a collaborate effort to help the victims and families of this tragedy. This is a wonderful community and we always manage to do great things, well here is another challenge for us to band together. We as a community are fortunate in that Metrolink brings us the Christmas train every year with all the splendor and glory of the season. I myself am counting my blessings, since as most of you know my son Mark is a avid rail fan and usually rides that particular train along with some of his friends. I am sure had he come home earlier from school that day, he would have asked to ride to Moorpark. In addition, since he is an avid railroader he knows allot of crew members on Metrolink, Amtrak and Union Pacific and no doubt would have wanted to be near the engineer . I am also grieving for those who lost love ones and still have the uncertainty of the unknown. I've been up most of the night since the Sheriff's command post is across the street at the park and as helicopters looming until midnight and resuming again at 5:00 am. I am also pretty sure the Lubran family has been up all night long since the crash occurred almost in their back yard.

Everyone receiving this is either a resident of Chatsworth, Boy Scout leader, Girl Scout leader, faculty member, clergy, friend and family member of someone in this community. You are the best of the best and we need to rise to yet another challenge.

I ask for us to create a committee and collectively come up with a project or projects we can do to help these families.


Shelby Speer

Please contact me with any questions.

E-mail 818-312-2685 cel.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Operation Gratitude - Donation Pick-Up

Thank you for this wonderful reminder for Operation Gratitude.

This is another program especially near and dear to my heart, besides obviously Scouting.

The reason for this is because my soon to be twenty year old daughter will be deploying to Iraq this November. She is an Army Paralegal attached to the 82nd Airborne. HOOH-AH!!

So I would like to offer my services to any Troop, Pack or Crew that needs their donated items transported to Operation Gratitude drop off site. Anyone can reach me at my e-mail address:

So if you think this is a worth while offer, then could you please send it throughout the Council. This is my way of doing my small part to those that are doing their large part for us!

Thanks again for all you do too! You are invaluable to us.

Robin Stekkinger
ASM Troop 1/AVA Crew 1
Crescent Bay District

October 18-19, 2008 - Catholic Counselor Training

There will be counselor training for BSA Catholic Religious Emblems for AD Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII October 18 & 19 2008 @ Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills.

Please contact Paul Seltzer for further information. (661) 251-7984 or

September 2008 - Troop 714 (Las Colinas) Eagle Project Help Needed

My name is Anthony Sansone and I am in Troop 714 of the Las Colinas District. I am refacing cabinets at Mason Park for my Eagle project. This involves stripping the old finish off of the existing cabinets, applying the new face, staining the cabinets, and sealing them. If it does not sound like that much work, I assure you that it is indeed. I AM IN DESPERATE NEED OF WORKERS. We will be working for the next 2, possibly 3, weekends. I cannot count on the same people to work every week, seeing as they have plans and jobs and what not as well as the fact that they will be physically exhausted. I was informed that you may be able to help me get some volunteers. If you could, that would be great.

Every Saturday we start at 8:00am, and on Sundays we start at 9:00am. I will need people to donate AT LEAST 2-3 hours of their time. More would be great, but 2-3 hours will help greatly. In addition, they need to be energetic, as this project requires a ton of physical work. Here is the address and my phone number in case you need to contact me:

10500 Mason Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

My Number:

September through November 2008 - High Adventure Team Training

Whether hiking, car camping or backpacking, the High Adventure Team will train you to take your Den, Pack, Patrol, Troop or Crew OUTDOORS! [Where the wild pods aren't]

For Cub leaders and car-camping Scouters, HAT offers Outing Leader in one six-hour session. We will teach you out to take out something besides egg rolls. We offer this on Saturday September 27th.

For the backpacking, Basic Backpacking will give you the hands-on training on your first trip out with the boys. Safely, efficiently and without a trace. October 18 indoor and then out to the great outdoor for an overnighter, under careful supervision, either LDS-friendly November 14 and 15, or regularly scheduled November 15-16th.

But, wait! There's more. Visit the HAT web site and check out the neat patches your adults and parents can earn. These are yours if you have the training.

Sign up today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 8 through December 21, 2008 - Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude is a great organization and fun way to earn community service hours. If twelve or over, you may help on packing days. If younger, you can collect items for donation or write letters to servicemen and women for inclusion in packages.
Try it; we loved it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

National Summertime Pack Award - Recruiters Strip

It is not too late for your Cubs to earn their National Summertime Pack Awards and for the pack to earn it, to receive their attractive, full-color certificate, and National Summertime Pack Award streamer for the pack flag.

Dens with at least 50 percent of their members at the three summertime activities receive a den participation ribbon. Check it out at

And look at how they have spiffed up the pins - there is a different color ring on the pin for each year, coordinated with the slide color! No more "I don't care, I got that pin last year!"

Check out the June 2008 and August 2008 issues of Baloo's Bugle for more details on the Summertime Pack Award! (I wonder when it stopped being the Summertime Fun Award?)

You can download the form with all the instructions and requirements from National's Website.

And when the summer is over, have all your Cubs go out and earn a Recruiter Strip

Since all packs are involved in recruiting, I thought it would be appropriate for September to remind you about an incentive award for boys to get their friend to join Scouting. See Pack Admin Helps for ideas for Spring Recruiting.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts may be awarded, and wear, below the right pocket on their uniforms.

Summer 2009 - Camp Whitsett Now Accepting Applications

We are now accepting Troop applications to attend Camp Whitsett 2009. I've already had numerous phone calls from units wishing to reserve and have registered quite a few of them. The 2009 Whitsett brochure, application, and Provisional Scout application form are available. If you could help me and display these at district meetings, roundtables, camp outs, etc., that would really help out. We'll have copies in the camping department and around the front desk. These forms are not on the website yet, but that will come very soon. We just want to get the word out early and get these troops scheduled. Thanks so much for your guy's help and if there was anyone else I should have sent this to, please be sure to forward it along.

Yours in Scouting,

Stephen Snowden
Camping Department
818-901-4887 (Fax)
16525 Sherman Way, #C-8
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Camp Josepho - Honor the Eagle Scout

Camp Josepho is instituting a wonderful new program. The Honor the Eagle Scout Program. You have the opportunity to obtain a beautiful plaque recognizing your, or anyone's, Eagle Scout. The plaque will be on a diamond shaped obelisk that will have an eagle sculpture like the one in front of the Anna Ruggieri Scout Center.

This obelisk and plaque will recognize the accomplishment of your Eagle Scout for a loooooooooooong time along with helping build classrooms needed so future Eagle Scouts will have a place to grow their wings. Check out the flyer and contact Vinnie Ruggieri for more information.