Friday, July 31, 2009

New rank requirements for 2010

The new Boy Scout Handbook comes out on August 11st, 2009.

The following rank requirements take effect on January 1st, 2010.


  • A Scout must teach another person how to tie a square knot using the EDGE model (explain, demonstrate, guide, and enable).
  • He must also be able to discuss four specific examples of how he lived the points of the Scout Law in his daily life.

Second Class

  • A Scout must discuss the principles of Leave No Trace and explain the factors to consider when choosing a patrol site and where to pitch a tent.
  • He must explain what respect is due the flag of the United States.
  • He must again discuss four examples of how he lived four different points of the Scout Law in his daily life.
  • He must earn an amount of money agreed upon by the Scout and his parents and save at least 50 percent of it.

First Class

  • An additional requirement to the 10 separate troop/patrol activities states he must demonstrate the principles of Leave No Trace on these outings.
  • He must discuss four more examples of how he lived the remaining four points of the Scout Law in his daily life.


  • A Scout must use the EDGE model to teach a younger Scout a specified skill.

Star, Life, and Eagle

  • Troop Webmaster and Leave No Trace trainer are two new leadership positions.

Yours in Scouting,
Glinda Fortner
Antelope Valley District Executive - Boy Scouts of America

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vista del Lago Water Exploration Badge

Take the plunge, earn a badge...

Overlooking Pyramid Lake off Interstate 5 in Gorman, California, is the California Department of Water Resources' premiere water information center Vista del Lago.

We are a non-profit water education resource center dedicated to educating the public about the role of water in our environment within California.

We are excited to offer our water education and conservation badge program entitled "The Water Wise Kid H20 Exploration Badge Program."

The goal of our program, through a guided tour, movies and interactive exhibits, is to create a greater awareness of water in our environment, and its contribution to the quality of our lives.

The program takes approximately two hours to complete, including the questionnaire, that is done on the honor system.

Our program is free-of-charge to all youth groups with children 6 years or older.

For more information on how your kids can earn a badge, please call (661) 294-0219.

We are open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Kathy M. Simmons
Vista del Lago Visitors Center
Outreach and Water Education Coordinator
(661) 294-0219

Scouting Magazine launches redesign

Magazine will introduce its most sweeping redesign in 12 years

Irving, TX, July 28, 2009 - Scouting, the Boy Scouts of America's publication for adult leaders, will debut an eye-catching, cover-to-cover redesign with the September-October 2009 issue.

The editors' goal is to publish articles that provide valuable "What's-In-It-For Me?" information for readers.

"Scouting's redesign puts an emphasis on columns and features that can make our volunteers become more effective leaders of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Ventures," said Scott Daniels, the magazine's managing editor. "Shorter articles, larger displays of photography and illustrations, and numerous informational graphics make the magazine an easier read and provide the BSA's 1 million volunteers the motivation to 'Lead, Inspire, Explore,' as characterized by the magazine's new tagline."

The magazine's graphic redesign is presented in four sections.

The first, called Trailhead, offers news and information about people and events, reviews of books or videos, humorous Scouting anecdotes, and topics of historical interest.

The next section, Roundtable, includes FAQ's about advancement, a column for merit badge counselors, and an interview with a veteran Scouter, titled "What I've Learned." Two other columns emphasize teaching ethics to youth and focus on adolescent boy behavior. "What Would You Do?" provides reader responses to a question posed by a unit volunteer.

Scouting's main features will continue to showcase the nation's finest unit, district, and council programs, as well as provide information on current topics that leaders can use in their dens, packs, troops, and crews.

Last but not least, Scouting delivers equipment reviews, guides for better camping, Dutch oven recipes, and tips on how to survive almost anything in a new back-of-the-book section - Outdoors.

The magazine will now publish five times a year instead of six.

All adult volunteers and professional Scouters receive the magazine as part of their registration fee. Issue dates are January-February, March-April, May-June, September-October, and November-December. The magazine's expanded web site offerings now include a weekday blog, Cracker Barrel, that further celebrates the fellowship of Scouters.

Demonstrating the BSA's environmental commitment, Scouting is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The SFI is dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. As a part of carrying the certification, Scouting adheres to a strict policy of environmental responsibility and will undergo annual surveillance audits as well as full certification against the SFI Standard every five years.

Award-winning Scouting is the BSA's indispensable publication for 1 million adult members. It strengthens these volunteers' abilities to better perform their leadership roles in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing, while reinforcing the organization's character- and values-based program for 2.2 million youth.

Monday, July 27, 2009

August 12, 2009 - Scout recruitment training

All Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs - both experienced and non-experienced in recruitment are invited.

  • Some of the top 50 methods of recruitment
  • Resources that you will have available for your usage
  • 7 questions that a new scout parent wants answered
  • Why and how you can get the application and payment on the first night they show up
  • Why you must have a working relationship with the troops/packs in your area

For any unit not able to attend and wanting the information, contact Glinda below to set an appointment.

Training date: August 12th 6:30 - 7:30 pm at the Antelope Valley Service Center. Questions and answers from 7:30 - 8:00 pm.

Please confirm your unit's attendance.

Yours in Scouting,
Glinda Fortner
Antelope Valley District Executive - Boy Scouts of America
42402 10th Street West, Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 942-0582
(661) 723-1450 fax
(661) 361-9118 cell

Boys' Life Happy Birthday BSA photo contest

What’s so special about February 2010? It’s the 100th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America!

The contest theme is "The Five Pillars of Scouting." Use your imagination and come up with a photograph or photographs that illustrate one or more of these important BSA values: Character, Leadership, Achievement, Outdoors and Community Service.

Each of the age categories - ages 6 to 11 and ages 12 to 17 - will have first, second and third place winners. Each first place winner receives a Canon PowerShot G10 digital camera worth $500. Second place wins a $200 iPod nano. Third place wins a $100 Scout Supply gift card. Winning photographs will be published in the February 2010 issue of Boys’ Life and on One photograph will appear on the cover of the February 2010 issue of Boys’ Life.

Tactile star charts

An astronomy project for your Scouts, a great way to participate in an art project and encourage interactions with persons with disabilities.

The charts are made with pearls on "velvet" (corduroy) so that they make a strong visual image, plus they can be read like Braille.

The FingerWorks

Mark Wanamaker
CIEC HAT Webmaster

August 29, 2009 - Soccer and Scouting tournament

Come out and support Soccer and Scouting 5th Annual Soccer Tournament at the Home Depot Center August 29, 2009!

$13.00 a ticket for grass seating
$18.00 a ticket for general seating

Yours in Scouting,
Liz Hernandez
Scoutreach coordinator
(818) 933-0128
Western Los Angeles County Council, BSA
16525 Sherman Way, C-8
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Saturday, July 25, 2009

September 11-13, 2009 - Section W4N Conclave

When: September 11-13, 2009
Where: Camp Verdugo Oaks, 38001 Golden State Hwy., Castaic, CA 91384
Who: Arrowmen of all ages from all over!
Why: To experience great fellowship and tons of fun
Cost: $57 ($35 for new Ordeal members)
How: Register online

August 4-8, 2010 - Post-Jamboree cruise and Kennedy Space Center tour

The event is ready to receive reservations. Wide promotion can begin at any time.

Yours in Scouting,

David Melton

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Year of Celebration patches available

Beginning August 5, patches and accompanying ribbons for A Year of Celebration, A Century of Making a Difference will be available from the Supply Division through National Scout Shops and Local Council Scout shop managers are encouraged to place their orders as soon as possible, so the patch and ribbons can be displayed leading up to the Year of Celebration kickoff on September 1!

Anyone can purchase the main patch emblem, but the ribbons must be earned. Ribbons should not be sold without an order form that people can print out once they've entered their achievements via the online form, which will be available on the web site beginning September 1st. A Webinar to explain the patch ordering system is scheduled for Friday, August 24 at 2 p.m. CDT. Register now!

The patch emblem will retail for $1.99. The ribbons will retail at $.39 each.

The order numbers are:

  • Emblem - 18155
  • Service Ribbon - 18161
  • Character Ribbon - 18162
  • Leadership Ribbon - 18163
  • Achievement Ribbon - 18164
  • Outdoors Ribbon - 18165

A great approach is to encourage units to purchase a patch for each Scout and leader - then earn the ribbons throughout the celebration year and present at unit meetings. All National Leadership Team members are encouraged to purchase a patch and earn their ribbons too! You'll also want to think of ways to invite Scouting alumni to participate.

You can download and share the patch requirements from the Year of Celebration page on the 100th Anniversary web site. For more information and additional resources, check out the Year of Celebration program toolkit on YourSource.

Bob Mersereau
National Director
100th Anniversary Celebration Project

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

November 21, 2009 - Childrens' Day

The San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs, and other sponsors, will have their Second Annual Children's Day on November 21, 2009. WLACC has been invited to participate again, perhaps with an even bigger presence than last year. Last year, we had an information booth, a Cub Craft booth next door, a Pinewood Derby display, and a Malibu Lodge Indian Village display. This year we could expand our presence possibly to include a booth for each of these programs: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Exploring, maybe camping/high adventure, maybe a pioneering display with a monkey bridge or what have you. The key to our success in having all of these venues is having an early commitment to lead the event and/or to serve booth duty and/or help with the activity zones. We had many, many volunteers last year and will need many again. As a result of our presence at Children's Day last year, we obtained more than 100 interest cards from potential scouts! That's enough to start 20 units of five boys or five units of twenty boys, or two units of 50 boys! Think of the exposure; think of the reward. Think of helping out!

David I. Karp
Relationships Chair
Western Los Angeles County Council

October 17, 2009 - Empowering Relatives - Strengthening Inter-Generational Bonds

California State University, Northridge, Department of Social Work and Grandparents As Parents are hosting their eighth annual conference entitled "Empowering Relatives – Strengthening Inter-Generational Bonds" on Saturday, October 17, 2009, all day. WLACC has been invited to have a display booth as a part of the Resource Fair, adjacent to the conference rooms of various workshops. Here, we may tell individuals about our programs. Last year we had a table display that allowed us to be visible in the community, generate good will, and offer information about how Scouting can be a resource to community organizations and to families for youth development. I will commit to attending and participating. I would enjoy having two to three others interested in the Membership function of our Council along with me. Also, or more information, please see their website.

David I. Karp
Relationships Chair
Western Los Angeles County Council

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

August 29-30, 2009 - Conejo Valley Relay For Life

Conejo Creek South Playfield (CV Days location)
10 am Saturday and Sunday
For more information call (805) 448-5675

Monday, July 20, 2009

ProSpeak - Digital edition

The first digital edition of ProSpeak is now available. ProSpeak is the newsletter put together for Scouting Professionals with "nuts and bolts" information. It will give you, the volunteers, the same information that we have about how to better make the program great for our kids. One of my favorite sections has been "Message from the Chief". Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive over the entire Boy Scouts of America, is always very reflective of how we want the Boy Scouts of America to be and has been very inspiring for me.

The July issue's main feature focuses on fall membership with insight into developing successful relationships for membership growth.

Other feature articles include a look at partnering with the Hispanic community to develop a yearly recruiting strategy and A Year of Celebration, which kicks off in September as part of the BSA's 100th Anniversary Celebration program.

August 22 to September 5, 2009 - Wilderness First Aid training

Venture Crew 283 is attending a 25-hour emergency first aid training session at the University of Antelope Valley, as one of the sign-offs for the Ranger program electives, and would love to have others participate as well. It will be 3 Saturdays (all day) Aug 22nd, 29th and Sep 5. The cost will be $60 per person. Venture Crew advisors, please contact one or both of the following ASAP:

Lorie Brown
Lisa Willocks (661) 726-1-911

Citizen Corps - Volunteer service to make communities safer

The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

The Citizen Corps mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils build on community strengths to implement the Citizen Corps programs and will carry out a local strategy to have every American participate.

Everyone can do something to help make our families and our communities safer through personal responsibility, training, and volunteer services.

Fire Corps - supporting fire and EMS services through community involvement

Community members can make a difference for their local fire and EMS department.

Fire Corps helps departments build more capacity by connecting them to community volunteers who can assist in a variety of non-emergency roles.

Explore the Fire Corps web site to learn more about Fire Corps, set up a Fire Corps program, find existing programs, and read about how community members and departments nationwide are benefiting from Fire Corps.

BoatUS Foundation courses - free

Boating education is a critical part of responsible boating. Since 1984, the BoatUS Foundation has been providing the Courseline as a free service to boaters, supplying information on boating safety courses offered around the nation via our toll-free number and this website.

Most of the courses in our database are instructed by volunteers. In some cases, a nominal fee may be collected to cover materials. Additionally, there are courses offered by participating state agencies and private course providers.

We hope you enjoy the new Courseline Online. If you have any questions or problems, please leave us a comment or call our Toll-Free Courseline at (800) 336-BOAT (2628).

You can also contact an instructor in your area to get information on arranging a Vessel Safety Check through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons!

If you'd prefer to take a boating safety course in the comfort of your own home or office, try out the Foundation's Free Online Boating Safety Course.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

August 8, 2009 - Free science fiction studio tour and movie screening

This program may offer opportunities to fulfill requirements to earn the Cinematography, Photography or Sculpture merit badges.

Saturday, August 8, 2009, 3 - 10pm

Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.
20100 Plummer St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Dan Brin - Chair, Cinema Heritage Project
(818) 348-8657

Cinema Heritage Project presents exclusive tours of special effects studio, plus movie screening and celebrity guests, on Aug. 8, 2009.

Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (ADI), an Academy Award-winning studio that builds aliens, monsters, beasts and costumes for Hollywood's greatest science fiction and fantasy films, will be the site of the Cinema Heritage Project's next presentation on Saturday, Aug. 8, in Chatsworth.

The free event will include the first public tours of the studio, where the creatures in the Alien, Predator and Tremors films were created. ADI also built the "bugs" in Starship Troopers, the beasts of Jumanji and Goro of Mortal Kombat, as well as costumes used in the Spider-Man films.

The ADI studio at 20100 Plummer St. (at Winnetka Avenue) includes a museum and a large workshop where its creations are built and displayed.

Reservations are required for the tours.

Tours last 30-40 minutes and start at 15 minute intervals between 3 and 5:30 p.m.

Cameras will not be allowed inside the studio.

July and August 2009 - Million Trees LA - Free 15-gallon trees to Los Angeles residents

Million Trees LA partners with The Home Depot and Crown Disposal to give away free trees to Los Angeles residents in July and August.

Residents of the City of Los Angeles can participate in the Million Trees LA program by adopting a free 15-gallon citrus tree courtesy of Crown Disposal at participating Home Depot locations citywide. Quantities are limited.

Each Saturday of July and August, trees may be picked up at no cost at select Home Depot stores where certified garden experts will be on site to help with planting tips and advice. Special deals on many gardening-related products will also be offered.

The Home Depot
6345 Variel Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

For more dates and locations, please visit the Million Trees LA web site or call (213) 473-9950.

July 27-31 and August 10-14, 2009 - Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Academy

This program may offer opportunities to fulfill requirements to earn the Aviation merit badge.

Los Angeles World Airports' Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Academy is a free week-long motivational program designed to provide students with the basic understanding of career opportunities within the aviation industry, as well as general knowledge about Van Nuys Airport (VNY).

The program is open to all San Fernando Valley middle and high school students. Applications from students in other Los Angeles communities will be accepted, but priority will be given to students in the neighboring area of Van Nuys Airport.

  • July 27 - July 31, 2009 (Middle School, 6th-8th grade)
  • August 10 - August 14, 2009 (High School, 9th-12th grade)

It's free!

Past activities included tours of North Valley Occupational Center (aircraft mechanics school), city helicopter center and aviation companies specializing in medical emergency and corporate flight operations. Field trips to Los Angeles International Airport, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the L.A. County Sheriff's Helicopter Unit and the Alteon Boeing Company in Long Beach were a few of the locations where students experienced both cabin and flight simulators.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mannequin wanted

Troop 431 is looking to borrow a Boy Scout size mannequin, that the Troop can dress in a vintage 431 uniform, that can be used as a prop for an upcoming reunion banquet. Troop 431 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It began in April 1959. Anybody with such a mannequin, please contact:

Joe Maggio, Assistant Scoutmaster
(818) 782-2075


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Outdoor Channel has selected WLACC for upcoming episodes of "Scouting for Adventure"


We are proud to announce that the Outdoor Channel has selected Western LA County Council as the location for upcoming episodes of their series "Scouting for Adventure."

Several episodes were filmed locally during the spring and summer 2009 seasons, including one at the Bill Hart Camporee at Lake Castaic. Additionally, a series of shows were filmed at majestic Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island.

This is a great tribute to the excellent outdoor programs offered by the Western LA Council. Enjoy!

Jim Rushton
Scout Executive

P.S. Look for a full version of ETrails on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, and contact editor Romy Longwell if you have newsworthy items for inclusion in the upcoming issue.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Youth Program Directory

Hi Folks,

The Reseda Neighborhood Council Youth Advocacy Committee is assembling information about programs and organizations that work with kids of all ages.

The aim is to provide a guide to the parents of Reseda that gives them all the options for keeping the youth of our community busy and not participating in gang activities.

The parameters that we wish to include are:

  • Name of activity
  • Type of activity (art, sport, education, service, family, etc.)
  • Location
  • Sponsoring organization
  • Days and times (after school, weekends, vacations)
  • Contact information (person, telephone, email, website)
  • Cost (free, fee, fee with scholarship based on income)

If you know of a program or activity that should be in the directory and can be distributed at the many schools and youth activities in our community, please send the info as soon as possible.

Don't let the 20,000 plus copies of this directory go out leaving any activity out.

Garth Carlson
(818) 419-2513

Reseda Neighborhood Council
(818) 832-7540

Coin World panel recommends Boy Scout dollar designs

Commission of Fine Arts members June 18 favored two obverse designs and one reverse design for the 2010 commemorative silver dollar marking the centennial anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.