Monday, November 30, 2009

Troop 431 Holiday Wreath Fundraiser

Add some sparkle to your holidays this year with a fresh holiday wreath handmade by the Scouts of Troop 431.

These beautiful wreaths will be sold for
  • Large $25
  • Small $20
Buy now while supplies last!

For purchase please contact:
  • Lorena Bell (818) 648-3809
  • Angela Estany (818) 681-7232
Thank you for your support!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

January 3-14, 2012 - 15th Australian Venture

For those of you with an adventurous spirit, below is a little information on a Jamboree type event in Australia! Bruce is an Australian Scoutmaster I met at a recent Scout meeting. If you are interested in finding out further information email him at - from the sound of it, this would be the adventure of a lifetime. -paul

The Jamboree I was talking to the Troop about was/is the 15th Australian Venture in Tasmania in January 2012. The website is up now - I've just been looking at it, and there is some preliminary info available.

As you will remember I was raising a challenge for the older Scouts (to 12+ YOs) to consider coming to Australia in 2012 for the Venture. Wwe do have an Australian Jamboree on this Christmas, and the promo video is pretty good.

However in Aus, Scouts are 11 - 14 and a bit. So when we get to Venturer age (14 plus) Jamborees are a little different. OK, different name (Venture) but different structure. In a Jamboree troops are combined into a formal standing camp structure, gadgets, tents, archways, construction, taking care of your own cooking etc.

Ventures are different, Units are combined by their activities, so you arrive in Australia and go to the camp site (presuming you haven't joined a state contingent for a pre tour or have organised your own - and if you want some information on what's involved in that I can connect you to Gary our last Contingent Leader, who is currently running the Australian contingent to the New Zealand Venture this Christmas). Join your Venture Unit (combined by what major activity you elect to do, so, as my interest is Scuba, so I'm usually running a learn to Scuba Dive unit) get to know the 24 or so Venturers and leaders (2 leaders) and then you will go off site to where ever that activity will be based (hiking, biking, 4 wheel expeditions, horse expeditions, beach bums, surfing, diving, you name it it's probably offered). For a week or so you will be there, then you will return to the main camp site for a week on site. By that time you will have made a lot of friends, and will stay with your venture unit for the second week, but have access to the rest of the 1000 or so people involved in the venture as well.

It's all catered, we don't do our own cooking, it's far more like an adventure camp filled with Scouts than a Scout camp adventuring. On site there are usually at least 2 off site activity days (movies, swimming pool, day trips or activities - on my last trip an extra day scuba diving) as well as a leaders day out. On site there are discos, movies, laser skirmish, mud wrestling, abseiling (our word for rappelling), climbing walls, and all sorts of other activities - none of which appear to include much sleep.

My experience is you arrive, go solidly for 2 or 3 weeks then travel home and sleep on the plane. Coming home last January was bliss, not one awake Venturer in the whole aircraft (and we had all of it except 1st class.) Then spend the next 6 months or so following up on e-mails etc. In Australia some of the activities can count towards our version of Eagle Scout (Queens Scout), so it is possible that your local Council may allow such things as well. Australia also has a special belt buckle for Scouts who travel overseas and get involved in overseas programs, which may also happen in the US.

Bruce Ellis
Assistant Branch Commissioner
Victorian Venturer Scouts

Bottom line is I'm sure we it would be possible to organise to fit a few extras into one of the state contingents (maybe even ours), or if we have a few, and a leader with them, we can create an official US contingent, and be a bit more formal about the whole thing. If there is any interest I can relay that to the organising committee in Tasmania and they can connect any other US people together, or we can do something from here (probably via my good friend and champion organiser Gary).

Whichever way it goes, I'm absolutely sure we can promise anyone who wants to come the trip of a life time, Tasmania is one of the truly pristine places in the world (for example the freshest water in the world comes from there) and there are places where hardly anyone has ever been, let alone visits regularly. To the point that there are probably Tasmanian Tigers (thylacines) still in existence over there that are suspected but totally unproved, and are likely to stay that way in my life time.

And that's "only" Tasmania, coming from California, you'd have to come through Melbourne (near my home) or Sydney, and a short stay there should really add to the experience (ask Brad Smith).

A huge challenge to the Troop

Operation Gratitude

Help Operation Gratitude ship their 500,000th care package to bring the holidays to our troops overseas.

Join Operation Gratitude on Saturday, Dec. 19 at their headquarters in Van Nuys.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Scouting for Food

To all Balboa Oaks District Scouts and Leaders:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. You all deserve congratulations, especially for Packs and Troops who participated in the Scouting for Food drive. We had a successful event and we collected a total of 5,456 lbs., which has been distributed to six different pantry locations in the Valley. Your volunteer effort is a service to Good Turn for America and makes the lives of those in need for food in the Thanksgiving time a blessing.

On behalf of the Scouting for Food committee and myself we say Great Scouting and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sami Dahdal
Balboa Oaks District
Scouting for Food Chairman

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December 10, 2009 - Nationwide 100th Anniversary Kick-Off Rally

Join Our Nationwide 100th Anniversary Kick-Off Rally!

Just one month to go!

The year we celebrate our centennial and begin our next century of service.

One of the most exciting moments in our history.

To jump start the celebration, we're bringing together Scouting enthusiasts from coast-to-coast for a nationwide 100th Anniversary Kick-Off Rally. Hosted by AT&T CEO and Chairman and 100th Anniversary Chair Randall Stephenson, National President John Gottschalk, National Commissioner Tico Perez, and me, Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, we'll recognize your important role and the difference you make - every day. Through this live audiocast, we'll share important information about how you can be part of the 100th Anniversary. We'll also answer some of your questions (submitted in advance through the link below). Our goal is to rally more than a quarter of a million Scouting enthusiasts - the largest single gathering of its kind in BSA history.

What: 100th Anniversary Kick-Off Audiocast Rally
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2009
Time: 5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Pacific
How: RSVP by clicking on "100th Anniversary Kick-Off Rally" at - that's also where you'll find the link to the audiocast on December 10th.

You are the reason this great movement works - the passionate supporters and boots on the ground serving youth across America. The 100th Anniversary celebration is meant to inspire, excite, and engage the entire Scouting family. Join us as we embark upon this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Save the date! And tune in on December 10th.

In memory: Hoyt Pardee, 1918 - 2009

Donations in memory of Hoyt can be made to:
Salk Institute for Pancreatic Cancer Research
P.O. Box 85800
San Diego, CA 92186-5800

(November 24, 2009)

It is with much sadness that I inform you of the passing of long time board member Hoyt Pardee who died yesterday.

Mr. Pardee was the founder of the Pardee Scout Golf Classic and the Hoyt S. Pardee Eagle Scholarship. Hoyt was an Eagle Scout and has also been awarded the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to Scouting in the Western Los Angeles County Council.

Please remember Hoyt and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Congrats and Thanks re Children's Day

Today was a successful day for the Children's Day program in general and for Western Los Angeles County Council in particular.

First, congratulations and thanks to Chaplain Ken Crawford, Chief Chaplain of the Los Angeles Police Department, Leader of the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs, and friend to Scouting. It was through our relationship with Chaplain Crawford that WLACC had such a tremendous presence today.

Next, thanks to the many Professionals, Volunteers and Scouts from our Council who made our presence well known through the day:

Scouts and Scouters were everywhere today at Woodley Park, from the food vending area, to the Pioneering and Pinewood Derby Displays, to the four display booths, to the parade, to the random Cub Kart kids who rode all around.

Western Los Angeles County Council gathered interest cards from more than 57 families, which translates to probably more than 80 boys interested in our programs.

80 boys translates to
  • four Cub Packs or Boy Scout Troops of 20 each
  • ten dens or patrols of eight scouts each
  • a Blue and Gold Dinner serving 350 or more people (including scouts and families)
  • etc. (you can figure this out).

We also made hundreds of children happy today in addition, with crafts at the Cub Booth, beads at the OA area, car races at the PWD display, and with many, many young people crossing the Pioneering Display's monkey bridge.

Western Los Angeles County Council served not only its own interests in potential member growth and visibility in the community, but also assisted to achieve the goals of the sponsor organization, the Coalition on Gangs, providing positive role models for youth who might otherwise fail to develop good character and citizenship.

Some of you might know that I will be retiring from the role as Council Relationships Chair at the end of the year. I can't tell you how proud I am that this Children's Day event was a success for the council, and a great finale for me.

Thanks again to everyone for going above and beyond to make this the grand success for the day, for the future, for our council, and for our community.

Yours in Scouting,

David I. Karp

Friday, November 20, 2009

January 15-17, 2010 - Troop 431 Webelos Weekend

Come see all the great things about Troop 431 at our Webelos Weekend Adventure!

When: January 15-17, 2010
Where: Point Mugu, Sycamore Canyon, La Jolla Group Site

Scouts - Wonder what thrills and excitement await you in Boy Scouts?
Parents - Got Questions about Boy Scouts?
Come find out - now is your chance!

Our Webelos Weekend is designed for Webelos on the verge of joining Boy Scouts and their parents.

This weekend will:
  • show all the fun things that Scouting has to offer,
  • show how Boy Scouts works differently than Cub Scouts, and
  • give an opportunity to meet other Boy Scouts and Scout parents.

RSVP or questions please call (old Scoutmaster's information removed by request)

Orientation meeting for Webelos Weekend
When: January 11th at 7pm
Where: St. Bridget’s Catholic Church - 7100 Whitaker Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Scuba Diving merit badge

The Boy Scouts of America is pleased to announce the release of the Scuba Diving merit badge. The official earn date of this merit badge is December 1, 2009. Pamphlets are in the NDC and available for local council service center and orders - just in time for Christmas!

The first new merit badge in over three years, Scuba Diving reflects the new direction of BSA to develop merit badges based on youth/Scout input to assure relevance and excitement around the merit badge offering. This merit badge, developed in association with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), leverages our spirit of outdoor adventure and expands our aquatics offering. More than 84 percent of Scouts surveyed were interested in the merit badge and recommended that BSA adopt it.

Key facts you need to know about the merit badge are as follows:

  • Completing the Scuba Diving merit badge will result in the boy achieving an open water certification enabling him to dive around the world with the appropriate supervision, based on his age.
  • There are two important roles for this merit badge - the merit badge counselor and a certified dive instructor.
    • Sometimes this may be the same person.
    • More likely, the counselor will be an existing BSA adult member.
    • Always the instructor will be one certified by one of a number of instructional agencies.
    • The instructor does not have to be a BSA member.
  • Earning the Scuba Diving merit badge is open to all Boy Scout-age youth. There are, however, limitations based on age with respect to how deep and with whom a boy can dive. These limitations vary by certifying organization.
  • Completion of the Swimming merit badge is a requirement of the merit badge and must be completed prior to entering into scuba training portion of the requirements.
  • Boys with a current open water certification will not have to recertify in order to earn the merit badge. They will, however, have to have completed the Swimming merit badge, present their certification to the merit badge counselor and complete all the other requirements.
  • There are three important pieces of information which must be fully reviewed by the merit badge counselor prior to approving any Scout for the merit badge: the merit badge requirements, the notes to counselor and the scuba policy of the Guide to Safe Scouting.

December 6, 2009 - 26th Annual Granada Hills Holiday Parade

A great Valley tradition continues at the 26th Annual Granada Hills Holiday Parade, Sunday, Dec. 6 in Granada Hills Village.

The theme for this year's holiday parade is "Holidays of the Sixties."

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1:30 pm
Chatsworth St. (between Petit St. and Zelzah Ave.)

Over 4,000 youth participants representing 150 entries will march down Chatsworth St. in the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce's annual parade.

There will be music, food, games, booths and more.

For more information call (818) 368-3235 or visit the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce web site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Leadership Team Update

Today we gathered to unveil the artwork for the 2010 Celebrate Scouting stamp issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The design, created by Craig Frazier of Mill Valley, Calif., depicts the spirit and outdoor adventure of Scouting through a backpacking Scout and a large silhouette of a Scout surveying the landscape. The stamp, which will become available next summer, was championed by U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions and supported by a bi-partisan group of more than 300 Congressional members.

In conjunction with the announcement, we launched a new nationwide campaign. We're encouraging Scouts to send letters and care packages to veterans and military men and women serving overseas - to remind them of our support and gratitude for their service.

To make it easy, we've created an online toolkit for individuals and units. Please use these guides to ensure this is a fun, safe, and thoughtful activity for our youth:

By the time the stamp is issued next summer, let's make sure everyone knows about it! We've put a modern twist on the tradition of the stamp. As an awareness tool, you can add a Celebrate Scouting stamp to your e-mails. Learn more about all that we're doing on the 100th Anniversary Web site.

Thank you to the Scouts and Scouters of the Baltimore Area Council and National Capital Area Council that helped us launch this important initiative. We know that our service men and women will love reading your letters.

The celebration has begun!

Bob Mersereau
National Director
100th Anniversary Celebration Project

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2010 Rose Parade floats

The 2010 Rose Parade floats need your help!

Want bragging rights on New Year's Day? Then come make lifelong memories with us and help decorate some of the most incredible floats in the Rose Parade!

Here's what you need to know:

  1. All first time participants are encouraged to come to at least one prep day (aka dry day). The available dates are 11/14, 11/15, 12/05, 12/06, & 12/13. All scouts, families, and friends who are 4th grade or older are welcome on these days.
  2. Scouts age 12 and older, their families, and friends (who are also age 12 and older) may come for the floral decorating from Dec 26 - Dec 30th. Two shifts available! 8am - 4pm and 4pm - 11pm. Jobs range from cutting roses, preparing dry materials, and applying dry materials (seeds, etc) and floral materials directly to the float!
  3. December 26th is a great day to come if it's your first time - and you'll have the best bet of getting to work directly on the float on that day.
  4. Your troop can earn money doing this!

Event location is in Irwindale (not the Rose Bowl) for all days.

National Hall of Leadership

A review of the Western Los Angeles County Council's nominees for the National Hall of Leadership shows many outstanding nominees. If the nominations were closed today we could be proud of the person selected by National as our Council's representative to the National Hall of Leadership.

However... I know there are many more individuals that deserve to be nominated.

Who do you know that fits this picture? Now go to the web site above and nominate them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

February 14, 2010 - Harlem Globetrotters

Troop 513 (Santa Clarita) invites you to

Harlem Globetrotters
February 14, 2010 at 10 am
Staples Center

Group will meet at the 11th Street main entrance (by Magic Johnson statue)

You and your friends won't want to miss one magical moment of the Harlem Globetrotters' legendary high flying, non-stop fun and excitement!

The actual game starts at 1 pm. However, our group is invited to a very special and exclusive session of Globetrotter University at 11 am. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from some of the world-class athletes. It is interactive and they request some of the guests to go to the Court and play with them. There will also be picture-taking opportunities with the Globetrotters after the University session. This is not mandatory, but it will be fun for everyone to participate in.

I brought almost 600 guests with me last February 2009 and we all had a great time! Scouts and their guests will also receive a commemorative Globetrotter Scout Patch.

Cost is only $32.00 per scout/adult (includes processing/handling/convenience/facility fees charged by Staples Center for every ticket). This does not include food or parking. Carpooling is the best way to go!

Great seats (Floor/VIP Premier) are available to my group on a first-pay, first-served basis! (I have a very strong relationship with the Staples Center)

If you are going as a Troop/Pack group - you need to obtain a Tour Permit and email me a copy. No exceptions, please - or I will not issue tickets.

These awesome tickets will make great gifts for the holidays or for Valentine's Day!

RSVP to Jocelyn Reyes at

Once reservation is confirmed via email, tickets are non-cancellable/non-refundable and would have to be paid even if you are unable to attend the event. Thanks for understanding!

Seats will be assigned when your payment is received! Don't wait until the last minute to take advantage of the great seats I have!

Payment via PayPal is now accepted and preferred, ~ for faster and more efficient tracking of payments sent/received! Please use when paying via PayPal (choose Personal option, then Payment Owed - this process avoids PayPal fees)

Or please make checks payable to Jocelyn Reyes and mail to:

Jocelyn Reyes - Harlem
23062 Conde Dr.
Valencia, CA 91354

Tickets will be distributed on February 14th, 2010 by the Magic Johnson statue at the 11th Street entrance from 10:00 to 10:30 am.

I will be sending more detailed info to all participants, including consent forms, by January 31st, 2010.

Cut-off date for ticket sales will be February 4th, 2010. All payments have to be in my hand by this date.

And remember: The Globetrotter University and the Commemorative Patch are exclusive offers to my group.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

December 5, 2009 - Las Colinas District Training

Saturday, Dec 5th, 2009
8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
at WLACC Office
16525 Sherman Way, C-8, Van Nuys, CA 91406
(Sherman Way and Hayvenhurst - behind Denny's)

Who should attend: Scout Leaders, Troop/Pack Committee Members, Cub Scout Leaders

Courses offered

  • This Is Scouting (8:00 - 11:30 AM)
  • Cub Leader Specific (1:00 - 4:30 PM)
  • Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Specific (1:00 - 5:00 PM)
  • Venture Leader Specific (1:00 – 4:30 PM)
  • Troop Committee Challenge (8:00 - 11:30 AM)
  • On-Line Recharter, Advancements and Tour Permits (8:00 – 11:30 AM)

Cost: $5.00 donation per course

Wear your Class A uniform if you have one - come anyway if you don't.

Please pre-register no later than Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009! If not, register at the training.

Questions: John Overton at or (818) 620-1001

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blood donation for Scout

One of our Webelos II in Pack 727, Timothy Lee, is in desperate need of Type O blood donation and platelets to survive. We are asking for your help to spread the news throughout the BSA organization in southern California for Timothy.

Below is an email from his parents detailing his condition and how to donate both platelets and blood at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. In essence, Timothy has been in coma and requires three bags of platelets daily to survive. Platelets can only last for five days once drawn so a constant flow of donation is imperative. It takes about two hours for the donation and anyone, regardless of blood type, can donate platelets. However, due to the limited amount of equipment available at the hospital, donors must call to make an appointment.

Thank you very much for sending the information out. I will call you soon to answer any question you may have, or please feel free to call me at (626) 383-3958. Your assistance is much appreciated.

Natalie Wen

Hi Julie:

Timothy was diagnostic with ITP, which is a immune system condition with blood clotting issue, in July 2008. Recently, the issue has progressed. While being in-hospitalized at Children Hospital Los Angeles for two weeks, it took the worse turn as bleeding occurs in his brain, right frontal lobe. Emergency operation was performed to remove his spleen, attempt to quickly restore his blood plate count, for the life saving neurosurgery. However, the neurosurgery was not exactly a "success" as there were too much bleeding going on during the operation...

As he remains in the critical condition, We need lots of prayers for our son as his future is in god's hand. We are thankful for everyone who has being extremely thoughtful and caring with Tim's medical situation.

As Tim fights on for his right to survive, he requires continue and steady supply of blood plate. For detail blood plate donation process, please refer to the following link:

Please find it in your heart and help my boy, Timothy Lee, by contact and schedule appointment for donation at.

Children Hospital Los Angeles
Blood Donation center
4650 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Contact Name: George Merida

Tel: 323-361-2370
Tel: 323-361-2441

Please indicate that blood-plate donation is reserved for

Timothy Lee
Patient number: 1722652

Thank You

Alan, Maggie, and Timothy Lee

Monday, November 2, 2009

December 16, 2009 - Jamboree Troop 829 fundraiser

National Jamboree Troop 829 invites you to an awesome Family Holiday Party.
Four hours of unlimited Mountasia fun
December 16, 6-10 pm.

Mountasia Family Fun Center
21516 Golden Triangle Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Learning for Life essay contest

Learning for Life is running an essay contest with cash prizes and we would really like it if you would encouraging your young people in your life to enter.

This contest is open to all students K-12, both boys and girls, in the greater Los Angeles area. Deadline is November 15, 2009.

This is a great contest in that grammar, spelling, and punctuation are not counted towards the score. What is important is the thought you put in to the essay. Write from the heart!

For additional information please call Brenda Bradford @ (818) 933-0121

Learning for Life is the sister program to the Boy Scouts of America. They are an in classroom programs that focus on character development and career education. It also helps youth develop social and life skills, formulate positive personal values, and it prepares the youth to make ethical decisions that will help them achieve their full potential.