Friday, December 28, 2012

January 27, 2013 - Computer Merit Badge class

Computer Merit Badge Class
Sunday, January 27th, 4 pm to about 6 pm
at the Microsoft Store in Century City

This class will be taught by Microsoft store personnel along with Hal Schloss, Scoutmaster of Troop 360.

Limited space is available, so one must sign up in advance.

The presentation and discussion will cover the "discuss/explain" aspects of the merit badge. Scouts are expected to complete the merit badge that day and will need to bring the files required to fulfill requirements 6 and 7, and will have researched requirement 9 ahead of time.

While prerequisite files can be prepared on any computer, only those that are compatible with Microsoft Windows can be displayed using the equipment provided by the store. So if using a Macintosh or other non-Windows computer, please either convert the files to a Windows compatible format prior to the class, or bring a laptop/notebook to the class that can be used to display the files. Files compatible with Windows systems can be brought on a thumb drive for use with the store's computers or displayed on the Scout's laptop/notebook.

All Scouts should be in Class A uniform.

All Scouts will need to bring Blue Cards signed by their Scoutmaster.

To sign up, or if you have any questions, please send e-mail to or call (310) 559-9638

Yours in Scouting,

Faith Denis
Registrar / Customer Service Manager

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

January 26, 2013 - Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow / University of Scouting - Instructors needed

Do you have a special way of running your meetings or events?
Are you really good at managing boy behavior?
Does your unit have special events that are not usually promoted in the Scouting world?
Does your unit committee run exceptionally well?
Do you like to do really fun and amazing things with your Scouts?
Do you have a special skill?

If you have said yes to any of these questions and you would like to share your knowledge with others for the benefit of Scouting, then we want to hear from you!

The 2013 Pow Wow / University of Scouting Team is looking for instructors. Please email us at

The event will take place on Saturday January 26, 2013. We look forward to hearing from you!

Laurel Lofland
Co-Committee Chair

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In memory: Neil Ferguson

It is with great sadness I share the news of the passing of Neil Ferguson. Neil had served as a District Chairman and a District Commissioner for the old Stony Point and West Valley Districts as well as a Commissioner for Balboa Oaks District.

The memorial service will be Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the
First Baptist Church of Canoga Park
20553 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91306

Thank you,

Christine Demmitt

Friday, November 30, 2012

December 7-8, 2012 - Order of the Arrow Winter Ordeal

To all members of Achoicominga OA,

Just a reminder that the Winter Ordeal is coming up on December 7th weekend. Our chapter is co-hosting it. We do need members to show up and help. We do have a couple of candidates from our chapter going through their Ordeal. We need to show our support of them. This is a Friday to Saturday night event.

There will also be a Brotherhood ceremony for those that are eligible for Brotherhood. It will take place on Saturday around 4 to 6 pm. If you've been a member more than 10 months, then you have fulfilled the tenure part of the qualifications. You should read your OA handbook on the topic of Brotherhood to learn about the other items to know. Some of you have paid, but never went through your Brotherhood ceremony. Well, this is your opportunity. Hope to see you there.

Frank Casias
Achoicominga Associate Advisor

Thursday, November 29, 2012

December 8, 2012 - Troop 10 Family Ice Skating

All Webelos are invited to join our Troop for a fun afternoon!

Saturday, December 8
2 pm - 4 pm

Easy Street Arena
Simi Valley


Please RSVP by Monday Dec 3rd.

RSVP: or

December 1 and 8, 2012 - Ken Leonard Aquino's Eagle Scout Project

I will be leading my Eagle Scout Service Project on:

Saturday 12/1/2012 and the next Saturday 12/8/12
from 8 am to 1 pm

The Eagle Scout Service Project will take place at:

Cleveland High School
8140 Vanalden Avenue
Reseda, CA 91335

I will be leading a beautification project which is upgrading of the outdoor lounge and garden of the Special Education Office for the students and staff of Cleveland High School. Specifically, we will excavate/remove the dirt and transport it to other campus location.  Put concrete in the place of the dirt. We will remove and salvage the old wooden bench. We will also remove the weeds, dead plants and dried leaves. We will be installing a new metal bench, as well as putting edging stone near the garden. This Eagle Project will require a lot of work and manpower if my project is to be complete in two days. That is why I'm asking all who would like to assist me in completing this part of my project. If you would like more information you can reach me at these sources.

Please bring tools for gardening and concreting.

Thank you in advance for coming, each person who helps can truly make a difference for the students at Cleveland High School.

Ken Leonard Aquino
cell (818) 644-5360 or (818) 422-1343

Thursday, November 8, 2012

P.R.A.Y. update

Find out how your council is doing!

Hey R.E.C.'s! If you haven't noticed already, PRAY's Third Quarter Usage Reports are posted online. We provide your council's YTD totals, usage by quarter, also a listing by rank, and the honor roll recognizing those councils who have 50 or more recipients and a 10% or greater increase in usage. We would like to highlight the Chattahoochee Council in Columbus, GA which is one of our honor roll councils which had a 79% growth and passed the 100 recipient milestone for the very first time! Congratulations!

Please note that the usage reports on the PRAY website contain only the data for the Protestant Christian program.

Membership in Faith Based Units Increased 16 out of 17 Months

BSA membership in Faith Based Units has shown growth in 16 out of the last 17 months. Research shows that units have greater retention and advancement in faith based units, which led to the Faith Based Initiative.

Recognize Your Adult Leaders

Boy Scout Sunday is coming up quickly. Plan now to recognize your adult leaders with an Adult Religious Recognition. The adult recognitions are by nomination only. Encourage your adult volunteers with one of these prestigious recognitions!

New "Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator" Position

PRAY hosted the first training opportunities last month for the new "Unit R.E.C." position. Chip Turner was the presenter and covered the resources, responsibilities, and strategies for the Unit R.E.C.

PRAY Learning Center Announces New Webinars

Upcoming Webinars include:

  • REC's Leading Religious Emblems/ Duty to God Courses for University of Scouting / Pow Wow, etc. - The How To's and Content for Leading an Hour-Long Session at Council and District Training Events
  • Planning and Conducting a Duty to God Encampment (Including On-line Planning Tools and Templates) - Presentation by John Lyons, Council REC and Experienced Leader of Atlanta Area Council Duty to God Encampment

Visit the Learning Center to sign up!

Support P.R.A.Y.'s Mission

P.R.A.Y. is known for "Building Faith in Youth." We promote religious emblems and collaborations between the Scouting program and the faith community. If you have benefited from P.R.A.Y. and our free resources online, please consider becoming a Friend of P.R.A.Y. by making a financial gift. P.R.A.Y. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your gifts are tax deductible.

Please note that our secure website will ask you to create an account with your email and password of your choice. You may use MasterCard, Visa, or Discover. If you prefer, donations payable to "P.R.A.Y." may be mailed to 11123 S. Towne Square, Ste. B, St. Louis, MO 63123.

Thank you for your support!

New President of PRAY Board is BSA Volunteer

Rev. Dr. William Kenneth Lyons, Jr. was elected President of the PRAY National Board of Directors at the PRAY Annual Meeting held September 2012. Ken is a retired pastor with the United Methodist Church and has extensive experience with the PRAY program. He is a member of the Baltimore Area Council, BSA and is active on the Interfaith Committee. Ken has served on the PRAY Board since 2009. We look forward to his leadership!

American Heritage Girls

Did you notice the article on page 12 in the November/December issue of Scouting Magazine? It featured the AHG and the Memorandum of Mutual Support it has with the BSA.

Other Resources from PRAY

11123 S. Towne Sq. Ste B, St. Louis, MO, 63123

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vinnie Ruggieri Annual Toy Drive

Dear Scouting Leaders,

I hope this message finds you well!

Many of you knew our good friend Vinnie Ruggieri. For those of you who didn't have the pleasure, allow me to share a little about this exceptional human being.

Vinnie was a man who was devoted to his family, his friends, his belief in God and to the Scouting movement. He was a generous individual who gave of himself and of his wealth to help make a difference in people's lives.

Vinnie passed away suddenly in August of 2011. He continues to be missed.

The holiday season was Vinnie's favorite time of the year. Each December, Vinnie would call his friends and take them on a shopping spree purchasing toys for disadvantaged children. He was the generous Secret Santa who made the season bright for hundreds of children.

Earlier this year, we decided to try to keep the Vinnie Ruggieri holiday spirit alive. With that in mind, we are announcing the 1st Annual Vinnie Ruggieri Holiday Toy Drive.

Here are the details:

  1. We ask all Scouting units to ask their members to donate an unwrapped toy to the drive during November.
  2. We ask that these toys be dropped off at one of our four service center locations: Antelope Valley, Bill Hart, Westside, or Van Nuys. We ask that the gifts be dropped off between December 5-7, 2012.
  3. These gifts will be picked up by our own Law Enforcement and Fire Explorers and delivered to the various Law Enforcement and Fire Stations to support their overall toy drive.
  4. If your unit wishes to support a different toy drive in your community, that's okay.
  5. We ask participating units to e-mail the following information to the toy advisor Brenda Bradford at
    • Unit #
    • Unit type (Troop, Pack, Team, Crew)
    • Number of youth participating from your unit
    • Number of toys collected
  6. All participating members will receive a commemorative patch. In addition, each unit will receive a participation ribbon and certificate.

Scouting has helped other people at all times for over 100 years. This is yet one more way to make a difference while honoring a great individual, Vinnie Ruggieri.

Many thanks!

Jim Rushton,
Scout Executive
Western Los Angeles County Council
Boy Scouts of America

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

March 9, 2013 - Bear Mountain annual Snow Sports Merit Badge Day

Bear Mountain's annual Scout Merit Badge Day will take place at Bear Mountain, Saturday, March 9, 2013. If you have any Scouts working toward their Snow Sports Merit Badge, this is an opportunity to demonstrate their skiing or snowboarding abilities to a Snow Sports Merit Badge Counselor at our lowest rates of the season!

If you have any Scouts working towards earning their Snow Sports Merit Badge, then this would be the perfect time to participate. There is no minimum amount of participants to qualify for this event. Parents and siblings are welcome to take advantage of the discounted rates.

Your troop will receive discounts on lift tickets, rental equipment and lessons. Plus, with each block of twenty lift tickets purchased, your group receives the 21st free. Also, we offer a way to help easily coordinate a lunch for your troop with Value Priced Food Vouchers which can be purchased with your order for $10.00 (redeemable for $13.00) or $12.00 per person (redeemable for $16.00). Your troop can still enjoy a lunch together or have the opportunity to choose where and when they eat.

We understand the amount of time and effort that is involved in planning a group outing, and appreciate all of your hard work. Getting an early start can be extremely helpful to your efforts. Here are the forms you will need to set up your group trip. Please take the time to read the Group Sales Guidelines as this will explain the Group procedures to assist in your trip planning and will provide answers to some questions you might have.

New this season: Electronic Waivers. The online system will make gathering waivers for the members of your group easier. You will be assigned a login number /name for your group. This will allow you to manage (add/edit/email/text) the members of your party; see who has completed their waiver and those who need some prompting. This new system makes it more convenient for parents/guardian to sign liability waivers in advance for their children 17 and under. And it will be less hectic for the leader and streamline your group check in.

We are still in the process of getting the Electronic waivers implemented. Once it is up and running, someone from the sales department will contact you with the login.

We are excited to have you visit us this upcoming season. The Sales Department will make our best efforts to help you plan a successful and fun-filled day at the slopes.

Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to working with you.

Have a nice day.

Karri McDonald
Sales Coordinator
Big Bear Mountain Resorts
Snow Summit/Bear Mountain
P. O. Box 77
43101 Goldmine Dr
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 584-0220
(909) 584-0286 fax

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Outing report: Sage Ranch

Unit: Troop 415
Leader: Paul Brown

Date of outing: Oct. 12 - 14
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Sage Ranch

How did your unit's trip go?

Great Weekend for Webelos invitational, skills and water rockets activities, and good day hikes trails. This campground can only be used by groups.

Attended: 30 youth, 15 adults
Campsites used: 12
Max camping: 60
Max parking: 25

Type of outing: Camp

Distance to start: .03
Distance hiked: 2.6


Weather: Great Weather, does get fog during the winter months
Site: BBQ are locked, so you need to get the code. Also only one port-a-potty in camp. They have water. No open fires.
Trail: A 2.6 mile loop trail takes you through some of Sage Ranch’s most spectacular scenery. Easy to moderate in difficulty.


Number of sites available: 10
Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Kybo
Tables: yes
Fire rings: no
Type of fires allowed: Gas Stoves, charcoal
Permits/fees: Available by advance reservation for organized groups. For reservation information, call the Sage Ranch ranger station: (818) 999-3753.

Recommend return visit?: Yes
Recommendations: Great place for Webelos Invitational, Troop Annual Planning, Leadership Youth Training, Outdoor Skills, and day hiking.
Scouts had fun?: Yes
Scout's Own?: Yes
Scout's Own highlight: Clean campground, unusual rock formations, great view of Simi and San Fernando Valley, water rockets launching, and close to home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

January 26, 2013 - Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow / University of Scouting / College of Commissioner Science

Save the date
Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pinecrest School
5975 Shoup Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(corner of Shoup Avenue and Oxnard Street)

Dress is Scout Field Uniform

Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow and University of Scouting

A day of fun-filled, action-packed, hands-on supplemental training sessions for adult leaders to help us better deliver a fun and exciting program to our youth!

College of Commissioner Science

Become a better Commissioner!
Need Basic Training!

  • Don't have your Bachelor of Commissioner Science degree? Get it!
  • Started your Bachelor of Commissioner Science degree? Finish it!
  • Started your Master of Commissioner Science degree? Finish it!
  • Don't have your Doctor of Commissioner Science degree? Start it!

All unit leaders welcome

Presented by the Western Los Angeles County Council

For more information, contact:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stoney Point 2012 - Thank you for your service

I am humbled by the number of Scouts, community members and friends of friends that came out to Stoney Point today and made a huge difference in our landmark hiking and bouldering park.

We had an estimated 130 volunteers who collected a mass amount of rubbish and cleared many pathways. Anyone walking through Stoney Point will now have a safe and clean path because of all your dedicated efforts.

Special thanks to the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council and their representative Jelena Csany for supplying the great coffee, bagels and those awesome hot dogs.

This was our 7th year, and each time we host this event, the number of volunteers keeps on growing. What more can a community member ask for?

The number of Scout volunteers was up this year, and that in itself was great to see, being I am a seasoned Scout myself.

I just love those little Cub Scouts. Everything they saw and did will have a monumental impact in their lives because of what they learned from watching the older Scouts do. They learned that, as a Scout, the meaning of "Do a Good Turn Daily" is what our nation will expect of them as they grow to be the next generation of our country's citizens.

We had over 50 tall trash bags full of anything from old beer bottles to a folding chair. A folding chair? What was that person thinking?

Kudos to REI for all the cool Stoney Point shirts, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office for the energy drinks and the United Methodist Church for allowing us to use their parking facilities.

Yup, it was sprinkling a bit of rain but we only got a little bit wet. But what impressed me the most is that, even though it was overcast and sprinkling for a while, you all stayed without any hesitation whatsoever. What more can I say about the outpouring of environmental Stewardship and your time and commitment to make this event rock?

Thank you all again. I'm sure I will see you all again next year!

Some photos by staff photographer Julian Francis Salay (more to come):

Friday, October 19, 2012

November 15, 2012 - Eagle Scout Reconnect event

Eagle Scout Alumni Association announces our first Eagle Scout Reconnect event

November 15
6 pm - 9 pm
Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks

You must be 21 or over to attend the event.
The event is free and includes drinks and dinner.
Dress is business casual.

Questions: Contact Erik Godfrey

Monday, October 15, 2012

Outing report: Calico Ghost Town

Unit: Troop 92
Leader: Jordan Brown

Date of outing: October 12-14, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Calico Ghost Town

How did your unit's trip go?: Went well

Attended: 12 youth, 3 adults
Campsites used: 4

Type of outing: Camp

Distance to start: 134


Weather: Mostly sunny
Site: Hard, rocky, enough wind to overturn tents - bring heavy duty stakes


Number of sites available: lots
Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Flush
Tables: yes
Fire rings: yes
Type of fires allowed: wood


Normal pricing: non-hookup sites $30, 6 people/site, 1 car/site, 1 tent/site, $10 per extra car, $5 per extra tent. All per night.

Group pricing: $5/person/night, minimum 20 people, plus $20 reservation fee. Any number of sites (presumably within reason).

Note that with two people/tent, the extra-tent prices run up fast. Depending on details, group pricing is cheaper starting at 16 people.


Recommend return visit?: Yes

Sites are small.

A burger in Calico is around $9, and a drink around $3. That makes a typical lunch in the restaurant around $15 with tax and tip.

A combo ticket - gold panning, mystery shack, mine - is $5. Each individually is $2.

There is a night-time "ghost" tour, ~8pm?, $10.

Campground prices go way up for special events.

Bring money for shopping. Some good / interesting stuff (though presumably at inflated prices), some total junk. (Guess which the boys like to buy.)

Come home via Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga, outdoorsman's Disneyland store - hot dog with chips and drink at the fudge stand $4-$5 including tax.

Scouts had fun?: Yes
Scout's Own?: No

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 20, 2012 - Annual Stoney Point cleanup

Annual Stoney Point cleanup
Saturday, October 20
8 am to 11 am

Volunteers will be asked to clear the many walking trails of dried brush and making the trails more "user friendly" by removing the mass amount of debris and rubbish from the park.

What started out as an activity of 15 Cub Scouts has raised the bar in 2011 to over 125 plus Volunteers, Families, and our many community organizations such as the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council, the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Mitch Englander, Ride On Therapeutic, L.A.Works and REI Sporting Goods, who will be giving away prizes and the Stoney Point Clean Up Shirts!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

November 3, 2012 - Bill Hart merit badge midway

Bill Hart District
Merit Badge Midway

Located at: the LDS Church, 24443 McBean Parkway, in Valencia

November 3, 2012
8:30 am till 4:00 pm

Each Scout should contact the merit badge counselor prier to the midway. Each Scout needs to bring a notebook and something to write with, and signed blue cards for each merit badge class they are taking. Scouts are expected to wear Class A uniforms. Beverages and lunch will be available for purchase. E-mail with any questions.

Monday, September 17, 2012

June 7-9, 2013 - The Big Ride

Antelope Valley District and Troop 555 present

The Big Ride
High Adventure Boy Scout Cycling
and Wilderness Campout

The biggest Scout cycling event in the west!
Staged again again from the beautiful Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area!
Fantastic camping with other amenities (like boating).
All units are invited from all councils - Scouts, Webelos, Crew!

Three fantastic rides for your Troop or Crew:
  • 25 miles
  • 50 miles
  • 100 miles

Or ride 25 or 50 miles towards your Cycling merit badge!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday
June 7, 8 and 9

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
15501 East Arrow Highway - Irwindale (next to 210 and 605 freeways)

Camping right next to the San Gabriel River Bike Path!

$20.00 gets you:
  • Overnight camping
  • Refreshment stops during the ride
  • Saturday night campfire
  • The best event patch in the world
  • Maps and more!

For registration and info, contact:
Vance Pomeroy, Assistant Scoutmaster / Crew Advisor
(661) 361-5619

Hurry! Space is limited
First paid, first reserved

Friday, September 14, 2012

Camp Emerald Bay / Camp Whitsett September newsletter

Thanks for a scorching hot summer!

It's settled, 2012 has been the hottest summer on record in Los Angeles since record keeping began in 1950, making it the best year on record to get out of town for a week to Camp Whitsett and Emerald Bay! A huge thank you to all of you who made it out to camp this year - with your participation, we served a combined total of 4,939 youth and 1,364 adults over a ten week summer season. These troops came from as far as Texas and Huntington Beach, Idaho and Oregon, as well as every corner of Los Angeles and the valleys. We hope that everyone who joined us this summer had a phenomenal experience and that you will come back again next year!

Early registration specials

To the early bird go the spoils! 2013 summer camp registration has opened already for Emerald Bay and Whitsett, and for a limited time each camp is making a special offer to those troops that register before December 1st.

Cub Family Weekend at Emerald Bay!

Bring the whole family along for some island adventure during the Cub Family Weekend this fall. Tiger Cubs through Webelos can earn belt loops for BB-gun shooting, archery, and art while making time for swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking. For those with a scientific bent, the Pennington Marine Science Center offers a window into the local ecology in their habitat tanks, wave tanks and shark touch tank (yes, you can pet these sharks). Exploring the hills and neighboring coves around Emerald Bay is a great way to get the entire family interested in the outdoors, especially as the seasons turn on the rustic West End of Catalina. Join us November 2nd through 4th with your entire pack or with just your own family for outdoor fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

October 20-21, 2012 - Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) / Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)

2012 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) / Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)
October 20 or 21

Fun opportunity!

Drop in for a few minutes to chat on the air, or hang out for a while and get an introduction to the Radio merit badge. We are also trying to have available skilled merit badge counselors who can give an introduction to the Electricity, Electronics, and Computers merit badges.

We are planning to have locations in Antelope Valley,  West Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and possibly more. Each location will have prearranged limited time slots during the day and or evening which they will be available.

Help needed!

We have a committee of several ham operators, but we need:

A few more ham operators.
Some IT type guys to help with the Jamboree on the Internet program.
Merit badge counselors for any of the above merit badges.
Some additional helpful leaders (with or without technical skills) to help out with the program and have some fun.

Harlan Hogue
(310) 454-6483

Monday, September 10, 2012

October 6, 2012 - Stamp Collecting merit badge workshop

There will be a Boy Scout Stamp Collecting merit badge workshop on Saturday, Oct. 6 from noon to 4 pm at the LAX Hilton, 5711 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Scouts will learn about the different types of postage stamps, where to find stamps, what to collect, tools of the hobby, types of albums, and other useful information. They will work with historic U.S. postage stamps as well as colorful stamps from around the world. Scouts will also have a chance to see lots and lots of interesting and valuable stamps during a tour of the SESCAL 2012 Stamp Exhibition.

$20 materials fee and pre-registration is required. Due to space restrictions, seating is limited to the first 10 Scouts who sign up.

I would appreciate it if you could please spread the word!

For more information, feel free to call me at (818) 903-4451.

Thank you,

Don Schilling
Registered Scout Merit Badge Counselor

Saturday, September 8, 2012

October 23-31, 2012 - DEA Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week
October 23-31, 2012

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn a free patch from the DEA!

Dear Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Leaders,

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created a Red Ribbon Week patch to encourage and support Scouts who wish to learn about Red Ribbon and participate in local efforts to educate youth about the dangers of drug abuse.

Red Ribbon Week was established in memory of the sacrifices made to help keep our communities drug-free and encourage youth to lead healthy lives, free of drugs. Observed annually from October 23-31, Red Ribbon Week is a national celebration to promote youth education on the dangers of substance abuse.

The DEA encourages all Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups to participate. Patches will be given to the first 25,000 qualifying Boy Scout and Girl Scouts.

All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are eligible to participate in the program. To earn the DEA Red Ribbon Week Patch, Scouts must complete the following:

  • Each Scout leader or designee must submit the Intent to Participate form by Friday, October 5th, 2012.
  • Each Scouting unit or troop must coordinate or support a Red Ribbon Week activity.
  • Each Scout must attend a drug prevention education session.
  • Each Scout must take the DEA Drug-Free Pledge.
  • The Scout leader must submit the Activity Report upon completion of program requirements, no later than Friday, December 14th, 2012.

Please review the Implementation Guide. Many of your questions will be answered in the guide.

For questions or comments on the program, please send e-mail to or call (202) 307-7981.

For more information and employment opportunities, visit us at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

November 23, 2012 - Order of the Arrow and Operation Gratitude packaging

The Achoicominga Chapter OA and Operation Gratitude invite all Scouts, Scouters, and friends of Scouting 12 and older, to help with a packaging event at the National Guard Armory, 17330 Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys on Friday, November 23rd, starting at 9 am. Afternoon volunteers are also welcome.

As a part of our effort, we are also encouraging the donation of new or gently used Beanie Babies for the troops to use in foreign community relations. To attend, you must have a signed Operation Gratitude release form. Please RSVP.

Steven Engstrom
Chapter Advisor
Balboa Oaks District
(818) 891-0761

October 2, 2012 - Hi-Tech Explorer Post 1337 open house

Hi-Tech Explorer Post 1337
Combining Engineering and Business

Interested in a career in engineering or business?
Interested in getting hands-on experience?

The Engineers' Council is partnering with the Learning for Life Exploring Program to bring you this unique opportunity.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
6:30 pm

Boy Scouts of America
Anna Ruggieri Service Center
16525 Sherman Way C-8
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Let us know you'll be attending, please RSVP to Brenda Bradford at (818) 933-0121

The requirements for this Explorer Post include:
  1. Open to young men and women ages 14-20
  2. Interest in learning more about career choices within the engineering field
  3. Must attend monthly meetings and activities
  4. Participate in community service
Benefits include:
  1. A safe, positive, energized environment to learn hands-on skills
  2. Prepare young adults for transition from school to work
  3. Leadership, communications, and teambuilding
  4. Awards and recognitions

Cost to join: $20 annual membership fee
(Please note: No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

October 6, 2012 - Robotics merit badge workshop

Robotics Merit Badge Workshop


Saturday, October 6th
9:00 am - 3:30 pm


18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
Engineering Bldg.

Scouts wishing to earn their Robotics Merit Badge are welcome to sign up for this event. Space is limited, so sign up early. Scouts will be required to bring prerequisites in order to complete the badge at the event. Details will be provided as Scouts sign up.

Scouts will be responsible for their own lunch.

Sign up by contacting:

Tarek Shraibati
Scoutmaster, Troop 224
Subject: Robotics MB
Include your name and troop number

Monday, September 3, 2012

Outing report: Jethawks baseball game

Unit: Troop 550
Leader: Assistant Scoutmaster Steve Engstrom

Date of outing: July 29, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Jethawks Baseball Game

How did your unit's trip go?

Boys had fun. They were invited to participate in several of the entertainment activities. So were the adults.

Attended: 10 youth, 2 adults
Campsites used: field
Max camping: unlimited
Max parking: unlimited

Type of outing: Other (Baseball game and camping on the field)

Distance to start: 40


Weather: clear
Site: clean


Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Flush
Tables: no
Fire rings: no
Type of fires allowed: none
Permits/fees: $13.00 per person. You can bring your own food in after the game

Recommend return visit?: Yes
Recommendations: Most of the boys were more comfortable sleeping under the stars rather then in tents.
Scouts had fun?: Yes
Highlight: the side activities. Every seat in the stadium is good

Outing report: Buckhorn

Unit: Troop 550
Leader: Assistant Scoutmaster Steven Engstrom

Date of outing: August 11, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Buckhorn campground

How did your unit's trip go?

Went up for the August meteor showers. Could have been a bit clearer, but at least we didn't get hit with an afternoon rain. Recommend sending a couple of people ahead early to reserve a spot, as campsites are on a first-come basis and need to be physically occupied to hold. Buckhorn is probably the prettiest site in the Angeles Forest and relatively cool at 6500 feet. It's nice to see it open again. Brand new bear lockers, but it's still hard to get them to go in them.

Attended: 13 youth, 3 adults
Campsites used: 2
Max camping: 8 per site
Max parking: 2 per site

Type of outing: Camp

Distance to start: 26


Weather: Afternoon thunder clouds / clear nights
Site: clean and well maintained. primitive toilets
Trail: Hiking trails nearby


Number of sites available: 38
Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Kybo
Tables: yes
Fire rings: yes
Type of fires allowed: fire ring conditions allowing
Permits/fees: fire permit recomended

Recommend return visit?: Yes
Recommendations: send an advance party to reserve spots
Scouts had fun?: Yes
Scout's Own highlight: August Meteor Showers

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

July 15-24, 2013 - National Scout Jamboree

Dear Parents and Scouters:

Why Jamboree?

Your son(s) in the short space of 10 years or so will be entering the work place and into the fabric of our society to be the next leaders in our community, nation and world. Each boy who sticks with the Scouting program will grow stronger in so many wonderful ways, including but not limited to their leadership skills, interpersonal relationship skills, confidence and problem solving skills.

The more a Scout participates in the Scouting program, the greater the growth.

The National Scout Jamboree is unequivocally one of the most developmental and impactful events in all of Scouting. Many refer to it as a mountain top experience. A Scout who attends a national Jamboree returns changed for the better! And next summer marks the inaugural use of Scouting's newest High Adventure Base, the Summit Bechtel Reserve, for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. It is going to be spectacular! History in the making!

The value of the Jamboree experience is priceless. It is as lasting as any of the best experiences you have had in your lifetime! This is something Scouts will never forget!

One of my biggest regrets in life is, when I was a Boy Scout, I was not able to attend a National Jamboree. I remember the stories my fellow Scouts brought back from the Jamboree, wishing so badly that I could have gone. I will never have those first hand Jamboree memories, the friendships and the learning experience, and there is no amount of money that can give me what I missed.

I wonder if you could purchase something, like a magic potion to make your son smarter, friendlier, kinder, more helpful, independent, and a quicker thinker on his feet, what would you pay? For sure, the cost to send a Scout to the Jamboree is not inexpensive, however, I simply feel the Jamboree is one of the best investments someone can make, period!

Jamborees are held only once every four years, and a Scout must not have reached his 18th birthday to attend as a Scout.  This means that usually a Scout only has the opportunity to attend one Jamboree before he turns 18. So this is really something you should not put off. If you haven't already helped your son(s) sign up for the 2013 Jamboree, then I strongly and most respectfully recommend you think about this and make it a priority and sign your Scouts up.

If you are a unit leader, please spread the word to the Scouts and parents in your units!

Please complete the application and forward it to Brenda Bradford at the Council Service Center.

If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Bradford at (818) 933-0121 or at or Jon Orlick at

Thank you very much!

It's going to be big!

Jon Orlick
Vice President Program - WLACC
2013 National Jamboree Scoutmaster - Summit Bechtel Reserve

Thursday, August 23, 2012

November to December 2012 - Wood Badge training

Are you a Venture leader, Cub leader, Boy Scout leader, or a Scout leader looking for more adventure, training, and wanting to make a difference with your unit?

Help to make a impact with your unit.

I am looking for a few good leaders to make this year's Wood Badge course a reality.

The facts are that Wood Badge will have a positive impact on how you view Scouting and work with your units.

Wood Badge helps you to make life-long connections with other leaders.

Wood Badge teaches the aims and methods of Scouting.

Wood Badge also gives you the tools to connect, communicate and lead in all areas of life, not just Scouting.

Return the application today. Do not wait, the application deadline is October 9, 2012.

Course dates:
  • Saturday to Monday November 10-12, 2012
  • Friday to Sunday November 30 - December 2, 2012

October 2012 to March 2013 - Catholic religious emblem workshops

Calling all Catholic Boy Scouts!

Ad Altare Dei religious emblem workshops will begin in October. The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Boy Scouts of the Roman Rite develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven Sacraments. The seven Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth. This six month program will require a 6 month commitment. Scouts will participate in workshops every other week, read and do activities in the workbook, volunteer in the community, and also visit St. John's Seminary in Camarillo.

Also, the annual Catholic Scout retreat will take place October 5-7 at Veteran's Memorial Park in Sylmar.

If you are interested in the emblem or the retreat weekend, please contact Paulette Oculam at

Thank you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

P.R.A.Y. update

P.R.A.Y. Awards for Display

P.R.A.Y. is once again offering a framed set of P.R.A.Y. awards for display - order your set today! The P.R.A.Y. awards will be showcased in an attractive display case frame. Awards will be placed on color felt with acid-free polyester cotton batting to cushion awards and hold them in place. Frame includes a hinged door for easy access for rearranging or straightening the awards.

The set of P.R.A.Y. awards includes all four levels (God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, and God and Life) and consists of the following items: medal, lapel pin, and patch for youth recipients; counselor and mentor pins for adults. You have the option of purchasing any or all of the 11 denomination specific 3/4" pins that are placed into the ribbon of the God and Church medal.

The cost of the framed display is $125 including FedEx Ground shipping/handling. Orders will be processed in the order they are received, so place your order today! This offer will be available as supplies last.

Print an order form or order online! Please note: To order denomination specific pins online, you will need to submit the order for the frame only and then send a note from your confirmation page to include the denomination pins that you would like. They are $4.00 each and will be added to your frame order.

Denominations include: A.M.E., Anglican Church in North America, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, Nazarene, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Church in America, Pentecostal and United Methodist.


P.R.A.Y. is pleased to announce several webinars planned in response to a growing demand for information on religious emblems programs and partnering with the faith community.

The Webinars are free and open to the first 100 participants. You may sign up for as many webinars as you want. The topics are described in our Learning Center. Please review the descriptions carefully to make sure you sign up for the appropriate session(s).

Topics include:

  • Religious Emblems Coordinator (R.E.C.); Overviews and Best Practices
  • My Promise, My Faith and Faith-based awards for Girl Scouts; Overviews and Best Practices
  • The P.R.A.Y. Program for Protestant and Independent Christian Churches
  • Faith-Based Initiatives (F.B.I.)

Registration is open for some webinars now and some will be available soon. You can also view past webinars on a couple of the topics.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

September 16, 2012 - Ride to the Flags

Honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Pepperdine University plans to once again erect the "Wave of Flags", which is a dramatic display of American flags on its expansive lawn beneath the Theme Tower - one flag for each of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that tragic day.

The Ride to the Flags is a White Heart Foundation event that started back in 2008, when Wave of Flags was first erected. The purpose of the event is to raise money for the heroes of Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The Ride to the Flags is a celebration of freedom, and first and foremost is established to honor our heroes in the US Armed Forces, Fire Fighters and Law Enforcement Officers.

The Ride to the Flags begins with a Celebration of Freedom at Naval Base Ventura County at Pt. Mugu. After the celebration, motorcycles from all over the country will leave the base in formation for a 42 mile memorial ride through the Santa Monica Mountains to the Wave of Flags at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

When: Sunday, September, 16th, 2012
Where: Pepperdine University, Malibu Campus (Great Lawn)
Who: Boy Scouts and Adult Leaders
What: The Boy Scouts have been invited to stand up a Flag Line for the Riders as they ride in to the Wave of Flags and to assist with the parking of over 1200 motorcycles.
Why: To provide an awesome level of community service.
Cost: Nothing. But you must provide your own transportation.

All Scouts and adult leaders must be in full BSA Field Uniform.

Those interested, please sign up with Rick West, Troop 412, Pacifica District, Orange County Council, (714) 721-1336,

Questions may also be directed to Pat Kremer (818) 970-2670

Monday, August 13, 2012

October 20-21, 2012 - Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)
Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)

October 20-21
Wow! All of that and patches too!

Where is is located? It is here!
What does it cost? Nothing! (okay, you can buy the patches)

These Jamborees are annual worldwide Scouting events. It is estimated that more that 700,000 Scouts will participate with about 6,000 ham radio stations. Amateur radio stations are used to connect our local Scouts to Scouts across the United States and around the world. Scouts of all age can participate, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Venturers.

Local ham radio station operators will manage the technical aspects, including the equipment and communications. Participants do not need training in ham radio or other technical training. Each participant gets to speak into a microphone for a few minutes, and typically they exchange name and Scout rank along with a little chit chat. What is your favorite thing or activity, etc.

Most participants drop by and participate during a short visit sometime during the day or evening. Sometimes they drop by at several different times during the weekend, as the time of day or night changes which country is able to be reached by air waves. The official hours are from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday evening. Participation can be a part of Communications, Citizenship in the World, Computers, as well as Radio Merit Badges. The Jamboree on the Internet JOTI is a separate event which can be run alongside of the JOTA. This is done using computers instead of radios.

We are looking for additional ham radio operators or amateur radio clubs.

We plan to have stations at several locations in all parts of our great council. Operators who plan to participate only for your unit only, we want to coordinate with you also.

Western Los Angeles County Council, International Representative, Harlan Hogue at for additional information.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 18 - Popcorn tasting and information event

To all Packs and Troops,

One of our top notch support team members will be contacting you and providing you with information about the upcoming popcorn tasting and information event. This year, each unit will have their own dedicated popcorn go-to person. If you haven't been contacted by them already, you will be shortly. If you are sooooo excited about your Scouts earning a big bunch of money and can't wait for the call, the contact info is below. Find your assigned contact person and e-mail them.

We have seen what's on tap and it is much improved over last year. Prizes and incentives are much improved and your percentage of profit is up to 38%! Plus there is a new flavor that is out of this world!

Make your arrangements to send a rep from your Unit, and any parent who is interested in finding out the info - or wants to taste that out-of-this-world flavor. Don't delay on any of this, deadlines are close.

-Paul Oliver

Francine Conte
Troops 356, 371, 400, 406, 415, 431, 549, 550, 601, 712, 911 / Pack 564

Linda Singer
Packs 49, 118, 148, 208, 229, 307, 349, 400, 406, 415, 431, 441, 549, 601 / Troop 307

Carlos Luna
Pack 550, 712, 911

Donna Demetrius
Troops 10, 25, 49, 92, 148, 208, 328, 349

Balboa Oaks Popcorn Team

You're invited to our popcorn tasting and information event
Saturday, August 18th at 1 pm

This invitation is for every Cub Pack and Scout Troop adult who is interested in finding out what the Boy Scout popcorn program is about!

There will be popcorn samples, product information, and prizes!

Does your Cub Scout Pack never have enough funds to go out and do some really fun things like spend the night at the museum, have bowling/miniature golf pack meetings, or have a waterslide/bouncer at your annual picnic, or rent Camp Josepho for a weekend as a pack - and you would like to? Then you need to attend!

Does only half of your Scout Troop attend Scout camp or your Troop monthly outings/events because they cost too much? Then you need to attend!

Learn how to let the Scouts earn their way to a fun and memorable Scouting experience - all part of helping Scouts be thrifty!

Come taste for yourself some of the new popcorn products we are selling this year, and hear how easy it is to support Scouting at both the Pack/Troop level and at the District/Council level.

We are asking adults only, please leave the kids at home.

Please RSVP to Paul Oliver or your Unit's personal popcorn go-to person so we have enough materials for everyone! And we can tell you where!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jeff Prata
Balboa Oaks District Executive
(818) 785-8700
(818) 901-4888 fax
(661) 212.1095 cell

Q. Can I attend if I'm not the leader?
A. Yes! Your Pack/Troop leader has too much on their plate already! If everyone helps out, your Pack/Troop is going to be that much more fun and successful.

Q. Can a few adults from our Unit attend?
A. Yes! This is much more fun when you have fellow adults working together! But I need to know how many by Wednesday so we have enough room and supplies.

Q. Am I going to be tricked into having to do something?
A. No! If you decide that this is something beneficial to your Pack/Troop, then you are going to have to decide what to do. All we are going to do is give you the facts and the flavors.

Q. How much does it cost to participate in the popcorn program?
A. Nothing! If your Pack/Troop decides they want to participate, all we need is the contact info of the person who will be in charge at your Unit and you are set. You pay for everything you sell, return what you don't sell (except for any chocolate product), and we pay you a commission for what you sell.

Q. What is the commission?
A. Up to 38% if you pay and return on time! The top selling Packs/Troops are receiving $5,000 to $9,000 commission checks.

Q. What's the catch?
A. Commitment. To be successful, each Unit needs 1 adult to step up (more than 1 is even better) and commit to organizing and running this program for their boys.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

October 14, 2012 - Sport Chalet M3 iTRYathlon Castaic and Magic Mountain Man Triathlon (volunteers needed)

We are in dire need of volunteers for the Sport Chalet M3 iTRYathlon Castaic and Magic Mountain Man Triathlon on Sunday, October 14, 2012. This is a wonderful opportunity for Scouts to come out and help the community, support the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and get those much needed community service hours all in one day. Volunteers will receive lunch, a volunteer t-shirt and a service hour voucher.

M3 iTRYathlon Castaic is a sprint triathlon for all fitness level and abilities. The Magic Mountain Man Triathlon challenges seasoned triathletes to take on the mass start swim, a bike ride that travels over rough mountain roads with epic climbs only to finish with a run on hot and dusty roads. Renegade Racing is producing the Sport Chalet M3 iTRYathlon Castaic and Magic Mountain Man Triathlon on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

We are reaching out to schools and groups who might be interested in volunteering for the event on race day (10/14/12), as well as for the registration and packet pick-up on Saturday (10/13).

If your school or organization is interested in volunteering for this event, please fill out the volunteer registration form and fax or e-mail it back to me. For groups, it may be easier to fill out the "Blank Volunteer Group" form with volunteers' names and e-mails. Then volunteers can turn in their registration forms on the day of the event.

Please feel free to share this information with friends, family, and co-workers. Every volunteer makes a difference.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Best Regards,
Stacie Smith, Volunteer Coordinator
Renegade Racing: Running, Triathlon and Adventure Sports
17835 Sky Park Circle, suite F
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 975-1812
(949) 975-1814 fax
(805) 570-5166 cell

August 18, 2012 - Scouting Awards Midway

The Valley Scout Shop is holding a Scouting Awards Midway on Saturday, August 18th from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm.

The following awards will be discussed:

  • NOVA
  • PALA
  • Scout Surge 911
  • Hometown USA
  • Donor Awareness
  • Conservation Good Turn
  • Cyber Chip
  • Messenger of Peace

Come on over and learn about these awards and visit the store!

Monday, August 6, 2012

September 14-16, 2012 - Section W-4N Conclave

Coming this fall to a Section near you!

Section W-4N Conclave
"United in Excellence"

  • Fellowship
  • Training
  • Games
  • Competitions
  • Ceremonies
  • Dance education
  • Elections
  • Shows
  • Patch trading
  • And much, much more!

Whether you are new to the Order of the Arrow or have been a member longer than your Chief has been alive, the Section W-4N Conclave has something for you! Unite with us to bring even greater excellence to Section W-4N!

When: September 14-16, 2012
Where: Camp Three Falls, 12260 Boy Scout Camp Road, Frazier Park, CA 93225
Who: Arrowmen of all ages from all over!
Why: To experience great fellowship, training, and tons of fun!
How: Register online

Keith Avery, W-4N Section Chief

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Outing report: Pineknot camping / ziplining

Unit: Troop 415
Leader: Paul Brown

Date of outing: July 21, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Pineknot (near Snow Summit)

How did your unit's trip go?

Scouts and adults had a great time ziplining. The three-hour tour includes an off-road ride two miles into the forest in safari jeeps, with nine high-speed zipline runs that run down Big Bear Mountain with a beautiful suspension bridge with stunning views of Johnson Valley.

Only down side is that you cannot video or take pictures. You need to purchase their pictures for $45.00 a set.

Attended: 8 youth, 4 adults
Campsites used: 2
Max camping: 6
Max parking: 2

Type of outing: Other (Camping and Zip Lining)


Weather: Warm during the day and cool at night


Number of sites available: 47
Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Flush
Tables: yes
Fire rings: yes
Type of fires allowed: campfire and stove
Permits/fees: $53 per site and "Action Zip Lines" costing $99 per person, or if 10 or more, $89.10

Recommend return visit?:  yes
Recommendations: Action Zip Lines is a professional company with safety a top priority. This is a great spring and summertime outing.
Scouts had fun?: yes
Scout's Own highlight: The Scouts had a great time ziplining

Outing report: Pyramid Lake

Unit: Troop 415
Leader: Paul Brown

Date of outing: June 22, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: Pyramid Lake - Los Almos Campground

How did your unit's trip go?

The was a great outing for tubing, water skiing, amd wakeboarding.

We stayed at Yellowbar during the day on the lake. Boat Dock, Tables, bathrooms, lots of shade. Need to get there early (first open), Site fills early.

Attended: 10 youth, 5 adults
Campsites used: 2
Max camping: 6
Max parking: 2

Type of outing: Camp


Weather: Warm during the day, cool at night
Site: 9 and 10
Waterway: Lake Pyramid


Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Flush
Tables: yes
Fire rings: yes
Type of fires allowed: all
Permits/fees: $20 per site/night - Free entry without boat to lake

Recommend return visit?: yes
Recommendations: Bring shade if staying in camp during day
Scouts had fun?: yes
Scout's Own highlight: The scouts enjoyed the lake activities

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

P.R.A.Y. update


We are pleased to announce P.R.A.Y.'s first webinar series. Chip Turner will be presenting webinars on the new Religious Emblems Coordinator (R.E.C.) position. Please visit our Learning Center or view our schedule and description of upcoming webinars. Now is the time to learn about the R.E.C. and the resources that will enable you to make an impact in your Scouting community. Let's use the religious emblems programs to help Scouts learn what it means to be reverent.

Mid-year P.R.A.Y. Program Usage Totals

We have posted the P.R.A.Y. usage totals for the first six months of 2012. Please remember that these totals are for the Protestant Christian Program only. See how your council is doing! We have provided an alphabetical list of all councils as well as a list of the biggest users and the councils with the biggest increases.

Council spotlight

Capitol Area Council showed an increase of over 100 recipients (an 83% increase!) going from 127 to 232 recipients the first six months of 2012. Congratulations!

View a list of councils that had over 50 recipients and 10% growth the first six months of 2012.

Spotlight on P.R.A.Y. Recipient

The P.R.A.Y. website features a "Spotlight" section highlighting the accomplishments of P.R.A.Y. award recipients. Check the Spotlight section of our web site to meet Thomas (who was named "Scout of the Month" for earning the God and Me award) and other young people who are growing strong in faith through the religious emblems programs!


July 31st will be the last day to order the Duty to God "Eagle" puzzle patch. It will available again in 3 years.

August 1st the Duty to God "Mountain" patch will come back into rotation. Plan to make a presentation on religious emblems and promote Duty to God in order to help Scouts earn their "Mountain" patch. Sample presentation materials are available.

Monday, July 16, 2012

In memory: John Bell

Pack 564 and Troop 431 sadly announce the passing of John Bell. John was currently serving as a Webelos II Den Leader and as an Assistant Scoutmaster. The family has three boys in Scouting (Johnny and Justin of Troop 431, and Jacob of Pack 564). John has been with Pack 564 for about 8 years, serving in all Den Leader capacities, and has also been an integral part of Troop 431. He was a dedicated husband, father, and Scouter. His presence and contribution to Scouting will truly be missed.

At this time, the service for John Bell is scheduled for:

Saturday, July 28th at 2 pm
Utter-Mckinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary
11071 Columbus Avenue
Mission Hills, CA 91345

Further details will be forthcoming.

Thank you,
Joe Maggio

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 28-29, 2012 - Jacob Kramer's Eagle project

My name is Jacob Kramer and my Eagle project will be taking place on July 28th and 29th from 8 am - 5 pm.

The project will be at:
Dearborn Elementary School
9240 Wish Ave.
Northridge, CA 91325

We will be removing grass and putting in paths, benches, and planting flowers.

Bring work gloves, shovels, pick axes, hoes, and wheelbarrows if you have them. Remember a hat and sunscreen!

Breakfast and lunch will be served!

RSVP: or (818) 438-8161

Thursday, July 12, 2012

September 9-11, 2012 - Fishing trip

To all Scouts and Parents, we have a very adventurous opportunity for your older Scout to earn the Fishing merit badge.  I regularly put together yearly 3, 4 and 5 day ocean fishing charters going out of San Diego.  This year I am putting together a shorter 2 day trip.  It will be on "Old Glory", formerly the Cherokee Geisha.  The boat is an 85' sportfisher owned and run by Joe Phillips, the captain I regularly fish with.

This trip is an opportunity for you to fish for exotic big game fish some anglers may never catch in their lives - Dorado, Yellow Fin Tuna, Blue Fin Tuna, Albacore Tuna and Yellowtail.  Last year at the same time we are going they were catching 4 of these 5 big game fish in our area.  This trip is for teenagers on up, first priority will be given to Scouts.  If you have a younger Scout who has experience we can talk.  The Scout must be accompanied by an adult/guardian.  Dads - if you've always wanted to stretch out and get in 2 full days of fishing for big game fish, but have been hesitant, this is your perfect opportunity.  This trip is geared to the Scouts and those who are not seasoned big game fishermen.  Captain Joe has an outstanding crew to guide the experienced angler and the newbies.  If spots are still open after the beginning of August the trip will open up to parents without Scouts.

There are not many guarantees in life, but I guarantee your Scout will catch fish (ranging from 5 to 45 pounds) and earn his Fishing merit badge on the boat if he has completed the pre-requisites.

We will be leaving on Sunday September 9th and return Tuesday evening the 11th.  Old Glory is a very large ship but we will only be taking 22 anglers.  This is considered an "Ultra Limited Load" and there will be a ton of room for everyone to fish.  Captain Joe is a friend of the Scouts and is giving us this trip for about $175 less per person than the going rate.  The cost will be $440 per person.  Details are in the flyer.  There are currently 6 spots still available, don't hesitate if you are interested.   Please forward on to others who have Scouts or teenagers that may be interested.  Contact me via e-mail and I can answer all your questions.


Monday, July 9, 2012

August 12, 2012 - Scout Night with Chivas USA and Los Angeles Galaxy

Hi everyone:

Please help us promote this Scoutreach fundraiser event!

Scout Night with Chivas USA and Los Angeles Galaxy

When: Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Home Depot Center
18400 Avalon Blvd.
Carson, CA 90746

Time: Doors open at 6 pm, game starts at 8 pm

Ticket price: $24 each for the end zone section! Strictly reserved for all Scouts and their families! (10 tickets or more, group discount: $22 each)

For tickets and more information please contact me at (818) 933-0128 or e-mail

Liz Hernandez
Hispanic Initiatives Executive
Western Los Angeles County Council
Boy Scouts of America
Soccer and Scouting
16525 Sherman Way C-8
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 933-0128

Friday, June 29, 2012

September 2012 - The Trainer's Edge

The purpose of this course is to provide and help develop the platform skills of a trainer.  This is for all district trainers, unit trainers, Wood Badge and NYLT staff members.  The Trainer's Edge replaces the Trainer Development Conference (BSA 500) as the required train-the-trainer course for Wood Badge, NYLT staffs and trainers in the council.  This is a one day course that will include lunch and materials.  Class size is limited to 32 participants per session.

Pre-course preparation:  Please prepare a 10 to 12 minute presentation on a topic of your choice from any BSA material.  Your presentation should allow you to demonstrate the skills of a trainer.  You will receive constructive feedback on your presentation from the other participants.

Saturday, September 15, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
(Please pick which day is the best for your schedule!)

Time: 8 am to 5 pm

Santa Clarita Valley Charter School
28060 Hasley Canyon Road, Suite 200
Hasley Canyon Commerce Center
Castaic, CA 91384

Cost:  $15 per person

Contact Hamlet Shirvani at (818) 785-8700 or Arthur Pinkers at (661) 263-3896 or e-mail to reserve your spot.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

August 5-11, 2012 - Faith Based Initiative (FBI) training at Philmont

Want/need to improve your Council/District/Unit Journey To Excellence score? Enroll in Faith Based Initiative (FBI) training today!

Did you know that BSA membership has shown growth in the area of faith based organizations in April and May 2012 over 2011?

The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana recently reported that after receiving the FBI training in January 2012 they were averaging 4 new troops in AME congregations per month for 3 months!

Did you know BSA research shows that units chartered to Faith Based Organizations:

  • Have better Unit Retention by 10%
  • Have better Rank Advancement by 10 to 30%
  • Constitute 66% of all Charter Partners

Did you know:

  • 70% of all current Chartered Partners only have 1 Unit or one member of the Scouting family
  • The average age of a member of the United Methodist Church is 58

Whose goals are these?

  • Membership growth
  • Membership retention
  • Program
  • Money
  • Trained volunteers

If you answered both BSA and Faith Organizations, then you are pre-qualified to excel in the FBI Course at Philmont, August 5-11, 2012 (Week 9), and you will return from Philmont with a membership plan for your council/district.

Here's how to register for the Philmont FBI course:

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Click on "Event Registration" in the left margin near the bottom of the page.
  4. A window will open which reads: "Philmont Training Center - Register for 2012 Philmont Training Center Courses"
  5. Click on it.
  6. Follow instructions to complete the application.

If you need more information, please feel free to contact me at or (800) 933-7729.

Thank you,

Mark Hazlewood
Building Faith in Youth
(800) 933-7729
(314) 845-3318

Friday, June 22, 2012

Valley Scout Shop is looking for a few good men and women

Do you or someone you know want to be the friendly face of Scouting?

The Valley Scout Shop located in Van Nuys, California at the Anna Ruggieri Service Center is looking for Scouters to join their team.

As a Scout Shop employee, you will:

  • Be the friendly face of Scouting
  • Enjoy the proven rewards of working with the BSA
  • Enjoy flexible hours
  • Have great opportunities for advancement

If you or someone you know is interested in being part of the team, please visit the Valley Scout Shop and ask your Scout Shop Associate for an application:

Valley Scout Shop
16525 Sherman Way #C-8 Rear
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 781-1296

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Visit the Scout Shop for some great deals!

Van Nuys and Antelope Valley Scout Shops

May 25 to August 1: Centennial shorts 25% off

June 29 to July 5: Americana Tee

July 7, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm: Come in and join the Van Nuys Scout Shop for the 2nd Annual Regatta Event. Bring your regatta and come race, or make a regatta at the store.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

August 25, 2012 - Coin Collecting merit badge workshop

The Numismatic Association of Southern California (NASC) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA) are jointly sponsoring a free Coin Collecting merit badge workshop

Saturday, August 25, 2012
12 noon - 3 pm
at the Golden State Coin Show
Arcadia Masonic Center
50 West Duarte Road
Arcadia, CA
(Exit 210 Fwy at Santa Anita and go south to Duarte; right turn; center is on your left)

Troop/Scout check in begins at 11 am
Workshop starts at 12 noon!

Earn the BSA Coin Collecting merit badge or GSA Collector patch

Learn fascinating facts about coins in a fun interactive hands on program

Space is limited to 60 Boy and Girl Scouts. Pre-registration is required!

To RSVP for Scouts or for more information, contact:
Walt Ostromecki, Counselor
(818) 342-6304 (home), evenings and weekends
(818) 317-6966 (cell), days 8am - 6pm or

Before the workshop - Prerequisites

  1. Be familiar with all the information printed in the 2008 BSA Coin Collecting merit badge pamphlet as it will be discussed during the class.
  2. Requirement 6 - Collect and bring 5 different examples of US Statehood quarters. Be prepared to talk about what is depicted on each one.
  3. Requirement 7 - Collect and bring a current US type coin set in circulation, which shall include cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half and a dollar coin. The dates do not have to be the same.
  4. Requirement 9 - Collect and bring a date set of US Cents beginning with your birth year through 2011 for 9D, or do option A, B, or C.

At the workshop

Class handout worksheets will be provided to all Scouts and must be completed in class and turned in at the end of the workshop. Scouts are asked not to bring their entire coin collection from home, but encouraged to bring along one special item for a show-and-tell during the workshop. Parents and adult leaders are welcome and encouraged to attend. Check in begins an hour before the workshop. Class begins promptly at 12 noon. Scouts will have time to tour and explore the coin show and exhibits (free of charge) at around 2 pm, in order to complete Requirement 10B. The show closes at 5 pm.

Free BSA Coin Collector album and numismatic goodie-bag to all Scouts upon badge completion, courtesy of both the NASC and ANA.


Please provide Scouts with signed blue merit badge cards and ask them to complete all the personal information before the workshop begins. Remind all Scouts to wear their complete uniform, less the merit badge sash.. Encourage the Scouts to study the badge pamphlet and be prepared to interact in the workshop discussions.


Walt Ostromecki is a certified counselor for the Balboa Oaks District, Western Los Angeles Council. Current ANA VP and youth numismatic educator. 1966 Eagle Scout. He's a coin hobbyist, author and educator of over 40 years.

Albertus Hoogeveen is a registered Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 93 in Fullerton. He's a 47-year veteran Scouter and leader. ANA life member and a coin collector since he was 10 years old. Dutch and US type coins are his specialty.

Cole Schenewerk is a young numismatist from San Diego and intern with Heritage Coin Gallery. He has assisted with many a BSA Coin Collecting merit badge workshop. He was the ANA's 2009 Numismatic Youth of the Year.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Outing report: Kern River white water rafting / kayaking

Unit: Troop 415
Leader: Paul Brown

Date of outing: May 5-6, 2012
Name of camp / trail / waterway: White Water Rafting

How did your unit's trip go?

The Troop signed up with Sierra South Paddle Sports (800) 457-2082. We did the Combo Package ($130 under 12 yrs., $140 over 12 yrs. old). We did two white water rafting runs in the morning and two kayaking (two man kayaks) runs in the afternoon. We went from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. They provided rafts, kayaks, paddles, wet suits, helmets, PFDs, trained guides, and lunch. If requested, they will have a White Water Merit Badge counselor to complete the other requirements for the Scout's MB. Do this before the end of May to avoid the crowds. Pictures are taken and cost $30 for the first set and $10 for each additional set. We made camping reservation at Headquarters Campground ($27 a night, 8 people) which is approx. 5 miles from the Sierra South Paddle Sports. The Scouts had a great time and gave this outing two thumbs up.

Attended: 8 youth, 5 adults
Campsites used: 2
Max camping: 8
Max parking: 4

Type of outing: Other (Rafting)


Weather: Perfect, warm 78 degrees and clear
Site: Headquarters Campground


Number of sites available: 44
Water: Piped
Toilet facilities: Kybo
Tables: yes
Fire rings: yes
Type of fires allowed: wood, charcoal, propane
Permits/fees: $27 per night

Recommend return visit?:  yes
Scouts had fun?: yes
Scout's Own highlight: Scouts loved using the kayaks

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

July 15-24, 2013 - National Scout Jamboree

The 2013 Jamboree will be here before you know it! Don't miss out on this great experience! Get your Scouts signed up now! Though there are still spaces available in all the Troops, they are filling up fast.

Please note: A new, lower priced tour has been announced.

See the newsletter for information on the Jamboree and all the tours.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 2012 camping newsletter

Summer is here!

Summer is finally here and the first campers will soon arrive at Camp Emerald Bay and Camp Whitsett. There are, however, many boys who are still unable to go to camp. We are committed to getting as many boys into summer camp as possible. Feel free to let us know how we can help the boys in your unit experience our marvelous camps. As we approach the first week, many troops have last minute questions. We encourage you to visit and with any questions, or contact our registrar at

Late cancellation forgiveness

Spaces are filling fast at both camps this summer and we don't want any boy who may still be unsure to miss out on the chance. Therefore, beginning Monday, May 20, you may add any participant without risk of a cancellation penalty if they decide not to go before camp. This applies only to new participants added between May 20 and June 17.

Provisional troops are now forming

We know it's difficult to accommodate the schedules of every boy in your unit to get them all to camp. Unfortunately some boys sit out of camp each summer because of conflicts with the dates their troops go to camp. At both Camp Whitsett and Camp Emerald Bay we offer boys the opportunity to come to camp without their units and still experience the joy and camaraderie that comes from attending with a group. Provisional, or lone scouts, come to camp on their own, but are quickly placed in a troop made up of other provisional scouts. Promoting provisional camping to the boys in your unit is one more way we can encourage all boys to get into camp. For more information or assistance with registering provisional scouts, contact our registrar at (818) 933-0130. Camperships are available!

Get ready for camp!

Stop by the Valley Scout Shop to see the latest in camping gear, pick up items for camp, and ask questions about other camping opportunities in the WLACC. The store is located at 16525 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91406.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at or call (818) 933-0130

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 19, 2012 - Archery and BB Rangemaster Training

Archery and BB Rangemaster Training

May 19, 2012

Who needs this training:
Anyone interested in bringing Archery and/or BB Gun Shooting sports to their pack, as well as those interested in running a range at a Cub Scout Day/Twilight Camp.

Where is the training:
Valley Trails Camp
30910 Sloan Canyon Road
Castaic, CA 91384

Why do you need this training:
To meet the BSA shooting sports Rangemaster training requirements to support district and council Cub Scout camp shooting sports activities.

What to bring:
  • Activity uniform or civilian clothes are fine.
  • Pen and paper for note taking.
  • Sun screen and water (we will be outside part of the time).

  • Archery Rangemaster Training will be from 8:00am to 12:00pm
  • BB Rangemaster Training will be from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

  • $10.00 per discipline ($20.00 if you are taking both Archery and BB training)
  • Make checks payable to: Troop 583
  • Your registration must be received by Wednesday, May 16th

Luann Peterson
22051 W. Sunrise View Place
Saugus, CA 91390

Questions? Contact Luann Peterson at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

May 19 - Get Ready for Camp day

Attention Volunteer Scouters.

The Valley Scout Shop will be having a new program - Get Ready For Camp day on May 19.

I am looking for volunteers who can help with this event in volunteering their time and help teach these mini demonstrations or classes. The demonstration or class will be about 30 to 45 minutes long.

I need help with the following topics:

  • Backpack Fitting (we have a backpack fitter)
  • Getting Ready for Summer Camp (what to bring)
  • Preparing for Hiking
  • Pack a Backpack
  • Rope/Knot Tying
  • Backpack Cooking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Dutch Oven Cooking
  • First Aid

If you are knowledgeable in any of these areas and can spare a little time helping with the Scouts, or for further information, please call me ASAP.

Cindy Noriega, Senior Store Manager
Valley Scout Shop #5870
16525 Sherman Way
Unit C-8 (rear door)
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 781-1296
(818) 781-1298 fax

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

July 13, 2012 - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey - Dragons

You are invited to join my group! Bring families and friends!

Dragons 2012

This is a great event with special perks for Boy/Cub/Girl Scouts and other youth groups!

July 13, 2012 (Friday)
Staples Center

Group will meet at the 11th Street main entrance (by Magic Johnson statue). Tickets will be distributed there from 5:30 - 6:00 PM.

You and your friends won't want to miss the all-new electrifying Dragons edition of the Greatest Show on Earth!

And why on a Friday night? Because this is the best value for the price and seats for everyone to enjoy the show!

The actual show starts at 7:30 PM. However, our group is invited to a very special All-Access Pre-show at 6:30 PM. The group will be able to go in at 6:00 PM. This is an excellent opportunity to meet some of the world-class performers. It is interactive and they request some of the guests to go to the center and do fun stuff with them. There will also be picture-taking opportunities with the stars. The Pre-show is included with your ticket.

All guests in my group will also receive the 2011 Ringling Circus Commemorative Patch.

Great seats are available to my group (I have the entire sections 106 and 107, which are the best!) on a first-pay, first-served basis! (I have a very strong relationship with the Staples Center) So, reserve your tickets now!

Cost is only $20.00 per child/adult. (includes processing/handling fees charged by Staples Center for every ticket...) This does not include food or parking, please... Carpooling is the best way to go!

RSVP to Jocelyn Reyes at

Payment by checks or via Chase Quick Pay only... Please do not pay via PayPal or you will get charged extra fees...

Instructions to be e-mailed once reservation is confirmed.

Seats will be assigned as per payment received!

I will be sending more detailed info to all participants by July 11th, 2012.

Payments are non-refundable after tickets are purchased.

Don't wait until the last minute to take advantage of the great seats I have!

And remember: The interactive Pre-show and the Commemorative Patch are great offers for my group.

An hour before show time, audiences can join Ringling Bros.® talented performers and learn new circus skills at the All-Access Pre-show, free with your ticket!

  • At the free All-Access Pre-show, Ringling Bros. acrobats, clowns and other accomplished athletic performers show young and old alike an awe-inspiring and action-packed approach to daily health and fitness.
  • Audience members can get up close and personal with Ringling Bros. performers to take photos, get autographs and learn circus skills at the All-Access Pre-show.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

June 16 and July 28, 2012 - Jethawks Scout Sleepovers

2012 Scout Family Nights
at Clear Channel Stadium in Lancaster, CA

Camp on the field after the Jethawks game!

Girl Scout Family Sleepover is Saturday, June 16 @ 7:00
vs. Inland Empire 66ers (Angels)

Boy Scout Family Sleepover is Saturday, July 28 @ 7:00
vs. Inland Empire 66ers (Angels)

Campout Pricing:
  • Dugout Box Seating: $13
  • Box Seating: $12
  • Reserved Seating: $11

  • Use KB's PLAYdium free 30 minutes after Stadium is cleared
  • Camp out on the outfield grass of the Hangar (stakeless tents only)
  • Receive a special limited edition 2011 "Scout" patch (based on availability)
  • Watch a movie on the Clear Channel Stadium Video Board after the game
  • Enjoy a tasty treat after the game
  • Enjoy a light breakfast the next morning
  • Special Giveaway Item for first 1,000 fans through the gates!

Non-Sleepover Pricing:
For those who would like to attend the game but not stay the night
  • Dugout Box Seating: $7
  • Box Seating: $6
  • Reserved Seating: $5

Add food for your group! Two food options available:
  • Perfect Game Voucher - $6 - good for 1 hot dog, 1 bag of chips and one drink
  • Grand Slam Voucher - $7 - good for one item from our BBQ menu (Hamburgers, Chicken Sandwiches, Pulled Pork), 1 bag of chips and 1 soft drink

Order your tickets today! Call Will Murphy at (661) 726-5400
or e-mail

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 2012 camping newsletter

New Kayaking merit badge!

The national BSA is preparing its launch of the new Kayaking merit badge. The badge allows participants to learn skills with various forms of kayaks and various types of water conditions. Both Camp Emerald Bay and Camp Whitsett will be putting their own unique touches onto an exciting activity, giving boys the opportunity to be among the first to offer this dynamic merit badge.

SPL programs and camperships

Send your senior leaders to camp a week before your arrival and we will provide them with an intense leadership training course that prepares them to both lead your troop at camp, and also to lead your troop when you return. Each senior leader can bring a buddy for what is a truly rewarding experience in camp. Also, don't let finances prevent your boys from attending camp. Our camps each have aggressive campership opportunities to get as many boys into camp as we can. The application process is one of the simplest around. For applications to both programs you can visit or, or send a request to

WLACC High Adventure

Older boys don't have to miss summer camp simply because they don't need any more merit badges. Camps Emerald Bay and Whitsett have two top-rate High Adventure programs. At Camp Emerald Bay, participants can bike, hike, cycle, snorkel, and kayak with the Rugged Explorers. The camp offers three High Adventure SCUBA programs, including the new Rugged Rescue! In the Sequoia National Monument, participants in Camp Whitsett's Sierra programs will be able to go on treks through an unrivaled wilderness setting. Treks are available for hikes, bicycling, or horses. In addition, boys over the age of 14 can participate in the CPT program where they learn leadership through daily demanding challenges.

Don't forget your new Webelos!

One of the keys to a boy's Scouting success is getting him into summer camp immediately after he enters Boy Scouts. Both camps offer first-year camper programs to prepare him for his future in Scouting.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at or call (818) 933-0130