Edited by Jeff Piasky
Enter the Boys' Life reading contest
Young readers have two months left to enter the 1998 Boys' Life "Say Yes to Reading!" contest.
Entrants must submit a one-page report on "The Best Book I Read This Year." Books can be fiction or nonfiction, entered in one of three categories: 8 years old and younger; 9 and 10 years old; and 11 years and older.
The reading contest is open to all Boys' Life readers, and all entrants receive a free Pedro patch--but only if they include a letter-size, stamped (32 cents), self-addressed envelope with their report. (Include name, address, and age on each book report.)
The top three winners from each age-group will also receive a book as a special prize, copies of Codemaster books 1 and 2, and a limited-edition Codemaster pin-and-patch set, plus have their names announced in the Boys' Life About Books column.
Send entries to BSA, Boys' Life Reading Contest, S204, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 1998.
Scouts honored for heroism in school shooting
Five Scouts from Springfield, Ore., who stopped a deadly shooting at their school last May, received lifesaving awards from the Boy Scouts of America. The August ceremony marked the first time in BSA history that five such medals for heroism were given at one time.
Star Scout Jacob Ryker, who turned 17 on the day of the shooting, first tackled and subdued the 15-year-old assailant, Kip Kinkel. For his action, Jacob received Scouting's highest lifesaving award, the Honor Medal With Crossed Palms.
Since 1938 less than 130 individuals have received this award, which honors Scouts or Scouters who show unusual heroism and extraordinary resourcefulness in saving lives at extreme risk to themselves.
Honor Medals, for unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to one's own life, were given to four other BSA members, also present during the shooting, for helping to subdue the attacker: Jacob's brother, Josh Ryker, 15, and Douglas Ure, 18, and his brother David Ure, 15, all Scouts from Springfield Troop 51; and Adam Walburger, 18, a member of Venturing Crew 55.
"I believe it was no coincidence that the five who stopped the shooting were Scouts," said Jerry Dempsey, Scout executive of the Oregon Trail Council. Linda Ryker, mother of Jake and Josh, likewise credits Scouting for shaping her sons' character. "I can't sing enough of the praises of the Scouting program," she said.
Two students died and 22 others were wounded in the shooting at Springfield's Thurston High School. Jacob was among the wounded, hit in the chest by a rifle bullet before pursuing the attacker, and again in the finger when Kinkel pulled out a 9-millimeter pistol during the struggle.
Law enforcement officials estimate at least 11 more students would have died had the Scouts not stopped the shooting when they did.
In a written account of the incident, Jacob described the experience as "a nightmare I can't forget." When he heard the first gunshots, "the world silenced, stopped spinning, time slowed, and things went numb."
He also remembered to thank a faculty member who came to his aid after he was wounded. "I don't even know his name, but the substitute teacher that helped me that day deserves the thanks, along with the friends who wouldn't let me fight it out alone."
New advancement requirements for Eagle Scout and other ranks
Changes to the list of required merit badges for Eagle Scout and to the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks become effective April 1, 1999.
All changes will be part of the new edition of The Boy Scout Handbook, which is due out about Feb. 1, 1999. Some highlights of the changes include the following:
- Eagle Scout rank. The number of required merit badges is still 21, but Personal Fitness replaces Safety as a required badge. In addition, the Sports merit badge is no longer required, and Eagle candidates will be asked to earn one of three "aerobics-related" badges: Swimming, Hiking, or Cycling.
- Second and First Class ranks. There will be more cooking skills required in Second Class. In addition, swimming requirements for First and Second Class will now "mesh" with the swimming standards for summer camp: the Second Class requirement will be "Beginner" and the First Class requirement will be "Swimmer."
Professional Scouters attend national training conference in Nashville
In August, more than 4,500 council, regional, and national office professional and professional-technical employees, retirees, and family members assembled for three days in Nashville for the BSA's 1998 National Leadership Training Conference.
The event was the first national gathering of the entire professional Scouting family since the 1968 conference at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
In the Opryland Hotel's mammoth exhibit hall, Scouters visited displays staffed by personnel from national office divisions and programs, ranging from Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing to Personnel, Council Services, and Finance Support. In each display area, they were also able to hear a lineup of "best methods" presentations from fellow professionals.
General sessions included a series of outstanding speakers, such as Stephen R. Covey, author of the best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Zig Ziglar, noted "master of motivation."
Conference entertainment included a musical performance by Louise Mandrell (who also performed at the 1997 National Scout Jamboree). The Nashville entertainer is a registered Scouter in the Middle Tennessee Council and sponsor of the annual Louise Mandrell Celebrity Shoot, which benefits Scouting in middle Tennessee and is broadcast nationally in January on The Nashville Network (TNT).
Scholarships available for Eagle Scouts
Eagle Scouts graduating from high school can apply for college scholarships through the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA).
The number of winners and size of awards are determined by NESA review committees. Last year NESA sponsored 21 scholarships.
Applicants must be registered in the BSA, have received the Eagle Scout Award, and have a minimum SAT score of 1090 or ACT score of 26. Candidates also must demonstrate leadership in Scouting, strong activities outside Scouting, and financial need. Applications (BSA Bin No. 58-702) are available from local council service centers or Eagle Scout Service, S220, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 28, 1999, and received no later than March 5.
Scouting article receives an award for reporting
The Scouting magazine Family Talk column entitled "Helping Children Who Stutter" is one of five first-place recipients of the 1998 Awards for Excellence in news reporting, presented by the Stuttering Foundation of America.
The column, by freelance writer Kathy Brandt, appeared in the September 1997 issue of Scouting. It took top honors in the magazine category for "providing accurate information on stuttering, debunking the many myths surrounding the disorder, and giving parents tips on how they can help their child and where to find help."
More information on the disorder is available from the Stuttering Foundation of America's toll-free hotline, (800) 992-9392, and Web site, http://www.stuttersfa.org.
Fossett survives failed flight
After his fourth try to be the first person to circle the globe solo in a balloon ended in failure, Eagle Scout and world-class adventurer Steve Fossett has hinted that this may have been his last attempt at the elusive "first."
In August Fossett's latest attempt launched from Argentina. He had completed two-thirds of the trip when his high-tech balloon craft was caught in a severe storm off the coast of Australia. Hail ruptured the balloon, forcing him down 29,000 feet into the shark-filled Coral Sea.
Rescued almost immediately by a passing yacht, Fossett suffered only minor bruises and burns. Although unsuccessful in his mission, he set a new distance record of 15,200 miles, beating his previous mark of 10,360, set in January 1997.
About two months prior to his latest attempt, the businessman/adventurer/explorer described his plans for the flight in an address at the BSA national annual meeting in San Antonio, Tex., at which he received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (see the September 1998 issue).
Philmont Training Center offers 1999 training opportunities
The Philmont Training Center (PTC), the BSA national training facility at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, N.M., offers a wide range of summer training conferences for council and district volunteers and professionals, along with a full schedule of age-specific activities for family members.
Families arrive on Sunday and depart the following Saturday. Meals are served in dining halls; housing is in extra-large, two-person wall tents on platforms, with electricity, bedding, and towels. Showers, rest rooms, medical facilities, and recreation areas are nearby.
Conference fees, which include meals, lodging, and conference and program materials, are as follows: conference participants, $250; spouses and children over age 18, $200; children 6-18, $160; children 3-5, $100; children 2 and under, $25. A Mountain Trek for teen-agers is $190; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC) fees are $200.
Scouters must be invited by their local council to attend. For more information, contact your council service center or write Mark Griffin, Director, Philmont Training Center, Cimarron, NM 87714.
The 1999 summer schedule:
Administration of Commissioner Service; Council and District Activities; District Committee; District Key-3; Venturing; The Unit Commissioner; Training Management Seminar.
Order of the Arrow Adviser's Seminar; OA National Leadership Seminar; The Scout Oath and Law in Action; Training Boy Scout Leaders; Boy Scout Advancement; Boy Scout Roundtables; Teaching Basic Boy Scout Camping Skills; The Venture Patrol and the Varsity Team; Project COPE Director Training (June 13-26); National Junior Leader Instructor Camp.
OA National Leadership Seminar; Developing the SPL & the Patrol Method in a Troop; Training Boy Scout Leaders; Working With Scouts With Disabilities; Boy Scout Advancement; Teaching Boy Scout Basic Camping Skills; Strictly for Scoutmasters; Conducting a Council JLT Course; Scouting the Environment; Project COPE Instructor/Inspector Training; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp; Scoutreach (Rural and Urban Emphasis).
June 27-July 3:
Cub Scout Pow Wow Leadership; Cub Scout Camping Program; Cub Scout Roundtable Planning; Growing With Garfield; Quality Pack Program; Strictly for Cubmasters; Training Cub Scout Leaders.
Scouting in the LDS Church; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (July 4-10).
United Methodist Scouters' Workshop; Membership/Relationships Committee; Scouting in the Catholic Church; Scouting and the Church's Ministry; Marketing and Public Relations; Scouting in Community Organizations; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp.
Administration of Commissioner Service; Council Key-3; District Committee; District Key-3; Health and Safety/Risk Management; The Unit Commissioner; Training Management Seminar; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp.
Administration of Commissioner Service; District Committee; District Key-3; People Management I*; People Management II*; Professional Development Level II*; The Unit Commissioner; National Junior Leader Instructor Camp. (* Professional conferences)
Administration of the Cub Scout Program; Cub Scout Roundtable Planning; Family Camping Skills; Strengthening Den Programs; Strictly for Cubmasters; Training Cub Scout Leaders; Webelos Scout Program.
Financing the District-FOS; Learning For Life/Exploring Operations; Major Gifts (Endowment) Seminar; Scouting in the Vietnamese-American Community; James E. West Fellowship Week.
November-December 1998 Table of Contents
Copyright © 1998 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.
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