October 2017 Outing – C &O Canal Hike

The troop camped at McCoy’s Ferry, and hit the trails on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect for a hike. Eric gave a mini history lesson about the lock systems and the canal. The hike ended at the town of Williamsport. The aqueduct is being repaired, so the troop was detoured through the edge of town. A GPS measurement gave the final mileage count at 13 miles. C and O 8C and O 2 C and O 7 C and O 4 C and O 6C and O 3C and O

Boy Scouts of America Seeks to Inspire Next Generation of Explorers with the Launch of the New Exploration Merit Badge

National Geographic to sponsor the interactive Exploration Merit Badge Experience at the 2017 National Scout JamboreeExploration

Irving, Texas – (February 23, 2017) New discoveries are made every day, thanks to technological advancements and the keen curiosity of today’s explorers. To encourage future discoveries, the nation’s largest youth-serving organization is working to inspire the next generation of explorers by introducing the new Exploration Merit Badge. Created and developed by experts in the field, the Exploration Merit Badge is the 137th addition to the BSA’s bank of merit badge programs and is now available to Scouts nationwide.

“We have a wealth of experience encouraging Scouts to use their natural curiosity to learn how the world works, and now we’re putting that energy and adventure into a new merit badge,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “The Exploration Merit Badge adds to our broad range of STEM topics and programs Scouts can experience.”

To earn the Exploration Merit Badge, Scouts will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of exploration, as well as its history and importance in today’s world. They will complete hands-on projects about real-life explorations and have the opportunity to complete an exploration in a lab or in the field. The badge culminates with the Scout planning, preparing for and completing their own expedition. Throughout the program, they will also learn more about career opportunities across various fields such as oceanography, archeology, weather and biology, drawing inspiration from famous explorers and expeditions of our time.

To create this dynamic program, the BSA partnered with a diverse group of exploring experts from a variety of fields, organizations, professions and programs. These experts live and breathe exploring and their stories give Scouts great examples and advice of how to turn curiosity and interests into a results-driven adventure.

Michael Manyak, Distinguished Eagle Scout and expedition medicine expert, led the charge for the development of this merit badge and worked closely with the BSA and other explorers to make it come to life.

“Exploration is what drives innovation, whether in science, economics, or business – we need exploration to spur discoveries that help enhance their lives and improve our world,” said Manyak. “The possibilities for exploring are endless and require teamwork and dedication. We look forward to seeing Scouts become future change-makers through their experiences with this badge.”

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, who is also an Eagle Scout, contributed to the guidelines for the Exploration Merit Badge. That’s why this summer, National Geographic is thrilled to team up with the BSA as a presenting sponsor to offer Scouts the opportunity to begin earning the badge during the 2017 National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. At the Jamboree Exploration Merit Badge Experience, Scouts will learn alongside real-life leaders in exploration while also attending Scouting’s premier destination for high adventure and fun. Additionally, as part of National Geographic’s ongoing support of the badge, Scouts will be able to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to the 2018 Explorers Symposium at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Exploration Merit Badge is available to Scouts in print format to youth members, ages 11-18, who participate in the Boy Scouts program. For more information, visit BeAScout.org.

Under New BSA Transportation Policy, Drivers Must be Licensed and at Least 18

Posted on February 13, 2017 by 


The Boy Scouts of America’s updated transportation policy now requires all drivers to be at least 18 and have a valid driver’s license.

Scouting youth under age 18 are not insured under the BSA’s commercial general liability policy and cannot be allowed to drive to or from Scouting activities.

This includes an under-18 Scout or Venturer driving himself or herself to a Scouting event, even if he or she is the only one in the car. It includes short trips across town and long trips across the country.

There are no exceptions, and the new policy is effective immediately.

Previous exceptions to this policy, including those outlined in this blog post from 2014, were a source of confusion for volunteers. The BSA is listening to your concerns and eliminated the exceptions to simplify and reduce the complexity of the policy.

As with everything outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting, the purpose is clear: keeping Scouts and Scouters safe.

BSA transportation policy

Read the BSA’s transportation policy at this link. Pay particular attention to the sections on:

  • 15-passenger vans
  • limits on an individual’s driving time
  • hand-held cellphone use

Driving to/from troop or crew meetings

What about a 16- or 17-year-old Scout or Venturer driving to or from a troop/crew meeting? This one qualifies as “not applicable.”

Richard Bourlon, BSA team lead of health and safety, says, “Driving to or from a standard meeting place isn’t an official Scouting activity or part of any tour planning.”

Adds Mark Dama, BSA team lead of risk management, adds, “It’s similar to you going to work and coming home from work. You are not considered an employee at both of those times.”

So, as always, these teens should practice safe driving habits but are neither prohibited from nor required to drive to and from unit meetings.

Easter Candy Sale

Troop 883 is selling Log Cabin Easter candy to support our Troop program.

Featuring Hand-Made Gourmet Products From

log-cabin-chocolates-logoA Baltimore Institution for more than 95 years!

Log Cabin Chocolates is a family owned business that has been hand-making old-fashioned chocolate candy favorites for generations.  They use only the finest ingredients and handcraft their chocolates using recipes that date back over 95 years.  Log Cabin Chocolates has been making and selling chocolates at their facility in Fallston, Maryland since 1961.

Ordering is Easy!

Boy Scouts will take orders from neighbors, friends, and family members until Sunday, April 2.

The Seller (a Boy Scout) will hand-deliver your order on the weekend of April 8/9 – the week before Easter.

All orders must be pre-paid (cash or check).

Make checks payable to “Boy Scout Troop 883”

Link to the Order Form:  Order Form

If you are interested in purchasing Easter Candy to support our Troop program, please email CommitteeChair@BSATroop883.com or call 410.977.2956.