Mark Your Calendars – Boy Scout Breakfast – June 5


Mark your calendars!

Tell your friends!

Post on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)


Boy Scout Breakfast to benefit Boy Scout Troop 883

Sunday, June 5, 2016 – 8 AM to 12 Noon

 Formation & Fellowship Center – St. Joseph Catholic Community


“All You Can Eat” Pancakes

Scrambled Eggs



Milk, Juice, Coffee, Tea


Adults – $5

Children (5 – 12) – $3

Children (under 5) – FREE

Family Maximum – $30

Link to Flyer:  Pancake Breakfast Flyer     

Questions??  Email:

Documentary Sheds New Light on Gerald Ford, Our Only Eagle Scout President (So Far!)

Chances are pretty good that most Scouts have only a vague knowledge of Gerald Ford, the only Eagle Scout President (so far).  Heck, I was only four years old when he became President.  But his is an interesting story.

Did you know he is the only person to date who has served as Vice President and President without being elected to either office?  When Vice President Spiro Agnew (formerly Baltimore County Executive and Governor of Maryland) resigned as Vice President in 1973 (after pleading no contest to accepting bribes as County Executive, Governor, and Vice President), Ford was chosen by President Nixon to become Vice President.  Then, when President Nixon resigned in 1974 (as a result of the Watergate scandal), Ford became President.One of his more controversial actions as President was to grant a full and unconditional pardon to President Nixon for any criminal acts associated with the Watergate scandal.  At the time, the nation was divided over whether this was the right thing to do.

As a political junkie, I think this program might be worth watching with your family.  There were a number of ethical dilemmas Ford faced, and many of the decisions he was forced to make were unprecedented.

I also highly recommend watching the movie All the President’s Men, the story of two junior reporters from the Washington Post who were assigned to a mundane story about a break in at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate office building in Washington, DC.  They doggedly pursued the story – which ended up connecting the burglary all the way to President Nixon.  Again, this might spur conversation with your family about the unethical (and illegal) decisions that ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

Posted on May 24, 2016 by 

Gerald Ford Boy ScoutWhen Richard Nixon resigned as president in 1974, the United States was in turmoil.

It needed a leader. It needed a man of character to right the ship. It needed an Eagle Scout.

A new documentary on the National Geographic Channel highlights Gerald R. Ford, the man who is (at least so far) the only Eagle Scout to become U.S. president.

The film, narrated by Jeff Daniels, shows how important character and trust are in the world’s most powerful position. It shows how Ford built bipartisan support, united a nation and gained respect from world leaders.

Not bad for a man who never even wanted to be president.

With the current state of social and political unrest in this country, the timing of this film’s look back at Ford’s legacy seems especially prescient.

Gerald R. Ford: A Test of Character debuts at 9 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific) Friday, May 27, on the National Geographic Channel.

Host a watch party

Consider gathering your troop, crew, team, post or ship for a viewing party Friday night.

Bring some snacks and sodas and plan to discuss the role this Eagle Scout played in American history.

Can’t make Friday night work? The film will be available on demand after its initial airing.

Gerald R. Ford (left) holds the flag as he and his fellow members of the Eagle Scout Guard of Honor prepare to raise the colors over Fort Mackinac at Mackinac Island State Park, Mich. The troop served as guides during the summer months of 1929.

Gerald R. Ford (left) holds the flag as he and his fellow members of the Eagle Scout Guard of Honor prepare to raise the colors over Fort Mackinac at Mackinac Island State Park, Mich. The troop served as guides during the summer months of 1929.

Horsemanship card Gerald Ford

See more

An Eagle Scout interviewed Gerald Ford’s daughter, Susan, for this Facebook video on behalf of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.

Virginia Venturing Crew starts Scout unit at orphanage in Haiti

Posted on May 3, 2016 by 

Hannah-W-Haiti-2Things were a little different the second time Hannah Wheaton visited Haiti.

In her first trip, in 2014, Hannah visited Haiti with a grand but complicated idea for a service project: Her Venturing crew wanted to start a Scout unit at a Haitian orphanage.

Back then it was just an idea, but in Hannah’s return visit last month, she could tell right away that her crew’s hard work had paid off.

When she arrived at the Port-au-Prince airport wearing the red-and-blue Haitian Scout neckerchief, complete strangers greeted her saying “Scout, Scout” (pronounced there like “scoot, scoot”).

Brunel Etienne, International Commissioner of Scouts d’Haïti, was there to greet her, too. When Hannah, her dad and her sister arrived at Maison Fortune Orphanage, more familiar faces awaited.

Now, thanks to this service-minded Venturing crew in Virginia, more than 90 residents at the orphanage in one of the world’s poorest countries are enjoying all that Scouting has to offer.

Service without borders

It all started in October 2014 when Hannah, her sister and her dad (also the crew advisor) met with Haiti’s national and international commissioners about the possibility of establishing a Scouting program at the orphanage.

Crew 824 of Chesapeake, Va., in the Tidewater Council wanted to support the unit as a way to spread Scouting to young people who need it. After all, Scouting has no real borders. Scouts in the U.S. and Scouts in Haiti are members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

Last month, Hannah, Southern Region vice president of communications and a recipient of the Venturing Silver Award, saw the results of her crew’s efforts when she attended a Scout meeting at the orphanage.

She practiced her French-speaking skills — and her dance moves, which they call “animation.”

“The meeting was full of more ‘animation,’ which could be a great thing to liven up a [Venturing] crew meeting,” she says. “I was particularly impressed that the Scouting meeting was entirely youth-led.”

The same, only different

After the meeting, Hannah talked to some of the leaders about the similarities and differences between Scouting here and Scouting there.

For one, the Haitian Scouts were confused by how we Americans identify our Scout units.

“They also were confused why we name our groups with numbers,” she says, “because in Haiti, they use names of famous people.”

Hannah’s a member of Crew 824 back home, but the Scout unit at the Haitian orphanage is called Catherine Flon, who in 1803 sewed the first Haitian flag.

The activities are a little different, too. One game was called “Mange Pomme,” in which apples are tied to a string from the ceiling of a tent and participants try to eat it without using their hands.

The game is “more difficult than I thought,” Hannah says.

Another difference: the use of the neckerchief. While the neckerchief is optional in many Scout units in the U.S., in Haiti it’s the primary way to identify Scouts.

But there are plenty of similarities between Haitian and American Scouting. One is service. All Haitian Scouts complete a project to improve their community.

Another is pride in the uniform — but for slightly different reasons.

“For many Scouts at Maison Fortune, [the uniform] is the nicest clothes that they own,” Hannah says. “So they wear it to church.”


Boy Scout Finds (and Returns) Actor Chris Hemsworth’s Wallet & Gets on ‘Ellen’

Posted on April 20, 2016 by 

Scouts help anyone in need — even superheroes.

Illinois Eagle Scout Tristin Budzyn-Barker found a lost wallet while on a recent trip to California. Inside, he learned the owner’s not-so-secret identity: actor Chris Hemsworth.

“Mom, do you know who this is?” Tristin remembers saying. “We found Thor’s wallet.”

Tristin did some investigating, found the actor’s address and sent a letter telling him about his find. To Hemsworth’s surprise, the wallet was returned with all the cash still inside.

This good turn got the attention of another famous person: Ellen DeGeneres.

“Obviously, you could’ve kept it,” DeGeneres told Tristin during Monday’s show. “There was money in there, right?”

As a reward, Hemsworth gave Tristin all the money that had been inside the wallet — plus a little extra. And then he gave the Eagle Scout a gift money can’t buy.

He presented Tristin with a framed letter he had written to congratulate him on his earning the Eagle Scout award.

Progress toward Eagle

Tristin, a member of Troop 141 of the Blackhawk Area Council, earned Eagle in November 2015. He discussed his Eagle Scout service project with DeGeneres on her show.

“What’s really cool, to earn the Eagle Scout badge … you were building shelters for horses,” she said. She showed photos of the finished project.

As a final surprise, DeGeneres gave Tristin his own wallet and $10,000 in cash from Shutterfly.

All that from one good turn.

“You’re an amazing young man,” DeGeneres said. “Thank you for being such an honest guy.”

Watch the video from The Ellen DeGeneres Show here.

Thanks to Jillian Infusino and Ann P. for the story tip. 

Correction: The original version of this story said Tristin is a Life Scout. He has earned the Eagle Scout award. 

A Stanford Dean on Adult Skills Every 18-year-old Should Have

This question originally appeared on QuoraWhat are the skills every 18 year old needs?Answer by Julie Lythcott-Haims, Author of NYT bestseller How to Raise an Adult; former Stanford dean; podcast host.

Question:  How many of these skills will your son learn in the Scouting program?
Answer:  All of them!

1. An 18-year-old must be able to talk to strangers

Faculty, deans, advisers, landlords, store clerks, human resource managers, coworkers, bank tellers, health care providers, bus drivers, mechanics—in the real world.

The crutch: We teach kids not to talk to strangers instead of teaching the more nuanced skill of how to discern the few bad strangers from the mostly good ones. Thus, kids end up not knowing how to approach strangers—respectfully and with eye contact—for the help, guidance, and direction they will need out in the world.

2. An 18-year-old must be able to find his or her way around

A campus, the town in which her summer internship is located, or the city where he is working or studying abroad.

The crutch: We drive or accompany our children everywhere, even when a bus, their bicycle, or their own feet could get them there; thus, kids don’t know the route for getting from here to there, how to cope with transportation options and snafus, when and how to fill the car with gas, or how to make and execute transportation plans.

3. An 18-year-old must be able to manage his assignments, workload, and deadlines

The crutch: We remind kids when their homework is due and when to do it—sometimes helping them do it, sometimes doing it for them; thus, kids don’t know how to prioritize tasks, manage workload, or meet deadlines, without regular reminders.

4. An 18-year-old must be able to contribute to the running of a house hold

The crutch: We don’t ask them to help much around the house because the checklisted childhood leaves little time in the day for anything aside from academic and extracurricular work; thus, kids don’t know how to look after their own needs, respect the needs of others, or do their fair share for the good of the whole.

5. An 18-year-old must be able to handle interpersonal problems

The crutch: We step in to solve misunderstandings and soothe hurt feelings for them; thus, kids don’t know how to cope with and resolve conflicts without our intervention.

6. An 18-year-old must be able to cope with ups and downs

Courses and workloads, college-level work, competition, tough teachers, bosses, and others.

The crutch: We step in when things get hard, finish the task, extend the deadline, and talk to the adults; thus, kids don’t know that in the normal course of life things won’t always go their way, and that they’ll be okay regardless.

7. An 18-year-old must be able to earn and manage money

The crutch: They don’t hold part-time jobs; they receive money from us for what ever they want or need; thus, kids don’t develop a sense of responsibility for completing job tasks, accountability to a boss who doesn’t inherently love them, or an appreciation for the cost of things and how to manage money.

8. An 18-year-old must be able to take risks

The crutch: We’ve laid out their entire path for them and have avoided all pitfalls or prevented all stumbles for them; thus, kids don’t develop the wise understanding that success comes only after trying and failing and trying again (a.k.a. “grit”) or the thick skin (a.k.a. “resilience”) that comes from coping when things have gone wrong.

Remember: Our kids must be able to do all of these things without resorting to calling a parent on the phone. If they’re calling us to ask how, they do not have the life skill.

Camp Cards – 50% in Your Scout Account

Do you or family shop at Safeway? This is an excellent opportunity to earn a few dollars for your scout account. Perhaps you get your oil changed at Jiffy Lube?

A camp card is a value/discount card which features coupon deals for local and
national businesses in and around the greater Baltimore area.

On the back of the card are 10 reusable discounts, valid from February 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016.

In addition to the reusable coupons, each card is outfitted with two one-time use, “break off” coupons. One is for Safeway $5 and the other is for Planet Fitness.

Each card is sold for $5.00, and provides the customer with no less than $100 in savings.

See Melissa to get your camp card. Each card is worth $2.50 in your scout account. Deadline to purchase is May 1, 2016.

Philmont Shakedown Hike

This weekend, several members of the Troop traveled to Sugarloaf Mountain outside of Frederick to complete one of several planned “shakedown” hikes to prepare for our 2016 Philmont trek.

12 Life Lessons That Every Boy Scout Has Learned

boy-scouts-of-america-1aFrom leadership to fire building to braving the bathrooms, every Boy Scout learns something during his time in the uniform.

Brian Vanvestraut in The List on Mar 21, 2016

The Boy Scouts of America have had a huge impact on my life as well as the lives of countless other men in this country. Scouting teaches young boys some of the most important skills they will ever learn (and some not so important but really cool). Whether you earn your Eagle Scout or drop out before you reach Tenderfoot, every Scout gains or learns something during his time in the program. Here are some of the most important things that every Scout learned along the way.

1.How to Build a Fire

One of the first things that every first-year Scout or Cub Scout wants to learn is how to build a fire. Boys are taught the types of firewood, how to light a fire using various means, how to keep it lit, etc. Fire building is both fun and important to know.

2. How to Roast the Perfect Marshmallow

Speaking of fires, everyone wants to roast the perfect marshmallow. Almost every Scout has fond memories of being shown how to roast to a perfect golden brown color, before immediately becoming impatient and lighting the marshmallow on fire.

3. How to Whittle With Minimal Injuries

It takes a long time, but eventually all Scouts can get through an entire wood-carving project with only a few accidents.

4. How to Shower Only One Time in an Entire Week

Yes, almost every young Scout does this.That being said, don’t do this. I know you can get away with it. I know that campfire smoke masks the smell. However, I also know that is gross and a Scout is clean. Please shower every day, your mother will know if you don’t. Thank you.

5. What Bug Juice is

Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually come from bugs.

6. How to Hold Your Breath While Going to the Bathroom

It doesn’t matter how well you cleaned the latrines, they still smell awful. Once a Scout is no longer afraid to go in the latrine, he quickly learns to hold his breath and get out as quickly as possible.

7. What Good Food Tastes Like

The best food is made either over a fire or on a backpacking stove. Especially if you wrap everything in aluminum foil and put it in the fire pit. If a little dirt gets in, it never killed anyone. Besides, it adds a unique texture.

8. How to Fall Asleep Just About Anywhere

From army cots to air mattresses, the ground to benches, picnic tables to concrete, Scouts can sleep almost anywhere.

9. Meals are Great for Songs

Everyone’s favorite time of the meal is the song, even if they don’t want to admit it.

10. How to Teach and Lead

Most Scouts and former Scouts I know are natural leaders. Scouting prepares you to lead in many different situations. This leadership can even include teaching. This has even inspired many Scouts, myself included, to become teachers.

11. What Real Friendship is

Scouting friends are friends for life. You are never on your Scouting journey alone, and you hang on to the people who traveled the trail with you for the rest of your life.

12. How to be a Better Man

Scouting, at its core, is preparing young boys to be great men. From the skills and leadership to the friendships and memories, everything we do and learn in Scouting can be used to make us better human beings. I personally believe that everyone who has put on the uniform or raised the Scout sign, even just once, carries the Spirit of Scouting in his heart for his entire life. Whether a boy is a Scout for one day or 50 years, he will have learned something from his time in Scouting.