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.

Seattle: Boy Scout Camps Close in South Sound, Could be Logged for Cash

To underscore the importance of your contribution to Friends of Scouting, here is news about another Council struggling to maintain its camps amid declining enrollments and rapidly rising costs.

This could happen to Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation in the Baltimore Area Council!

Please consider making a contribution to Friends of Scouting.  

See Melissa for more details. 

Boy Scout camps close in South Sound, could be logged for cash

Four of five South Sound-area Scout camps have closed amid decreasing enrollment and rising costs.

By  / Seattle Times environment reporter

Amid rising costs and declining enrollment, four of five South Sound-area Scout camps have closed, and some are being logged to raise money.

What’s next for the camps is yet to be resolved, as the Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America faces a nearly 40 percent drop in Scouting membership in the past decade, while costs for everything from insurance to maintenance and operations continue to rise.

The financial problems at the Pacific Harbors Council have been building for years, and the council has to repay a $650,000 loan, almost all of it from losses at the camps, said Ralph Voelker, scout executive for the council. “We don’t want to be closing camps.

“It is sad. We wish we were not in this position; we would much rather keep these camps open, but as the number of kids using the properties continues to decline we just can’t keep them open.”

The situation at the Pacific Harbor Council camps does not affect camps run by the Seattle-based Chief Seattle Council.

Kids have more options today, Voelker said, families are busier, and many are choosing organized team sports over Scouting.

The council’s executive board in December voted to approve a so-called one camp plan, leaving open only Camp Thunderbird, west of Olympia.

Closed are Camp Curran south of Parkland, Pierce County; Camp Delezenne near Elma, Grays Harbor County; Camp Hahobas in Tahuya, Mason County, on Hood Canal; and Camp Kilworth in Federal Way.

Camp Hahobas offered more than 600 acres with three lakes, swaths of forest, a saltwater beach and spectacular views of Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. Campers competed in lake regattas on homemade rafts and could earn a merit badge for welding and learn about blacksmithing.

The camp’s venerable history began in the 1930s with campers arriving by sailboat on the canal, cutting their tent sites into salal and testing themselves in high adventure in the Olympics. But a final campfire was held last month, after the executive board voted to prepare the camp for sale, one of many possible options for the camp.

“I would love to have a donor call me and save the day,” Voelker said.

The Boy Scouts logged 30 acres of Camp Hahobas this year, receiving $55,000 for the timber to offset financial losses. More logging may get under way this year.

Logging could raise up to $225,000 across the various camp properties, Voelker said.

The long-term future of all four of the closed camps is up in the air. All options are on the table, Voelker said, from outright sale if deeds allow it, such as at Hahobas, to just shuttering the camps and hoping for better times, or devising a new management structure.

Parents and Scout volunteers are working to create a nonprofit organization to assume the costs and upkeep of the waterside Camp Kilworth, which was donated to the Boy Scouts of America in 1934.

“I want what’s best for our Cub Scouts; we don’t want to lose this camp,” said Lynne Long, a longtime volunteer with the camp helping to lead the charge to bring its costs, maintenance and promotion under the management of a new nonprofit.

The Friends of Camp Kilworth have created a Facebook page and an online petition with about 500 signatures supporting continued Scout use of the camp. Envisioned is a partnership with the Pacific Harbors Council and Boy Scouts of America to take over the operating expenses, maintenance, marketing and improvements of the camp and provide Federal Way and Tacoma area Scouts a local option for day camps and weekend outings.

Parents who use Camp Kilworth say Camp Thunderbird outside of Olympia is too far away for families to drive Cub Scouts for day camp with a morning drop-off and evening pickup in I-5 traffic.

Voelker said the council is aware of the issue and is trying to arrange other options for parents for this upcoming season for day camp. “It’s our intent to find a property to do a day camp so they don’t have to go that far.”

With its spectacular view of Puget Sound, mature forest padded with moss and ferns, and fine old lodge buildings, Camp Kilworth is just too good to lose, parents said. Juanita DuPont, of Federal Way, said she would like to see a better justification for such drastic action. “How did we get here that all these camps are being closed?”

The Scouts have tried to sell Camp Kilworth before, only to be turned back by a fight that went all the way to the State Supreme Court, which found that the deed for the camp directed that the property revert to the original family trusts if the council violated the original intent of the gift that the land be used only for Scouting.

“The trust would love to see it continue to be used with that intent,” Bob Casey, attorney representing the family trusts, said Friday. The Boy Scouts are free to enter into any arrangement that keeps Scouting going on the property, Casey said.

From pinewood derbies to flag ceremonies, medieval sword-fight re-enactments and an uncountable number of camp fires, Camp Kilworth has been the center of family activities for which there is no local substitute especially for young Cub Scouts, said Laura Olsen, whose boys grew up enjoying the camp.

Home to eagles and owls, kingfishers and ospreys, Camp Kilworth’s forest is flecked with blooming trillium, and the 25-acre property provides a wildlife corridor between the Dumas Bay Park Wildlife Sanctuary and Dash Point State Park. It feels a world away from the bustle of Federal Way, Olsen said. “Being outdoors in a place like this is what kids need.”

Voelker said conversations are under way about the future of the camp.

“I grew up working at summer camps, and I understand the value of what it is to teach children about the outdoors,” Voelker said. “I just wish we had more kids involved so we had more of a chance to make these good places for them to go.”

The controversy has “opened up some people’s eyes to the potential,” Voelker said.

“We’ll see. We have to keep an open mind. Some may sell, others may sit and wait, and with others we may get a new partner. We will stay open to all these potentials. We have a long way to go; we are not anywhere near to done.”

Medal of Honor Recipient Got His Start in Scouting

Posted on March 3, 2016 by Gretchen Sparling in Scouting in the News

On  Feb. 29, President Obama awarded Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward C. Byers Jr. the Medal of Honor. This is the nation’s highest honor for military valor.

Edward-Byers-Medal-HonorThe award recognizes Byers’ heroism during a 2009 operation in Afghanistan. Byers and members of SEAL Team 6 rescued American Dilip Joseph, an aid worker and physician who was being held hostage by the Taliban.

After wrestling a gunman, Byers shielded the hostage from gunfire. During the exchange, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque was killed in action.

Byers is the first living, active-duty U.S. Navy service member to receive the award since 1976.

Edward-Byers-Medal-HonorAnd it turns out that he got his start as a Scout in Troop 325 of Grand Rapids, Ohio.

President Obama described Byers as the kind of guy who “is defined by a deep sense of humility.”

That description sounds accurate to Byers’ former Scoutmaster, Brent Bomer of Grand Rapids, Ohio.

“Ed wasn’t a superstar,” Bomer says. “He was a good Scout, and he liked to camp and be outside.” The Scoutmaster says Troop 325 has spent “quite a bit of time talking about Ed. The boys think it’s pretty cool.”

Byers achieved the First Class rank and earned the First Aid merit badge, which he likely put to use on that 2009 day in Afghanistan.

Join us in thanking Byers for his heroism and service to our nation.

Watch Monday’s ceremony below.

Top photo courtesy of U.S. Navy; Inset photo by Chip Somodevilla for Getty Images.

Eagle Scout Climber Matt Moniz Witnesses Everest Avalanche, Assists in Rescue Efforts

635656378362094219-Everest04Eagle Scout Matt Moniz’s first attempt at conquering Everest was in 2014.  He returned in 2015 to make a second attempt. As he prepared to make the ascent, he witnessed the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years. The quake demolished parts of the country on Saturday, leaving behind more than 3,000 casualties, devastating city ruins and a massive avalanche that pummeled through Matt’s Mount Everest Advanced Base Camp.

After the huge cloud of cascading snow poured over the Everest camp, the team of climbers struggled to seek cover as tents flattened and the camp crumbled in a matter of seconds. Many climbers were either stranded or caught in the avalanche’s deadly path, yet the Eagle Scout made it through without injury. Matt assisted in rescue efforts throughout the weekend.

“Matt is safe,” said his father Mike of the 17-year-old. “He arrived at Everest Base Camp just a few hours before the earthquake and avalanche. Thankfully, he was able to take shelter behind a large boulder and was shielded from the powder blast. The last 36 hours, have been brutal, he has been involved with extensive rescue operations.”

Major aftershocks rippled through the area on Sunday, heightening the urgency for the rescue operations. All casualties have since been identified and removed from base camp. Matt delivered good news via his Twitter yesterday regarding the climbers who were stranded higher on the mountain.

#Everest #earthquake #Everestbasecamp Good news – helicopter operations began @ 0530. Airlifting stranded C1/C2 climbers to EBC. #Reunited

— Matt Moniz (@climb7moniz) April 27, 2015

#Everest #earthquake #Everestbasecamp Helicopters flying @ dawn. Fantastic progress! The Khumbu Air Force 2 the rescue. Good chance 4 100%. — Matt Moniz (@climb7moniz) April 27, 2015

“We should all be proud of Matt and the training he’s had as an Eagle Scout,” said Mike. “He’s worked tirelessly with the rescue teams for the past 36 hours carrying many to safety.”

In a phone interview with The Weather Channel, Matt revealed that all injured climbers have been evacuated and lifted from the upper mountain. “Currently we are at base camp and danger is very low, but there is still a little bit of danger due to the aftershocks,” said Moniz. Helicopters will soon transport the relief crew to Kathmandu.

Watch Fox 31 Denver‘s coverage below to hear more.