Den Chiefs Wanted for Carroll District Day Camp


Carroll District is looking for a few exceptional Scouts to serve as Den Chief’s at the District’s annual Cub Scout Day Camp to be held June 19-24 at the Carroll County Farm Museum.


  • 1st Class or above
  • Age 14-17
  • Recommended by Scoutmaster

Registration information is available on the Carroll District webpage:

Contact either Camp Director Dan Collins ( or Program Director veil Ellis ( for more information.

Four of the Seven who Died in Challenger Explosion Were Scouts

Posted on January 28, 2016 by 

As we pause to remember the victims of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, it also seems an appropriate time to reflect on the Scouting connections to that ill-fated flight.

Four of the seven souls killed in the Challenger explosion, which happened Jan. 28, 1986, had Scouting pasts.

One of the victims, mission specialist Ellison Onizuka, was an Eagle Scout. The Hawaiian was also the first Asian-American in space.

Ronald McNair of South Carolina, another mission specialist, was a Star Scout. Two other specialists, Judith Resnik and Christa McAuliffe, were Girl Scouts.

An American flag that was carried on board and was one of the few items recovered from the wreckage, now belongs to a Boy Scout troop in Colorado that uses it for special events and Eagle Scout courts of honor.

As Boys’ Life explained in its July 1987 issue (see the clip below), Troop 514’s former Scoutmaster arranged to include the flag in the shuttle’s flight kit.

After the deadly explosion, most of the wreckage sank to the ocean floor. Nine months later, when divers searched the wreckage, they found a locker; inside was the American flag, still sealed in plastic and unharmed.

The flag was later declared official flag of the U.S. Constitution Bicentennial, and its story was documented in Gordan Ryan’s book Threads of Honor: The True Story of a Boy Scout Troop, Perseverance, Triumph and an American Flag.

Space Shuttle Challenger crew

  • Ellison Onizuka, mission specialist and Eagle Scout
  • Ronald McNair, mission specialist and Star Scout
  • Judith Resnik, mission specialist and Girl Scout
  • Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist and Girl Scout
  • Francis R. Scobee, commander
  • Michael J. Smith, pilot
  • Gregory Jarvis, payload specialist


Carroll District’s Klondike Derby 2016

While part of the Troop was at OKPIK in Ely, MN for winter high adventure camping, the rest of our Scouts were at Carroll District’s Klondike Derby this past weekend.

To say it rained cats and dogs on Friday night would be an understatement!
Although the tents leaked a bit and some of the sleeping bags got wet, the Scouts had quite a time at this year’s event.


Long Before ‘The Revenant,’ Boys’ Life Shared the Harrowing True Story of Hugh Glass

Posted on January 19, 2016 by 

In 1823, a brutal bear attack in what is now South Dakota left frontiersman Hugh Glass clinging to life. His ribs were crushed. His face mangled. His body clawed and shredded.

Left for dead by his traveling companions, Glass was forced to find a way to survive on his own. His companions even took his rifle, knife and belongings, forcing Glass to rely on skills not unlike those learned by modern Boy Scouts earning the Wilderness Survival merit badge.

If you think the tale of Hugh Glass would make a great Hollywood movie, you’re not alone. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays this 19th-century trapper in The Revenant, in theaters now.

But 27 years before The Revenant offered its fictionalized tale of Glass, Boys’ Life shared the terrifyingly true story with its readers.

You can read the full story, as it appeared in the November 1989 issue of BL, below.

Minor spoiler warning: I’ve seen The Revenant, and I can say it diverges enough from reality that reading the Boys’ Life telling below won’t spoil the movie for you. (The trailers for The Revenant say the film is merely inspired by true events, after all.)

That said, if you’re a purist and like to watch a movie knowing absolutely nothing going in, wait to read this story after you’ve seen the film.

The Tale of Hugh Glass

Click/tap the image below to enlarge.

Hugh Glass Boys Life November 1989

Scouting Continues as Rippeon Family Tradition with Awarding of Eagle Rank

From the Carroll County Times

Ryan Rippeon earns Eagle Scout rank months after his father's death

There were 13 candles lit on the table at the head of the room at Calvary United Methodist Church in Gamber on Saturday, with plentiful ribbons hanging from the ceiling and plenty of people filling the rows of folding chairs. A large sign on the wall identified this as the gathering place of Boy Scout Troop 735.

This was the Court of Honor for Ryan Rippeon, 17, of Westminster, and it was held to formally mark his attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. It was a cold afternoon outside the doors, but it was warm in that room — due not just to the heating, but also to the warmth of feeling, like a family gathering, of those who had come out to witness something special.

“Troop 735 is definitely like a big family, an extended family,” said Teresa Rippeon, Ryan’s mother.

Teresa stood beside Ryan at the head of that room and attached his Eagle Scout pin to his uniform, and she also received a Parent’s Pin recognizing her Eagle Scout. There was another Parent’s Pin, the pin for Ryan’s father, and this one was given to Ryan.

Ryan’s father, Vernon “Rick” Rippeon, died in June, at the age of 51, during a Father’s Day hike in New Hampshire with Troop 735. He was the troop’s assistant scoutmaster and former scoutmaster, though he never made Eagle Scout himself.

“I think he would be very proud,” Ryan said in an interview after the ceremony. “He really regretted not doing it himself, and he really got involved with us individually. I think it would have been a great thing for him.”

His father’s death was not an easy thing to understand, Ryan said, but the lessons he learned from Boy Scouts, about leadership and perseverance — as well as the community of his follow Scouts — helped him through it.

“It’s very supportive,” he said. “We have a great troop: There’s a lot of quality people in this troop, and we all help each other out.”

Rick Rippeon loved Scouting, according to Troop 735 Scoutmaster Gunnar Burdt, and he would have been proud to know Ryan has now been named the junior assistant scoutmaster in addition to earning his Eagle Scout badge.

“It’s great to see Ryan carry on his dad’s wishes and legacy of what he wanted,” Burdt said. “His dad was a scoutmaster before me, so I took over for his dad. His dad trained me, I trained Ryan, his dad trained Ryan, so it’s just nice to see that tradition carry on.”

In his speech at the end of the ceremony, Ryan moved to start a tradition of his own. Ryan’s 13-year-old brother, Patrick, is also a Scout with Troop 735, and Ryan passed on to Patrick a special coin he had received — a token that is intended to be passed on to another Eagle Scout as an inspiration to do something challenging.

“I decided to give it to my brother, and I obviously want to guide and mentor him,” Ryan said. “I told him, when he becomes an Eagle Scout, he should pass it down to someone else that he would help guide and mentor.”

Patrick is working on his Architecture Merit Badge and was already planning on becoming an Eagle Scout one day. After seeing his older brother receive his pin at the Court of Honor, Patrick said he is more inspired than ever to continue the family tradition.

“I do plan on achieving [Eagle Scout], I think it would be very cool,” he said. “In my dad’s honor, I think I should do that.”


Did You Know? Harrison Ford Once Served on Boy Scout Summer Camp Staff

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Bryan Wendell


I’ve got a good feeling about this.

In 1957, Harrison Ford — long before portraying that hero from a galaxy far, far away — played a heroic role much closer to home.

That’s the year the man who would become Han Solo served on staff at Boy Scout Camp Napowan in central Wisconsin.

Ford, who turned 15 that summer, worked in the nature area, officials at the BSA’s Pathway to Adventure Council confirmed to me this week.

“There is a canoe paddle at Camp Napowan in the dining hall with Harrison Ford’s name on it,” said Aaron Vikemyr, who recently moved to the Three Fires Council.

Jonathan Howe, an Eagle Scout and Chicago attorney, served on staff at Napowan for six or seven summers. One of those summers he staffed with a young man named Harry.

Howe remembers Harrison Ford as a “good guy — a bit on the shy side.” On days off from camp, Howe and Ford would head to Waupaca, Wis., or other nearby towns to “kick off our shoes and get away from the campers for a day,” Howe said.

Howe had no sense back then that he was hanging out with a future movie star. They were just a couple of Scouts who loved the outdoors.

“If someone had told me when we were there that Harry was going to become an actor, I don’t think that would’ve been on my radar,” Howe told me by phone this week.

The two had fallen out of touch when, in 1973, Howe saw the film American Graffiti and spotted a familiar face.

“That’s Harry Ford, my God!” Howe remembers thinking.

The first Indiana Jones movie came out eight years after that, with his former fellow staffer playing a role that didn’t really surprise Howe.

After all, Ford’s time as a Scout “in the outdoors sort of led him to have a natural affection for playing a role like Indiana Jones,” Howe said.

Harrison Ford, former Scout

Harrison Ford was a Boy Scout; that much we know.

The BSA’s national headquarters doesn’t keep historical records on Scouting ranks earned, other than Eagle Scout. But multiple online sources say Ford was a Life Scout — the rank immediately below Eagle Scout.

The BSA’s own “100 Things You Didn’t Know About Scouting” from 2010 says Ford was a Life Scout, and Howe remembers the same.

So while I can’t say so definitively, it would be fitting for Ford to have earned Scouting’s second-highest rank. After all, Indiana Jones was a Life Scout — as confirmed by young Indy’s uniform in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Indiana Jones’ Scouting status makes even more sense when you remember that The Last Crusade was directed by Eagle Scout Steven Spielberg.

Harrison Ford, snake charmer

Remember how Indiana Jones was deathly afraid of snakes?

The man who portrayed him was basically the opposite.

Ford taught the Reptile Study merit badge during his summer at Camp Napowan, according to the June 1994 issue of Boys’ Life magazine.

“Unlike the Indiana Jones portrayal, he was fine handling a snake,” Howe remembers.

Harrison Ford, real-life hero

Earlier this year I blogged about the time Harrison Ford rescued a lost Boy Scout in 2001.

After Ford landed his helicopter to save Cody Clawson, he said “good morning” to the young man, who told the Daily Mail he’ll never forget that voice.

“The way he said it reminded me so much of his role of Han Solo in Star Wars. Then I was like, ‘Oh my God, Han Solo has just rescued me. How cool is that?’”

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out this week, we’ll soon know who else Han Solo might rescue.