Tuesday, 09 March 2021 20:02

The Heart of a Champion

Story by Evan Heller, Buckeye Council

It would have been like watching a scene from a movie—if I’d had time to think about it.

With 10 seconds left in a hard-fought basketball game, my team of underdogs was tied with the tournament’s top seed. Nobody expected us to hang with them this close, yet now we were within a single basket of a huge upset. We were oblivious to the pressure, oblivious to the crowd, oblivious to the sweat, just playing our game. I wheeled into position, and a teammate passed me the ball as he’d done hundreds of times in practice. The basket was in sight. I drew up to shoot. And time stopped.

All 10 wheelchair basketball players on the court turned expectantly to follow the ball as it rose from my hands toward the basket, tumbling as it sailed through the air. An eternity seemed to pass as the ball approached the rim. It passed almost silently through the hoop, dropping to the court untouched as time expired and the horn blared to end the game—with the underdogs on top. We had won the biggest matchup in team history, and my shot had sealed it!

DISCOVERING A PASSION

Evan with his winning Pinewood Derby car in 2009.

I basically grew up in Scouting. When I was very young, my mom was a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America, and while she was in classrooms signing up new Cub Scouts, I was there. As soon as I was old enough, I joined Scouting. We had just moved to a new town, and I had no friends or family nearby. Scouting helped me meet people I could relate to. My den did everything together, from outside adventures to hands-on crafts and hobbies, and we learned important lessons like working as a team without even realizing it. I discovered that if I focus my competitive fire, I could become a Pinewood Derby ace. The opportunities I found through Scouting gave me experiences I would have missed otherwise. You see, I was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that makes walking very difficult for me, so I didn’t do much in the way of sports until I discovered archery at Scout camp at Woodland Trails Scout Reservation in Hilliard, Ohio. The smothering heat of that summer didn’t get in my way; I loved the feel and the power of the draw, aim, and shoot, and as my skills grew, so did my confidence.

Evan on the court with his Wooster High School wheelchair basketball team

When I returned home, I practiced constantly with the bow I received for my birthday. I can still remember the bright yellow fletching on the arrows and the sting of the bow strike against my forearm, and through all those hours of practice, I realized something: I wanted to share this awesome sport with other kids. So, I volunteered to teach archery the following year at Cub Scout day camp in Delaware, Ohio. There’s no better feeling when a Scout you’re coaching hits his first target. I knew I wanted to experience that feeling again and again. Helping other kids became my passion, but I knew I had other goals to conquer first.

PRACTICING MY GAME

As a teen, I discovered wheelchair basketball. With the discipline and leadership skills I had learned throughout my lifetime as a Scout, I emerged as a natural leader on the team. I joined my high school wheelchair basketball team, becoming one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation and leading my team to a 54-0 record and three straight state titles. When signing day came, I decided to continue my basketball career and education at Auburn University. I also am aiming higher, training to try out next year for the USA Men’s National team with a goal of earning a spot to compete at the U23 World Championships in Japan in 2022. After that, I plan to play professionally in Europe and work to earn a spot on Team USA to compete in the Paralympics before beginning a career that fulfills another lifelong goal.

I also am aiming higher, training to try out next year for the USA Men’s National team with a goal of earning a spot to compete at the U23 World Championships in Japan in 2022. After that, I plan to play professionally in Europe and work to earn a spot on Team USA to compete in the Paralympics before beginning a career that fulfills another lifelong goal. – Evan Heller

SINKING THE SHOT

Signing day for Evan

I have made the most of the opportunities I had through Scouting, and I continue to capitalize on what I learn from so many different types of incredible people I have met. No matter what happens after college, my plans definitely include a career that was presented to me directly from a strong Scouting influence. Teaching archery to Scouts at camp really opened my eyes to how I wanted to help people throughout my life. Outside of basketball practice at Auburn, I am pursuing a degree in special education to make my goals a reality. Being a Scout has helped me succeed throughout my life, even when challenges in my physical ability made it appear to be a near impossibility. Scouting gave me the chance to compete and to feel the rush of winning—and I like to win! My plan is to pay that blessing forward. Because I am a Scout, I’m not the underdog. I am a champion.

Evan, thank you for telling your Scouting story! We wish you the best in your pursuit of a Division I crown and a spot on the USA National wheelchair basketball team.

Special thanks to our donors and alumni who believe in the potential for our local camps and councils to open doors for young people to learn, excel, and set out on a path toward their futures. Evan’s story is unique, as are the stories of thousands of other young people whose successes are directly tied to their Scouting experience. You continue to make that happen with your unwavering support.

Evan and Amy

About Evan Heller

Evan is a scholarship freshman scholar/athlete at Auburn University, where he is a member of the wheelchair basketball team. In addition to the Scouting program, Evan credits his mother, Buckeye Council Senior District Director Amy Heller, as being the mentor who had the most impact on his life.

All photos courtesy of Amy Heller

Dear Scouting Family, 

This past year demonstrated that the Boy Scouts of America’s mission is more important than ever before, and I look to the future with hope. The entire Scouting community showed impressive perseverance, leadership, and commitment to the mission. I thank you all for showing up for Scouting each and every day.  

It has been just over a year since the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As you know from our regular updates, we have made significant progressbut there is still more work to be done. With that said, I am pleased to share with you that the BSA has taken an important step toward emerging from this process by filing an amended Plan of Reorganization with the Bankruptcy Court.  

The amended Plan of Reorganization outlines the BSA’s proposed strategy to provide equitable compensation to victims of past abuse and address our other financial obligations so that we can continue to serve youth for years to come. There are still many aspects of the Plan that we are refining through ongoing mediation, but the amended Plan is an important step in demonstrating progress that we believe will ultimately lead to a final plan that the Bankruptcy Court will confirm. 

Some othe proposed aspects outlined in the filing include: 

  • A 5-year business plan that demonstrates a sustainable model for continuing Scouting’s vital mission into the future and provides for the BSA to continue to fund its pension and benefit plans for employees and retirees.  
  • The channeling of all claims of past abuse against national BSA and local councils into a compensation Trust, which will allow us to equitably compensate victims and continue to serve youth across the country into the future. 
  • A national BSA contribution to the Trust that includes a significant portion of national BSA’s unrestricted, non-core assets that are not subject to liens of its secured lender. 
  • A loan from the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation to the BSA to provide the BSA with sufficient working capital following emergence from bankruptcy. 
  • contribution of at least $300 million from local councils to the Trust. 

As I mentioned, this amended plan is not the final planWhile we have reached agreements with two key constituentsour secured lender and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditorswe continue to negotiate with other parties as we move through the process of having our Plan confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court. Ultimately, claimants in the BSA’s Chapter 11 proceeding will have the opportunity to vote on the Plan. We are hopeful we can come to a global resolution that is in everyone’s best interest, including the victimsand can complete our restructuring process by this fall. 

I recognize that this is a complex processbut I want to remind you all of what we are trying to achieve through it: Our Scouting Movement—the national organization and local councils alikehas moral responsibility to compensate victims of past abuse and to continue Scouting’s missionWe understand the gravity of meeting these imperatives, and we are taking the necessary steps to get there.  

While there is still work ahead of us, I’m confident that our Scouting Movement will come out of this process even stronger, as long as we move forward together. I look forward to sharing updates with you as we continue to make progress 

Yours in Scouting,  

Roger Mosby  

President and CEO 

Boy Scouts of America 

 

On its February 17 broadcast, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt featured 17 young women from the Baltimore area who have all become Eagle Scouts as part of the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren talked with several of the girls about the experience of earning the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. 

Be sure to watch the entire broadcast below, and don’t forget to join us here on Facebook Live or here on Youtube on February 21st at 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT for the “Be the Change” event, a celebration of service, leadership, and the groundbreaking accomplishments of the first female Eagle Scouts!

Find more details on “Be the Change” here: www.scouting.org/bethechange.

Watch the NBC Nightly News segment below or here.

Tuesday, 09 February 2021 17:57

Critical COVID-19 Safety Reminder from BSA

The Scouting community has shown remarkable resilience through this pandemic: units have continued providing vital, socially distant community service, volunteers have facilitated merit badge classes online and outdoors, and thousands of young people have even attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

But it certainly has not been easy. And as we rightfully celebrate the initial distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and perhaps the beginning of the end of this pandemic, it’s important to remember that we must remain vigilant in our daily efforts to combat this deadly disease.

We each have the responsibility—as members of the Boy Scouts of America and as role models for the next generation of leaders—to continue following guidance from public health officials so we can protect not only ourselves but also the people in our dens, packs, troops and crews, as well as the individuals they go home to after attending a Scouting activity.

Scouting is a diverse organization with people of all ages and backgrounds, some of whom are at increased risk for contracting the virus and suffering severe symptoms. Whether you’re a Scouting parent, leader, or employee, you have the power to help protect everyone in the Scouting family by taking basic precautions.

To aid in your efforts, we recently updated our national statement on Covid-19 to include general mitigation measures, also included below, based on the CDC’s latest guidance. When coupled with guidance from your local council and local health department, these simple measures empower us to safely deliver and participate in Scouting programs.

Covid-19 Mitigation Measures for Everyone in Scouting

  • Isolate if you are sick, and do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you, anyone you live with, or anyone you have recently been around feels unwell.

  • Do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you or anyone you live with or have recently been around has been tested for COVID-19 or another illness and does not have the results back yet.

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from people who do not live with you. (Properly executed Scouting cohorts at council camps may be an exception).

  • Avoid crowds.

  • Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

  • Meet outside if you can.

  • Avoid international travel if possible.
Sunday, 31 January 2021 17:26

A Look at Our History and Our Future

Scouting Family:  

On February 8th, I’m going to wear my Scouting uniform, and I encourage you all to do the same as we celebrate the Boy Scouts of America’s 111th birthday. 

It’s a moment to acknowledge the contributions made by millions of young people and adults to Scouting, as well as the power of our Movement to bring people together to make a positive difference in our communities, our country, and the world. It is a moment to both reflect and look forward. 

This past year demonstrated that the BSA’s mission is more important than ever beforeWhen the pandemic uprooted our livesseemingly overnight, our volunteers and employees found innovative ways to continue delivering programming and a sense of normalcy, which were foundational to so many young livesThousands of Scouts tuned in to virtual events for activities and adventures from homeUnits across the country volunteered in their communities at a time when their service was needed mostAnd in cases where it was safe to do so, Scouts escaped the great indoors with their families or with socially distant Scouting activities.  

As much as we persevered, there’s no denying that this past year was filled with extraordinary challenges—some we faced as a country and others as an organization.   

But here’s one thing I know about the Scouting family: no matter how insurmountable challenges may seemwe can and do rise above when we do so together 

Difficult moments do not define us. What defines us is how we address those momentslearn from them, grow from them, and move forward as one Movement dedicated to preparing young men and women for life.  

As we look to 2021, wall have much to celebrate as we welcome the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts: a group of incredible young women who now share a remarkable achievement with all those who have earned the prestigious rank through the years. These young women are among the many Scouts who continue to find opportunities to serve their communities even on our most challenging days. This perseverance speaks to the resiliency and adaptability of our young people, our programs and our organization.  

I have many hopes for the year aheadyear when I expect more Scouts will be able to safely explore the great outdoorsgo camping, and learn the many life lessons and skills that Scouting has to offer; I look forward to Scouting’s continued role as a partner to families in building character, friendships and memories; and I look forward to coming together, however conditions allow, to continue to help other people at all times and showcase the immense good our Movement can do.  

Whether you’re a Scout, a volunteer, an employee or one of the millions of Scouting alumniask you to join me in wearing the Scouting uniform, neckerchief, or a Scouting emblem on February 8th as a gesture of commitment to and celebration of Scouting’s mission. Whether you’ll be at home, at the office, at school, or connected virtually with others, show your Scouting spirit with me that day in some fashion that might get others to ask you about the BSA. 

And if given the opportunity, I ask you to share with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues what Scouting means to youI am sure each of us will share something unique, but I also believe our stories will share core threadsmemorable adventures, character-building moments and leadership-defining lessonsOur unique Scouting story helps define us as individuals, andcollectivelythey define us as a Movement. I am proud of what we have accomplished in our 111-year history, and I’m energized by what I know we will accomplish in the next 100 years and beyond 

Yours in Scouting,  

Roger Mosby  

President and CEO 

As we look back on this year, it is easy to see the challenges that have become synonymous with 2020. While these challenges are significant, I believe they are outnumbered by the joy, opportunity and hope that surrounded us. 

After all, this was the year when we found unique means to bring Scouting to young people – often in ways we never considered possible. Like when stars like Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart and Mr. Beast donned Scout uniforms to try their hand at learning and showing off the skills millions of Scouts learn every year. Little did we know exactly how much we would inspire skill-building Scouting through digital content.

And when the pandemic hit, Scouting stepped up to the challenge, and Scouting found a way to make a difference.

When children yearned for a sense of normalcy during stay-at-home orders, Scouting provided countless hours of programming through virtual meetings, adventures, council merit badge clinics and even a National Camp-In and two virtual Family Fun Fest events. In fact, of the one million merit badges and adventures that Scouts worked on and earned this year, a tremendous number of those were earned virtually. And, when it was safe for youth to enjoy some adventures in the outdoors, Scouting stepped up to make socially distant experiences possible.

When communities struggled to find face coverings, Scouts rallied to donate neckerchiefs, sew masks, make face shields, and help those on the front lines and throughout our communities stay safe.

When families struggled with how to put food on the table, Scouting helped raise more than $100,000 for Feeding America and helped restock countless local food banks with Scouting for Food initiatives throughout local councils.

When teachers and schools faced the task of preparing for this unusual school year, Scouting offered support by supporting AdoptAClassroom.org, so teachers could access the supplies they need to welcome students back to class – both online and in person.

Importantly, Scouting has continued to build character, confidence, and leadership during this turbulent year – just consider these amazing Scouts that have inspired us this year:

These are a few of the remarkable stories that remind us of the power of Scouting.

This power does not come from the recognition our efforts receive, but rather from the kindness that prompts our work and the impact we make.

Scouting teaches young people how to respond to challenges with solutions and that their potential to be a change for good in the world is limitless – encumbered only by the limits of their imagination and will. It is a life lesson we should all carry with us.

As we take stock at the end of the year, I hope you will also look to find the silver lining that inspires you, your families, your units and communities.

I hope you know that you – Scouts, volunteers, employees, families, donors, partners and alumni – are an integral part of the BSA’s silver lining. Thank you for your continued support of the Scouting movement – your commitment, work and support have helped make some incredible things possible, and you are an essential part of our ability to empower young people now and in the years to come.

I wish you the happiest of holidays and a new year where many more youth will be able to learn, grow and Scout on!

Roger Mosby

President and CEO

Watch and share this video!

BSA 2020 A Look Back from Boy Scouts of America on Vimeo.

It’s a story being called a “holiday miracle.” When their sled crashed into an icy pond, two young children were saved from drowning by a Scout who led his friends to form a human chain to rescue them.

Reminiscent of a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this real-life accident terrified the children and their parents, but the nearby Scout and his friends knew what to do to help save the day. 

Rich Heid, the children’s father, and Stephanie Irlbeck, the children’s mother, shared the story with Good Morning America.

“I started screaming, ‘Jump off, jump off!'” Rich said, recounting how he tried in vain to keep his children, four-year-old RJ and eight-year-old Olivia, from careening into the frozen pond on their sled. 

“You could see the fear in their eyes,” Stephanie said, adding that she also started yelling for help. 

That’s when Kieran Foley, a Scout who was nearby with his friends, heard the commotion, assessed the situation, and started putting a plan into action to help. Kieran and his friends formed a human chain to go in and rescue the children, and got them back to their parents.

Check out the amazing story from Good Morning America below.

all photos: Good Morning America

Congratulations to Marcus Ragland as Scout executive of the Westmoreland-Fayette Council in Greensburg, PA, effective January 15, 2021.

Marcus began his Scouting career in 2002 as a District Executive at the Heart of Virginia Council in Richmond, VA where he moved on to become the Field Director. In 2016, Marcus went on to serve as Director of Field Service at the Seneca Waterways Council in Rochester, NY.

Marcus is an Eagle Scout who enjoys woodworking, camping, and spending time with family.

Marcus and his wife Heather, have a 7-year-old daughter named Sadie who is a Wolf Scout, and a 3 year old son named Emmett who can’t wait to follow in his sister’s footsteps.

Please join us in congratulating Marcus as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Westmoreland-Fayette Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Search

Naugatuck Weather

Cannot get Naugatuck, CT location id in module mod_sp_weather. Please also make sure that you have inserted city name.

© 2017 BSA Troop 102, Naugatuck CT. All Rights Reserved. Designed By AlyssaAnne

Search