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It’s monumental enough being one of the first girls to join Cub Scouts as part of the BSA’s early adopter program – but Ana G. is also one of the first Latina girls to join the program, and she’s showcasing how Scouting is a great fit for families of all backgrounds. 

Ana was recently featured in Forbes in the publication’s Women@Forbes section, where she talked with reporter Vivian Nunez, who specifically covers stories of Latina trailblazers. 

Joining Cub Scouts has been meaningful for Ana in a number of ways, including how Scouting has involved her whole family. Particularly, Ana is thrilled to follow in the footsteps of her brother, who she credits as her biggest role model. Now, Ana can engage in the program in the same way her brother has.

“When my mom told me that girls were allowed to join Boy Scouts, I asked my dad if he could be my den leader,” Ana shares with Forbes. “He said yes and a few days later, we went to buy all our uniforms together. He got his full uniform.”

Ana’s mother appreciates the BSA’s decision to welcome girls into Cub Scouts and says she didn’t hesitate to enroll her daughter in the program.

“I grew up being a Scout,” explains Ana’s mother, Celina. “So when Boy Scouts of America announced that they decided to better serve families by welcoming girls to join the Cub Scout program, it was a no brainer for me. I want to provide her with the same opportunities that my son had been able to have through Boy Scouts of America.”

Ana’s participation in Scouting has uncovered opportunities for leadership in her family in ways she could have never expected. With Ana taking the lead, her father has also become involved in the program and that’s a feat she’s proud to have achieved. 

“Ana is making an influence in her family without even realizing it, and we know she will have a greater impact in the community, in other little girls and boys,” shares Celina.

When asked how important it is for Ana to bring her Latina culture to Scouting, Celina replied: 

“My hope is that other families will see our experience in Boy Scouts of America and feel encouraged to join. Boy Scouts of America is for all families of all backgrounds. There are many aspects of being Latina that I think enrich my daughter’s life and overall experiences. As a Latina, I also think she influences other girls and families in Cub and Boy Scouts. We know Ana is paving the way for her generation and setting an example for other Latina girls and families to get involved.”

To read the full story, along with an insightful Q&A between Forbes contributor Vivian Nunez, Celina, and Ana, head to Forbes.

For the latest updates on Family Scouting, including key details and FAQs, visit www.scouting.org/familyscouting

Please join us in congratulating Marcal W. Young, who will serve as Scout executive of Quapaw Area Council in Little Rock, Arkansas, effective August 1, 2018.

Marcal began his Scouting career as a district executive at New Orleans Area Council in Metairie, Louisiana. He moved on to become the senior district executive M/P with Ouachita Valley Council in Monroe, Louisiana.

He then served as field director, assistant Scout executive, and director of field service at Quapaw Area Council in Little Rock, Arkansas, and later as Scout executive of Caddo Area Council in Texarkana, Texas. He currently serves as area director of Area 8 of the Southern Region.

Marcal is an Eagle Scout who enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, and spending time with his grandchildren. He and his wife, Sandy, have five children.

In the comments below, help us welcome Marcal to his new role in Scouting as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of Quapaw Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Congratulations to Rodney Cousin, who will serve as Scout executive of Tukabatchee Area Council in Montgomery, Alabama, effective August 1, 2018.

Rodney began his Scouting career as a district executive at Bay Area Council in Galveston, Texas. He moved on to become the senior Exploring executive and, later, district director and Learning for Life director with Quivira Council in Wichita, Kansas. Rodney separated from the movement in 2003, but returned to Quivira in 2010 as the development director and was later promoted to assistant Scout executive.

“I am looking forward to working and serving in the Tukabatchee Area Council, and I have fond memories of woods, water and trails in central Alabama from my youth…” Rodney shared in a recent council announcement.  

Rodney is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys camping, hiking, music, and upland hunting. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.

Please help us welcome Rodney to his new role in Scouting as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of Tukabatchee Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

A galaxy of supposition surrounds the modern age of space exploration, but a team of STEM Scouts is out to answer the burning question at the top of everyone’s mind—can you make pizza in space?

Five high school STEM Scouts from Garden State Council are on a mission to solve the cosmic pizza puzzle, as well as other food-related mysteries. The team is working on a project that will test how conditions on Mars might effect living organisms, and the “implications for transport and storage of food sources on the Martian surface.” 

The inspiration for this project came when STEM Scout Emily P. was contemplating the colonization of Mars, and if future Martian pioneers would be able to cook pizza. After all, what sounds better after a long day of exploring the red planet than a piping hot pepperoni (or veggie) pie?

“We asked [the group] if they could go to Mars someday what would they want to know,” STEM Scouts lab instructor Dan Januseski told the Courier Post. “And Emily said, ‘I want to be able to make pizza on Mars, can we do that?’ That’s how we kind of started on this path.”

Emily’s pizza question is actually more complex, however. 

The Cubes in Space program sends students’ winning projects into space via small cubes. (Photo: Chris LaChall/ Courier Post)

“I was thinking about how space and all of the factors involved in space — like cosmic radiation, pressure, all of that — how that affected life,” she explained. “I was thinking that yeast is small. It’s an organism that has cells similar to human cells and I was thinking, well it would be interesting to see how yeast reacted to these factors.”

This line of thought is what led Emily and her four fellow STEM Scouts, Jacen J., Mason C., Jason B., and Caeden C. to develop a NASA-worthy project so stellar, it was recently selected as a winner of the Cubes in Space global research competition, created by the nonprofit idoodledu inc.

Now in its sixth year, Cubes in Space collaborates with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium Space Flight Center to pack the winning experiments into small cubes and send them into space for testing.

This September, the STEM Scouts’ experiment, “Effects of Atmospheric Radiation on Yeast Fermentation,” will be set up in one of said cubes, loaded onto one of NASA’s zero-pressure scientific balloons, and embark on its high-atmospheric mission.

Once aboard the balloon, the cubes will float up to 23 miles above the Earth for between five to 15 hours. Upon completing its descent back to Earth, the experiment will be tested for radiation exposure to gauge radiation levels in the upper atmosphere.

“We’re putting yeast in little canisters and wrapping certain canisters with certain layers of lead,” Jason B. told the Courier Post. “One canister is going to be no layers and the others one, two and three. And we’re going to measure the amount of radiation that hits the yeast and see what happens, how the yeast reacts, to see if we can make bread in space.”

So the next time you’re eating a slice of pizza, just remember— someday you could be enjoying that delicious pie on the surface of Mars!

You can learn more about this outstanding project in the video below and in the full story from the Courier Post. 

Find out more about the STEM Scouts program, how to get involved, and check out cool experiments you can do at home by heading to STEMScouts.org. Do you know any Scouts with a knack for STEM? Share your story in the comments!

Top image and video credit: Chris LaChall/ Courier Post

New Cub Scout Anna F. led the opening ceremony for Pack 42 for the very first time, complete with flags, Scout salutes and pledges. But that’s not the only way she’s leading the pack.

Seven-year-old Anna is one of the first girls to join Cub Scouts, blazing a trail behind her for many other eager young ladies since the BSA announced that it would welcome girls. She and her twin sister, Lily, are the pack’s first female members.

The twins’ 9-year-old brother, James had been a Cub Scout for more than a year when the twins heard the good news.

“It just seemed natural to sign my daughters up and let them be part of Boy Scouts,” mom, Terri said to The News Tribune. “It’s a family thing.”

Terri says this change has been a welcome benefit for the family because it brings the family together and works better in their busy schedules.

“We were going to end up being split,” Terri said. “My husband and son would have gone one direction, and we would have gone the other.”

Bringing the family together to experience Scouting was one of the key reasons the BSA chose to expand its programs to welcome girls.

“(Parents) were telling us that separating the boys and girls was making it difficult to participate,” Ralph Voelker, Scout Executive of the Pacific Harbors Council, said. “Our volunteers have been asking us to do this for a long time.”

Voelker says this will also encourage greater participation from cultural groups where gender segregation is less common.

“This is going to allow us to serve some cultures where they prefer to participate as a family,” he said.

Recruitment begins in the fall, but Voelker says the program expansion already has an unintended benefit.

“For every two girls we’ve recruited, we’ve recruited one of their brothers,” he said.

To learn more about this family joining together in Scouting, watch the video below and read the full story from The News Tribune.

Join us as we congratulate Dennis J. Dugan, who will serve as Scout executive of Susquehanna Council in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, effective July 16, 2018.

Dennis began his Scouting career as a district executive at Otschodela Council in Oneonta, New York. He moved on to become the district director and later program director with Twin Rivers Council in Albany, New York. He was promoted to the council’s director of camping services, followed by a promotion to assistant Scout executive in January 2016.

Dennis is an Eagle Scout who enjoys golf and family time. He and his wife, Lorraine, have four children.

In the comments below, help us welcome Dennis as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of Susquehanna Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Service is a given part of Scouting, so naturally, it’s a part of Scouting’s National Annual Meetings.

During the 2018 National Annual Meeting in Dallas, RISE, a women-led BSA resource group, collaborated with the Office of Diversity to organize a service project benefitting young people in North Texas communities. 

Scouting professionals and volunteers from across the country rallied together for the service event, where they packaged more than 250 “blessing bags.” Equipped with hygiene and personal care items, these bags will be distributed through Hope Supply Co.—a Dallas-based nonprofit with a mission to meet the needs of homeless and at-risk children.

“Service projects can make quite a difference in the lives of young people, which is what the Scouting movement is all about,” RISE Chairperson Dinaz Kachhi-Jiwani said. “Thanks to the support of our volunteers, professionals, and spouses at NAM, RISE was able to impact Dallas-area youth and families in a big way.”

And help, they did! Not only did the group prepare hundreds of blessing bags in just one afternoon; they also raised nearly $800 in donations to further help local families.  

RISE is a resource group for Scouting professionals throughout the BSA— both men and women. RISE works to recognize, inspire, support, and empower the women of Scouting by positively impacting female recruitment, engagement, mentorship, and the building of a culture that is most favorable to serving our nation’s youth, families, and communities.

Join us as we welcome Matt Hill to his new role as Scout executive of Mid-Iowa Council in Des Moines, Iowa, effective August 1, 2018.

Matt began his Scouting career as a district executive at Western Alaska Council in Anchorage, Alaska. He moved on to become a district director and, later, field director with Great Alaska Council. He was promoted to director of field service of Aloha Council in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then to Scout executive of Chippewa Valley Council, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Finally, he served as deputy Scout executive of Heart of America Council in Kansas City, Missouri.

Matt is an Eagle Scout who enjoys sports, golf, and being in the outdoors. He and his wife, Rachel, have one daughter, Kai.

Help us congratulate Matt in the comments below, as he joins the volunteers and staff of Mid-Iowa Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Scouting offers young people a place to belong and build character – a place that represents the best of America and what it means to be an American. For Scouts in Troop 1532, they’ve come a long way from home in hopes of making a new home in America. It hasn’t been easy, yet through Scouting and the help of their dedicated Scoutmaster, they’re learning what it means to be an American and a Scout. Read on to learn more about this unique Scout refugee troop.

Bridging the Divide Through Scouting 

Like many Scout troops, Troop 1532 is full of energy around the campfire, swapping camp side stories and roasting marshmallows. But this group isn’t your typical Scout troop – these boys speak a variety of languages and might also be preparing their favorite Congolese or Nepalese dishes by the fire versus a traditional American hamburger. These Scouts are learning to merge their cultures from countries like Tanzania, Malaysia, and Nepal with American traditions.

Scoutmaster PJ Parmar is the catalyst that’s helped make that happen.

Scoutmaster PJ drives Troop 1532 to a campout. (Photo via CNN)

“We just started off by taking five kids camping at a time. After that, it really becomes all word of mouth,” PJ shared with CNN.

The troop grew into what it is today thanks to Parmar’s family medical practice in the suburbs outside Denver, where he focuses on treating refugee families. He hopes Scouting will help the young men in the same way that it made a difference to him in his youth.
 
“Boy Scouts to me was a place of acceptance. I actually faced a lot of racism in the public schools growing up where I was, being in an immigrant family,” says Parmar. “When I joined the Boy Scouts, I found a very accepting group of friends.”
 
Parmar’s parents moved from India to Canada just before he was born. Just a year later, the family moved to Chicago where Parmar says he found it challenging to find his place in America.
 
Parmar says he notices a similar experience for the Scouts in his troop and hopes to utilize Scouting as a way to get them out of the house and into the outdoors.
 
“They’re learning to assimilate and they have to be like the other kids, not only to avoid racism, but just to advance in what they’re doing,” he explained. “We need to have these bridge areas where they can feel safe in what they do, but also become part of society.”
 
All of the gear Troop 1532 needs for outings is completely provided to them through Mango House, a non-profit Parmar launched as a center for refugee services. Items like sleeping bags, tents and hiking gear are available for the Scouts without any personal expense. 
 
“We don’t expect them to show up with anything more than a shirt on their back,” Parmar says.

Scouts at the campfire. (Photo via CNN)

A Place Where Kids Can Be Kids

Scouting offers youth an opportunity to come together and experience shared values, while also having a great time along the way. 

Tapas K., a 13-year-old refugee from Nepal, is the senior troop leader. He’s also the only member of his family who speaks English.
 
“I gotta check my mom’s bank account. I gotta check my dad’s. I gotta pay bills from my dad’s bank account, and for the car and stuff,” he shared with CNN at the Scouts’ campsite. “I feel relief here, ’cause I don’t have to do all the work, and I get to hang out with my friends, have fun.”
 
Justin M., who was born in Tanzania, and moved to the US from a refugee camp in the Congo, says being a part of Troop 1532 has helped him learn critical skills like how to speak English.
 
“I’m so proud of myself, I’m going in high school and I speak good English now. I can talk to other people. I can meet other nice people,” he beamed.

The Future of Refugee Troops in Scouting

Scouting canoeing near camp. (Photo via CNN)

Parmar is working to ensure that economic and racial diversity is prioritized in Scouting and beyond. He also leads Venture Crew 1532, a group of female Scouts.
 
“Working with the Scouts has helped to bring me back to my own roots, my own culture,” Parmar says. “Now being able to relate to them it’s helped me, remind me of where I came from.”

Read more about PJ’s inspiring narrative and how he’s serving refugees in Troop 1532 by reading the full story from CNN. We invite you to share this story in your council to highlight this unique Scouting experience. 

This summer, all kids are invited to say, “Scout Me In,” as they join the fun, adventure and character-building opportunities found in Cub Scouts. The new Scout Me In campaign features girls and boys in its iconic Cub Scout program for the first time.

This new campaign has been welcomed with open arms by volunteers, professionals and parents, alike, on social media and at our recent National Annual Meeting. We’re excited to continue building this momentum as we introduce new materials to help you bring Scouting to life in your area. 

A Fresh Perspective for Recruitment Materials

The Scout Me In creative shifts the perspective by showing what it’s like to be a Scout from a kid’s point of view. Instead of simply showing Scouts participating in activities, the campaign brings the young viewer into the middle of the action – from fishing, biking and canoeing to launching rockets and making slime – where they get even closer to the experiences that Scouting brings to life. The campaign presents an energizing Scouting experience that speaks to kids but also engages parents who are looking for ways to make the most of the time they have with their children and help them to be Prepared. For Life.

We’ve been introducing new campaign materials since early May and will continue to release more assets daily to the Brand Center. On the Brand Center you can access campaign collateral like posters, fliers, e-mail templates, a video, and a slew of fresh new photos highlighting the energy and excitement of Scout Me In.

Get Your ‘Scout Me In’ Swag

You can also order custom Scout Me In patches, pins, table tents, stickers, and all other types of promotional products in preparation for your next event now.

For ordering information, go to http://licensingbsa.org/scout-me-in/ to work with an official BSA licensee or connect with the National Supply Group, Specialty Products, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Keep an eye out for more Scout Me In recruiting updates for an epic fall season! 

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