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Kennedy Clutter isn’t afraid of a challenge. In fact, she’s the first in line when it comes to taking on activities she’s never experienced before. Kennedy was the first girl to join her local Mecklenburg County Council Cub Scout pack and is among thousands of other girls in the nation who are thrilled to join Scouting for the first time.

What’s more, Kennedy isn’t the only one in her family to embark on the adventures that Scouting has to offer – she proudly joins five family members who have worked their way through the program, including attaining the Eagle Scout rank. And now, Kennedy has that opportunity, too.

Jennifer Clutter says her daughter’s first reaction to hearing the BSA’s historic news to welcome girls in Cub Scouting was, “‘So I can earn my Eagle?’ ” recalled Clutter, also a Cub Scout den leader. Kennedy is beyond eager to join the family legacy. 

Kennedy Clutter is the first girl to join Pack 3, Mecklenburg County Cub Scout pack.

“I want to be a Cub Scout because I’ve watched my brother do all this fun stuff, and I really want to do all that fun stuff,” Kennedy shared with The Charlotte Observer. “They go camping, they learn how to use a knife – lots of things that you can’t just learn at school.”

Kennedy’s brother Carson, 11, just transitioned from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, and Jennifer says he’s been very supportive of his sister in the Scouting program.

“He’s been really encouraging, making sure she has the right patches to sew on, and he brought down the handbooks from his previous years,” said Jennifer, who serves on the Mecklenburg County Council’s executive board.

“I’ve heard nothing but positives about our Cub Scout program integrating girls into the program,” Mecklenburg County Council Scout Executive Mark Turner said. “A lot of that is about serving the entire family. That’s a big driver for us.”

Jennifer explained that she sees real value for her daughter and other girls in expanding the availability of the leadership opportunities Scouting provides. “It’s something for the rest of your life, really,” she said.

Kennedy says she’s honored to take on this new challenge.

“I think it might be a lot of pressure, but it’ll still be kind of fun,” she said with a laugh.

Watch the video from The Charlotte Observer below and then head to The Charlotte Observer for the complete story. You can also learn more about the Clutter family and Family Scouting by checking out this story from Bryan on Scouting and the Family Scouting page on Scouting.org. All photo credit to The Charlotte Observer.

Join us as we congratulate Brick Huffman, who will serve as Scout executive of Heart of America Council in Kansas City, Missouri, effective July 1, 2018.

Brick began his Scouting career as a district executive at Hawkeye Area Council in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He moved on to become the district director and later assistant Scout executive with Central Minnesota Council in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Brick was promoted to director of finance of St. Louis Area Council in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a stint as director of field service at Heart of America Council in Kansas City, Missouri. He then assumed the role of Scout executive of Golden Spread Council in Amarillo, Texas, and then joined the Central Region team as an area director for Area 5. Most recently, he served as Scout executive of South Florida Council in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Brick is an Eagle Scout who enjoys his family, golf, tennis, and being active in his church. He and his wife, Marti, have two children: 13-year-old daughter, Sarah, and 11-year-old son, Cole.

Send Brick your well wishes in the comments below, as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of Heart of America Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the communities they serve.

There is no program in America that delivers the kind of leadership and character development the BSA provides to American youth. Leadership is a part of our DNA, manifesting in the lessons we teach, the lives of Scouts in our programs and also in the types of supporters and volunteers we attract. One of the great privileges of my career in Scouting is working alongside and receiving counsel from people of an incredible caliber. One such figure is Randall Stephenson, who this week will conclude his term as our 36th National President.

I am so grateful for Randall’s service in this role for the past two years. Through his decisive leadership, the BSA made important moves to ensure that entire families can benefit from the character- and leadership-building programs of Scouting for generations to come. Randall’s vision and passion for our organization have enhanced our ability to deliver a Scouting program that is relevant to today’s youth. Working with Randall has been an honor and his impact on our movement will be felt for years to come.

Randall’s legacy gives our next leader a tremendous amount of momentum to continue moving the Boy Scouts of America into the future. Stepping into what will now be called the National Chair role is Jim Turley, whom I’d like to officially welcome as Randall’s successor.

Jim spent his 37 year career at Ernst & Young, starting in their Houston office and eventually rising to be the Global Chairman and CEO, a position he held for 12 years. He has focused on the values of quality, integrity and professionalism—values he brings to his Scouting service. Since retiring from EY in 2013, he has devoted himself to serving on corporate and charitable boards, including Citigroup, Emerson Electric, Intrexon, Northrup Grumman Corporation, Catalyst, the National Corporate Theater Fund and the board of trustees of his alma mater, Rice University.

Jim has been a member of the BSA’s National Executive Board since 2002. However, his service to our organization is much longer than his tenure on our board. He has held numerous roles at the local and national level of the BSA since 1994 and is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award—the highest commendation given by the BSA for extraordinary service to youth.

As our National Chair, Jim will provide oversight to the strategic plan for the BSA. I look forward to working closely with him as we invite boys and girls to Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA, a milestone he supports with great conviction, as evidenced by a remark he recently made to me: “If we truly believe Scouting is the best program to deliver character- and leadership-development skills—and of course, we do—how can we in good conscience exclude half the population from these important opportunities?” 

In his time as a member of our board, Jim consistently has shared a strong vision for the future of the BSA and a deep commitment to providing more families—and all kids—access to the very best character and leadership development program available. His business acumen and his character will be quite an asset to our movement during his two year term as National Chair. I have no doubt he will ensure our national organization equips our local councils with the right tools and resources they need to successfully execute our strategic plan.

Please join me in thanking both of these gentlemen for their commitment to our movement, and in welcoming Jim to his new role.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

Join us in congratulating Corey J. Davis, who will serve as Scout executive of Black Hills Area Council in Rapid City, South Dakota, effective June 15, 2018.

Corey began his Scouting career as a district executive at Sioux Council in Yankton, South Dakota. He moved on to become the program director and later field director in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was then promoted to assistant Scout executive of Jayhawk Area Council in Topeka, Kansas, in February of 2015.

Corey is an Eagle Scout who enjoys skiing, hunting, fishing, exploring new places, and spending time with family. He and his wife, Liz, have three children.

In the comments below, help welcome Corey to his new role in Scouting as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of Black Hills Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the communities they serve!

Not long ago, Miriam C. was spending her time attending her brother Kolbie’s Cub Scout meetings, hoping she’d one day have the opportunity to do the same things he was doing – and get the official recognition for it. 

“I didn’t think it was fair that boys got to do all the fun activities,” she said. “I wanted girls to learn how to do stuff like that.”

Now, as a result of the BSA’s historic move to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program, Miriam is able to earn everything her brother did, and she’s able to join him in pursuit of earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Salt Lake Tribune captured the story of how Miriam started as a Webelos Scout as part of the Early Adopter program in the Great Salt Lake Council in Utah. In fact, her family drives 45 minutes one-way each week so she can take part.

It’s an experience Miriam doesn’t take lightly. In the three months she’s been involved, she has already earned 11 Cub Scout achievements, including Webelos Walkabout, Cast Iron Chef, and First Responder. 

Recently, she and some of the other girls in the den were working on helping her brother Kolbie on his Eagle Scout project, but it won’t be long before Miriam has the opportunity to begin work on earning the rank of Eagle Scout herself. Next year, when the Scouts BSA program opens, Miriam plans to transition to a Scouts BSA troop, where she can start working through the ranks.

“This is opening up a new arena, or a new area, for girls to explore and to participate,” said Miriam’s mother Patricia. “We want our girls to be strong. We want our girls to be leaders. This just opens up another avenue for our girls to excel and grow.”

Miriam’s father Darwin is her Scout leader, and he offered some words of encouragement to the girls at a recent meeting.

“This is the start of your own Eagle Scout journey,” he told them. 

It’s a journey Miriam and other girls like her are excited to take. 

(photo credit: Francisco Kjolseth, The Salt Lake Tribune)

Congratulations to George D. Clay II, who will serve as Scout executive of Blue Ridge Mountains Council in Roanoke, Virginia, effective June 1, 2018.

George began his Scouting career as a district executive at Buckskin Council in Charleston, West Virginia. He moved on to become a senior district executive, Exploring director, finance director, field director, and assistant Scout executive in Buckskin Council. 

In 2000, George was promoted to director of field service of Twin Rivers Council in Albany, New York. In May of 2003, he became Scout executive of Chippewa Valley Council in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After four years of achieving Quality Council, George was promoted to Scout executive of W. D. Boyce Council in Peoria, Illinois, where he has successfully achieved 10 consecutive years as a Gold Journey to Excellence council.

George enjoys golf, cycling, snow skiing, and spending time with his wife, Nanette, and two daughters: Alexandra, 13, and Brooke, 10. 

In the comments below, help us welcome George to his new role in Scouting as he joins the volunteers and staff of Blue Ridge Mountains Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the communities they serve.

TC is the first Eagle Scout from Burma in the last 60 years – but it wasn’t long ago that he says he was in jeopardy of potentially joining a gang. Now an assistant Scoutmaster, the Eagle says Scouting made a significant impact on his life as he adjusted to American life and learned to make positive choices in his new home.

At 11 years old, TC arrived to America with his family and says the first person he met was Bob Rollins, a Scoutmaster starting a new refugee program for Scouts. Upon meeting Bob, TC was invited to join the program and excitedly agreed. That decision helped TC acclimate to the culture and learn English.

“When there’s an opportunity to join Scouts, don’t hesitate to join, because Scouts will change your life. I guarantee that,” said TC.

Learn more about TC’s story and how Scouting has made a positive difference in his life by watching the video below.

How would your child feel about having the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Captain America and all of the Avengers or Superman and the whole Justice League? Pretty ecstatic, most likely. Kids admire superheroes and what they stand for – bravery, justice, leadership, and strong character.

With that idea in mind, Joe Nicholson wanted to launch an Eagle Scout project that would brighten the lives of children who might not get the chance to smile everyday. He knew that Harbor House served children and families that had been affected by domestic abuse, and he wanted to provide the youth with role models they could trust, while also letting kids just be kids. That’s why Nicholson launched Harbor Heroes in 2016 with the help of some friends.

Though it began as his Eagle project, the Harbor Heroes program is still going strong two years later. As part of the program, the “superheroes” (aka Nicholson and other volunteers) each don a shirt featuring a different superhero, and they interact with children one Sunday each month. The volunteers and kids play board games, do arts and crafts, have puppet shows, play kickball and participate in other indoor and outdoor activities.

“Kids love superheroes, and a lot of adults do, too,” Carri Cappaert, house manager of Harbor House, shared with Post Crescent. “Some kids arrive here in the middle of the night, so that doesn’t speak a lot to stability for them. So having adults that they trust— and to these kids, Joe and his group, they are adults … that really means a lot to the kids ….”

Nicholson says the program makes a positive difference in the lives of the volunteers, too. He says volunteers learn more about themselves as they interact with the youth and build friendships amongst each other.

“Harbor Heroes has changed my life dramatically,” the Eagle Scout said.

With college on the near horizon, Nicholson will retire his cape at Harbor House, but he expects the program to continue making a positive, lasting difference to children for years to come.

“The children of Harbor House need as many good experiences as they can get,” he said. 

Read more about the lasting impact of this Eagle Scout project by reading the full story on Post Crescent. Photo credit: Danny Damiani/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

Many of you know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has been a chartered partner of the Boy Scouts of America for more than a century. I’ve been grateful for our long-standing chartered partnership that has provided countless boys across the country with character- and leadership-building experiences through our programs. Our movement has benefitted greatly from the thousands of Scout leaders who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored units.

While Scouting remains a beloved program for many LDS families, this week, we joined the Church in announcing that it has decided to pursue programming to serve its increasingly global community and will no longer charter troops after January 1, 2020.

Our organization wishes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all the best in this transition. As I’ve always said, I am supportive of all youth development programs that teach character development and leadership, and I am certain that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will develop programming that does just that.

Currently, around 425,000 youth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in our programs and we anticipate that many of them will want to continue in Scouting, alongside the Church’s religiously affiliated programs. For those Scouts who are currently members of Church-sponsored units, we will work with local councils to provide support with resources and guidance to ensure a smooth transition to community-sponsored units as we approach the end of 2019. And for those that had looked forward to Scouting for their families in the future, you will always be welcome, and we will be proud to see you continue the tradition of Scouting for many generations to come for your families.

At the same time, I am confident that our organization is well-positioned to grow by providing families more options for their children to benefit from the incredible character-building experiences we provide. Through our Early Adopter program for Cub Scouts, we’ve already seen a tremendous initial response. I look forward to bringing Cub Scouting to both boys and girls in all of our councils later this year and to expanding the reach of our Scouting program in 2019. There is much for our movement to look forward to and together with all of you, we will continue to provide a values-based foundation of character and leadership skills for more Scouts in the future. Thank you for making that possible.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike

When faced with the challenge to complete an Eagle Scout project, Alexander B. knew he wanted to develop a project that would not only make camping more enjoyable, but that could also save lives. Alexander hoped to help keep his community safe and now, thanks to his inspiring efforts, his project has earned the honorable title of Project of the Year by the Greater Los Angeles Area Council.

Alexander B. wins local council’s Project of the Year Award

“I completed my project in the San Gabriel Mountains at a remote backpacking site at a camp ground on the Pacific Crest Trail where I installed seven 330-pound bear lockers in an effort to keep people safe,” the 17-year-old shared with the Daily Breeze.

Alexander says he came up with the idea to install “Bear Boxes” after speaking with David Ledford, a troop leader and volunteer with the U.S. Forest Department.

“Due to the terrible forest fires over the past few years, the bears have had less food to eat, so they are looking for food,” said Alexander. “The project will discourage bears from entering campsites as the people staying there will have all of their smellables and food locked in these boxes, and the bears will not be able to have access.”

The Greater Los Angeles Area Council’s Eagle Scout Association Committee has since selected Alexander as the “Glenn A. and Melina W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award” recipient for the Class of 2017. His project is now in the running for the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this award. Scouting has so much to offer,” Brey said. “Through every challenge that I have overcome, I have been able to look back and realize how it has shaped me. It is not easy to push yourself to work hard, but becoming an Eagle Scout has truly changed my life like nothing has before.”

Learn more about Alexander’s unique Eagle Scout project by reading the full story on the Daily Breeze. All photo credits: Stephen Brey.

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