Congratulations to Greg Balog, who will serve as Scout executive of the Blue Ridge Council in Greenville, South Carolina, effective November 1, 2019.

Greg began his Scouting career as a district executive at the Blue Ridge Council, where he also served as finance director and field director. He moved on to become the assistant Scout executive of the Indian Waters Council in Columbia, South Carolina. He was then promoted to foundation director and later director of field service of the Circle Ten Council in Dallas, Texas, before being selected to serve as Scout executive of the Central North Carolina Council in Albemarle, North Carolina.

Greg has 2 children, Parker and Dalton.

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

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 14:19

Observing Hispanic Heritage Month

Carlos Cortez, Los Padres Council Scout Executive:

The observation of Hispanic Heritage Month covers the 30 days from September 15 to October 15. This year’s theme is “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving our Nation,” which both invites us to recognize the contributions made by Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the United States, and to celebrate their heritage and culture.

Members of the Latinx community serve as Civil Rights leaders, politicians, military, educators, first responders, science pioneers, public servants, and leaders of industry. Individuals who have contributed to the history of our nation include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor, former secretary of the Department of Labor Hilda Solis, UFW co-founder and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, astronaut Franklin Ramon Chang Diaz, Nobel Prize awardees Luis Walter Alvarez and Baruj Benacerraf. These leaders are famous for the impact they have made to our great country, but there are many more whose contributions to our country are also impactful.

For many of us in the BSA, Hispanic Heritage Month represents a very important time for us to help everyone feel represented and included by providing an opportunity to have Scouts talk about their culture with pride and share that pride with their fellow Scouts. As leaders in our movement, it is important that we encourage Scouts to express and demonstrate their pride as way to help their fellow Scouts learn about other cultures.

For example, there may be opportunities for units to involve their families from the Hispanic/Latinx community in sharing about their culture in a variety of ways during meetings or other special events that are culturally appropriate and respectful. Units may also visit museums, monuments, and/or exhibits pertaining to Hispanic Heritage Month to further their education, excitement, and possibly even complete some advancement requirements.

I encourage Scouts and Scouters across the country to participate in their local communities’ Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations as a unit to demonstrate support and welcome more families into Scouting.

This month presents a unique opportunity for us to expand Scouts’ knowledge of the communities they live in and further welcome our Hispanic and Latinx families into the program we all love. Your kids, families, and Scouting overall will benefit from us embracing all in our community.

¡Viva BSA!

Frank Ramirez, BSA National Executive Board Member:

For many of us in the BSA, Hispanic Heritage Month represents a very important time for us to help everyone feel represented and included by providing an opportunity to have Scouts talk about their culture with pride and share that pride with their fellow Scouts. 

Frank Ramirez, BSA National Executive Board Member, recently shared his own pride in how his Latino heritage and Scouting background align.

“I am the firstborn son of poor Latino Immigrants,” Ramirez said. “When my parents risked their health and comfort for a chance at a better life, they had no idea of the role that Scouting would play in the fulfillment of their dreams. Our family had no legacy in Scouting so the personal ‘ask’ by a grizzled ex-marine Scoutmaster, who lived down the block, made a life changing difference. The core values of my Latino heritage, respect for God and duty to family, melded seamlessly with Scouting’s core values of Duty to God and Duty to Country and through that association I joined the ranks of other young men who became strong, contributing, and principled citizens of the United States of America. My love of Scouting thus reflects the embodiment of the famous Spanish idiom, ‘Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.’ I am, therefore, honored to have helped to open Scouting’s doors to the sons and daughters of all parents who long for a better life for their children. ¡Viva Scouting!”

Much like Frank Ramirez, as leaders in our movement, it is important that we encourage Scouts to express and demonstrate their pride as way to help their fellow Scouts learn about other cultures.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Carlos Cortez, Scout Executive of Los Padres Council, and Frank Ramirez, BSA National Executive Board Member, for contributing their stories and for sharing their thoughts on what Hispanic Heritage Month means in the Scouting Movement.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and, according to new BSA data, Generation Z believes bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation and the number one issue they want to solve.

As a Scout parent and/or leader, you know that, given the Scout Law, the BSA’s anti-bullying education, and Scouts’ daily Good Turns, Scouts are among the most prepared to take on bullying prevention. While Scouts pledge to lend a helping hand at all times, their peers may not always know who those Scouts are or that Scouts are important allies in the effort against bullying.

That’s why we are asking all Scouts to wear their Scouting uniform to school on October 16thto make it easy for their classmates to find people they can count on for a kind word; a lunch buddy; or a resource to help them recognize, safely respond to, and report all types of bullying. The goal is that once other students know who the Scouts are, they will feel comfortable reaching out to those individuals whenever they need a friend.

This effort will also serve as a visual reminder within each community that Scouting – with guiding principles like being kind, helpful, and friendly – is an invaluable resource for youth, schools, and society as a whole.

How to Participate:

  1. Ask all Scouts in your family, pack, troop, ship or crew to proudly wear their uniform to school on October 16th and remind them to show the power of kindness by reaching out to classmates to make sure everyone feels welcome.
  2. In October, share inspirational stories that showcase how Scouts or the Scouting program has helped combat bullying. Use the hashtag #AScoutIsKind.
  3. Check out the BSA’s bullying awareness information, and share the uplifting stories from our official social media pages on October 16.

Help curtail cyberbullying by encouraging Scouts who have parental permission to use social media to send supportive and uplifting comments and messages to classmates on October 16th… and every other day.

Please join us as we congratulate Jeff Sulzbach, who will serve as Scout executive of the Greater Los Angeles Area Council in Los Angeles, California, effective November 1, 2019.

Jeff began his Scouting career as a local council employee at the Indianhead Council in St. Paul, Minnesota. He later became a district executive, camping director, and director of support services before moving on to serve as director of field service of the Viking Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When the Indianhead and Viking councils merged to form the Northern Star Council, Jeff became the director of development and later assistant Scout executive. In 2013, he was promoted to Scout executive of the Aloha Council in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Jeff is an Eagle Scout and an avid outdoorsman. He and his family enjoy water sports, hiking, biking, and skiing.

Jeff and his wife, Patty, have two sons who are both Cub Scouts.

Please help us send Jeff our well wishes in the comments below as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Greater Los Angeles Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

With recruitment season in full swing, is more important than ever, and it is vital to ensure that all unit information on the site is accurate and up-to-date. The easier it is for new families to find Scouting units and sign up, the sooner they can begin experiencing the adventure and life-changing value of Scouting! 

To help educate unit leaders and other key unit-serving volunteers on the latest techniques for updating and managing the information on their unit’s page, the Central Region Marketing Committee will be conducting a webinar on October 2 at 7pm CDT. Attend by visiting the webinar page at the designated date and time. Attendance is limited to the first 300 participants, so be sure to be on time!

During the webinar, experts from the BSA National Service Center and the volunteer-led Central Region Marketing Committee will walk through updates to, provide tips on managing unit pins, and share details on how to track and follow up with prospects using the invitation manager. 

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and hear about future planned updates for 

If you know someone who needs to learn more about updating their unit’s page or someone who wants to increase their expertise on the subject so they can help others, please share details about this webinar and encourage them to attend. 

Webinar details:

Title: Tips and Tricks to Recruiting with

Time: Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7pm CDT

Location: Join the webinar on Zoom here: 

Host: The Central Region Marketing Committee

For more information, contact Debra Kendrew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Sherry Bowden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In our “A Scout is Reverent” series, Scouting Wire takes a look at how Scouting families across the country observe a variety of religious holidays of their own faith and support fellow unit members in theirs.

Join us as National Director, Cub Scouting Anthony Berger shares the importance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Jewish families. Read on to hear Anthony explain how he brings a Jewish perspective to Scouting and how you can be aware and welcoming of Jewish families in your Scouting program.

For those who may not know what Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are, can you please tell us a little about these holidays?

Anthony: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. This year it will be September 29 through October 1. The Jewish calendar is a based on lunar months, which means the dates for Rosh Hashanah can shift from year-to-year on a secular (Gregorian) calendar. According to the Jewish calendar we will be welcoming in the year 5780.  Immediately following Rosh Hashanah is Yom Kippur, which is also known as the Day of Atonement. It begins on the evening of October 8 and lasts through the evening of October 9. In the Jewish faith, these two holidays are the most significant and are referred to as the High Holy Days or the Days of Awe. It is a time of reflection, of renewal, and of asking for forgiveness of each other and asking forgiveness from G-d (conservative and Orthodox Jews commonly do not put the “o” in God). It includes day-long services filled with reflection and praying. 

Do you know Scouts who have Scouting traditions connected to this holiday, and, if so, can you please tell us about that?

Anthony: Because of the specific nature of these holidays, I am unaware of any Scouting families who practice Judaism to have Scouting traditions that are directly connected to the High Holy Days  

For Scout units who may have members who are Jewish, what are some considerations and ways they can show support for their fellow Scouts who observe these holidays?

Anthony: For units who want to be considerate toward observant Jewish families, my advice is not to hold any meetings or activities during this time, as observant Jews will be unable to participate. For instance, I’ve heard of units who had Jewish families and unintentionally scheduled activities during the High Holidays.  They were making an effort to be welcoming by including Hanukkah traditions in their December meetings not knowing that the High Holidays, for the lack of a better word, are more significant. Being cognizant of the High Holidays and working around them truly means a lot to Scouting families of the Jewish faith and during this time period it is also appropriate to wish them a Happy New Year.

Finally, how do you bring a Jewish perspective to Scouting?

Anthony: I am privileged to have served Scouting professionally for over twenty years and in my current role I have the opportunity to bring a different perspective to several conversations. The staff at the National Service Center is growing in diversity, yet the common bond among us is the Scout Oath and Scout Law. I have always enjoyed the ability to learn about other faiths and to share my own in an environment that is friendly, courteous, and kind.

 In Judaism, there is a concept known as Tikkun Olam which loosely translated means “repairing the world.”  It is a concept that humans are in partnership with G-d to make the world a better place through their actions.  To me, that sounds a lot like Scouting; to help other people at all times, to do a good turn daily, and when we follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law, we all are practicing in Tikkun Olam.

Special thanks to National Director, Cub Scouting, Staff Advisor to the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, Scout father, and member of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX Anthony Berger for sharing his story on Scouting Wire. 

Article contributed by David Rico “Rico,” Southern Region Membership Growth Coach at the National Service Center.

What can you do to get ready for your 2020 Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign before year-end? As we get through the big wave of fall membership, we need to think with the end of the year in mind. Read below for 6 important steps to take as you wrap up your 2019 membership campaign.

1-   Follow up with interested families who were unable to attend the Join Scouting Night.

2-   Follow up with units that need a second recruiting event to meet their membership goals and complete all Joining Night events.

3-   Consider membership inventories. Unit leaders and Unit Commissioners need to work in collaboration with local units to guarantee all youth applications have been processed. Conduct inventories twice a year (once in October and once in April).

4-   Take event/activity inventories into account, too. With the collaboration of the program staff, review attendance sheets to ensure youth who attended the different district/council events or activities completed registration.

5-   Utilize BeAScout! provides 24/7 resources for interested parents to find local Scouting programs and apply online. Ensure that all applications are approved and completed.

6-   “One-monthers” – As part of your re-charter renewal process, make sure you gather the applications of new youth with a payment for one month (this applies for those units that re-charter in December). For example, if a youth joins in December, they must pay one full year plus a month.

What can you do to get ready for your 2020 FOS campaign before year-end? Here are a few things you can do:

1-   Evaluate 2019 FOS campaign. Determine areas of success and opportunity. Share your findings with district-level volunteers.

2-   Identify and recruit 2020 Finance Chair.

3-   Identify and recruit 2020 Family FOS Chair.

4-   Identify and recruit 2020 Community Chair.

5-   Focus on Elements of a Successful FOS Campaign, and use the FOS resources from

Do you have any additional tips you might add? Let us know in the comments below.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Rico for submitting this article.

Article submitted by Derrick Russaw of the Southern Region.

In order to continue to serve its youth members, it is incumbent on the district to elect a strong district committee. Thus, it is the task of the district nominating committee to select a slate of excellent officers and members at large for the next year. It is the district executive’s responsibility to coordinate this effort and lead the charge to ensure quality district operations.

In order to stay on schedule, the following steps should be in place:

  1. Recruit a nominating committee chairmen
  2. Recruit 2-3 nominating committee members
  3. Set at least 2 nominating committee meetings (Between August and September)
  4. Schedule a district annual business meeting (Early October)

As a district executive, your role is to:

  1. Review qualifications of members.
    • As a district executive, it is important to be knowledgeable of all position requirements within the district committee. In preparation for district nomination committee meetings, you should email or provide the aforementioned material.
  2. Study the participation and performance of last year’s officers and members at large.
    • Using your district committee minutes, notes, and sign-in log, district executives should compose a confidential performance evaluation of each sitting committee member. Sometimes it is ideal to reassign some of the existing members to a new job that will further enhance Scouting within your district.
  3. Make suggestions for each officer and member at large.
    • It is important to research and provide three prospects for each position if there is to be a change in personnel for a seat.
  4. Participate as requested in contacting each nominee.
    • Always remember draw on the support of key volunteers. Avoid recruiting a volunteer alone. Try to reach out to somebody of influence who can help encourage and support the nominee’s participation.
  5. Treat all information as confidential.
    • This is a confidential meeting. All notes, conversations, etc. should be treated with respect and discretion.

Never forget that Scouting is a volunteer-led movement. The commitment of your volunteers will affect the quality of your district at large. It is more important to have the right volunteer serve rather than to simply have a name on a sheet of paper. This process will not be “easy,” and it will require “professional courage.” This means that district executives are expected to have the strength and maturity to look past mere enthusiasm and place the best candidates in a position where Scouting can thrive. When the district nominating committee is run according to these guidelines, everybody wins.

Scouting Wire would like to thank Derrick for submitting this article.


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