Reposted from Scouting Newsroom
Father’s Day nears, many grown Scouts reflect on the men who so greatly influenced their Scouting experiences. Recollections of sanding Pinewood Derby cars, treks through the mud, and seeking reassurance in the quest to gain more merit badges flood the memories of Scouts who traversed the program under the guidance of their dads. Many of these mentors have passed away.
Eagle Scout Tommy Devine remembers his dad nudging him to attend Scout meetings.
“He made me go. He was on my case, but I realize now it was for my own good because I can’t imagine not having the Boy Scouts in my life,” Devine told Jim Mandelaro of USA Today.
Devine also has the memory of honoring his father Tom before he died of cancer in April at age 52. Tom didn’t get to see his son ascend to Scouting’s highest rank in May, but he did get pinned as the Eagle’s “father” and “mentor”.
A few days before the private pinning ceremony in the hospital, Devine told his father he looked to him as his mentor and wanted to give him his Eagle Mentor’s pin.
He recalled his father’s strong reaction, despite his fragility: “He said, ‘Wow, thank you.’ It was hard for him to breathe.”
Devine will always remember his father helping him achieve the rank of Eagle. Even while battling illness, his father worked steadfastly beside him to the point where Devine had to ask him to stop.
He knows his father would be proud his support paid off. As an Eagle Scout who has worked hard for the rank thanks to parental encouragement, Devine holds a sentiment about his dad many can relate to this Father’s Day.
“He might have been hard on me at times, but he was just trying to make me a better person,” Tommy told Mandelaro. “I know he would be so proud of me now.”
Read more about the Scout and his father on USA Today.
Today is Flag Day, an annual observance of the Second Continental Congress’ official adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777. At the time, they “resolved that the flag of the 13 United States” be represented by 13 alternating red and white stripes and the union by 13 white stars in a blue field, “representing a new constellation.” Now, more than 200 years later and with an updated design, the flag is an American icon.
Flag Day, though not a federal holiday, is full of tradition. The holiday was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, and in 1949 Congress declared June 14 a national holiday. Pennsylvania is the only state that observes Flag Day as a state holiday, according to the History Channel. But others host parades and parties in the flag’s honor — just as Wilson intended.
“Let us on that day rededicate ourselves to the nation,” he wrote in his proclamation, ” ‘one and inseparable’ from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself — a nation signally distinguished among all the nations of mankind for its clear, individual conception alike of its duties and its privileges, its obligations and its rights.”
Here are other facts about Flag Day:
- Bernard J. Cigrand is considered the father of Flag Day. In 1885, as a young teacher at a high school in Waubeka, Wisconsin, Cigrand put a small flag on his desk and told his students to write essays about it. He fought for the rest of his life to formally establish the holiday, according to the National Flag Day Foundation.
- The flag has been changed 27 times. The final star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.
- The first time the flag was flown after being adopted was on Aug. 3, 1777 in Rome, New York.
- The flag’s colors have become significant over time. The white is for purity, the red is for valor and the blue is for justice, according to usflag.org.
- President George Washington described the design like this: “We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty.”
- The first flag was probably created by Francis Hopkinson, who signed the Declaration of Independence. He requested “a quarter cask of the public wine” as payment for his design. He was rejected.
- Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag according to a pattern, which was likely Hopkinson’s. Legend has it she changed the six-point stars he’d drawn to five-point ones because they were easier to stitch.
- Sea captain William Driver gave the flag its “Old Glory” nickname in 1831, according to usacitylink.com.
- The current design of the U.S. flag was created by Robert G. Heft, who made the pattern for a high school project. He earned a B- at first, but when the government chose it, his teacher raised the grade to an A.
- There are six American flags on the moon. Five are standing, but Neil Armstrong’s fell over.
Where can you get the best of Scouting in one place?
At the 2017 National Jamboree, set for July 19 to 28, 2017.
Jamborees are one of the Boy Scouts of America’s coolest traditions. They’ve been around since 1937, and they just get better every four years.
Jamborees are a place to make new friends, to experience adrenaline-raising activities, to attend high-energy stadium shows, to trade patches with Scouts from across the country, to explore the stunning high-adventure playground called the Summit Bechtel Reserve and to unite with tens of thousands of fellow Scouts and Scouters.
2017 National Jamboree registration is now open. Get ready, because 2017 will be here before you can say “Live Scouting’s Adventure.”
Who is eligible to attend?
Most Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers and adult leaders are eligible to experience the unforgettable excitement of the 2017 National Jamboree.
For Scouts, you must be a First Class Scout and at least 12 years old by the first day of the Jamboree (July 19, 2017) or an 11-year-old who has graduated the sixth grade.
A boy born on or before July 19, 2005, will be 12 by jamboree time.
There’s an upper limit, too. To be a Boy Scout participant, you can’t have reached your 18th birthday by the last day of the Jamboree (July 28, 2017).
If your Scout will be too old, he could consider serving on staff.
Who is eligible to be on staff?
Serving on staff is a rewarding experience that lets you help make a young man or young woman’s jamboree experience one they’ll never forget. It’s not all work, though. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the jamboree fun.
How much does it cost?
These are the participant fees. Your council may roll in transportation costs, gear costs, and additional pre- or post-jamboree tours that would increase the fee.
Youth participants: $975
Unit leaders ages 18-25 through July 18, 2017: $487.50, after which the fee for all adult leaders becomes that for 26+ indicated below
Unit leaders age 26+: $975
These are the staff fees. Staff are expected to provide their own transportation to the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) — Full jamboree
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) — First half
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) — Second half
Fees are structured to support these three sessions.
Staff fees for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be as follows:
For staff ages 16-25 through July 18, 2017:
Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $425
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425
For staff ages 26+ on or after July 19, 2017:
Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $850
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425
How do I register?
There are two basic ways to experience a jamboree, and both are great. You can attend as a youth or adult participant, or you can serve on staff.
Either way, you’re guaranteed the time of your life.
Registration happens electronically. Go here and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll just need to link your BSA membership to your Summit account. To do so you’ll need your last name, date of birth and BSA member ID number.
If you’re registering as a participant (youth or adult), you’ll print your “Request to Attend Form” upon completion of the application. Parents, fill that out and take it to your local council for the next step.
What’s a jamboree troop?
Your council will help you find a jamboree troop, which is different from your regular troop but may be composed of some or all of the members of your regular troop.
Jamboree troops include 36 Scouts or Venturers and four adults. (Yes, Venturers, including female Venturers, are invited.)
Let’s say your troop has 36 Scouts who want to attend the 2017 National Jamboree. Those 36 would comprise one jamboree troop. Or maybe your troop has 10 Scouts who want to go. Those 10 would be matched with 26 Scouts from other home troops to form a jamboree troop. Perhaps your Scout is the only one from his troop who can attend the jamboree. No problem! He’ll join 35 fellow Scouts for an awesome time at the jamboree.
No matter how a troop is formed, lifetime friendships will develop within and between troops.
What’s new for staff?
Here’s what the SBR team says will be different for staff at the 2017 National Jamboree:
Transportation: Staff transportation will be enhanced. Assuming a reasonable level of fitness, no staff member will be required to walk longer than 30 minutes between their place of lodging and their assigned work station.
Time off: Sufficient staff will be recruited and schedules developed to ensure staff members receive at least the equivalent of one full day off during the jamboree. Staff work hours will allow them the opportunity to visit and enjoy other areas of the jamboree outside their assigned work area. Provisions will be made for those desiring to explore the local area surrounding the jamboree during their day off.
Communications: A robust communications strategy will be developed and executed to keep staff members informed from the date they register as a staff member through the last day of the jamboree.
Lunch: We will make modifications to enhance the number and variety of lunch choices consistent with the requirement to maintain a “shelf stable” lunch menu given the demands of the site. We will provide supplemental items for our staff members in the more active program areas to ensure an appropriate level of caloric content for their anticipated level of activity.
Lodging: While capacity constraints of The Summit prevent the offering of two-person tent accommodations, staff members will be provided the opportunity to preselect their tentmates up to one month prior to the jamboree.
Staff Village: The staff village(s) will be designed to provide an area in which staff members can relax, recreate, and refresh themselves in the company of other staff members. Retail food and beverage stands will be incorporated in this design as well as an area for athletic competition.
Showers: We will explore options to increase water temperature; however, any solution will have to be consistent with our sustainability focus of conserving water and energy.
Laundry service: Laundry service will continue to be available for staff members desiring it.
Staff photos: Official staff photos of individual teams will be taken and staff members will have the opportunity to purchase photos of their choosing.
Check out the official jamboree site for more details and get ready to Live Scouting’s Adventure!
This is a unique mint Wood Badge Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) set for course N2-640-15-1, Wood Badge for Leaders in Hispanic Communities. This is the first time that a bilingual Wood Badge course is taught in the east coast of the United States.
The set includes four CSPs:
- Ax and the Log (White Mylar Border) signed by Dr. Robert Gates, BSA President
- Two Wood Badge beads (Blue Mylar Border) signed by Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive (12th Chief Scout Executive)
- Three Wood Badge beads (Green Mylar Border) signed by Tico Perez, National Commissioner
- Four Wood Badge beads signed by Michael Surbaugh, scheduled to take over as 13th Chief Scout Executive in October 2015
The wording on this set is bilingual, It says “WOOD BADGE” and “Insignia de Madera” (Wood Badge in Spanish).
The sets were signed by Michael Surbaugh on May 19, 2015 and by the National Key 3 on May 20,2015. The set comes with a authenticity statement signed by Irving Quiles, Course Director, and Jose Nino, National Executive Board Member. Both of the individuals were the ones who obtained the signatures.
It will be hard to find another WOOD BADGE CSP set signed by the National Key 3, and an incoming Chief Scout Executive.
Funding from this sell will support camperships for Scouters who will be taking the course.
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Bryan Wendell
This is an exciting time to be a Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America just released its first wave of interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, and they’re insanely cool.
Starting now, Boy Scouts (and troop leaders and merit badge counselors) can download digital versions of the pamphlets for Cooking, First Aid, Animation and Robotics merit badges. More are coming soon (see the list below).
These digital pamphlets are the same price as their print siblings ($4.99), but you get so much more for your money. In addition to everything in the paper versions, Scouts who use the digital versions get:
- Videos, including “how-to” clips, career bios, virtual tours and multimedia experiences
- Search, so you can find what you need quickly
- Simulations, animations, photo slideshows and graphics
- Interactive Q&A’s
A look inside
What’s it like inside an interactive digital merit badge pamphlet? I took an inside look in the video below.
No, I mean literally. I shrunk myself down and went inside an iPad to check these things out. Take a look:
Which merit badges are becoming digital?
These are the first four, out now:
- First Aid
The next wave of four should be out in July:
- Digital Technology
- Family Life
- Personal Fitness
Then the next wave should debut in September:
And another wave is expected in December.
Where can I learn more?
You can consider Boys’ Life to be your hub for all things related to these interactive digital merit badges pamphlets. Bookmark this page to find FAQs, links to buy the interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, sample videos and more great content than our old buddy Pedro could shake his tail at.
How do I buy these awesome things?
Posted on May 19, 2015 by Bryan Wendell
Drawing from the wisdom of animators who have worked at Disney, Dreamworks and EA Sports, the BSA has created a merit badge sure to please any young man with an interest in making art come to life.
Requirements were released this week, officially making the Animation MB the BSA’s 136th current merit badge. (That count doesn’t include the Computers merit badge, which was retired at the end of 2014. See the full list here.)
Boy Scouts who earn this one will plan and create animation using two different techniques. They’ll tour an animation studio or business where animation is used. They’ll explore careers in animation.
Along the way, a spark will be ignited within Scouts that could lead some to pursue a career in animation. Will a recipient of the Animation MB some day work on the next Pixar hit or videogame phenomenon?
The odds are pretty good.
In writing the Animation MB pamphlet — available at Scout shops and ScoutStuff.org — the BSA turned to experts including the dean of the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design, an award-winning director/writer best known for his comedic animated shorts, and an art director for EA Sports who worked on the Madden series of videogames. Meet these and other pamphlet writers below.
One other fun fact about the pamphlet: If you turn it on its side and flip the pages, you see a cool, flipbook-style animation. Check it out!
What’s the patch design?
The patch design shows an animator’s disk — a light table used to create hand-drawn two-dimensional animations. On it is a bouncing blue ball that conveys motion — a key part of animation. Drawing a bouncing ball is typically among the first projects a student must master when learning to become an animator.
Animation merit badge requirements
1. General knowledge. Do the following:
a. In your own words, describe to your counselor what animation is.
b. Discuss with your counselor a brief history of animation.
2. Principles of animation. Choose five of the following 12 principles of animation, and discuss how each one makes an animation appear more believable: squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straightahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, appeal.
3. Projects. With your counselor’s approval, choose two animation techniques and do the following for each:
a. Plan your animation using thumbnail sketches and/or layout drawings.
b. Create the animation.
c. Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.
4. Animation in our world. Do the following:
a. Tour an animation studio or a business where animation is used, either in person, via video, or via the Internet. Share what you have learned with your counselor.
b. Discuss with your counselor how animation might be used in the future to make your life more enjoyable and productive.
5. Careers. Learn about three career opportunities in animation. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss your findings with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.
Animation merit badge resources
Find cool videos and more at this Boys’ Life page devoted to Animation merit badge.
Animation merit badge team
These are the men and women who helped write the Animation MB pamphlet:
Rick Richards’ 2D/3D animator screen credits include the Jimmy Neutron television series (2003); The ChubbChubbs! (2002 Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Short); Shrek (2001 Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Feature); Antz (1998); The Prince of Egypt (1998); Balto (1995); We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993); An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991); and countless TV commercials and video-game cinematics.
Tina O’Hailey currently serves as the dean of the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design and its Atlanta, Savannah, Hong Kong, Lacoste, and eLearning locations. She has been an associate chair of the animation department and a professor of animation, motion media, interactive design and game development, and visual effects. Before becoming a professor, she worked as an artistic trainer for DreamWorks, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and Electronic Arts, Inc. She is the author of Rig it Right! (Focal Press, 2013) and Hybrid Animation: Integrating 2D and 3D Assets (Focal Press, 2010).
Ty Coyle is an award-winning director/writer best known for his comedic animated shorts. His film Baxter, seen in cities nationwide, was named Best Animated Film at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival in 2013 and Best Student Film at the New Jersey Film Festival in 2014. Baxter was also nominated for a Student Oscar at the 41st Annual Student Academy Awards. In high school Ty began exploring art through foundation studies with painting and drawing, and was introduced to computer animation. At the Savannah College of Art and Design he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in animation. Upon graduation, Ty moved to New York City to begin working on commercials as an animator and layout artist.
Kyle Martin is a visual effects artist with AutomationDirect.com, where he creates animations and videos to help customers understand technology and to promote new products. He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013.
Chris Folea, an Eagle Scout, is a visual effects artist with AutomationDirect.com, where he has been creating animated promotional videos to help customers understand technology and has produced advertising spots for local movie theaters for more than seven years. Chris also created the computer-generated character “Ethan” for the 2015 Cub Scout handbooks. In his free time, he runs a YouTube channel where he creates Blender™ 3D software tutorials as well as comedy and parody videos with high visual-effects production values. His other projects include the animated series Ray and Clovis on YouTube. Chris received his bachelor of fine arts degree, summa cum laude, from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013.
Tony Stanley is an art director for EA Sports in Orlando, Florida. He has worked on the video games Madden NFL, NFL Blitz, EA Sports MMA, NASCAR® Kart Racing, and many more. Before joining EA, Tony was an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida. During his 10 years with the studio, he worked on The Lion King (1994), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Mulan (1998), Lilo & Stitch (2002), and Brother Bear (2003). Tony is also a Scout leader for Troop 826 in Kissimmee, Florida.
Rick Folea, an Eagle Scout, is the Animation Merit Badge Team Lead, Programming Merit Badge Team Lead, and coauthor of the Robotics and Digital Technology merit badge pamphlets. He serves on the Northeast Georgia Council Executive Board. Rick works at AutomationDirect.com, where he uses animation and video content to teach customers how to get the most out of the company’s products.