Scout Neckerchiefs Now Approved for Wear with Nonuniform Clothing


Posted on August 21, 2015 by 


One uniform piece unites Scouts in all 223 countries with a Scouting program.

It’s not the button-up uniform shirt. It’s not the purple World Crest.

It’s the Scout neckerchief.

Look at pretty much any photo of a Scout or Scout leader from another country, and you’ll see those rolled-up triangles. They’re wearing Scout neckerchiefs even if they aren’t in their full, official uniform (what we in the U.S. call the field uniform).

And now, the BSA is joining them. Scout neckerchiefs, long a symbol of the movement globally, are now approved for wear by Boy Scouts of America members whether in or out of uniform.

This line on page 12 of the Guide to Awards and Insignia, 2015 edition, confirms the change:

When engaged in Scouting activities, members may wear the neckerchief with appropriate nonuniform clothing to identify them as Scouts.

Previously, according to an earlier version of the Guide, the Scout neckerchief was “worn only with the official uniform and never with T-shirts or civilian clothing.”

Why the change?

  • Removing restrictions for neckerchief wear brings the BSA in line with other members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
  • The neckerchief, as recommended by Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, can be a tool for first aid. It can work as a sling, tourniquet or bandage.
  • Scout neckerchiefs identify Scouts as Scouts, even when they aren’t in uniform.
  • The neckerchief looks cool — just ask Bear Grylls.

What one Scouter says

Dan Kurtenbach, a Scouter from Virginia, told me by email that he’s thrilled with the move.

“The previous policy meant that you would hardly ever see a neckerchief at Scout outdoor activities, because you hardly ever see the official uniform being worn for active outdoor events,” he writes. “With this change, it seems that the Scout neckerchief can be used for what it was designed for: practical outdoor gear.

“But more importantly, it finally allows boys engaged in outdoor activities to be recognized as Scouts, not just any old youth group. It allows us to take the uniform with us wherever we go and whatever we are doing.”


Of course, your regular field uniform and activity uniforms are still an important part of delivering the BSA program.

This option — wearing neckerchiefs with civilian clothes at a Scouting event — merely offers you a nice way to show you’re a Scout when out of uniform.

Hold the Dates – Troop 883 Outings

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming outings:
  • September 18-20, 2015
    • Gettysburg Trail hiking
    • Tent camping at Camp Conewago
  • October 16-18, 2015
    • Backpacking on Catoctin Mountain
    • Philmont preparation hike
  • November 6-8, 2015
    • Orienteering competition
    • Tent camping Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation
  • December 4-6, 2015
    • Annual Urban Adventure – Washington, DC
    • Adventure Bound Washington
  • January 15-19, 2016
    • OKPIK 2016
    • Ely, Minnesota
  • January 16-18, 2016 (REVISED DATE!)
    • Klondike Derby
    • Tent camping
  • February 26-28, 2016
    • Ski Roundtop Weekend
    • Cabin camping at Camp Conewago

Summer Camp Update

Don’t forget – there is NO Troop meeting tonight.

It was a whirlwind final day at camp, and we have lots of great news about our Troop’s performance during the week at camp.  Here’s what we earned:

  • Inter-Troop Dodgeball - 3rd place
  • Inter-Troop Archery - 1st place
  • Speed Climb - 1st place
  • Silver Buckle - Dillon Kalmbach, SPL



Bob Downing Recognized as Vigil Honor Member of the OA

You have probably heard that between 4% and 5% of Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout during their Scouting “careers,” but our own Bob Downing has earned an honor that is just  as difficult to achieve (and maybe more so!)  - Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow (OA).

Consider that the Order of the Arrow itself is made up of Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives.  OA members tend to be pretty upstanding people to start off with.  But a select few are called out for their exceptional service to the OA, the local Scout camp, and the Scouting movement.  Those select few (only about 2% of all OA members) receive the Vigil Honor.

When you speak with him about it, Bob will undoubtedly downplay the significance of this recognition, but it’s a big deal!

Vigil Honor (detailed below) is one of only a handful of Scouting awards where the Scout/Scouter cannot seek the recognition.  There are no “requirements” to complete and there is no paperwork to fill out.  The Scout/Scouter has absolutely no ability to pursue this recognition.  Instead, the OA seeks to find the most deserving members for recognition with the Vigil Honor.  As they say: “You don’t seek the Vigil Honor.  The Vigil Honor seeks you.”

Each Vigil Honor member is given a name based upon the Lenni Lenape tradition.  Bob was given the name “Opalanie Witataschimolsin” which means Eagle Advisor – in reference  to Bob’spassion for working with Life Scouts on their Trail to Eagle.  It is also especially significant that Bob earned the honor in 2015 – the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow.

Please take a moment to offer your congratulations to Bob on earning one of Scouting’s most prestigious honors.


Alertness to the needs of others is the mark of the Vigil Honor. It calls for an individual with an unusual awareness of the possibilities within each situation.

The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting. Membership cannot be won by a person’s conscious endeavors.

The Vigil Honor is a high mark of distinction and recognition reserved for those Arrowmen who, by reason of exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest, have made distinguished contributions beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position of office to one or more of the following:

  • Lodge
  • Order of the Arrow
  • Scouting community
  • Scout Camp

Under no circumstances should tenure in Scouting or the Order of the Arrow be considered as reason enough for a Vigil Honor recommendation.

Any member of the Order of the Arrow registered in Scouting and in good standing in a regularly chartered lodge is eligible for recommendation to the National Order of the Arrow Committee for elevation to the Vigil Honor provided that, at the time of the recommendation, the individual has been a Brotherhood member for a minimum of two years. A lodge may nominate a maximum of two percent of their registered Arrowmen once a year, through the Vigil Honor petition, found in the annual re-charter packet. At least 50 percent of all nominated must be under 21 at the time of nomination.

Attention OA Members: ArrowTour is Coming to Baltimore

Join us at ArrowTour 2015 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Order of the Arrow with Nentico Lodge and the Baltimore Area Council on Saturday, July 25th  11 AM – 3 PM at the Schapiro Scout Service Center – 701 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21211
Don’t miss out on this ONE DAY EVENT!  FREE Event – Open to Everyone!!
A day of fun, activities and fellowship for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Scouting Alumni, Camp Alumni, Parents, Grandparents, Neighbors, Friends – Everyone!
Food will be available for purchase at the event, or bring a picnic lunch for the family!
For questions, contact JD Urbach or Pam Fleagle
Nentico Lodge
Baltimore Area Council #220, Boy Scouts Of America


Father’s Day Feature: Eagle Scout Honors Dad’s Memory

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.

Father’s Day Feature: How a Boy Scout Saves Dad’s Life, Earns Rare Scouting Distinction


Reprinted from Scouting Newsroom

Scout Saves Fathers LifeOne dad received the ultimate gift from his son this Father’s Day.  Not bought in a store, it’s one he will cherish for the rest of his life. Boy Scout Michael J. of the Quapaw Area Council saved his father’s life.

A car ride down the father and son’s Jonesboro, Ark., neighborhood turned life-threatening last November when Michael’s dad, Daniel Domagalski, unexpectedly suffered a seizure.

Immediately grabbing the uncontrolled wheel, the Scout steered through miles of heavy traffic until finally reaching a safe stopping place.  Once parked, the Scout stabilized his father’s head, called 911, and proceeded to administer medical attention while awaiting the paramedics.


Michael was presented with an Honor Medal by the Boy Scouts of America on June 8 for his courageous life-saving skills.

Yet, the award was a complete shock to the Scout.  What he believed was a regularly scheduled Monday night Boy Scout meeting, turned into a surprise National Court of Honor.

“It was just great, to be honest,” Michael told Region 8 News. “I was surprised because I thought this was for another Scout. I wasn’t really expecting for it to be me.”

Awarded to a youth Scout or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to oneself, the Honor Medal is a prestigious Scouting award earned by a rare few.

“The skill set that the boys learn, it teaches a degree of self confidence that when there is a situation that you don’t necessarily know the outcome of the situation, they are able to keep a cool head and take control of the situation and do what needs to be done,” Rick Wise, Field Director of the Quapaw Area Council said.

Check out the video clip below to hear the Scout’s humble reaction to the award:

KAIT Jonesboro, AR – Region 8 News, weather, sports

Flag Day


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:

  1. 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.
  2. The flag has been changed 27 times. The final star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.
  3. The first time the flag was flown after being adopted was on Aug. 3, 1777 in Rome, New York.
  4. 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
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sea captain William Driver gave the flag its “Old Glory” nickname in 1831, according to
  9. 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.
  10. There are six American flags on the moon. Five are standing, but Neil Armstrong’s fell over.