New Venture Crew in Carroll County

This note is to inform Scouts about the Open House for the new Venturing Crew 918 (Chartered to the St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1205 N. Main Street in Hampstead.) from 7 PM to 8:30 PM on November 24th.

Please see the attached flyer for further details.

Please note:  to join a Venturing Crew, the must be at least 13, and he must have completed the 8th grade.   If you are at or above First Class when you join the Venturing Crew, you can continue your advancement to Eagle Scout.  And, you can be jointly enrolled in a Boy Scout Troop (like Troop 883) and a Venturing Crew at the same time.

If you have questions please send an email to:  CREW918.MD@GMAIL.COM

Sent On behalf of Crew 918 & Daren Bowen
Ron McKinney

November Backpacking

Here’s the historian’s report from last weekend’s backpacking outing!

Troop 883 November Outing

On November 9, Troop 883 went to the Appalachian Trail to go backpacking.

The Scouts were split two groups:  Scouts that wanted to go on the longer hike and Scouts that wanted to go on the shorter hike.  We passed many landmarks.  For example, we saw the Annapolis Rocks and The Black Rocks.  At the Annapolis Rocks, we ate lunch and looked at the beautiful scenery all around us.  We were above a large forest with many colors of the fall, great farms with cows and fields, and a drag strip.  (You could even hear the cars speeding up and down the road!)

In the last stretch of the hike, the Troop was all spread out along the treacherous trail of a rocky ridge.

Everyone was very tired at the end of Saturday’s hike – with aching backs, sore shoulders, and blistered feet – and we fell asleep one by one.

After our breakfast on Saturday, we packed up and left for home.

It was definitely worth the challenging hike to get a feel of what the Appalachian Trail is like!

Five Scouts from Troop 883 Earn Ad Altare Dei Religious Emblem

Earlier today, five Scouts from Troop 883 were awarded the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem.  The Scouts, who worked for nearly a year to complete the requirements for the award, were presented with their Ad Altare Dei medals by Fr. Neville O’Donohue at Mass this morning at the St. Joseph Catholic Community.

The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic youth of the Roman Rite develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community.  The program is organized in chapters based on the seven sacraments.  The seven Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth.

The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his spiritual experience of his relationship to God and the church.

Congratulations go to:

  • Dillon K.
  • Chris S.
  • Nate J.
  • Nathan C.
  • Nathan B.

Special thanks to Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Carteaux, our religious emblem coordinator, who worked with these Scouts throughout the program.

The Authority of Youth Leadership


Compel:  Force or oblige someone to do something.

Delegate:  To give or commit (duties, powers, etc) to another as agent or representative.

Empowered:  Give someone the authority or power to do something.

                                                      The authority of youth leadership is not based in compelling young people to do something.

The authority in youth leadership is not delegated (One abiding myth of Scouting is that the adults are the source of all authority and delegate responsibility to youth leadership.)

The authority of youth leadership is built into the fabric of Scouting, they are empowered to lead.

Youth leaders are not  servants, employees, or soldiers  but volunteer players in the purposeful game of Scouting.

Scouting is something that Scouts do for themselves and adults have the honor of observing, coaching and encouraging.

Adult oversight is cooperative; we are there to aid our youth leaders by doing only the things they, by reason of their age, cannot do

Adult authority is provisional; we are there to assure things are safe, and that our youth leaders are playing within the bounds of the game.

Adult leadership is responsive and reciprocal to youth leadership: we provide assistance to developing leaders in the same way we teach someone to ride a bike, by letting  go when they are ready to pedal on their own.

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A View of Philmont – From the Eyes of a Ranger

What’s it like to spend a summer as a Philmont Ranger?

Incredible seems too weak a word, and amazing doesn’t quite cut it either.

When words fail, try video. That’s the approach Tucker Prescott took with his magical, transcendent short film called “Philmont: A Ranger’s Summer.”

It manages to be both understated and powerful by sharing what one Ranger’s summer looked like.

Enough words; just watch:


Philmont – A Ranger’s Summer from Tucker Prescott on Vimeo.

The Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium is Named After an Eagle Scout


Posted on October 21, 2014 – Bryon on Scouting

Only one ballpark in the American League is named after a person.

Ewing-Kauffman-croppedAnd it turns out that Ewing Kauffman, the man who started the Kansas City Royals and for whom the team’s stadium is named, was an Eagle Scout.

Ewing Marion Kauffman, born in 1916 in Missouri, earned the Eagle Scout award on Nov. 6, 1931. After a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, establishing a professional baseball team and his myriad philanthropic efforts, it was an obvious decision to name Kauffman a Distinguished Eagle Scout in 1977.

Eight years later, Kauffman got more good news: his Kansas City Royals won the World Series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

Kauffman died in 1993, and the Royals never made the postseason again after that 1985 World Series win. That is, until this year.

Bringing baseball back to K.C.

When the Athletics franchise moved to Kansas City in 1955, the man responsible, Chicago real estate tycoon Arnold Johnson, was hailed as a hero.

That feeling didn’t last — and neither did the Athletics’ stint in Kansas City. The team moved to its current home in Oakland, Calif., after the 1967 season.

That upset U.S. Sen. Stuart Symington, who threatened to remove baseball’s antitrust exemption unless Kansas City was granted a team in the next round of MLB expansion.

Major League Baseball complied, and the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots (later the Milwaukee Brewers) began play in 1969.

Kauffman won the bidding for the new Kansas City franchise. He named the team the Royals after the American Royal, a horse and livestock show held each year in Kansas City.

The team played in the multipurpose Municipal Stadium for the 1969 through 1972 seasons before opening Royals Stadium in 1973. Royals Stadium stood out at the time because it was one of the few single-sport stadiums around, bucking the trend of one-size-fits-all stadiums that housed multiple teams.

In 1993, Royals Stadium became Kauffman Stadium in honor of the Royals’ founder.

And now, for the first time in 29 years, Kauffman Stadium is home to the American League Champions.

Ingenious Scout Dishwashing Rack is Made From Hiking Poles


Posted on October 9, 2014 on Bryon on Scouting blog

If your Scouts still set up their three-pot dishwashing system on a picnic table or the ground, it’s time for an upgrade.

One volunteer’s design for a Scout dishwashing rack made out of hiking poles holds wash basins at Scout height — and frees up picnic tables for other things.

Better yet, the dishwashing rack doesn’t cost much to build, breaks down easily and is a fun pioneering project.

The mastermind here is Larry Green, a BSA volunteer who created a design that uses 10 hiking poles (aka Scout staves), some lashing rope and three basic wash basins. That’s one basin with hot soapy water, one with hot clean water and one with very hot water containing an environmentally friendly chemical agent for sanitizing.

Larry has designed the dishwashing gadget with enough supports to withstand the weight of water-filled basins. He does so with $6 poles from and 18-quart Sterilite basins from Walmart.

For the step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures, see Larry’s post on Scout – Pioneering, an unofficial blog.


Carroll District Needs Help at the Corn Maze THIS WEEKEND!

Carroll District Scouting has a great relationship with the Ag Center.  Among other things, they allow us to hold our movie nights for free in exchange for helping with Ag Center events.  It’s a great arrangement and benefits everyone.

As our next service, Carroll District will run the Ag Center Corn Maze THIS WEEKEND, the 17th -19th.  That involves selling tickets, reciting a safety briefing, and then waving bye-bye and wishing people good luck as they enter the maze. Two volunteers will also need to sit in a truck on a hill, but I can’t figure out why and I don’t know which hill.

To make all this happen, I need 6 volunteers from 5 – 9 PM both Friday and Saturday evening, and 10 volunteers from 1-6 PM Sunday afternoon. Sunday is family day and we’ll be running a crafts table for children, so we’ll need a few extra folks.  Right now, only one person has volunteered to help – so PLEASE email or call me if you can help too during any of the time slots.

As a bonus, we can use our time at the maze for scout recruiting.  Any unit sending at least 4 volunteers to run the Maze can also set up a recruiting display or activity. Scouting is not very visible in our communities and this is a great chance to be seen and make contact with scouting age boys. 

Thanks to all of you,

Bob Betz
Vice Chair for Programs and other stuff


Does Rank Have Its Privileges?


Posted on October 10, 2014 – Bryon on Scouting blog

At dinnertime on a recent campout, Scouter Ted saw the older, bigger Scouts push to the front of the line.

“Rank privilege,” the boys explained to the younger Scouts.

drucker-rank-quoteThe next day, it was too windy to set up tents, so the boys slept inside a cabin. There were two rooms: a simple, carpeted room and one with cushioned benches on which the boys could sleep.

Once again, “rank privilege” was invoked. The older guys said only boys who were Star Scout and above were allowed to sleep on the comfortable benches. Everyone else got the floor.

Ted, the Scouter, couldn’t stand silent any longer. He stopped the practice and told the boys that if they were truly following the Scout Oath and Law “they would make sure the smallest and youngest were comfortable and then take what was left.”

He wrote me asking whether he was right to step in. “Is there such thing as rank privilege in the BSA?” he asks.

I told Ted my opinion: Yes, he was right to intervene. Rank privilege seems incongruous to the spirit of Scouting.

But I wanted to check with the experts. I asked Mike Lo Vecchio of the BSA’s content management team, who offers this simple response:

There is no such thing as rank privilege, nor do we support or endorse this kind of behavior.

So there you have it.

Special privileges for Eagle Scouts?

At the summer camp I attended as a Scout, now called Camp Trevor Rees-Jones, there was a lake between our campsite and the dining hall, pool and most of the activity areas.

Most Scouts walked around the lake, but Eagle Scouts were allowed to ride in a boat reserved just for them. It made the journey quicker and more enjoyable.

Ted’s question got me wondering whether this was an example of unfair “rank privilege.”

I think it was fine. The boat only existed as an added perk; it didn’t give Eagle Scouts special treatment for essential elements of camp like eating or sleeping.

Plus, it gave older boys another reason to return to summer camp. And I can confirm it motivated me to want to earn the Eagle Scout rank even more.