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Local Feature

BOY SCOUTS
OF AMERICA
Celebrating 100 years

words by Jackie Dale • Image by Frankie Leal

The Celebration

It is with great pride that I write this article about the exciting 100th Celebration of Boy Scouts. My father, Robert Takacs is an Eagle Scout and my son Sam Cogdell is in his third year of Cub Scouting as a Bear, in Pack 228. Sam plans on staying in scouting to earn his Eagle Scout rank too. Being in Cub Scouts has been an awesome opportunity. I am involved with a great group of dedicated boys and Cub Scout parents. I am glad that I am a Cub Scout Mom!

Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most well-known, valued based youth organizations. Incorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916, the BSA provides a program for young boys that helps build character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating in citizenship, develops personal fitness, and helps build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with tons of fun.

In Boy Scouts, boys are provided with programs and activities which allow them to try new things, provide services to others, build self confidence, and reinforce ethical standards. These opportunities not only help them when they are young, but carry forward into their adult lives, improving their relationships, their work lives, their family lives, and the values by which they live.
Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless.

Perhaps, most importantly, Scouting promotes activities which lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions are presented, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made.

Reedley’s Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops belong to The Sequoia Council. This is a service area within the BSA that covers Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties. 

The Council is divided into Districts. Reedley is in the Mt. Whitney District. District service areas are run by a committee of volunteers and counseled by the District Executives. District volunteers serve the packs and troops by providing advice, training for leaders, maintaining membership growth, promoting camping, and raising money for better services. Volunteers also assist in providing programs such as Camporees, District volunteer recognition dinners, and Cub Scout Day Camps. Scout volunteers plan the year’s activities together, all while promoting the good name of Scouting within our surrounding communities.

How do you know you’re looking at a Boy Scout? It’s all in the uniform. Wearing the uniform shows others they are a member of Scouting. The uniform also reminds them to live up to Scouting’s ideals and the promises they have made. The official uniform also gives them a place to display awards and emblems showing their personal achievements and the achievements of their den and pack.

There are different ranks in the BSA. In 1st grade through 5th grade you are a Cub Scout. When you reach the age of 10 you move up to become a Boy Scout. The highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting is the Eagle Scout. The average age of boys earning the Eagle Scout rank is 17 years of age. From 1912 to 2009, 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank.

Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts is for grades 1st through 5th. Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the boys doing things. Activities are used to achieve the aims of Scouting in citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness. Many of the activities happen in the weekly den meetings and the monthly pack meetings.

Apart from the fun and excitement, the boys learn the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute. Each of these teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy’s sense of belonging.
Boy Scouts

Boy scouting is one of the traditional membership divisions of the BSA. It is available to boys who have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old or have completed the fifth grade up to the age of 18. This program achieves the BSA’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness.

Eagle Scout Rank

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must: 1) Progress through the ranks in the following order: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. 2) Earn 21 merit badges, including; First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Camping, Family Life, Personal Management, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming. 3) Serve six months in a troop leadership position. 4) Plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization, school or community. 5) Take part in a Scoutmaster conference. 6) Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review. Over the years in Reedley, many boys have achieved their goal of Eagle Scout and several more will reach this goal in the years to come.
What a great year to start an Eagle Project, on the 100th birthday year. Isaac Penner, a freshman at Reedley High, plans on starting his Eagle Scout in April, while Alfredo Carrillo, another senior at Reedley High, will have his project complete by the end of this month. Alfredo hopes to have his exit conference by April. Good luck to these two boys in achieving their goal of Eagle Scout.

Back to the Celebration

What a celebration the Boy Scouts are having. Celebrating the impact that 100 years of Scouting has had on the lives of millions needs more than a single date on the calendar. So the BSA is celebrating its’ achievements and has launched a series of national and local programs and events covering an entire two years! Every month there is something fun and exciting planned for all ages, and everyone in America is invited to get involved.
Our local District started kicking off the year at the Fresno Fair in ’09 with a cool interactive booth showing the public what scouting is all about. They had a large space in one of the exhibit buildings, where they had ongoing hands-on activities, static displays, demonstrations, actual unit meetings, videos, and more all set around a Camp Chawanakee camp scene!

At the end of October 2009, my son Sam, along with other Cubs and Leaders from Pack 228 ventured to Sacramento to participate with six thousand other scouts in a 100th BSA Celebration March to the State Capital. The scouts mustered at Raley Field and made the two mile march to the Capital. My Dad said it was amazing to see six thousand Scouts and Scouters crossing the Sacramento River, walking shoulder to shoulder onto Capital Mall. While having lunch in Raley Field, all of the Eagle Scouts were honored by standing, as the Eagles sat down by age. Pack 228 was honored to have my Dad, the third oldest Eagle in attendance.

April 16-18, 2010 is the Sequoia Council Camporee which will be held at the Fresno County Regional Sports Complex. All the plugs are being pulled to make this a Council Camporee to be remembered! There will be elements of a regular camporee, as well as separate Cub, Scout, and Venture activity areas. They plan on having unique all day events, demos, vendor/activity midway, celebrity guests, and much more! The public is invited so we can showcase Scoutings’ 100th birthday! Other events are in the planning stages, but will not be released until May 2010. So check out the website to see what’s coming.

This is the most important Scouting milestone of our lifetimes. By recruiting new members and volunteers, building stronger relationships with financial supporters, and enhancing public awareness of the value of Scouting, we can engage millions by celebrating with a purpose. It is the greatest gift we can give to our next generation of Scouts and Scouters.

As a parent of a scout, I want to say Thank You! We appreciate everything you do as a patron in our community to support local Scouts in our community. You make the magic of scouting happen when you support us.

To get involved in the Boy Scouts 100th Celebration, go to Scouting.org/100years and click on the interactive version of this “Maximizing the 1OOth”guide. There, you can easily access more information about each of the steps you can take to join in the celebration.

For more information about Boy Scouts contact the The Sequoia Council at www.seqbsa.org or the BSA at www.scouting.org.

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Reedley Boy Scouts

 

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