Commissioner’s Blog #3

John Hovanesian, M.D.

May 30, 2013

Three Tips for Keeping Scouting Alive Over the Summer

Summer is a wondrous time for parents and kids, with no school pressures, a break from most sports, and long family vacations.  Most packs and troops slow down during this time with limited meetings, but the best units keep offering activities, and the new Journey to Excellence program appropriately recognizes the importance of a year-round program.

Naturally, every scout should attend summer camp, whether Cub day camp or Boy Scout long-term summer camp. But there’s so much more fun you can have.  Here are three tips for putting together events that will be fun and successful that everyone will want to participate in:

1. Take it outdoors. With the great, warm weather and extended daylight hours, you just can’t go wrong with outdoor summer activities like a daytime potluck barbecue at the park or a family campout at a nearby campground. For more adventure, consider standup paddleboard lessons at the Newport sea base or zipline or ropes course outing at the Outdoor Education Center.  These can work for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

2. Make it scalable. Choose events that will be viewed as a success even if you get a low turnout. Families can be very reluctant to commit in advance for summertime activities. A trip to the city pool for swimming skill training for Cub or Boy Scout badges becomes even more fun when it ends with an epic game of Marco Polo. A kite decorating and flying contest at the beach or a bike ride on one of OC’s hundreds of great trails will also bring families out.

3. Make it wacky. To lure families from laid back summer leisure, spice up your summer activity with oddball events.  Try “Minute to Win It” games like The Anti-gravity Tent Pole Game shown here, the Sock and Rope game at this link, or Bean the Unit Leader with a Water Balloon. (This last one really requires no
explanation but a fairly docile Scoutmaster or Cubmaster.  Safety tip: exclude those teenagers who are on the varsity baseball team.) Another favorite is Face the Cookie at this link.  One more that’s a hilarious YouTube video but not recommended for safety reasons is Cub Scout Egg Jousting.

Enjoy your summer, everyone, and lets keep Scouting!


Event Showcases Real Estate Community’s Long-Standing Support of Scouting;
Features Memorial Tribute to Don Koll

SANTA ANA, Calif. (May 28, 2013) – At this week’s 9th Investment Real Estate Luncheon, the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America (OCBSA) will honor James “Watty” Watson, CEO of CT Realty Investors, with the Good Scout Award for his contributions to the enhancement of the community and feature a memorial tribute to Don Koll for his legacy with the organization. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 30th, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel with a reception beginning at 11:15a.m.
“The luncheon celebrates the tremendous philanthropic contributions that our organization receives from the local real estate community, and Watty and Don are two exemplary examples of that support,” said Jeff Herrmann, president and Scout Executive for the OCBSA. “We are thrilled to honor their giving back to our local community at our event.”
John Hagestad, a past recipient of the Good Scout Award and managing director of the Sares?Regis Group, will emcee the event. Watty, who worked closely with Koll for many years, will receive the Good Scout Award primarily for his leadership role with the Good Scout Event, having served on and chaired the managing committee, and has contributed to Scouting and the local community for more than 10 years.
A Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recipient, Koll will be recognized posthumously for his invaluable contributions to Scouting through a video and formal dedication of Koll Mountain at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center (OEC), a property owned and operated by the OCBSA. His wife, Kathi Koll will speak at the event.
Nearly 400 leaders from the Orange County real estate community are expected to attend the luncheon. For further information on sponsorships and ticket reservations, contact Sally Lawrence by phone at 714.546.8558, extension 141, or by email at
About the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America:

The Orange County Council is one of the largest youth-serving agencies in the county serving more than 30,000 youth with educational programs that instill values, develop social and leadership skills, and promotes physical fitness and environmental awareness. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.




The BSA’s National Membership Policy

The BSA’s National Membership Policy

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.

Following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history, the voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.

This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.

The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.

While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

For more information on the Boy Scouts of America’s membership standards, please visit



For Orange County Residents of All Ages, Event Features the Vans® Skate Team, Medieval Times® Jousting Tournaments and Dozens of Outdoor Activities

SANTA ANA, Calif. (May 7, 2013) – This weekend, the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America (OCBSA) will host its annual Scout-O-Rama event on Saturday, May 11 at the Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, Calif. from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Open to people of all ages, Scout-O-Rama offers families a fun?filled day with more than 250 exciting exhibits, outdoor competitions and live demonstrations.

“For more than 40 years, Scout-O-Rama has been a hallmark event in Orange County, and this year’s program promises to be a memorable one,” said Jeff Herrmann, president and scout executive for the OCBSA. “The event highlights the core values and skills of Scouting in a fun manner that is open to the entire community.”

Scout-O-Rama events include Explorer demonstrations, canoe racing, rock wall climbing, wooden derby-car racing and informational booths about Scouting and its many lifetime-learning programs. A must-see activity at the event is The Vans® Skate Team, showing off exciting stunts all day, and the Medieval Times® kings competing in thrilling jousting tournaments. More than 25,000 people attended the event in 2012.

“The motto of the event is ‘A Day of Doing It Yourself,’ which is meant to highlight all of the experiential outdoor activities that kids and their families can enjoy throughout the day,” said John Lerch, Scout-O-Rama co-chair. “For Scouts, the best way to find out what you do best is to do it, and that doing is the focus of Scout-O-Rama.”
SOR Medieval Times Demo
For more information about Scout-O-Rama:
Tickets can be purchased ($10/per family) from a Boy Scout, at the box office on the day of the event or by contacting the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America at 714.546.4990.

About The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America:
The Orange County Council is one of the largest youth-serving agencies in the county serving more than 30,000 youth with educational programs that instill values, develop social and leadership skills, and promotes physical fitness and environmental awareness. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.



Eight Local Men Were Congratulated Last Week For Their Outstanding Service To The Community

IRVINE, Calif. (April 17, 2013) – The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America recognized eight Orange County men at the annual Men of Character dinner last Wednesday April 17 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. They were acknowledged for great lifetime contributions to their community and the support of future men of character.

“Each honoree is a special individual. They have been selected because of their devotion to family, faith and community,” says Ralph Linzmeier, co-chairman of the Men of Character committee. “These men exemplify the traits of the Scout Law; trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

Jeff Herrmann, Scout Executive and President of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, presided over the dinner. Co-chairman of the Men of Character committee Manny Montanez co-hosted the event with Linzmeier.

The Men of Character are selected after a lengthy process to ensure that every eligible man in Orange County is considered. The volunteer selection committee is composed of past honorees and Scouting volunteers. The eight men honored include business and philanthropic leaders across Orange County:

Rand Sperry, CEO of Sperry Equities, LLC and Sperry Commercial, INC, has over thirty-five years of experience in the commercial real estate industry in Southern California. A frequent motivational speaker at industry gatherings, Sperry is also a member of numerous civic and religious boards and committees in Orange County including: the Orange Catholic Foundation, Legatus of O.C. and First Friday Friars of Orange County.

Steve Samuelian is a founding partner of Haven Health Group and MiMo, a medical device company. He was also a founding partner of multiple healthcare companies and former president of multiple construction companies. Samuelian serves on several Boards and as the Chairman of The Perfect Moment Foundation, the Chairman of Care for Life, a non-profit organization that promotes self-reliance, health, education in Mozambique, Africa. He also serves on the board of directors for Rising Star Outreach that assists in eliminating the stigma of the Leprosy affected in India.

Dr. John Hovanesian is a board-certified ophthalmologist and specialist in refractive surgery, cataracts, cornea and external disease clinical assistant professor at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute. An Eagle Scout, Hovanesian has spent many years volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America and has been recognized for his service. He has also made many trips overseas to third world countries to volunteer his time performing eye surgeries.

Dr. Harry L. White opened his private practice of orthodontics in Laguna Niguel, Calif. in 1977 after serving as Dental Officer for the U.S. Public Heath Service on the Chippewa Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. One of the most prominent orthodontists in Orange County, White nearly lost his life in 2009 when he lost complete function of all vital organs. Referred to as “The Miracle Man,” he is healthy today coaching many different sports teams and inspiring young men and women to follow a positive path.

Dave Hanna is an entrepreneur with a heart for hospitality. In 2005 he established Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar in Rancho Santa Margarita, which serves as a platform for Hanna to give back to his neighbors, schools, business and charities. In 2009 Hanna founded Educate Rancho, a non-profit organization seeking to improve the quality of education in schools located in Rancho Santa Margarita by raising funds for program cuts. In addition, Hannah is a sponsor of the City of Hope, Mission Hospital and founded the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund to financially support critically ill members of the U.S Armed Forces.

Gary Crisp is the founder and president of C2, the largest privately owned reprographics, legal, color solutions and facilities management firm in Southern California. Crisp’s true passions are helping others. Recently he started “Real Guys,” a cause-related media property, anchored by a PBS network program, which focuses on helping inner city at-risk men. It explores the problems that plague many young men today with the hope of raising awareness and creating actionable education oriented programs at the grassroots level. Crisp is a member of numerous Orange County charities including Diocese of Orange, O.C. Foundation on Business and Ethics, Wounded Warriors and Human Options for Battered Women and Children.

Steve Greco is an ordained deacon in the Diocese of Orange and the Catholic Church. He is assigned to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Irvine, Calif. He has been a health care executive for over 30 years and is currently the vice president of sales for Depomed, Inc. Greco has a great passion for life and serves on the Board of Birth Choice, as well as the Orange Coast Legatus and the Orange Diocese Deaconate Formation. Greco also gives talks and healing services throughout California in many parishes and for Catholic conferences and radio.

David Pyott joined Allergan in early 1998 as president and CEO. He has transformed the company from a small eye care business to a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company. In 2006, Pyott was bestowed with the honor of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in acknowledgment of his contribution to British business excellence and management skills in the United States. He was recognized by Harvard Business Review as one of “The 100 Best CEOs in the World” in both 2009 (ranked #50) and 2013 (ranked #26). Pyott serves on the Board and as Chairman of the California Healthcare Institute, on the Board and on the Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Chapman University, and on the Directors’ Board of The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine.

MOC all eight honorees

















From left to right: Rand Sperry, Steve Samuelian, Dr. John Hovanesian, Dr. Harry L. White, Dave Hanna, Gary Crisp, Steve Greco and David Pyott

About The Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life™.” The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit


Local Eagle Scout Is One of Eight Selected to Share 2012 Scouting Achievements with Congress

SANTA ANA, CA (Feb. 15, 2013)—A delegation of eight young people from across the country— including Ben Sanchez of the Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America —will represent the Boy Scouts of America® in Washington, D.C., Feb. 23–28, to present the organization’s annual Report to the Nation to top U.S. officials. The report is designated in the BSA’s congressional charter and will highlight the organization’s achievements in 2012.

“This is an incredible achievement and we are proud to have Ben share our progress with the nation’s leaders,” said Jeff Herrmann, president and scout executive for the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America (OCBSA). “Ben exemplifies a committed, ambitious and dedicated leader who represents the Boy Scouts of America constituency.”

Being selected to the Report to the Nation delegation is a tremendous honor for Ben Sanchez and the Santa Ana community that he represents. Each Scout represents the more than 100 million Boy Scouts who have come before them and the millions who will follow. Sanchez, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, was selected as a delegate for his extraordinary work on his Eagle Scout Leadership Project. His project involved gathering a team of scout and non-scout volunteers to help create a website for the Confirmation Preparation program at his parish. The project was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Council 9210 from Our Lady of the Pillar parish located in Santa Ana, Calif.

Sanchez’ goal in creation of the website was to provide educational resources and materials for confirmation candidates, allowing users to ultimately learn, better understand and grow in their Catholic faith online. The website includes Bible passages, texts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, links to the Vatican website, 360 degree panoramas of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, local churches and videos of the sacraments. Sanchez’ team of youth volunteers and adults worked on the project for more than a year. The website, which has received 9,570 visitors to date, can be viewed here:

Arriving in the nation’s capital on Saturday, Feb. 23, Ben Sanchez and the other Boy Scouts of America delegates are scheduled for visits throughout the week with U.S. Cabinet, House, and Senate leadership, as well as the White House, CIA, Pentagon, and Supreme Court.

Locally, the Orange County Council has contributed to the national report that will be shared through the delivery of a quality Scouting experience in Orange County, serving more than 30,000 local youth members in 2012. Specifically, the Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America has awarded 738 Eagle Scout badges to Orange County youth in 2012. More than 650 Eagle Scout awards are earned on an annual basis in Orange County, marking an 11% increase from 2011 (697 Eagle Scout awards earned) and 6% increase from 2010 (663 Eagle Scout awards earned).

Collectively, in 2012, 57,976 young Scouts across America earned the Eagle Scout Award through the completion of 21 life skills merit badges and an extensive self-directed service project. The average number of hours spent on an Eagle Scout project is 130, which means that in 2012, Eagle Scout service projects alone represented more than 7.5 million hours of community service.
To keep track of the Report to the Nation delegates as they embark on this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Washington, D.C., follow @boyscouts on Twitter or Boy Scouts of America on Facebook.

About The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America:
The Orange County Council is one of the largest youth-serving agencies in the county serving more than 30,000 youth with educational programs that instill values, develop social and leadership skills, and promotes physical fitness and environmental awareness. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members from ages 6 through 20 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit

Celebrate Scouting

Celebrate Scouting Image


The Council Annual Recognition dinner will be held on Wed. March 13, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Garden Grove. This is one of the premier events of the year for Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, a place where the entire Scouting family comes together to celebrate the impact and service of the greatest volunteers in the county. There will be many volunteer accomplishments recognized during the evening, including adult and youth BSA Lifesaving and Heroism Awards, Hornaday Environmental Service Awards, national and regional recognitions, International Awards and the James E. West Fellowship. However, certainly the highlight of this grand event is the Silver Beaver Award presentations.

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest honor and recognition a volunteer can receive from the local council. Silver Beavers are recognized for their extraordinary volunteer contribution to both Scouting AND the community at large. Each year the council bestows approximately 20 Silver Beaver recognitions to volunteers who serve at the unit, district and council level. Although there are other very important recognitions given at the council dinner, the grand finale of the event every year is the Silver Beaver Awards. This is our council’s best opportunity to say thanks publicly and passionately to some very special people who do so much for Scouting, their church or synagogue and local community…all without receiving a paycheck. Registration for the recognition dinner begins in January. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Rachel Cueva  at or (714) 546-8558 ext. 132.

Sponsorship Form – Click HERE!

Announcement information – Click HERE!

Reserve your seat today by using our Online Reservation Link Click HERE!

Congratulations to these very deserving and dedicated Scouting volunteers…


Terry Adams, Canyons District/Council Executive Board

Ken Andresen, El Capitan District

Robert Batman, Pacifica District

Sterling Brennan, Saddleback District/Council Executive Board

Jerry Clark, Pacifica District

Ron Cocchi, Orange Frontier District

Randall Frank, Rancho Del Mar District

Amy Goldsworth, Saddleback District

Peter Gruenbeck, Rancho Del Mar District

Jerome Herrington, Saddleback & El Camion Real Districts

Brian Holmes, Rancho Del Mar District

Derek Knobel, El Camino Real District

Jack Lamey, Pacifica District

Elizabeth Morgan, El Camino Real District

Rob Neal, Council Executive Board

John Norment, Canyons District

Rich Paddock, El Camino Real District

Tony Saucedo, Rancho Del Mar District

David Schmid, Canyons/Council Executive Board

Lou Schmidt, Canyons District

Larry Voelz, Rancho Del Mar District

2013 Scout O Rama

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Oak Canyon Regional Park (5305 Santiago Canyon Drive, Silverado).

Scout-O-Rama is the annual trade show of Scouting in Orange County that is attended by over 25,000 people. Don’t miss out on participating in the Scout-O-Rama show!

Here’s how you can get involved:

Participate with your unit in the Scout-O-Rama coupon book fundraiser Tickets sell for $10 each and include a family pass to Scout-O-Rama and over $500 in savings to local stores, services and attractions. Your Scout Unit can earn up to $3.70 per book sold and the Scouts earn some great prizes!

Tickets sales kick-off on Saturday, March 23.

Participate with a booth at Scout-O-Rama (be one of over 300 units participating) Booths include games, demonstrations, cooking activities with samples, adventures (monkey bridges & climbing walls).

Provide service hours to help Scout-O-Rama run smoothly and get more commission. Scouts and adults help clean trash, hand out programs and other tasks to provide a great show. Participation Form to Come…

Special Details: Scout-O-Rama offers Advertising and Event Sponsorship Opportunities. For more information, please contact Rachel Rash 714-546-4990 X 132.

On Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. The ticket Sales Kick-Off locations are listed below:

Pacifica District
Fountain Valley LDS Building
17500 Bushard Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(South East Corner of Slater and Bushard)

Rancho Del Mar and Canyons District
William Lyon Homes Center for Scouting
1211 East Dyer Road
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Orange Frontier District


El Capitan District LDS Building, 10212 Stanford Ave., Garden Grove, CA

Portola and Los Amigos Districts
Brea Lions Scout House
401 South Brea Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821
(Brea Blvd., First block South of Imperial Hwy.)

Saddleback and El Camino Real Districts
Mission Viejo LDS Building
27976 Marguerite Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(Hillcrest and Marguerite Pkwy)


History of the Event

What is Scout-O-Rama?
Scout-O-Rama is the annual trade show of Scouting in Orange County that is attended by over 25,000 people. Scouts and their families enjoy a fun-filled day of exhibits, competitions and displays. Some popular events from recent years include Dutch-oven cooking demonstrations, rock wall climbing, water rocket launches and BMX bicycle shows. Local Packs, Troops, Teams and Crews can participate in the Scout-O-Rama event by displaying a booth or giving service hours.

When & Where is Scout-O-Rama?
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Time: 9 am – 4 pm
Place: Oak Canyon Park, 5305 Santiago Canyon Drive, Silverado, CA 92676

How do I Sign-Up?
Tickets to Scout-O-Rama are available in conjunction with the Ticket Sales fundraiser program. Beginning with the Scout-O-Rama Ticket Sales Kick-Off, Units will be checking-out coupon books with the family tickets attached for $10. This year’s ticket booklet will have more coupons and bigger deals. Scout Units will be able to earn a commission of their sales based on the number of booklets they sell. Commissions from this sale go to support the activities, advancements and programs of local Scout Units and the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America.


Scouting Alumni Reunion


The OCBSA is making Cars ‘N’ Mugs our annual fall Scouting Alumni event…a great platform to build upon during the coming years. Scouters and Scouting alumni were invited to bring their favorite car finished or not and a unique Scouting mug for your coffee or hot chocolate.

Here is the break down for this event:
William Lyon Homes Center for Scouting Parking Lot
1211 East Dyer Road
Santa Ana, CA 92705

When: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Classic Car Show: 6:30 am to 8:30am
Pinewood Derby: 9am to 11:00 am

Who: Please join us for a fun Scouting alumni gathering sponsored by the Orange County Council, National Eagle Scout Association Chapter. Any and all Scouts and Scouters are welcome to attend…but we want to encourage you, above all to reach out to Scouting alumni in your community, i.e. “former” Scouts not currently involved in Scouting with the idea of re-connecting them to Scouting through fellowship focused on the love of cars and mugs of all kinds.

What: Every guy or gal has the car of their dreams and if they’re lucky…it’s in their garage. Scouters and Scouting alumni are invited to bring their favorite car finished or not and a unique Scouting mug for your coffee or hot chocolate. This is a car show but it doesn’t need to be perfect…it’s all about the fellowship! Prizes will be presented to the “Coolest Car” and “Most Unique Mug”.

Why: The Orange County Council, National Eagle Scout Association is holding this event to promote the Boy Scouts of America, to renew old friendships and to fellowship in our own vast Scouting community. This is a no cost event. Please plan to invite someone who you think would like to get involved with the BSA. Just maybe they’ll have a ton of fun too.

There will be refreshments served, including: Coffee, hot chocolate, tea, muffins, bagels and donuts.

Sponsors: Any company interested in participating in the event can join in with a $500 sponsorship, which affords them a full page ad in the event program, their name on all printed materials-listed as “Event Sponsors”, a 10 X 10 booth space at Cars N’ Mugs to promote their business.

2012 Cars ‘N’ Mug Sponsor Form

Businesses are permitted to sell goods and services.

Cars N’ Mugs is held with the National Eagle Scout Association to promote the Boy Scouts of America, to renew old friendships and to fellowship in our own community. Please plan to invite someone who you think would like to get involved with the BSA. Stay tuned for information on the 2012 Cars N’ Mugs details.

For more information on reconnecting with Scouting contact Marty Cutrone, Alumni Services Director, at 714-546-4990 X 143 or

Commissioner’s Blog #1

John Hovanesian, M.D.

Orange County Council Commissioner

May 9th, 2013

“World-class Scouting, Right Here in Orange County.  Just Ask Boys’ Life!”

Have you seen the cover of the April issue of Boys’ Life? It features the world-class bass fishing program at Orange County Council’s own Oso Lake, Scout Reservation in Rancho Santa Margarita!

Apparently, Boys’ Life found out about one of the best kept secrets in the bass fishing world – that beautiful Oso Lake holds some of the most impressive large and mouth bass on the planet.  Just ask Ranger Kalen Matson, who tells me that uninvited fishermen regularly make their way onto our Scout property–just to drop a line in our sought-after lake.

Uninvited fishermen get a friendly but firm invitation to leave the property, but not us Scouts!  The staff will even provide high quality fishing gear if you don’t have your own.  Fishing at Oso Lake does require advance preparation, though, even for Scouting families and groups.  Fishing happens during program weekends, overnight outings, and the annual Fishing Derby when staff are available. For more details on availability, visit, or contact the council’s camping department at 714-546-8558 extension 134.

Oso Lake is catch-and-release by rules of the Santa Margarita water district, from whom the Orange County Council has a leases the property, but that doesn’t stop eager Scouts from having a ball pulling out 10+ pound bass (and a few trout) from the lake.

And that’s not all Oso Lake Scout Camp offers.  Their shooting sports ranges offer BB gun shooting, archery, and slingshot shooting for all boys as well as tomahawk throwing for Boy Scouts and Venturers under expert and nationally certified supervision.

But what Boys’ Life didn’t pick up on is Oso Lake’s most valuable treasure – the friendly volunteer staff that just loves welcoming visitors from everywhere. The campmaster corps, which oversees the upkeep and weekend use of this property, puts in countless hours keeping the property beautiful for everybody.  They truly love Oso Lake even more than visiting Scouts do!

Visit Oso Lake with your Scout group, and like the staff of Boys Life, you might just “catch” on to why everyone loves this great camp!

Please send your comments to: Comments for the Commissioner