Helping Scouting continue to grow for the future—“On Your Watch”

We as parents, volunteers, Eagles and alums of Scouting have a truly special opportunity  and solemn obligation to ensure Scouting’s success for future generations. Just as today’s Scouts recite “On my honor, I will do my best…”  we too must do our best “On Our Watch” to make sure that Scouting is funded now and for the future. We need to “pay it forward by giving back” to this program that has done so much for us, our children, families and country.

Since long time traditional sources of funding for Scouting such as United Way, corporations and foundations are no long available to meet the needs and sustain the program, each family needs to do its best to contribute to cover the cost of program support above and beyond the national registration fee and any unit dues. The $300 it costs each year to support a Scout with such necessities as camps, training, professional and service center support, accident and liability insurance can be paid through Friends of Scouting, Popcorn and Adventure Cards programs.

As the fall begins, please make sure you have done your best to support your Scouts through FOS and Popcorn. If you have been particularly blessed this year, please consider supporting two or more Scouts since some may have difficulty paying their portion.

To help future generations of Scouts, please consider becoming a James E. West Fellow where 100% of the gift goes to build the endowment to help with camperships, facilities and outreach programs. Further, please include the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America in your will or trust as a designated beneficiary.

Only through your giving decisions today, On Your Watch,  can we make sure Scouting will be there to serve future generations of Scouts so that they can enjoy the transformational benefits of the program you have received.

Thanks for helping to make our world a better place—“One Scout at a Time!”

For further information on ways to give through wills, trusts, property or appreciated stock, please contact Devon Dougherty at 714-546-8558 x 145 or devond@ocbsa.org.

 

 

IROEC Hires New Academic Director

The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center (IROEC) has hired a new Academic Director, Olenka Langen. As Academic Director, Langen will be responsible for the recruitment of elementary schools to attend day and overnight science camps. She will also head the staff recruitment and training as well as program development and implementation.

Langen graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s in Child Development and a minor in Natural Sciences. She also received a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology as CSUF.

Langen comes to the IROEC with 10 years of teaching and summer camp experience. Previously teaching third to sixth grade in Nicaragua and Ecuador with the Peace Corps and second and fourth graders in Orange County, Langen has plenty of experience with children. She has also worked as a tutor and avid mentor in junior high and high schools.

During the past 11 summers, Langen volunteered her time with CSUF’s summer camp, Camp Titan. Counselor, program staff, and co-director; managing the staff and counselors are just some of the positions she held during her time at Camp Titan. For the past four years she has been an asset to the camp due to her teaching and child development background, becoming the Camper Behavior Specialist, facilitating trainings for the counselors and staff.

Langen states “I am excited to join the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center as the new Academic Director, where I can bring both my teaching and camp experiences together.” For more information on the IROEC, visit: outdooreducationcenter.org.

Popcorn Advice from the Top Selling Scouts

 

Sean Schuler on the left & Kyle Schroth on the right.

It’s that time of the year again where Scouts are outside of grocery stores selling the beloved Boy Scout Popcorn. The sight of popcorn will soon be flooded throughout the county and passersby will soon cave and purchase a bag. But how do you get those customers to succumb and buy even more? We talked to some of the top sellers from 2016 and picked up some tips we’d like to share for reaching your popcorn goals!

Kyle Schroth, from Troop 93 in Fullerton, had a goal of $5,000 set for 2016 popcorn sales and ending up finishing with $9,166. By working hard and planning a lot of show-n-sells, he finished as the Second Top Seller in Orange County. He wants to destroy his previous sales this year, with his new goal being $14,000 this year. Kyle was “motivated by the thrill of selling and my ultimate goal of going to the National Jamboree.” He used this goal to help promote himself on a poster that he would place at his show & sells, making customers feel compelled to buy. He continued to stay positive and motivated during his sales with this thought in mind, “Although you’ll receive a lot of denials there will always be someone who will say yes.” Having confidence to go up to people instead of standing behind the table allowed him to make a more personal connection to those intrigued.

Sean Schuler, from Pack 918 in Saddleback, has a goal of $14,800 in sales this year, which is almost double from his amount of $8,840 last year. His father, Eric Schuler, states he is ultra-competitive and besides driving him to various locations, Sean is doing the selling all by himself. His methods for selling included show-n-sell, show-n-deliver, take order and some online military donation sales. As for the creative side of getting more sales, Sean created a couple unique items to set himself apart from the rest of sellers. If customers didn’t currently have cash for a purchase, Sean would hand them one of his business cards with his online purchase information. He also laminated his Take Order form for a more professional presentation to customers.

Trying to make yourself stand out among hundreds of Scouts selling can be difficult at times, but creating a few out of the box ideas can really help your sales and fun grow. Good luck to all the Scouts out there!

For more information on popcorn, visit: ocbsa.org/popcorn.

Aviation Explorer Awarded Scholarship to Take Flight

Kenny Kressin on right with two Aviation Explorers at Oshkosh

The 19th of August is National Aviation Day, which was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. The purpose of the day is to celebrate the growth and advancements being made in aviation as well as Orville Wright’s birthday. The Orange County Boy Scout Council recently interviewed Aviation Explorer Kenny Kressin about his involvement in the Aviation Exploring Program.

Aviation Exploring is a hands-on program open to young men and women with an interest in learning more about careers in the field of Aviation. They experience firsthand what it’s like to be a pilot, aircraft mechanic, flight engineer or air traffic controller. Explorers have the opportunity to participate in flight scenarios, flight simulator lessons, tours of airports and aviation facilities while working with pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, and airport managers.

Kressin joined the program when he was 14 years old after learning about Exploring from his Scoutmaster. Kressin, now 20 years old, recently was awarded the National Aviation Exploring Scholarship Award under the Pilot category from the National Aviation Careers Exploring Committee. He knows the program was extremely beneficial because he was “able to explore every option that aviation had to offer, from working in baggage to being an international airline pilot. Discovering so many options in aviation allowed me to fully understand what I would like to do with my life.”

His advice to those in Aviation Exploring is to “take advantage of all the opportunities the program has to offer. Each thing you do will shape you into the aviator you want to be. Aviation Exploring is a head start that many people do not get. Like any occupation, the earlier you start, the more successful you will be.”

Scout From Guadalajara Visits OCBSA

Recently, 18 year old, Lino Atzin Gonzalez, from Unit 38 of Guadalajara, came to visit Orange County. While on his trip here, Gonzalez wanted to meet Scouts from America and see how he can be of assistance. He joined the Santa Ana district to be a leader guide for a visit to the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, assisted during a Cub Scout meeting and shared his Scouting experiences in a training meeting. He also took time to visit the Orange County Council office for an interview about his journey through Scouting and speak of the differences between Scouting in Guadalajara verses Orange County.

The legacy of joining Scouting is as significant as it is here in America. Gonzalez is a third-generation Scout and plans to continue the tradition once he has his own children. What is unique about the tradition in Guadalajara is most end up marrying another Scout. Many high-ranking government officials and those involved in Scouting have married another Scout Since recruitment in Mexico is based mostly on family legacy, this tradition is important to keeping Scouting alive.

The setup of Scouting in Mexico is very different when compared to America. The biggest difference is that Scouts in Mexico are co-ed from the beginning, as opposed to the United States, where girls can only join Exploring or Venturing at 14 years old. The rank advancement is also very different when compared to America. Here, Scouting begins with Cub Scouts then continues to Boy Scouts; possibly incorporating Exploring or Venturing during the youth years. While in Mexico, it begins with Cub Scouts, then Troops, then Community and finally Rover. Gonzalez is currently at the ranking of Rover, which is when he earned his Eagle Scout Award.

To earn his Eagle Scout Award, Gonzalez created a company that recycled technology. After gathering items throughout his community and donating them to a center, he used his earnings to buy toiletries for the elderly in his community.  He is extremely motivated to continue Scouting and his next goal is to earn the Baden Powell Scout Award, the highest award available. The goal of Rovers is to focus more on leadership and becoming a strong individual in society. Each rank advancement involves the parents being less and less involved to allow the Scouts to become more independent and focus on their futures. While in America, parents are primarily involved throughout the whole Scout’s journey, while still allowing them to be independent individuals.

Throughout Guadalajara, Orange County and the world, Scouting continues to build positive character and provide youth a foundation they can stand on. “We have to work together to better the world” is his advice for younger Scouts. Before Gonzalez became a Scout, he usually spent his weekends watching television, but now they are spent within his community. Gonzalez proudly states, “Scouting changed my life.”

A Leader’s Review of Lost Valley Scout Summer Camp

photo credit: Rahul Kale 

Dr. John Hovanesian, Troop 35 Scoutmaster, gives his review of Lost Valley:

“Leaders who spend a week with their boys at Boy Scout summer camp gain priceless memories.  We also make many observations about camp. I had an opportunity to visit Lost Valley as Scoutmaster of Troop 35 from Laguna Beach the week of July 30th – August 5th this year, and I thought I would share my own “user review” of the camp and our experiences.

Like to learn more about Lost Valley and get a preview of 2018?  The camp is hosting a free “preview weekend” for SPLs and Scoutmasters September 8-10.  Transportation will be provided from the council office in Santa Ana. Add-on attendees can come along for just $20 (including food, lodging, and all activities).  Find out more at www.ssrlv.org.

  • Lost Valley is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Stroll through the giant meadow near sundown, see the morning mist on Lake Virginia.  Watch a family of mule deer during a hike in the woods. Or look down at the world from our own camp’s intersection with the legendary Pacific Crest Trail. No wonder so many troops fall in love with the rustic setting and come back year after year. I’ve never been to a summer camp with a prettier property, including the much more expensive camps on Catalina Island.
  • The road into camp is ten miles but manageable. Taking your time and keeping your speed around 15 miles per hour will preserve your suspension and provide a perfect backdrop for a John Denver album.  Think of the road to Lost Valley not as a driveway but as a portal to another world of mystic beauty where Scouting miracles happen.  Keep calm and carry on.  The experience is well worth the drive.
  • We were pleased with the quality of the camp’s tents, which were almost entirely hole-free, decent smelling, had intact snap closures, and were leak proof during an hour-long afternoon rain. Newer nylon tents in some campsites were even more upscale and will eventually replace all the canvas for Scouts and leaders.
  • Camp showers and latrines were above average for a summer camp, though not prize-winning. Some restrooms in public areas needed attention, but the staff immediately and thoroughly serviced them when asked.  I didn’t hear any leaders complain about the facilities, as they do at most camps.
  • The food was uniformly praised by both kids and adults, who are rarely unanimous. Even our picky eaters agreed the fare was simple, familiar, and high in quality. The Monday night chicken strips were breaded pieces of actual chicken breast—not the unrecognizable square patty of gristle plus food-glue that most camps serve.  Most popular were the Sunday roast beef dinner (done perfectly and served generously) and the Tuesday pizza lunch.  Thursday’s self-cooked dinner in troop sites included plenty of high-quality ingredients for foil dinners cooked without utensils.  Many adults appreciated that the camp served fruit for lunch and dessert only with dinner—a costly but more nutritious way to keep kids healthy.  We appreciated that the majority of utensils were not disposable, though our leaders would have liked to see the camp entirely do away with styrofoam coffee cups.
  • Program instruction was done well with the most senior instructors performing quality control on newer teachers. We would have liked to get a report on each Scout’s progress on Wednesday night rather than Thursday.  This would allow Scouts more time to catch up on any deficiencies and is successful at other camps.  That said, instructors were always happy to update our leaders on the Scouts’ advancement progress upon request.
  • The crazy fun staff and wacky events made the week over-the top enjoyable, right from the start.
    • Sunday on arrival, an old-west style hotdog cookout during check-in replaced the need for a lunch stop on the way to camp. That night, a zany game show hosted by Camp Director Tony Antonini (channeling showman PT Barnum) pitted Scouts and leaders against each other in events like an epic air guitar standoff, a Scoutmaster dance competition, and an SPL apple bobbing race.  Let’s just say that not one of these contestants was likely to land a spot on network TV, but every Scout laughed and cheered and knew immediately that this was going to be a great week.
    • Tuesday night’s “Rock the Dock” event at Lake Virginia had the headline event of a cardboard/duct tape canoe race, in which two Scouts paddled a “canoe” self-fashioned from provided duct tape and cardboard around a short slalom. None remained afloat for the entire 50-foot course (some came surprisingly close), and the crowd convulsed with laughter watching every troop’s best Rube Goldberg watercraft succumb to the abyss of Lake Virginia—about 2 ½ feet deep at that spot.
    • Friday’s Aqua-Cade water carnival was the best end-of-camp party I’ve ever seen. The events started with the usual poolside events (Scoutmaster belly flop contest, t-shirt relay swim, etc.).  Then the camp took to the assembly field, which was turned into a massive slip-n-slide powered by Dawn dish detergent, a water-slide kickball game, and a water battle area where the Scouts and leaders could pummel each other with pitchers of cold water.  Soaked Scouts and leaders giggled with amusement at the creativity and fun in these areas.
  • Special programs brought more 14 + year-old Scouts to camp and kept them active all week. Favorites included the trail ride steak dinner cookout, the ATV program for older Scouts, the outward-bound Borrego high adventure opportunity for ambitious teenagers, the C.O.P.E. high ropes course, and the cowboy-style shooting competition with a .22 caliber pistol and lever action rifle (following strict range safety standards).
  • The responsive staff was the most pleasant part of our stay. From the enthusiastic program area directors to the wacky ranger Harold to office manager Bijan Sharifi-Tabesh and Program Director Pedrito Ramos every staff member treated every Scout and leader like a welcomed guest.  Surely no camp can ever get every detail perfect, but I’ve never seen a camp try harder to make every visitor’s stay easy and enjoyable.

In summary, Lost Valley, with its wide diversity of constantly expanding programs for all age Scouts, its great food, unbelievable natural beauty, and committed camp staff gave our troop a truly amazing week.  Like many troops, we have a history of “rotating” through different camps to give our boys new experiences each year, but next year we’ll likely return to Lost Valley, feeling lucky to have such a great summer camp and wonderful group of staffers offered by the Orange County Council.

Many thanks to the staff at Lost Valley for treating our Scouts and leaders so well!”

For more information on how your Unit can attend Lost Valley, visit: www.ssrlv.org

Eagle Scout Places in Future Business Leaders of America Event

                            

National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Youth President Anthony Bui is part of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and recently competed in the Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure event at the National Leadership Conference. He became State Champion back in April when he competed at the state level in Sacramento. More recently, he received seventh place at the national level, competing against over 200 of the top students from all across America.

Bui joined Troy High School’s FBLA his sophomore year and has been an active member since. FBLA is a business club dedicated to giving students opportunities to immerse themselves in real world settings. Students prepare for college and careers through a variety of leadership, community service and academic activities. Parliamentary Procedure are the rules of order used by various assemblies and organizations to keep meetings running smoothly and efficiently. He chose Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure because “it correlates to how Congress, executive boards of corporations and large organizations run their meetings. There is an order of precedence for material that can be brought up, and realizing that I aspired to have a political or business career, I decided this would be important knowledge.”

When asked how Scouting has prepared him for his work with FBLA, he states, “I accredit my ability to keep calm under stressful circumstances to Scouting. The countless times I’ve been in a tight spot – running a PLC or Officer’s Meeting, canoeing in the lightning, wind and rain of Murtle Lake, or backpacking the trails of Philmont – have instilled in me the ability to think on my feet and keep my cool no matter how drastic the consequences.” Although times got difficult, Bui learned how to manage his time efficiently. Whether it was waiting until the weekend to watch television or completing homework while hanging out with friends, he found that extra willpower to succeed. “It is of paramount importance to remember to trust the quality of your work. Trust me, sow hard, quality work and you will reap the rewards.”

Lost Valley: An Experience You’ll Never Forget

Ellen L. Worley, with Troop 241, reflects on her Lost Valley experience:

“I wanted to take a minute to let you know about my experiences at Lost Valley. I have been in Scouting in Southern California for about seven years now but, being in Cub Scouts, I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit Lost Valley. My son, Alex, bridged up last year and being on the young side I decided NOT to send him last summer. This year I decided not only would I let him attend but I volunteered to lead our troop. So, I recruited two adults to help and we signed up 19 eager young scouts for an adventure.

I met Tony Antonini, the Camp Director, at an information meeting. He was full of excitement and bursting with ideas. My anticipation grew as he talked about all of the events and happenings he was planning on adding. It would have been easy to disappoint. But, that is FAR from what happened.

The beginning and end is the staff. They were the kindest and most patient group of people you could find; from the youngest new staff members to the most experienced “old-timers”. Each one took the time to answer all questions (or find someone who could) no one ever made us feel anything but welcome. So many, went out of their way to show extra kindness to many of our scouts including my son.

The food was terrific and plentiful; from corn dogs to orange chicken and fried rice. There was always something to satisfy. The game show was so fun and funny we all laughed like crazy. One of the highlights of the week for my group was “Rock the Dock”. The lake has been dry for seven years and Tony wasn’t going to let a full lake go unused! My scouts swam and boated, they participated in the games and cheered themselves hoarse for their leader in the rowboat tug of war! They still talk about diving for coke cans!

I took a night away from the group so my son and I could go on the Meal Ride and I’m so glad I did. To say the staff was fantastic just isn’t enough I can’t find a superlative that is adequate for the stable crew. The ride was spectacular and the horses amazing. I enjoined getting to spend some one on one time with my son. We ate a scrumptious steak and baked potato then rode back.

My son got to try out the tomahawk range (and made the high hit list) and got to shoot a rifle for the very first time. (he even hit a target). All of my scouts loved all of the merit badge classes they took and eagerly signed up for as many over-nighters as they could.

My son was nearly in tears the last night at the campfire because he didn’t want to leave (and he wasn’t alone). All my scouts could talk about on the last day was how they wanted so badly to come back next year and what classes they would be taking.

Tony, Andrea, Tori, Becca, Bijan, Beck, Alex, AJ, Mason, Hawk, D’Artagnan, Spencer, Jasmin, Jordan, Guy and so many I can’t name; thank for an experience my son will never forget.

Thank you for giving me a summer with my son I will always remember as he grows and soars toward eagle.

I look forward to many, many years to come.”

For information on how your Scouts can attend Lost Valley, visit: ssrlv.org

 

Lost Valley Camp Reflection

Ethan Nguyen reflects on his time at Lost Valley:

“I left the meeting not knowing what was awaiting and a little bit nervous. When I passed through the camp gates, I was already feeling the camp spirit from the staff and from all of the scouts in the car. I could tell from right then, that this would be a very fun camp. Since there were no adults from our troop at camp, everyone had to really take initiative and take care of themselves, which really made the camp experience a lot better. I’m sure that everyone took home skills and memories that they would’ve never got at home or anywhere else. As Baden Powell said, “One week at camp is worth six months of theoretical training in the meeting room.” At camp, we were tested with our first aid, cooking, climbing, shooting, cycling, horsemanship, and wilderness survival skills, in addition to a lot more. I believe that what made this camp great was the staff that helped run this camp. I would like to thank the staff for giving all of the Scouts an experience that they will surely never forget. Lastly, thank you to all of the parents who drove out to camp to pick us up and to everyone who came out to Lost Valley.”

For information on how your Scouts can attend Lost Valley, visit: ssrlv.org