Seventy 8th Graders Attend Leadership Camp at IROEC


The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center (IROEC) hosted a five-day leadership camp. The 8th grade class from Sacred Heart in Palm Desert attended the camp from 18th until the 22nd of September. Over ten different teambuilding initiative programs took place throughout the five days, from a personality test to a breakout box, similar to an escape room.

Having to complete a learning project while at camp, students participated in various challenges, each of which earned them pieces toward their project completion. For example, students will built wooden boxes and filled them with goods to be donated for children’s wellness within the community. Their service project will benefit the Child Guidance Center Inc. in Orange County, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children and their parents to achieve their potential as loving, responsible families.

The students also had the opportunity to complete a business proposal workshop. Thinking critically, they contemplated multiple solutions to a challenge that exists in their school, such as helping advance anti-bullying, building peer mentorship, or completing a project that benefits their school community. These projects were presented to the group and hopefully be implemented into their school.

This five-day leadership camp not only benefited the class, but the school as a whole. Being the highest-grade level at the school, the influence they provide to younger grades is enormous. After attending this camp, they are ready to implement a positive change for their younger peers and organize social activities for their school year, such as fundraisers and peer activity groups. The seventy students will shine as model leaders for those younger.

For information on how your school can benefit from a leadership camp, visit: IROEC

What Can You Do as a Parent or Leader to Prevent Bullying?

With new kids joining Units this time of year, Scouts can have a difficult time with bullying. Bullying is defined as a conscious, willing, deliberate and repeated hostile activity marked by an imbalance of power, intent to harm, and/or threat of aggression. When bullying goes from bad to worse, it may lead to a feeling of terror on the part of the person bullied.

What can you do as a parent or leader?

Standing up to peers is a hard thing to do for people of all ages. But you can make it easier for kids by giving them the confidence and the support they need to do so. Here are some ways parents can help children develop these traits:

  • Teach children to be assertive. Emphasize peaceful ways to solve problems and encourage kids to stand up for themselves verbally, not violently.
  • Show kids safe ways to help others. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves.
  • Get to know their friends. Encourage your children to invite their friends to your home or accompany you on family outings.
  • Keep an open communication with your kids, when it comes to social media. Make sure they are behaving properly, as well as making sure they aren’t a victim of cyber-bullying.

Being able to recognize, respond and report is a simple message to remember for the personal awareness of our youth members. Youth Protection Training is mandatory for all adult leaders before the time of registration as of September 1st, 2017. If you are involved in your Unit, but not a leader, YPT is still available to you. The BSA strongly encourages adults to receive training.

Click here for more information on how to start your training!

Fall Recruitment Has Arrived!

With the beginning of fall, many new “seasons” kick-off in our communities and culture. NFL Football, Back-to-School marketing from department stores, community harvest events and of course with Scouting, the Fall Recruitment Season kicks-off. Thousands of boys and their families are anticipating an invitation to sign-up for Scouting, especially families with kindergartners who have learned about the new Lion program. This is your moment to fulfill their desires, but the window of opportunity will close quickly, as parents make time-value decisions with and for their children in Sept. and Oct.

Just like any other kick-off to a new season, the better prepared you are for Cub Scout recruitment, the more successful you will be in attracting boys and their families to your Pack family. We know that many Packs have gaps in the lower grade level programs, i.e. Lion Cubs and Tiger Cubs. So, please let your district leadership or the council help you effectively reach this important demographic. Here are (5) specific tips and resources to help your Pack maximize your recruiting efforts…

  1. Complete your one page recruitment plan. Having a plan in place, with recruiting goals, provides a road map to the fall recruitment finish line: Fall Recruitment Plan
  2. Utilize social media and online tools, like BeAScout pin and online registration, to the full extent. Leverage your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to let friends and family know your son is having a great time in Cub Scouts.
  3. Empower and equip your Pack families, indeed your Cub Scouts to reach out to friends in the neighborhood, church and at School. Invitation post cards can be ordered to equip your boys as you send them off to recruit a friend or two.
  4. Order your marketing materials from the council and contact your council “Membership Specialist” to assist you. Membership Resources
  5. Think Exponential! Everyone can become a Scout recruiter. Use multiple recruiting tools and hold a sign-up night at every school in your community. Recruiting new Scouts is challenging, not because of lack of interest, but because the invitation gets lost in a variety of distractions, busyness, piles of paper and general information over-load.

Questions? Comments? Share your success stories, questions and observations with us at We would love to hear from you and to assist you with your fall recruitment season.

OC Boy Scouts Fly to Houston to Assist Victims


Scouts from Troop 772 heard about the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Houston and wanted to see how they could help. Maggie Holly, the mother of Boy Scout Troy Holly, works for TongueOut, a nonprofit organization that travels around the world visiting countries that need assistance with medical care. With Houston being the first outreach located within the United States, Troop 772 wanted to support those affected. Only having room left for three, which would complete the 40-person medical team of doctors, nurses, EMT, pharmacists, Troy Holly, Egan Anselmo and Jericho Tran were selected to join the mission.

Arriving on the 8th of September, the Scouts went straight to work. They helped to set up clinics, sorted medicine and prepped medical care packages. They continued to work until 3am and started Saturday at 6am. The TongueOut medical team went into the communities and assisted those needing medicine and delivered the care packages made the day before. The OC Scouts listened to the stories of those affected while the medical team checked patients. Scouts heard all sorts of difficult and saddening stories, but these conversations seemed to be very therapeutic for the storytellers. With many just wanting to be comforted and heard, the Scouts were there to fill that void.

Even after being excused Saturday afternoon, the Scouts refused to stop working until they traveled home on Monday, September 11th. The three, along with the whole team, assisted clearing out the damage done to houses. The team were on the ruined floors, cleaning, smashing walls, ripping out dry wall and moving furniture. Being touched by the generosity, one homeowner stated, “Oh my gosh! You guys are strangers and you are helping us! This is so wonderful!” then proceeded to give the volunteers hugs. This eye-opening experience was filled with emotion and reward for the Scouts. Going above and beyond volunteer requests, Holly, Anselmo and Tran truly showed how Scouting can make a difference in a community.


Simancek Family is newest James E. West honoree

The Simancek Family became the newest James E. West member as they celebrated their son Dimitrios’ return from the Boy Scout National Jamboree this summer.  The Simancek Family believes in the positive power of Scouting and all it has done for them and Dimitrios.  After such an amazing Jamboree experience they wanted to “pay it forward by giving back” to Scouting through a James E. West to help ensure Scouting for future generations of Scouts.  In addition to their annual Friends of Scouting support, their James E. West gift  recognition goes to the endowment where it grows and supports local Scouting programs in perpetuity.  Pictured l-r, Jeff Simancek and son Dimitrios receive the James E. West certificate in front of the OCBSA council honor wall from OCBSA representative Devon Dougherty. Not pictured is wife and mother, Clysta.  For more information on ways to honor Scouts, Scouters and loved ones through the James E. West fellowship along with legacy planning for your family through the Heritage Society, please contact Devon at 714-546-8558 x145 or



Youth Protection Training Update

Effective September 1, 2017, Youth Protection Training (YPT) will be required for all adult leaders at the time of registration. Paper applications from new leaders must be accompanied by a Youth Protection Training completion certificate, which must be filed with the application.

Because completion of YPT is now required for all leaders at the time of registration, unit leaders must obtain copies of the completion certificates from the leaders who register online before approving their application.

With the upcoming renewal cycle, the Internet Rechartering system will be updated so that units cannot submit the registration renewal of any adult who does not have current YPT as of the effective date of the renewal. Completion of YPT as part of the online registration system will be required in a future update. Additionally, council registrars will no longer be able to override the registration system to register any leader whose Youth Protection Training is not current.

Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a CBC and YPT, even if they are the parent of a youth on the trip.

Please Note: Although YPT is strongly encouraged for adults attending any overnight activity, at this time, the requirement applies only to individual adults staying three or more nights at a resident camp.



Rock Brienza Has Mentored More Than 30 Scouts

Since becoming an Eagle Scout in 1960 at the age of 14, Rock Brienza has always had a passion for Scouting. After becoming an Assistant Scoutmaster for various Units over his lifetime, Rock has finally found his home with Troop 1475 in Orange. Previously being his grandsons Troop, Rock has continued to maintain his position even after his son left.

Mentoring over 30 Eagles over the past few decades, Rock is a big supporter of the program. He enjoys watching and teaching the boys the most. He states, “It’s interesting to see the kids come in at 11 years old and they are a little squirmy and by the end of the year they are settled down. And once they are 18 they are ready for adulthood.”

None of this would be possible without Rock’s dedication and passion to Scouting. Mentoring about four to five Eagle Scouts a year for the last five years, Rock seems to truly enjoy and understand his role in leadership. With decades of being involved in Scouting comes many fantastic Scout stories, even teaching a future Navy Seal how to swim!

One memorable story Rock shared was how last year during camp, the Troop wanted to build a boat, but they were all unsure of the best boat builder, Noah. Rock sat down and read them the bible passage of how Noah built the biggest boat to help save all the animals. The Scouts then went on to build the best boat and ended up winning first place in the camp competition! Ever since that night, the Scouts began requesting to hear more bible stories. Recently, one Eagle Scout read the passage about Gideon during his Court of Honor, showing just how influential these stories are for the Scouts.

Being a role model and even a father figure for some, Rock has a positive and encouraging relationship with each Scout he leads. Rock still gets together with some Scouts after they have moved on from the Troop. He sees firsthand the positive changes that occur with Scouts and how it has influences their lives. He makes sure his Scouts stay on track and become role models younger Scouts can look up to.

For information on how to get involved in Scouting, visit: