Meet the New Family Scouting Director: Julie Anderson

The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America would like to introduce you to our new Family Scouting Director, Julie Anderson! Most of you will recognize her from her previous role as Director of Activities for the Orange County Council. Julie has long been involved with Scouting, her first hire being in the summer of 1997 as a District Executive for the Florida High Adventure Sea Base in the Florida Keys. Since then, she has held several positions at the Orange County Council, such as Cub Activities Director, District Director, Senior District Executive, and Canyons District Director. Her passion for Scouting has lasted over two decades and continues to grow!

In her role as Family Scouting Director, Julie will be working closely with Units and their Charter Partners to help them determine the best way to provide the Scouting program that best supports their needs. She will also be helping Leaders with questions, new information and support materials. Julie will be reaching out to the community and various organizations to enlist their help in reaching more youth through events and functions.

Julie’s seen firsthand how the program makes a huge impact on Scouts and their families. Both her son and daughter have been involved in Scouting since they were kids. Ian, 11, and Samantha, 13, have been to many of the Orange County Council’s camps, Day Camps, and various campouts. Samantha is a Girl Scout, but is anxiously awaiting February 1st, 2019 so she can become one of the first Scouts in Scouts BSA, and possibly one of the first Eagle Scouts!

Just like most families in today’s world, the Anderson’s don’t always spend enough quality time together with their busy lives. “This is what Family Scouting is all about” says Julie, “being able to take the whole family on outings and activities for scheduled FUN family time!” Now girls will be able to earn the ranks and get the same recognition in their own Dens and Troops. Family Scouting is a great tool for families to help their kids grow and learn in a supportive community, plus it’s fun for the parents too. “Having more of our children who will become our future leaders, learn the values of the Scout Oath and Law, have a love of the outdoors, and embrace everything the BSA stands for is very exciting” Julie states.

Gary, Julie, Samantha and Ian at a Scouting event in 2013

Safety Minute: Scout Troop Trailers

For many Scouting units, trailers are an indispensable part of camping trips. Anytime you plan to spend a night or two in the great outdoors, chances are plans include taking along a camping trailer to haul and store your gear. There are three areas that troops should consider in relation to their trailers. They are:

  1. Safety in operation
  2. Security of the trailer and its contents
  3. Licensing and Insurance

SAFETY

The three leading causes for trailer accidents are:

  • Driver error
  • Excessive speed
  • Improper loading of the trailer

Before the trip, vehicle drivers should make sure the tow vehicle is capable of safely and properly towing the trailer. They should review the manufacturer’s plate attached to the trailer that lists the maximum tongue a and cargo weight. In addition to the trailer weight, the driver needs to make sure the hitch on both the towing vehicle and trailer are in good working order and are matched correctly as to size and height. Items to check on the vehicle include the hitch pin that secures the ball mount to the receiver on the vehicle and ensure that the hitch ball is the proper size for the hitch on the trailer. Check that the electrical connection is secure and the brake, tail, license plate and clearance lights all work properly. Safety chains must be properly (in an “x” configuration) secured between the trailer and tow vehicle. Braking cables or cords must be attached.  Check condition and pressure of the tires (is there a spare?) and that all lug nuts are tight.

Anyone towing a trailer should be familiar with the driving characteristics. Many accidents occur while making turns. Often times, the driver does not allow for added length of the vehicle and does not turn wide enough to include the trailer in turning radius. Cutting the corner and failure to render a lengthy turn signal, can cause a serious collision. If someone is not familiar with towing trailers he should practice driving with the trailer. An ideal location to practice is a vacant parking lot. The practice session should include towing, turning left and right as well as backing the trailer.

LOADING

  • Place the heaviest item(s) over the axle(s). Load the remaining items in front of the trailer and around the heaviest item.
  • Secure loose items in the trailer so the load won’t shift and slide during transit.
  • Never overload the trailer beyond its listed maximum gross weight.

TOWING

  • Maintain a safe speed. California’s maximum safe speed for towing a trailer is 55 mph. You must also drive in the right-most lane (two right lanes, if four or more lanes in your direction) and are not permitted to use the HOV lanes

*  Make sure your side rear-view mirrors extend far enough out to allow you to see 200’ behind the   trailer.

  • Plan the route. Anticipate hills, downgrades, bad weather, areas subject to high crosswinds, etc.
  • Anticipate stops and apply brakes firmly but gradually.
  • With the added weight, braking distance is increased, so maintain longer distances between vehicles.
  • Reduce speed on curves, wet roads, and downgrades.

BACKING

  • If possible, use another person as a spotter to assist with backing.
  • Do not rely solely on the rear-view mirrors. Turn your head and look at the trailer.
  • The trailer will go to the right if you turn the front wheels to the left and vice-versa. Keep the reverse action in your mind when backing.
  • Look occasionally to the front of the vehicle to prevent the vehicle from swinging out and striking something.
  • Avoid “jackknifing” the trailer. Do not back the trailer any further than 90 degrees to the tow vehicle.

OTHER INFORMATION

  • Never allow passengers to ride in the trailer or the back of pickups.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including DOT laws regarding Commercial Motor Vehicles/ Trailers/Towing.
  • The driver and all the passengers will use the seat-belts.
  • Be well rested and never drive when fatigued.
  • Never pass on hills or curves.
  • Stop frequently to check hitch, chains and cargo.
  • If you have an emergency and must stop, park your vehicle/trailer in a safe place completely off the highway.

SECURITY

Many Scout units keep their equipment in the trailers that are used to transport it. This makes the trailer a prime target for thieves. If the trailer is stolen, so is the equipment. This loss, which includes the cost of the trailer itself, the replacement of the cargo of the troop and possibly personal items, may be several thousand dollars, as well as a major inconvenience if it coincides with an imminent outing.

Good preventative measures should be employed to discourage theft, but keep in mind two principles relating to security:

  • No system can guarantee total protection. Given enough time, resources and desire, a determined thief can overcome any measures you employ. The goal is to make if hard enough that he will go elsewhere (Sorry neighbor!).
  • The adage, “You get what you pay for” is particularly true in security measures. Another says: “Don’t go cheap if you want to keep”

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FEATURES YOU CAN USE?

PHYSICAL:

  • Hitch Lock – Should go into the ball socket; the hasp should be locked; safety chains should be removed or padlocked.
  • Door Locks – Rear doors should be locked from inside. Side door handles should be upgraded and backed up by hasp and padlock.
  • Wheel Locks – “Boot” type devices which prohibit movement of the tire and wheel.
  1. Don’t be cheap! Lightweight ones can be pried off.
  2. Lug nuts must be covered by the device.

All locking devices should be painted a bright contrasting color, so they are obvious, as is anyone working round them. Make sure all padlocks used are “case-hardened” and expose as little shank as possible.

  • Paint – Paint the troop’s number on the roof in large numerals (like police cars). If for some reason you do not have the trailer’s exterior decorated in the easily identifiable Scout manner, paint the tongue, rear bumper (if there is one) and the wheels orange or red.

ELECTRONIC:

  • Alarm – Good if there is someone nearby to hear it or it is transmitted to someone at a remote location, but even if not, the loud noise will often scare away the thief.
  • Tracker – a “Low-Jack” type device that emits a signal that can either be searched for, or automatically activates on movement.
[With either of these devices, make sure adequate power supply or batteries are included]

LOCATION:

If possible store in a secure (fenced & locked) yard with minimal access to others. When parked, put the hitch toward a wall and if possible remove the dolly wheel.

IDENTITY:

Do not store registration card in the trailer. Remove the license plate when storing (don’t forget to put it back on when hauling the trailer).

LICENSING AND INSURANCE

LICENSE:

Non-commercial cargo trailers, such as the type used by Scout units are registered, in California, as titled or non-titled with a PTI (permanent trailer identification) which provides a non-dated license plate and a registration certificate. The registration is renewable every 5 years at a cost of $20. It is best that the trailer be registered to the chartering organization for liability and insurance reasons.

INSURANCE:

Generally, in the event of a motor vehicle accident, the auto liability coverage is provided by the vehicle towing the trailer. The BSA commercial general liability insurance policy provides excess coverage over the registered or non-registered volunteer’s auto coverage. It is also recommended that whoever pulls the trailer maintains adequate physical damage limits for non-owned trailers.

The trailer itself and/or the contents should be insured by property insurance. The property insurance should be taken out by the trailer/contents owner. Usually the Chartering Organization is the owner since the unit cannot “own” property.

The BSA does not provide property insurance for the owner or the Chartering Organization. Specific answers relating to coverage should be discussed with an insurance professional with knowledge of the coverage in the unit’s jurisdiction. Depending on the Chartering Organization’s policy, the location of storage and the overall value, there may be an addition premium charged.

It is also a good idea for the Troop do a detailed inventory of the contents, on a regular basis. This inventory should include photos of the contents

Exciting Updates to OA Program Coming in 2019

The National Order of the Arrow Committee approved some exciting updates to the Order of the Arrow program.

Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scout units. The new Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.

Our commitment to our unchanging mission and purpose remains steadfast, and we are excited to welcome others who share that commitment by extending membership in Scouting’s National Honor Society to participants of all older youth programs. We look forward to having female members in 2019 and know that, like all of our OA members, they will serve as role models and inspirations to others – both within the Boy Scouts of America and beyond.

We anticipate that you may have some questions. Please be sure to read the FAQ section below. We will have more information at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, which will be held July 30 – August 4, 2018, and we will continue to release additional information as it becomes available in order to assist our lodges with implementation. Additional information will be availible on the OA website’s membership page.

We look forward to sharing what the OA has to offer with more young people and appreciate your support of this exciting new direction.
 


FAQs

Q.  Will camping be counted retroactively for those currently in Venturing and Sea Scouts?
Yes. Camping that has taken place within the two years immediately prior to the election will be counted beginning February 1, 2019. This camping must have taken place while an individual was registered with the BSA as a program participant and must be while participating with a BSA Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.

Q.  Can I be elected into the OA if I am over the age of 18?
Yes. As long as you are under the age of 21 at the time the election is held. If you are over 21, you will need to go through the adult selection process.

Q.  Will there be any opportunities for Venturers to learn more about the OA and Venturing?
Yes. We will provide high-level information and the opportunity to gather feedback from youth Venturing participants at VenturingFest 2018, which will be held July 1-6, 2018.

Q.  When will the OA literature be updated to reflect these changes?
We are planning that all literature will be updated by Summer of 2019.

Q.  Will we still be able to wear lodge flaps on any female uniforms that may be created? Yes. We continue to work with BSA National Supply to help ensure that the current OA lodge flap shape and size will be accommodated.

 

 

Pack 541 Donates Over 200 Items to OC Rescue Mission

After Pack 541 had a successful 2017 popcorn fundraiser, the pack leadership committee wanted to allocate some of the surplus funds towards a service project for the community. This is a wonderful way for Scouts to give back to the community and instill values such as compassion and service to others.

Webelos of Pack 541 also used this fundraiser as a leadership opportunity. The older Scouts had to notify the Pack and families of their mission first. Then they scheduled a drop off event requesting new or gently used items to be shared later with the homeless in Orange County. At the drop off event, Pack 541 collected more than 25 blankets, 20 pillows, 10 sleeping bags, and 4 trash bags full of toys. With their extra money from popcorn, the Scouts purchased 70 new blankets, 70 new pillows, and $40 worth of plush toys. The Webelos also met with the manager of the Big 5 in Tustin where they graciously gave them a discount to purchase 14 new sleeping bags!

Pack 541 reviewed multiple local organizations that could benefit from the collections and decided on OC Rescue Mission. The Scouts and families are able to visit the facility and see firsthand how their donations will help in the rehabilitation of local homeless. The Scouts were so proud to be a part of this service project; Lions through Webelos even made handmade cards for the residents of OC Rescue Mission, which were delivered on May 19th, along with the collected items. Pack 541 hopes to continue this service project annually for the Webelos.

Orange County Council Statement on BSA-LDS Relationship

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has announced that it will conclude its relationship as a Chartered Partner with all Scouting programs around the world effective December 31, 2019. In a joint statement between the Church and BSA it was stated that “until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.”

The announcement also stated, “while the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead.”

While we’ve sought to make our programs easier and more appealing to families over the last year, the foundation of programming remains the same — to provide character- and leadership-building experiences that give kids a strong foundation for their future, all while staying true to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. We appreciate that Chartered Partner Organizations have varying needs. That’s why we offer our partners a variety of programs to consider, as well as the ability to customize programming based on what is most important to them and helps them meet the needs of the families and youth they serve.

The Orange County Council is about serving families and strengthening character. Scouts and Scouters can expect to continue to receive the level of service and quality programs that have been provided here for nearly 100 years. We stand ready to assist all our units needs as the BSA evolves to meet the needs of new generations. Our movement offers families more options than ever before, and that’s great news for the future!

Through the evolution of its relationship with the LDS church and beyond, the BSA is well positioned to provide its character- and leadership-building programs to an increasing number of youth.

Click here to read the joint announcement.

 

Spring Recruitment Gives Packs an Edge

It is a proven fact, Cub Scout Packs that recruit year-round are more successful. They achieve healthy growth patterns, they maintain all program age level dens-avoiding program gaps and they engage more adult/parent leadership into the Pack culture. Moreover, Packs that recruit in the Spring tend to have robust Spring and Summer programs. They know that youth and families that join the Pack in April and May will have a better Scouting experience when robust Spring and Fall outdoor activities are offered. These best practices leads to quicker and more successful Pack assimilation. This is now the job of your Pack New Member Coordinator.

Over the past several years more Packs than ever before are pro-actively recruiting in the Spring, primarily focused on recruiting Kindergartners into Tiger Dens.  Additionally, 122 Packs in Orange  County have embraced the new Lion Cub program. They are increasingly taking advantage of outreach to pre-K schools and programs during Spring and Summer to prepare families for an early fall invitation into the Pack.

TOP 3 REASONS TO HOLD A SPRING RECRUITMENT       

  1. Early participation.  To  welcome Kindergartners and families into the Pack at the earliest opportunity…before other options are presented.
  2. Great Spring and Summer Program offerings await.  Scout-O-Rama, Pack campouts, Day Camp and summertime Pack activities give families a super boost into Scouting.
  3. Growth happens year-round.  Packs that execute Spring and Fall recruiting plans experience better growth results than those units that offer just one entry point annually for families.

If you have not set up a Spring recruitment Sign-Up Night at your school(s) May is a great time to hold one.  Your District Membership team stands ready to assist you.  Call us at (714) 546-4990.  You  can order FREE recruitment marketing tools at www.scouting.org/membership  OR  www.ocbsa.org/membership

Please share your recruiting success stories at martyc@ocbsa.org