Enjoy lots of treats and avoid the tricks this Halloween

Enjoy lots of treats and avoid the tricks this Halloween—take advantage of charitable gifting through appreciated stocks.

This Halloween children will be making their way through your neighborhood, you may wonder if you can still go “trick or treating.”  The answer is YES!

With so much uncertainty around the elections and the direction of the stock market, if you have enjoyed some good growth in the stocks you have held more than a year, why not consider gifting some of them to your favorite charity such as the Orange County Boy Scouts. In doing so, you can avoid the “tricks” of the stock potentially going down along with paying capital gains tax if you were to sell it outright.

And just think of the “treats” you get. Not only do you avoid capital gains tax on the appreciated asset if you transfer it to a charity, you also gain a tax deduction for the fair market value. Most importantly, if your gift is to the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, you know that you are helping us to reach and serve more youth with these vital programs. From funding camperships and outreach programs to helping us rebuild our Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center after last year’s devasting fires or sponsoring a tree, your gift will truly make a difference.

You may contact Devon Dougherty (devond@ocbsa.org; 714-546-8558 x145 ) for more information along with consulting your tax advisor.  We are here to help and make your Halloween  a real “treat!”

Distinguished Eagle Scout Awardee: Dr. John Hovanesian

On November 9, local eye surgeon John Hovanesian of Harvard Eye Associates will be receiving the nationally recognized Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. He will receive the award during the council’s Leadership Breakfast at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.

“The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is a truly prestigious distinction in the Boy Scouts. While there have been over 4 million Eagle Scouts since 1911, fewer than 1,000 have been recognized with this award,“ said Jeff Herrmann, President & Scout Executive of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. The award is given to those who have made major contributions to their professional fields and are nationally or internationally recognized leaders. Nominees are considered at least 25 years after earning the Eagle Scout award as a youth. Previous recipients include Gerald Ford, Neil Armstrong, Steven Spielberg, and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.


“Scouting has had greater influence on me than any other activity of my youth” states Hovanesian. Growing up in Farmington, Michigan, he enjoyed plenty of campouts and hikes with Troop 179. “We had a really spirited though sometimes unorthodox patrol—the Gremlins. Being a patrol leader taught me that leaders need first to be servants. Working with other Scouts, I learned that doing the right thing is more important than always having all the right answers.”

After receiving his Eagle Award in 1982, Hovanesian decided he wanted to stay in the Scouting community, even while completing medical school and residency. After making the move to California to do a fellowship at UCLA, Hovanesian disconnected from Scouting for about 10 years, until he was married and had his first child. His now oldest son is about to become an Eagle Scout and his younger son and daughter may also soon follow in the Scouting footsteps.

Hovanesian, 51, who specializes in cataract, LASIK, and corneal surgery at Harvard Eye Associates, is a member of the clinical faculty at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute, has published two textbooks in ophthalmology and authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and surgical technique videos. He holds leadership positions with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and is regularly invited to speak at national and international meetings. He is also the cataract section editor for the most widely read eye surgery trade journal, Ocular Surgery News.

Hovanesian has spent considerable time with medical outreach. With the Armenian Eye Care Project, a southern California nonprofit, he travels annually to the former Soviet republic to perform and teach the newest techniques in surgery. He has also made volunteer surgical trips to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Fiji to treat the underserved population. As an eye surgeon, Hovanesian takes on enormous responsibility with every patient he sees. He believes, “There is no better mantra for a surgeon than to “help other people at all times”.  When we put our patient’s best interests first, we are bound for success.”

This special award presentation during the Orange County Council‘s annual Leadership Breakfast on November 9th at the Balboa Bay Resort is attended by local business leaders. The featured speaker at the luncheon, Rodney C. Sacks, Chairman and CEO of Monster Energy Company will share how his multi-billion-dollar company came to be while promoting the message of “developing visionary and ethical leaders”.

Girls-Only Scout Camp to Ease Transition for Those Joining Boy Scouts

In preparation for girls joining the older youth program, Scouts BSA, the Orange County Council recently held an event called Scouting 101 to introduce young women to the ways of Scouting.

At the event, which was held at Oso Lake Scout Camp in Rancho Santa Margarita, 35 girls learned knot tying, how to set up tents correctly, proper handling of pocket knives, archery, boating and first aid. They even cooked their own meals throughout the weekend of October 6th and 7th. This event prepared the girls who are potentially brand new to scouting, and those that have participated alongside their brothers for years.

Orange County Council’s Family Scouting Director, Julie Anderson is so thrilled to be leading this event. Julie states, “I’m so excited to be providing an opportunity for girls and their parents to see what Scouting will bring in February of 2019. These girls will learn basic Scout skills which they will be able to teach other new members of their Troops, in essence they are learning to be the first leaders!”


For more event photos, click here!

2018 Annual Spurgeon Luncheon Honorees

The 2018 Annual Spurgeon Luncheon is honoring Richard Porras, Charles Celano Jr., Mike Hamel, and Les Fitzgerald on October 18th at the Anaheim Marriott. The William H. Spurgeon, III Award is the highest recognition for individuals and organizations contributing significant leadership to the Exploring Program. The William H. Spurgeon, III Award was developed in 1971 in honor of the man who is regarded as the major leader in the development of special interest Exploring. Mr. Spurgeon was a business executive at the Irvine Company in Southern California who personally organized many special interest posts in the 1960’s. Mr. Spurgeon served for many years as a member of the National Council Executive Board and national Exploring Committee. His pioneering efforts led to the present contemporary Exploring Program. He devoted much of the late 1960’s to promoting Exploring and is particularly remembered as a dynamic speaker for Exploring Impact Plan luncheons across America. Mr. Spurgeon passed away in 1970.

Click here if you would like to attend the October 18th event.

Richard E. Porras

Assistant Vice President, External Affairs Orange, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties AT&T

Richard has held various positions in human resources and managed employment and recruitment for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside/San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.  In 1997 Richard accepted a position as External Affairs Director, representing the corporation to the communities of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Placentia.  In January 2000 Richard was appointed as Area Vice President overseeing External Affairs for Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  During his 41-year tenure with the company, Porras has watched the corporation maintain its leading edge in the industry as telecommunications technology advanced at breakneck speed.  Through the evolution of its brand from AT&T, to Pacific Bell with its divesture in 1984, to SBC with its merger in 1996, to its re-emerge to AT&T in 2006, Porras continued advancing in his career as well.  Porras currently directs business, community and governmental relations for AT&T in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  In his role he serves on numerous boards of business and community organizations.

Charles F. Celano, Jr.

Chief of Police Tustin Police Department

Chief Charles F Celano Jr is a 27-year veteran of the Tustin Police Department. He has worked his way up through the ranks to the position of Chief of Police. Over the course of his career, Chief Celano has worked a variety of assignments including Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Street Narcotics/Vice Detective, Orange County RNSP Detective, Gang Unit Sergeant, Patrol Area Commander, and the Captain in charge of each of the two Bureaus – Community Policing and Administrative Services. Chief Celano has been a staunch advocate and supporter of Explorer Post 615 for many years. He believes in the tremendous benefits of Exploring to both the young men and women in the program and to the profession overall.

Mike Hamel

Chief of Police Irvine Police Department

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel is a 25-year law enforcement veteran who has been with the Irvine Police Department since 1995. He is the first Irvine Police Chief to rise through the ranks from police officer to Chief from within the IPD organization. Chief Hamel is president of the Orange County Chiefs’ of Police and Sheriff’s Association. Chief Hamel is also a Governing Board Member for Waymakers, a Commissioner for the Orange County Human Relations Commission and a Past Board Member for Team Kids Inc.

JR Fitzgerald

Captain Anaheim Fire and Rescue

JR Fitzgerald joined Anaheim Fire Department in January of 1987. He rose through the ranks as a firefighter for 7 years an Engineer for 9 years and for the last 15 years as the rank of Captain. During that time he was a member of Anaheim USAR team, training division cadre ,California task force 5 and finishing his career assigned as Hazmat Captain.  He took over lead advisor and program director for Anaheim Fire Explorers in 2013 which he enjoyed until his retirement in 2018.

Catholic Scouting Religious Emblems Program

Catholic Scouts who have been working on their Cub Scout Religious Awards, should plan to finish up soon and ask for their Parish Priest’s signature on the required paper work.  After all the signatures are secured, please send the document and $35 to DCCS care of: Jo Golcher at 17791 Winterberry St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708.

Boy Scouts who have completed their Ad Altare Dei or Pope Pius XII classes (or will soon) should plan to register as soon as possible on www.occatholicscouting.org to request a Board of Review time slot. The BOR’s will be held on November 3 and 13 at the Council Office 1221 E Dyer Rd, Santa Ana, CA. Saturday, November 3rd will be from 9-1 PM and Tuesday, November 13th is from 5-7 PM.

For questions and more information, please e-mail emblems@occatholicscouting.org.

10 Reasons You Should Send Your Teen to the World Jamboree

As a parent, the decision to send your teen to World Scout Jamboree may require careful consideration. Practical issues, such as finances, can make you rethink whether World Scout Jamboree is even worth it. Before rejecting due to the cost or other concerns, let’s take a moment to reflect on why this experience is so valuable to your teen’s development.

Imagine your teen having an extraordinary international experience over 12 days without ever having to leave the United States.

To help you with the decision, Kate Mulcahy, the Pathway to Adventure Council International Scouting Chair, has compiled a list of the ten best ways your teen’s life will be enriched by participating in the World Scout Jamboree.

  1. Gain Global Knowledge

Think of WSJ as an Advanced Placement or immersion course on Global Studies and Cultural Awareness! Where else will your teenager meet people from 169 countries all in one location? Only in this global village with 50,000 Scouts.

They will truly “Unlock the World” by living side-by-side with scouts from a myriad of other countries, sharing daily customs while enhancing and widening your teenager’s view of the world.

For many, WSJ is the beginning of a lifelong journey of global and cultural understanding. While this is not actually studying abroad, it’s the closest you can get while still in the USA. The countries are coming to West Virginia for the biggest Scouting celebration to engage Scouts to think globally.

  1. Build Friendships and Connections

One of the most valuable benefits is meeting new lifelong friends from different backgrounds around the world. Connecting in ways to trust others and breaking through the inner barrier of “my culture versus your culture” will transform your teen. Many friendships continue long, long after scouts return home. These young and hopeful leaders will open minds, hearts and share their cheerful spirits in lifelong global friendships.

  1. Improve Second Language Proficiency and/or Learn a New Language

There is no better way to learn a language than to dive right in. Your teen can practice the language they are learning in school and go beyond a purely academic experience.

Experiencing scouts from other countries means learning how a language is spoken ‘in real life’ – the facial expressions, body language, and the local idioms that a textbook just can’t teach. Or simply hearing a language they didn’t know existed just a few weeks before! This exposure goes well beyond the Jamboree as your teen’s social media feeds will also become noticeably multi-lingual after they’ve added their new scout friends.

  1. Become More Creative and Innovative

The ability to communicate across different cultures will go beyond words. It may be quite challenging to communicate at the beginning of this experience, and/or it might just be the bridge to language fluency. Scouts will find ways to communicate despite language differences. They will definitively be creative and innovative with learning how to speak with their hands and picturing things with a limited vocabulary.

  1. Appreciation for their Own Culture and Others’

Culture is a central part of people’s lives. It influences views, values, hopes, humor, loyalties, and fears and worries. Living face-to-face with Scouts from other countries can help inform points-of-view. Teens can stand back from themselves to become aware of their own cultural perceptions, beliefs, and values.

This experience raises self-awareness to be open-minded, to try not to make assumptions based on nationality, to understand how culture influences thinking and behavior. Appreciation can teach Scouts to be more knowledgeable, tolerant and respectful of other cultures and to different people in general.

  1. College and Career

Will your teen write about this experience for their college acceptance essay or add it to their resume?

Today, cultural intelligence and second language proficiency are two skills that companies significantly need. This can set them apart from their peers in today’s competitive job market. More and more employers want to hire people with a true worldview.

This international exposure has the potential to make your teenager more employable, to enhance everything about their learning and work environments now and in the future—from better grades to more interest in global events and cultures, to motivation to work harder, learn more, and travel extensively.

  1. Adapt to New Conditions and Ambiguity

Learning the ways people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread). They will be surprised at the flavors the world has to offer.

  1. Self-Confident and Independence

Scouts often return home with a stronger sense of self-confidence in their abilities to problem solve, adapt to life’s challenges and understand their world a little fuller. This is a great mindset to have.

“[The Jamboree was] one of the most rewarding experiences of my young life. … World Jamboree really changed me. … I learned how to really give back. … And I came back, I think, a lot more grown up than when I went.”

– Christa Waterwiese, IST, 23rd WSJ Japan

  1. Know Themselves

Your teen will have time to discover, with curiosity what they think about various global topics. As they share their values, they let others know where they stand on issues, and explain why they hold them with confidence.

Scouts will be encouraged to have open dialogues to ask questions, test their opinions, and speak freely without fear of consequences. They will learn the value of, “We may not agree on everything, but I’m interested in what you have to say.”

New experiences teach Scouts to listen more to their inner voice while developing the ability to truly be a global citizen.

  1. Parent Time-Out

Enjoy the simple things, like silence… and sleep.  That’s Priceless.