Local Scout Helps Extinguish Apartment Fire Before Firemen Arrive

Just one day before his 18th birthday, Matthew Qualls of Troop 36 was awakened on Wednesday, August 15th to screaming coming from his neighbor, Dale’s apartment backyard. He looked out the window and saw smoke. Matthew then grabbed a hammer and broke into the fire extinguisher case in the hallway of the apartment building and ran next door. He entered the home and ran to the fire to assist putting it out, after his neighbor stated she didn’t know how to use one.  Matthew then instructed her to call 911, which she stated another neighbor was already doing. He was focused on keeping the fire from going up the walls when the extinguisher ran out. Out to the hallway he ran again, grabbing another extinguisher. He kept this up until the fire department arrived on scene.  

There are seven families who live within the units and would be without a home if not for Matthew’s intervention. Neighbor Dale stated, “Thank God for your son in helping me put the majority out! What a Boy Scout!” Matthew’s ability to handle this situation calmly and efficiently was a direct result of the training instilled to him by the Boy Scouts. After taking the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, First Aid, and overhearing his mom teach Crime Prevention, Matthew became one prepared Scout! “I knew where everything I needed in an emergency was because I am in the Scouting program.”  

Besides learning lifesaving techniques, this newly 18-year-old is very into the great outdoors, having gone to over 150 campouts! He especially appreciates the trust put into the youth in the Scouting program. He states, “We are allowed to fail. In life, we are competing and have to succeed; in Scouting, our failures are also our successes.”  We at the Orange County Council know you have truly succeeded!


Fourth Generation Eagle Scout

Scouting – A Family Affair, Local Scout Becomes 4th Generation Eagle Scout

3 generations of valentine family

On February 12th, 2014, Brent Valentine received a prestigious title that he had been coveting ever since he was a little boy. It isn’t simply a title that he can ask his parents for or bestow upon himself; no, it is a title that has to be earned with preparation, determination and hard work. On that Wednesday, Brent, a Scout from Troop 90 in Newport Beach, earned his Eagle Scout Rank, a cause for celebration that dates back to four generations in the Valentine family.

Brent is the 158th Eagle Scout from Troop 90, which was founded just over 25 years ago.  Nationally, approximately only 2% of all Scouts obtain the rank of Eagle. Troop 90’s percentage of Eagle Scouts earning their Rank is between 15 and 17%.

Brent’s Great-Grandfather, George Josten, received his Eagle Badge from Scouting’s founder Lord Baden-Powell himself at a ceremony held in Madison Square Garden on May 17, 1919.  George was a member of Troop 9 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Brent’s Grandfather, Don Valentine, received his Eagle Badge on October 10, 1949 as a member of Troop 9 in Pasadena. Don has been a member of the San Gabriel Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America for 76 years, making him its longest tenured member. Brent’s father, Bill Valentine, was a member of Troop 377 in Pasadena and was presented his Eagle Badge on June 13, 1980. It’s evident that Scouting is a celebrated and cherished tradition in the Valentine family.
4 generations_valentine men
When asked what it meant to become a fourth generation Eagle Scout, Brent stated, “Being an Eagle Scout is great by itself and adding the history makes it even better. It’s also fun! There was little expectation for me to become an Eagle Scout. I wanted it and wanted to do it for my grandfather. I was asking my dad to do Cub Scouts ever since I was little.”

Brent’s father, Bill, stated that Brent was the driving force in his quest for Eagle Scout Rank.  At eleven years old, Brent was given a Scouting handbook from his father, after Brent’s repeated pleas to join the Scouts, and by his first troop meeting, he had everything memorized. “I didn’t get signed off, but I even did all the work for my first merit badge before that first troop meeting,” Brent eagerly recalls.


Aside from the family bonding, Brent has developed and cultivated new passions. He completed his fishing merit badge at the Newport Sea Base and had a great experience. “I heard stories from my dad and grandfather about fishing and it’s something I always wanted to try,” Brent said. Now it’s become one of his biggest hobbies and Brent finds himself on the water fishing at least two times a week.

“One of the biggest things to look at is how merit badges are designed to let you discover the world,” Bill stated. Brent did a couple merit badges that helped him discover what he wouldn’t want to do as either a career or hobby. The merit badges provide the opportunities to find your career path and later on if you’re in a social setting, you have some background information on a multitude of subjects and can have a discussion with anybody.

Brent Valentine with Assistant Scoutmaster Adam Wright - lef

When asked what element of Scouting had the biggest impact on Brent’s life, he said “I was the Senior Patrol Leader of one of the county’s largest troops and I was 13 at the time. To run a troop and actually have people listen, I look back now and I’m amazed. I was able to lead in a way where the boys respected me and liked me. I tried to make it fun because that’s what Scouting should be.

OC Scouts sail to defend the International Sea Scout Sailing Championship

June 18, 2014

2014 international sea scout cup logo

Thirty-six teams of Sea Scouts converge on Long Beach, June 22-28, to compete against each other in the biennial William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup.  Scouts from Brazil, England, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States qualified for the event.

2014 International Sea Scout Cup_OC Sea Scouts

(Teddy Carter, Sarah Wyman, Laura Roudebush, Ben Brough)

Sea Scouts Ben Brough and Laura Roudebush, of Sea Scout Ship 90, of Newport Beach, hail from the defending 2012 champion ship, and look to continue a strong tradition of sailing excellence from scouts based out of the Newport Sea Base.  Sea Scouts from Ship 711, of Newport Beach, including the new director of the Newport Sea Base, Tom Hartmann, won the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Koch Cups.  Ben and Laura also are summer sailing instructors at the Sea Base.

In addition, four other teams from Orange County qualified in regional competitions for the Koch Cup.  David Cornella and Liz Fletcher, from Ship 936, in Dana Point, and who took 6th place at the 2012 Koch Cup (and winners of the 2012 Sportsmanship Trophy), appear poised to take a run at the prized trophy.   Two other teams from Ship 936 also qualified, comprised of Sarah Wyman and Teddy Carter, and Sofia Maranto and Flora van der Schoot.  Rounding out the Orange County contingent are Christian Redman and Danielle Brodeur,  from Newport- based Ships 90 and 1767, respectively (and both also teach sailing at the Newport Sea Base).

The Koch has previously been held at venues such as Chicago, Cape Cod, Miami, the US Naval Academy, the US Coast Guard Academy, and most recently at the California Maritime Academy.  Long Beach Yacht Club and Long Beach Council, BSA will host this event, in conjunction with National BSA and the William I. Koch Cup Association.  Sea Scouting in the United States is a branch of the Boy Scouts of America and has been around for 102-years.  It is a co-educational program for youth 14-20 years old and gives the Scouting program of youth leadership and character development an aquatic emphasis.

For those able to come out and view the action, there are two venues that will be used. On Wednesday and Friday, sailing will be inside Alamitos Bay. The best viewing is on the beach near Alamitos Bay YC – there is a public parking lot right across the street. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will race off of Belmont Pier.  There is a public parking lot adjacent to the base of the pier, and great viewing from the end of the pier.

2014 International Sea Scout Cup_where to watch



Pack 789 Visits the Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego

Pack 789 Mormon Museum

June 9, 2014

Pack 789 Visits the Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego 

To kickoff the Summertime Pack Award, Pack 789’s June activity was a visit to the Mormon Battalion Museum in Old Town San Diego.  Pack 789 is chartered by the Mission Lake Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The trip began with a visit to the Mormon Battalion marker in Sycamore Park in Mission Viejo.  The boys learned that the Battalion marched from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1848, walking right through our own area.  While in the park, the boys completed the requirement for the Map & Compass Belt Loop.

We traveled by car to Old Town San Diego and arrived at the museum.  The boys watched a video about the Battalion and went through several rooms that had presentation about the march from Council Bluffs, IA to San Diego, CA to make a wagon trail from Santa Fe, NM to San Diego for the military as they fought the War with Mexico.  The 2,000-mile march was one of the longest in military history. They had learned about how some Battalion members were involved with the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill. The boys were able to pan for gold.

Following the museum visit, the Pack hiked through Old Town San Diego, where the Battalion helped the locals build the settlement.  The hike continued up the nearby hills to the Presido, where they ate lunch and some playtime. The Pack members completed the requirements to earn the Mormon Battalion Trail Award.

New BSA President Dr. Robert M. Gates Addresses Boy Scouts of America at National Annual Meeting

Dr. Gates will lead the National Executive Board for two one-year terms

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Council today elected Dr. Robert M. Gates, former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence, as the organization’s national president. In this volunteer role, Dr. Gates will lead the National Executive Board, which guides the Boy Scouts of America as it serves 2.5 million youth members, for two one-year terms. He is the 35th president of the BSA, following telecom pioneer and co-owner of the Seattle Mariners Wayne Perry.

“The Boy Scouts of America had a profound influence on my childhood and helped form the foundation of my career in public service. I’ve had tremendous opportunities in my life, but I can say without hesitation that my memories of Scouting are every bit as vivid and meaningful as what came later. I believe every boy deserves an opportunity to experience what Scouting offers,” said Dr. Gates. “Scouting teaches youth how to set and achieve goals, develops a deep commitment to serve others, and creates leaders for tomorrow who are not only prepared to serve their communities, but also prepared for life and leadership. Just as it did for me.”

Dr. Gates has a long history of participation and service in the BSA. He is a past member of the National Executive Board; a past president of the National Eagle Scout Association; a distinguished Eagle Scout; a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest commendation given by the BSA for extraordinary service to youth; and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, the highest mark of distinction and recognition for those with exceptional service and unselfish interests.

“On behalf of the Boy Scouts of America’s millions of youth members and adult leaders, I am honored to welcome Dr. Gates into the role of national president,” said Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive. “As one of our nation’s most respected public servants and a proven leader of the highest caliber, Dr. Gates is a shining example of how our organization positions individuals for success and he will be a great ambassador for sharing the Scouting story throughout the country.”

During his notable career, Dr. Gates has served eight U.S. presidents of both political parties. He is the only secretary of defense to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. Prior to his post at the Department of Defense, Dr. Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh-largest university. Dr. Gates also served as director of central intelligence and is the only career officer in the CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director.

Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal and the Presidential Citizens Medal, has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received the CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. On his last day in office as secretary of defense, Dr. Gates was awarded the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama.

In addition to Scouting, Dr. Gates is the chancellor of the College of William & Mary and has served on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Council on Education and the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

A native of Kansas, Dr. Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. He is the author of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, which was released in January 2014. His memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, was published in 1996. He and his wife, Becky, have two grown children.


WATCH: Dr. Gates Remarks at the 2014 BSA National Annual Meeting

READ: Dr. Gates Remarks at the 2014 BSA National Annual Meeting

robert gates

Dr. Robert M. Gates Addresses the Boy Scouts of America at the National Annual Meeting (May 23, 2014)

For more information, please refer to scoutingnewsroom.org.