Boy Scouts’ President Calls for End to Ban on Gay Leaders

Well, what everyone had been expecting the last two years has finally happened, Robert Gates, the President of the Boy Scouts of America and former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense, announced that Scouts should drop its ban on gay Scout leaders. Go to 8:40 of the video.

I thought back on my reaction which was to quit Scouting and look for other organizations.  I asked my son, who as 11 at the time, what he thought and he did not want to quit as that what he liked and didn’t understand why I would be thinking that.  I did explain my rational to him, based on my religious beliefs and that that a Scout should be ‘morally straight’.  I looked up what the definition of morally straight was and this is what the Boy Scout Manual says:

and morally straight. “To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.”

So does that exclude homosexuality?  It may very well and I suppose open to interpretation.

We also talked at our Troop Committee and the Scoutmaster response was, “we have had closest gay Scouts before and the kids knew how to deal with it”.  He didn’t mean that an a vindictive way, rather giving the kids that benefit of the doubt that they were mature enough to react to anything untoward appropriately.  So based on what my son wanted and Scout leaders with much more experience than my own, we hung in there.

There wasn’t a mass exodus from our Troop, in fact I am aware of no one that left.  As well, I didn’t see any influx of gay Scouts.  So being that we as adults have more than likely worked around gay people, I think we know how act.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not simply defending what President Gates did, but I understand why he did it.  The truth is, Boy Scouts has suffered from the cutback in funding as a result of its membership policy.  Even in our Council, the Boy Scout Camp, which is next to the Girl Scout Camp is dilapidated compared to the much newer and nicer Girl’s one.  So hopefully if the policy changes and we do get the money to renovate those facilities which will benefit our program.

So in closing, Boy Scouts like the country as a whole is changing.  I know most of us that grew up with more traditional values, lament that fact.  Our schools, our politics and our society has changed a lot.  But the important thing to remember here is, keep the focus on the kids and the program.  Make Scouting the best it can be, and the let the rest take care of itself.

Categories: BSA, Membership Policy, National | Tags: | Leave a comment

May District Meeting

We are working on getting banners up for the Spring Recruiting Drive for Cub Scouts.  If you need banners, please see District Executive, James Lennon. Membership is down, so we need to make a push!

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Speaking of Cub Scouts, the new program will be in place by June 1st, along with the new books.  If you have any questions, see the national website for more resources.

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The Roundtable is also an excellent source of information so plan on being there next Thursday (5-14) at 7 pm for Roundtable. This months theme will be “Perseverance”.

This summer we will have Day Camp for Cub Scouts, but no Twilight Camp.

Had a great District Camporee last weekend and big thanks for Camporee Chair, John Ninteman for all his work in making it happen.  If you missed the photos from the event they can bee seen by clicking here.

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Also, we started a new District YouTube page  Below is our first video posted to it from a skit at the Camporee.

The District Dinner is coming up on May 29th at the Lakeside VFW Hall.  It’s only $20 and you can see the details and sign up by clicking here.

The District Executive and I have been busy.  We have a Good Scouter of the Year honoree that we will be announcing shortly.  We also had a productive Nominating Committee Meeting last week.  And finally, we are making presentations to local service clubs about Scouting.

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Finally, myself, the District Executive and District Commissioner, will be attending Key 3 Training in Philmont this summer.  If you have any interest in going along the week of July 26 – August 1, they do have other training available as well, which you can see by clicking here.

Categories: Camporee, Cub Scouts, Day Camp, District Dinner | Leave a comment

April District Meeting

As I mentioned in my March update, the Membership Committee hosted a meeting geared towards Cub Scout Membership Chair’s on March 25th.  Had some great information, but unfortunately many Pack’s didn’t attend.  Because membership is the bedrock of any organization, our Membership Chair, Michelle Generazzo, along with our District Executive will be scheduling times at your Pack Committee meetings to get the information to you.  With Spring Recruitment time upon us it is as critical as ever.

bohThis months Roundtable Theme for Cub Scouts will be will be Cyberchip’s.

The Boy Scout Roundtable will be talking about New Scout and New Adult integration into the Troop.

scoutsThe District Camporee is only 4 weeks away now on May 1st-3rd, so sign up!  Camporee Chair, John Ninteman, says he has a lot of fun things planned.  As well, we will be doing the Order of the Arrow Call-out on Friday Night, so don’t miss that!

Speaking of the Order of the Arrow, the Regional ArrowTour will be in San Diego on July 17th at Camp Fiesta Island.  It will consist of a full day of program centered on the Order of the Arrow’s centennial.  See Joe Garcia for more info.

Finally, keep on eye on the new District Calendar for other events, including the Council.

Categories: Camporee, Cub Scouts, Fiesta Island, Order of the Arrow, Roundtable | Tags: | Leave a comment

Council Meeting

One of my duties as the District Chair is to sit on the Council Board.  After having my second meeting with them today I would have to say they are a dedicated group.  Seems like many long-time Scouters from varying business disciplines.  They meet at Camp Balboa every other month and as of the end of last year, there are 67 people on the Board.

Among other things we learned Camp Fiesta Island is sold out for all 8 weeks this summer and Mataguay Scout Ranch for 1 of 5 weeks so far.  Speaking of Mataguay they are making slow and steady progress on improving it, including the drilling of a new well.

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There was also discussion on realigning the Districts expanding from 11 to 12.  There has been tremendous growth in the Eastlake area, so the Sweetwater District in particular is way out of balance.  More to come on that as the committee meets with the Key 3 from the Districts to get their input.  If all goes according to plan, the goal would be to implement the reorganization in 2016.

We were reminded that the Scout Fair is coming up on April 18th and everyone was encouraged to attend!

Scout Fair

The Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner is coming up on April 28th and they are looking for sponsors at $150 per Scout.  Also will have a great speaker in Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman of General Motors.

At the National level, the Annual National Meeting is on May 20-22 in Atlanta.  Not plan on going myself, but some day I would like to.

(L-R) Tico Perez, National Commissioner;  Wayne Brock' Chief Scout Executive; Dr. Robert M. Gates, National President

National Key 3 (L-R) Tico Perez, National Commissioner; Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive; Dr. Robert M. Gates, National President

Categories: Council, Eagle Scout, Fiesta Island, Mataguay, Realignment, SDICBSA | Tags: | Leave a comment

March District Meeting

The theme for the Roundtable which is next Thursday (3-12) is ‘Outdoor Ethics’, which the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will join together on.  Afterwards the two will break up and the Boy Scouts will hear a presentation on NYLT.  Cub Scout Roundtable Chair Rob and Boy Scout Roundtable Chair Carmen, invite you to attend!

The Membership Committee will be hosting a meeting geared towards Cub Scout Membership Chairs on March 25th at 7pm.  The location is tentatively at the El Cajon Elks Lodge.  Contact District Executive James Lennon for more info.

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With Cub Scout membership being the primary conduit into Boy Scouts, it is important that we are “Doing our Best” to recruit new Cub Scouts.  Hope to see you there!

In the training arena, we have BLST Training tentatively scheduled for April 25th…and CLST training scheduled for May 30th.

Trained Patches
Contact District Training Chair, Mike Bishop for more information.

The Camporee is on May 1st-3rd sign-ups have begun and as of now we have a total of two Troops signed up, so let’s get going people!  We have also invited Desert Trails District to participate.  You can sign up on line by clicking here

Heartland District Camporee - 2015Click here for a PDF version of the Camporee Flyer.

The District Dinner is on May 29th at the Lakeside VFW Hall.  Stay tuned for more info!

The Cub Scout Day Camp is scheduled for July 6-10 and Twilight Camp July 13-17th.  We are working on identifying a new Director for the program.

Finally, if you want to sign up for Camp Fiesta Island for Summer Camp, you cannot, as it is sold out!

Categories: Camporee, District Dinner, Fiesta Island, Roundtable, Training | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

February District Meeting

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We had Council Membership Chairs, Pat & Pam O’Donohoe, give a presentation on you guessed it, MEMBERSHIP.  And of course how that and marketing are the bedrock of what we do to get kids involved in Scouting.  To that end, we need to make sure your Pack, Troop or Crew has current contact information on your Scout PIN on Be A Scout website  In a review of the District links, many are out of date or link to a nonexistent website.  And what that means is people can’t readily contact you about joining. So please get them up to date ASAP!  If you have any questions about it, please contact District Executive, James Lennon.

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The District Camporee had a date change to May 1-3, which is the traditional time and better for some of our Troops.  That is also the weekend for Wood Badge, so thank you leaders for being able to make that work despite the conflict.  The site will once again be South Meadow at the Mar-Tar-Awa Campground at Viejas Reservation.  Stay tuned for more details from Camporee Chair, Tina Ninteman.

Speaking of calendar’s, we have a new District Calendar, located at https://bsaheartlanddistrict.wordpress.com/district-calendar/.

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This is another page on the developing new District website, which will be up and running shortly.

We are ahead of schedule on our District Friends of Scouting effort.  In fact, we are the top District to date in the entire Council.  We have 23 presentations scheduled for February.

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We have the District Dinner coming up in May.  Stay tuned on that from District Dinner Chair, Melanie Feuerhelm.

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Categories: Camporee, District Dinner, Friends of Scouting | Leave a comment

New and old books

Just added a couple great Scout books to my collection, The American Boys Handy Book, which was Originally published in 1888.  It was written by Daniel Carter Beard, who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, which Beard later merged with the Boy Scouts of America.

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The second is an original 5th Edition copy of the Handbook for Boys, aka Boy Scout Handbook.  It was in print from 1948-1959.

Categories: Boy Scout Handbook, Famous Boy Scouts | Tags: | Leave a comment

Cub & Boy Scout Roundtables

Went to my first Roundtable for a while and had a chance to observe first hand the dedication of the Roundtable staff.  The Cub Scouts focused on Blue and Gold ideas, with some fun making a name tags and other activities.

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The Boys Scouts highlighted their side of things with a real thorough explanation of the Order of The Arrow.

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This is their 100th year and at their NOAC Conference in August, participants will receive a Commemorative Red Sash…and that is the only way to get one!IMG_0576So if you want to get some ideas on how to make your Pack or Troop better, attend a Roundtable.  Many veteran Scouts with lots of knowledge.  Meeting is at 2nd Thurday of the month at 7pm at El Cajon LDS Stake Center at 1270 S. Orange Avenue.

Categories: Roundtable, Training | Tags: | Leave a comment

January District Meeting

After all is said and done, looks like we reached the Silver Level for Journey to Excellence for 2014.  So all and all, it was a successful year.

Silver
BSA has changed some criteria for this next year, but nothing significant.  Let’s go for the gold in 2015!

We have kicked off the Friends of Scouting in earnest and we will be doing the Community Campaign, including speaking with local businesses.

There was some discussion on who would be the Scout of the Year for 2014.  As many of you know, Don Hickle of Lakeside, was last year’s honoree.

Don

Regarding membership, we discussed setting up a way to reach out to families of Kindergartners to get them in as Tiger Scouts in the First Grade.  As well, how to better get the word out to the seven school districts that are in the Heartland District.

We talked about how many Scouts in the Heartland District earned their Eagle Scout Badge last year.  That number is approximately 50, and we will report who they were after the upcoming Eagle Board meeting which is next week.

In the area of training, we will have ILOS Training shortly as well as “Super Training” which will encompass many different disciplines.

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Great job as well with all of the District volunteers who contribute in this area!

We need to find a place for the District Camporee and are kicking around some ideas….stay tuned for the specifics.

Roundtable is next week, January 8th at 7pm.  The Boy Scouts will have an emphasis on Order of the Arrow and the Cub Scouts will be discussing Blue & Gold, along with a desert potluck…mmm :P

Categories: Camporee, Eagle Scout, Friends of Scouting, Training | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas from your District Key 3!

We had our 2015 Friends of Scouting Campaign Kick-Off tonight at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla.  Had reports from Districts all over the County and Heartland was represented well.  We also received some great ideas for better promoting the Community, Family and LDS parts of the campaign.  Stay tuned for more details as we kick things off in earnest after the first of the year.

Before we left, we got a photo of the Key 3, standing in front of the Hyatt Christmas Tree.

(L-R)District Executive, James Lennon, District Commissioner Bill Kellner & District Chair, Mark Robak

(L-R) District Executive, James Lennon, District Commissioner Bill Kellner and District Chair, Mark Robak

Have a Merry Christmas and thanks so much for volunteering for Scouting this past year and we look forward to working with you in 2015!

Categories: Friends of Scouting | Tags: | Leave a comment

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