Best Staff Experience Ever

The email that went out to staff today sure made it sound better then 4 years ago although I wasn’t there then.

As to the double-decker cots, that looks a little tight?  I wonder if they will have electricity like the tents at the Philmont Training Center?

No way the restrooms will be as good as Philmont, as that is the best I have seen at any campground.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • Showers have solar water heaters, so the hot water will actually be hot and not just room temperature.
  • A laundry service will provide 24-hour turnaround at a modest price; drop off and pick up will be at Base Camp Echo headquarters.
  • The U.S. Postal Service trailer will sell stamps and accept outbound mail.
  • More charging points for your smartphone (we previously heard they will have good cell phone coverage…and I have AT&T!)
  • More transportation options to get to job sites and the Welcome Center.
  • Staff dining system will have gluten-free option in addition to vegetarian, Halal and Kosher options.
  • A paid snacking/dining option called Chat ‘n Chew with various dining options and meeting space.
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Jamboree Social Media

The Social Media sites for the Jamboree are as follows:

Facebook: 2017 National Jamboree |

Twitter: National Jamboree |

Instagram: 2017 National Jamboree |

Snapchat: National Jamboree | Username: Jambo2017

Please take a look and like or follow!


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November District Meeting

James reminded everyone that nominations are due by December 5th for the Silver Beaver Award, which are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. Our record is six in one year, so we can have more than one!

Silver_Beaver_AwardPopcorn sales are down this year to $130,000 in the District. The main reason is the closing of all the Haggen Stores in the middle of the sales. That being said, Troop 363 upped their sales 50% and should qualify for the 50% commission!


Nathan and Noah from Troop 362

The theme for the Cub Scout Roundtable this month is “Reverence”.  Also, we need more Cub Scout Roundtable commissioners, so please consider volunteering as we need some fresh ideas!

The Boys Scout Roundtable will have Henry Hall there to talk about fishing.  Henry has taught fishing at Mataguay for many years, so it should be great.  Roundtable is always the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7pm.

We had a good Super Training this past month with about 30 people in attendance.  We have BALOO Training coming up on November 14th, so sign up now!


We will again be participating as a District in the Mother Goose Parade on Saturday November 21stStarts this year at 10am.

paradeIn terms of Journey to Excellence we are a solid bronze and possibly Silver by year end.

We kicked off the Friends of Scouting campaign for 2016.  Newsletter Editor, John Shotwell stepped up and made his pledege and reminded people that many companies will match an employees donation!  So please see how you might be able to double your pledge!

fos2Last but not least, we need all units to get their registration in.  My local unit Troop 362 has, so way to go!  Click here to get it done!

Categories: Friends of Scouting, Mother Goose Parade, Popcorn, Reverent, Roundtable, Training | Leave a comment

October District Meeting

Great opportunity to get training on October 17th at Santee LDS Stake Center, located at 10052 Magnolia Avenue. Slide 1If Scouts are working on their Robotics merit badge and have to attend a robotics competition, they can go to a robot battle competition for free at Francis Parker School also on Saturday, October 17th, from 8am to 6pm.  Click here for more info.

The latest Boy Scout advancement Guide is available and can now be downloaded for free clicking here:

The Cub Scout theme for Roudtable next Thursday, October 8th, will be ‘Helpful’ and will discuss Journey to Excellence.

The Boy Scout Roundtable  will have guest speaker Paul Hammond, that will talk about the COPE course at Mataguay.

Roundtable as always is at 1270 S. Orange Avenue, El Cajon and starts at 7pm

Plans for District realignment has been postponed until next July to allow more time to work out the details.

Finally, unit registration opens today!  internet_rechartering_now

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September District Meeting

Well, it’s been a few months since my last District Meeting post.  June was my wedding anniversary, July was canceled because of the weekend of the 4th and I was on vacation in August.  But I was busy with Scouting Activities.

At the end if July, I was at Philmont Training Center with our District Key 3 along with my entire family (wife and 3 kids).  We had an awesome time and my kids have already asked if they can go back next year.  Here is a link to the photos.

This past wee, we also has a very successful 2015 East County Good Scout of the Year, in which we honored, Craig McClain of Boys to Men Mentoring.

(Wife) Kathleen, Craig, Deanna (daughter)

(Wife) Kathleen, Craig, Deanna (daughter)

Now to the meeting tonight…

The District Roundtable is next Thursday (9-10) at 7pm and the Theme is Super Cub!  So dress up as your favorite Super Hero.


Have a lot of outdoor activities, Council-wide, so check out their calendar!

The Order of the Arrow is having their 2015 Section W-6W Conclave October 16-18 in San Diego at Fiesta Island.  Contact Joe Garcia for more info!

Finally, it was announced Boy Scouts will hold their National Annual Meeting next year in San Diego,  It will be May 25-27  at the Hyatt.  Stay tuned on how you might be able to help out.

Categories: Good Scout of the Year, National, Order of the Arrow, Philmont | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 6 at Philmont Training Center

Well, it was the final day of training and fun.  We tuned in our Philmont survey and would guess we will be getting one later on the training itself?  We had our graduation ceremony at next to Villa Philmonte.   Got our certificate and class photo which we took on Monday.


We got to hear from all the people that got trained.  The couple I sat next to traveled all the way from the United Arab Emirates, where they have a Boy Scout Troop.  I know another family came from Germany, so I believe they were the farthest traveled?


My wife wanted to see the museum, which I had seen earlier in the week.  And low and behold the author of the 75th Anniversary book on Philmont, A Million Miracles was there doing a book signing.  So David signed a book for my son, welcoming him to Philmont and wishing him well in earning his Eagle.


Had the closing ceremony in the amphitheater behind the craft center where we were supposed to have had the Opening Ceremony of it hadn’t rained.  All the kids did some kind of skit and the spouses sang a song.


So breakfast in the morning and it’s off to Dallas, to do some more vacationing!

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Day 5 at Philmont Training Center

Out Key 3 Group started off the day doing the flag ceremony.  Spent a while figuring out which flag went where as there are five flags to put up.  I ended up carrying the New Mexico flag.

Went to Rocky Mountain Scout Camp which is fairly close to the Tooth of Time.  We did a combined meeting with the Council Key 3 group and went over our ‘Parking Lot’ questions. The scenery was fantastic and we did a lot of posing for photos.


Two of my kids went for an overnight hike, so I’ll be interested what kind of time they had tomorrow as it rained periodically throughout the day.

My wife went golfing in Raton and among other animals saw a bear. Did I mention before that you see deer everywhere.

Went around Villa Philamonte and took some photos. Also went inside the three story part, which appears to be used as an office and maybe people even live there.


Had a chance to see the closing ceremony at the Camping Center across the street which was pretty neat. Moved indoors because of the rain which they seem prepared for.


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Day 4 at Philmont Training Center

Today our class split up into Chairs, Commissioners and Executives and had a chance to discuss our respective challenges and successes. Wrote down a lot of good ideas, such as a Spring and a Fall District Camporee!



Had a free afternoon to spend time as a family or do whatever. We had signed up for firing 22’s, BB guns and archery. After much hard driving rain, we managed to sneak in some rounds but the archery was out as it is exposed and the Lightning struck very close!


After dinner we watched ‘Follow Me Boys’ which I think is the best Boy Scout movie ever.


More rain tonight…very rainy day and we found out the tents leak at the seams 😐

Categories: Camporee, District Chairman, Rifle Shooting | Leave a comment

Day 3 at Philmont Training Center

Was pretty dry this morning after what seemed like a fairly rainy night. As you have probably heard, they seem to get a little rain everyday and this afternoon was no exception.  The benefit from all of this is a very green surrounding which hasn’t been the case for many years and brought out the wild sunflowers about a month early.

Watched the flag raising ceremony this morning which focused on Cub Scouts. There is a different theme for every day.

Had another good training day and the family enjoyed their activities as well which included my wife making candles at a candle shop in the nearby town of Cimarron.

Had a Buffalo BBQ tonight on the Greensward. Had branding of whatever you wanted to brand and I got my new Philmont belt branded.

My wife and I at the BBQ

My wife and I at the BBQ

Went into Cimarron tonight to check out the St. James Hotel with my other Key 3.  Neat place that was built in 1872 and still has the bullet holes in the salon roof to prove it!

Rifle at the St. James Hotel

Rifle at the St. James Hotel

Categories: Key 3, Philmont | Leave a comment

Day 2 at Philmont Training Center

Got things underway for our first full day at camp. So kids met their staff at 8:30 and the adults got their orientation at 8:45.


Trailblazers (11–13 year old boys)


They give you plenty of time to eat your meals and the food is pretty good, with a decent selection.

The Training is taught by experienced people with experienced Scouters and the kids stay really engaged and really enjoyed it.

Had a chance to see the Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library, which is pretty neat and is across the street from the Camping Center and a short walk from the Training Center. They plan a significant expansion to the museum, once the necessary funds are raised.


Thomas Seton

Speaking of museums, I also visited Villa Philmonte, which is the house built by the benefactor of Philmont, Waite and Genevieve Phillips.  Pretty impressive, as it is 28,000 sq.ft. in size and very well preserved in its original state.


Living Room

Ended the day with some patch trading along with many flavors of Dutch Oven cobbler and ice cream.

Experienced Patch Trader

Experienced Patch Trader


Categories: Boy Scout Patches, Philmont, Training | Leave a comment

Day 1 at Philmont Training Center

The adventure begins with our first day at Philmont Scout Ranch Training Center with District Executive, James Lennon and District Commissioner, Bill Kellner, for Key 3 Training.

Just checked in

This is is especially fun for me as I have my entire family with me, including my wife, 13 year old son (who is a Scout), as well as my 11 and 9 year old daughters.

Had quite a drive from San Diego, with stopovers in Phoenix to visit family and Gallup, New Mexico, before getting here. We also saw the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.

Had some great lightning and thunder which caused the Opening Ceremony to be moved inside, although we really didn’t have any rain until later when we got rain when we were in bed.

The the three of us went to the Tooth of Time Traders, where they have a heck of a lot of backpacking and Philmont merchandise in general. Also got to see the roughly 400 people that are both coming and going from the Camping Center which is more or less across the street from the Training Center.

We got to meet a number of people already and there are pretty close to someone from every state in the Country present.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

Tomorrow the training and fun starts, so until then!

Categories: Key 3, Philmont, Training | Leave a comment

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!


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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