Growing and Learning Life Lessons as a Camp Staff Member

Blog-1The Scouting program changes lives. Testimonials from our young emerging leaders and their grateful parents prove it. But that’s only part of the story.

Staff members also experience great things through their service in Scouting. Just ask Lindsey Murphy.
Five years ago, Lindsey contemplated how to spend her summer during her break from college. “My cousin was the program director at Camp Cherokee, and she somehow talked me into working at camp for the summer,” Lindsey remembers. “I had never done anything like it before.”

In her youth, Lindsey had visited Camp Cherokee while her brother participated in Boy Scouts. “It wasn’t a foreign place,” she says. “But the idea of being outside all the time and not having any clue of how things are set up [was intimidating].”

Blog-7It took less than a week for Lindsey to get hooked. “Growing up I was super shy,” she says. “It wasn’t until the later part of high school that I began to break out of that shell. Then that first week working at Cherokee, my cousin said, ‘Lindsey, you’ve never been like that before.’ Scouting definitely allowed me to come out of my shell more.”

She also marveled at what camp meant to the boys. “It’s a safe haven,” she says. “They have so much fun and learn and create lifelong memories. It blows my mind how a place can do that for people. It’s a second home.”

One summer turned into two, then she served again right after college graduation. When summer plans changed for the fourth summer, she accepted the new challenge of program director at Camp Woodfield, which Lindsey has done for the past two years.

“Being a program director, you see camp in a different way,” Lindsey says. “It’s cool getting to see what camp does for people, from our volunteers to our staff to our campers and even the families when they come.”

Lindsey’s also thankful for the impact on herself. “It has allowed me to really learn how to communicate with people,” she says. “At camp, you are interacting with someone who just got out of the fifth grade all the way up to someone who is in their 60s, and the way you relate and connect is completely different. It has taught me to have an awareness and is one of the biggest things that Scouting has done for me.”

Lindsey’s camp experiences have been so positive, it’s difficult to choose her favorite memory. “At Cherokee, it would have to be helping with the Breakfast Club,” she says. “We would get up at 5:30 on Friday mornings to cook breakfast for the Scoutmasters. We had a blast getting to serve them. It was my way to give back.

Blog-8“At Woodfield, my favorite memory is Organized Mass Chaos, the messiest, craziest game,” she continues. “One year we had a camper who had cerebral palsy and had a walker. Normally in other activities, he would get to do half as much as what other kids got to do. This game allowed him to play. He was laughing the entire time. It made me realize that what we’re doing is so completely worth it.”

Lindsey has many reasons why her time at camp has been worth every early morning, every hot afternoon, every bug bite. And why she’s so glad her cousin convinced her to give it a try. “Camp has done so much for me,” Lindsey says. “It is such a special place. I can’t imagine my life without it.”

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Why Scouting?

Scouting offers quality time with your children and builds lasting friendships for youth and adults

sr1It’s the sound no driver wants to hear.

Scott Richardson, navigating a vehicle full of Boy Scouts and camping gear, turned to see that one of the boys had gotten sick in his car. He pulled over to try to clean up the mess in the pouring rain.

But the group persevered to their destination and continued with their weekend. “Afterwards you look back and laugh, and it turns into a great memory,” Scott says. “We had a great time on that camping trip.”

Road trip illnesses aside, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice to make the time and muster the motivation to take a group of boys into the great outdoors several weekends throughout the year.

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“Every Friday I leave [for a camping trip] thinking that I have so much I need to do at home, but every Sunday I come home and say, ‘Wow, I’m so glad I did this,'” Scott says.

Scott already knew the benefits of the Scouting program when he signed up his two sons, Sam and Ben. “It was a big part of my life growing up,” he says. “I really enjoyed the whole process of being outdoors and learning.”

Being a Boy Scout helped him become the man he is today. “I wasn’t a very confident kid,” Scott remembers. “The different merit badges and the recognition with the advancement gave me confidence. It helped me later in life to reach the next level.

“It’s a great training program, particularly if you have engaged adults,” Scott adds.

Those adult leaders shaped Scott’s Scouting experiences. “The participation from the adults was key to our troop’s success,” he says. “You could count on them. They were good teachers. They liked to see the boys advance and gain skills.”

sr4Scott sees the same commitment now in his fellow volunteers. “My boys have said that the Scoutmasters and leaders that we have are some of the nicest people you’d ever meet in your life,” Scott says. “That’s the type of people I want my kids around.

“I think it’s valuable that [my sons] can have other role models to look up to as a network of people to teach them preparedness, safety, citizenship, and service to the community.”

Scott urges other parents to not just sign their kids up for the program, but to get involved themselves. “You don’t realize the impact that it can have on a kid until later. I wouldn’t have the memories that I have with my boys without these trips. What better way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with your kids than [through] Scouting?”

He has two main reasons why serving as an adult leader is worth the time and effort. “I’m with my kids and seeing them develop,” Scott says. “It’s great alone time, and I’m not distracted. The other [reason] is the other adults that I’m with. We share common interests, and there’s a bond there.”

Building friendships, developing character, and learning skills for life…it’s the Scouting way.

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To find out more about Scouting in your local community, visit www.BeAScout.org

Join today and grow your family through Scouting!

Making Memories and Growing Together Through Scouting

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Tammy Boggs, a single mom and new Scoutmaster, has proudly watched her son Zac, 15, face many challenges in life, including his autism. She attributes the Scouting program – and the people involved – with the changes she’s seen not only in her son, but also herself. In her own words, she shares their story which began about five years ago:

One of Zac’s friends invited him to one of those “Bring-a-Friend nights” and introduced him to Scouting. It was nice to be in an environment [where] there were men that he could really look up to, men that had common interests, that love the outdoors like my son loves the outdoors.

Those men welcomed him in. I gave them all of the information upfront, like how to tell if he is going to have an issue, and they did really well. There were very few bumps in the road, and when there was a bump, they handled it really professionally and just treated him like a second son.

In the Boy Scouts, they expect something of you. They hold you to a higher standard. Zac needed that. But they also affirmed him for doing what he was supposed to do, and he needed that, too. The focus is not just on the boys but on others. Think of how you can help others. Think of what you can do for others.

He learned responsibility for his own actions. He got that male affirmation. It helped him grow and mature in a way that I think a life without Scouting would not have. It has given him men that will stand up for him and be there for him. I can’t say enough for the program.

Zac even went to the National Jamboree this year, which scared me a little bit because he is autistic. I worried he would get upset about the crowds knowing his sensitivities. When we were discussing it, I said, “Are you sure you want to do this? I don’t want to have to drive all that way to come and get you.” He said, “Mom, I’ve got to try it some time. If I go off to college, I need to know I can handle it.”

He was testing his independence. When you have a child who has difficulties at times, it’s priceless to see that growth and him being able to say “I can do this.”

He’s very proud of being a Scout. If he thinks that much of it, of course I’m going to think that much of it. I see the confidence. My son, with all of his history of problems and teasing and being bullied at school, became an Eagle Scout.

For me, I went from not camping to going on campouts with Boy Scouts to now I’m the Scoutmaster. [The program] has supported my love of the outdoors, my belief in my country, my patriotism. It keeps me young! I’m not a couch potato, and I like that.

boggs1Last year I  did something totally unnatural. Neither of us had been out West, so we packed our tents and our sleeping bags and went camping at Yellowstone National Park. We spent the whole week hiking and looking at the wildlife. It’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been in the world. We even “enjoyed” a bear scare! It wasn’t funny at the time, but we laugh about it now.

Scouting gave us the opportunity to do something we wouldn’t have done. It’s a memory neither one of us will forget. You can get a hotel room anywhere, but when you go somewhere totally different, pop a tent…it’s just a whole other world. Talk about quality time! boggs2

The boys think a parent is more open out camping than they are in their living rooms. They appreciate you being there, and I wish more parents knew that. Once they’re grown and gone, you can’t go back. I want no regrets.

I love the Scouting program! I see so much positivity in it. You can watch the boys grow up and mature. There’s a type of brotherhood there. I’m in for as long as those boys needs me. Given the condition of our world today, people not caring about race, creed, color, or whatever who are all coming together to do one goal…to me there’s nothing better than that.

One Scout’s Journey to Eagle and Beyond

It’s a moment Justin Neal will always remember.

He and his family were cleaning up after a banquet held to commemorate his achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout. In between sweeping floors and throwing away trash, a man and his son approached Justin.

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“He told me that he wanted his son to grow up to be just like me,” Justin remembers. “It shocked me hearing an older guy tell me that.”

It was 2013, and Justin was just 16 years old. He had come a long way since his Scouting journey began in the second grade.

It started out as something to do with his dad who enjoyed outdoor activities. But Justin’s interest fluctuated until the fifth grade when a camping trip reminded him of why he had started. “We set up our own

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shooting range and practiced our aim. We built fires and hiked. All of that appealed to me and brought me back.”

It wasn’t always easy to stay involved. Distractions and peer pressure challenged his commitment, especially during middle school.

Neel2“When talking about Scouting with my friends, a lot of them would laugh,” Justin says. “Sports were a big thing. There were misconceptions that Scouting was lame or boring. They thought it wasn’t something to take seriously.”

Justin’s dad and his Scoutmaster helped him stay the course. They encouraged him to look at the bigger picture of what Scouting could teach him and do for his character, especially if he persevered to reach the rank of Eagle Scout.

“They always reiterated the positive impact that could come from me serving as a role model for the younger guys who come after me,” Justin says. “There’s already a small percentage of guys who reach the rank of Eagle Scout and an even smaller percent of minorities. They pushed me to stay focused and remember that.”

But it was about more than achieving rank. “My Scoutmaster put an emphasis not only on finishing merit badges, but making sure we were getting life skills. There were days when he would sit us down and talk to us about school, making sure that we were doing our best.”

As Justin prepared to enter college and applied for scholarships, being identified as an Eagle Scout communicated much more than simply his participation in an extra-curricular activity.

“A lot of people would see ‘Eagle Scout’ on my resume and would look at me in a different light,” Justin says. “They know it is not a rank achieved by many, and that I’m willing to work. They know that a lot of hard work, dedication, and determination goes into it.”

Justin feels better equipped for his future because of the life skills he learned. “Each merit badge requires something different. They taught me things that I carry with me now, like how to speak in front of large crowds, how to manage money, and how to deal with family issues. I learned how to lead under pressure, when things aren’t necessarily going the right direction.”

Neel1Today Justin studies mechanical engineering at North Carolina A & T University. Although he is not sure where he will land professionally, he plans to stay involved in Scouting. “I think my talents are best put to use helping other people reach their potential,” he says.

Because of Scouting, Justin can help other young men experience moments they’ll always remember, too.

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The 11th Annual Eagle Scout Alumni Reunion was held Wed. morning, Nov. 8th. A wonderful program was presented by our speaker, Eagle Scout Justin Neal. If you missed this year’s breakfast event, see Justin’s speech about his Scouting story.

 

Scouting changes lives. One youth, one family, and one neighborhood at a time.

edvideo1I remember the first time I walked into Orange City Elementary School cafeteria in Orange City, Florida to attend my first Cub Scout meeting as a second grader. My parents and I didn’t know anything about a Den or a Cub Scout Pack. We were simply looking for a place to have fun together. A place to build memories and grow our family.

Whether you are registered in a Pack, Boy Scout Troop, or Venturing Crew, I bet you remember the first time you walked into a Scouting meeting or event. It can be overwhelming, exhilarating or both. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) wants to ensure our newest members feel they made the right decision from the start.

Sustaining membership in Scouting at any level depends on new members joining and enjoying experiences that encourage them to stay. When a youth and his family feel welcomed by Scouting, and grow closer as a family unit through Scouting, then they will stay in Scouting. Simply put, the “Director of First Impressions” for the BSA is its neighborhood program, the unit.

To support our units in their annual membership plans, the BSA has designed and launched the volunteer position of New Member Coordinator.

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Here’s how your unit can fill this important role:

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The New Member Coordinator(s) is appointed by and reports to the Pack/Troop/Crew Committee Chair. Yes, units may have more than one New Member Coordinator. In fact, we encourage a small team (one to three members) to serve as your unit’s Welcome Committee and community recruiters!

New Member Coordinators should focus on:

  1. Sharing the benefits of Scouting.
  2. Develop and share your own Scouting story, showing the impact of Scouting on your family.
  3. Share local examples confirming the fun and value of Scouting to youth, families, and the community.
  4. Promote Scouting benefits through social media and other avenues of communication.
  5. Showcase Scouting through engagement in local community events and service.
  6. Coordinating unit recruitment.
  7. Oversee unit recruitment efforts like joining events, group presentations, and peer-to-peer initiatives.
  8. Appeal to potential youth members and their families through well-designed and widely distributed invitations shared through electronic media, handouts, and personal contacts.
  9. Ensure the unit’s BeAScout pin at www.BeAScout.org is updated. Contact all that email you via this site.
  10. Collaborate with community leaders, particularly in your sponsoring organization, to promote Scouting
  11. Guide the joining and welcoming process for youth and their families.
  12. Help youth and adults to greet newcomers warmly and to establish friendly, enjoyable relationships so that new members form a strong sense of belonging.
  13. Develop a unit welcome packet, electronically and/or in print, to answer frequently asked questions and to provide resource and contact information.
  14. Ensure youth and adult applications, transfers, payments are promptly submitted to the Council office.
  15. Build excitement in the unit program and encourage youth and families to take pride in Scouting accomplishments.
  16. Promote feedback and sharing of ideas through customer satisfaction surveys and other means.

The BSA has designed this webpage  scouting.org/nmc  to provide comprehensive resources to support the New Member Coordinator position. The site offers short training videos, webinars, and multiple how-to guides.

We encourage you and your unit to visit this site and engage a New Member Coordinator team today!

Yours in Scouting,

Ed Martin
Scout Executive/CEO
Boy Scouts of America, Old North State Council

Boy Scouts of America welcomed my family with open arms! We love Scouting.

Sunday Spotlight photo for 9.24.2017I must admit when I initially thought about my son, Taj, becoming a Boy Scout, I thought it would be a wonderful way for him to bond with his dad and create memories.  That’s what Boy Scouts is about, right?  Boy, was I wrong! Our Troop welcomed me with open arms and encouraged me to participate with my husband and son.  Before I knew it, I was learning how to build campfires, tie knots, and more.  We were Scouting together as a family and with our new family- Boy Scouts of America. Taj loves Scouting! He says Scouting provides a brotherhood.  Boys teach and learn from one another, look out for each other, and encourage each other to be their best.  BSA is a family we cherish.

-Tonya Raleigh, proud Old North State Council, BSA mom.

Grow your family through Scouting. Visit www.BeAScout.org and join today!

Hurricane Harvey Hometown Heroes

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Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 9:48 am |Updated: 9:51 am, Wed Sep 6, 2017.

From the Caswell Messenger
Jack and Will Crumpton are both Eagle scouts from Caswell County. Read about how they came to the aide of residents that were in need of rescue from the Texas flood waters.

We all saw on TV the devastation and flooding that Hurricane Harvey caused in Texas and Louisianna. But while we were watching the reports from our dry homes, two local men were waist deep in the murky water while they saved people’s lives.

Jack and Will Crumpton are students at Western Carolina University where they belong to the Bass Fishing Club. “One day our president sent out an email that they are in dire need of help,” remembered Jack. “We all talked about it in a meeting and we decided if we were in that situation we would want others to do the same, we could only imagine what it was like down there. We said, ‘Okay, who’s in?’ and the individuals willing to go raised their hands. Within 24 hours we were on the road. It was like the flip of a switch, we were ready.”

A Go Fund Me page was set up Tuesday to cover their expenses during the trip and within one day they had raised over $4,000. Much of that money will be donated to relief funds to help the victims.

The group of 12 men drove 15 hours on Wednesday towing their four boats to join the other brave volunteers who were gathering in the areas hardest hit by the hurricane.

Jack and Will’s mother, Penny Crumpton, said that she was nervous for their safety but more than that she was proud of her sons. “It’s a mother’s dream to see your children be all that they can be and everything that you’ve taught them to be and to serve the needs of others.”

For the men, the experience was very powerful. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s just devastating to even drive through it,” said Jack on Friday. “As a group we had four boats and 12 guys and we rescued over 40 people the day before yesterday and yesterday.”

Jack explained that the rescue operations were coordinated by a specialized app. “It’s like a CB radio. They would reach out and provide addresses and then guys like us could go to those addresses and see if there were any individuals trapped. When we got there we would pull up to the front door with our boats and ask if they wanted a ride to safety. They were in tears. It was life changing.”

Getting to the addresses was not always a smooth ride as the group had to navigate around debris in the water. “We would just go down the center of the road and you would see a truck completely under the water and all you can see is the hood. We would have to dodge them. There were mailboxes floating in the water you’d have to dodge them. It was dangerous. You don’t know what’s floating up under the water that you can’t see. I mean, there are alligators out there.”

Still the team spent most of the day standing in the dangerous waters, walking the boats along or helping people into them.

“My brother and I rescued three individuals; two elderly women who could hardly walk and their son. We got them out of there, helped them to a truck. I couldn’t imagine what situation they would’ve been in if there were no volunteers there. It scares me to even think about it.”

“One of our boats rescued a 90 year old woman in a wheelchair. The water was up to her feet and she was sitting there helpless. That one rescue made the whole trip worth it,” he continued, explaining that the group always stayed together during the rescues.

The first day the team worked until 10 p.m. and then slept in their trucks at a truck stop. “We stayed around there because we knew we were going to be needed in the morning,” said Jack. “We finished our last rescue for that evening and then we decided that, without knowing the area, we’d better get off the water.  We got to the truck stop slept and then got back at it the next morning until about 4 p.m.”

After finishing the search in that area, the club headed to a local donation distribution center and helped organize and hand out the donations that were then loaded onto trucks to be brought to places in need.

“We slept in that warehouse that night on the cement floor so were all pretty tired,” said Jack. On Friday, the Coast Guard was on the scene with their high water rescue team so the group started on their way back to college and their classes. “We helped so many families, as much as we could, so we felt we would be in the way if we stayed.”

Penny said she thinks it helped that both of their sons were Troop 452 Eagle Scouts. “They are using a lot of their Boy Scout skills and the life skills that they have acquired as good old country folks also. They turned a hobby into an asset to help other people.”

“We are certainly most proud of them,” said Penny. “They deserve all the credit. They are heroes.”

http://www.caswellmessenger.com/news/article_06c7a182-930a-11e7-be17-132988e7a41b.html