Life is still busy, even during the pandemic. And a packed and busy schedule often means that certain activities — usually those that don’t directly affect our quality of life — must take a spot on the back burner. Unfortunately, community service is one of those types of activities for many.
It seems ironic that we’re writing to explain the benefits of community service, a key value with the Boy Scouts of America. It is, after all, supposed to be a selfless act, and should be appealing simply based off the inherent instinct to do the right thing. Many Scouts, however, are still in the process of developing such instincts, and the activities they participate in during childhood and their Scouting experience can greatly affect their development. Community service comes in many forms, but no matter the application, it teaches our Scouts the value of service to others. If that’s not quite enough information to convince you, here are some other reasons why volunteering is important as a child:
- It encourages empathy and compassion.
Kids’ world views are limited, especially if they grow up seeing only a single way of life. Whether it’s the less fortunate or other volunteers, community service grants the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life and humanizes individuals who kids otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to know.
A lot of times, these skills are almost impossible to teach on a moment-to-moment basis and must be learned through hands-on experience with others.
- Volunteering is an opportunity to bond with family, friends and other community members.
If you want to teach your kids something, teach by example. Especially for younger children who still need support in new environments, it’s important for kids to see that their parents not only approve of what they’re doing, but are doing it themselves, too. Plus, family time is always beneficial to children — studies show that kids that value time spent with their family are the happiest.
Another study, conducted by DoSomething.org, revealed that the main determining factor in youth volunteer work was if they had friends who also volunteer. Turns out, it’s crucial to establish a community of friends and family who all share an interest in volunteering – hence the Scout’s own den, patrol, crew or ship members.
- Volunteering shows kids that they can make a difference.
Community service can often produce visible results: a smile on a stranger’s face, a food basket out for delivery, or even a purring shelter kitty can register with children as positive outcomes of a job well done. Not only that, but because most volunteers in the world are adults, community service gives kids the chance to work with people older than them, legitimizing their voice as individuals.
- Volunteering prepares kids for college.
According to research done at Tufts University, kids who volunteer are more successful in school and more likely to graduate from both high school and college. Kids often learn to plan and manage their own time while volunteering and become accustomed to interacting with those from different backgrounds — soft skills that play a crucial role in not just higher education, but life in general.
How to Get Your Scout Involved in the Mount Baker Council’s Summer of Service Project Good Turn.
Being a member of the Boy Scouts of America and the Mount Baker Council is one of the best ways to ensure your Scout is consistently encouraged to give back. It allows them to volunteer with fellow Scouts regularly, but also encourages parents and community members to volunteer alongside them as Scout Leaders. Scouting teaches the community that giving back is more than just an obligation — it’s an activity in which the benefits work both ways.
This summer, the Mount Baker Council will be coordinating a council-wide Project Good Turn called the Summer of Service. In this issue of the Echo and also on our website, your Scout and your unit can learn how they can be part of our effort to give back to our communities through service. Just say yes to service and Scout On!
Kevin Nichols, Scout Executive
It’s important to make sure we offer Scoutng to EVERY family. Often time this means being in the schools or community to recruit new familes to our Scouting programs. But in the last year with COVID-19 shutting down schools and keeping us from meeting in person many of our Cub Scout Packs and Scouts BSA Troops have seen more than normal numbers of familes chosing to not recharter. For many familes this may not be because they dont WANT Scouting they just weren’t intrested in the viruatl meetings. Now that we have more opportunities to get back together as well as summer time Camp programs lets make sure we invite them ALL back!
Do you have a troop equipment trailer? If you do, be sure you pay careful attention to the task of properly securing
your trailer when not in use to prevent theft. In addition to the cost of the trailer itself, the replacement of troop
equipment and sometimes personal items may be several thousand dollars, as well as a major inconvenience if
you were about to use the trailer on an outing.
Good preventive measures should be employed to discourage theft, but keep in mind that no system can guarantee total protection. Given enough time, resources, and desire, a determined thief can overcome any measures you employ. The goal is to make stealing hard enough that they will go elsewhere!
OPTIONAL SECURITY FEATURES
- Hitch lock—Should go into the ball socket. The hasp should be locked, and safety chains should be removed or padlocked.
- Door locks—Rear doors should be locked from inside. Side door handles should be upgraded and backed up by hasp and padlock.
- Wheel locks—Use a “boot” type device, which prohibits movement of the tire and wheel. Lug nuts must be covered by the device. And don’t be cheap: Lightweight wheel locks can be pried off!
- NOTE: All locking devices should be painted a bright contrasting color, so they’ll stand out along with anyone moving around them. Make sure all padlocks used are case-hardened and expose as little shank as possible.
- Paint—Paint the troop’s number on the roof in large numerals, similar to police cars. If for some reason you do not have the trailer’s exterior decorated in the easily identifiable Scout manner, paint the tongue, the rear bumper (if there is one), and the wheels orange or red.
- Equipment—If possible, don’t store equipment in the trailer.
- Consider using theft detection, surveillance cameras, or an electronic tracking device, if practical.
- If possible, store the trailer in a secure yard, fenced and locked with minimal access allowed. When parked put the hitch toward a wall and, if possible, remove the dolly wheel.
- Do not store registration paperwork in the trailer. Remove the license plate when storing—but don’t forget to put it back on when hauling the trailer!
- Before a theft does occur, be sure to check with the insurance carrier for your chartered organization or property owner to see if theft or equipment replacement is covered under the policy.
• National Association of Trailer Manufacturers—www.natm.com/trailer-safety.html
Trailer Theft | Boy Scouts of America (scouting.org)
District Key 3
Chair – Chris Vazquez 360-393-7272 firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner – Jim Rhodes 360-340-8417 email@example.com
Director – Sven Gilkey 360-632-6999 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Good Friday (Office’s closed)
9-10 IOLS and BALOO @ FM
15 Commissioner Staff Meeting
22 District Committee Meeting
28 Baden Powell Dinners
20 Commissioner Staff Meeting
22 Council Court of Honor
27 District Committee Meeting
28-31 Family Camp @ FM
Monthly Update - April 2021
Announcing our New District Chair!
The North Cascades District is excited to announce that Chris Vazquez of Bellingham has excepted the role of District Chair. Chris has most recently been serving as Scoutmaster of Troop 4019 and is a former Whatcom District Camporee Chair. Chris and his wife are long time believers in the Scouting mission with two of their boys being Eagle Scouts. With his youngest son heading off to college this fall Chris answered the call to lead Scouting here in North Cascades District and we are excited to support him in that endeavor.
Save the Date: District Court of Honor and Picnic!
Be sure to save the date of the evening of June 17th to be at Fire Mountain. North Cascades is hosting it’s annual Court of Honor for recognizing the amazing efforts of our unit and district leadership over the last year. This years Court of Honor will be a little less formal but still A LOT of fun, with a BBQ Picnic at Fire Mountain. More info coming soon with cost and start time but for now just mark your calendars for a fun evening out at Camp with your fellow Scouters!
Get your District News Here!
With the ever-changing nature of the world around us the North Cascades leadership team wants to keep you up to date with the latest info! In that effort we have a weekly newsletter blast going out to the unit leaders and committee chairs as well members of the district committee and commissioner corp. Subscribe below to get this and more info right to your inbox.
By: Denise Lesniak, Vice President of Membership
MBC Membership Committee
(Virtual) New Member Coordinators
New Member Coordinators (NMC) have an important role in all of our units. NMC’s assist with recruiting new scouts; and also help new families as they join your unit. This may be taking place in person (following social distancing guidelines) or virtually. The connection between a scout/family to the unit is very important (year round), it is especially important as Cub Scouts transition to Scouts, BSA and into troops. Having your NMC at meetings allow parents to easily identify who they may go to for questions; or help with introductions to leaders and meet other parents. Your unit’s leadership and NMC should host a virtual meeting with new scouts and their families. This will allow scouts/families to put faces to names or emails. The NMC is there to welcome everyone and keep the parents (and scouts) engaged in what the troop is doing. Experienced parents may understand how packs and troops are run; but it may be a little confusing or intimidating for those that are new to our programs. This is two-fold with units that are meeting virtually at this time.
You will find more information on the New Member Coordinator position, at www.scouting.org/nmc, as well as exceptional online training. There is even a Facebook group specific for NMC’s – check it out!
Here is what the New Member Coordinator (NMC) position has been designed to:
- Be a FUN and engaging position.
- Form relationships with new members and their families.
- Use a team approach by encouraging more than one NMC in a unit, allowing them to tailor their work to individual interests/expertise, as well as to recognize the particular needs of the unit.
- Fit every type of unit, every age level and every program.
- Be recruited and supported by key unit leadership.
- Be provided with training both online and face to face.
- Be mentored by the District Membership Chair and become part of the District Membership team.
- Be visible and easily identifiable at unit gatherings by their Welcoming smiles and their BSA “Welcome” logo that they display and wear on an activity shirt, on a hat or vest or in some cases, a pin on a field uniform.
By: Kevin Nichols, Scout Executive
I want to thank all of our Scouters for all the good they do for our youth, especially during these uncertain times in the past year. Our youth look to you as positive role models and representatives of a caring, giving community, especially as you have set the bar for our members during the pandemic. My additional thanks to all of our underwriting sponsors and donors for making this youth program a success this past year and into the future. Your investment into our youth and our programs has helped Scouting in our Council weather the challenges of the past year and allowed us to focus on the future growth of Scouting. I also want to thank the members of our Executive Board who have each put in tremendous effort to lead our Council. Most of all, I want to thank all of you for your ongoing support of a program that is dear to my heart and dear to our country, to our communities, and to our youth: That organization, as you all know, is the Boy Scouts of America.
You know, the Boy Scouts’ purpose is simple: It’s to build the character and integrity of America’s youth and prepare them to become responsible adults—adults who become our leaders and adults who participate in society strengthened by our Scout Oath and Law. That Oath and that Law are founded on trustworthiness, loyalty, and bravery, and on values that put community and family first.
I say with great pride that we are the Boy Scouts of America, and we are committed to giving young people of our communities the tools and experiences, and the knowledge and faith to make the world a better place. Our mission may be lofty, but with your help, it is attainable.
Thank you for all that you have done for the youth of our communities in the past, thank you for all that you are doing now for today’s youth, but most of all, thank you for what you will be doing in the future to help tomorrow’s leaders prepare to lead.
Updated: February 01, 2021
The Mount Baker Council is reaching out to our Units, Charter Organizations, and other stakeholders to share our understanding and interpretation of the new “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” Plan. We believe that the new plan will have significant impacts on the outdoor program and daily operations of our units moving forward.
As always, the Guide to Safe Scouting should continue to form the foundation of your activity planning. When considering the safety of activities planned under COVID restrictions, the Charter Organization remains the ultimate authority on what program activities are safe and appropriate for their Scouting Unit(s). Our understanding and interpretation are offered to assist Charter Organizations in making those decisions.
The Roadmap to Recovery Plan offers no specific guidance to Scouting Units for how to operate, but we have been able to develop guidance for Outdoor Program activities that is equivalent to the guidance offered for Outdoor Sports.
In Phase 1, the Roadmap to Recovery Plan permits:
Low and moderate risk sports permitted for practice and training only (no tournaments). Outdoor guided activities, hunting, fishing, motorsports, parks, camping, hiking, biking, running, snow sports, permitted.
In Phase 2, the plan further permits:
Low, moderate, and high-risk sports competitions allowed (no tournaments), maximum 200 including spectators.
Note that decisions on activities and group size limits should be made based on the phase of your destination and/or venue. For example, a unit from Snohomish County (in the Puget Sound Region) wanting to camp at Fire Mountain should follow North Region phase guidance.
Please remember that this guidance is being offered within the context of an ever-changing public health environment. We all want our Scouts to be able to get back into the outdoors this year, while staying as safe as possible. While the specific timelines above are directly tied to the Washington State guidance, please continue to take these broad guidelines into account in your activity planning.
Guidance applicable to ALL scouting activities at ALL risk levels
- Stay home when sick or if a close contact of someone with COVID-19
- Scouts, parents, leaders, and any other volunteers should be required to stay home if they feel unwell, show any signs of COVID-19, or are a close contact of a confirmed case.
- All Scouts and leaders should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a meeting or activity using the “Mount Baker Council COVID-19 Screening Worksheet.”
- Any person with symptoms of COVID-19 or who is a close contact of someone with confirmed COVID-19 should not be allowed to participate and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.
- Those who are excluded from participating due to COVID-19 symptoms or because they are close contacts must follow DOH and local public health isolation and quarantine guidance before returning to Scouting activities.
- People with underlying health conditions should consult with their medical provider regarding participation in Scouting activities.
Masks are required for Scouts, and leaders during participation in all Scouting activities. Any parents or volunteers attending must also wear facial coverings. This expectation is held per the Department of Health facial covering order – and will remain in place until that order is modified.
Physical distance of at least 6 feet must be maintained between leaders, parents, and any other volunteers at all times. Six feet of distance must be maintained among Scouts unless the activity cannot be conducted without close contact. Troops should carefully consider whether such an activity is vital to the integrity of the meeting or activity.
Require Scouts, leaders, parents, and any other volunteers to practice good hygiene including washing their hands frequently and covering their sneezes and coughs. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after activities, especially after touching shared objects or blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Scouts should not share water bottles, snacks, or other supplies.
Plan for handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at all meeting or activity locations.
Clean high touch surfaces and disinfect shared supplies before and after each use. Ensure restrooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Outdoor locations are preferred to indoors locations and should be utilized to the greatest extent possible to allow for maximum fresh air circulation and social distancing.
Limit exposure to those outside the household unit during travel. Encourage only those in the same household to travel together, and if not in the same household, travel in separate vehicles if possible.
For travel groups, (groups that include more than one household in the same vehicle whether in a carpool or on a bus) all members of the travel group, including the driver, must wear a face covering and spread out as much as possible within the vehicle. Limit travel groups to those who have been in regular contact (e.g. patrol members). Encourage family members to sit together. Maximize ventilation in the vehicle by opening windows.
Individual food preparation is highly encouraged on overnight or extended day trips. Snacks and trail food on shorter trips should be pre-packaged and only opened/handled by each participant. Leaders should take care to ensure that youth are not sharing communal snacks (i.e. large bags of chips, beef jerky, etc.).
It is recommended that only Scouts from the same household share tenting arrangements. All other individuals should make plans to tent separately. Appropriate prior planning for campsites should ensure that there is enough space for all tents required.
Remember that, per the Guide to Safe Scouting:
- Cub Scout Camping: a Parent and Child may share a tent
- Scouts BSA Camping: a parent and Child may NOT share a tent
- Scouts more than 2 years apart in age may NOT share a tent.
Records and Contact Tracing
Keep a roster of every Scout, leader, parent, and other volunteer present at each meeting and activity to assist with contact tracing in the event of a possible exposure. Similarly keep a roster and seating chart for each travel group. Keep attendance rosters and seating charts on file for at least 28 days after the meeting or activity.
If you have any questions about this document and the guidance offered within, please feel free to contact Eric Buher at the Everett Council Office. Eric can be reached by email at: email@example.com and by phone at: 425-341-0307.
Suggested Activities for Units as they re-engage in Outdoor Program:
These suggested activities are divided into categories based on how difficult it is for a unit to access them without specialized skills/supplies. Activities which are tied to a Scouts BSA merit badge are indicated with (MB).
Note: For full details on athletics activities available in each phase, see the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan at: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/HealthyWashingtonPhasedChart.pdf
Visit the Restart Scouting Council site for more resources
From MBC Membership Committee
Spring is just around the corner and hopefully more group interactions for our Scouts. It’s the perfect time for your unit to work on retention, recruiting and reach back.
Start by reviewing your program calendar. How are virtual meetings going? What are innovative ways to keep your scouts engaged? These are great topics for discussion during your parent or committee meetings and Patrol Leader Council meetings. New ideas and resources are just a click away as the internet is flooded with them. You can find creative ideas on how to host a virtual Blue & Gold events or pinewood derby. There are also sites that cover fun troop meetings and outings!
Spring recruiting will still look a little different; but as Scouters we are excellent at adapting and moving forward. Have you checked out any “Scout Bytes,” presented by the Scouting at Home Program? Every Wednesday a new topic is presented. There are a few geared towards recruiting like, Creative Content to Promote Your Unit and The Ins and Outs of Yard Signs. Yes, yard signs! This is a great tool to help promote your unit. On Saturday, March 20, from 9-11am we will be offering a drive-thru yard sign pick up at the Everett Scout Office. Please note that the current stock of yard signs are geared towards Cub Scouts. Register to pick-up signs by March 17 and your order will be ready for pick up. You won’t even have to get out of your car! Our goal is to have yards signs posted by April 1st (no foolin)!
Signs are posted – check! It’s time to reach back. If your unit had families that put Scouting on hold, give them a quick call. See how they are doing. Let them know what your unit is up to. Share your unit’s plans for summer camp and when the next pack or troop meeting is and that it’s a great time to get involved, again. It could be as easy as that.
With the release of the Healthy Washington plan from the Governor’s office, we are pleased to share the following guidelines for the re-opening of Fire Mountain for Unit activities.
Camp is located in the North Region of the Healthy Washington Plan, and will follow the Phase Restrictions of that region.
Please note that groups using camp must always follow general COVID safety guidelines applicable to all Scouting activities.
While Fire Mountain is in Phase 1, please contact Emily in the Scout Office to make a reservation – she will provide an access code for the online system.
Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org | 425-338-0380 ext. 100
OA Unit Elections
Recognizing Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law, the Order of the Arrow has a history of over 100 years, encouraging others to live those same ideals. Even during these challenging times, Scouts and Scouters have continued to endure and set the example for others. It is time once again to recognize those individuals worthy of this great honor.
Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge of the Order of the Arrow is now setting up unit elections. While we are in these COVID restrictions, the Order of the Arrow has adjusted the requirements for membership:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts Of America.
- Scouts must have experienced at least 15 nights of camping in the previous two years, prior to election. Only five of those nights can include one long term camp, virtual or otherwise, under the guise of Scouting. The remaining 10 nights of camping must be made up of short–term camps, virtual or otherwise, conducted under the guise of Scouting. Ship nights count for Sea Scouts as camping.
- At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, and hold one the following ranks corresponding to the type unit in which they are being considered for election: Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Adviser or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
During these COVID restrictions, the Lodge will be conducting unit elections virtually. Units can schedule their unit elections for youth members by filling out this Unit Election Request form. There the unit leader can request an election date (provide up to three optional dates) and list those youth that meet the criteria above. Your Lodge election team will contact the unit leader to schedule the meeting and answer any questions or concerns.
Adult leaders at the unit, district or council level are nominated by their units or peers and must have an application filled out and approved by the Lodge Adviser and Scout Executive. Adult leaders should meet the camping requirement above, but exceptions can be made with approval of the Lodge Adviser and Scout Executive. You can find the form at the Lodge website here.
We look forward to a great year and look forward to helping you recognize those who are deserving of Scouting’s National Honor Society.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to Steven Glenn, the Associate Lodge Adviser – Inductions at email@example.com.