Updated: November 10, 2019

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The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The Manatee District Roundtables are held the first Thursday of each month (Sept-Jun) at:

The Salvation Army
5328 24th St. E., Bradenton
7:00 p.m.

View the Manatee District and SWFL Calendar for upcoming events, training opportunities, etc.

Southwest Florida Council Website

2012 News and Updates

December 24 - Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may you have a Safe and Happy New Year.

Ed Copeland
Editor - The Manatee Rambler

December 23 - January Roundtable Topic - Youth Protection

To All Scout Leaders and Parents of Scouts:

On January 3, 2013, the topic for both the Boy Scout and Cub Scout Roundtables is Youth Protection.

This will not fulfill the requirement of completing youth protection every two years that all registered adults are required to take. It will, however, augment that training and provide you with insight and directions that you need to take at the unit level regarding this important topic.

You are encouraged to communicate this to all parents of scouts and invite them to attend roundtable in January.  This invitation should also be extended to your charter organization. The opportunity to learn the steps that we take to protect the youth involved in scouting will only enhance the program.

The District Roundtables are held the first Thursday of each month (Sept-Jun) at:

The Salvation Army
5328 24th St. E., Bradenton
7:00 p.m.

Mark Thielen
Roundtable Commissioner

December 21 - Scout Night at the Circus!

Please see the Attached Flyer for an opportunity for our Scouts to enjoy a special time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus. Looks like a fun time!

December 18 - A Message from the Chief Scout Executive: Adding Our Prayers and Assistance

To: National Board, Advisory Council, and our BSA family:

We are all struggling to come to grips with the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. I have the sad responsibility to report that this tragedy has also struck within the Scouting family.

We’ve been informed two of the young victims, 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, were new Tiger Cub Scouts with Pack 170 in the Connecticut Yankee Council. In addition, three of the victims were siblings of other boys in Pack 170. Victoria Soto, one of the hero teachers, was an Explorer as a youth.

Please join me in remembering these victims and families in your prayers.

We have been in touch with council leadership. The National Council is offering any support possible during this difficult time.

Working with the leadership of Pack 170, the Connecticut Yankee Council has established a memorial fund in support of the five families. If interested, donations, cards, and letters can be sent to the Pack 170 Memorial Fund, c/o Connecticut Yankee Council, P.O. Box 32, Milford, CT 06460

God bless everyone as we take a step back and think about the safety and well-being of our own families and loved ones in the midst of this national time of mourning.

Wayne Brock
Chief Scout Executive

Also, please see the Attached Notice from the BSA Northeast Region.

December 15 - Boy Scouts help with Wreaths Across America

December 15 - Help needed with Eagle Board of Reviews

Manatee District is currently looking for a few more people to sit on Eagle Board of Reviews. We hold about 20 Eagle Board Of Reviews a year. If you are available and are interested in sitting on a few a year please email Doddie Ranney, Manatee District Advancement Chair.

December 11 - Viva Florida 500

Next year, Florida is celebrating 500 years since the first explorers arrived here with events and activities around the state. Visit http://www.fla500.com/main.php for more information. Here is a brief excerpt:

“In 2013, Florida will reach a significant milestone, the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's arrival on Florida's east coast. What makes this anniversary so unique is that Ponce de León's convoy of explorers was the first group of Europeans to document such a landing and give a name to Florida—La Florida. They were also the first recorded Europeans to explore any part of what's now the continental United States of America.” (http://www.fla500.com/main.php)

December 10 - Roundtable recap - The Golden Spoon Award

This month's Roundtable theme was Iron Chef. Mark Thielen was kind enough to put together an article recapping the activities. Please see the Attached Article Here.

December 9 - Amateur Radio Technician Course Information

Please see the Attached Flyer for information on the upcoming Amateur Radio Technician Test Preparation Class being offered in January by the Manatee Amateur Radio Club.

December 4 - Winterfest 2012 was a BIG success!

ManateeRambler's WinterFest2012 album on Photobucket

November 21 - Happy Thanksgiving!

November 14 - Extra Help Needed with Winterfest

Judy Aldrich is in need of some more adults to help with either crafts or games on Saturday, December 1st at CFE from 9am-4:30pm. They will even feed you lunch! Judy has some Boy Scouts lined up, but would really like having adults running certain games and she really needs a few more volunteers to help with the crafts.

Please contact Judy if you are willing to give up a Saturday for the kids. She would really appreciate it. Thanks ahead of time.

Judy Aldrich

November 9 - NYLT Registration

NYLT 2013 (National Youth Leadership Training) is the top leadership training a youth can take in our council. It’s coming up January and February 2013, and that’s not that far off. If you know a youth in a troop or crew, male or female, 13 years old or older, currently or shortly will be serving in a leadership position, and at least First Class Rank for Boy Scouts they need to take this training.

I could tell you about all the great tools of leadership they will get. Like the teaching EDGE, Problem Solving, Setting Goals, and Communicating Well, but the best thing about this training is that you learn these things in a FUN and EXCITING atmosphere.

The fee is $200 and that covers all materials and food for the whole course. Deadline is Dec. 14, 2012, and there is limited space. This course will fill up fast so you need to go to the SW Florida Council website and register now. We are asking for a down-payment of $75.00 to hold your spot. The rest of the fee needs to be paid by Dec. 14th.

Attached is an information form that gives you all this info and best of all there is a QR scan that will take you straight to the council website to register online.

Don’t miss out on this training by waiting too long “Register Now”. View more information and Register Here.

Rebecca Randolph
NYLT 2013
Course Director

November 6 - Register for Cub Scout Winterfest SOON!

A Reminder to sign up SOON for the 2012 Cub Scout Winterfest. Deadlines are coming up very soon. Register Here. The cost is $35 per person If you register by 11/12, the cost is $50 if you register between 11/13-11/19. ALL fees are due to the council service center by November 26; any fees not paid by the time you arrive at camp will result in the higher fee regardless of when you registered. Click Here to view the 2012 Cub Scout Winterfest flyer.

October 26 - Message from Scout Executive Greg Graham

Dear Scout Parent(s) and Volunteers –

I would like to take the opportunity to address the recent national and local news media attention on the National B.S.A. IV Files (ineligible volunteer abuse allegation files). As you continue to hear additional media coverage on this issue we want you to understand this information and to be assured proper protection is in place for our youth. The current issue in the media is related to allegations in most cases 25-50 + years ago (1960-1985). Unfortunately, this was a time when society and youth serving organizations in general handled such situations in a different manner than we do today.

Let me assure you the BSA's utmost priority is for the safety of both our youth and leaders. The BSA proactively addresses youth protection at all levels and is now recognized nationally as one of the foremost leaders in this field among youth serving organizations.

In the Southwest Florida Council, from a training and education standpoint, we have created an awareness of youth protection among our volunteer leaders that is front and center on our radar at all times. Most parents realize the Boy Scouts of America program is a great organization and desire their child to be a part of a program devoted to positively influencing ethical decision-making, social and life skills that will result in their development into healthy, productive citizens in our community. It, however, is always imperative to reassure parents their child’s safety is our first and foremost priority. And understand, the leaders of our Scouting units are the parents who have a child in Scouting in most cases. The Scouting program in our community has traditionally and continues to be led by dedicated, qualified adult volunteer leadership.

B.S.A. Youth Protection efforts include a multi-tiered approach focused on effective volunteer screening, education and training, and clear policies to protect our youth.

These include:

1. All adult volunteers must have a criminal background check conducted before being approved.

2. There is 2 deep leadership policy – no one-on one meeting of adult/youth at any time.

3. All volunteers are required to take a youth protection training course prior to approval.

4. Prompt reporting to law enforcement and B.S.A. organization officials.

5. Age- appropriate youth protection training for youth on how to recognize and report suspected abuse.

6. Swift action to suspend or revoke membership of suspected abusers, even without criminal charges or convictions.

7. Detailed Child protection information in Scout handbooks that parent(s) are required to discuss with their son before beginning program.

For additional and detailed information as well as independent reviews on the current safeguards the B.S.A. has in place please visit the National B.S.A. website at http://www.scouting.org/BSAYouthProtection.aspx

On a personal note as a Scout parent myself, other than home, there is no other place, bar none, I feel my own 12 year old son is in a safer environment than when he is with his fellow Scouts and leaders. If you should have any further questions please contact me via email or phone at your earliest convenience.

Best regards,

Greg Graham
Scout Executive and C.E.O.
Southwest Florida Council
Boy Scouts of America
1801 Boy Scout Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907
239-936-8072 x 102

October 21 - Cub Scout Winterfest Registration now open!

Registration for the 2012 Cub Scout Winterfest is now open. Click here to register today. View 2012 Cub Scout Winterfest flyer here.

October 18 - Attention Cub Scout Leaders & Volunteers

Cub Scout Specifics leader training will be held on Saturday, November 3rd. Please see the attached flyer for details.

October 17 - Cooking to become required for Eagle on January 1, 2014 (Message from Red Dog)

Effective January 1, 2014, Eagle candidates will will still need 21 Merit Badges, but will have to earn a total of 13 Eagle-required. Eagle-required merit badges will include the following:

1. First Aid
2. Citizenship in the Community
3. Citizenship in the Nation
4. Citizenship in the World
5. Communication
6. Personal Fitness
7. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
8. Environmental Science OR Sustainability
9. Personal Management
10. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
11. Camping
12. Family Life
13. Cooking

Sustainability is a new MB that will be introduced at the 2013 National Jamboree. My understanding is it will be about showing stewardship for the land to include creating a positive commitment to improving the environment and conserving natural resources

See Ya at Camp

Red Dog

October 17 - BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

It’s official: The resolution to move to one Oath and Law for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Sea Scouts, and Venturing was approved on October 17, 2012, by the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board. See the attached Boy Scouts of America executive board Resolution.

Essentially, this means every Scout of any age will use the Scout Oath and Law instead of reciting separate, program-specific sayings. Cub Scouts will recite the Scout Oath and Law instead of the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack. Similarly, Venturers will no longer use the Venturing Oath and Venturing Code.

Because it will take time to transition into this new approach, the changes are not immediate, but will come with printing of new handbooks. The Venturing change will not happen until late 2013 or early 2014; the Cub Scout change will take effect in mid-2015.

October 15 - BALOO Reminder

October 10 - A Scouter Gone Home

For those who have not heard, Jay Odaffer pasted away this past Monday. Our sincere heartfelt condolences go out to the Odaffer family. The Odaffer family would like for all their Scouting friends to know they appreciate and thank you so much for your love and prayers as well as all of the posts, messages and phone calls. For those of you who would like to express condolences, please email me and I will reply with Lisa's postal address.

Ed Copeland

October 9 - Camp Mile Amphitheater needs You! (Message from Gyla Wise)

Scouters --

There is one weekend left to finish the benches at Camp Miles’ Amphitheater before a giant Cub Scout event -- Cub Extravaganza!! The project is 3/4 finished, but we need fresh folks to make the final push this coming weekend!

If you could work ½ day this Saturday – that would be great! – morning or afternoon. The main work left is actually building the new benches in the first section of the amphitheater. Especially needed are people with carpentry skills -- bring your battery operated drill with phillips driver.

Other Scouters will be preparing camp for the Cub Extravaganza events. If you are not a carpenter, you could help on other tasks.

Do you know anyone who could provide a pallet or 2 of sod? The camp has been so wet that the soggy amphitheater entrance has really taken a beating with the extra work going on there!

New idea -- I contacted our Troop's "older" Eagle Scouts who live in the area to work last weekend and out of 8 invitations, 2 of them worked for 5 hours each setting poles and securing lag bolts! Does your troop have young men that would like to give a few hours back to Scouts and Camp Miles?
Gyla Wise

October 5 - JOTA (Jamboree On The Air)

For those of you who are interested in Ham Radio, be aware that the Boy Scouts' JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) will in full operation Saturday, October 20, 2012 around the world. The CFE Ham Radio Station will be in operation for this JOTA.

For those local Scouts/Scouters who would like to participate, you can do so Saturday afternoon (and maybe Sunday morning) by being present at Rotary Hall at CFE from 1-5 pm. Additional information may be obtained from Bud Johnson.

October 4 - A Message from Machu

October 2 - Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator (Message from Red Dog)

Help make “A Scout is Reverent” more than just words recited at a troop meeting.

Find someone in your pack or troop to fill the new Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator (UREC) position.

The UREC, now recognized as a position on the unit committee, will educate, motivate, evaluate, and facilitate the religious emblems program at the unit level.

And, of course, he or she will wear a position patch showing everyone his or her importance in helping Scouts do their Duty to God.

Additional information regarding the position, including a complete position description, can be found on the Membership Resources page on Scouting.org.

See Ya at Camp

Red Dog

Better to just take some Scouts to the woods and let Earth, Wind, Fire and Water forge them a more practical moral and ethical compass

October 1 - BALOO at CFE Rescheduled and More...

  • BALOO at Camp Flying Eagle was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 6th. Due to some administrative problems, it was decided at the District Committee meeting last Thursday (9/27) to reschedule BALOO at CFE to Saturday, October 20th (8:45am-5:00pm) to give more people an opportunity to register and attend. Even though the dates are not correct on the Council website, go to the Registration Page to register for this event. The registration for this class ends on October 18. Please remember to bring a camp chair and a drinking cup.
  • Two Rivers District Adult Cub Leader Training available on October 13, 2012. Visit the Registration Page for more information and to register for this FREE training event.
  • Several new resources have been added to the Resources Page... check it out!

September 16 - Work Day at CFE

Attention all adult Scouters and older Scouts,

The local chapter of the Woodmen of the World will be at CFE on October 13 to do a major service project for the camp. They will be repairing/replacing/extending the rail fence from the front gate to the electronic gate; replacing the wooden fence around the Dempsey Dumpster, and doing some repair work on the Rotary Hall building.

It is possible that we can extend their efforts to other projects, such as doing some repair at the Archery Range. I say possibly because if we can mobilize some additional assets in the form of workers, they may consider funding the additional projects. They have already agreed to feed the noon meal to everyone that comes out to work with them.

Until we know what additional projects we will be working on I cannot advise you as to what tools to bring.

Please let either me or Todd Greene, the CFE Ranger know if you will be participating with us, so that we can do two things: 1) let the WOW know how many Scouters (and older Scouts) they need to procure food for, and 2) if we can negotiate additional projects. Even if we cannot negotiate them sponsoring additional projects, the CFE Ranger can provide additional projects for us to work on so that we can get the camp ready for a new year of camping.
Please respond as quickly as possibly.
Red Dog

September 6 - Roundtable Recap

This is by no means a complete recap of Roundtable for Sept. 6th, but here are some topics, important dates, etc. that were brought up:

  • Please contact Jim Thielen as soon as possible with your upcoming Court of Honor and/or Blue & Gold dates so he can schedule accordingly for FOS presentations.
  • 2013 Jamboree - Click Here for more information and to register on the Waiting List if you have not register for the 2013 Jamboree yet.
  • There is going to be a Work Day at CFE on 10/13. Red Dog has asked for volunteers to help. Details are posted on the Manatee Rambler Calendar.
  • The OA Haunted Forest event will be at CFE on 10/27 from 4-9PM, arrive around 3PM to get set up.

Be sure to check the Manatee Rambler Calendar for all known upcoming Manatee District and SWFL Council events. If I have missed anything or have any dates/times/events incorrect, please Email Me and I will get it added or corrected as soon as possible. Thank you ALL for your Service!

September 3 - Happy Labor Day!

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Labor Day. Scout leaders, don't forget about Roundtable this Thursday at 7PM. Try to get there a little early, instead of staying after, to catch up with friends and fellow Scouters. If you have not been to Roundtable before, or in a while, come out and see what you have been missing.

August 25 - The Manatee Rambler goes social.

The Manatee Rambler is now on Facebook. Please visit and "Like" the Manatee Rambler at www.facebook.com/ManateeRambler and invite ALL of your scouting friends.

August 25 - Manatee County Schools Closed 8/27

Manatee County Schools closed on Monday, August 27th due to Tropical Storm (soon-to-be Hurricane) Isaac. Official Notice

August 22 - The get-started guide for new Scouting leaders

Check out this article by Mark Ray in this quarter's Scouting magazine or online here. 50 great tips for new Scouting leaders (and some good refresher information for the rest of us).

August 21 - 100 Years Ago - First Eagle Scout

100 years ago today, August 21, 1912, the Boy Scouts of America named its first Eagle Scout, Arthur Rose Eldred of Troop 1 in Rockville Centre, NY.

August 19 - New Merit Badge - Search and Rescue

Starting Monday, August 20, the new Search and Rescue merit badge will be available and ready to earn. For more information visit:

August 15 - Help Needed - Work Day at Camp Miles

Calling all Scouts and Scouters for a Work Day on September 15, 2012, 8am-5pm, at Camp Miles. We have a BIG project planned for the day! View The Flyer for more details and bring many friends and your tools. Please register on the council website at www.swflcouncilbsa.org by September 7, 2012.

Paul Penttila - Director of Field Service

August 13 - Updates to Resources page and Calendar

Check back often for updates to The Manatee Rambler website as a whole, but especially to the Resources page and the Calendar. If a flyer has been provided for an upcoming event, I have and will add a link to the flyer on the details section for the event on the calendar. Just click on the link for the calendar page, click on the event, and then select "more details."

Ed Copeland - Editor

August 12 - Training Opportunity for Adult Leaders

The Trainer's EDGE course is coming up on August 25th at the Southwest Florida BSA Conference Center, 1801 Boy Scout Drive, Ft. Myers. $15 pre-registration is required by Tuesday, August 13th. $18 on-site registration is also available. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance your training skills. Click Here to view the course flyer for more details.

August 10 - Scouter Gone Home (Message from Red Dog)

In case you had not heard, John Doherty passed away this morning. Those of you who have attended the University of Scouting Arts will remember him. He served on several of the staffs and was the Chancellor USA XVII (2010). As I get more information I will send it to you. If you are on Facebook you can read a post from his wife Nanci.

Red Dog
Scout Mentor

August 8 - Unit Meeting Place Inspection Form (Message from Jim Fetterman)

We are asking all units to use This Form by doing a 'walk through' inspection of the meeting place with your Chartered Organizational Representative, Executive Officer, or other person designated to represent your sponsoring institution. Please have these inspections done in late August or early September, and a copy into your District Health and Safety Officer, no later than Sept 30, 2012. If you don't have a District Health and Safety Officer, please forward them to your District Chair or Scout Executive who will forward them to the undersigned. Before sending in, please make sure that you have the appropriate signatures.

James C Fetterman

July 31 - Updates to The Manatee Rambler

There have been several updates to The Manatee Rambler, please take a look around. here are some added features:

  • Calendar - Manatee District and Southwest FL Council events
  • Packs & Troops - Links to the packs and troops in the Manatee District
  • Resources - Useful resources and information
  • Camp Flying Eagle - Coming Soon
  • More to come soon!

July 19 - The Manatee Rambler is back...

The Manatee Rambler went "lights out" for a short while, but it's back now with a whole new look. The intention of this new website is to provide news and resources for Manatee District Scouts. The website is not complete at this time, but will be up to full steam very soon. More news and information, links to Pack and Troop websites, a calendar of events and more will be up here soon.

Email webmaster with questions or comments about this site.