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


Prior News and Updates

December 23 - Manatee County Fair

Attention Leaders:

The Manatee County Fair is close on the horizon and I need some folks to step up and cover some shifts manning the Scout booth in the exhibition hall. This year’s focus will be on three things… the scouting program in general, Scouts B.S.A., and the 90th Anniversary of Camp Flying Eagle.

While the booth can be unmanned, it is much more effective when volunteers are present and can have face-to-face contact with fair-goers. And it is most effective when 2 or 3 folks are present (plus it helps make the time go by faster when having someone to talk to during lulls in activity). I will have 4 guest passes available for volunteers to make use of and will send out instructions about how/where to obtain (and return after service) once the slots are filled.

This is a great opportunity to promote the scouting program as well as visiting the fairgrounds (and taking advantage of the food).

Please sign up HERE by January 1, 2019. You won’t regret it.

Mac Aldrich,
Program Chair

November 27 - December Roundtable


Roundtable for December will be held next Thursday, Dec. 6th at the Salvation Army Worship Center starting at 7:00 pm and I hope that you are planning on attending.

The Big Rock Topic is on the 'Messenger of Peace’ program. During this time of unrest and increasing violence in our country and around the world, this global initiative established in 2011 by the BSA is designed to inspire young men and women to work toward peace. Something I believe everyone can agree needs to take precedence.

On the older boy side of the house, we will be discussing the various religious awards that are available while the Cub side will be providing information on program ideas that will be extremely beneficial to packs and dens. You don’t want to miss it.

We also have two opportunities to give back to the Salvation Army which so graciously allows us to meet at its facility, not only for Roundtable each month, but several other functions throughout the year.

First, please consider volunteering to ring the bell for Christmas at a location and time convenient for you. Copies of the contact card shown below were distributed during the November Roundtable. Call Lt. Davis and ask about locations and times available.

Second, please consider making a donation to go toward replacing the Salvation Army flag that flies outside the building where we meet. The one currently in place is in desperate need of replacement. The cost is $125. A collection box will be provided at the December Roundtable. Funds collected in excess of the amount will be donated to the Salvation Army Bell Ringing program.

See you next week,

Mac Aldrich,
Manatee District Program Chair

October 23 - Training Weekend at Camp Flying Eagle

October 12-14, 2018 - The Weather was great, wish you were there

A great weekend of training was accomplished during what was described as the best weather possible.

It started Friday night were a crack staff of trainers facilitating training for 3 Cubmasters, 4 Den Leaders, 1 Cub Committee Member and 2 Scoutmaster Specifics.

Saturday started with registration with 12 participants for Cub Scouts BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) and 16 participants for Scouts BSA IOLS (Introduction to Outdoor Leaders Skills), and shortly moved to a joint opening flag ceremony led by IOLS Course Director, Ed Genewick.

During the course of Saturday and Sunday morning, numerous topic were covered that will enhance the ability of adult leaders to provide a great scouting program for our youth.

Mike Stranovsky, Instructor leads a class on Maps and Compass for IOLS

Ryan Kane, BALOO Course Director, leads a joint Scouts' Own Service on Sunday morning.

Thanks to all the instructors for their time and energy spent in training our future leaders Judy Aldrich, Paul Scudder, Ryan Kane, Ed Genewick, Maureen Reinecke, Red Dog, William Crowe, Steve Palmieri, Ren Carotti, Shari Kurutz, Gregg Gibson, Audrey Gibson, Phyllis Scudder, Mike Crea, Eion Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell, Brett Thomas, Mark Landers, Josh Lunde and Mike Stranovsky.

October 21 - 2018 Cub Scout Winterfest at CFE

2018 Winterfest

October 19 - Eagle Scout Project Help

Hello Everyone,

This is Matthew Kurutz, SPL Troop 76. As some of you may or may not know, I'm doing my Eagle Project for the F.I.S.H Preserve out in Cortez. My project consists of repair work to three foot bridges over canals along with removing invasive vegetation. I still need to do some fundraising. On Saturday October 20th I will be running a hotdog stand at the 21st Annual Nautical Flea Market which is being held at the Florida Maritime Museum from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM- Address is 4415 119th Street West Cortez, Florida 34215 (website: https://www.floridamaritimemuseum.org) This is free to the public and is primarily located on the grounds of the Florida Maritime Museum and the F.I.S.H. Cultural Center. Again, we will be serving up some hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks, chips along with the famous meat sticks from Country Meats! We'll also have a few of my origami shrimp on display!

Come Out and say HI!
Thanks You for your support.

Matthew Kurutz

October 18 - JOTA - Jamboree On the Air - at Camp Flying Eagle!

K4BOY will be ON the AIR this weekend - and we want YOU to join us!

When: Saturday 11AM through sometime late afternoon
Who: Hosted by Bud Johnson
Where: Camp Flying Eagle at the Admin Pavilion
What: The World's Largest Scouting Event
Why: Because it is fun!
How Much: There is NO cost for this event!

Advancement Opportunities:
Cub Scouts: This event has advancement opportunities for Tiger, Wolf, Webelos, Arrow of Light, and Engineer Pin

Scouts BSA: Radio Merit Badge (contact Ken Settlemyer at ww4ks@yahoo.com) as well as a number of requirements in other merit badges (more information on this can be found here: https://k2bsa.net/radio-scouting-advancement-information)

If you are already camping at CFE - please take the time to stop by the Admin Pavilion and participate in the largest Scouting events in the world and have a chance to talk on the radio to people in other states or countries!!

If you are not already there, come out Saturday and see what is going on, there is something for all levels of scouting - spend as much time as you like, and If you are a licensed radio operator, please feel free to bring a radio (or three ;-) ) and come join us for the afternoon!

Thanks -

73 and YIS de WW4KS - Ken

September 28 - October Roundtable

Dear Scouters:

Please make it a priority to attend Roundtable next Thursday, October 4th. There are a few good reasons to do so:

Reason #1: 2019 Recharter packets will be distributed. Each unit needs to have a person responsible for acquiring the packet and it should be the committee member who will be completing the online recharter form as well as the paper forms.

Reason #2: Boy Scout Eagle Mentors, Advancement Chairs, and Scoutmasters will be receiving information about a new method for processing Eagle projects and setting up Eagle Boards of Review. District Advancement Chair, Alison den Boggende, will be leading a special meeting during the Boy Scout breakout session. The new procedures will most likely begin immediately following this meeting so it is IMPORTANT that a representative of each Troop be present. Your boys deserve your education in this matter so that their advancement to Eagle will go smoothly.

Reason #3: Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders will be receiving timely information regarding the a special November Roundtable titled, 'Meet the Troops.’ Mark Thielen will be explaining how this opportunity for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts to meet with Boy Scout units will work.

Reason #4: Because it’s the right thing to do. A well-trained leader results in a well-run unit. A well-run unit results in more youth participating and remaining engaged in the program.

See you Thursday!
Mac Aldrich

September 7 - Venturing only Shooting Sports "Bullseye" event now open for Registration

Venturing only Shooting Sports "Bullseye" event

Venturing Crews,

If you didn’t know, the October shooting sports event now known as “Bullseye” is open for registration. This event is for registered Venture Scouts and adults only!


This is a one-day event, but Crews may camp all weekend if they want. See the attached flyer for more details. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a day of shooting sports and connect with other Venture Crews in the Council.

This is also a great “bring-a-friend” recruiting type event for Crews to utilize.

Hope to see many of you there!

PS. Ships are included so Sea Scouts may also participate if they wish.

Yours in Scouting,

James Laughlin
Panther District Executive
Southwest Florida Council
Boy Scouts of America

September 3 - Ten Commandment Hike


“A Scout is Reverent”

If you and/or your youth have an interest in exploring the religious component of scouting, please consider the ‘Ten Commandments Hike’ offered by Bob Paquette of the Two Rivers district.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat in Venice. The cost is $5.00 per participant (siblings under 5 are free).

Click on the image below to view the attached flyer.

Mac Aldrich,
Manatee District Program Chair
2018 Ten Commandment Hike

August 29 - Attention all Cub Scout Leaders

2018 Cub Scout Randtable

Cub Scout Leaders:

Come to Cub Scout Roundtable for great program ideas, information on events and training opportunities, help with ideas to conquer possible issues your pack may be having, some food and fellowship with other Cub Scout leaders, and just a plain old great Cub Scout learning and sharing evening.

September and October we are offering a 2-hour training for NEW LEADERS. We call it NEW LEADER SURVIVAL 101. It is during the regular Roundtable. It is the same training each month. Do you have new leaders?? Send them. Better yet, BRING them to Roundtable. A flyer is attached so it can be shared with others.

Cub Scout Survival 101

We would love to see a lot of new faces at our Roundtable sessions. Please remember that Roundtable is open to any and ALL registered leaders (Cub Scouts, Family Scouting, Boy Scouts, Venture Crews, Explorers, etc.), so please share this information with all of them.

Our next Roundtable is Thursday, September 6th, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army Worship Center, 5328 24th Street East, Bradenton. The ‘Big Rock Topic’ this month is on Social Networking Platforms led by Chuck Swanson.

Hope to see all of you (along with those new faces) on the 6th.

Mac Aldrich,
Manatee District Program Chair

August 28 - Tick, Tock... Time is running out!

This is a less-than-subtle reminder that your Youth Protection Training will expire on or before 9/30/18, unless you complete, or have already completed the new required YPT that was released on February 1, 2018. If you let your YPT expire, you will no longer be a registered adult leader and will have to complete a new Adult Application after taking the new YPT and will have to pay new registration fees.

We have approximately 450 registered adult leaders in our district, and approximately half of them have not completed the new version of YPT. The old version (taken before February 2018) will absolutely expire as of 9/30/18, automatically per National Scouting policy.

Please, don't let that be you.

August 19 - Fundamentals of Training

Fundamentals of Training is less than a week away. Registration closes on Tuesday, August 21st. Be sure to go online and register if you plan to attend. Go to:http://www.swflcouncilbsa.org/registration/calendardetail.aspx?activitykey=2374217&orgkey=347&ReturnURL=/app/calendar/month/347/2018-08-01,2018-09-02/-1/0/ to register before time is up!

Click Here to view the flyer for the class.

August 11 - Come Experience Wood Badge!

Fellow Scouting Leaders,

This year's 2019 SWFL Wood Badge course will mark the 100th year of Wood Badge training for our adult leaders. The Staff is honored to be able to provide an amazing training experience and lifelong lesson to new participants. We want the best of the best in SWFL to have this experience so that your units and the Scouting program benefit. Registration is open NOW on the SWFL Council website at http://www.swflcouncilbsa.org/wood-badge/25788. Registration is open to the first 48 paid participants, so don't miss this opportunity to be a part of history! For more information on Wood Badge, Click Here to view the flyer.

If you are a previous Wood Badge participant or staff member, help us find the best, as you know your leaders better than anyone else. Reach out to our S4-88-19 Scoutmaster, Tom Birch, at swflwoodbadge@gmail.com and one of the amazing staff members will follow up.

We will be having a Wood Badge reunion in April that will be available on the SWFL council website that will promote our 100th year celebration. We will also have a commemorative back patch for purchase soon on the same website. Thank you for helping us provide this 6 full day course that will change their lives and help them change the lives of our youth!


The S4-88-19-1 Wood Badge Staff

August 10 - 2018 Fall Roundup Training and Parent Guide


As many are aware, this coming school year is one of the most crucial we have had with the introduction of Family Scouting! As this is a very exciting time for our Organization, I want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible for everyone!

A few weeks ago, we held a training session that outlined the new program as well as tips and trick on how to be successful.

Some of the Topics covered at the training are as follows:


  • Recruit and train an enthusiastic New Member Coordinator for every Pack.
  • Conduct a new member registration event for every Pack/School/Community in the Southwest Florida Council from August through early September.
  • Empower leaders with the tools and guidance to self-market their Pack beyond the traditional District Executive ran recruiting campaign.
  • Successfully introduce and implement the new Family Scouting and Lion Cub programs.
  • Make it easier for new families to join Scouting on “Join Scouting Night” and beyond.
  • Expanded promotion of additional opportunities to join after the “Join Scout Night” through follow-up opportunities in September and a council-wide “Bring a Buddy” campaign in October.
  • Better prepare Packs to make a great first impression, recruit new leaders and retain their new Scouting families.

View the 2018 SWFL Council New Parent Guide and the 2018 SWFL Council Pack Builders Kit. The "kit" provides further detail on the tools needed for a successful recruitment. In it contains:

  • How a New Member Coordinator will bring in (and retain) new Scouting families.
  • How to add Family Scouting (girl Dens) to your Pack.
  • Introduction of Lion Cubs.
  • “Scout Me In” Timeline to plan your fall recruiting year.
  • Ideas to Promote, Promote, Promote your Pack!
  • How to WOW ‘em at your Back To School/Open House Meet The Teacher Night.
  • Setting up a successful Join Scouting Night at your school.
  • Use BeAScout.org to bring in families from the “webiverse”.
  • A few Social Media Tips to bring attention to your Pack.
  • How to encourage your Scouts to Bring A Buddy.
  • Make your new Scouting families your future with a Follow Up and Retention Plan.
  • A listing of your resources with the Scout Me In Toolbox.
  • Plot your recruiting plan and get recognized for your success on the Scout Me In Pack Award Worksheet.

Troops, you're also being included as support for the Packs in this process, and to use for yourselves as well.

Next steps are to set up dates for your Packs to meet at the schools and host your Roundup. Bill Lawrence, our Interim DE, will be handling this process with some help. If you have an established relationship with the school you'll be attending,and have a date already. or are working on one, please let us know ASAP.

Thank you for your help, and I look forward to one of our most successful year yet!

Peyton Capps
Back to School Night 2018 Chair

August 9 - New Scout Uniform Checklist

New Scout Year, time for a New Scout Uniform! Stop by the Southwest Florida Scout Shop for all of your Scouting supplies.

July 24 - Registration of 2018 Winter Camp opens AUGUST 31st at 9 am!

There is no better way to spend your winter break than to attend the 2018 Southwest Florida Council Winter Camp either registered with your Troop/Ship/Crew or as an independent provisional camper. Campers and leaders stay in National Jamboree style tents complete with cots. Meals will be served family-style in our dining hall. Space is limited to the first 350 Scouts and leaders.

For complete information, please visit the Council website at: http://www.swflcouncilbsa.org/event/2018-camp-miles-boy-scout-winter-camp/2390556

July 22 - Boy Scout Night with the MaraudersMarauders Boy Scouts of America Night

Click Here for a copy of the flyer with an order form and a link for people to purchase tickets. Troops and Packs can contact me directly to reserve seats for the scouts and their families.

This is one of our biggest games of the year with a free raffle for each person for big prizes. Last year we raffled off Xboxs, PS4s, iPads, a Ping Pong table, etc. We will also have post-game fireworks.

We are offering a special ticket price for the scouts of an $8 infield ticket with a free Marauders mini-bat and souvenir fountain drink. There is also the optional $8 meal voucher.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you would like to join us!


July 21 - MOSI Merit Badge Programs August 2018-June 2019

Click Here for details and 2018-2019 Program Schedule

MOSI Merit Badge Programs August 2018-June 2019

July 21 - 2018-19 Manatee District Program Kick-Off

Mark your calendars!

July 19 - Every Scouter must complete updated Youth Protection training by Oct. 1, 2018

The BSA has announced bold, wide-ranging updates to its Youth Protection program as part of an ongoing effort to protect young people from child abuse.

This starts with an enhanced online Youth Protection training course all volunteers and professionals must complete.

Even those Scout leaders who took the previous version of Youth Protection training must log into My.Scouting.org and complete the updated Youth Protection course. You have until Oct. 1, 2018, to do so. The magic date is February 2, 2018. Anyone taking YPT on February 2nd or afterwards took the new new course and is considered current. If you took YPT before February 2, 2018 you will have to take the new version.

The updated course will take about an hour to complete. It includes cutting-edge research from the top experts in the field of child abuse prevention. It covers topics like bullying, neglect, exposure to violence, physical and emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse.

For more information, check out the article on Bryan On Scouting: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/03/16/every-scouter-must-complete-the-updated-youth-protection-training-by-oct-1-2018/

Yours in Commissioner Service,
James Thielen | Area Commissioner
Southern Region / Area 4

July 15 - Fundamentals of Training

July 10 - Last Call - MOSI Mad Science Camp In

We have a few openings left for our MOSI trip. I need a final head count by 7/12/18. See details in attached flyer. Contact me with any questions.

Registration and payment online at https://bradenton191.mypack.us/

Thank you and have a great day!
Christine Austin
Pack 191 Committee Chair

Email: pack191chair@gmail.com

MOSI Mad Science Camp In

July 3 - 10 Commandment Hike

10 Commandment Hike

June 27 - Mark your calendars for Summer Camp Trade Show


If your unit troop, ship or crew plans to go to summer camp next year, help your scouts make an informed choice as to which camp to attend. Visit the 2018 SWFC Summer Camp Trade Show. Learn about new program offerings and facilities. Most camps offer in-council pricing for SWFC units that attend this show. The BSA National Office will also have staff on-hand to discuss the four National High Adventure Bases and the OA High Adventure Trail Crew Program. Visit every booth and you will be eligible for our door prize drawings!

Last year 28 camps from 12 states were represented!

Saturday, October 6th, 2018
Registration begins at 9:00 am

Southwest Florida Council Service Center - Conference Building
1801 Boy Scout Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Boy Scouts, Venturers, Arrow of Light Scouts, Adult Leaders, Parents (Bring the whole unit!)

FREE FOR EVENT. There is no need to register for this event.

E-mail Bruce Hassy (bruce.hassy@scouting.org) or call 239-784-0843

If you miss our show on October 6th, you can always attend the Miami area show on October 7th at Camp Elmore.

Click Here to download the Trade Show Flyer

May 30 - June Roundtable


Our June RT will be a campfire program with a special Ice Cream Sundae bar and Brownie contest beforehand.

It will be IN THE GYM at the Salvation Army.

7:00 pm - Ice Cream Sundaes and BEST BROWNIE CONTEST
7:30 pm - Announcements including...

  • OFFICIAL information regarding the upcoming changes to the scouting programs and how they will be implemented in SWFC.
  • Hard-copy council calendars (one per unit) will be distributed. (The calendars are also available in digital form on the SWFC website.)
  • Information about ‘School Night Training’ dates.
  • Information regarding ‘Popcorn’ training.

8:00 pm - Campfire program BRING:

  1. a lawn chair. (it will be more comfortable and we won’t have to set up and return the Salvation Army’s chairs)
  2. a batch of brownies using your best recipe. Participants will ‘vote’ for their favorites. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
  3. toppings for ice cream sundaes. The staff will be providing the ice cream, bowls, utensils, etc.

We hope to see y’all on Thursday, June 7th!

Mac Aldrich

May 28 - Memorial Day

May 25 - Cub Scout Day Camp Registration Extended

Hi Cub Scout Parents –

Cub Scout Day Camp is just around the corner! Your son will enjoy shooting BB guns, Archery, Arts and Craft and much, much more! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for your son to meet new friends and have a lot of fun! Day Camp registration is open to incoming 1st graders (must register as a Cub Scout) through incoming 5th graders. Current 5th graders should be crossed over to a Boy Scout troop.

Space is limited and spots are filling fast! Sign up NOW!

Not familiar with Cub Scout Day Camp – Check this day camp video out and you will be ready to go! https://youtu.be/KE5mX8wpx2s

Visit www.swflcouncilbsa.org (click on the Calendar/ Event Registration tab) to sign up on-line for Day Camp.

2018 Southwest Florida Council Day Camp Dates:
Click Here to Register NOW!

(First Come – First Serve Registration Basis – Space is Limited)

May 23 - Order of the Arrow 2018 Membership Update

Announced today on the Order of the Arrow website at https://oa-bsa.org/article/2018-membership-update:

Earlier today, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved some exciting updates to the Order of the Arrow program.

Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scout units. The new Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.

Our commitment to our unchanging mission and purpose remains steadfast, and we are excited to welcome others who share that commitment by extending membership in Scouting’s National Honor Society to participants of all older youth programs. We look forward to having female members in 2019 and know that, like all of our OA members, they will serve as role models and inspirations to others – both within the Boy Scouts of America and beyond.

We anticipate that you may have some questions. Please be sure to read the FAQ section below. We will have more information at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, which will be held July 30 – August 4, 2018, and we will continue to release additional information as it becomes available in order to assist our lodges with implementation.

We look forward to sharing what the OA has to offer with more young people and appreciate your support of this exciting new direction.


Q. Will camping be counted retroactively for those currently in Venturing and Sea Scouts?

Yes. Camping that has taken place within the two years immediately prior to the election will be counted beginning February 1, 2019. This camping must have taken place while an individual was registered with the BSA as a program participant and must be while participating with a BSA Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.

Q. Can I be elected into the OA if I am over the age of 18?

Yes. As long as you are under the age of 21 at the time the election is held. If you are over 21, you will need to go through the adult selection process.

Q. Will there be any opportunities for Venturers to learn more about the OA and Venturing?

Yes. We will provide high-level information and the opportunity to gather feedback from youth Venturing participants at VenturingFest 2018, which will be held July 1-6, 2018.

Q. When will the OA literature be updated to reflect these changes?

We are planning that all literature will be updated by Summer of 2019.

Q. Will we still be able to wear lodge flaps on any female uniforms that may be created?

Yes. We continue to work with BSA National Supply to help ensure that the current OA lodge flap shape and size will be accommodated.

May 10 - Summer Camp Shakedown


Want to be able to skip the long lines for swim checks on the first day of Summer Camp? Looking for an affordable health check by a doctor? Join the Southwest Florida Council Activities and Advancement Committees for a day of essential summer camp preparation. Complete one stop shopping featuring swim checks & health checks.

If you are planning on getting a medical exam at Shakedown, please complete parts A & B of the BSA Health & Medical Record prior to arriving at camp. A link to the BSA Health & Medical Record (Health Form) can be found HERE.

Saturday, May 12th, 2018
EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Registration begins at 8:00 am

Price-Sanders Scout Reservation
38751 Bermont Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33982

Boy Scouts, Venturers, Cub Scouts, Webelos and adult leaders attending summer camp


E-mail Bruce Hassy (bruce.hassy@scouting.org) or call 239-784-0843.

Click here to download the BSA Health & Medical Record

May 4 - BSA Media Coverage

Dear Southwest Florida Council Scouters,

With the recent announcement of a new name change in one of the BSA programs, below is information that accurately clarifies what you may have seen reported in news media outlets.

  1. The Boys Scouts of America organization has not changed  its name.
  1. Some programs offered by the BSA have changed either in name or eligibility as follows:

Cub Scouts - No Name Change- youth 5-10 yrs. of age (Girls will be able to join but will meet in separate groups (dens) for weekly meetings.)
(There will be three types of Cub Scout packs: all-boy packs, all-girl packs and packs that include a mix of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender: all boys or all girls.)

Boy Scouts (New name - Scouts BSA) youth 11-18 yrs. of age (Boys and girls will operate in separate units- so a charter organization – a church, for example, would have 2 separate units, if they so choose, – they will not meet as 1 operating group and have separate adult leadership although the charter organization governing adult committee could be the same if the organization chooses).  A new member will now say, for example, I am a Scout.

Venturing - No Change - Outdoor based co-ed program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age and has been a BSA program since 1998.

Sea ScoutsNo Change – A co-ed program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age interested in boating skills through instruction and practice in water safety, boating skills, outdoor, social, service experiences, and knowledge of our maritime heritage and has been a co-ed BSA program since 1972.

ExploringNo Change – A co-ed career exploration program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age and has been a B.S.A. career oriented program since 1969.

Learning for Life, Inc.No Change - A classroom-based character education program designed for all ages, genders and grades incorporated in 1991.

Time-Line: Southwest Florida Council implementation will begin with the 2018-19 school year for Cub Scouts (No earlier than August 1, 2018) and February 1, 2019 for Scouts BSA based on the governing body of each charter partner approving the B.S.A. programs their organization desires and local council approval.  New program implementation will be determined based on a charter partner sponsoring organization’s interest, adequate qualified adult leadership and meeting space capacity which are the same criteria for growing and expanding all BSA programs in a charter organization.

“Scout Me In” is the marketing recruitment theme which will be used to roll out these new programs by National B.S.A. in the coming months that invites kids and families in America to be a part of the life-changing experience that Scouting can offer.

Feedback we are hearing from families with Scout-age children?

Our general response from families has been overwhelmingly positive as they are excited Scouting will now offer new programs that are more accessible to today’s families and meeting their needs.  Some have voiced concerns and reservations, but once they understand what the specific changes are the response has been positive -The single gender programs will stay the same.  The new hybrid program for Cub Scouts offers families a new option.  The new Scouts BSA offers girls/families the opportunity to participate in a single gender program and experience the iconic B.S.A. brand.

Regarding the Cub Scout program, the enthusiasm we see centers around the opportunity to participate in programs that are outdoor and family oriented that will bring the whole family closer togetherIn the older youth program, by far, the driving interest in our new Scouts BSA locally is the excitement about the opportunity to participate in a highly outdoor and high adventure driven program. For those youth that desire outdoor activities and extreme high adventure, Scouting BSA will offer a choice to meet those outdoor interests and personal development needs with access to outdoor programs, local and national high adventure camp facilities and other Scouting resources that are unparalleled and are not available elsewhere.

For more information you may also visit:

The Boy Scouts of America vision has always been and will continue to be: To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

Best regards,

Greg Graham
Scout Executive and C.E.O.
Southwest Florida Council
Boy Scouts of America

May 4 - Updated Youth Protection Training Overview

The Big Rock topics at Roundtable last night was on the updated Youth Protection Training. For those that were not able to be there, or those that want a recap, click on the image below for the slides that Mark Thielen presented.

As a reminder, ALL REGISTERED ADULT LEADERS must complete the Updated Youth Protection Training before October 1, 2018. The training is broken up into three modules, and then a test. You do not have to complete all of the modules at one time, so if time is a concern, take one module at a time and then take the test to complete the training. Go to https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/ and get started today!

Updated Youth Protection Training Overview

May the Fourth Be With You!

April 27 - Urgent: Pack 191 missing flags


It has come to my attention that Pack 191 is missing both its unit flag and American Flag. The unit was in attendance at LECOM Park for Scout Night and prior to departure, the flags turned up missing. The unit leaders are quite rightfully disturbed and upset.

If you know anything at all about the whereabouts of these items, please contact me as soon as possible.

Thank you,
Mac Aldrich

April 26 - May Roundtable


The May Roundtable will take place at our regular meeting place/time on Thursday, May 3rd. After last month’s hiatus due to the Adult Recognition Dinner (Thanks to all who came, by the way.), there is a lot to cover.

First, you may or may not be aware that National has produced a new Youth Protection training program (available via my.scouting.org) and ALL REGISTERED ADULTS are required to complete by October 1st. Chuck Swanson is going to give you the skinny on what to expect and how to prep for it. Take it from one who has already taken the training, it is much improved over past iterations and meets every state’s requirements for certification.

According to Mark Thielen (Manatee District Training Chair), several of you have been busy working on leveling up your skillsets. He will be recognizing them during the general session and just like any recognition ceremony, it is so much better when you have your peers in attendance to cheer you on.

And, of course, the breakout sessions are always good for learning new things to take back to your units.

Hope to see a lot of you there!

Thursday, May 3rd; 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Salvation Army Worship Center
5328 24th St E.

Mac Aldrich

April 25 - 2018 Manatee District Pinewood Derby Winners

A HUGE round of thanks to Shari Kurutz and her team for organizing and running this year’s Pinewood Derby. Besides the races, activities included corn hole, tower building (toothpicks and marshmallows), and knot-tying. Ren Carotti ran the software to keep track of the various heats and to keep the races running smoothly. Several others (including a few Bradenton Marauders) involved themselves with judging and the boys and their parents cheered each other on and had a great time.

I apologize for not listing everyone who was involved with this event, but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Mac Aldrich
Manatee District Program Chair

And now for the winners... (click on the image below for a larger view)

April 24 - Den Chief Training Opportunity

TO: All Boy Scouts signed up for Manatee District Day Camp 2018, All Boy Scouts who want to become a Trained Den Chief, All Cub Scout Leaders who want to enhance their program with Den Chief involvement, All Boy Scout Leaders who want to help promote their troop at the Cub Scout level

FROM: Chuck Swanson III, (Manatee District Training Committee, Manatee District Committee, University of Scouting Arts Board of Regents, Manatee District Day Camp 2018 Scoutmaster, Troop 89 Committee Member)

Re: Den Chief Training

In conjunction with the Two Rivers District Spring Training weekend, we will be having Official BSA Den Chief Training on May 5th from 9 AM to Noon. This training is to fully introduce the Den Chief program to all scouting individuals in the two districts. The following is a brief list of responsibilities the Den Chief will have.

Responsibilities: The Cub Scout den chief’s responsibilities are to

  • Know the purposes of Cub Scouting.
  • Help Cub Scouts achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting.
  • Serve as the activities assistant at den meetings.
  • Set a good example through attitude and uniforming.
  • Be a friend to the boys in the den.
  • Help lead weekly den meetings.
  • Help the den in its part of the monthly pack meeting.
  • Know the importance of the monthly theme and pack meeting plans.
  • Meet regularly with the den leader to review den and pack meeting plans. Meet as needed with adult members of the den, pack, and troop.
  • Receive training from the den leader (and Cubmaster or assistant Cubmaster) and attend Den Chief Training.
  • Encourage Cub Scouts to become Webelos Scouts when they are eligible.
  • Help the denner and assistant denner to be leaders.

Not only is this program an excellent example of “Boy Led” scouting, it also lets the younger scouts get a glimpse of what they can achieve as they move up in the scouting program. We are always looking for ways to enhance the scouting program and this is an excellent way to achieve that.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note at swfpack125cubmaster@gmail.com.
Thank You

April 9 - College of Commissioner Science Registration is Open


Do you happen to know who your Unit Commissioner is? What is his/her purpose? Would you like to know more about the commissioner program and the services that your commissioner can provide? Are you interested in learning more about scouting, in general, and earning a degree in Commissioner Science? Would you like to earn a very special patch for your time?

An opportunity to have all of these questions answered is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th, during the 2018 College of Commissioner Science. It will be held at the SWFC service center, 1801 Boy Scout Drive, Ft. Myers. The college starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes up before 5:00 p.m. Our guest presenter is Julia Mae-Shen Farr hailing from Washington, DC where she serves as a Council Commissioner (as well as several other positions). Ms. Farr also volunteers at the National level as one of the leads on designing the latest iteration of Wood Badge to be launched next year and heads up a task force writing new curriculum for the College of Commissioner Science.

You do not have to be a Unit Commissioner to go through this training (although your District Commissioner and recent Silver Beaver recipient, Steve Shoemaker) would love for you to consider joining his merry band of volunteers.

The cost for the day is only $15.00 for which you receive tons of great information, have fun with the staff and other participants, enjoy a BBQ lunch catered by Bubba’s, and receive a patch specially designed just for this course.

I would love to see you there. And for those planning to attend USA, this is an opportunity to earn a degree in addition to one you might earn during the April event.

To register, simply CLICK HERE.

Yours in Service,
Mac Aldrich,
College of Commissioner Science Chancellor

College of Commissioner Science

March 30 - Register for USA (The University of Scouting Arts)


REGISTER TODAY FOR 'USA': The University of Scouting Arts. Great training for multiple levels of scouting that helps answer those questions that pop up. Membership recruitment/ retention, budgeting, activities, diversity, conflict management, volunteer burnout and so much more. Attend for your children and those you hope to impact.


2018 University of Scouting Arts Registration

2018 University of Scouting Arts

March 29 - Generations of Boy Scouts have Created Interest in Collectibles

The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating 110 years of service this year. Through its history more than 114 million young men have been Scouts and more than 33 million adults have volunteered as their leaders. This rich history has made for lots of badges, handbooks, uniforms and scouting equipment. Some of those youngsters who were strongly influenced by their scouting experience are now collectors of that memorabilia.

Two major factors influence how much some of these items are coveted. The first is condition, and this very often contributes to the desirability of most collectibles. Scouting encourages the outdoor life, so not many of those millions of youngsters who have participated would have kept their belongings in pristine condition. Even so if a rare item is found in all-but-new condition the price is going to be significant. All scouting collectibles will have the official Boy Scout or one of its sanctioned organization markings.

The second factor to play a role in the pricing of scouting nostalgia is the rarity of an item. For example, no matter how old the Jamboree awards, tokens, scouting handbooks or uniform might be, one would have to consider the number of scouts who attended those Jamborees, owned those handbooks or wore those uniforms. If the number were high, then that would mean there could be an extensive supply of those items available for the collectible market and the prices would be weak.

Of the Boy Scout camping equipment, two items that are highly coveted are the pocketknives and axes or hatchets. Both of these items would fall into the crossover market for those who just collect knives or just hatchets. Hence you have collectors from two different categories looking for one item, sometimes driving the price upwards. Still most knives and axes would fall into the less than $100 category, even if not much less.

Though there are many items offered on eBay, it seems various patches are demanding the highest prices. Some asking prices for these precious scraps of cloth are up into the thousands of dollars territory. This is where it would pay to do some homework if one finds an old uniform with lots of patches. There could be a treasure - like the patch from the 1964 JFK Camporee that is priced at $8,000 on eBay. There are no bidders as of the time of writing this column, but the pricing is interesting.

1964 JFK-Camporee

So, my advice to you is to never pass up a yard sale, especially ones that have Scout items on display. Also, look for patches made from felt and are in good condition. Many years ago patches were made from felt and deteriorated quickly when washed. Simple math tells me that not to many survived.

Red Dog
Scout Mentor
Take some boys camping and let Earth,Wind, Fire, and Water forge them a more moral compass

March 28 - OA Section Conference - Registration ends Friday!

Only 2 more days to register for the Order of the Arrow's largest event of the year. Space is limited and filling fast!

S-4 Section Conference is the annual event that brings Arrowmen from all seven Order of the Arrow lodges in Florida together at one camp for fun, fellowship and learning. The best part... Osceola Lodge is hosting conference right here at Camp Miles! This year's program includes: Instructional classes, lodge competitions, American Indian Activities competitions/activities, nightly shows and so much more.

Price Sanders Scout Reservation
38751 Bermont Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33982

April 13th - 15th, 2018
Lodge check-in begins at 5 pm on Friday
Registration deadline March 30th, 2018 at 6:00pm

Who May Attend
Youth and adult members of the Order of the Arrow in good standing (2018 OA annual dues paid - $15).
If you have let your OA membership lapse, you don't have to miss out on the fun. Please click on the link below to pay your annual dues before attending the conference.


$50 per Arrowman
Fee includes conference registration, program supplies, special tie-died event t-shirt, all meals, event patch and host patch. Additional t-shirts may be purchased in advance for $12 each. Concessions will be available. Payment must be received by April 6th, 2018 or a $10/person late fee will be assessed.

For More Information
Contact Andy Devlin (ajdev@comcast.net)

Click here to register for 2018 Section Conference now!

March 27 - Free Scout Physicals: Saturday, April 21st

One and all:

LECOM is once again offering free physicals to youth and adult leaders, especially those planning to attend a long-term (Boy Scout summer camp/Cub Scout resident camp) or high adventure camp.

The physicals will take place at the Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM), 5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. on Saturday, April 21st from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

A sign-up sheet (mandatory) may be accessed here.
To share the link with your unit’s parents: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nCemFqmZyjMUEpeaTEJ1D7u5JFXNXtWNCvsR0dSPG7s/edit#gid=0 (Just copy and paste)

There are two Google Sheets worksheets:

1) Sign up in the cells for the times you wish to have the physicals done. There will be eight examination rooms, so 8 people may be examined each time slot. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you be ON TIME for your appointment. Appointment cancellations should be made no later than 48 hours in advance. A SCOUT IS TRUSTWORTHY AND COURTEOUS. The doctors and medical students are volunteers and their time and commitment should be respected.

2) The second sheet (see bottom tabs) is for entering contact information: Scout Name, Parent Name, email address, and phone #.

Please thank Nina Pascoe for working with the new director at LECOM to provide this important service.

Yours in Scouting,
Mac Aldrich,
Manatee District Program Chair

March 16 - Manatee District Pinewood Derby

2018 Manatee District Pinewood Derby

The 2018 Manatee District Pinewood Derby competition is coming soon… Saturday, April 21! It will be held at LECOM Park so for those who are planning to attend the Scout Night ballgame and sleepover on the field, this should be a great thing. The change of venue also means that we may have more public exposure. In addition to the races, the event coordinator, Shari Kurutz, has activities planned to keep our boys and their siblings occupied when they are not focused on the competition.

Attached, please find all of the information you should need: event flyer, official Pinewood Derby rules, and LECOM Park waiver document.

Please, please, please share this with your Cub Scout parents. And Boy Scouts should contact Mrs. Kurutz to see if she could use any assistance.

Yours in Scouting,

Mac Aldrich, Manatee District Program Chair

March 15 - Children's Parade & Party in the Park

The Children's Parade, part of Manatee Heritage Days, is scheduled for Friday, March 30th. The parade (walking) begins at the Manatee Fairgrounds in Palmetto around 10:00 a.m. and ends by 11:00 a.m. at Sutton Park (See attached map). The parade is a great opportunity for Scouting to be on display before the public. While it would be outstanding for unit leaders to be present and to participate, we are aware that this is not possible for many who cannot take off from work, HOWEVER, PARENTS of scouts should be INFORMED AND ENCOURAGED to bring their boys (and siblings) to the event. As long as we have a couple of registered adults on-site (which we will) and the parents are willing to accompany their children on the (less than 1-mile) walk, we will be good to go.

All you have to do is to make sure that your boys and their parents complete the attached waiver and bring it with them to the fairgrounds by 9:30 a.m. so that everyone may be rounded up into one group and notified of their place within the parade lineup.

The gathering location is on the east side of the grounds on 13th St. W. near the exhibition hall at Gate 5.

Suggestion: Unless, those participating in the parade are being dropped off at the starting point and then picked up at the end, I recommend that they arrive earlier (8:30-9:15), park at or near Sutton Park, then walk to the fairgrounds. At parade’s end, they can get in their vehicles for the ride home or take some time to play at the Party in the Park before departure.

Pack 41 is supplying a couple of games/activities for the Party in the Park. It would be really nice to have a few older scouts to assist with running them.

Please contact Lisa Van Beuren (941) 448-3451 as soon as possible to let her know about how many to expect.

Help get the word out about the Scouting Program!

Mac Aldrich, Manatee District Program Chair

March 2 - Manatee Adult Recognition Dinner and Nomination Forms

2018 Manatee District Adult Recognition Dinner

Click Here to view the flyer for full details.
Access the nomination forms below:

February 28 - Free Scout Physicals - Save The Date

Dear Scouting Family,

Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) has again agreed to perform FREE scout physicals for the scouting community. The date has been set for April 21st.

LECOM is not ready to open registration at this time, but I wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible to so that you can save the date. The times will be from 9am until 3pm.

Please distribute this out to the scouting community, I don’t want anyone who needs a free scout physical to miss the opportunity. This applies to Adult Scouters, Venturers, Boy Scouts, Webelos that will cross over to Boy Scouts this year, and Webelos that are going to Webelos Resident Camp.

Yours in Service,
Nina Pascoe BSN, RN, ACM-RN
Health/Safety/Risk Management Chair
Manatee District

February 16 - Cub-O-Ree Staff Needed

To all Troops, Crews & Scouters,

We are in need of staff for Cub-O-Ree. Program areas include:

  • Fishing
  • Wet & Wild
  • Scout Craft
  • Ecology
  • As well as help in the dinning hall.

This event is held at CFE, March 9-11. Cost for staff is $15. If anyone needs further information please contact:
Jason Wolfe
Email: SWFLactivties@hotmail.com

February 15 - NOAC 2018

The National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) is the premier event of the OA and is the BSA's second largest national gathering. Over 8,000 Arrowmen will be in attendance. This six day conference will include training sessions, recreational opportunities and nightly shows.

When: July 30th - August 4th, 2018
Where: Indiana University - Bloomington, IN
Who: Arrowmen in good standing are invited to register. Registration will be limited to the first 15 youth. Contingent adults will be selected by Lodge leadership.
Cost: $1,250 per person. Contingent fee includes conference registration, round-trip airfare, one checked bag each flight, ground transportation, lodging, meals, one contingent patch set, one contingent polo, two contingent t-shirts.

A $250/person deposit must be made at registration. Two additional payments of $500 must be made by April 30th, 2018 and May 30th, 2018.

For more information please e-mail Andrew Devlin at ajdev@comcast.net.


February 14 - Marauders All-Scout Night at LECOM Park


The 2018 Bradenton Marauders Scout Night at LECOM Park is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st. This is a great event that allows Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturing Crews, and Girl Scouts to attend a baseball game (Marauders vs. Ft. Myers Miracles), participate in fun activities, and culminating in a sleep over on the field.

Click Here or on the image below to access the Event Order Form, Patch Design Contest flyer, and Participant Waiver Form. I hope to see everyone at the game!

Mac Aldrich, Program Chair - Manatee District - SWFC, B.S.A.

Marauders All-Scout Night at LECOM Park

January 31 - 2018 Order of the Arrow Section Conference

Osceola Lodge invites you to the annual 2018 Section Conference!

“Brothers, We are Ready”

Section Conference is an exciting event that occurs only once per year and provides the opportunity for all Arrowmen to compete, learn, and HAVE FUN!!!  

Go to http://www.swflcouncilbsa.org/registration/calendardetail.aspx?ActivityKey=2281268&OrgKey=347 to register online. The registration deadline is Thursday, March 30th. Click Here or on the image below to view the Section Conference Flyer.

2018 OA Section Conference

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