Daisy Troop 103115 Shows Christmas Spirit
Daisy Girl Scout Troop 103115 showed their Christmas spirit by preparing hand decorated gift bags for the residents at the Cornerstone Assisted Living Center in Conroe. The bags had personal items such as socks and toothbrushes as well as candy and puzzle books. The girls prepared the bags during one of their regular troop meetings this month. Daisies are the youngest members of Girl Scouts (Kindergarten and First Grade). The San Jacinto Girl Scout Council, which includes Walker County, is offering free memberships during the month of December. New members can join for free via gssjc.org/freemembership.
December BSA News
With the weather getting cooler and the Holidays just around the corner, members of the Boy Scouts of America who reside in Huntsville have been very busy this month.
On Saturday, December 5th, several of our units participated in the Huntsville Lions Club Christmas Parade. Troop 114 along with Scouts from the other units in town provided the Honor Guard for the parade. Cub Scout Packs 98 and 114 each had a float entered into the parade. The theme this year was “Every Day Heroes”.
Troop 98 Scout Zachary Rebstock started his Eagle Leadership project of cosmetically refurbishing a 1982 Humvee at the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans museum.
Cub Scout Pack 114 at their monthly Pack meeting besides recognizing the Cubs for their achievements and Rank advancements, they also performed a service. Each cub brought homemade cookies which they set out and made snack bags that were taken to the Huntsville Memorial Hospital for the Emergency Room staff and the First Responders.
These are just some of the Scouting fun in the area. If you have a youth interested in joining, visit joseyscoutlodge.org/join to learn more.
The Scouts here at Josey Scout Lodge wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hopefully a Happy New Year.
Congratulations Eagle Scout Will Pitts
By Robert “Bob” Kane
William Pitts started his journey on the Scouting Trail as a Tiger Cub with Pack 98 in 2011. After working his way through the ranks of Tiger, Wolf, Bear and WEBELOS he earned the Arrow of Light in February of 2016. Will then joined Scout Troop 98. Once in the Troop he earned the Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks where the youth learn the basic skills needed for the outdoors. These requirements combined with service projects and leadership responsibilities guide youth on their journey to the Rank of Eagle Scout.
Then Will started working on the requirements for Star, Life and finally Eagle. This involves completing a total of 21 merit badges in which 13 are required for the Eagle Scout rank. Will completed a total of 34 merit badges along his journey. Here is the list of merit badges he has completed: Astronomy, Athletics, Camping, Chess, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Climbing, Communications, Cooking, Crime Prevention, Environmental Science, Family Life, Farm Mechanics, Finger Printing, Fire Safety, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Genealogy, Geology, Lifesaving, Metalwork, Music, Nature, Orienteering, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Rife Shooting, Salesmanship, Sustainability, Swimming, Veterinary Medicine, Welding and Wood Carving.
Will has not stopped on completing merit badges. He is currently working on Hiking and Art. Additional Merit Badges completed by Will count towards him earning Eagle Palms awards.
Once Will earned the rank of Life Scout he had to do a Leadership project where he had to develop a plan for a project to be done for the Troop’s Charter Organization or other non-profit organization or Community center as long as it benefits the community. This is the Eagle Leadership Project. He had to plan the project, get the approval of the beneficiary of the project, approval from the Scouting District Representative, collect funding if needed, the materials, tools and the volunteers to help execute the plan to complete the project.
Will’s project benefitted the First United Methodist Church’s (FUMC) Youth Ministry Band. He planned and built a stage for the band and it is used for rehearsals in preparations for Sunday Services.
I asked Will two questions, which were also asked during his Eagle Board of Review that was on June 25, 2020. Due to restrictions placed on the community due to Covid-19, Will received his Eagle Scout Rank in a ceremony on November 8, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church.
“What was your most memorable Scouting Experience?” Will: “My most memorable experience was the Boundary Waters Trip with Troop 114. There we got to just go and enjoy nature and fish with no schedule. It was a joy being out in nature.”
“What was your worst Scouting experience?”
Will: “Working on the Sustainability Merit Badge.”
After reviewing the requirements for the merit badge I understand why it would be a bad experience for a young man. It requires a lot of discussion and planning regarding the sustainability of our natural resources and how one can work to improve the sustainability of these resources in their home and community.
Will is also very active in his church and school. Will is a member of the FUMC Youth Ministry Band and a trumpet player and section leader for the Huntsville High School Military Marching Band. He also is a member of the Huntsville High School Tennis Team. Will is also a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and is a member of the Wool Judging Team. He has also been elected into Scouting’s Honor Society known as the Order of the Arrow and is an Ordeal member. He is currently working on the next level of the order Brotherhood.
Will’s plans are to continue Scouting until he turns 18. He is currently a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and is helping the younger members of Troop 98 strive to achieve their goals of reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. His long term goals are to go to college to earn a degree in Business and to earn his certifications in Welding. He plans to give back to Scouting by becoming a Scout Leader for either Troop 98 or wherever his adventures in life take him.
Scouting is Alive in Huntsville and Walker County
By Robert “Bob” Kane and contributions from local Scouts
You may not have noticed much action around the Josey Scout Lodge since March when all large gathering places were closed due to Covid-19. As there was little to no action taking place at the lodge due to covid-19, our Scouting Units have been active for the past 7 months behind the scenes.
The units started doing virtual meetings with their unit leaders and worked on several adventures, rank requirements and merit badges from the comfort of their homes. Due to state parks and Scout camps being closed virtual overnight camps took place.
As restrictions were being lifted the Scouts started doing some in person meetings usually at a local park or outside the lodge while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. Day events allowed more social interaction and allowed the Scouting youth to do what they enjoy most having fun.
During these past 2 months, Scouts have been working on doing more and more around the lodge and for the community. There have been 2 service days at the lodge where units have each signed up for 2 different months throughout the year to come and do services projects and clean up in and around the lodge. Some units have done service for their Chartered Organizations.
I personally started working with a unit on the Hiking Merit Badge and we ventured out on their first hike of 5 miles. Now they are planning the next hike which will be 10 miles.
There are 7 units here in Huntsville. 3 Cub Scout Packs, 3 Scouts BSA Troops, and 1 Venturing Crew meets each week mainly from August through June. During June and July they would have attended day camp, summer camp or a high adventure program. This past summer the units worked on virtual campouts that National had set up during the summer months. The National Order of the Arrow Conference was changed from an in person event to a 3 day virtual event. One unit held a wilderness survival overnighter on one of the leader’s property which allowed Scouts to work on requirements for the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge.
One Scout wrote about his troop and what they did during October. “In the month of October, Huntsville’s Boy Scout Troop 114 has continued to provide instruction, adventure, and valuable memories to the young men in our community. During troop meetings, for example, the scouts began working on the Radio Merit Badge, which has opened up the possibility to explore the topic further if the scout so chooses. The troop also canoed nine miles down the Neches River near Lufkin. On this excursion, the scouts were able to experience nature and observe the wildlife of the Pineywoods region. Lastly, two Eagle Scouts in Troop 114 had their Courts of Honor, where they were finally able to receive their Eagle badges and be honored for this great accomplishment in front of their friends and family. Even through a pandemic, Troop 114 is still striving to be the next leaders of our community and nation.”
Girl Scout News
Girl Scout Troop 103113 completed their Bronze Award project recently. They built a butterfly garden outside the Girl Scout house. Each girl devoted 20 hours for the project which included research, seeking donations for the building materials and plants, building the beds, planting and plant care, and painting signs and decorating the garden. The garden will serve the scouting and Huntsville community for years to come. Donors of materials included Home Depot, the Walker County Master Gardeners and the Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society.