Scout Blog

The following content has been cross-published on our Facebook page, the Huntsville Item, and other local news outlets.

Spring Break Backpacking

April 22, 2024

by Lucy Jones, Scouts BSA Troop 1934

One chilly morning in early March, six scouts and three adults huddled around a map. Whether they knew it then or not, they were about to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

The scouts, who were all members of Scouts BSA Troop 1934G, would go on to spend the next three days on a 15-mile backpacking trip. They carried everything they needed in their backpacks, which had starting weights between 20 and 30 pounds each.

Regardless of the difficult and often uncomfortable task of carrying the packs, the girls still found ways to have fun. They told stories, played card games, and even had a chance to explore.

On the second night of the trip, the scouts camped next to a creek. The curious children traveled upstream, leaping over the water and clinging to tree roots protruding from the steep sandy banks. They thoroughly enjoyed their time running about the woods, although some of them walked away with soaked boots.

Despite their socks’ soggy situations, the scouts woke the next morning with excitement in their hearts. They eagerly began their third and final hike. By lunchtime, the scouts had nearly finished their planned hike. However, the upcoming trail was closed due to a controlled burn. Unwilling to finish the hike as charred piles of bones, the adult leaders put their heads together.

Fortunately, they could be picked up from this spot. The backpacking merit badge, however, required that the scouts hike 15 miles, a number they missed by just a quarter of a mile. The solution turned out to be surprisingly simple: turn around and hike in the safety of the non-flaming forest until they met the requirement.

Finally, the scouts were then able to return home. They were exhausted, yes, but they walked away with memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Mary with her daughter, Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Sam Gedelian Lehman, shortly before she passed.  Her smile radiates joy.

In Memory of a Dedicated Girl Scout Volunteer

February 29, 2024

by Diane Neudorf

Our Huntsville scouting community recently lost a dedicated volunteer.  Mary Louise Gedelian passed away on Feb. 12, 2024 after an 8 year battle with cancer.  She worked tirelessly over 25 years promoting Girl Scouting in Huntsville.  She served as our community leader and as a leader for multiple troops through the years. She mentored countless new leaders and girls.  She served on many planning boards for council activities and received several council awards including an Appreciation Pin in 2010, Honor Pin in 2012, Volunteer of Excellence in 2017, two Key Awards, and a Thanks Badge, her final recognition, in 2023.


Mary committed much of her time and resources to improving scouting opportunities both locally and in our council. She was instrumental in developing the Adventure Park, a challenge course, at Camp Agnes Arnold.  She would often spend her Saturdays facilitating adventure park activities for girls at the camp.


Her latest project involved improvements to the nature centers at camps Agnes Arnold and Robinwood.  She was excited to be named the Nature Center Coordinator, a new volunteer position, in 2023. She and her husband Brian were working to develop programing and make improvements in the displays.  She asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to the nature center fund so the work could continue.


For over 10 years, Mary ran a popular week-long day camp in the summer from our Girl Scout house.  Mary would recruit adult volunteers and older Girl Scouts to help with the camp.  The camp would host girls from Huntsville as well as the Houston area, and it provided fun opportunities for the scouts to enjoy outdoor activities, crafts and games as well as providing leadership opportunities for older Girl Scouts.


Mary organized an annual baby shower in our community to provide gifts to the first baby girl born in Huntsville on or close to Oct. 31, the birthday of Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low.   Some of those babies are now scouts in our community.  This tradition will continue into the future thanks to Mary’s influence.


For most of the time I knew Mary, she was battling cancer.  She did not let it stop her from pursuing her passions.  She had so much energy, as anyone who ever cleaned the scout house or taken a trip with her can attest. We had some great trips with our troop to Savannah, GA and just last summer to Washington DC. I can remember in Savannah, Mary had us going strong with sightseeing from morning to night.  It probably helped tire out the girls so they wouldn’t be homesick.  She would sing a song to them at night to help them sleep. From toothbrush parties to s’mores around the campfire she leaves many positive memories with the girls she led.


Mary really lived her life to the fullest. She was always ready for the next scouting adventure. She cared so much about our girls and even when she was feeling ill during the last few weeks of her life she was still thinking about the girls and helping plan activities for them. 


Mary loved working with Girl Scout troops and providing the girls opportunities to grow.  She cared about the mission of creating girls of courage, confidence, and character.  Mary often said her favorite part about being a leader was seeing the girls mature and develop their leadership skills.  Just two weeks before her passing she attended a Silver Award banquet and recognition ceremony.  The Silver Award is the second highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.  Three girls from her troop were recognized, including Mary’s granddaughter.  It was a special day, and it meant so much to Mary to see the girls honored.


In Girl Scouts, we do service projects and take action projects.  The take action projects are tougher because they are supposed to be sustainable or carry on after the project initiators are gone.  For example, one of Mary’s troops petitioned City council to start an Adopt a Park program in Huntsville to encourage groups to adopt a park and clean it up on a regular schedule.  Rather than just cleaning up a park once, which is a good service project, they developed a program that will carry on in the city well into the future.  Mary had the ability to inspire girls and adults to pursue leadership and service opportunities. In the spirit of a take action project, Mary’s influence, enthusiasm and dedication to scouting will live on in many people she touched over her 25 years as a Girl Scout volunteer.  She will be missed.

James Cauthen:  Spotlight on Eagle

January 15, 2024

by Benjamin Hendricks, Troop 98 Eagle Scout

A resounding applause, please, for Troop 98 Scout James Cauthen as he has recently earned the highest honor presented in the Scouting program: the rank of Eagle Scout. Through several years of cheerful service to his Pack, Troop, and community, James has demonstrated the importance of grit and self-determination in the journey towards excellence as not just an outstanding Scout, but a leader among his peers and an example to us all.

James began his scouting career as a “Me-Too” with his older cousin. James wasn’t old enough to be in the program yet himself, but he still attended every meeting and event and participated in all the activities. He finally became an official Cub Scout in Pack 98 in the first grade (before the Lions program ever existed) as a Tiger Scout, and over the last 10 years he has worked his way to Eagle while earning his Arrow of Light award, being a two time finalist for the Josey Outstanding Scout honor, and being elected to the Order of the Arrow (an honor group among Scouts). As a Scout in Troop 98, James has camped over 100 nights in all types of weather conditions, logged 118 miles of hiking, and completed 132 hours of community service. He has served our unit in the positions of Den Chief, Chaplain’s Aide, Troop Guide, Order of the Arrow Representative, Quartermaster, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Senior Patrol Leader. In his time in the Troop, he has enjoyed summer camp trips to Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and has plans to attend the unit’s upcoming excursion to North Carolina this summer to attend Camp Daniel Boone. If there was anything one could add to his decorated scouting career, he has also attended our unit’s High Adventure backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch and a joint adventure with Troop 114 at Florida Sea Base sailing around the Florida Keys. Of all his experiences in Scouting, James states that camping has by far been his favorite saying, “Camping allowed me to grow closer to other Scouts and helped me travel to places like New Mexico and Florida.”

Outside of Scouts, James is a proud member of the Huntsville Hornets football program and Tennis team.
He’s participated in both programs since the 7th grade, which just adds to the impressiveness of his achieving the rank of Eagle since he must manage not only his academic requirements, but also split his time between his Scouting adventures and his extracurricular activities at school and gives 100% to all of it. As a matter of fact, you can count on James often to be the first one to arrive and the last to leave, always offering to help set- up/clean-up or be a workout buddy to teammates. James is also a member of Christ the King Methodist Church where he is an active member and leader in their Youth Program and volunteers with the A/V team running the soundboard for Worship services. It’s not crazy to suggest that he would have ranked faster if he’d been solely a Scout, but James is a great example of what makes Scouting such a special program. To succeed, it requires a desire and a drive. You must be willing to sacrifice what others will not, and go the extra mile when others just give in. You have to WANT to show up to Troop meetings, you have to WANT to attend all of the Troop’s activities, you have to WANT to perform all of the tasks your classes require in school, you have to WANT to work hard at after school practice to improve your game, and you have to WANT to get up the next morning to do it all over again. James is the perfect make and model of this principle and his friends and family applaud him for this.

After high school, James plans to attend Lone Star College Cy Fair’s Firefighting program and becoming a member of the next generation of Huntsville’s heroes by being a full-time Fireman. If keeping up with his grades and school extracurriculars, on top of all that he does in Scouting, wasn’t enough to impress you, did I mention that he volunteers for the local fire department learning all he can and doing whatever he can to help too? His servant heart shines here, and I for one know how proud I am to not only have grown up with James and be a witness to all that he works so hard for, and all that he has accomplished, but to consider him a dear friend as well.

Once again, congratulations to James Cauthen for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. As a follower of the Scout Oath and Law, a cheerful member of Troop 98, a hard-working citizen of his community and country, and a servant-hearted child of God, James has properly set the bar for younger scouts desiring an example of what to aim for in every facet of life.

Santa Visits Josey Lodge

November 29, 2023

by David Beaty, Troop 114 Life Scout

Troop 114 has a wonderful opportunity for you and your family to visit with Santa this weekend! Each year the iconic Josey Scout Lodge fireplace is adorned with festive holiday decorations to serve as the perfect backdrop for pictures with Santa Clause. 

For only a $10 donation you will receive formal and informal digital snapshots to share with family and friends. This year you will have the option to receive your photos on a CD or via email. This magical event takes place for the public at the Josey Scout Lodge on December 3rd from 1:00-4:00 PM. Make sure to bring your whole family! Your children will be eager to tell Santa what they want for Christmas! Enjoy the festive holidays! Troop 114 can't wait to see you there.

We would like to thank Santa for being here during his busiest time of year!

Troop 114 Sees the Annular Eclipse

October 18, 2023

by Larry Fusaro

Troop 114 visited San Antonio last weekend to experience the annular eclipse on October 14, 2023.  Despite some clouds, they were still able to see the full eclipse.  Afterward, they visited the Alamo and San Antonio Riverwalk.

Outdoor Adventure Day

October 18, 2023

by David Beaty, Troop 114 Life Scout

On September 9th, local families came together for Outdoor Adventure Day at the Josey Scout Lodge. Outdoor Adventure Day was an event for the community designed to showcase scouting and all of the fun that we enjoy. This celebration was organized by Huntsville scout leaders who put tremendous effort into planning and executing a pleasant and prosperous event. All of the Huntsville troops and packs united to run activity stations as well as join in the excitement. Scouts from Pack 96, Pack 98, Pack 114, Troop 97, Troop 98 Troop 114, and Troop 1934, participated and it was a blessing to have them here.

Spread across the magnificent Josey property were numerous activities. In the parking lot, it was a privilege to welcome an ambulance and paramedics from Walker County EMS, and firefighters from the Huntsville Fire Department. The HPD also brought a fire truck and together the professionals taught children and parents all about fire fighting, first aid, and emergency preparedness. The community is so grateful to our first responders and their willingness to volunteer their valuable time to the community. 

On the way down the well paced path, Ryan Gillis K4TXN of Walker County Amateur Radio Group, a HAM Radio Club, led a “Fox Hunt”. Fox Hunting is like a hide and seek game using a radio’s signal strength to find another radio. In the center of the spacious front yard, craft stations gave kids the creative opportunity to make candles, tie knots, pound leather keychains, and use plaster to mold animal tracks that they were excited to take home as souvenirs of the day.

To learn about camping, participants visited the camping display which had every camping essential. There were also interactive stations that demonstrated to the community activities that are scouting favorites on campouts like geocaching and a compass course. In the center of the yard at the Josey flag pole, respected veterans from the Veterans of Foreign Wars taught visitors flag etiquette. The VFW continues their service to our community and are most appreciated. Much was learned from them about our duty to our country. 

On the front porch of Caretaker’s Cabin, the reptile exhibit was full of excitement.  This exhibit included “Speedy” the tortoise, a bearded dragon, and three snakes. A crowd favorite was a corn snake dubbed “Garfield.” Over by the lodge’s entrance was the rain gutter regatta where kids raced D.I.Y. pool noodle boats against friends. Inside the lodge’s main room, the Pine Car Derby track was assembled to race small wooden derby cars. In Cub Scouts, cubs build these cars and race them every year in a much anticipated annual event.

Every survivor needs rope! Luckily, one activity instructed in the art of rope making. Participants also learned other skills like Dutch oven cooking and fire building behind the lodge near the fire pit. Crossing the daring monkey bridge made of rope led to the Josey field. On the field, children delighted in firing dynamic water bottle rockets that soared through the air like jets. There were also stations to play amusing games.

Scouting offers amazing opportunities. Outdoor Adventure Day was created to bring more people into scouting, and allow scouts who are already in the program to enjoy a wonderful afternoon with each other. For more information on how your family can join the fun, visit

Girl Scouts Love State Parks

September 13, 2023

by Diane Neudorf

In Huntsville we love our beautiful state park.  Last weekend, 110 Girl Scouts from the greater Houston area and their families got to experience our park through planned outdoor activities and camping.  Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend is celebrated annually in September across the country to encourage Girl Scouts and their families to experience nature in their state parks. This is the second year that local Girl Scout leaders Jamie Arlt (Huntsville – Tannybo Community) and Heather Cataldo (Willis – Lone Star Trails Community) teamed up to direct a program at Huntsville State Park.  Some attendees camped for the weekend as troops or with their families while others drove up for the day on Saturday.  Girls had a chance to experience early morning yoga on the patio at Raven Lodge, crafts, hiking, Dutch oven cooking and more.  Saturday afternoon, several volunteers from the Texas Angler Program provided activities centered around fish identification, knot tying, conservation of waterways, regulations for fishing, casting lessons and fishing from the pier.  Girls learned all the fishing basics, and several girls caught fish.  No Girl Scout event is complete without s'mores (cooked indoors due to the burn ban) and a singalong.  Later in the evening, Ranger John led a stargazing program and light painting.  On Sunday morning, Ranger John gave a presentation about the history of Huntsville State Park and the involvement of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in creating the park.   Girls Scouts also had the chance to learn about a Girl Scout Gold Award project being conducted by Lone Star Trails Girl Scout, Shantell Brown.  The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.  It involves identifying an issue you care about, leading a team and putting in at least 80 hours on the project that will have a lasting impact.  Brown has partnered with some Texas State Parks to add activities to their Junior Ranger Programs. Brown had noticed that the Junior Ranger programs in most Texas state parks were all the same.  For the project, entitled “Sprouting Outdoor Adventurous Ranger Students or S.O.A.R.S”, Brown began working with several parks to add a page to their Junior Ranger activity books so that each park can highlight its unique features.  The Girl Scouts had a chance to complete the page for Huntsville State Park this weekend, learn about the Junior Ranger Program, and earn a unique patch developed by Brown.  Information on Texas Junior Ranger programs can be obtained at park offices.  Anyone interested in joining or volunteering with Girl Scouts should contact: Dawn Francis at

Jayden Gay's Journey to Eagle

July 15, 2023

by David Beaty II, Star Scout, Troop 114

Please join Troop 114 and the Josey Scout Lodge in celebrating our newest Eagle Scout, Jayden Gay. Jayden began scouting ten years ago in Spring, Texas and we are extremely lucky he transferred to Huntsville BSA’s Troop 114 after Cub Scout crossover. Jayden achieved Arrow of Light, the highest rank in Cub Scouts. At the troop level Jayden worked his way through the rank advancements: Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, and Life. After satisfying many requirements Jayden officially achieved the Eagle Rank on May 9, 2023. The prestigious Eagle Scout rank is the ultimate goal of many scouts which requires hard work and dedication. Scouting makes these efforts exciting and enjoyable.

At Troop 114 Jayden has found a scout home and a scout family. It is easy to see why Jayden is so well liked. Jayden outwardly lives the scout oath and the scout law every single day. Helpful, friendly, cheerful, and reverent are just a few words in the scout law that frequently come up when describing Jayden. Troop mates learn to count on each other and become close friends because scouting is directed by kids. At the troop level there is less reliability on adults and youth are in charge of the leading and planning. Because of this leadership structure, kids often create lifelong memories together. Jayden has participated in some unique events like the Crab Hunting-Circle of Courage where the kids collect fiddler crabs on the beach and try to stand still when they scatter! Jayden recalled this game with a gigantic grin! This eagle has formed an amazing bond with his troop and Scoutmaster. He and his Scoutmaster, Mr. Brian Gedelian, claim to be unstoppable at the card game Spades! “Mr. G and I are really good on a team together”, he said smiling. To Jayden, scouting is a brotherhood.

Jayden has embarked on some of his greatest adventures with lifelong friends in scouting. These destinations include the high adventure camp Philmont Scout Ranch, a ten day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico; an expedition to Boundary Waters, a canoeing trip on the Canadian border; and most recently Sea Base, a week long sailing program in the Florida Keys. Through all of these adventures and troop activities, Jayden has completed many merit badges. His favorite merit badges are Wilderness Survival and Camping. Jayden explained that both of these merit badges require crafting shelters. While some shelters were “like a Taj Mahal'', other lean-tos were more “like a lean-one”, Jayden joked. He explained that these were the best times to learn and grow. The most difficult of his merit badges was the Cooking merit badge. He felt that the Cooking Merit Badge was tedious because it required many camping trips to complete.

To become an Eagle you must complete a multitude of requirements, one of which is the Eagle Project. Jayden’s massive service project was to build four picnic tables for Alpha Omega Academy, a local Christian school. With gracious donations from Steely Lumber and weeks of planning, Jayden organized his troopmates and labored on this project for his community. He completed the tables on April 1, 2023. He enjoyed the finished project and finally being able to sit down at the tables he created. When describing service through scouting Jayden explained that, “Scouting is caring about the world, nation and community.”

Dedication reaps personal rewards. Jayden Gay has learned an abundance of valuable life skills like knot tying, survival, as well as first aid and he definitely has had occasion to use many of his abilities outside of scouting. His incredible experience with leadership in other organizations include holding the position as an FFA Officer and he has been successful in baseball and football. Jayden understands the high standards of BSA and being an Eagle Scout. There is no doubt that he represents this position with exceptional attitude and integrity.

Jayden expresses his sincere appreciation to “all of my scout friends and scout parents and leaders for helping me with my project, but most of all, thanks to my family for helping me all the way through.” Jayden describes scouting as a way to learn how to be an adult. He recommends that everyone should at least try scouting to see if they want it in their life. In Jayden’s life there is a love for God, family, friends and scouting.

Preston Hensarling Achieves Eagle Scout Rank

June 5, 2023

by David Beaty II, Star Scout, Troop 114

Troop 114 and Josey Scout Lodge are thrilled to congratulate one of their newest Eagle Scouts, Preston Hensarling. Preston has been a part of scouts his whole life tagging along with his uncle since Cub Scouts, but made it official in June of 2019 when he joined Troop 114. The uniform is not what gives you the scouting spirit, rather the experiences and comradery. Preston recalled his trips and adventures in scouting with great excitement.

One grand trip in particular stands out in his mind, and for good reason. In July 2019 Preston went to his first summer camp when the troop headed to Camp Ottari in Virginia.

“That’s my favorite summer camp! Ever!”.  Preston spoke of the trip as his greatest experience in his scouting career. The troop drove north past the camp to spend over a week exploring Washington D.C. They visited the White House and had a blast seeing the historical sites and monuments. “We walked all the streets of D.C. It was so fun! We stayed at Gettysburg State Park. At night we got to walk around on the battlefield itself. Every night we looked at the stars.”

Preston’s achievements did not stop at ranks. His adventures carried on through merit badges. Out of the twenty-nine merit badges he has earned, his personal favorite is the swimming merit badge as he has always loved water. “Anytime I have a chance to go swimming, I’ll go.” He tries to sign up for the swimming merit badge every summer even though he has already earned it. He found the wilderness survival merit badge the most challenging. Preston grinned as he told the “Purple Sheet Story”. “Everyone had sleeping bags. Everyone had tarps. I just had a purple sheet and 66 feet of paracord,” he laughed.  Preston improvised and spent the night in a lean-to shelter made with his limited supplies. “I think I realized that I can survive with less than I actually have.” Clearly his triumph instilled confidence and character.

One of the key requirements for achieving Eagle is a meaningful service project for the community. Preston’s venture was to build two cedar benches and four cedar flower pots for the residents of Creekside Retirement Community here in Huntsville. Preston enjoyed doing this project, but what he really loved was seeing eighteen of his friends and fellow scouts answer the call on a Saturday and assist with the construction. The scouts along with adult leaders spent the day together problem solving, improving skills, bonding and eating pizza. He relayed that the only tedious part of the project was the paperwork required.

Scouts BSA is a community of young men and women leading each other. As Preston describes it, “Kids led by kids.” Preston’s roles have included numerous leadership positions and he is currently the troop’s Senior Patrol Leader. This young leader has seen and executed many service projects throughout his scouting career. Some of his contributions include building bird houses, cleaning parks and rivers, and running food drives. This Eagle Scout discovered many surprising skills that he never thought he would learn such as building robots, using radios, and welding. He can now make a shelter and build a fire without conventional supplies.

Preston explained that he has consistently had  opportunities to implement scout skills and the Scout Law in his everyday life. In the future Preston hopes to attend Texas A&M and study computer science. He aspires to work at Apple or build the newest “big tech” company.

Preston Hensarling set an ambitious goal for himself to achieve the Eagle rank before his 15th birthday. Through precise planning and focus he succeeded. While Preston has achieved the highest rank in scouting, he has no plans to stop. He will continue in Troop 114 to learn, achieve even more merit badges and Eagle Palms, and mentor his fellow troop mates. He is looking forward to High Adventure Sea Base in Florida this summer and all the future activities that the troop has planned.  Preston Hensarling sums up his scouting this way, “Scouting helps you discover what you want to do in the world and discover more about yourself.”

Girl Scout Cookie Sales Fund Adventures 

March 9, 2023 by Diane Neudorf

If you have been to the grocery store on the weekend of late you may have seen Girl Scouts selling cookies.  Cookie sales are the primary fundraiser for Girl Scouts.  Proceeds from the sales help troops fund their yearly activities including badge work, camping, service projects and as scouts get older, longer trips. 


Troop 103113 has been saving for the last three years for a trip to Washington DC.  Besides shorter camping trips this troop took a spring break trip to Savannah, GA in 2020 to see the birthplace of Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low.  This summer’s trip will take them by plane to our nation’s capital.  The troop decided on the location and has been planning the trip well over a year.  On the schedule is the Library of Congress, several museums, monuments, the Smithsonian National Zoo and a specially arranged tour of the west wing of the White House.  The troop of eight Cadette Girl Scouts are a mix of 7th and 8th grade students and only one has been to DC before.  For some of the girls it will be their first time on an airplane.  They will also learn to navigate the subway system to explore the city.  The girls are excited to spend time exploring with their fellow Girl Scouts who have been together since first grade.  The girls are already thinking ahead to their next trip where they hope to visit another country.


Troop 10772, a troop of seven Ambassador Girl Scouts, will be graduating from high school this spring.  They will be flying to New York City this summer where they hope to meet the new CEO of Girl Scouts USA at the National Headquarters!  They are also planning to visit the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the 9/11 museum and memorial, and other landmarks while learning to navigate the New York City subway system.  Some girls in the troop have been together since Kindergarten and have taken several major trips and campouts together including a high adventure trip to Colorado in 2021.  Besides travel, the girls have been leaders in our Tannybo Girl Scout Community planning and leading endless events and campouts through their scouting years.  Service to Girl Scouts and our local Huntsville community have been an important part of their scouting experience.   Leftover funds from the trip may be donated to help with some needed improvements to our local Girl Scout building.


Troop 103016 is a mixed troop of Juniors and Cadettes.  They have planned an extended trip to South Padre Island this summer.  Among other things, they hope to help with the sea turtle hatching by being part of a human barricade that ensures the hatchlings make it to the water. The Cadettes researched and planned their trip, working out the budget for the trip as one of their badge activities.   


Cookie sales also provide funds to run the 10 Girl Scout camps in the San Jacinto Council, which includes Huntsville, Trinity, Conroe, the greater Houston area to the Louisiana border.  The San Jacinto Council is the second largest GS council in the nation. 

Local Girl Scouts Plant 60 Trees 

October 17, 2022 by Diane Neudorf

Girl Scouts are committed to helping the environment and making the world a better place.  Local Girl Scouts participated in a national event called the Girl Scout Tree Promise, which is a commitment by Girl Scouts across the country to plant 5 million trees by 2026.  The Texas A & M Forest Service provided trees and their staff demonstrated how to plant them.  Girl Scouts from several local troops and their families planted 60 trees at Sam Houston State University’s Gibbs Ranch on October 8, 2022.  There were a few trees left over that families could take home to plant in their own yards.  Participants also had a chance to visit with the Forest Service staff and professors Sibyl Bucheli, Diane Neudorf, Chris Randle and Justin Williams from the biology department at Sam Houston State University to learn about tree identification and the importance of trees to other species in the Pineywoods ecosystem.  Girl Scouts of all ages participated in the event.  One Brownie said she enjoyed planting trees because it helped the planet and because trees are important for animals. Another Brownie enjoyed learning about the birds that live in our forests and how to age trees from counting their rings.  One of the Cadette participants said she liked seeing the great participation from younger Girl Scouts and their families at the event. We have lost many trees in our area from the drought this year and hopefully planting new trees will help mitigate some of that loss.  For more information about joining or volunteering with Girl Scouts contact Gina Murphy at 

Spotlight on Eagle:  Seth Brown

September 28, 2022 By Bob Kane

The Eagles’ Nest at the Josey Scout Lodge welcomes Seth Brown, the latest Scout to have achieved Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. Seth started his journey to Eagle as a Bear in Cub Scout Pack 98 in 2013 and crossed over to Troop 98 in 2016 to continue his scouting adventure.

According to Seth his best Scouting experience was this past summer when he hiked the Philmont Trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.  He stated that the 39-mile trek was a challenge but worth it in the end. He got to work with older Scouts and one night on the trek the staff held an old fashion Ho Down which he enjoyed.

He stated he had two bad experiences on his journey to Eagle Scout. The first was in Cub Scouts as a WEBELOS when he attended a WEBELOS activity with another WEBELOS den and there was a miscommunication regarding a meal. The second was with his Troop when they stopped at the Carlsbad Caverns on their way to Camp Wehinahpay. The Scouts were given the opportunity to take a short cut to the elevators or take the loop trail to the elevator.  Seth and his buddy Scout decided to take the loop trail without telling the adult leaders. This delayed the Troop which then required them to grab Subway sandwiches on the way to camp and eat them on the bus instead of eating at the restaurant at the caverns.  Lessons were learned with both of those experiences.

Of the 59 merit badges Seth has earned his favorite was Game Design and his least favorite was Climbing.

Game design was his favorite as he got to complete this one at Texas A&M. He built a trivia game. The game building experience taught him how to figure out different categories and prizes for the game. Seth says the knowledge allowed him to create a card game a few years later which worked well with his friends. With a few more steps and research and development it may allow the game to be a reality in the future.

Climbing was his least favorite to work on due to his fear of standing on the edge which is similar to a fear of heights. He had to fight this fear as he stood on the edge of the climbing platform in order to complete this merit badge. One of the things Scouting does is to face our fears and put us on the edge in order to complete a task or even a merit badge.

Seth’s Eagle Leadership project was to replace a set of outside stairs at the First Assembly of God Church. He and the volunteers had to demolish the old stairs and then place new posts and stairs which are safer than the old set of stairs.  This project required a lot of preparation on his part and a lot of hard work over several days for a group of volunteers.  He stated the best part of the project was seeing it near the end by putting the decking on and owning the project.

The most difficult part of the project was having to know what to do when things did not go according to the plan and solving the problems as they occurred. One section of the stairs did not meet to the ground so 2 – 3 stairs had to be added to complete that area.

Seth is a senior at Huntsville High School and his plans in the future are to attend college and get a degree in cinematography or creative writing. He plans to pursue a career in the filming industry.

He plans to give back to Scouting by continuing this year with the troop and be a supporter of the Scouting program. Eventually he would like to enroll his children in the future and possibly be a leader.

Spotlight on Eagle:  Donovan Palma

September 18, 2022 By Bob Kane

I would like to introduce you to the latest Scout from our area that has completed the Trail to Eagle Scout. Welcome to the Eagle’s Nest Donovan Palma from Troop 97. Donovan is a senior and he joined the Boy Scouts and Troop 97 in 2016.

Donovan achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on August 29, 2022 upon completion of his Board of Review. This is an extensive interview in front of a board of Scout Leaders and members of the community to make the final determination that the Eagle candidate has achieved everything required for the rank of Eagle Scout.

I was able to interview Donovan about a week after his achievement of Eagle Scout. He has had some great experiences during his time as a Scout.

Donovan’s greatest camping experience was attending the World Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reservation in West Virginia in 2020. He says it was a once in a lifetime experience.  His worst camping was a District Camporee at the former Camp Coyote in 2017. It had rained hard all weekend and vehicles were getting stuck.

Donovan stated the best Merit Badge was Pioneering because he learned several different knots other than the ones required for the Second and First Class ranks. He also got to build different things such as bridges and at some time the knowledge learned may help you save a life.

His Eagle Leadership Project was to build a total of 7 benches that was used for the Journey to Bethlehem Annual event  Six of the benches were made for the audience to sit and enjoy the program Donovan made the seventh bench to be used in the jail during the presentation and afterwards was used as a fundraiser for the event where the audience would donate money to have someone put into jail by the Roman guards and the now jailed person would make a donation to get out of jail. This helped raise funds to keep the event going.

Donovan stated the best part was building the benches and that he really learned leadership through the project on how to explain and guide someone through a process of the project. The worst part of the project was completing all the paperwork required for the project.

His future plans are to attend college and major in engineering or architecture and to work in the construction career field. Donovan plans to give back to Scouting and especially Troop 97 as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster for now and when he turns 21 he would like to take on the position of Scoutmaster. He is thankful for all the adults involved in the Troop who have guided him through this journey to Eagle Scout and would like to keep the history and legacy of Troop 97 alive. 

Girl Scouts Celebrate Their Love of the Outdoors at Huntsville State Park

September 13, 2022 By Diane Neudorf

Girl Scouts from Huntsville, Willis and the greater Houston area enjoyed a weekend of camping and fun activities at Huntsville State Park during Girl Scouts Love the State Parks Weekend, Sept. 9-11.  Every year at this time, Girl Scouts along with their troops, friends, and families, celebrate their love of the outdoors by visiting state parks across the country.  Girl Scouts are encouraged to spend time outside, enjoy nature and care for our environment through activities arranged by volunteers from various Girl Scout communities in cooperation with state park staff.

This year, 60 participants including Girl Scouts and their family members enjoyed weekend activities such as yoga, bird watching, fishing, hiking, geocaching, and orienteering.  They also helped clean up the park by picking up trash around the day use area.  Park interpreter, Ranger John, demonstrated campfire safety and shared a program about the alligators in the park.  A highlight was two baby alligators that everyone had a chance to touch and take photos with at the end of the program. The Girl Scouts also had a chance to make and exchange SWAPS. SWAPS stands for “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” Girl Scouts traditionally exchange SWAPS with girls from other troops as small tokens of friendship, and the SWAPS are typically made to recognize a special event.  This year’s SWAPS were crafted to look like miniature sleeping bags and compasses.  Of course, no Girl Scout camping adventure is complete without a campfire, S’mores, and a sing-along! Girls took turns leading favorite camp songs and fun was had by all.  For more information about joining or volunteering with Girl Scouts contact Gina Murphy at 

Cub Scouts Make the Hot Summer Cool!

August 22, 2022 By Tenderfoot Scout David Beaty II

Over this sizzling hot summer, our Huntsville Cub Scouts have been busy taking advantage of the sunshine. Scouting doesn’t stop for the summer! It is a year long program packed to the brim with fun! I checked in with the packs in our area to find out what exciting adventures they enjoyed over the break.

Cub Scouts had a great time this summer! Many Cubs attended Cub Scout Day Camp. Day Camp is a week-long Scout camp put on by BSA districts to provide kids with opportunities to work on their adventures and ranks alongside Cub Scouts from all over the area. At camp, there are games, crafts, and supervised shooting sports like BB guns, slingshots, and bows and arrows. Kids grow friendships with one another during this week of jam-packed fun!

It doesn’t stop there! Cub Scouts also worked toward the Summertime Activity Award. One of the requirements of this award is to participate with the pack during summer events. And boy, did the leaders make some plans! The packs participated in Scout Day at Minute Maid Park and got to walk the field before enjoying an Astros baseball game with their families and fellow scouts. Cubs explored the STEM Novas this summer, a program developed by BSA to encourage curiosity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Some packs put on craft and woodworking workshops for cubs to express their creativity through art.

Pack 98 Cubs got to learn about an actual wolf pack while visiting a wolf sanctuary and volunteering at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

Pack 96 was privileged to revisit history at the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum of Texas in July. The pack along with Troop 97 members had a pleasant picnic before ending the day at the Prison Museum here in Huntsville.

Pack 114 had an epic adventure at Mammoth National Monument in Waco, Texas! There, the cubs set their eyes on the fossils of ancient creatures that once roamed these lands. After proving to be good stewards of our National Parks, these scouts were sworn in as Junior Rangers.

The packs also had a blast bowling, skating, hiking at night, and gathering at the pool to beat the heat! This summer was so hot no wonder the cubs cooked up so much fun!

Adventure Awaits!

May 10, 2022 by Scout David Beaty II

I first started scouting about five years ago as a tiger in Cub Scouts. Cub scouting was awesome! We went camping a lot! Camping was full of fun, fort building, and den activities with my Pack. I always looked forward to the campfire where we sang songs, roasted marshmallows, and performed hilarious skits. Our cub den met together with our Den Leader every week to discuss plans, work on adventures, and be silly together! Cub scouts took trips to really cool places like the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas where we dug for diamonds and the SHSU planetarium where we explored space! We even got to camp overnight in the middle of the Houston Zoo!  (Just so you know, lions grunt at night!) At cub camp every summer, I shot BB guns, sling shots and bows and arrows while meeting cubs from all over! Swim time, hike time, any time is scout time! Cub scouts was an epic experience.


Just recently, I crossed over into a troop! I’m so excited because now I have new friends, longer distance camping and new adventures to look forward to. The BSA adult leaders are at our events for guidance and safety, however, we cook, clean, and lead ourselves. I am learning new skills from my troopmates and we all work together as we go through the Scouts BSA program. Instead of belt loops and adventures, we work to achieve Merit Badges. There are more than 100 merit badges that you can earn and its easy to find one that you are interested in. I am excited to work on the Moviemaking and Chess merit badges. This summer our troop is going to Camp Davy Crockett in Tennessee. There I will learn skills and leadership, achieve merit badges and meet even more friends!


Each scout works through requirements to achieve ranks. I just earned my first rank, Scout. Working towards tenderfoot is what I am focusing on now. It will take many camping trips, leadership roles and determination, but I know I can do it! Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life and then Eagle! I cannot wait to find out what that journey has in store. I have great friends, stupendous leaders, and the support of my family and community. Adventure awaits!

Josey Lodge Plants Memorial Garden to Honor Deceased Scout Volunteers

April 27, 2022

Scout leaders are, by their very nature, remarkably selfless.  They give freely of their time, talent, resources, and often their pocketbooks, with little to no expectation of recognition or renumeration.  These men and women have a positive influence on innumerable youth in our community and beyond.  For many of them the commitment is lifelong, continuing to contribute to Scouting long after their own children are grown.  Josey Lodge honors these volunteers, even when we have to do so posthumously.


The Josey Lodge Memorial Garden began with the widow and daughter of Pack 96 Cub Scout leader Patrick McHale.  An active contributor to the Josey Scout Lodge community, Patrick recently passed away unexpectedly, and his widow and young daughter donated a gardenia to Josey Lodge in his honor.  The gardenia is planted in the yard of the Caretaker’s Cabin at Josey Lodge and marked with a plaque dedicating it to Patrick’s memory, allowing us all to recognize the contributions Patrick made not only to his daughter’s Scouting journey but to other community youth as well.  The family will assist in caring for the plant.


Other families who wish to honor deceased Scout volunteers are encouraged to contribute to the Memorial Garden.  Information is available on our website at memorial.

Scouting for Food in Huntsville

March 19, 2022 by Arrow of Light Scout David Beaty

Recently, Scouts from Huntsville participated in the annual “Scouting for Food” as a part of the Sam Houston Area Council’s “Spring of Service”, a new program that focuses on service projects that contribute to our communities. Scouting for Food originated in the St. Louis Area Council in 1985 and spread its momentum to include Scouts in Huntsville, Texas.

This past February, Pack 98 and Troop 98 went “Scouting for Food” in Huntsville neighborhoods. This was a two-part effort. On the first Saturday, the Scouts went door-to-door hanging flyers to notify the public of donation needs. The following Saturday Pack 98 Cub Scouts and Troop 98 Boy Scouts picked up the food from each door. Cold weather did not stop our community from donating 353 cans and 126 dry goods to help our neighbors. The Scouts took the goods to the SHSU Food Pantry and helped organize the donations.

To maximize food supply through-out the year, other Packs and Troops develop food drives in other months of the year. Pack 114 collects canned goods and non-perishables in April as Troop 114 collects around May. Troop 1934 hopes for a successful food drive in September. Other Troops and Packs in Huntsville participate in food collection and service to the community throughout the year.

Service is a foundation of Scouting. Scouts strive to help other people at all times and to do a good turn daily.

Girl Scouts Celebrate International Friendship

February 22, 2022

Recently the Girl Scouts of Huntsville celebrated World Thinking Day, which officially takes place on February 22 but may be celebrated any time in February.  World Thinking Day is a shared holiday with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.  It is a day of international friendship and a time to learn about causes that impact girls globally.  Different troops in the Huntsville community created presentations on countries of their choice and they learned about the culture, traditions and scouting in those countries.  This year there were presentations about Australia, England, Germany and Greece.  The girls also explored the cuisine of the countries and they shared samples of food such as a German noodle dish called Spaetzle. Girls also made Valentines for the residents at Focused Care, a nursing home in Huntsville. The Girl Scouts were fortunate to have two international exchange students who are currently attending Huntsville High School visit the event and present information about their countries and their experiences living in America.  Ndoumbe is from Senegal and Praise is from Tanzania.  They arrived in Huntsville last August and they will leave in June after school ends.  The students said they had a hard time leaving their home countries but that they have really enjoyed their time in Huntsville and the chance to make new friends.  Ndoumbe shared that she missed the food from her home but enjoyed trying gumbo for the first time.  One thing Praise found surprising when she came to Texas was that not everyone dressed like cowboys and the weather was very hot compared to her home in Tanzania.  The Girl Scouts learned that, although there are differences in languages and culture, they also shared a lot in common with the students.  For example, both countries have Girl Guide programs. The Girl Scouts enjoyed meeting the students and making new friends.

Troop 114 Welcomes Two New Eagle Scouts

January 27, 2022 by Bob Kane

Recently, 2 young men who have been friends for the past 7 years achieved Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout. They are Koen Dunbar and Billy Moak. Their friendship started 7 years ago when Billy was invited to attend a Troop meeting by another Scout with Troop 114. He and Koen became friends through the many monthly campouts and both are members of the Huntsville High School Military Marching Band. The friendship grew not only through Scouting but also the many band activities they were involved with.

They both have memorable Scouting experiences.  For Koen it was attending a week long course known as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). This program integrates the most modern leadership theories along with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. According to the Boy Scouts of America, NYLT participants are engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skill and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, games, and adventures, participants will work and play together as they put into action the best Scouting has to offer.

Koen said this experience would have been very strict but once he met the other members of his patrol and started the activities they became a family. He still is in contact with the members of his patrol from that experience.

For Billy it was a trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He spent the entire time there outdoors and saw several different things including some old carvings in the rock formations. This experience has initiated a pursuit into the field of Archaeology.

Each Scout striving to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout must complete a total of 21 Merit Badges of which 13 are required Merit Badges for the rank. The Scout will earn some of these 13 required badges as they advance through the ranks of Star and Life Scout. They must also take on leadership roles in their troop and plan, develop, and execute a leadership project that benefits their church, non-profit organization or their community.

Billy’s project was to build a series of camp chairs for the Lone Survivor Foundation to be used at their camp in helping Veterans reconnect and heal. He completed this with the help of Scouts, his father, and adult leaders.

Koen’s project was planning and erecting a reflective area in honor of First Responders at the Huntsville Police Department building. He and his dad built a bench with a memorial plaque. Koen and 11 Scouts laid a paver walkway to the area and planted flowers along the path. Officer Warner was his mentor with the project.

Now that both boys achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, they were asked how they plan to give back to Scouting. Koen and Billy both said they would register as an Adult Leader and work with the troop. Koen stated that in the distant future he would like to get his children involved in Scouting.

Both Scouts will be completing their senior year this year and have plans for further education. Billy has been accepted to attend Texas A&M where he will be a member of the Corps of Cadets, the band and major in Archaeology. Koen plans to attend Lonestar College to do the basics as he figures what he wants to major in and then transfer to Texas A&M.

Both Scouts plan to stay in contact with each other and plan to set up with their Scouting friends an annual patrol trek where they can be outdoors and have fun with their friends.

Troop 114 Treks Philmont

July 2021

This summer the older Scouts of Troop 114 took a trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM.  Older Scouts are those who are 14 and older and have at least attained the First Class Rank.

A total of 8 Scouts and 5 Adults left on July 1, 2021 and returned to Huntsville on July 13, 2021. There were 2 Crews for a trek which allowed them to hike about 65 miles. Even though it rained 10 out of the 11 days on the trail, the scouts didn’t allow the rain to slow them down. They were able to complete almost all of the planned activities which even included packing a burro they helped to carry some of their gear and food.  Learning to take care of their new friends, Mr. Grumpy and Comet, the two burros was sometimes a challenge, but also a great learning experience for the scouts.

Both crews also participated in the following activities which included horseback riding where they saw a bear on the trail, 3D archery shooting, 12 gauge shotgun shooting, tomahawk throwing, a challenge course, visited the Indian writings site, worked at a blacksmith shop, rode and operated a railroad hand car and participated in chuck wagon cooking.  The highlight of the trek was hiking to the top of Baldy Mountain, 12,441 feet in elevation. It was a beautiful sunny morning when they left, but it rained and hailed on the descent off the mountain.

Philmont Scout Ranch offers several treks during the summer for Scouts and Venturers to participate in.  Besides Baldy Mountain, a crew may also take a trek to the Tooth of Time, a famous landmark along the old Santa Fe Trail. Both treks have activities for all to enjoy at their stopping points. It appears to be a lot of work but everyone has fun as they learn team building and confidence skills while enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.

Girl Scouts Chasing Adventure

July 2, 2021

The Huntsville Girl Scout Community had its twelfth annual day camp June 15-18/21 at the Girl Scout house and Josey Scout Complex.  A tradition for Girl Scouts in the Huntsville area, this fun camp often attracts girls from other communities.  Mary Gedelian, long time camp director, loves giving this opportunity to our local Girl Scouts and fulfilling the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  The theme this year was “Chase Your Adventure”.  With COVID precautions restricting participant numbers, there were 17 campers from Daisy to Senior levels and several adult volunteers.  Activities included the opportunity for girls to earn their First Aid badges at all levels.  There were visits from EMTs and Officers from Huntsville Fire and Police Departments who shared safety and first aid information.  The girls each had a chance to make their own first aid kits to take home.  Girls enjoyed outdoor cooking each day and learned how to use a Dutch oven over a campfire.  Some of the treats they enjoyed included banana boats, brown bears and monkey bread.  Archery, always a favorite activity at Girl Scout camp, was extremely popular with all the scouts and a few managed to hit a bulls-eye.  The girls also earned a Huntsville Historical Trail Patch and learned about Huntsville history.  This new patch for scouts included visiting several historical areas such as the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, the Sam Houston statue, Sam Houston State University, Oakwood Cemetery and Founders Park.   Each camp day ended with a welcome chance to swim and cool off at the Huntsville Aquatics Center.  Older girls (Cadette level and above) practiced their leadership skills and earned their Service to Girl Scouts pin for volunteering as aides to help younger girls at the camp.  As is tradition the girls also worked on service projects during camp.  The first was to set up two additional garden beds at the Girl Scout house for future troops to do gardening projects.  The second service project involved sewing small pillows, which were donated to our local EMS and Police department to give to children who may be in distress and need comfort.  When asked their favorite part of camp one Daisy scout said “I liked making the pillows to give to kids who need them”.   One of the Cadette Aides said “working with younger girls to teach them about Girl Scouts and Huntsville's history”.   Others said they most enjoyed archery and outdoor cooking and sharing recipes with their families.  Thanks to all the volunteers who made another fun day camp for Huntsville area Girl Scouts possible.

New Order of the Arrow Members

May 18, 2021

Josey Scout Lodge is excited to congratulate Huntsville’s newest Order of the Arrow members:  (L to R) Korban Daniel, Jayden Gay, Samuel Gray, Shawn Rainer, Koen Dunbar, and Billy Moak.

The Order of the Arrow is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. The Order of the Arrow (OA) recognizes Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Members are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, developing leaders, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich, support, and help to extend Scouting to America's youth.

The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America (Now known as the Cradle of Liberty Council). It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. 

Colonneh Lodge is the Sam Houston Area Council's Order of the Arrow Lodge. The lodge is named in honor of General Sam Houston; who was called Colonneh, meaning raven, when he lived with the Cherokee Indians. The lodge totem is the raven.

Once each year, a unit (troop, crew, or ship) may hold a unit election to elect youth members to become members of the Order of the Arrow. Both youth and adult Scouts and Scouters can become members of the Order of the Arrow (OA), but only youth members are elected. Adult leaders in the unit under the age of 21 are considered youth members for OA purposes, including unit elections. New members are voted on by every youth member of the unit present at the election - not just the OA members.

Huntsville Girl Scouts Recognize Adult Volunteers

May 7, 2021

The hardworking volunteers that make Girl Scouting possible in our Huntsville community were recognized recently at a picnic at the Girl Scout House on the grounds of Josey Scout Lodge.  The adult volunteers enjoyed lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Special recognitions were awarded by Jennifer Norris, the Community Leader for the Huntsville area.  Also in attendance to help with the awards were Volunteer Experience Manager for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Dimionique Woods and Troop Community Engagement Manager, Angela Conley.  

Daisy Girl Scout leader, Amber Gates, was given the “Jump Right In” award for being an active and dedicated leader in her first year of Girl Scouting.  As a new leader Amber has found fun and creative ways to keep her troop engaged in the last year.  One of her favorite activities enjoyed by her troop was a recent visit to a local fire station.  Amber said the excitement among the girls was contagious and the fire fighters provided an educational and fun program for her Kindergarten-aged troop.

The Innovation Award went to troop leader Jennifer Arthur who found new and innovative ways for her troop to sell cookies this cookie season.  Despite the restrictions of the pandemic, her mixed troop of 3 Brownies and 2 Juniors was very successful, selling over 3000 boxes of cookies this year!

Mary Gedelian received the Helping Hand Award. A 23-year veteran in Girl Scouts, Mary is a leader with two older girl troops in town and is also helping a new Brownie troop get started this year.  She is also very busy with Council activities including planning a Girl Scout trip to Costa Rica in 2022.

Congratulations to Girl Scout Ambassadors Madyson Vaughn and Brittanie Kosak who will be graduating from High School this year.  The girls received their Girl Scout honor cords for graduation and we hope they will continue to serve their communities as adult volunteers in Girl Scouts in the future.

Jamie Arlt was awarded the Appreciation Pin, a national award from Girl Scouts USA, for all the work she has done since joining the Huntsville Girl Scout community.  Besides being a troop leader, and a past Community leader she has worked hard at organizing events in our Girl Scouting community, and the council at large. She is currently our Product Sales Manager and Recruitment Team Leader for the Huntsville area.

Special recognitions and gift bags were also awarded to the many troop leaders and troop cookie managers who help make Girl Scouting a success our region.

Girl Scouts Attend Letterboxing & Basic Compass Skills Event

April 29, 2021

The grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum was overflowing with Girl Scouts on April 10, 2021. They attended a community event to learn the skills of orienteering and the hobby of letterboxing.   Letterboxing is a fun outdoor activity where participants follow clues to find hidden letterboxes.  It is similar to geocaching but no GPS is needed.  Likened to a treasure hunt, participants use clues, which may involve the use of a compass and various landmarks.  The letterbox contains a unique stamp, an inkpad and a log.  Once discovered, the finder will stamp their own personal stamp in the letterbox log and use the stamp in the letterbox to document the find in their own personal journal. They will also report their discovery online at the letterboxing website (  Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts had the opportunity to make their own stamps and personal journals. They also followed clues to find a letterbox on the museum grounds.  There are about 20 letterboxes in and around the Huntsville area.  Meanwhile, the Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts learned the basics of compass reading.  They practiced using compasses and played games to help improve their orienteering skills.  The event was a huge success with 45 Girl Scouts in attendance from the Huntsville area as well as some attendees from Conroe and Cypress.   

Eagle Spotlight:  Zachary Rebstock

April 3, 2021

Our newest Eagle Scout to introduce to you is Zachary Rebstock from Troop 98. He completed all requirements and had his Eagle Board of Review on March 6, 2021.

Zach started his journey to Eagle when he was 10 years old in 2014. He initially joined a Troop in Madisonville, then later transferred to Troop 98.

His most memorable camping trip was to Camp Alexander in Colorado. He says the weather was perfect. Zach’s mom said that is where he got the most scars.  While at Camp Alexander they had a Polar Bear Plunge at 7:00 am. Those who wanted to earn this award would go to the lake when it was 43 degrees Fahrenheit air temperature and jump into 45 degrees water temperature.

Zach says his best Merit Badge to work on and earn was the Pioneering Merit Badge. It helped him to learn his knots and lashings. He has not had a problem tying any knots or lashings since he completed this merit badge.

His hardest merit badge was Citizenship in the Community. There he had to learn about his community, and a non-profit organization in his community and then do a presentation along with 8 hours of community service with the non-profit organization. He also had to learn and discuss community issues and attend a city council meeting.

Zach initially had an Eagle project planned to build garden beds for the Waterwood Community Gardeners. The garden club decided to not pay to have water lines run out to where the garden beds were to be placed, so this project was not started. 

Zach then approached the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum of Texas for a project idea and they had a slant back armored HUMVEE that needed to be cosmetically restored. Zach and his team got to work sanding and placing plexiglass in the doors where the windows were missing and attached covers for the gas tank and over a connection for an antennae. They also filled in areas where the fiberglass was deteriorating. 

The original plan was to use paint brushes to paint the vehicle. Zach decided to make the extra effort to spray paint it so it would look better. Zach prepped the HUMVEE for spray painting, placed wind barriers around the Vehicle and commenced to spray paint the vehicle Desert Tan. Zach learned through this entire process that leadership is the process of leading and not directing.

In the future Zachary plans to continue volunteering and helping the Boy Scouts of America wherever possible. Who knows - possibly at summer camp teaching archery.

Zachary will be attending Southeastern Illinois College on an Archery Scholarship and learn Outfitter Wildlife Conservation. Once he has completed this program he would like to go through a linguistic program and do missionary work overseas.

Eagle Spotlight:  Lincoln Oberg

March 17, 2021

We all know that several occasions were put on hold or altered due to the pandemic. Weddings, Graduations, Birthdays, Anniversaries and yes even Eagle Courts of Honor were changed or postponed until we could get back to some normalcy.

James Lincoln Oberg, who goes by his middle name Lincoln, was one of several Scouts who had completed their requirements, Leadership project, Scoutmaster’s Conference and Eagle Scout Board of review but could not have their ceremony last year due to most of us being in lockdown.

Lincoln started his Scouting journey to Eagle as a Tiger Cub in 2010. His best camping trip was a canoeing trip at Brazos Bend where there is a watchtower that stands on posts that are not driven into the ground. Also he got to see an alligator with her babies.

His best Merit Badge to work on was Personal Management because he learned to set up and track his finances. Lincoln says this is an important life skill to learn. His least favorite Merit Badge from a practical experience was Fingerprinting.

Lincoln’s Eagle Leadership Project was to build and place 8 picnic tables for the Lakeview Methodist Camp located in Palestine, Texas.  There was a minor change to the original plan. The order of materials was fulfilled and shipped. Upon starting to assemble the tables, it was discovered the wrong screws were shipped with the order. Instead of putting the project on hold his Uncle Will McCollum happened to be there to assist and had the correct screws for the project. He traded out the wrong screws for the correct screws and the project proceeded to completion.

During the Leadership Project process, Lincoln said he learned patience and how to deal with people who have trouble listening to instructions.

Lincoln had his Eagle Court of Honor earlier this month at the Josey Scout Lodge. He said he was relieved to finally have it but it was worth the wait to enjoy it with family, friends and fellow Scouts.

Lincoln plans to give back to Scouting as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 114 until he ages out of the Scouts BSA program. He plans to eventually become an Assistant Scoutmaster or Scoutmaster in the future.

Upon completing his high school education, Lincoln plans to attend Texas A&M and major in Architecture. Upon completing his degree he plans to work in this field and eventually start his own firm.

Eagle Spotlight:  Tristan Lawson

March 10, 2021

Tristan Lawson, the son of Terry and Jill Lawson,  is a member of Troop 114, and met his Eagle Board of Review on November 30, 2020.  

Tristan joined Scouts in 2014 when he, his father, and grandfather were sitting at the Taco Bell across the street from Josey Scout Lodge.  His dad pointed to the Lodge and noticed the boys going there.  Tristan went over to the Lodge to see what was going on and joined the Troop. 

When asked what his best camping experience was, he said, “Every campout that it did not rain I don’t remember, but those where it rained I remember because we had to improvise.” He states his worst camping experience was the Boundary Waters because his last hour in the canoe on the water he was swamped by a motor boat speeding by.

Tristan completed the following merit badges on his journey to the rank of Eagle Scout:  First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cooking, Personal Fitness, Life Saving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming, Camping, Robotics, Small-Boat Sailing, Fish and Wildlife, Basketry, Emergency Preparedness, Radio, Family Life, Leatherwork, Archery, Collections, Fire Safety, Textile, Rowing, Rifle Shooting, Canoeing, Backpacking, Automotive Maintenance, Kayaking, Insect Study, Electricity, Energy, Snow Sports, Pets, Railroading and Hiking.  The best merit badge for Tristan was Winter Sports at Camp Hale; it was neat to do “snow” skiing in the summer. The worst merit badges were Personal Management and Personal Fitness due to the paperwork involved for both of them. 

Tristan’s Eagle Leadership Project involved refurbishing a military ambulance that is on display at the H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum.

Tristan is also an active member of the Texas High School Bass Fishing Team and the Future Farmers of America.  Upon completing high school, he plans to attend Universal Technical Institute in Houston to become an automotive technician.

Eagle Spotlight:  Benjamin Hendricks

March 8, 2021

Benjamin Hendricks started Scouting in 2011 because “it was something my older brother was doing and I wanted to see what the fun was all about.”  He is currently a member of Troop 98.

His best camping experience was at Enchanted Rock. “It was a trip with excellent weather. The boulder was amazing to go through.” Ben did not mention any bad camping experience. 

Ben completed the following merit badges for the rank of Eagle Scout: Art, Fingerprinting, Chess, Animal Science, Crime Prevention, Swimming, Personal Fitness, Mining, First Aid, Veterinary Medicine, Entrepreneurship, Genealogy, Electronics, Inventing, Orienteering, Wilderness Survival, Music, Lifesaving, Citizenship in the Nation, Communication, Programming, Citizenship in the World, Climbing, Family Life, Athletics, Camping, Space Exploration, Environmental Science, Scout Heritage, Citizenship in the Community, Scholarship, Traffic Safety, Personal Management, Soil and Water Conservation, Aviation and Cooking.  He said his favorite merit badge was Cooking because, “I got to plan and prepare meals for a hike. I did not know I could do that.” On the other side of the coin Ben said, “My worst merit badge was Personal Management due to all the paperwork, but it is the most beneficial to learn.”

His Eagle Leadership Project was for the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Ben and his team of volunteers cleared debris and Indian Mallow (an invasive species of plant) that was blocking a natural spring on the grounds of the museum. Upon completion the spring was flowing and the area was cleaned to allow visitors to enjoy this area of the grounds of the museum.

Besides school and Scouts, Ben is very active with the Huntsville High School Military Marching Band where he plays the snare drum in the Drum line; he has recently been named Drum Major for the 2021-22 school year. He is also involved in the Huntsville High School Drama/Theater and just completed the play “Check Please” in which Ben had the lead role. He is an active member of the Student Council and is a Representative of the Freshman Class Council. He is active with the First United Methodist Church Youth Ministry and is a back-up drum-set player for the Praise Team and the Youth Ministry Band. Ben is also an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow and is presently working towards his Brotherhood in the Order.

Ben’s future plan upon completing high school is to go to college and earn a degree in Law. 

Eagle Spotlight:  Brayden Castleberry

March 8, 2021

Brayden is a member of Troop 114, and met his Eagle Board of Review on November 30, 2020.  He joined the Boy Scouts in 2008 because his cousins convinced him to join. His most enjoyable camping trip was to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico; his worst was to Camp Hale due to the ticks.

Brayden completed the following merit badges on his journey to the Eagle Rank:   First Aid, Personal Fitness, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Environmental Science, Crime Prevention, Fingerprinting, Cooking, Emergency Preparedness, Hiking, Dentistry, Scouting Heritage, Communication, Personal Management, Camping, Family Life, Fishing, Reptile and Amphibian, Insect Study, Energy, Graphic Arts, Fire Safety, Oceanography, Photography, Digital Technology, Weather, Rifle Shooting, Backpacking,  Automotive Maintenance, Welding,  Animal Science and Radio.  He said en enjoyed Welding best “because of a shocking experience with the welder.”  Brayden’s Eagle Leadership Project was building and installing heavy duty picnic tables for two of the Huntsville Fire Department Stations. 

Brayden currently works at Discount Tire so between Scouts, School and work he is not involved in extracurricular activities. His future plans upon graduating from High School are to attend Trade School for Plumbing.

Daisy Troop 103115 Shows Christmas Spirit

January 2021

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

December BSA News

December 2020

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 to learn more.

The Scouts here at Josey Scout Lodge wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hopefully a Happy New Year.

Congrats Eagle Scout Will Pitts

December 4, 2021 by 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, Rifle 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 benefited 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

November 2020 by Bob Kane, with 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

November 2020

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.