Major Changes for LDS Varsity Scouts and Venturers

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Well, the news today was rather shocking!  I got it just minutes after Deseret News published it as “Breaking News” and I saw it in an e-mail notification.   In a rare moment, I was able to get WIFI and news as I was about to begin my bus driving route in Mesa, Arizona for the morning. And there it was:  LDS Church to Drop Varsity and Venturing Programs.  Wow!

This really hit me hard because I have spent much of my life trying to promote the two programs through various roles.  And I have seen wonderful results as leaders have caught the vision and worked to implement the programs.

The official news came in the form of a First Presidency Letter from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Then on the LDS Church Newsroom I was able to read several questions and answers about the upcoming changes.

The “Deseret News” had additional links including Elder Holland comments as he discussed new LDS Scouting changes.   Another source of comments were from President Charles Dahlquist, former General Young Men President and currently the National Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. He said, “I see a loss, opportunity, ongoing relationship and irony.”   That kind of sums it up!

Hidden away – but attached to the First Presidency letter – in case you didn’t get that far in the article, were specific guidelines for future program activities for older young men in the United States and Canada.

Teacher and Priest Activity Program

May 11, 2017

“Building young men with strong testimonies in the Lord Jesus Christ, helping them magnify their priesthood duties and preparing to fulfill their divine roles is the purpose of the Young Men’s 14-18 activity program. Stake, ward, and quorum leaders should use Handbook 2: chapters 8 and 13, and counsel together on how to implement this activity program. Activities should provide opportunities to be with youth, connect them with heaven, and let them lead (see ymactivities.lds.org).

Principles:  Activities should:

• Provide belonging and support by strengthening quorum unity and building relationships with peers, leaders, and families (see Handbook 2, 13.1).

• Provide experiences that help young men fulfill their Aaronic Priesthood duties and their divine roles: − Accomplish the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood (see Handbook 2, 8.1.3). − Develop temporal and spiritual self-reliance skills, such as time management, budgeting, and simple home and mechanical maintenance (see Handbook 2, 6.1.1). − Engage in becoming good citizens (see Handbook 2, 21.1.29).

• Be planned and executed by Aaronic Priesthood quorum leaders, with support from adult advisers (see Handbook 2, 13.2).

• Provide a balance of opportunities to serve others and to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually (see Luke 2:52; Handbook 2, 8.13.1; 13.2.6).

• Follow all Church safety and other policies and guidelines (see Handbook 2, 13.6). Activity Guidelines

• Develop an annual calendar to ensure a balance of purposeful spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual activities (see Handbook 2, 13.2.6). Ideas for meaningful quorum activities can be found at ymactivities.lds.org and in Handbook 2, 13.1.  (This is a really big thing – and probably the major key to success in former and new “programs”.  See below for more detail on the how and why … Kevin)

• Combined activities with young men and young women are particularly beneficial for youth ages 14 and older and could be held more frequently than once a month (see Handbook 2, 8.13.1).

• One youth conference or multiday high adventure activity should be held each year (see Handbook 2, 13.4). In addition, 2–3 overnight activities are also encouraged (see Handbook 2, 13.6.12)

And the good news is that boys (and leaders and parents) with self-motivated Scouting interest can still participate as Scouts and can earn their desired Eagle Scout Award.  Maybe we can wake up the sleeping giant known as the Troop Guide!  Wow!  Wouldn’t that be something.  I promise I’ll write more about this subject in future blog articles.

And in light of these principles, things really have not changed for the LDS Youth.  It’s all about Priesthood quorums, missionary preparation, quorum brotherhood, and creating a full year calendar of exciting and fun activities.  (I can help with some of those – Missionary in Training program for the home and family and program planning.  See my past blogs on this subject – now true they reference Varsity Scouting – but the underlying principles and processes are still true.  See

Planning the Annual Progam

Implementing the Planned Program

Having Fun with the Planned Program

Now, going forward, I guess it is up to each of us to use and create opportunities for growth, progress and testimony building.  As in the past, it is up to each of us to determine how we will move forward for the benefit of your youth ages 14-17.  So, what are you going to do about it?  That is the big question for all of us.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building young men with strong testimonies in the Lord Jesus Christ, helping them magnify their priesthood duties and preparing to fulfill their divine roles is the purpose of the Young Men’s 14-18 activity program. Stake, ward, and quorum leaders should use Handbook 2: chapters 8 and 13, and counsel together on how to implement this activity program. Activities should provide opportunities to be with youth, connect them with heaven, and let them lead (see ymactivities.lds.org). Principles Activities should: • Provide belonging and support by strengthening quorum unity and building relationships with peers, leaders, and families (see Handbook 2, 13.1). • Provide experiences that help young men fulfill their Aaronic Priesthood duties and their divine roles: − Accomplish the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood (see Handbook 2, 8.1.3). − Develop temporal and spiritual self-reliance skills, such as time management, budgeting, and simple home and mechanical maintenance (see Handbook 2, 6.1.1). − Engage in becoming good citizens (see Handbook 2, 21.1.29). • Be planned and executed by Aaronic Priesthood quorum leaders, with support from adult advisers (see Handbook 2, 13.2). • Provide a balance of opportunities to serve others and to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually (see Luke 2:52; Handbook 2, 8.13.1; 13.2.6). • Follow all Church safety and other policies and guidelines (see Handbook 2, 13.6). Activity Guidelines • Develop an annual calendar to ensure a balance of purposeful spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual activities (see Handbook 2, 13.2.6). Ideas for meaningful quorum activities can be found at ymactivities.lds.org and in Handbook 2, 13.1. • Combined activities with young men and young women are particularly beneficial for youth ages 14 and older and could be held more frequently than once a month (see Handbook 2, 8.13.1). • One youth conference or multiday high adventure activity should be held each year (see Handbook 2, 13.4). In addition, 2–3 overnight activities are also encouraged (see Handbook 2, 13.6.12).

 

 

 

A Scout Prepared and a Life Saved

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

A SCOUT PREPARED AND A LIFE SAVED

My daughter had just received notice that her son, Joseph, was to receive a lifesaving meritorious award.   She knew that her son had been nominated for something but didn’t know what the award was.  She thought that it was the lifesaving merit badge or something.  I tried to explain to her that it was beyond that – a special award given to someone who had somehow saved the life of another person.

She said, “How rare is this award?”  I said, “Well, let me say it this way …  I have been in Scouting for 50 years and I have never seen the award presented.”  This got her attention.

It was a very hot summer Arizona day last June and Kaylea’s five sons (and probably daughter too) were all in the pool trying to stay cool.  And they were normal boys doing normal boy things – horsing and playing around together in the water.  But then eight-year old Brodey was out of air and sunk to the bottom of the nine-foot pool.   And no one knew that he was down and struggling.  Brodey later reported:  “I thought that I was leaving this world”.

But then Joseph, playing elsewhere in the pool, heard a voice.  It was not a loud voice.  It was a still and quiet voice.  He later reported that “The Holy Ghost told me that Brodey was at the bottom of the pool and needed help.”  Wow!  Joseph was himself then a brand new 11-year old Scout and had never had any lifesaving training.   Joseph listened to the voice even as it directed him in very specific actions to take to bring Brodey up from the bottom of the pool.  He did as he was instructed and soon had the limp but breathing Brodey pulled up from the bottom of the deep pool and safely up to the deck of the pool.  With the prompt actions of his older brother, little Brodey was alive and safe.  He was soon breathing well and everything was normal.  But what a miracle!

I heard of the incident as I was traveling through Utah to work at Camp New Fork (in Wyoming) for the summer.  I was in total awe of the story.  I knew how spectacular it was.  I went on to camp and when I got home a couple of months later, I researched the BSA lifesaving awards.  I found that there are three levels of recognition for lifesaving action and that nominations are made on a single form.  I learned that a council nominating committee (like the one that selects Silver Beaver recipients and such) would have to review the form and then decide if recognition was deserved.  The local council can present the Medal of Merit independently but if the committee suggests greater recognition, the nomination form is forwarded by them to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

I believed that his actions might be worthy of recognition.  So, I conducted an interview first with Joseph to hear his view of the situation.   I was amazed – and grateful – when he told me how “the Holy Ghost told me that Brodey needed help, where he was, and how to grab hold of him to bring him out of the water.”  I was grateful that his parents had taught him about the Holy Ghost and even more pleased that at his young age, he had learned to listen to that still small voice.  I interviewed Brodey (alive and well) and got his story.  I interviewed the Mom and the other siblings as the application required.  With this process complete, I submitted the application on to our local Grand Canyon Council office in Phoenix.

We heard nothing for a few months.  Then suddenly, “out of the blue”, Kaylea received the call from a council representative.  The call caught her off guard and she didn’t know what the guy was talking about.  She did gather that her son was to receive recognition of some kind.  The caller said that they wanted to present the award at the upcoming council recognition event (with Silver Beaver awards).  The problem was that Joseph’s parents and grandfather (me) would be out of town the weekend of the council event.

Other options were explored and it was determined that the award would be presented at a Mesa District Scout leader’s roundtable – the largest upcoming gathering of Scouters.

JOSEPH WITH KAYLEA AND JDThe big day came on April 6th – his mother’s birthday – and the day before Joseph’s own birthday.   Though unplanned, his other grandparents were in town from Oregon.  And of course my wife, my parents (Joseph’s great grandparents), and other relatives were all in the local area.  We all gathered with high anticipation for the grand event.  Many of us were in Scout uniform – as was Joseph.  I presented Joseph with a classy embroidered red Scouting neckerchief (celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Scouting in the LDS Church) for his special occasion.

I talked with the local District Scout Executive about the presentation.  I had thought that a council officer had planned to be come to present the award.  Not so …  he was unable to come on this night.  And to my surprise, the DE invited me to present the award.  I had a big smile on my face with that invitation. That was a big wow for me to be able to present this special award to my own grandson.

At the beginning of the roundtable, and after the usual opening business, the District Executive introduced me to present the award.   I called forward Joseph, the lifesaver – and Brodey – the life saved – to stand by me.  I introduced the award briefly and told a bit of the lifesaving event background.  I then called upon Joseph, my grandson, to share what happened.   He told how the Holy Ghost had told him about Brodey’s need for help – as well as the instructions on how to extract him from the pool bottom.  I then commended his parents for teaching him about the Holy Ghost and commended him for being tuned in to Him in order to save Brodey’s life.

Joseph – and his proud parents and grandparents – were quite surprised when all 200 or so people present simultaneously stood and broke into a loud standing ovation for Boy Scout Joseph.  What a great moment!  Scouting  and Duty to God – together.  Brodey alive and Joseph … recipient of the BSA Lifesaving Medal of Merit!  A scout prepared and a life saved.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

Long Term Effects of the Jamboree Experience

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

THE LONG-TERM EFFECT OF OUR JAMBOREE EXPERIENCE

As we took our Troop 155 (“The Best Alive!”) from Arizona up to the national BSA Jamboree in Idaho we had a grand time.  And we also created a wave effect that carried through the troop for many years.  The momentum that Jim and I created with the troop was astounding.

In those days, the LDS Church established criterion for and awarded recognition for the “Top 50 Troops in the Church”.  We applied after our first year of preparation for the Jamboree and were recognized as Troop #35 – in the entire Church.  (And we didn’t even apply the second Jamboree year – when we were really fabulous!)  And that momentum carried through for several more years in the troop.  My youngest brother, Ray, was a part of the troop some five or six years later – and he still felt the momentum of that Jamboree trip.  By then I had headed off on my church mission but “Johnson Jim” – as my brother called him – was still going strong as the Scoutmaster of good old Troop 155.

And Johnson Jim was still as great as ever.  He truly was amazing as a Scout leader.  My younger brothers loved Jim as much as I did.  What a great man!  Wow!  Nothing was too much for Jim.  He would give his heart and soul to do anything needed for his Scouts – often at too much of a personal sacrifice to him and to his family.  But that was Jim!

Sadly, Scoutmaster Jim passed away just a few months ago (Oct. 2016) at age 80.   How could he be gone … my Jamboree Scoutmaster?  His passing gave me again opportunity to think of and smile about the Jamboree experience that we shared together.  And his funeral became almost a troop reunion.  (“155 – The Best Alive!”)  Many of our former Scouts – including most from our Jamboree troop – were there and together we reminisced about the troop – and specifically about the grand “Growing Together” Jamboree experience that we had shared so long ago.  The Jamboree spirit lived on within each of us!

Over the years I have sometimes run into guys from our troop – or from the other two troops who made the Jamboree trip with us.  I had to laugh at one such experience.  I had just met a new school bus driver with whom I would be working.  Upon learning that his name was “Shill”, that name caught my memory and took me back to the Jamboree.   I knew that there were two or more Shill boys with us from the Lehi troops.  (Shills were some of the original founders of the Lehi village.)  As I always do, I asked him the name of his father.  I then asked if his father had attended the 1973 National Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho.   Jacob replied that he didn’t think so – that he had never heard his father talk of such an experience.  But Jacob immediately texted his father and yes, his father – Rolland – was definitely a member of one of the Lehi troops.  He noted that he had turned age 12 the week before so he had gone along as the youngest member of the group.

My driver friend later talked to his dad and the father shared many great Jamboree memories with Jacob.  (I don’t know why that conversation hadn’t happened years before …)  Jacob connected me with his father and he and I exchanged Jamboree memories together.  I sent him many photos I had taken at the event.  Being so young, he hadn’t received any photos from his leaders or family.

Another Jamboree related story:

A few years ago I was conducting a Scoutmaster training course for my district.  This was held at our local Heard Scout Pueblo in south Phoenix.  As a part of the training, I took all of the course participants on a tour of the camp facilities.  One stop that we made was at the swimming pool.   While there, I observed a unique vision on the face of one of the men.  I could tell that something was happening.  I asked him what was going on.  He then related that he had grown up in California but that he and a council Jamboree contingent had stopped in Arizona en route.  He had not remembered where that stop was but on this day at the Pueblo, he had a clear memory of the Arizona stop so long ago.  As he was at the pool deck, he realized that he had been there on his Jamboree trip and had laid on a scorpion while sunning himself on the deck – and got bit by the creature!  Funny!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

Journal Memories Document the Jamboree Experience

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

MY JOURNAL OF THE ACTUAL JAMBOREE ’73 EXPERIENCE

Well, we had spent a couple of years getting ready for the Scout Jamboree.  It was truly a big job and a major undertaking.  But, we managed to get everything done.  But, ready or not, it was now time for the Jamboree!  So exciting!

FRIDAY, JULY 27TH, 1973

The big day finally came.  We left our Arizona Home for the National BSA Jamboree in Idaho!  We were to leave at 6:00 AM but Fritz Rasmussen did not arrive until 6:45 AM.  We stopped in Flagstaff for gas and then went on to the Glen Canyon Dam where we ate lunch.  We then traveled to Richfield, Utah and are staying the night on the lawn of their youth center and the LDS Stake Center.  Wendy and Aletha Johnson rode with us on the bus and stayed the night in a motel.  [I don’t remember their plan.  I know that they didn’t go to the Jamboree with us but I guess they were heading north for some reason.]   I think the day went very well and the kids  – Scouts – had a lot of fun.

 SATURDAY, JULY 28TH,

We left Richfield at 8:00 AM Utah time.  The bus driver was still on Arizona time so was an hour late.  We went to the BYU campus and saw the Marriott Center and the Temple.  We arrived in Salt Lake City about 2:00 Pm.  At 3:00 Pm we had an interview with Apostle Delbert Stapley – who was from Arizona originally.  We then toured the Temple grounds, bummed around and concluded the day at the “Promised Valley” theatrical production.  We camped at a KOA campground.  It cost 50 cents apiece.  We also fasted supper.

SUNDAY, JULY 29TH,

We woke up at 6:00 AM and then had our own Priesthood meeting at 7:00 AM in one of the theaters in the Temple Visitor’s Center.  [All three troops were present – and went together on the bus everywhere.]  Next was the Tabernacle broadcast with the Tabernacle Choir and The Spoken Word.  We toured the visitor’s center until 1:00 pm.  We then went to eat at the “Chuck-A-Rama” smorgasbord.  We had fasted breakfast today and supper last night.  Dinner cost the troop $2.35 a boy.

We then went to the “This is the Place” monument.  At 5:00 Pm we went to sacrament meeting at the S.L.C. 17th Ward.  It was all old people in the ward.  Our Scouts passed the sacrament.  The old ladies said there is only one deacon in the ward and they were thrilled to have us there.  The speaker said that was the first time in 20 years when they had 8 boys under age 16 passing the sacrament.  Everyone came up afterwards and said how much they liked having us there.  We went to Liberty Park for two hours, ate supper at Dee’s, and came back to the KOA.  It was really a fun day.  I especially enjoyed the sacrament meeting.

MONDAY, JULY 30TH,

We left Salt Lake City at 7:00 AM and traveled to Missoula, Montana.  We stopped twice to eat.  We traveled about 575 miles and we didn’t arrive until 7:00 PM.  We stayed at the National Guard Armory in Missoula.

 TUESDAY, JULY 31ST,

We got up about 6:00 AM and left at 7:30 AM from Missoula, Montana headed for the Scout Jamboree.  We arrived in Farragut State Park about 12:00 Noon.  We spent the afternoon setting up camp.  One funny thing happened.  The wind blew two “Jon” [KYBO] tents about 30 feet in the air.  I went to Headquarters to try to find my brother, Kyle.  [He had been in Washington with an uncle and they brought him to the Jamboree with their troop.]    I went to the counter and there was General Authority Marion D. Hanks.  I shook hands with him and talked with him a few minutes.  At 9:00 PM, Scoutmaster Jim and I went to an orientation meeting.  The backs of my knees are really getting sunburned. That is one bad thing about these Scout shorts.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST  1st,

Today was the official opening of the Jamboree.  It started with a flag ceremony.  They had 300 pigeons they let out when the Jamboree was declared in session.  They also lit off a lot of firecrackers.

In the afternoon Jim, Don, Kenny and DeLane and I went hiking around.  We went to the hiking booth.  We learned how to climb 12 feet up a rope.  There was also a demonstration in cliff climbing.  We then went to the merit badge midway.  I then washed my clothes and had a shower.  The water was the coldest that I had ever felt.  In the evening we went to the big opening arena show.  Actor/Comedian Bob Hope was there and was really funny.  They had skits, songs, etc. centered around the theme, “Growing Together”.  The best part of the show was the fireworks at the end.  It was better than any Fourth of July.  At the very end they lit off about 10 of them at a time.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2ND,

We woke up at 7:00 AM.  The alarm didn’t go off.  Everyone was slow and couldn’t get their work done.  The Jamboree wide-game was today.  Jim and I had a leader’s meeting at our Antelope Sub-camp headquarters.   In the afternoon all of us went canoeing.  David Killian, Markley Johnson and I started out for a national Eagle and Life meeting.  We couldn’t find the place and arrived for the last ten minutes.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD,

This morning we went to the Octathalon competition.  Robert, DeLane and I then went to the general exhibits, the arts and science expo and the merit badge midway.  They were all interesting.  At 4:30 Pm we had troop pictures taken.  After supper I went and located Bret McRae – a family friend from Indio, California.  Our troop is really starting to disappoint me.  They fight and argue all of the time and the campsite is a big mess.  I am wondering why I went to all of the work getting them here at all.  Everything here is dusty.  My sunburn didn’t hurt much today – which was a relief.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH,

This morning some of us went to the shooting range and also orienteering.  In the afternoon we went swimming and on a hike.  We hiked the High Point Trail.  There was a signal tower at the top.  When we climbed it, we could see all over the camp.  I took several pictures.  We were very surprised when Bishop Vaughn J Featherstone, of the church’s Presiding Bishopric, rode his bike into our camp.  Everything was a big mess because we were trying to get cleaned up for Sunday.  Our tents and dining flies blew down in the night.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5TH,

Our sacrament meeting – church service – started at 9:45 this morning.   There were General Authorities (from Church headquarters) there.  They included Bishop Vaughan Featherstone, Presiding Bishop Victor L. Brown, Elder Marion D. Hanks and the General Primary board.  Bishop Featherstone and Brown gave the talks.  I was privileged to be one of the priests helping with the sacrament.  DeLane Davidson of our troop was one passing the sacrament.  They had about 40 priests and 104 deacons.  It was really impressive to see so many LDS scouts at one time.

In the afternoon I went to the “Skill-O-Rama”.  This was about like our Scout-O-Ramas at home.  There were many interesting things there and things I had not seen before.  At night we went to a campfire or fireside program with Brothers Featherstone and Hanks speaking.

MONDAY, AUGUST 6TH,

Today Scoutmasters Jim and Leon Jones and I went to a transportation meeting about leaving the Jamboree.  I then went to the professional Scouting information booth and watched some slides on Scouting as a career.  I went to the Skill-O-Rama again.  In the evening we had a campwide (Antelope sub-camp) campfire program.  It was terribly cold and we all froze while staying to be polite.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7TH,

This morning I watched as some boys ran the obstacle course.  We then went on a hike on the Deer Belt Trail.  We saw many survival skills and also an old-time cowboy camp.  In the afternoon we broke camp and prepared to leave the Jamboree.  My mom, dad, sisters Lesa and Laurie and brother, Ray, joined us here today.  [And my brothers Darcy and Kyle were with me already at the Jamboree].  Mom informed me that our wonderful neighbor, Clara Hardy, had died.  This made me sad.  We closed the evening with the big closing arena show.

Again the fireworks were the best part.  Most of the boys slept “under the stars” because we had packed away the tents.  My cousin, James Hunt – here with his Washington troop – came over to visit for a while today.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8TH,

We got up at 5:00 AM and ate breakfast.  We then started (or finished) preparations to get out of camp.  We returned the picnic tables, the “Jons” (the infamous yellow tents) and other things.  We (the Hunt family) left the campsite at 7:15 AM.  The troop was just waiting for the commissioner to come and inspect the site.  We dropped David Killian off at the Spokane Airport on our way to Quincy, Washington.  We arrived in Quincy – at the home of Uncle Richard Hunt at 11:00 AM.  I had a nap for a couple of hours – which was much needed.  I then had a hot bath.  It was quite a change from the ice cold showers at the Jamboree.  I took my mother to the laundry and she did her wash as I washed all of the Jamboree clothes for my brothers and me.

So, as noted, my family headed off for our own two-week vacation – following the Jamboree.  I left my Troop 155 in the charge of Scoutmaster Jim (and the other two troops).  They headed off on the bus.  So, I have no recollection of their scheduled plans.  I do remember that the bus was just going to head straight for Arizona.  They were not to make any tourist stops along the way.  It would have been fun to have been at the disembarking point at the church as the families gathered for their sons and heard of their Jamboree adventures.  I am sure that after they had their own hot bath or showers – and had some cookies and milk – they would have said that the Jamboree was the greatest adventure of their lives.  I know that it was for me.  It truly was a dream come true.  Such a grand experience.  I was so glad that I was the catalyst to get the troop to the Jamboree – even with all of the work that it took from me and others.

I hinted at some of the events that we staged to earn our money for the Jamboree.  We had every kind of fund-raiser imaginable over a two-year period.  But, still, we did not totally earn all of our money.  The bus alone cost us $3,300.  At the conclusion of the Jamboree I presented the remaining bus bill (that we hadn’t totally earned) to our Bishop Max Killian (Bishop of our local Mesa, Arizona LDS ward) and I loved his comment.  He took the bill and put it into his pocket as he said, “Cheap at any price!”  Wow!  (And I am certain that he personally paid the rest of the bill out of his own pocket.  I will always be grateful to him for his kindness and support.  What a wonderful gift.)

So, the Jamboree became history.  I did have mention of a couple more incidents in my journal about it.  That first Sunday after the Jamboree, we attended church meetings in Washington with our cousins and families.  Their own Washington troop had been to the Jamboree so there was much said at their meetings about the grand time that their boys had had.

Our Jamboree experience was long before the days of our modern digital cameras.  In those days, we had to have film and then sent them in for processing.  I found a cheap place in California and sent them my ten or more rolls (from the Jamboree and my own vacation afterwards) for developing.   I recorded on September 11th that I showed the slides to the troop – with the note that “some turned out quite good, while others were not too …”.  Then on September 20, I noted that “we got our troop pictures taken at the Jamboree back today.  I took them around to all of the Scouts.”  And that photo has become a classic in our Troop 155 circles since then.

Thus, the Jamboree became a “done deal”.  All of the equipment was stored away for future troop use.  The cactus guys probably stood in a corner somewhere until someone decided that they had no useful purpose and were thrown out.  (I wish I had a couple of them!)  All of the Scouts went on with their own lives.  In just a couple of months later, I headed off on my own new adventure – a two-year Church mission in Alabama and Florida.  And now suddenly, I find that the Jamboree was more than 40 years ago.  How could that be possible?  But, many times through the ensuing years, I have thought back on my Jamboree experience.  And those thoughts and memories always bring happiness and many smiles.

I got to relive some of those recently with the death of Scoutmaster Jim.    I again reflected on this great Scoutmaster and his personal and family sacrifice for us, his Scouts.  Wow!  What a great man!  Thanks, Scoutmaster Jim – for our grand Jamboree opportunity.  Jim’s funeral was kind of a Troop 155 reunion – and of course, the memories of our 1973 Jamboree experience together came flooding out from everyone.  Such great times!  Oh, the fun … and the traditions … of our Scout Jamboree!  Sweet!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

Jamboree Traditions Added to the Fun

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

ENJOYING THE JAMBOREE TRADITIONS ADDED TO THE FUN

As I began sharing my Jamboree memories, I mentioned that any Jamboree is a combination of fun and tradition.  One of those long-standing Jamboree traditions that was a lot of fun was a “wide game” involving all boys and leaders of the camp.  For our wide-game, each participant was given a large letter from the Jamboree theme “GROWING TOGETHER”.  The object of the game was to find other people with the rest of the letters.  Once a new letter was found, we linked arms and set out to find the rest of the letters needed for the words.  The game made us think about the theme of the Jamboree, Scouting brotherhood and all of that.  It was a lot of fun.  And it is a great Jamboree tradition.  I am sure that they still do this.

The most impressive moment of the Jamboree was the final closing campwide campfire program.  The vision of those 28,000 Scouts and their leaders was really something.  I’ll never forget that scene.  The famous actor, Bob Hope, conducted the opening campfire program.  (He died a few years ago at age 100.)  Those fireworks were really something.  I am quick to admit that it was better than any 4th of July celebration that I have ever seen.

As the ceremony started, the arena of 28,000 plus Scouts and leaders was pitch black as all lights were extinguished.  Toward the end of the program, and at the given signal, we each took a three-inch candle from our pockets.  As we were directed to do so, the Scoutmaster from each troop lit his candle.  He then lit the candle of his assistants and troop leaders. Together they then lit the candles of all of the boys in their troops.  Within moments the place was lit up as bright as if it were noonday.  It sure was impressive.

We then heard a little talk about the influence that just one person could and does have upon the world.  We were told that we each had something to contribute and we were challenged to “let our light shine” to the world.  The principle of Service was very beautifully portrayed.  (I have since experienced this candle lighting ceremony at various times and at various Scouting camps. It is impressive each time – but it was particularly so at the Jamboree as I participated in it for the first time.)

In that beautiful moment, I reflected upon the many wonderful experiences that I had known over the past eight years of my Scouting days in the troop.  It had indeed been a glorious climb from Gnubie to Eagle Scout and beyond.  Tears came to my eyes as I recalled the service I had been privileged to give and to receive.  I realized that in the process, I had discovered me – Kevin Hunt.  I knew of my own potential and welcomed the opportunities for service and continued growth through the great Scouting game.  I realized that this is what Scouting is all about.

I reflected too, on the selfless service given to me by Scoutmasters Kimball Nelson and Jim Johnson and the many other adults.  I caught a small glimpse of the great blessing that Scouting had been in my life.  I counted my blessings and all that Scouting had given to me.  It had been such a big part of my life.  I was grateful for the experiences of “Growing Together” with my many friends in Scouting.

 

I stepped out of that campfire bowl with a renewed desire to serve the Lord and my fellowmen.  I thought:

“On my honor … I’ll do my best … to DO IT”

One more thought came to our minds as we silently made our way back to camp:  “Troop 155 … THE BEST ALIVE!”  We really felt that we were the best alive. What a grand experience.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

Jamboree Preparation Takes Work and Dedication

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

IT TOOK A LOT OF WORK AND ADVANCE PREPARATIONS TO GET US TO THE JAMBOREE

Most of the Jamboree memories I have been sharing were recorded years after the events transpired.  (And I might add that those memories get better all of the time – PHD – piled higher and deeper – with the passage of time!)  But, there is nothing like a “primary source” (recorded close to the event) to truly “tell it how it was”.  So, although there might be some duplication of stories, it might be of interest (to some of you) to hear of the Jamboree through a “Primary Source”.  That source is my own personal journal which I recorded on each day that it happened.  At that time, I had started my journal writing only a few months before.  So, I was truly a “journal neophyte” and the entries are kind of sparse.  Now forty plus years later, and having made a daily entry for each day since then, my journal entries have become much more comprehensive and detailed.  The journal entries include many about pre-Jamboree preparations – since these are truly a part of the total experience – as well as entries for the event itself.   It took us almost two years to get ready for the Jamboree – but I have journal notes for only the three months just before the Jamboree.  (And I wish that I had started the journal sooner!)

But, such as they are, I am now happy to share these entries with you:

SUNDAY, MAY 20TH, 1973

[On this day I was 18 years old.  And after the challenge from Darwin Gunnell, my young adult Sunday school teacher – this was the day that I began keeping a daily journal …]  …  I spent the afternoon trying to get our order in for Scout Jamboree camping equipment [and that was long before computers so this would have been a paper order – and the supplier somehow found without the use of computer search engines].  Leon Jones of Lehi finally got his Jamboree tent money over to me.

TUESDAY, MAY 22ND,

Tonight I took our Scouts out selling tickets for the chuck wagon dinner we are having to raise money for our Jamboree funds.  We sold about $30 worth.  Kent Jones told me that he and Jayne will not be able to help on square dancing at our dinner – nor with the promised generator.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23RD,

… I went to Scoutmaster Jim Johnson’s house to talk about the chuck wagon dinner.

THURSDAY, MAY 24TH,

…  I went and picked up our jamboree personal equipment at the LeSueur’s Men Store [A Scout Distributor in town].  I got cashier’s checks for the troop tents and equipment.  … I spent the rest of the day worrying about tomorrow’s chuck wagon dinner.  I hope that tomorrow is long enough to get everything done.  Boy, I’ll sure be glad when the dinner is over.

FRIDAY, MAY 25TH

I spent the whole day today getting ready for the Scout chuck wagon dinner (to raise funds for the Jamboree).  I had to go many places trying to “get it all together”.  The dinner got off to a rotten start because no one was at the church at the right time.  We arrived at “Crismon Hill” and the Scout mothers and I tried (frantically) to get the biscuits cooked.  Dilworth Brinton was going to cook them but had to go out of town at the last minute.  I made 25 gallons of root beer in a big 50-gallon drum.  We drank all of it.  The dinner itself turned out pretty good.  I was afraid we would not have enough salad but I guess everyone but the last 15 people had some.  The campfire program went as well as could be expected after everything else flopping.  Half of the performers did not show up.  We connected the microphone and record player to a small generator that Jim bought.  Louise Nuland helped with dancing after Kent Jones fell through.  I came home exhausted and went to bed.  [Note:  In spite of the challenges, all participants seemed to have a grand time and they talked about the event for a long time afterwards.]

TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH

I went to a meeting about the Jamboree pre-training. …

FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH

…  Some of our troop Jamboree equipment came today from Mercantile in St. Louis.  I typed another letter tonight to Colorado Tent and Awning Company.  I think I finally got all of the Jamboree tentage ordered and paid.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13TH,

… In our Scout meeting tonight we discussed Scout camp and the Jamboree and then went shopping for some material for new troop neckerchiefs.  We picked out some pretty green and gold material.  My sister, Lesa, volunteered to make them tomorrow.

MONDAY, JUNE 25TH, (after a week of Scout Camp with our troop Scouts)

The tents for the Jamboree came today from Colorado Tent and Awning Company.  Scoutmaster Jim and I took the tents over to the two Lehi troops (which they had ordered with us).

TUESDAY, JUNE 26TH,

“… [Tonight] I worked on the plans for the chuck boxes for the Jamboree.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28TH

Today was my day off from work.  Scoutmaster Jim and I worked all morning and until 2:00 PM making the chuck boxes and equipment boxes for the Jamboree.  We got them all assembled.  Now to add the finishing touches!

FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH

After I got home I painted the chuck boxes and equipment boxes until 11:30 PM

SUNDAY, JULY 1ST

…  At 4:30 PM I went to a Jamboree meeting.  We got most of our plans finalized.  …  When I got home I typed four stencils about the National Jamboree equipment, etc. to send to the Scouts and parents.  [I really had to think about this for a minute.  That was long before printers and computers.  So, this was the old stencil for the round drum “ditto machine”.  Wow!]

 

MONDAY, JULY 2ND

… I immediately started on the chuck boxes – putting the handles on.  I got most of them on and found that I had done them wrong.  I dittoed off the letter for the Scouts about the Jamboree and got them ready to mail.

TUESDAY, JULY 3RD,

I put some more handles on the chuck boxes.  I then got in a “pit” and couldn’t do anything.  As a last resort to relaxation, my brother Darc and I went for a sundae at Dairy Queen.

THURSDAY, JULY 4TH,

Today was a day of leisure.  I slept in until 9:00 Am.  …  All afternoon Dad and I put the handles and hinges on the Jamboree boxes.

FRIDAY, JULY 5TH

This morning Darcy and I worked on the gateway for the Jamboree.   …  Many of the Scouts and I sold sno-cones at the baseball games at Ellsworth Park (to try to earn some more jamboree money). We made about $30.

FRIDAY, JULY 6TH,

I spent the whole day on Scouting.  I planned menus, worked on equipment boxes, gateways, etc.  And tomorrow we are having our pre-Jamboree training.  We are now at Bushnell Tanks – up by the town of Sunflower.  It is really a nice place and I think we are learning a lot about what we’ll have to do on the Jamboree.

SATURDAY, JULY 7TH,

We continued our Jamboree training this morning.  There were only six (of the 13) Scouts – Delane, Markley, Don, Darcy, John and Kenny up here with us.  We fixed breakfast and then had some discussions about the Jamboree.  After lunch we came home.  This afternoon I cut out two more Saguaro cactus men for the gateway.

MONDAY, JULY 9TH,

After work I passed Robert on his camping skill award.  I then cut out the last cactus guy for the gateway.

THURSDAY, JULY 12TH,

Another hectic and busy day off.  I was on the go all day.  I worked on the gateway again and painted the guys green.

MONDAY, JULY 16TH,

…  I worked all of my spare time on some puzzles for the boys to do on the bus on the way to the Jamboree.  I wish that I could think of everything I need to do to get ready for the Jamboree.  It’s really coming fast!

TUESDAY, JULY 17TH,

We earned $26 selling sno-cones tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH,

…  We sold sno-cones again and are nearly out of supplies.  I sat and worked on baggage tags and the duty rosters.  I have decided we will not sell sno-cones again because it would not be worth buying new syrup.

THURSDAY, JULY 19TH,

I worked on menus, duty rosters and the troop name sign today.

FRIDAY, JULY 20th,

After work I goofed off and worked on the Jamboree menus.

SUNDAY, JULY 22ND,

…  We had a final meeting about the Jamboree with the other two troops.

MONDAY, JULY 23RD,

Scoutmaster Jim and I packed the equipment boxes to take to Chuck Miller’s home in Lehi.  I spent the rest of the night just worrying about the Jamboree.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25TH,

My last day of work until the last of August.

THURSDAY, JULY 27TH,

I spent the day getting ready for the Jamboree.  I bought food and finished everything that needed to be done.  I can’t believe that the day is finally here.

 

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

Personal Jamboree Memories Live On

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

In my last article, I talked of how our dream to take our Troop 155 (“The Best Alive”) to the 1973 BSA National Jamboree became a reality.

We took our time getting from our Arizona home up to the Jamboree in northern Idaho.  We stopped for a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona.   I still chuckle at a photo I took of our thirteen boys with only their backsides to the camera as together they looked down – bent over – over the guard rail looking down to the river below.  That photo was fun to show after we got home and at a parent’s meeting.  “There’s me!” each boy said proudly.  (And I wonder why I can’t locate the photo now!)

Our second night was spent at Richfield, Utah.  We stayed in a church yard and did our cooking on our Jamboree charcoal stoves there on the parking lot.  The next two nights we stayed at a campground in Salt Lake City.

We stayed in Salt Lake City over Sunday so that we did not have to travel on that day.  That day also turned out to be a “fasting” day for our church.  The Scouts were less than thrilled when we reminded them of the 24-hour fast and our intent to observe it.

We spent Sunday morning at a church near Salt Lake’s LDS Temple Square and that turned out to be quite the experience.  The church congregation was almost entirely older people.  They all cried (literally) as the fifty two of us marched in – wearing our complete Scout uniforms.  Many of the folks who were shedding tears told us that they had not seen that many young people in years.

We spent the afternoon at the Temple Square visitor’s center and had a little church meeting of our own there – with the permission of the Center leaders.  Later we went to dinner at a nearby smorgasbord restaurant where we broke our fast and ate once again.  The boys all thought that they were going to die of hunger before the meal.  Then when they saw all of that food, they piled their plates up about six to eight inches high.  They immediately chomped down and ploughed into the food.  Their eyes were bigger than their now shrunken stomachs, however.  Some of them literally turned green as they were so overstuffed and as they looked at the rest of the food that went uneaten.  It was really quite a comical scene.

The next day we again headed north.  We spent the night in Montana at a military base.  There were Scouts there from all parts of the country.  It was fun to see the operation there at the base.  The next day after that, we drove to Farragut State Park – located at the top of Idaho’s panhandle.  The whole area there was converted into one gigantic tent city of Scouts.

The first thing that we noticed as we entered the camp was an umbrella tent flying or whipping around high in the air on one rope pegged to the ground. The wind was blowing hard and the tent was circling the sky on that one tether.  We later learned that the tent was the KYBO (toilet) tent belonging to the Canadian Scouts who were camped near us.  I guess the wind had whipped the tent off – even as some poor Canadian Scout was in their doing his duty.

We were right on the western edge of the massive camp (of some 28,000 boys and leaders) so we saw all of the people … and huge amounts of dust … coming into camp.  We also got the full force of the fierce winds which howled constantly all while we were there.  The area had not had rain there for over forty days and everything was very dry. That is what made the dust so horrible.

Each campsite at the Jamboree (or in our case our troop) was urged to create a campsite entry or gate to welcome visitors and to tell who we were.  Being from Arizona we wanted something representative of our area.  We decided to feature four Saguaro Cactus men (the Saguaro cactus is the cactus variety that stands twenty or more feet tall and has many long arms.)  We put the official Jamboree red Scout berets on their heads.  Two of the men were on each side of the campsite and they had red ropes strung between the cactus men and to the other side.   Their stickery arms had a friendly wave for everyone who passed by.  At the Jamboree we had a lot of comments on our Saguaro men and everyone noticed our sign which told who we were and where we were from as it hung from the red ropes strung between the cactus men.

Of course on any outing, every boy Scout is crazy and wants to go swimming if there is a lake or stream.  At this Jamboree we camped on the banks of Lake Pond Oreille.  We waited in line one day for a couple of hours just to be able to swim in the FREEZING Lake Pond Oreille.  What a mistake!  That has got to be the COLDEST water that I had ever experienced in my entire life (and I have been in some pretty cold water at summer camps).  It was SUPER COLD – to give a great understatement.  We got a headache just being in the water for a couple of minutes.

That brings up the subject of the showers.  These were also extremely cold.  I am sure that they must have pumped the water straight from the bottom of that lake and into the showers. Then, to make matters worse, we would be dust-blown just trying to walk back to camp after the shower. We’d be dirtier when we got back to camp than when we got into the shower.

These showers were also the subject of many a humorous conversation by the throngs of Jamboree visitors.  The main frame of the apparatus was made of 2×4” boards.  A sheet of orange plastic was then rolled around and stapled onto the frame around these boards.  The orange plastic was placed above the shower platform about eighteen inches – and extended up about three feet.  When I stood in the shower, my legs from the knees down showed through underneath the tight sheeting.  And then my chest and above showed above the plastic. Add to this image that of a naked silhouette against the plastic and the scene was a total scream.    This became an unusual conversation piece to all who passed by and saw the scene.  What a hoot! And to make matters worse, as we showered, we could see and hear many lady visitors pointing out the unique scene to their daughters as they passed by together.  They really got a show that day.

One of the top leaders from our church  was at the Jamboree for the entire week as a camp chaplain.  He made a point to go around to meet all of the Scouts belonging to our church.  One day he rolled into our camp on his bicycle.  The camp was a filthy mess from all of the dust and wind that kept the tents down more than up.

Scoutmaster Jim and I recognized the visiting authority at once – Elder Vaughn J Featherstone – and went into a state of shock because of our campsite mess.  We did have a good visit with him but as he left, one of the boys asked, “Who was that man?”  …  “Uh, you mean that you don’t know?” we asked.  Anyway, we were horrified.  We hoped that the leader remembered the visit but not the state of affairs in which he found us in our dust bowl.

When the wind and dust were not killing us, we really did have a nice campsite.  I guess I’ll go ahead and admit that it was quite impressive.  I was Scoutmaster Jim’s Assistant Scoutmaster by this time and he and slept in a large white wall tent.  Our Scouts were camped as two patrols – in our new Baker tents – in a semicircle around us.

We had made little name tags which we posted on small poles in front of each tent and with these we could tell who occupied each of the spacious tents.  Our Saguaro cactus men looked great at our gate entry.  We had a lot of good comments about our Jamboree home.

Everyone at the Jamboree wore a complete Scout uniform consisting of a short sleeve shirt, red beret, and Scout shorts and knee socks (with those lovely garters and tabs).  There were about six inches of our legs that were not covered by either the sock or the shorts.  We really got sunburned there as we wore our uniforms through the Jamboree – and our 19-day trip.  Consequently, our legs were very sore.  My sunburn was so deep that I could still see the six-inch sunburned band for nearly two years after the Jamboree.  It was a funny reminder of the Jamboree, however, and it made for interesting conversations when my legs were revealed.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin The Scout Blogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt