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Posted: Apr 04, 2014 5:08 PM CDT
By Beverly Perry, Weekend Meteorologist/Multi-Media Journalist, KTIV - Siouxland's News Channel

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of Siouxland will be lending a helping hand for those in need.

The scouts have teamed up with the Food Bank of Siouxland for the annual "Scouting for Food" Food drive.

The Food Bank of Siouxland helps to feed the community and donations to the food bank cannot keep up with the demand.

With the help of the scouts, this will help hive the food bank the boost that it needs.

"This event brings significant quantities of food to the Food Bank to help feed the community's hungry citizen, and is a wonderful community service opportunity for the scouts," said Jordan Hunter, Boy Scout Leader.

On April 12, scouts will go door-to-door and be at grocery stores for folks to donate unexpired and non-parish able food items.

Plattsmouth Cub Scout Pack 477 recently held its annual Blue and Gold Banquet at the VFW.

The banquet is a time for Scouts to receive their Rank Badges and also other awards they have earned.

Mason Durow and Jackson Scott earned their Tiger Badge. Parker Aughenbaugh, Grayson Blinston, Robert Bowman, Dominic Hamilton, Declan Hudson, Wyatt Jamvold and Gavin Thornton earned their Wolf Badge. Jayden Davenport and Tyler Masid earned their Bear Badge. Cameron Aughenbaugh, Duane Coenen, and Jeremiah Masid earned their Webelos Badge. Congratulations to all the boys.

Quinton Denton, Erick Owen, William Robert, and Joseph Struckmeyer all earned their Arrow of Light. The Arrow of Light is the highest award you can earn in Cub Scouts. It is the only patch that can also be worn on the Boy Scout uniform. Congratulations for achieving this high honor.

The second year Webelos also had a bridging ceremony. A bridging ceremony is where Cub Scouts transition into Boy Scouts. At one end stands the Cub Scout Leader and parents. As the Scouts cross over the bridge, on the other side awaits their Boy Scout Leaders and fellow Boy Scouts. Good luck to Quinton Denton, Brodee McCollum, Erick Owen, William Robert, and Joseph Struckmeyer as you start your new journey in scouts with Plattsmouth Troop 399.

If interested in joining Scouts or getting more information, stop by a meeting. Cub Scouts meet at the United Methodist Church Mondays at 7 pm. Boy Scouts meet at the VFW Mondays at 7 pm.

Read the original article here.

Area boys race at Pinewood Derby Sunday
March 31, 2014
By JOE SUTTER (jsutter@messengernews.net) , Messenger News

Tiger Scouts Sam Myer and Royce Pederson brought important tools to the Pinewood Derby this year - smartphones and iPods. Before their little wooden cars were released and raced down the ramp, the scouts had their devices up, ready to take a video.

Sunday's event brought in scouts from all across the Boy Scouts Twin Lakes District, and of all ages. There were heats for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and their siblings too. Even parents could enter a car in the 10-ounce open adult class. Scout cars were limited to 5 ounces.

"We have some dads that are really into helping their kids," said Linda Ayers, Twin Lakes District executive.

There were 76 registered for the race, held at the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College. Boy Scouts helped out by releasing the cars for the younger scouts' races.

Greg Marquart, of Manson, entered the race along with his sons.

"My son is a Wolf Scout," Marquart said. "I cut it out for him, and he painted it. His five-year-old brother wanted to use my car from when I was a cub scout.

"My dad made mine, I told him how I wanted it and everything," he said. "My son told me how he wanted his."

Connor Youngdale, 10, of Clare, said it took him about five days to make his car. His design process was pretty simple.

"I just drew it on paper, and went with it," Youngdale said.

At the race, Youngdale said he has to keep an eye on his axles so they don't run out of graphite powder lubricant.

Owen Eldridge, 8, of Clare, said making the car was his favorite part.

His looks "sort of like a race car," he said. "We made it faster by cutting off the front, and we put flames on it."

Does he think he could win?

"No," Eldridge said.

Youngdale was more optimistic.

"Sure," he said. "You have to hope for the best."

Deanthonie Gully, 9, of Fort Dodge, enjoyed racing, but winning wasn't the first thing on his mind.

He likes the race, he said, "because I get to see lots of people. I like to see their families cheer for them and see them win."

Read the original article here.

Only the most determined Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle - Boy Scouts of America’s top distinction. It is an undertaking that requires unwavering devotion, and not all scouts are destined to make it.

According to the National Boy Scouts of America, only two percent of Boy Scouts achieve Eagle status. However, in almost 80 years, Union County has produced 99 Eagle Scouts.

Troop No. 129, which includes all of Union County, could have its 100th Eagle as early as May. According to Scout Master Dave Jennett, three young Crestonians are quickly moving toward becoming an Eagle Scout — Kiernan Norton, Brenton Barber and Dylan Anson.

Serving the community

To become an Eagle, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, which involve learning a number of leadership and life skills and performing community service. Additionally, each Boy Scout vying for Eagle status must complete a service project, which is chosen, planned and carried out by the Scout.

Creston High School sophomore Kiernan Norton, 16, of Creston, the son of Tim and Bunny Norton, is three merit badges away from becoming an Eagle Scout.

Norton said he is currently working on finishing merit badge requirements in family life, fitness and personal management.

For Norton, the family life merit badge involves activities like “chores” and working with his parents and siblings as a team to accomplish goals around the house. Personal management involves learning life skills such as managing personal finances and the fitness merit badge requirements challenge him reach a higher level of personal heath.

Norton said, the more challenging of the three is the fitness merit badge.

“I rarely do anything,” Norton chuckled.

Jennet describes Norton as “very helpful and polite” and “a lot of fun to be around.”

“If there is ever anything to be done, ask him,” said Jennet. “He’s always very happy to do it.”

A significant portion of the Eagle rank requirements is for the Scout to perform a service project, benefiting the community, school or religious institution.

Of the three in the running to become the 100th Eagle Scout, Norton is the only one to have finished his Eagle Scout service project. For his project, Norton, with the help of his troop and their parents, Norton landscaped the memorial garden at Greater Regional Medical Center after Creston’s 2004 tornado by removing debris, digging up shrubs, rebuilding new flower beds and placing new plants with supplies donated by Akin Building Center, Green Valley Pest Control and Lawn Care, Kelly’s Flowers and Savta’s Greenhouse in Creston.

Norton said he stays focused with the encouragement of his parents, particularly his mother who is an active Boy Scout volunteer.

“My mom ... used to be the Girl Scout leader,” said Norton. “She’s been helping through everything and I am really grateful for that.”

First class

Brenton Barber and Dylan Anson, both 13, of Creston, are currently first class Boy Scouts, three ranks below Eagle.

Barber, who is the son of Casey Barber and Charlotte Fletcher of Creston, began his scouting experience as a Cub Scout and has been a Boy Scout for two years.

Aside from Scouts, Barber is also an active volunteer through his church, United Baptist Presbyterian Church of Mount Ayr.

His mother described him as a “loyal and trustworthy” kid who is “very dedicated to his scouting.”

Barber has helped staff pancake suppers at his church and most recently volunteered serving meals at a homeless shelter in Kansas City.

Anson, who is the son of Joe and Tina Anson of Creston, is the troop’s senior patrol leader. At 13, Anson runs the meetings, picks out meal plans, camp houses and projects.

When asked what it takes to become an Eagle Scout, Anson said it’s a lot of work and Scouts who don’t make the rank just don’t try hard enough.

“You have to be determined to get it,” said Anson.

Through Scouts, Anson has also become a junior certified scuba diver. After taking courses at Southern Prairie YMCA, Anson put his skills to the test in the depths of Mermit Springs, a spring-feed quarry in southern Illinois.

Currently, Brenton and Anson are working together on a “citizenship in the community” merit badge, which requires eight hours of service projects. To meet this badge requirement, Barber and Anson are working on building a house with Habitat for Humanity in Creston with the guidance of Troy Petersen, their merit badge counselor.

Lifelong leadership

Jennet said Eagle Scouts possess a set of character traits, which include maturity, loyalty, integrity and leadership.

“The goal of the scouting program is building tomorrow’s leaders through character and leadership,” said Jennet.

With all of the community service hours required to pass through the ranks, Jennet said there are 24, not including the hours spent on an Eagle Scout service project.

“Multiply that by the number of boys that have gone through the program and there’s a lot of benefit to the community.”

Read the original article here
February 20, 2014
By JOE SUTTER, Messenger News

EAGLE GROVE - The memory of a fallen Boy Scout continues to inspire Scouts and students throughout the state.

In Fort Dodge, a Boy Scout troop will hold a blood drive Saturday in Aaron Eilerts'' honor. And in Eilerts' home town of Eagle Grove, middle school students will spend Monday giving back in a plethora of ways.

"We will have a variety of service projects throughout the day to benefit the community, county, nation and world," said Eagle Grove school counselor Beth Stephas.

Eilerts was one of four Scouts killed when a tornado struck the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp in June 2008. He had just finished eighth grade.

"When he died, Governor Culver came to his memorial service in our community. He declared every year on his birthday, Feb. 24, would be a day of service and giving in his memory," Stephas said. "We try to carry on Aaron's legacy."

The students will continue Eilerts' project of sewing pillowcases.

"That was a project Aaron had started as a Boy Scout," she said. "In his short life, he sewed over 300 pillowcases and donated them to the hospital. But he also made pillowcases for firefighters and teachers, and people he felt were doing something for the community.

"His pillowcases were sewn with three different fabrics, very bright colors, fun patterns. The idea at the hospital was that children who were going in to have a procedure done or might be facing a difficult illness or something - they would be able to lay their head on something a little more bright and cheery and be able to take a memento home."

The kids make more than 100 pillowcases each year, Stephas said, and have been doing this for six years, so close to 1,000 pillowcases have been donated.

Eilerts was also known for making pet blankets out of fleece to donate to animal shelters, she said.

"Aaron didn't like to see the animals that were being kenneled at shelter just having to lay on a cement floor. He wanted them to have something soft to lay on. We have continued that project," said Stephas. "This year, we are donating all of the pet blankets we make to the leader dogs program at the Fort Dodge prison."

The students will also have some things happening for local food pantries and Upper Des Moines Opportunity, she said. Kids will create kits for cancer patients at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines.

The students will also make T-shirt dolls and dresses to send to orphans in Haiti.

Eilerts "was a student in our building from sixth to eighth grade, and we saw the amazing things he would do," Stephas said. "He was so selfless and always giving and creating and making things for people. Just an incredible young boy with a huge heart."

Fact Box

FD Scouts to hold blood drive

Local Boy Scouts will hold a blood drive in honor of a fallen Scout this weekend.

Troop 588 will sponsor the blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Kemna Auto, 10 S. 25th St., in honor of Aaron Eilerts.

Assistant Scoutmaster and parent Janet Earls said she hopes the event will raise more awareness about Boy Scouts in Fort Dodge.

Troop 588 is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and has 12 to 14 boys.

"They'll be helping in the canteen, helping greet the customers," she said. "Probably one boy will be in the showroom directing them. It will be in the back showroom."

The drive is put on through Lifeserve Blood Center. To schedule an appointment, visit www.lifeservebloodcenter.org or call (800) 287-4903.

By TYLER ELLYSON, Columbus Telegram
Published 8:48 am, Sunday, February 9, 2014

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — It's been decades since Mark A. Keller last wore his Boy Scouts uniform.

The signature clothing that marked his time with the national organization was donated long ago to a neighbor boy who couldn't afford the attire. Most of the other items from his scouting days are now on display in an Omaha museum.

But the 93-year-old Columbus man doesn't need props to recount the journey he embarked on in 1937 as part of the first-ever National Scout Jamboree.

The Columbus Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/1b5UXaj ) Keller shared his story recently with the Platte County Historical Society during a program that coincided with the start of National Boy Scout Week.

The Boys Scouts of America officially started on Feb. 8, 1910, and Columbus got involved with the organization in the 1920s, when four troops sponsored by the Izaak Walton League, Union Pacific Railroad, Knights of Columbus and a local church were formed.

Keller, who moved here in 1960 to take a job with a local feed company and later worked for First National Bank, was raised about 170 miles to the west near Elwood, a small Gosper County community located just south of Lexington.

The self-described "hillbilly cowboy" grew up during the Dirty Thirties, when severe drought made life tough in central Nebraska.

"I don't think I'd been much out of Gosper County," and certainly never out of the state, Keller said.

He planned on attending the National Scout Jamboree scheduled for 1935, but that event was cancelled because of a polio outbreak in Washington, D.C.

Two years later, at the age of 16, he would make the trip, boarding a train June 28, 1937, in Lincoln en route to the nation's capital.

"Going to Washington, D.C., was out of this world," Keller said.

Another site the group checked out along the way also left a lasting impression on the man who lived through the Dust Bowl.

After stops in Chicago and Detroit, Keller got to see the roaring water at Niagara Falls.

"You can't imagine the thrill that we got to see all that water," he said. "It was very beautiful."

The National Jamboree trip, which lasted 12 days, also included stops in New York City and Philadelphia before the group joined more than 20,000 other Boy Scouts in Washington, D.C.

Keller said the Scouts saw all the attractions in D.C. — his favorite being the Lincoln Memorial — and met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, all while spending the night on straw mattresses.

"We were just in awe at what we saw," said Keller.

The entire trip, which Keller's family made payments on, cost $79 — about $2,100 less than a Boy Scout paid to attend last year's National Jamboree.

Keller said he also took $13 in spending money with, but returned home with $3.

"We didn't spend much money but things didn't cost much those days," he said.

Last year's National Scout Jamboree was attended by more than 30,000 Scouts who spent time in Washington, D.C., before heading to a 10,800-acre site in West Virginia known as "The Summit."

That land, where every National Jamboree will be held moving forward, was purchased using a $50 million donation Stephen Bechtel Jr. made to the Boy Scouts of America.

Keller's trip didn't include the massive zip lines or ATV trails today's Scouts have at their disposal, and he certainly never carried a solar-powered charger to keep his smartphone running, but that didn't diminish the thrill of attending the first National Scout Jamboree.

"It was an experience that this old hillbilly cowboy will probably never experience again," said Keller.

Read the original article here

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