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Show Your Scouting Alumni Spirit in New Ways

Newsletter for Alumni and Friends WINTER 2018

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2 Message from the Director

5 Hear the Gratefulness One Scout Has

7 Looking to Enhance Your Skillset During the Summer?

12 Exploring is CareerReadiness



Scouts: Then and Now

Meet Joe Weishaar

A Message From The Director Scouting has had a lasting impact on my family, beginning with my parents and extending now to my children. That’s three generations that have been touched by this special organization. But I should actually count a fourth generation: those who came before my parents, who created the units and started the camps they were able to enjoy. And of course that generation owed a debt of gratitude to those who preceded them—and so on, all the way back to the BSA’s founding by Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, William D. Boyce and others. As Isaac Newton once said, we truly stand on the shoulders of giants. I have loved Scouting since I was a boy. You may share similar feelings and history. But whether you are a first-generation Scout or just the most recent member of your family to love Scouting, we are grateful for you. And we need you. Because just as you and I stand on the shoulders of those who preceded us, today’s Scouts need some strong shoulders to stand on. And that’s a job that alumni are perfectly suited for. Today, thousands of Scouting alumni around the world have committed to supporting Scouting. Many serve as leaders. Others provide real-world experiences by sponsoring Scouts through camperships and scholarships. More still act as mentors giving guidance and encouragement to prospective Eagle Scouts, a mentoring process that’s a hallmark of the program. These are but a few ways alumni participate in Scouting. Now, let me tell you a little bit about the differences you are making. As alumni of Scouting, you represent the realization of our organization’s longstanding mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. You personify what was called having the Scouting Spirit when I was a boy. Today, we still enjoy that spirit by bringing out the best in others and becoming role models. Every aspect of Scouting is purposely directed toward the success of our youth members as they become our next leaders. If you’re actively involved in helping create that next generation of leaders, thank you. If you aren’t, I invite you to join us in looking after those who follow in your footsteps. Once a Scout, always a Scout.

Dustin Farris Director, Scouting Alumni and Friends

ALUMNI NEWS Show Your SAF Spirit — and Help a Scout If you’re a proud college alumnus, your closet probably contains at least one polo shirt, sweatshirt or jacket emblazoned with your college’s logo. Or perhaps you advertise your allegiance with a coffee mug, bumper sticker or golf umbrella. But what about Scouting? How can you show off your Scouting pride without showing up at work in your old uniform — assuming you can still squeeze into it? Scouting alumnus Joe Weingarten, a member of the Scouting Alumni and Friends National Committee, has just the answer. For more than a decade, the Indianapolis Eagle Scout has been running an online store for the National Eagle Scout Association, and this year he created a similar store,, for SAF. And every sale benefits Scouting. “All the money that comes in, except for the cost of the products and postage, goes directly into supporting Scouting,” he says. “There’s no payroll. The overhead is donated. It’s a labor of love.” Among the dozens of items at the store are polo shirts, fishing shirts, messenger bags, neckerchiefs and, of course, patches. There’s even an HO-scale BSA train set and a handful of books on Scouting history. Most clothing items, like the men’s polo shirt (base price $40), can be customized with the buyer’s name, troop number or other information. “Let’s say your grandson is in Scouting and you want to go to his pack or troop meeting,” Weingarten says. “What a great thing to wear.” It was a different shirt that led Weingarten, a retired rocket scientist, to create the NESA store. For the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, then-NESA Director Terry Lawson ordered special shirts for the volunteers running the NESA exhibit. “By accident, lots and lots of extra shirts appeared,” Weingarten says. “We sold them, and they flew out faster than expected.”


That success led NESA to create a larger retail operation at the 2010 National Jamboree (which marked the BSA’s 100th anniversary). After that jamboree, Weingarten sold excess inventory on eBay. Ditto for the 2013 National Jamboree, except this time he expanded on the eBay concept by creating In keeping with SAF’s goal of supporting other Scouting affinity groups, recently began offering merchandise for the Wood Badge, Sea Scout and Summit Bechtel Reserve alumni organizations. “They all benefit from the store because they’ll receive funds from the store for their programs, and at the same time they don’t have to go set up another store,” Weingarten says. Despite a growing inventory, most orders ship within 24 to 48 hours, the only exception being clothing. “All the clothing is embroidered to order, so that takes two to three weeks,” Weingarten says. Even with that delay, you can still get your custom SAF polo shirt in time for your next visit to an Eagle court of honor, blue and gold banquet or Scout Sunday service. And you won’t have to explain why your old uniform has mysteriously shrunk a size or two!

Affiliate Spotlight: Sea Base Alumni and Friends If you want to experience the power of Scouting alumni firsthand, you need travel no farther than mile maker 73.8 on U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys (not a bad destination in the dead of winter!). There you’ll find the headquarters of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. The base escaped the full fury of Hurricane Irma in September, but still sustained significant damage. Assessing and fixing that damage fell on the base’s permanent staff of barely 20 people and on a horde of former Sea Base staffers and participants. Once the dust settled and basic services had been restored, Sea Base leaders welcomed in volunteers from across the country. Some, like Jose Guzman of Doral, Fla., had been on staff this past summer. Others, like Jeff Kidd of Apex, N.C., were decades removed from their staff service. A 1994 staffer (and current Scoutmaster), Kidd wrote, “Sea Base holds a special place in my heart, so whenever Sea Base needs my help, I will do my best to help it. I experienced so many things when I worked at Sea Base that I had never been able to do before — diving on coral reefs, sailing on a tall ship, great fishing and catching lobsters. I want to make sure all Boy Scouts have the same opportunity to experience what Sea Base offers.” Some volunteers reached out to Sea Base on their own, but many came because they’d been invited by the Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association (SBAFA), which has been supporting Sea Base, and connecting those who love it, since 2005. According to SBAFA President Dan Gill, SBAFA got started not long after the death of legendary Sea Base founder Sam Wampler. “He died in 2002, which sort of set off this

coconut telegraph of everybody who had worked there over the years passing that news along,” Gill says. “It really led to this yearning to get together.” Today, SBAFA has about 150 actively engaged, dues-paying members, and it reaches more through its website and Facebook page. While many have served on staff at the base since its founding in 1980, others visited the base as participants or leaders — or simply have an affinity for the place. As the name indicates, SBAFA is an “and friends” organization, just like Scouting Alumni and Friends. (By contrast, membership in the Philmont Staff Association and Summit Bechtel Reserve Staff Association is limited to past staff members, while the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, which supports the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program, offers affiliate memberships to non-staffers.) One of SBAFA’s biggest efforts is providing support to seasonal staffers. SBAFA members participate in staff training each year, helping with check-in and passing out free Nalgene bottles imprinted with SBAFA information. “Their ability to come down and help with staff training is huge,” says General Manager Mike Johnson. “And then during Hurricane Irma, SBAFA put together staff care packages and sent them down here, because we had seasonal and year-round staff that were coming back after the hurricane.” But staff and SBAFA members weren’t the only people descending on Islamorada after Irma. “The Philmont Staff Association was one of the first groups that came in,” Johnson says. “They helped us get the sewage treatment plant back online at the Britton Center. They rebuilt the scuba tiki hut up here. They just did a wonderful job.” So what difference did alumni make in Sea Base’s hurricane recovery? Even though Irma hit barely three weeks before fall programs were set to begin, not a single group had to be turned away. “The staff worked hard, but we couldn’t have done it without the volunteers who came in,” Johnson says. “They worked hard at a lot of tough, dirty jobs to get the Sea Base ready to go.” For more information on Sea Base Alumni and Friends, visit 4

Letters to the Editor My name is Ronald J. Shopinski. I am a member of the Bobwhite patrol from the Wood Badge course NE V 106 88. It was quite an adventure back in 1988. The best part of the course was that it was a week long one held at my Susquehanna Council camp, KAROONDINHA. There are a few stories that I could relate. Each one FUNNY. I will never forget my instructors, especially our Scoutmaster. I am an Assistant Scoutmaster with BSA Troop 174, and I have 51 years in Scouting. — In Scouting & Brotherhood, Ron Shopinski

I will never forget... Mostly I just want to say thank you! Thank you all for your hard work and I can’t wait to receive my book. Please take the time to read this and I will try my best to make it worth your time! I would not be who I am today if it was not for the Scouting program and earning my Eagle Scout. My parents and leaders taught me patience, persistence, determination, desire, work ethic, trustworthiness and everything else a Scout should embody as outlined in the Scout Law. I hope to spend my life perfecting the embodiment of a motivated, effortlessly positive and successful giver. I was home schooled as a kid, and although it taught me the skills I use today in my work and conditioned me to excel in college, Scouting taught me countless principles of doing good for, connecting with, and enjoying other people. It also taught me to work at making myself better every day - to never settle for who I am and strive to be everything I know I can be–and help those around me do the same thing.

Andrew Patrick Henry

I started my own business at the age of 19, halfway through art school. It took me four years to get a two-year degree. I worked part-time at Chick-Fil-A until late at night, then I would go back home and either paint, draw, or do my homework– sometimes until three in the morning so I could go to Algebra at eight in the morning the same day. Ten dollars left for two weeks and ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for awhile was no fun, but I graduated with a 4.0, Summa Cum Laude, a Phi Theta Kappa member, and through the Gordon State College Honors program. Career highlights so far have been working for small towns all over the U.S., Starbucks, the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, HBO, PRET in London, and countless great people all over the world who I hope I get to see and make happy again. I’m grateful for so much more than Ramen. I am twenty-five years old and hungry for the next step - something else Scouting taught me. Thank you all for your hard work and although I’m not sure if you even wanted to hear any of this I say all this Do you have an amazing Scouter story you would like to to illustrate how lost I would be without the principles that my share with Scouting Alumni and Friends? We want to hear parents and Scouting taught me. Love your neighbor, do a it! Send your story and pictures to bsaalumni@scouting. good turn daily, and be prepared to enjoy life. Thank you all for your effort and passion! — Best, Andrew Patrick Henry 5

Alumni Spelling Bee Champions Cong ratulations to this qu ar te r ’s winne rs! You r get ting go o d at this! If you would like to b e featu re d in a fu tu re e dition of Alu mni Alive , c he c k you r inb ox for details . You may just f ind what we’re lo oking for !

Randy Deprez Troop 308 Omaha, NE

Dr. Brent Florine Troop 12 Mankato, MN Eagle Scout 1970

Robert Largent Eagle Scout Chairman, Ozark District Weatark Area Council Harrison, AR

Jim Walls Scoutmaster Troop 339 Leedom Estates, PA


HAPPENINGS Find the Answer to Everything at a Summer Conference In his “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” books, British writer Douglas Adams famously proclaimed that the answer to “life, the universe and everything” was 42. But that’s not the only possible answer. Scouting Alumni and Friends Vice-Chair for Training, Tim Acree, offers a very different answer with “Scouting Alumni and Friends: Your Answer to Everything,” the week-long conference he oversees. “We kind of chose that title for the intrigue more than anything, but this is in some sense the answer to everything,” he says. SAF Senior Vice-Chair Rick Bragga, who led development of the conference’s original syllabus, agrees. “I think I’m responsible for that hyperbole, but when you think about what a council needs, whether it’s membership or manpower or money or marketing, all of those things are pieces that are impacted by a successful alumni program,” he says. In fact, 16 of the 18 measures in the Journey to Excellence program, which measures local council performance, relate directly or indirectly to having engaged alumni. SAF has offered an alumni conference at the Philmont Training Center, part of the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, most summers since 2009, and “Scouting Alumni and Friends: Your Answer to Everything” will be offered there again this summer. But Philmont won’t be the only site. For the first time, the conference will also be offered at the John D. Tickle National Training and Leadership Center, part of the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia (permanent site of the national jamboree). That means volunteers at either end of the country will have easy access to the conference. The West Virginia edition will be held June 10-16 and will cost $530; the New Mexico edition will be held July 22-28 and will cost $550. (The prices include room, board and all conference materials.) Both conferences will follow a similar format, with the group meeting all day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and half a day on Wednesday. Participants have Wednesday afternoon off (as well as evenings), giving them time to explore their surroundings, whether that be the Philmont Scout Ranch or the


Summit Bechtel Reserve. In fact, that’s a key reason for adding the West Virginia location, according to Acree. “Not everybody can afford the time and finances to go to a jamboree, world or national,” he says. “This will be an opportunity for them to come to the Summit and participate and see what the Summit’s all about.” The primary difference between the two venues is that Philmont offers family programs for all ages from infant to adult. The Summit doesn’t do so (yet), so it’s more likely to attract people traveling solo. Who should attend? Bragga sees four main audiences: professional Scouters who want to jumpstart their alumni programs, volunteers who want to get involved in alumni relations, people involved in alumni relations who need a fresh infusion of ideas and energy, and longtime Scouters who are looking for a new challenge. “Oftentimes we get volunteers who have been through all the chairs,” Bragga says. “They’ve seen and done everything, and they’re looking for a way to have an impact and to utilize the impact they have on behalf of Scouting.” For more information on the New Mexico conference, visit http:// For more information on the West Virginia conference, visit http://

Good News on the Web and in Your Mailbox In turbulent political times, good news can seem as rare as bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. But good things are happening all the time — and definitely in Scouting. Consider these recent headlines: • STEM Scout Named America’s Top Young Scientist • These Brave Scouts Stopped a Wildfire • Scouts’ Experiment Launches into Outer Space

And the BSA publishes one more magazine of special interest to alumni: Eagles’ Call, the magazine of the National Eagle Scout Association. NESA members receive the quarterly magazine as part of their membership fees, but if you’re not a NESA member you can subscribe for $10 per year. Details are at While you’re checking out those websites, here’s one more page to visit: Here, you can submit your own stories or links to local Scouting news you’d like to share with the world.

• Eagle Scout Saves Four Lives While Surfing Those stories, and many more, have been featured at Scouting Wire (, the news hub for BSA leaders, parents and professionals, as well as for members of the news media. In addition to news releases and links to stories related to Scouting, you’ll find the Chief’s Corner (Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh’s blog), links to BSA pages on various social media platforms and links to recent BSA annual reports. By clicking the Stay Connected link at the bottom of the home page, you can sign up for email updates. But Scouting Wire isn’t the only place you can keep up with Scouting news. As a member of Scouting Alumni and Friends, you of course receive Alumni Alive! This quarterly newsletter works to keep you up to date on both BSA and SAF news. If you’d like to dive a little deeper, Scouting magazine (www. is a great resource. All registered BSA leaders receive this magazine, which comes out five times a year, as part of their registration fees. Other people interested in Scouting can subscribe as well for $15 per year. Details are available on the website.


Survival Hacks with

Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” This is precisely what Creek Stewart, our contributor to this new series, had in mind for Survival Hacks with CR///EK. Creek gives the definition as: Sur-VIV-al Hack-ing: (v) The act of using what you have to get what you need to stay alive in any situation. He continues to say that “hacking” is making due with what you’ve got. It has three aspects: using knowledge of basic survival principles; innovative thinking; and exploiting available resources. We think he is right! Scouts are resourceful and prepared. And, they are always open to learning new things. So take a look and maybe you will learn a new trick or two!

About Creek Stewart CR///EK Stewart: Survival Instructor, Author, Host. Creek’s survival knowledge comes from experience. His life-long study of outdoor living and survival skills is backed by thousands of man-hours in the field. Creek is a frequent guest survival expert in the media and has been featured in/on magazines, talk shows, and countless radio and online events. He is a regular contributing author to the hugely popular men’s interest blog ArtofManliness. com, and his survival writings have been featured on thousands of websites. Creek is a published author of many titles, including Survival Hacks available here. In 2015, Creek was presented with the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) by the Boy Scouts of America. The NOESA is a prestigious recognition granted to Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievement at the local, state, or regional level. Creek recognizes his experiences while earning the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge in the Boy Scouts of America as the fuel for a lifelong passion in learning and teaching self-reliant skills. Creek is the owner of and lead instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor Survival School in Central Indiana. He is also the owner and curator of APOCABOX, a bimonthly subscription survival box. Currently, Creek is the lead survival instructor for the traveling survival training and competition series, ESCAPE THE WOODS.


Cr///ek Stewart here! I am extremely excited to be a contributor to Alumni Alive and share some more of my favorite survival hacks! This first hack is an amazing way to keep your sight if you’re caught in a snowy terrain. The second is just one way to cook a hot meal. Enjoy! And remember, it’s not IF but WHEN.

Duct Tape Snow Goggles Snow blindness (photokeratitis) is a very real phenomenon. Imagine sunburn-like symptoms, except they occur on your cornea. It’s not only painful, but it can literally blind you until it heals several days later. Hacking an Inuit-inspired pair of snow goggles is the best solution. First, tear off two-six inch strips of duct tape and stick them together, sticky side in. Then, cut two slits where the eyes will be. Lastly, attach a head strap by poking holes on each end of the duct tape goggles. The slit reduces the eye exposure to sunlight and thus helps to prevent a burn on the eyeballs. Dark fabric, leather, and bark can also be used instead of duct tape.

Cardboard Fire Roll If you’re looking for a quick and dirty way to cook a meal using a pan or skillet, the cardboard fire roll could be just what you need to get the job done. Roll pieces of cardboard into a tight log-like shape that is approximately 2’x8’ in diameter. Twist scrap wire around the cardboard log in two places to hold it together (old clothing hangers work great for this). Stand the roll upright atop two bricks spaced 6” apart so that air can draw through the hole up the center of the rolled log. Stuff the bottom interior of the roll with dry, combustible tinder such as leaves, grasses, newspaper, wood shavings and twigs. Once ignited, the cardboard will continue to burn like a rocket stove until gone.


Program Scouting Opens Its Doors to Girls Decades ago, Oldsmobile marketed its Delta 88 as “the family car that didn’t forget the family.” In recent years, many people have argued that Scouting was the family program that didn’t include the family. Sisters were allowed to tag along on Cub Scout family campouts and girls were welcomed with open arms by Venturing (Scouting’s program for high-school-aged youths) and Exploring (Scouting’s career-exploration offering), but beyond those exceptions, boys ruled. “Sometimes that’s been confusing for families,” says Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh. “They come out to us on school night to sign up, and we’ve said, ‘family program, family program, family program.’ And when the family comes out, we say, ‘We just want that one [the son],’” leaving sisters on the sidelines. That situation will change in a big way over the next two years at the Cub Scout and Boy Scout levels. Beginning with the 2018-2019 program year, Cub Scouting will adopt a new — and unique — hybrid model. Every Cub Scout pack will have the option to add girls; however, Cub Scout dens (the smaller groups consisting of kids in the same grade) will remain singlesex. Depending on its preference, a pack could have a mix of boy and girl dens, just boy dens or even just girl dens. The Cub Scout program won’t change at all, although handbooks will be updated to reflect the inclusion of girls. Also, Youth Protection policies that currently apply in the coed Venturing program will now apply to Cub Scouting. (That basically means both male and female leaders must be present at activities that include both boys and girls.) Changes at the Boy Scout level will look different. The year after the changes to Cub Scouting are implemented, the BSA will launch a new program for girls that parallels Boy Scouting and offers girls a path to the coveted Eagle Scout rank. Exactly what this program will look like (and what it will be called) will be announced sometime in 2018, but one thing’s for certain: the ideals and advancement program familiar to Boy Scouts won’t change. “Eagle Scout is all about self-reliance,” Surbaugh says. “It’s about character. It’s about leadership. And it’s about service to others. That’s the core program. These are the qualities that 11

both young women and men can aspire to.” The decision to include girls in Scouting caught some people by surprise, but it stemmed from an extensive months-long discussion that included more than 200 Scout executives, 1,000 delegates to the 2017 National Annual meeting and thousands of volunteer Scouters in councils across the country (11,000 of whom were surveyed after local town-hall sessions). Some of those who participated in the discussions know firsthand how well Scouting can serve girls, either because their packs and troops have been serving girls surreptitiously or because they’ve been involved in Venturing. After the decision was announced in October, some of them shared their experience in newspaper op-eds and blog posts. Venturer (and former Girl Scout) Maddy Agers spoke for many in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed ( columnists/thoughts-from-a-girl-who-became-a-boy-scout/ article_811fe186-f6a0-5475-8482-2e13564e0edd.html): To me, this is all about having an opportunity. Having an opportunity to participate in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or really any other type of youth-based developmental program is good and means youth like me can do things they never thought possible. I grew up looking for adventure and leadership opportunities but did not find the right fit in other Scouting programs. I’m incredibly thankful that this did not stop me from joining the program that fit me. As a youth leader in the BSA, I am confident that the population of Scouts will adapt and march on successfully with this change. They always do. For more information about the inclusion of girls in BSA programs, including videos featuring Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh, visit

How Exploring Can Strengthen Your Company The 2017 Deloitte Volunteerism Survey, which was published last June, shows just how much employees value the chance to give back to their communities as part of their jobs. Seventyseven percent of respondents said company-sponsored volunteer activities are essential to employee well-being, while a whopping 89 percent said companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better working environment than those that do not. But there’s a gap in the data — a big one. Just 18 percent of respondents said volunteering can enhance their career opportunities. That’s presumably because the volunteer opportunities offered, while valuable to the community, don’t relate directly to the mission of the company. Enter Exploring. The BSA’s career-readiness program offers a unique way for companies to serve the community and themselves at the same time, according to Senior Director of Exploring Tim Anderson. Exploring, he says, “is going to make your company look good, help employee morale, help kids, and in the end possibly help your overall business.” As the name implies, the program lets kids in Exploring clubs (middle school) and posts (high school) learn about possible careers while developing character and learning leadership and life skills. In many cases, Exploring functions as a de facto internship program, and that’s where the benefit to the company comes in. “In a sense, those kids are on an interview for the job from the first day they join the post,” Anderson says. “Many police departments just hire Explorers because they get to watch them for four years, instead of hiring somebody off the street they don’t know.”

“From a parent perspective it’s a way to help their kid go in the right direction and save them tons of money” in the form of college tuition, Anderson says. According to Anderson, Exploring is a great way for Scouting alumni to reengage, even if their tent-camping days are behind them. “They can take the skillset they already have and transition into Exploring and give back to kids with little effort — basically doing what they’re already doing,” he says. Although Exploring programs associated with police and fire departments tend to get the most attention, Exploring actually serves 12 distinct career clusters: arts and humanities, aviation, business, communications, engineering and technology, fire and EMS, health care, law and government, law enforcement, science, skilled trades, and social services. That means virtually any business, government agency or nonprofit that’s interested in working with teens could get involved.

And once Explorers join the police force or the body shop or the engineering firm, the onboarding process is easy. “If you hire one of those kids, they already know the people, they know the terrain, they know the language, they know the business,” Anderson says. “The training you have to do for an employee like that is minimal compared to hiring somebody off the street who has to ask where the coffee pot is on day one.”

The Exploring website,, is chock-full of information on getting started. The New Unit Playbook (www. offers a high-level introduction for people without a Scouting background; the Unit Performance Guide ( takes a deeper dive and would be appropriate for experienced Scouters.

Another advantage to Exploring — one that parents tend to value — is that the program gives young people a chance to discover what they don’t want to do for the rest of their lives.

But only so much depth is needed. As Anderson said, “It’s as simple as showing kids what you do every day in a fun environment.” 12

Scouts: Then and Now If we look at photos from those two phases of life, the visible changes will be obvious. The non-visible changes — more confidence, better character, stronger leadership skills — are there, too. This life-changing power of Scouting inspired Scouts Then and Now, a Bryan on Scouting ( blog series. The premise is simple. He shares two photos of the same Scout or Venturer: once in their early Scouting years, and again in their later Scouting years. We are continuing his project here in AlumniAlive!


Adam, Bryton, and Nate from Washington

Austin from Ohio

Jacob from New York

Josean from Puerto Rico

We are excited to see our alumni and friends as they have progressed in Scouting! If you would like to feature your young Scout, or even yourself, in Bryan on Scouting’s blog, here’s how. Send two photos of your Scout(s) or yourself: one in their early years and one in their later years - and include their name and home state. The photos will be combined as a side-byside, so no need to fret about that. Send the images as attachments in an email to with the subject line “Scouts Then and Now.”

Joseph from Conneticut

Nicolas from North Carolina

Ronnie from Texas

Ryan and Kevin from New York


Profiles Senator Daniel J. Evans, Statesman Dan Evans first hiked into Washington state’s Olympic National Park during his first summer as a Boy Scout back in 1940. His most recent hike there was this past summer, a trip he took with three sons, one daughter-in-law and six grandchildren.

Daniel J. Evans Photo Credit: University of Washington

“It hasn’t changed much,” he says. “There are a few more casual trails you always find around lakes, but other than that it’s exactly the same as it was 77 years ago.”

Much else has changed since then, of course, and that includes the signage at Olympic National Park. This year, the wilderness area that comprises 95 percent of the park was renamed the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness. The honor came 29 years after Evans, then a U.S. Senator, co-sponsored the legislation that designated wilderness areas in Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades national parks. At the time, Evans’ Senate colleagues didn’t understand the need to layer the wilderness designation on top of national park lands. As he explained in a recent interview with Alumni Alive, “There are a lot of national parks that have a whole lot of development in the national park boundaries. I just felt they needed that very specific protection that wilderness gives to them.” Evans credits Scouting with instilling in him a love of the outdoors and a commitment to leaving campsites better than he found them. But midway through his first Scout outing, he was more interested in leaving — period. As a Tenderfoot Scout in Seattle’s Troop 180, he went on a day hike up 5,605-foot Silver Peak, and, like many tenderfoots, he was woefully unprepared, especially when the rain started. “Then it started to snow, and


then the snow started to come horizontally,” he recalls. “I just said to myself, ‘If I ever get home’ — I remember thinking, ‘If I ever get home’ — ‘I am never, ever, ever going to go out on a trip like this again.’” But then the slope eased and the troop reached the fog-bound summit. The descent was easier, of course, and by the time he got home that night, his enthusiasm was bubbling over. “That was what really started me off on a whole lifetime of getting out into the wilderness and thoroughly enjoying it,” he says. “And I haven’t stopped yet.” Throughout his career, Evans championed causes related to the environment. During his time as governor, for example, he brought together leaders of the Washington Environmental Council for a two-day summit to create a wish list of some 60 priorities; Evans promised to call a special session of the legislature if they would agree to focus on just the top six. “Five out of the six bills passed; the sixth one was a little too difficult, but the next year it passed by initiative,” he says. “We made huge strides forward.” Among other things, the legislation created America’s first state-level Department of Ecology, which became a model for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. From Olympia, Evans also influenced policy in Washington, D.C. After Congress passed a bill to create the Alpine Lakes Wilderness near Seattle, a friend in Congress told him President Gerald Ford was threatening to veto it (based on a recommendation from the Department of Agriculture). Evans made an appointment with the White House, hopped on a plane, and spent 45 minutes with Ford, a fellow Eagle Scout, showing him a book of photos from the proposed wilderness. “The bill was signed the next day or the day after, so I guess it helped,” he says. It also helped that Scouting had taught Evans to pursue lofty goals, like becoming an Eagle Scout. “I think that was one of the early lessons that was very helpful and stayed with me, that you set goals and they look like they’re huge and difficult but you chip away at them one step at a time.”

Joe Weishaar, Architect During his teen and college years, Joe Weishaar figures he spent more than a year of his life living in a tent. “I tell that to people, and they ask if I was homeless,” he says. But he wasn’t homeless; he was just a very active Boy Scout. Besides countless weekend outings with his Fayetteville, Ark., troop, he went to Camp Orr every summer, completed high adventure programs at Philmont and Northern Tier, and served on staff at Philmont in the summer of 2009. After earning an architecture degree, Weishaar stopped living in tents and started living in his closet — in a manner of speaking. While working days as a project architect at Brininstool+Lynch in Chicago, he worked nights on a design he planned to enter in a competition for a national World War I memorial, sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Memorial Commission. “I would go to work all day every day … and then come home and work three to four more hours,” he recalls. “I didn’t have a professional office, so I used my closet; I just pushed the clothes to one side and put my computer on a shelf.” Those hours paid off when the 25-year-old architect won the design competition two years ago. In doing so, he beat out 350 entries, many of them submitted by teams of more experienced designers. (He worked alone, save for his collaboration with veteran sculptor Sabin Howard). But winning the competition was just the beginning. To help ensure that the memorial becomes a reality, Weishaar relocated to Washington, D.C. and opened his own consulting business. While he’s involved in a number of projects, the World War I Commission is clearly his most important client. Ask him about the project, and he talks about “we” and “us,” not “they” and them.” Since the design competition ended, the main order of business has been getting the various approvals needed to move forward, which finally happened last summer. “The site selected for the memorial became eligible to be recognized by the National Register of Historical Places,” Weishaar says. “We’ve had to scale back the design in a lot of ways to work with the existing site.”

Fundraising is already underway. To generate interest, the sculptor is creating two one-sixthscale mockups of the memorial’s planned 65-foot relief sculpture, which the commission hopes to take on tour across the country in 2018. Weishaar is also involved in efforts that relate more to his life in tents than his life at the drafting table. In particular, he’s working Joe Weishaar with the BSA on ways Scouts can get involved in commemorating the Great War, which he notes occurred just after Scouting was founded. “There are some troops that are as old as World War I itself,” he says. “Some of the Scouts who were in those troops became the first World War I soldiers.” He sees Scouts helping collect stories about doughboys and locate memorials to their service. “We know that across the country there are about 3,500 memorials dedicated to World War I soldiers,” he says. “We’re hoping Scouts can go out and find those for us.” Some of those finds might even end up being good Scout service projects. That grassroots involvement echoes the commission’s goal for the planned memorial. “We want this to be a memorial about the people and all the people who were in it, not just the important guys who get to stand up on a pedestal and ride a horse,” he says. Of course, some of the important guys don’t ride horses. They do their work in closets, their clothes pushed to one side.


Alumni Alive! - Winter 2018  
Alumni Alive! - Winter 2018