The BSA Expands Programs to Welcome Girls from Cub Scouts to Highest Rank of Eagle Scout

The BSA Expands Programs to Welcome Girls from Cub Scouts to Highest Rank of Eagle Scout

News From National BSA

Research reinforces interest expressed by families and girls nationwide as organization looks to offer programs that meet the needs of today’s families

Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before [1], making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys [2] of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts.  Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization.  It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack.  Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

 

[1] PEW Research Center survey conducted Sept. 15 – Oct. 13, 2015 among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18.

[2] BSA surveys included two external surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. Surveys were conducted online.

FAMILY SCOUTING FAQs

To find out more about how this change in membership will affect your unit, please look over the Family Scouting FAQs that National has provided.

Display Your Unit Pride

DISPLAY YOUR UNIT PRIDE!

Show your pride in your unit by marking your meeting place with one of the unit plaques now available through the Mason-Dixon Council, BSA.  These 10″ x 14″ weather-proof plaques made from a durable pvc-material are sure to draw the attention of visitors and potential future-Scouts to your meeting location.  There are no pre-drilled holes so you can fasten them any way you choose, inside or outside your meeting location.

Plaques are only $20 each, and are available for Packs, Troops and Crews.  Each plaque will proudly display your unit number.  (Samples of the plaques can be found below)

ORDER TODAY! by filling out this form, and returning it to the Scout Service Center along with your payment.

 

 

Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort UPDATE

ATTENTION:  Thank you everyone who donated to the Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Fund.  Due to the outpouring of donations from the community, the Mason-Dixon Council has sent TWO tractor trailer loads full of supplies to Texas this week, and there are already donations that have begun to fill a third.  At the present-time we are not accepting any more donations until we receive a listing of the desired donations from our contacts in Texas, which we expect to receive either late this week or the following.  Additionally, we will once again not be accepting clothing donations.   Please check back with the mdcscouting.org website and on our social media for more information.  Thank you for your efforts!  (Update: 9/6/2017, 5:00 p.m.) 

Galveston "Good Turn" Relief Effort Update

The Mason-Dixon Council, Boy Scouts of America, is leading a relief effort to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the area of Galveston, Texas.  After talking with the Scout Executive of the Bay Area Council, we as a council feel that we should “Do a Good Turn” and help fellow members of our Scouting family and their surrounding community recover from this natural disaster.  The council, with the help of D.M. Bowman, Inc. who have graciously supplied trucks, trailers and drivers, will be taking two tractor trailers worth of supplies over the next few weeks to the affected area.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The first tractor trailer load will be leaving Tuesday, September 5th with supplies for the immediate needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The following items are needed for this first trailer:

  • Bottled water
  • Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, personal care products, bath towels, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Disposable diapers and other baby needs (baby powder, formula, baby shampoo, etc.)
  • Canned and staple food items (same list as Scouting for Food)
  • Batteries, battery-operated flashlights/lanterns
  • Blankets (lightly-used or new)/pillows (new only), etc.
  • Small activity books with crayons or card games for children

Please Note:  There has been no requests for clothing donations from the organizations we are working with in Texas at this time.  We strongly encourage any clothing donations to be made to another organization that can properly distribute them to those in need. 

Packed to the brim.  Troop 20 of Boonsboro gathered donations Tuesday evening at their Court of Honor, packing several vehicles with supplies needed by those affected by Hurricane Harvey to be dropped off at the Council.

WHERE SHOULD I DROP OFF MY DONATIONS?

There are presently six collection points for donations.  If additional collection points or additional hours are added the Mason-Dixon Council will update with new locations and times on their social media and website.

Friday, September 1st from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Shady Grove Ruritan – 11980 Community Center Ln, Shady Grove, PA
Pack 95 of Shady Grove will be accepting donations at the Shady Grove Ruritan and Community Center between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  (Updated: 8/31/2017, 11:20 a.m.)

Saturday, September 2nd from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bowman Business Park – 10212 Governor Lane Blvd., Suite 1003B, Williamsport, MD
The Mason-Dixon Council, in conjunction with D. M. Bowman, Inc., will be accepting donations at the warehouse.  For units picking up popcorn, the drop-off time for donations has now been expanded to 1-5 p.m.  Donations at the warehouse will be handled by D. M. Bowman, Inc. from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Any Scouters or units wishing to volunteer for sorting and loading donations at the warehouse, please contact the Scout Service Center at (301) 739-1211 or via email at rob.stone@scouting.org.

Saturday, September 2nd from 10 a.m. to 12 noon 
Sunnyway Foods – 212 N. Antrim Way, Greencastle, PA
Troop 99 of Greencastle, in conjunction with Sunnyway Foods, will be accepting donations at the store between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

Saturday, September 2nd from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Boonsboro Community Center – Schafer Park, Boonsboro, MD
Pack 20 of Boonsboro will be accepting donations at the Boonsboro Community Center between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  (Updated: 8/31/2017, 11:20 a.m.)

Monday, September 4th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Waynesboro Country Club – 11000 Country Club Road, Waynesboro, PA 
The Mason-Dixon Council, in conjunction with the Waynesboro Country Club, will be accepting donations at the country club from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Labor Day for a second tractor trailer load of supplies to the Galveston area.

Starting Friday, September 8th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Mason-Dixon Council Scout Service Center – 18600 Crestwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD
The Mason-Dixon Council will be accepting donations for a second tractor trailer load of supplies for the Galveston area starting on Friday, September 8th at their Scout Service Center.  Donations can be dropped off at the Scout Service Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A full listing of the donations needed for clean-up from Hurricane Harvey, along with the previously mentioned items, will be available at a later date.  Please check back with the council’s social media and this website for further information.

Donations piled high.  Thanks to the efforts of area Scout units, around 3,000lbs of donations for the Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort are already piling high at the Mason-Dixon Council’s Scout Service Center in Hagerstown.  

The Mason-Dixon Council, Boy Scouts of America would like to extend our thanks to the organizations and businesses that are helping with the Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort including D. M. Bowman Inc., PSI, Maryland Metals Inc., City Electric Supply, Rentals Unlimited, Sunnyway Foods, and the Waynesboro Country Club.

Please see our original post regarding the Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort for more information about the Mason-Dixon Council’s effort to help the Scouting families and the surrounding community affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Bay Area Council in Galveston, Texas.

Galveston "Good Turn" Relief Efforts Across The Council

Members of Troop 20 of Boonsboro gathered donations Tuesday evening, August 29th at their Court of Honor, packing several vehicles with supplies needed by those affected by Hurricane Harvey to be dropped off at the Council.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 12:30 p.m.)

Loading the trailer with donations collected by Members of Troop 99 of Greencastle who collected donations outside of Sunnyway Foods in Greencastle on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 2:00 p.m.)

The donations piling up at the Bowman Business Park during the Mason-Dixon Council’s Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 3:00 p.m.)

Skids of shrink-wrapped donations awaiting their turns to be loaded onto the trailer at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 3:00 p.m.)

Members of Troop 99 of Greencastle and other volunteers sort through donations as they arrive at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 9:25 p.m.)

Moving skids of pet food at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/7/2017, 11:30 a.m.)

Unloading vehicles filled with donations at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/7/2017, 11:30 a.m.)

Members of Troop 99 of Greencastle collected donations outside of Sunnyway Foods in Greencastle on Saturday, September 2nd as a light rain fell upon the area.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 12:30 p.m.)

Members of Pack 20 of Boonsboro help to unload donations at the Bowman Business Park that they collected Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 2:20 p.m.)

Members of Troop 99 of Greencastle collected donations outside of Sunnyway Foods in Greencastle on Saturday, September 2nd as a light rain fell upon the area.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 12:30 p.m.)

Volunteers shrink wrap skids of donations before they are loaded onto the trailers at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  Donations filled two trailers, with some left for a third trailer that will be delivered in a few weeks during the continued recovery effort.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 9:25 p.m.)

A constant flow of vehicles came into the parking lot at the Bowman Business Park with people bringing donations on Saturday, September 2nd. (Updated: 9/2/2017, 9:30 p.m.)

A volunteer organizes bottled water on a skid at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/7/2017, 11:30 a.m.)

Members of Pack 20 of Boonsboro keeping dry in the rain as they collected donations at Schafer Park between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 2:20 p.m.) 

“Community response in Boonsboro/Keedysville was amazing” remarked one member of Pack 20 of Boonsboro.  The pack filled an 8-foot truck bed with a cap to the top, the entire back of an SUV and the entire back of a truck (including back seats) with the outpouring of donations collected from the community in two hours time.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 2:20 p.m.)

By 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 2nd at the Bowman Business Park, the trailer is already half full with donations for Hurricane Harvey relief and more keep on coming.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 2:50 p.m.)

Helping to carry donations at the Bowman Business Park during the Mason-Dixon Council’s Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 3:00 p.m.)

Member of Troop 99 of Greencastle helps to unload donations at the Bowman Business Park during the Mason-Dixon Council’s Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/2/2017, 9:20 p.m.)

Volunteers receive donations for Hurricane Harvey relief at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/7/2017, 11:30 a.m.)

Volunteers organize donations for Hurricane Harvey relief at the Bowman Business Park on Saturday, September 2nd.  (Updated: 9/7/2017, 11:30 a.m.)

Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort

Galveston "Good Turn" Relief Effort

A Message From Our Scout Executive, Rob Stone

Monday, August 28, 2017

As you all know by now, Hurricane Harvey did significant damage along the Texas Gulf Coast this weekend.  The flooding and hurricane damage in Houston has received a lot of national attention, but Galveston was hit hard as well. The Galveston Boy Scout council (Bay Area Council) is a small council like the Mason-Dixon Council, and their Scout Executive, Charlie Tinsley, is a friend of mine.

After speaking with Charlie regarding the situation in Galveston, we at the Mason-Dixon Council feel that we should “Do a Good Turn” and help fellow members of our Scouting family and their surrounding community recover from this natural disaster.  Our office is therefore organizing a relief effort to send some immediately needed supplies to Galveston by the first of next week, and a follow-up effort to send other needed supplies within the next 3-4 weeks.

For the immediate needs, we’re hoping to be able to load a trailer by this Saturday, Sept. 2 for transport to Galveston next Monday or Tuesday. Bowman Trucking/Bowman Development Corp. has graciously agreed to provide trailers for this effort, and we should have one parked at our Popcorn Warehouse location this Saturday (10212 Governor Lane Blvd., Suite 1003B, Hagerstown-off I-81 Exit 2). If other donation centers are set up, we will notify you via our website and the council’s social media.

We’ll be at the warehouse receiving relief items/distributing Show and Sell orders from about 1pm-3pm on Saturday, Sept. 2, but if you need me to meet you there at a different time, contact me via the Council Service center at (301) 739-1211 or via email at rob.stone@scouting.org.

I’m asking all our units planning to pick up Show and Sell popcorn after Saturday morning’s kickoff to bring as much of the following items as you can collect between now and then. After the kickoff, we’ll meet at the warehouse and you can drop off any relief items, then pick up your Show and Sell orders. It’s short notice, but we figure if you’re bringing vehicles to pick up popcorn, you’ll have extra room for these desperately needed items.

Items needed for immediate needs (trailer leaving next Mon/Tues):

Bottled water

Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, bath towels, etc.)

Toilet paper

Disposable diapers and other baby needs (baby powder, formula, baby shampoo, etc.)

Canned and staple food items (same list as Scouting for Food)

Batteries, battery-operated flashlights/lanterns

Blankets/pillows, etc.

Small activity books with crayons or card games for children 

Please get this word out ASAP to all of your Scout families. Let’s see if we can “Do a Good Turn” for our brother and sister Scouting families in the Galveston area!!

Many thanks!
Rob Stone, Scout Executive
Mason-Dixon Council, BSA

 

UPDATE (August 31, 2017): For updated dates, times and locations to drop-off needed supplies, please see Galveston “Good Turn” Relief Effort UPDATE.

June 2017

June 2017

Council News

New Office Hours for the Summer

The Mason-Dixon Council Scout Shop – New Spring/Summer hours starting May 15 – Sept 1st - Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Friday – 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Thursday – 9 a.m. -6 p.m., No Saturdays.

New Website and Event Sign-up System is Here!

The council has been working over the past year to upgrade our online presence, making it easier to use and bring it into the 21st century. Please take some time to explore our new website MDCScouting.org. On July 1st our old url - Mason-Dixon-BSA.org - will redirect you to our new website, so please make sure to save the new url to your favorites.

Tentaroo is the name of our new online event sign up service. A majority of the sign ups you will do for an event will be in a form format and will not require you to create an account. For big events like summer camp, camporees and other major council events that a unit signs up for rather than individuals,a unit representative will have to log in to the unit's account to sign up. Each unit has any account already set up and the unit leadership will get the login information. This process has already happen for troops that are attending Sinoquipe for summer camp this year.

Food Safety Is Important For Scouts Too!

How to store and cook your food on camp outs.
Every patrol box should be outfitted with a meat thermometer to make sure that meats are cook to proper temps. " No body likes chicken Tar Tar " see chart for proper food temperatures.

Proper Hand Washing
19 Million food borne Illnesses could be avoided by properly washing your hands. Set up a simple wash station at your site for hand washing.
Things you'll need:
5 gallon jug with hot water around 100 degrees. 1 gallon of Boiling water + 3 gallons of 70-/+ degree water will produce 100-110 degree water. If you use an insulated water jug these temps will keep for hours. We did this at the winter camporee in an Igloo insulated water jug and it held for 3 hours in 12 degree wintry weather.
Hand soap, foamy dispenser works best,
Catch basin
Paper towels

Proper hand washing : wet hands, apply soap, rub hands together for 15-20 seconds, saying the scout oath, scout law or Happy birthday.. rinse and dry with paper towel.

Make food safety a priority to ensure a happy camp out for all!

Camp Cards Are Still Available!

You still have a week to sell! All unsold cards and/or payments are due June 9th. We still have $2750 with your name on it at the office! Come in and sign up today! More information about the awesome deals available here.

Congratulations to Our Newest Eagle Scouts!

Dale M. - Troop 28
Remington R. - Troop 95
Brooks G. - Troop 10
John F. - Troop 97
Thomas W. - Troop 413
Keegan K. - Troop 20
Zachary K. - Troop 103
Michael D. - Troop 65
Matthew L. - Troop 95
James S. - Troop 8
Logan F. - Troop 14

Cub Scout Corner

Cub Scout Camps!

During the summer of 2017, the Mason-Dixon Council will be offering three themed Cub Scout Day Camps at Greencastle, Williamsport and Hagerstown, as well as the Cub Scout Resident Camp Akela at the Sinoquipe Scout Reservation. By offering four different camps for Cub Scouts, that means there's more activities, more excitement, and more opportunities to continue your Scouting adventure all summer long! The camps cost $125 each, and if you buy all three Day Camps, you'll get Camp Akela FREE! Explore the camp offerings and sign up today here!

Cub Hikes
Thank you to everyone that attended the Spring Cub Hikes. Cub Hikes are finished for the spring. The next Cub Hike is in September. We will have 3 fall Cub Hikes and 3 spring Cub Hikes. Look at the new Council Calendar for the dates. The locations will be announced at the next Leader Information Night in August. See you all there!

Trainings
Thank you to everyone who took the Cub Scout Archery, BB, and Rock Wall Trainings. Without you, we would not have the excitement at our Cub Camps and other Council events. If you would like to be trained and were not able to attend these in May, contact the Council Office. We always need trained scouters in these areas. You make our events FUN for the boys!

Venturing

Evening of shooting at Izaak Walton League of Washington County, MD

Monday June 19th, 6:30 PM

Firearms provided (22 caliber)
Ammo provided
Safety Equipment provided
Cost: none (however, I'm sure bringing your own ammo would be appreciated)

Yes, you can bring your own firearm & appropriate ammo (safety inspection required)

What is Required:
A headcount for your Crew by June 12 to Nate Bacon
(nice to know if you will not be attending too)

Nate Bacon
Council Venturing Advisor

Sinoquipe Scout Reservation

Camp Sinoquipe Stewards

With the exception of a little more gutter work on the back of the building, we were able to finish roofing the deck on the Mountain Man cabin during April. Thank you to all who braved the mud and water to make that possible.

Our May 6 work day included installing a fence on the back side of the volleyball court to help prevent volleyballs from ending up in the creek or beyond. Thanks to all who came out and helped complete this project.

1. The scheduled work date before Summer Camp:
June 3: 8:00 AM show time (also Beaver Day)

2. The Annual Steak Feed and Business Meeting is at Camp Sinoquipe on Saturday, August 27, at 2:00 PM. We will have the Shotgun Range and Waterfront area open at Noon.
a. Cost: $20 per person (steak and twice-baked potatoes provided)
b. Paper products and drinks are also provided (Water, Coffee, Iced Tea)
c. Please bring a side dish to share
d. Activities and times:
1) 12:00 PM: Shotgun Range and Waterfront Open
2) 2:00 PM: Eating, followed by short meeting

We look forward to seeing you there! Look for more picnic info and a signup sheet in late July. Please try to find new people to bring to the cookout to help grow our membership!

3. We have Fall 2017 work dates planned. We will be working on the new Karl Hummel Pavilion, so please try to make as many as you can! Fall work dates:
September: 16, 23, and 30.
October: 7, 21, and 28
November: 4, 11, and18

Camp Sinoquipe Steward polo style shirts are still available! Please contact or stop by the council office to purchase one. Matching hats are also available.

Looking for more STEWARDS! As one of the top camps in the U.S., Camp Sinoquipe is a premier scouting destination! Will you help us continue to make it better? Join the Camp Sinoquipe Stewards and become part of team dedicated to just that purpose! Want more information? Visit our webpage or contact Jim Doyle, Chairman or Ed Marfut, Secretary.

Tuscarora District News

On Saturday April 22nd, the Tuscarora District resurrected the Annual Pushcart Races from the past. After digging out the pushcarts of the past, the youth of tomorrow raced for several hours and heats to determine the winners. A fun event put it on for the scouts to simply have fun!!!

FOS presentations are going on in the District, let's remain focused on using them to generate revenue, to make sure all Scouts can benefit from our great scouting program.

Keep Scouting Relevant!

Washington County District News

District Advancement Committee Meeting

On the first Thursday of July (July 6th) the district advancement committee will meet to review Eagle Scout Project Proposals and plan Eagle Boards of Review to be completed. If you have any questions contact District Advancement Chair Karen Yoder

March 2017 Chatter: Council News

Mason-Dixon Council News

Camp Cards 2017

The Mason-Dixon Council, BSA welcomes you on board for the 2017 Camp Card Fundraiser. The Camp Card is a fundraiser specifically geared to help scouts pay their way to camping opportunities in the Mason-Dixon Council as well as any of the BSA’s High Adventure Bases.

If you are participating in the Camp Card Fundraiser, the following breakdown is what you need to know.
o Camp Cards will be distributed to units in packs of 10 cards.
o You are STRONGLY encouraged to have a budgeted goal and sell the cards to meet that goal. Returning cards do not help Scouting.
o Camp Cards are released to units on a consignment basis for the duration of the fundraiser from March 15, 2017 - May 5 2017.
o At the conclusion of the fundraiser on May 5, 2017 units will be responsible for returning all unsold cards (it is expected that you sell all you request) to the

Mason-Dixon Council or payment of $2.50 (50% Commission) per card sold by the unit. If a unit returns unsold Camp Cards to the Mason-Dixon Council after May 5, 2017 the unit will only keep a 40% Commission or $2.00 per card sold.

Unit Camp Card Commitment Form

Camp Card Flyer

Camp Card Deal Map

Unit Sales Tracking Sheet

Newest Eagle Scouts

Jesse H. - Troop 51 Jakob B. - Troop 62 Gavin M. - Troop 97 Joseph D. - Troop 31 Jack E. - Troop 31 Ethan H. - Troop 31 Nicholas U. - Troop 108 Kevin W. - Troop 108

Venturing Update

We are looking for a Venturing Activity Chair. If interested please contact Nate Bacon.

Venturing Training:

Adult...Venture Leader Specific Training (VLST)
- April 25th 6:00-10:00 at Council Office

Crew Members...Intro to Leadership Skills for Crews & Officer Roles
- April 7 starts at 6:00 thru April 8 approx noon, at Council Office

Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee need volunteers, and is also looking for two units to help develop two educational trails at Sinoquipe Scout Reservation.

Info & questions: Nate Bacon - Conservation Comm Chair, 717-762-0964 or Email.

Merit Badge Fair 2017: Trail to Eagle

Trail to Eagle Merit Badge Fair is fully sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is being offered to ALL Boy Scouts of America units within the Shenandoah Area Council and those in and around Martinsburg, WV. With the assistant of volunteers, this Merit Badge fair is being offered to ALL Boy Scouts absolutely FREE! Our Merit Badge fair includes classes for Scouts as well as adult leader training classes and those advanced scouts working towards their Eagle. Unit leader packets will be given to each leader at the end of the Fair with blue cards, completed and partials along with certificates of attendance for each scout. This Fair is designed to get the Scouts fired-up about Scouting and moving forward to advancing in their Scouting careers, moving them along on their ‘Trail to Eagle’. More information at : www.meritbadgefair.ironwil.net

Upcoming Events

Oct
20
Fri
6:00 pm Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Oct 20 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 22 @ 10:00 am
Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Hosted by Kauffman Ruritan and Troop 413 Focused on Amateur Radio (ham radio) and JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) Everyone will have opportunity to talk around the region and around the world with ham radio stations; perhaps talk to one of the million plus scouts participating in this year’s Jamboree On The Air. Scouts can[...]
Oct
25
Wed
6:30 pm COR Training @ Scout Service Center
COR Training @ Scout Service Center
Oct 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
COR Training @ Scout Service Center
 
Oct
26
Thu
7:00 pm OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
 
Oct
27
Fri
7:00 pm OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Oct 27 @ 7:00 pm – Oct 29 @ 10:00 am
OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
Nov
3
Fri
7:00 pm ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
Nov 3 @ 7:00 pm – Nov 4 @ 12:00 pm
ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
 
Nov
4
Sat
8:00 am Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
8:00 am Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – Nov 5 @ 11:00 am
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
You must register for this event by November 1st, 2017. There are no event-day registrations. Click here to register online. 2017-RegistrationForm (Paper) Troop or Crew Volunteer Registration   Who: This event is open for all Webelos Scouts, their leaders and parents When: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 through Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Check in begins at[...]
9:00 am BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Click Here to Register!!!
Nov
5
Sun
2:00 pm Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
Nov 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
The Cub Hike Club is an introduction to hiking for Cub Scout-aged boys and their families. It involves all ranks of Cubs and provides hikes specific for their abilities. The hikes also provide the opportunity for the entire family to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The hikes take place in the spring and fall[...]
Nov
9
Thu
6:30 pm Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Nov 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
6:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Gathering / Snacks 6:30 p.m. – Open session highlights introductions 6:45 p.m. – Split Sessions (40 minutes) Roundtable Auction Roses, Buds & Thorns Training Available: Safety Afloat (may run longer) 7:25 p.m. – Commissioner Minute / Photo Op Selfie! (10 minutes) 7:35 p.m. – Dinner – Dutch Oven Buffet[...]
7:00 pm Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Nov 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Come for a evening of fellowship and learning about unique topics at each hacktable.
Nov
11
Sat
8:00 am Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
8:00 am Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
TEN COMMANDMENT HIKE To All Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venturing Scouts, Leaders, and Families: The Religious Relations Committee of Mason-Dixon Council is holding a Ten Commandment Hike on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Hagerstown, Maryland.  The hike will take you to various churches in Downtown Hagerstown where you will learn about the Ten Commandments. [...]
Nov
15
Wed
7:00 am NESA Breakfast @ Bob Evans
NESA Breakfast @ Bob Evans
Nov 15 @ 7:00 am – 8:30 am
 

March 2017 Chatter: Sinoquipe Scout Reservation

Sinoquipe Scout Reservation

Sinoquipe Camp Staff Interviews

On March 4th, the first of two opportunities for interviews for the 2017 camp season. Please sign up for a interview time at here. Make sure you have a completed application with you as well.

Camp Stewards News

The next work date at Camp Sinoquipe is this Saturday, March 4, at 8:00 AM. Please wear work clothes/gloves, and pack a lunch. We hope to see you there!

We have several projects to complete between now and Summer Camp.

1) Install the gutter system and water collection system at the Mountain Man Pavilion.
2) Construct the wood and roofing portions of a new latrine at Kerstein Lodge with help from OA Brotherhood.
3) Purchase 8 batteries and chargers to support CPAP use at campsites.
4) Cover the Dutch-oven frame (in Scout Craft Pavilion) with steel plates.

Reminder of Upcoming meetings for your calendar:
1) The spring social/meeting is Sat, 20 May, at 6:30 PM, at Tony’s Pizza on Route 11: 14224 Pennsylvania Ave, or at Exit 3 off of I-81.
2) The summer meeting and steak cookout is Sat., 27 Aug at 2:00 PM at Lakusin Pavilion at Camp Sinoquipe. Shotgun Range and Waterfront will be open at 12:00 PM (noon) for your recreation pleasure!
3) Looking way ahead, be sure to mark your calendar for the Jan 27, 2018; meeting (6:00 PM) at the Mason-Dixon Council Service Center!

Camp Sinoquipe Steward polo style shirts are still available! Please contact or stop by the council office to purchase one. Matching hats are also available.

Looking for more STEWARDS! One of the top camps in the U.S., Camp Sinoquipe is a premier scouting destination! Will you help us continue to make it better? Join the Camp Sinoquipe Stewards and become part of team dedicated to just that purpose! Want more information? Contact Jim Doyle, Chairman, at fix@danderremodeling.com or Ed Marfut, Secretary, at marfutL@aol.com

March 2017 Chatter: Washington County District

Washington County District

WASHINGTON COUNTY DISTRICT HACKTABLE

MARCH 15, 2017
Mason Dixon Council Office @ 7 PM
THEME: Scouting and Cycling
PROGRAM:
Feature presentation - HUB CITY CYCLES - Sean Guy (MDC Eagle Scout)
Proper Bike selection and equipment for the trail
Safety and Etiquette on the Trail
Accessory and Tool Selection
What to look for when buying a bike (for a scout)
Basic Maintenance

Presentation - Planning a bicycle outing – Local opportunities

Presentation - “Whats so great about the Great Allegheny Passage” a travelogue Camp Grounds, Must Sees, Dining Places, Logistics

Group Discussion – “Cycling opportunities for Scouts in Units that don’t cycle”

Hands on – bring your bike for a minute clinic and safety check

Enhancements – Pastor Scott’s Rob Stone Georgia barbeque

Show & Tell competition – bring your bike – trophies for: Most nostalgic with story, Best equipped for Trail ride and Oldest functioning bicycle

Greetings From New District Executive

Greetings Scouters,

I want to take a moment to formally introduce myself. My name is Rob Holsinger, please feel free to call me Robby if that is what you prefer. I am an Eagle Scout and volunteer of the Mason-Dixon Council. I have been given the pleasure of serving as the Washington County District Executive. I understand that I have large shoes to fill replacing Don Harriman and I hope to prove that I am up to the task.

My attendance at the Washington County District Dinner showed me what great relationships Don has built with many volunteers in the district and I hope to follow his example. It is my goal as the Washington County District Executive to provide the service and leadership necessary to make you as leaders, and your units, successful.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to reach out to as many volunteers possible to introduce myself, find out about you, your unit, and the leadership role that you play in that unit. Although I will be learning on the job in this new role, I will make a strong effort to answer any questions that you may have, and get back to you with an answer on those that I cannot.

It is important to me to maintain an open line of communication with you. I will generally maintain office hours at the Council Service Center Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. unless district or council duties require me to be elsewhere. To be guaranteed to catch me at the Council Service Center, please feel free to schedule an appointment with me to discuss your Scouting needs. I can be reached by cell phone from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 301-992-1398, or by e-mail at robert.holsinger@scouting.org.

I am looking forward to meeting each of you throughout the next several weeks. If you wish, please stop by and say hello. I am excited about having the opportunity to create a positive working relationship with you and your units.

Yours in Scouting,

Rob Holsinger | Washington County District Executive
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Mason-Dixon Council

Upcoming Events

Nov
4
Sat
8:00 am Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – Nov 5 @ 11:00 am
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
You must register for this event by November 1st, 2017. There are no event-day registrations. Click here to register online. 2017-RegistrationForm (Paper) Troop or Crew Volunteer Registration   Who: This event is open for all Webelos Scouts, their leaders and parents When: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 through Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Check in begins at[...]
Nov
9
Thu
7:00 pm Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Nov 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Come for a evening of fellowship and learning about unique topics at each hacktable.

March 2017 Chatter: Tuscarora District News

Tuscarora District

March District Roundtable

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

6:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Gathering / Snacks at Shady Grove Community Center
6:30 p.m. – Open session highlights introductions
6:45 p.m. – Split Sessions (40 minutes)
Mothers’ Day Boxes
Historic Trails Program
Training Available: Be Kind to Your Feet! (may run longer)
7:25 p.m. – Commissioner Minute / Photo Op Selfie! (10 minutes)
7:35 p.m. – Dinner – Chili & Rice
7:57 p.m. – 3-Minute Closing

Contact Gary at 717-504-3608 if you have any questions.

District Pinewood Derby

March 11, 2017 at Kauffman Ruritan Registration - 10-11 am Racing begins right after. First time ever: District Chairman's Best of Show Trophy to best car voted by the scouts. One can of donated goods equals a vote. One vote per scout. Most votes wins!

Upcoming Events

Nov
4
Sat
8:00 am Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – Nov 5 @ 11:00 am
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
You must register for this event by November 1st, 2017. There are no event-day registrations. Click here to register online. 2017-RegistrationForm (Paper) Troop or Crew Volunteer Registration   Who: This event is open for all Webelos Scouts, their leaders and parents When: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 through Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Check in begins at[...]
Nov
9
Thu
6:30 pm Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Nov 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
6:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Gathering / Snacks 6:30 p.m. – Open session highlights introductions 6:45 p.m. – Split Sessions (40 minutes) Roundtable Auction Roses, Buds & Thorns Training Available: Safety Afloat (may run longer) 7:25 p.m. – Commissioner Minute / Photo Op Selfie! (10 minutes) 7:35 p.m. – Dinner – Dutch Oven Buffet[...]
Dec
14
Thu
6:30 pm Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
6:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Gathering / Snacks 6:30 p.m. – Open session highlights introductions 6:45 p.m. – Split Sessions (40 minutes) Roundtable Auction Roses, Buds & Thorns Training Available: Safety Afloat (may run longer) 7:25 p.m. – Commissioner Minute / Photo Op Selfie! (10 minutes) 7:35 p.m. – Dinner – Dutch Oven Buffet[...]

February 2017 Chatter: Council News

Mason-Dixon Council News

Musings from an old(er) Scout:

It’s been an interesting 23 years working for the Boy Scouts of America, particularly the last three. As an organization, we’ve had challenges and changes, controversy and condemnation, and have been thrust unwillingly into the national spotlight again and again due to issues not of our choosing. It’s easy in times like these to become nostalgic and want to return to the “good old days” of Scouting, when life was simpler and Scouting was just like it’s portrayed in all of our favorite Norman Rockwell paintings.

I was a history teacher before I went to work for BSA, and a hazard of that training is that, when nostalgia begins to kick in, for historians it’s time to cut through the foggy haze of memory and re-examine the reality of those days we’ve begun to pine for and see if things, were, really, so much better then than they are now.

I joined Cub Scouts in 1968. As a Cub Scout, I remember well riding my bike to my Den Mother’s house for weekly meetings, often being the first to arrive and helping set up for the activities of the day. We had a great time as I recall, doing games and crafts, having a set time to play outside, seeing our achievements recorded on the chart, doing opening and closing ceremonies, etc. Monthly pack meetings were always a highlight, as all the Cub Scout dens came together to sing songs, do skits, and receive awards. Pinewood Derbies were AWESOME and Cub Camp days were a summer highlight. And yes, I remember taking macaroni pictures home to my Mom, who proudly displayed them on the refrigerator door until the macaroni started falling off. Somewhere along the line, I was elected Assistant Denner and then Denner, and eventually earned my Arrow of Light. I remember the pride of those achievements to this day. I remember the FUN of Scouting! What I don’t remember is actually receiving all the character and leadership training and development I was getting as a Cub Scout.

I joined Boy Scouts and went to my first summer camp in 1972. My first troop was a large one, and being a “large” kid, I had a hard time fitting in with the older boys in that troop. I changed troops and joined Troop 72 at Avalon UMC, where one of my Dad’s friends, Jim Forsyth, was Scoutmaster. It was a totally different experience, and I loved it. I started as a Bugler, and was soon elected Assistant Patrol Leader, then Patrol Leader. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I got those jobs due to my less-than-formidable Bugling skills. Within two years, I was elected Senior Patrol Leader, a job I was re-elected to twice, as I recall (they REALLY didn’t want me playing the bugle anymore!). I remember one of the “perks” that came with being SPL was that, on campouts, I got to stay in the big cabin tent with the adult leaders and the ASPL. I had a great Scouting experience, that got interrupted when my family moved away and I went to a boarding school for a year. I didn’t like any of the troops I visited after we moved, because they weren’t MY troop, and my youth Scouting career came to an end at 15. Again, I remember all the adventures, experiences and FUN of being a Boy Scout. What I don’t remember is actually receiving all the character, citizenship and leadership training I was getting as a Boy Scout.

So what does that have to do with today? Simple. When I look back on my youth Scouting experience, I think about all the good, fun things I did, including camping in the rain, summer camp, etc. It’s easy to look back and think about how much simpler life was then. As an adult, I look back at those “simpler” times in a different way. I was a Scout in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a time of great social unrest in our country. Remember, this was the time of protests against the Vietnam War, “Flower Power” (the hippie counter-culture movement), the civil rights movement, marches on Washington, Watergate, and later the “anything goes” Disco drug culture of the mid-70’s. I was a Scout when Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, when President Nixon resigned, when every night on the television included footage of anti-war demonstrations and flag-burnings, draft-card and bra burning, fire hoses and riots, as well as casualty counts. My uncle served in Vietnam, so I definitely remember the casualty counts. So, as an adult looking back at my youth Scouting experience, maybe it wasn’t simpler, easier times after all. Or was it?

While our country was in the middle of vast social and political unrest and change, I was a Scout.

While others my age were doing the “cool” things, like experimenting with drugs and burning flags, I was learning the difference between right and wrong and being taught that I should always do what is right (that whole “morally straight” thing). I was learning how to fold and care for flags, and how to respect my country and be a good citizen. I was a Scout.

I never bought into any of the “cool” stuff some of my friends were into. I do admit to owning at least one pair of bell bottoms and there is photographic evidence of big hair, a silk shirt and a leisure suit, but the rest wasn’t for me. I was a Scout.

Today, I look back and thank God for my parents and for my Scout leaders. They provided me with great, God-fearing role models who taught me what is right and wrong, as well as instilling the desire to always do right, and to do my best always to live the Scout Oath and Law. They taught me about Duty to God and Country and Family. They taught me that there is no room for bigotry and hatred in this world and that the only colors that mattered were Red, White, Blue and Boy Scout Green. There are times when I slipped, but those teachings and lessons learned as a youth stay with me and guide me to this day. I am a Scout.

Today, I look back and thank God that my Scout leaders were good men and women of character, patriots who wanted me and my fellow Scouts to grow to be good people, citizens and leaders. I thank God that at a time when Scouts and leaders could share a tent or spend time together alone, when showers at camp were a concrete pad with multiple showerheads and bathrooms were designed for 10-20 people at a time with no dividers, when it wasn’t unusual to go skinny-dipping on a hot day, when troop discipline included rites and punishments that are defined as “hazing” today, that my Scout leaders were good, Christian men with high morals who had a genuine interest in young people like me, and who never let things get out of hand or abused their authority. I thank God that they let me make my own mistakes and take my own chances, but were always close by to keep me from true harm and keep me and my fellow Scouts safe.

So, do I look at the issues confronting Scouting today and wish for a return to the “good old days?” No. The simple fact is that our country has changed, our society has changed, our parents and families and kids have changed, and if we as an organization wish to remain relevant and continue our mission, we have to adapt. Too many young people fell victim to predators in the days when “you just didn’t talk about things like that”. Too many young people failed to be given a safe Scouting experience provided by carefully selected and trained leaders and role models. Too many young people have not gotten the support and guidance and attention they needed to survive today’s world.

Scouting and Scouting’s leadership at all levels have done their best and will continue to do their best to be able to provide a quality Scouting experience to every young person and family they can. Change is inevitable and will happen whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not. What hasn’t changed is what makes the Boy Scouts of America the greatest youth organization in the world, and that’s our mission: “The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people to make moral and ethical decisions over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”
Each of you has the right to choose how to use your time, talents and energy. If the Boy Scouts of America no longer fits into your plan, that’s fine. You have the right to pursue other paths. As for me, I believe Scouting is needed now more than ever before. In this time of social and political unrest and change, we will keep doing what we do, fulfilling Scouting’s mission and offering every young person the opportunity to have positive, caring role models who are teaching them how to live the Scout Oath and Law and providing experiences and growth opportunities they might not be able to get anywhere else. One of my dear Scouting friends and mentors who has long since passed away said “Scouting helps make old man memories”. 49 years ago, I wouldn’t have understood what he meant. Today, I do. I’m hoping that, 25 years from now, my Eagle Scout son understands that better, too.

Life to Eagle Presentation

Tuesday February 28th at the Scout Office beginning at 7 pm. This presentation is for Star and Life Scouts as well as Troop Committee members and Scout Leaders. Those who attend will learn more about the process from Life Rank to Eagle Rank as well as the expectations of the Eagle Project and Eagle Application. Register to attend by calling the Scout Office or online via the calendar. If WCPS schools are cancelled due to weather that day or night, this presentation will be cancelled and rescheduled.

Newest Eagle Scouts

Derek H. - Troop 62 Magnus S. - Troop 62 Tanner S. - Troop 2

Venturing Update

We are looking for a Venturing Activity Chair. If interested please contact Nate Bacon.

Venturing Training:

Adult...Venture Leader Specific Training (VLST)
- Feb 26th 2:00 - 5:00 contact Nate Bacon for details on location
- April 25th 6:00-10:00 at Council Office

Crew Members...Intro to Leadership Skills for Crews & Officer Roles
- April 7 starts at 6:00 thru April 8 approx noon, at Council Office

Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee need volunteers, and is also looking for two units to help develop two educational trails at Sinoquipe Scout Reservation.

Info & questions: Nate Bacon - Conservation Comm Chair, 717-762-0964 or Email.

Skate Club 2017

Skate Club 2017

Derby Days 2017

Derby Days 2017

The Farmer and His Prize Bull: A High- Grading Analogy

Many landowners allow the woods, which they love so much, to be “select cut,” as some call it. In reality, they are confusing what they think is a good practice with one that is actually negatively impacting the health of their woods.

An example of a mixed species, even-aged forest. What happens to the species and trees when a high grade is imposed on it?

No, this is not a farming story. We don’t have the answers to improving lines of beef or milk cattle. Someone may, but not here. Sorry. This is a story about forests, about the trees, about forest history, and about the actions we take in the woods.

As a forester and an educator, I get to talk with many passionate people--people who care so deeply about their woods that they work at it beyond rational economic decisions and into their love. These aren’t all longtime woods-owners; they are also people who just inherited or just bought woodland because they love it. Very often they have woodlands because they want to care for it in a way that makes it better. Yet whether long-tenured or short-, many landowners allow the woods, which they love so much, to be “select cut,” as some call it. In reality, they are confusing what they think is a good practice with what is actually negatively impacting the health of their woods. What is often incorrectly described as a “select cut” is known to foresters as high grading or diameter limit cutting – different names for the same practice. Unfortunately, the misconception that select cuts are a good thing persists.

So what is high grading, select cutting, or diameter-limit cutting? The quick and dirty answer is, “It’s taking the best and leaving the rest.” High grades remove the biggest trees (assumed to be the “oldest” or “most mature”), or trees above a certain diameter (hence, diameter limit). Landowners often think they are doing the right thing, in efforts to thin a stand, make a little income, or “give the little trees a chance to grow up and become big trees…”

It would be so easy if it worked this way. Unfortunately our past history doesn’t make Pennsylvania forests good candidates for this type of harvesting activity. Around the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th, most of Pennsylvania was clearcut. Discoveries of iron ore led to iron furnaces being built to fuel the industrial revolution, and those iron furnaces needed fuel to melt the ore to make pig iron to ship to urban industrial centers. That fuel came in the form of charcoal, made from trees. Colliers (charcoal-makers) cut down huge swaths of the woods to create the charcoal and feed the furnaces. In addition to charcoal production, lumber was a high value commodity, and the leather industry used hemlock for the tannic acid in the bark to tan hides. There was tremendous draw on the forest resource, such that much of the state was essentially cleared of trees in a relatively short window of 30 to 50 years.

How does that past affect our present forests? Many of Pennsylvania’s trees, especially the oaks, grew from stump sprouts, on those same stumps cut for products. Others, early successional species that like a lot of light and bare mineral soil, have seeds that blow around and can take advantage of clear sites. Blue jays and other nut hoarders moved acorns and other hard mast around, spreading the oaks, hickories, and chestnuts. However, this history of regrowth from one earlier time period means that the majority of trees in Pennsylvania’s forests are approximately the same age, the little ones and the big ones.

There are two things to know about how trees grow that play into this story: first, different tree species can tolerate different light conditions and grow at different rates. Second, even within the same species of the same age, there are winners and losers in the race to grow tall and have wide crowns.

Take a look at the image accompanying this piece. This sketch represents a mixed species, evenaged stand or group of trees in a forest, grown out for, say, one hundred years. In it, on the right hand curve we see the trees that are fast growers and who like a lot of sun (early successional species, in this example black cherry), which got established quickly and grew. We don’t see a lot of little black cherries in this forest, because they need a lot of sunlight to get started and, with the other species in the mix, we can tell that there’s not a lot of sunlight reaching the forest floor. The middle curve is the mid-successional species (in this example white ash) that are a little more tolerant of shade. In this curve there are some big ones that had great growing sites, or were of better breeding stock, and some smaller ones that are falling behind. The left hand curve represents the late successional species, sugar maple here, that can germinate and grow in not much light. There are a lot of little ones because they can hang on in the understory of the forest for many years. In this stand we have three different species, of about the same age, with different growing rates based both on the potential of the site, competition, and the differences in the trees’ preferred growing spaces.

Now impose a diameter limit cut on this stand (represented by the vertical dotted line) and what happens? Depending on where you impose it, what limit or size tree is cut? The best and biggest trees are often taken, and sometimes whole species are lost.

Look at the dotted line. What happened to our stand of trees? We just lost almost all of the early successional species, the black cherry. We lost the better half (and biggest) of the white ash, and the very best of the sugar maple. Black cherry is a forest food for wildlife. What did we just do to that food source in these woods? Oak is an intermediate shade tolerant species – it likes a little sun, but can tolerate a little bit of shade. What if oak were the middle curve and wildlife was an important landowner goal in the woods? What would happen to your favorite wildlife food producer? What happens when we implement the next high grade on the stand? What is going to be left?

Recently I read an article by a very smart forest landowner who was paying attention to the forest history on his hunting camp – an area repeatedly high graded. He came up with a great analogy which then got further modified by a conversation with another smart person about this topic. Imagine the trees are your herd of cattle. Does it make sense to cull your best breeding stock and expect to get the strongest lines from those left? No one faults the farmer for harboring his prize bull. Why do we not offer the same consideration to our trees?

What should be done instead? If the interest is in opening up a stand to allow for growth on the remaining trees (space, light, water, and nutrients for tree growth are limiting resources), consider taking the worst first and freeing those best ones to grow a little bigger. If it’s time to start the forest cycle over with a new, young forest, do preliminary work to ensure that you have regeneration from those best trees on the ground before you remove them – this may mean opening up the canopy to allow a little more light for seedlings to get established, paying a great deal of attention to potential threats from invasive or competitive plants, and then in a few years you can remove the big trees. It may mean erecting a fence to protect some seedlings so they aren’t all removed or damaged by deer so they have a chance to grow tall.

Trees are a renewable resource. Eventually the better trees can be cut, but it takes experience, practice, and much consideration to decide when to make this next harvest and to do it well. We are lucky trees grow well here in Pennsylvania. If we continue to make decisions about harvesting our woods that remove the best trees, that remove whole species of trees, we lose options for the future forest. We lose forest health and forest diversity, which trickle down to the wildlife and to us. Let’s stop high grading our woods and keep those “prize bulls” around, until they’ve proven their breeding potential in creating the next forest.

Upcoming Events

Oct
20
Fri
6:00 pm Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Oct 20 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 22 @ 10:00 am
Fall Camporee @ Kauffman Ruritan Community Center
Hosted by Kauffman Ruritan and Troop 413 Focused on Amateur Radio (ham radio) and JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) Everyone will have opportunity to talk around the region and around the world with ham radio stations; perhaps talk to one of the million plus scouts participating in this year’s Jamboree On The Air. Scouts can[...]
Oct
25
Wed
6:30 pm COR Training @ Scout Service Center
COR Training @ Scout Service Center
Oct 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
COR Training @ Scout Service Center
 
Oct
26
Thu
7:00 pm OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
OA Lodge Meeting @ Mason-Dixon Council Service Center
 
Oct
27
Fri
7:00 pm OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Oct 27 @ 7:00 pm – Oct 29 @ 10:00 am
OA Ordeal Weekend @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
Nov
3
Fri
7:00 pm ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
Nov 3 @ 7:00 pm – Nov 4 @ 12:00 pm
ILSC For Venturing @ Scout Service Center
 
Nov
4
Sat
8:00 am Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
8:00 am Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 8:00 am – Nov 5 @ 11:00 am
Webelos Woods @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
You must register for this event by November 1st, 2017. There are no event-day registrations. Click here to register online. 2017-RegistrationForm (Paper) Troop or Crew Volunteer Registration   Who: This event is open for all Webelos Scouts, their leaders and parents When: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 through Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Check in begins at[...]
9:00 am BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 4 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
BALOO @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Click Here to Register!!!
Nov
5
Sun
2:00 pm Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
Nov 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cub Hike Club @ Monument Stone it is off of Ramsey's Trail by Camp Sinoquipe
The Cub Hike Club is an introduction to hiking for Cub Scout-aged boys and their families. It involves all ranks of Cubs and provides hikes specific for their abilities. The hikes also provide the opportunity for the entire family to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The hikes take place in the spring and fall[...]
Nov
9
Thu
6:30 pm Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
Nov 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuscarora District Roundtable @ Shady Grove Community Center
6:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Gathering / Snacks 6:30 p.m. – Open session highlights introductions 6:45 p.m. – Split Sessions (40 minutes) Roundtable Auction Roses, Buds & Thorns Training Available: Safety Afloat (may run longer) 7:25 p.m. – Commissioner Minute / Photo Op Selfie! (10 minutes) 7:35 p.m. – Dinner – Dutch Oven Buffet[...]
7:00 pm Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Washington County Hacktable @ Council Service Center
Nov 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Come for a evening of fellowship and learning about unique topics at each hacktable.
Nov
11
Sat
8:00 am Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Camp Stewards Work Day @ Sinoquipe Scout Reservation
 
8:00 am Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Ten Commandment Hike @ First Baptist Church
TEN COMMANDMENT HIKE To All Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venturing Scouts, Leaders, and Families: The Religious Relations Committee of Mason-Dixon Council is holding a Ten Commandment Hike on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Hagerstown, Maryland.  The hike will take you to various churches in Downtown Hagerstown where you will learn about the Ten Commandments. [...]
Nov
15
Wed
7:00 am NESA Breakfast @ Bob Evans
NESA Breakfast @ Bob Evans
Nov 15 @ 7:00 am – 8:30 am