Happy 100th Birthday Mr. Maher!

On January 27, 2021, Mr. Cornelius C. Maher celebrated his 100th Birthday in the company of some of the many Scouts he helped lead back in the 1960’s during his tenure as committee chairman with Troop 31, Newton, MA. A special Zoom meeting was set up for his Scouts, including eight Eagle Scouts, who joined in from across the country. Mr. Maher, a B-17 WWII pilot, is an Eagle Scout, Class of 1936, Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow and a Founding Member of the Nobscot Alumni Association. A former executive with The United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International), Mr. Maher enjoyed the celebration with his three Eagle Scout sons and his daughter, a former Girl Scout. During the Troop Muster, he was quick to point out that his birthday marks the start of his 101st year! Happy 100th Birthday Mr. Maher and thank you for your service!

2021 Virtual Freeze Out

Fire Up Your Scouts for the 2021 Virtual FREEZE OUT!

All Scout BSA units in Mayflower Council are invited to participate.

Have your patrols tune up those sleds for this year’s Freeze Out adventure. Your Scouts will hone cold weather skills, participate in a variety of races, competitions, and take home memories for a lifetime. There will not be any troop vs. troop competition this year, rather troops can compete Scout vs. Scout or patrol vs. patrol. Your choice!!

This is the first virtual Freeze Out!  Each unit can decide when, where, and how to hold your troop freeze out.  We are here to help you create a fantastic adventure for your Scouts.

Troops and Scouts will receive:

  • Ribbons for each event (1st, 2nd, 3rd) these will be mailed to the troop when registration closes.
  • Council support & some “suggested” outdoor winter ideas, suggestions and guidelines, these will be emailed to you.
  • Special 2021 Freeze Out patch per participant will be mailed to the troop after the event.
  • Additional patches can be purchased for $5.00 ea.

When:  Pick any weekend in March – troops will decide what day(s) works for them.

Location: Troops decide on a location that works for them and their group size(s). You may now schedule to hold your event at one of the Mayflower Council camps.  Tent camping is now open at Camp Resolute, Camp Squanto, and Nobscot Scout Reservation or another location of your choosing.

Cost:  $10.00 per Scout, adults are free

Proposed activities but are not limited to:

  1. fire starting
  2. knot knowledge
  3. lashing structure build
  4. bear bag
  5. obstacle course
  6. patrol winter emergency shelter
  7. cross the creek (crates and planks)
  8. panning for gold (tarp and ping pong balls)

Video contest – Troops are invited to have their Scouts take short videos of their event.  Videos will be judged and ribbons awarded for funniest video, best original event, best appearance of Scout spirit.  You will receive a link to upload your videos once registration closes.

This event is being sponsored by the Headwaters District.

Register Here

District Award Nominations

Below you will find nomination forms for recognizing Scouters at the unit and district levels.  As well as nationally recognized nomination forms.

Nomination form for District Awards – Due by March 15th

  • Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Venturing Crew Advisor , Committee Chair (for any Unit) and Charter Organization Representative of the Year Awards
  • Unsung Hero Award – someone who goes above and beyond in the District
  • “Sparkplug” – each Pack, Troop, or Crew can recognize one of their adult leaders for going above and beyond

Nomination for the District Award of Merit – Due by March 15th

These nomination forms must be sent via email to:  Awards@mayflowerbsa.org

The District Key 3 typically will present the awards at the Annual District Recognition dinner.

Download the fillable PDF
District Awards Form

Download the 
District Award of Merit Form

District Award of Merit

The District Award of Merit is presented to registered Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level. Nominations must be made on the national nomination form and must be received no later than March 15, 2021.

Completed nominations must be sent via email to:  Awards@mayflowerbsa.org. The awards will be presented at the District’s Recognition Dinner.

Environmental Protection Agency – 50 Years

50th Anniversary  – Program Term: January 1 – December 31, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a public awareness campaign to celebrate its first 50 years, has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to create an award for members of troops, crews and ships. This new award will recognize youth who research and learn about the subjects of human health and the environment, as the EPA develops its vision for the next 50 years.

The objective of the EPA award is to combine a variety of disciplines to challenge and educate youth; introduce them to the breadth of the EPA’s involvement in environmental protection and conservation; and encourage them to research, investigate, experiment, demonstrate, survey, and study air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and ocean dumping.

Members must earn the Public Health merit badge and three additional merit badges from selected categories. Finally, they must participate in an environmental/public health community service project as part of an approved Scouting program.

Download the application here.

Completed applications are submitted to the local Scout Shop to receive the commemorative patch.

Congratulate your Eagle Scout!

Congratulate an Eagle Scout in a Special Digital Edition of Scout Life

Scout Life is honored to introduce the special digital edition to honor and celebrate the Eagle Scout Class of 2020, including the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, all of whom earned the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program while navigating unprecedented challenges last year. Families with either a young man or young woman (or both!) who earned the Eagle Scout Award last year are welcome to commemorate their Scout’s achievement in this issue.

To honor Scouts that earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2020, those who want to commemorate a Scout’s achievement can buy an ad in a special digital edition of Scout Life, which will be available in the Scout Life app (available at the App Store and on Google Play) and on scoutlife.org at the end of January. 

Submissions can include photos for each advertisement, as well as a special message. The deadline to purchase an ad is January 27, 2021. Pricing is $450 for a full-page ad, $300 for a half-page ad and $200 for a quarter-page ad.

If you have any questions, please contact kendra.tidwell@scouting.org.

Learn More

Congressional Award Scouts Can Earn

In Congress, it’s the rare subject about which there’s unanimous agreement.

It’s the Congressional Award, the highest recognition Congress bestows on young people. To qualify, a young person must meet certain goals in four key areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, many of the activities young people enjoy in Scouting fit nicely into those four categories. Better yet, double-dipping is encouraged, meaning work on merit badges, rank requirements and Eagle projects counts toward the award.

This natural correlation explains why, in 1999, the BSA became partners with the Congressional Award Foundation, which remains Congress’ only charity.

As jobs and colleges become increasingly more competitive, the Congressional Award — along with a young person’s experience in Scouting — will look great on a résumé. That “something extra” is exactly what hiring managers and college admissions counselors want to see.

Scouts have been earning the Congressional Award ever since it was established in 1979. In 2019, at least 75 of the 538 Congressional Award Gold Medal recipients were Scouts. But I say it’s time to raise that number even higher. The award is noncompetitive, meaning anyone who properly completes the requirements will receive the award.

Important: Scouts must register first

Before you consider retroactively counting Scouting experience toward the award, let me point out one key statement from the Congressional Award site: “This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals after registering for the program.”

That means your Scouts should register for the award as soon as possible after turning 13.5 years old, giving them the maximum amount of time to count Scouting requirements toward their progress.

But even if your Scout or Venturer is 16, 17 or older, all hope is not lost. They have until their 24th birthday to complete the requirements.

‘Things I was already doing in Scouting’

After registering, any qualifying activity — in school, Scouting or another extracurricular activity — can count toward the award. That fact is confirmed in the award’s FAQs: “If you belong to groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturing, 4-H, etc., your activities may often be used to achieve a particular goal.”

That was certainly the case for Eagle Scout Todd Christian, who earned the Congressional Award in 2019, at age 23.

“I completed all of the requirements for the program exclusively through the things I was already doing through Scouting,” he says.

Christian earned the Gold Medal, which is the highest of the Congressional Award’s six levels. That top honor includes an invite to the national award ceremony in Washington, D.C., where honorees meet other recipients as well as their congressional representatives. (Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony was held virtually.)

The Gold Medal requires at least 400 hours of volunteer time, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and an expedition of at least five days and four nights.

“Essentially, anyone who completes a multiday trek as well as a comprehensive service project — what we call an Eagle project — has already overcome a major hurdle to receiving the top award,” Christian says.

The entry-level award — the Bronze Certificate — is within even closer reach for most Scouts. It requires 30 hours of volunteer service, 15 hours of personal development, 15 hours of physical fitness, and a one-day expedition or exploration.

“Virtually every Scout has met these requirements many times over, just by being a Scout,” Christian says.

Learn more about the program and how you can earn your award.

Read More

Scouting Safely Online Resources

Do you know where to find up-to-the-minute safety information for Scouts and Scouters? The scouting.org website. Take time to become familiar with all the safety information under Scouting Safely to help all of us keep Scouts safe.

Merit Badge Requirement Updates

The following merit badges have been updated as of January 1, 2021.

  • Archaeology (4b; requirements 8-11 reordered)
  • Collections (1, 5a, 5c, 5e, 5f; deleted 7; added 3d)
  • Digital Technology (5b)
  • Disability Awareness (1a, 1b)
  • Electricity (10)
  • Fish and Wildlife Management (3)
  • Fishing (10)
  • Fly-Fishing (10, 11)
  • Lifesaving (1, 2, 15, 16)
  • Motorboating (1a, 2a, 3a, 4, 5a, 5c)
  • Photography (1a, 1b)
  • Public Health (1)
  • Rowing (2)
  • Sports (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 4)
  • Theater (5, added 3j)
  • Woodwork (7)
Learn More

Noteworthy Neighbor

This one comes courtesy of Partners in Patriotism, a nonprofit organization established by the Kraft Group as a community outreach group for the town of Foxborough.

This week’s #NoteworthyNeighbor is lifelong resident Joseph Gonsalves! An Eagle Scout, Joseph built the Storybook Trail behind the Lane Property for his Eagle Project in 2017. The Storybook Trail is a half-mile loop with 25 posts along the way, each featuring a page of a children’s book covered in plexiglass, so as people walk the trail, they read the book. Since he built the trail, it has been vandalized on four separate occasions, and Joseph has gone back to repair it each time. “Normally, once you complete an Eagle Project it is done and over with, but I couldn’t let that be true with my project,” Joseph said. “I saw how much the families in Foxboro enjoyed the trail. I was taught to give back to the community whenever you’re able to, no matter how big or how small the act. The community showed me so much support when they heard about the vandalism that I had to fix it for them, and I hope it is here for a long time for families to enjoy.”

Joseph, a senior in high school, continues to be involved with Troop 32, Foxborough where he currently serves as Troop Chaplain. Michael Gawronski served as Joseph’s Scoutmaster at the time of his Project. Troop 32’s current Scoutmaster is Jonathan Trudell.