Digital Eagle MAR 17 14


    Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America

March 17, 2014
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am until 5:00pm
Main Phone 205-970-0251 Fax 205-970-0349
Northern Area Service Center 256-883-7071 
Birmingham Scout Shop 205-967-5954
Huntsville Scout Shop 256-880-1488 or 877-880-1488 
Scout Shop Hours: M-F: 9-6; SAT: 10-4

Congratulations to James Higgins of Troop 322 in the Cherokee District! James is our Week 1 Scout Discount Card drawing winner for a free week of summer camp. Keep up the good work James!

If your Scout has sold 10 or more Scout Discount cards they are eligible to put their name in the drawing. Go to and click on the Scout Discount Card tab. The link to fill out the form will be on the website. Scouts can only enter their name in once however names will be carried over each week of the drawing.

Would your unit like to make money to pay for your next camping trip? Now is the time to sign up for our Scout Discount Card sale. Their are less than 5,000 Birmingham cards left in the office for units. If you have not already signed your unit up for the sale now is the time. 

If your unit would like to sell Huntsville Scout Discount cards please contact the Huntsville Scout office at 256-883-7071 or go and click on the Scout Discount card link to fill out your units form today.

If you have any questions concerning the Scout Discount Card sale you can go to and click on the "Ask a Scout Card Question Here" tab.
What's Happening (next four weeks) 
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIESCheck out the upcoming training at the Training Calendar   on our website.
ON-LINE REGISTRATION  -A new page has been added to the council website for on-line registration.  Check it out!  

 Events, Activities, and Information 
New information in this section is indicated by this font color.

Regions Field Boy Scout Night Open House- Click Here

CAMP JACKSON BIKE PUMP TRACK - Learn more about this new program feature at Camp Jackson.  Click here for a Scoutmaster Guide to the Pump Track.

STATE PARKS AND TOUR PLANS While Tour Plans are not required traveling within the Greater Alabama Council, they are required when visiting an Alabama State Park to qualify for the reduced entry fee.  Please have a completed and approved form ready upon arrival.  The park may not grant the discounted rate if you do not have the proper paperwork.  This is a state park policy, not a BSA or GAC policy.

STEM COMMITTEE WANTS YOU!  -  The GAC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Committee is looking for volunteers to join the committee to promote this initiative. The committee will also promote the NOVA and SUPERNOVA awards, as well as the STEM program in Cub and Boy Scouting and Venturing. For more information or to become a member of the committee please contact the Clayton Scout Service Center at 205-970-0251.

1.  Congratulations to Daniel Massie For earning the Charles H Townes Supernova Award for Webelos.  Mr. Massie is the first Supernova Award recipient in the Greater Alabama Council.  Thanks to his Mentor (and Cubmaster and Mom), Kristin Massie.

2.  There are new Nova training courses available on the BSA’s training web site (  Look for “STEM Orientation” for a description of the STEM/Nova Awards program, “STEM Nova Counselor Training” for Counselors, and “STEM Supernova Mentor Training” for Mentors.

3.  A great introduction to the Nova Award program with some practical applications is offered at the upcoming University of Scouting on March 8.  Check out this new and increasingly popular program opportunity and start learning how you can use it for great program for your scouts.  Sign up for “Counseling Nova Activities” in periods 1 and 2.

>> Challenge              Richard Stone
>>> Adventure<>
>>>> Service              256 325 1268

VOLUNTEER AT CAMP! : Do you love a particular GAC camp?  Do you have a special skill or craft or just want to volunteer to help have the best facilities for our youth?  The Council's Properties Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on the Camp Volunteer Service Corps that can help work at camps to assist in doing work to assist the Rangers and respective Camp Committees.  Tasks range from "just helping" to skilled trades such as plumbing, electrical and masonry.      If you are interested in being considered to serve on the Camp Volunteer Service Corps, please complete the attached application and submit it Jeff Brasher at or faxing it to 205-970-0349.  It will then be submitted to the Properties Committee and Camp Committee for approval.

MEMBERSHIP FEE INCREASE - The National BSA membership fee for youth and adults will increase to $24 per year effective January 1st, 2014.  For more information from the Chief Scout Executive, click here.

PRE-PAID SCOUT CARD - A BSA pre-paid Scout card is now available from Discover.  Click here for more information.

Sipsey Wilderness Update:

Do you or your unit camp at the Sipsey Wilderness? Then you will want to click here for some information from the USDA and the Bankhead National Forest.



 Commissioner's Corner 

It was good to see many of you in the Commissioner's meeting at University of Scouting. "Big Hand" to the UoS staff for a great event and perfect Spring weather!

If you were unable to attend the meeting, a brief summary of the agenda:

** Encouragement to the important work of the Commissioners from GAC Scout Executive JT Dabbs.

** Challenge from Asst. Council Commissioner Reed Alexander to the District Commissioners to achieve the 1 Commissioner to 3 Unit ratio. Call on Reed for assistance with the goal of achieving this for every district in 2014!

** Report of UVTS and the great job by several Districts in visits and REPORTING visits. Still time for other Districts to improve reporting!!

** COMMISSIONER CONFERENCE: Tentative plans for a 1/2 day meeting on MAY 3RD. Mark your calendar. Looking for a location in the Cullman area.

** Commissioner meeting suggested (great idea) at Scout Fest this Fall in Decatur.

** Deputy Scout Executive Tim Molepske concluded the meeting with moving thoughts from his late father, a great Commissioner himself.

Thank you for your service!

Tim Smalley



NRA INSTRUCTOR TRAINING:   Their will be two chances coming up to be NRA Instructor Certified for various firearms and course on Friday, January 24th, 2014 to Sunday, January 26th, 2014 and Friday, March 28th, 2014 to Sunday, March 30th, 2014 at the Hugh M. Comer Scout Reservation, 16490 County Road 89, Mentone AL 35984. Only Online Registration will be available. 

Please register online at:

Training to be Offered:
Friday, 28 March: NRA Basic Instructor Training
Saturday, 29 March: NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Training
Sunday, 30 March: NRA Range Safety Officer Training

Click here for the downloadable flyer for the March training to get more information 


Philmont Training Center 2014 Courses:

The Philmont Training Center (PTC) is the only national volunteer training center for the Boy Scouts of America. Since 1950, PTC has provided a unique environment for training volunteer and professional leaders, and a fun family program for every member of the family. Each year, more than 6,000 Scouters and family members attend PTC.

Each conference features the latest tools and techniques, audiovisuals, discussions, idea sharing, and activities led by a faculty of experienced Scouters. All registered Scouters are invited to attend training center courses.

Here are a list of the courses being offered by the Philmont Training Center for summer/fall of 2014. 
Click here. 

If you are interested in attending the Philmont Training Center for 2014 please contact Cindy Perry at or Clay Pruitt at by Tuesday, Sept. 24th to let us know if your interested in attending these incredible courses.

Introducing the 2014 NYLT Courses:

Spring Session, June 1-7, 2014 Camp Jackson, Scottsboro, AL 35769
Summer Session, July 6-12, 2014 Camp Westmoreland, Florence, AL 35

Michael Cole, Winter Session Scoutmaster 
256-283-4755 (Cell)
Nick Liberatore, Spring Session Scoutmaster 
256-503-4141 (Cell) email:
Mark Brown, Summer Session Scoutmaster 
256-653-6712 (Cell) email:

What is NYLT? 
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is a six-day outdoor training course
for senior youth leaders in the Boy Scouting or the Venturing programs. Three different NYLT
Sessions are being offered by the Greater Alabama Council in 2014: the Winter NYLT Course, the
Spring NYLT Course and the Summer NYLT Course. The Winter Course will be conducted over
two three day weekends, 18-20 January 2014 & 14-17 February 2014. The Spring and Summer NYLT Courses will be conducted as a week long course and will be offered on 1 – 7 June 2014 or 6-12 July 2014. NYLT augments the training received from Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) or the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC). NYLT focuses on the skills needed by Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders, Presidents and Boatswains. The course is led by a volunteer staff of youth and adults experienced in training youth leaders.

*Please click here for registration form and more information.


Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) weekend session will be taught Friday, April 4th through Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at Camp Tekawitha in Springville, AL, This course starts Friday at 6:00 pm and concluding on Sunday at 12:00 Noon.. This session involves a great deal of learning in the field, rather than in a class room setting. Emphasis will be on learning practical Scouting skills that will prepare you to lead an outdoor scouting experience for your troop. This weekend has always proven to be fun, exciting, and very important in discovering what the “Scouting Spirit” is all about. The fee for the OLS session is $17.50, which includes all materials for this session.
Registration deadline for this IOLS session is Saturday, March 29, 2014.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 Shades Valley Lutheran Church 9:00-5:00
720 Shades Creek Parkway

BALOO is Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation. It introduces Cub Scout leaders to pack overnight camping. Whether you’re an experienced camper or an outdoor novice, BALOO has something to offer you! 
Packs may hold overnight campouts, but at least one adult leading the outing must be BALOO trained. (Guide to Safe Scouting). You do NOT have to be a registered leader to attend… just interested in giving your Cub Scouts a great campout experience. Come learn better ways to prepare for a fun and safe outing that everyone (including YOU) will enjoy! For more information visit



Cub Adventure Weekend!!!
Camp with your family at Camp Comer. We have exciting activities for ALL Cub Scouts, as well as the entire family. Your favorite activities are back and we have added slingshots to the fun, with a Galactic, Space adventure theme. Sign up now so you don’t miss out on the fun! There will be an additional $25.00 late fee if registration is received less than one week prior to session date. Check in time starts Friday at 4:00 p.m.Check out is 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

The cost is $60.00 per Cub and Partner, $80.00 for 2 Cubs and Partner and additional family members are $25.00 each. (Children 5 and under are free). Deadline is one week from date of each session. Patch for the Cub is included in the fee. For information contact Clay Pruitt at 1-205-970-0251 (x4254) or Handicap accessible campsites are available for any families with special needs. T-shirts will be available by pre-ordering or on site in the Trading Post for an additional fee. $10.00 for YS-AXL and $15.00 for 2X and 3X.

Dinner Friday night is at 6:00 p.m., Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be served on Saturday, as well as Breakfast on Sunday. Campers with special dietary restrictions need to contact the Council Service Center prior to attending for assistance.

Sleeping Accommodations - Camp Comer has two man tents and four man Adirondacks. Due to the number of participants, we cannot reserve campsites and we have to save the Adirondacks for families of 3 or more on a first come first serve basis. We ask that any groups with four use the Adirondacks. There will be room for families that wish to bring their own tents.

Click here to register online


Download a paper copy here.

Cub Adventure Weekend Staff Needed!!

If you would like to serve on staff at Cub Adventure please fill out the attached paper copy here and email to Jenny Hairell We greatly need your help. Thanks for your consideration. Click Here


2014 Webelos Resident Camp

Looking for a GREAT and FUN opportunity for your Webelos this summer? Then click here for info about Webelos Resident Camp. We'll see you at Camp Comer July 20-23!




SUMMER CAMP 2014 - Campsites are filling quickly for next summer.  Weeks 1-3 at both camps are now closed.  Other weeks are also approaching capacity.  Click here for a reservation form if your troop has not yet signed-up!  (Our out-of-council guests, please click here for your reservation form.)
PHILMONT 2014 CAMPERSHIPS - The Greater Alabama Council has received an allocation from the Waite Phillips Campership Fund for the 2014 Philmont summer season.  CLICK HERE for more information.
EAGLE SERVICE PROJECTS - There are still a few $100.00 Lowe's Eagle Scout Grants available for Scouts working on their Eagle Scout service projects. These grants are available for purchasing materials that may be needed in completing the projects and must be used prior to December 31, 2014. For more information, click here.  CLICK HERE for more information.


CHANGES TO EAGLE-REQUIRED MERIT BADGE LIST -- Effective January 1st 2014, Cooking will be added to the list of merit badges required for Eagle.  A new merit badge, Sustainability, will be introduced in 2013, and Scouts will have the option of earning either Environmental Science or Sustainability for Eagle.  Click here for more information.

CAMP JACK WRIGHT - There will be a series of programs and speakers at Camp Jack Wright this fall. For more information, click here.

Change in High Adventure Camps Wilderness First Aid Policy!  -  If you are planning on attending any of the BSA high adventure bases (Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base or The Summit) for the summer of 2014 please note that now you must have at least 2 participants that are Wilderness First Aid certified. Please review the training column on the Digital Eagle or visit the Training Calendar on the website to see when the next training will be available.


High Adventure Weekend!
April 4-6
Camp Comer Scout Reservation 

Available to: This event is open to all Venturers, Explorers, Sea Scouts and Boy Scouts over the age of 14. (Provisional participation is available.)

What to bring: clothes for the weekend, warm and light jacket, rain coat, sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, flashlight/headlight, toiletry items.

Expense: $50 for youth, $30 for adults (includes: meals, camp housing facilities, and program materials)

On-time: Registration is March 14, 2014 to receive a T-shirt (you know you want one!), registration cutoff is March 28th

Movement: Activities include rappelling, paintball, war canoe, bouldering, mountain biking, geocaching, archery, shotgun, pistol, rifle, a carnival, and Comer Clue!

Expected: Everyone is expected to bring Health Form parts A and B ( and Parent Release Permission Form.

(Click here for flyer and registration form)



Philmont 2015 Council Contigent!!

I am pleased to confirm that Greater Alabama Council has been assigned the following allocation for our 2015 Council Contingent:

The contingent is limited to 45 youth and 15 adults. 

Anticipated Itinerary: 

Saturday, 13 June 2015: Depart from Birmingham by bus (approx 7 PM)

Monday, 15 June: Arrive at Philmont-Saturday, 28 June: Depart Philmont, 

Sunday, 29 June: Bus returns to Birmingham

Estimated Cost: $1,400 includes transportation, lodging, all meals, and Philmont fees. (Note: Transportation costs are based on filling the bus and are subject to change. The final cost will be determined as soon as firm transportation costs are established.)

Contingent applications will be processed beginning Monday, March 24th. A deposit of $ 150 is required with the application. Additional payments will be due on September 1st, 2014 and February 1st, 2015.

Youth must be 14 (or 13 and completed eighth grade) as of 15 June 2015

All participants must meet the height/weight standards and Philmont specific requirements of Part D of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Form.

Waite Phillips scholarships may be available for 2015. We will be notified prior to fall of 2014 if any funds will be
available for use by council contingents if a financial need is present. 

Click here to download the application for the Philmont 2015 Council Contingent. 

You can mail the application on the address on the application or email at

If you have any questions regarding the Council Contingent please contact Clay Pruitt at 205-970-0251 or



2014 Camp Sequoyah Week 6

“Expand Your Dreams”

Greater Alabama Council


July 13-19, 2014


Okay! We'll level with ya! There are just some super Scouts out there that live and breath SUMMER CAMP! After all it is the most exciting time of the year. The Greater Alabama Council is thrilled to announce that we are adding a 6th week at Camp Sequoayh designed specifically for those Scouts that want to experience more summer camp. Scouts register to attend as individuals instead of with a troop.  No adult leaders are required.  The Camp Sequoyah Staff will provide instruction and be your Scout leader for the week.  Each Scout will be assigned a campsite and adult staff members will provide leadership.  Scouts can then focus their attention on merit badges and activities they really enjoyed or did not get to do during regular summer camp.

The cost for Scouts who already attended a G.A.C. summer camp in 2014 is only $200. $250 for those Scouts who did not already camp with the Council in 2014. 

Click Here for more info




Maddie is the current Southern Region Venturing President and has been a very active member of the National Cabinet this year. She looks forward to representing Venturing and implementing the new program next year!
Congratulations Maddie!
VENTURING OFFICERS ASSOCIATION -  Venturing Officers Association of Greater Alabama meets once/month.  Every Crew in the Council should be represented at these meetings. If the President of your Crew cannot attend she/he should send a representative. If unable to make the drive, please let us know and we can include you through skype, or facetime. We have some great ideas for council wide events, but need your ideas to make them even better!   Please call Caroline Dewberry at 256.714.1045 for more information.
PHILMONT 2014 CAMPERSHIPS - The Greater Alabama Council has received an allocation from the Waite Phillips Campership Fund for the 2014 Philmont summer season.  CLICK HERE for more information.


District News 

(Click on the District to go directly to that section) 



On March 21-23, 2014, at Camp Comer, Coosa Lodge is hosting a pow-wow. And you’re invited! - Click Here

Coosa Lodge


Mar 21-23: Spring Pow-wow at Camp Comer -- Our incredibly popular Spring Pow-wow will be returning for 2014. We'll open our annual spring fellowship to all members of the Council to learn more about the OA, participate in some traditional Native American drumming and dancing, and take part in what is arguably one of the best Webelos crossover ceremonies in the country. Visit for more details.

Apr 25-27: SR-9 Conclave at Moundville -- Join hundreds of Arrowmen from nearly a dozen lodges across Alabama and Georgia as they participating in training and competition to strengthen each other and determine which lodge is the best. We'll be camping at the historic Moundville Archaeological Park in Moundville, Alabama (just south of Tuscaloosa). Watch for full details.

- See our full calendar at


The time for unit elections is coming up quickly! Many units hold their elections between February and April so their candidates can participate in the May Ordeal or be called out at Summer Camp. If your unit would like to hold an Order of the Arrow election, we'll be more than happy to send a trained, friendly election team to you to conduct the election and process the paperwork. Click here to request an election team:


We're launching our history project for the Order of the Arrow centennial celebration next year, and we need you're help! Project adviser Chris Brightwell is gearing up to film a documentary and pen an extensive historical reference that spans the entire 85 years of the the Order's service to Scouting in North Alabama. It'll reach back to the founding of Cherokee Fifty in 1930, advance through the birth of Achunanchi and Kaskanampo lodges, celebrate the unification of those lodges in to Coosa Lodge, and maybe try to paint a picture of what our future might look like. 

If you want to be a part of this or know someone who might, contact him ( or click here for more info:

NOAC 2015

We're planning to take 200 Coosa Lodge members to the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference to celebrate the Order's centennial, meet Arrowmen from throughout the Order, learn the most effective ways to improve our lodge program and maximize its impact, and much, much more. We'll have more info on this as the year progresses, but you should just go ahead and plan to be with usAugust 3-8, 2015 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Watch for more details.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news and info as soon as it's available!


- John Mayhall, Lodge Chief:
- Mr. Ed O'Neal, Lodge Adviser:
- Mr. Joey Kiker, Staff Adviser:



Recharters Due

Recharters were due for most Arrowhead Units on December 31, 2013 or January 31, 2014 If you have questions, need help, or are ready to turn it in please contact your Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner Henry Gilson at, or District Director Rich Hayes at Please help us by completing your Recharters as soon as possible. 

Friends of Scouting Presentations:

It is time once again for Friends of Scouting. Please send information on your Blue & Gold, next Court of Honor, or heavily attended event in your unit so we can schedule a presenter for you. Send the following details to Rich Hayes at

Point of Contact (name, phone, email):
Possible alternative date: 

Philmont Slots Available 

Troop 336, Hartselle has 4 open slots for 1 adult+1 scout and 2 scouts. Our travel dates are 15 June to 1 July 2014 with arrival at Philmont on17 June. Contact Scott Owen at 256-612-7416 or sfowen6@charter.netfor more information.

Arrowhead District Pinewood Derby: April 12

This year's District Pinewood Derby will be hosted by Pack 236 in Athens, AL. The Derby will be held on April 12, 2014 at Isom's Chapel UMC. Registration starts at 8:00 am, and racing begins at 10:00 am. The cost of the District Pinewood Derby is $5 per car, and each scout will receive a commemorative 2014 Arrowhead District Pinewood Derby patch.

Awards will be given for 1st through 5th place in both speed and best in show (design/appearance).
New this year - The 1st Annual Cubmaster's Cup. This is a Cubmaster only race. Cubmaster's must follow the same rules as the scouts, and this race is fro bragging rights to which Cubmaster has the best Pinewood Derby skills in the District. I challenge all Cubmasters to participate.

The flyer and rules are posted on the website in the File section in the folder designated for the 2014 District Pinewood Derby. Hard copies will be distributed at Roundtable. If you have any questions, please ask Adam Harm at or Mark Stapleton

Spring Camporee: April 25-27

The Spring Camporee will be held April 25-27. More information will be published soon. Please hold the dates for the event in your Troop calendars.


Looking for unit commissioners- If you are interested in getting involved on the District level, or becoming a unit commissioner we are always looking for more help, there is a place for YOU, so please contact me. 


Joe MacDonald - 256-232-8371- Athens 
Charlie Youmans - 256-565-3400 - Cullman 
Michael Findlay - 256-686-1546 - Decatur

Sign up for the Arrowhead Yahoo Group page at:

Rich Hayes 
Arrowhead District Director 


Mark your calendars for Birmingham District Banquet Thursday, onApril 3, 2014 at 6th Avenue Baptist Church-6:30 (Registration forms and details to come!!!). The cost is $5 per attendee. Kids 5 and under are free.