Around the Campfire

Around the CampfireOccasional items of interest that you can search, discover, share, or toss in the fire.

 Upcoming events and nearby places to visit


Upcoming Area Events & Information - Posted 11.19.15



NEW - Preventive Foot Health:  What the Public Can Learn from the Boy Scouts - by W. Stuart Tucker, Jr. MD - Boy Scout leader in Mecklenburg County Council


NEW Same Journey, Different Trails – Encouraging Leadership in Older Scouts - December

Last weekend I went on an overnight trip with my son’s Troop. The younger Scouts attended a merit badge program, rock wall climbing, and other scheduled activities while the older boys, as usual, went off to do their own thing only showing up for meals and lights out. The adults were disappointed. It is a relatively new Troop and they are trying to make the transition to being a truly boy-led unit. But that is hard to do if the boy leaders disappear the first chance they get.

It is important for several reasons to get the older boys involved with the younger boys. Among them are sharing their knowledge of Scouting, creating and continuing Troop traditions, and most importantly motivating younger Scouts to advance in rank. A 15 year old is a rock star to a 12 year old. They can be much more effective than us old folks in getting a young Scout’s attention and motivating him to learn the important skills and ideals of Scouting.

So how do we encourage diversity and inclusion among the different ages and ranks within our units? Scouting Magazine has some ideas:

·       Give prizes to the Scout who helps the most other Scouts get started on their goals.

·       Make teaching part of the weekly meeting agenda. Have the SPL assign a Scout who is First Class or above to teach a lesson to the younger boys each week.

·       Recognize Scouts for finishing requirements at the closing of each meeting. Perhaps they could also mention the Scout that taught the requirements.

·       Send older Scouts to leader training such as SEALS or NYLT and encourage them to practice the skills they learn.

·       Plan a group activity with the older Scouts set up at different stations around the room teaching different skills

·       Assign older boys as Troop guides for younger patrols.

Here are some of my thoughts:

SEALS and NYLT are great opportunities for Scouts to learn leadership skills, but you must support and encourage them to continue practicing those skills, following their vision, and developing SMART goals.

Have the Scouts keep a log of all the Scouts they have taught a skill or requirement to. Maybe make a poster like the one used to track advancement. The Scout with the best record is invited to dine with the Scoutmasters on the next campout, or earns some other prize.

Lead by example and set the right tone. Just as younger Scouts look up to the older Scouts, those older Scouts look up to and may try to emulate you. Be alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic. Don’t sit at camp or a few tables away during merit badge classes or other activities. Find a way to participate, either by assisting the instructor or just being a student yourself.

And remember that as boys get older, their motivations and interests change. Treat those older Scouts as the young adults that they are, and the men they are becoming.

For more information on SEALS and NYLT visit our council’s training site

Same Journey, Different Trails is a monthly article related to the topic of Diversity. To suggest a topic contact Tim Hall at


Same Journey, Different Trails – Welcome the BSA’s First Chief Diversity Officer! - November
The Boy Scouts of America has just appointed Ponce Duran, an Eagle Scout, OA member, and Scouter with 30 years of experience as chief diversity officer. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said. “We believe every child should have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from Scouting’s adventures.” Ponce’s mission will be “to extend the BSA’s engagement in multicultural communities nationwide, sharing Scouting’s benefits and opportunities with parents and their children” (The Boy Scouts of America Announces Its First Chief Diversity Officer, 2015).

Ponce Duran understands that our efforts should not only include reaching out to boys in underserved areas, but actively recruiting a diverse leadership. “Under Duran’s leadership, the Southern Region has recruited more than 500 diverse district committee and council board members and has the highest number of diverse Scout executives.”

The Boy Scouts of America Announces Its First Chief Diversity Officer. (2015, September 1). Retrieved September 2015, from Scouting Newsroom:

Same Journey, Different Trails is a monthly article related to the topic of Diversity. For more information visit Around the Campfire. To suggest a topic contact Tim Hall at


Same Journey, Different Trails – Camperships - October

Does your unit have a Campership program? Do your parents know about it?

Our council works hard to keep Scouting affordable. The day camp and summer camp programs are very competitively priced compared to other summer programs. Yearly registration fees, even after adding unit activity fees, are very reasonable when compared to most sports. Scouting may be the best deal in town.

However, there are times when a family is hard pressed to come up with the money for their son’s annual dues or summer camp trip. A lost job, illness, or other unforeseen circumstance may force parents to decide that they can’t afford to stay involved in Scouting.

According to the Mecklenburg County Council Campership Assistance Application, the purpose of camperships is “… To make participation available to deserving youth who would otherwise be unable to attend camp.  In administering funds, great care must be exercised in order that only those youth who need and deserve financial assistance shall be aided, and that the details shall be handled in such a way as to cause no embarrassment to the youth or his family.  All youth who receive camperships will be required to earn or provide part of the fee, in keeping with the Scout Law-“A Scout is Thrifty”-unless conditions known to the Scout leader are such that this is impossible.”

Money should never be the reason a boy leaves Scouts. Make sure your Pack or Troop has a campership program and funds set aside to support it. And make sure the parents know about the program and how to take advantage of it. Here are some tips:

·       Make it a rule that the Scout should earn part of the fee by participating in unit fundraisers. This will make it feel less like a handout.

·       Be discrete and respectful. It may be a sensitive topic.

·       Develop a campership request form for your unit. There are many available online to draw from.

·       Put the rules, instructions, and campership form in your parents’ guide book.

The in-Council campership form for Cub Scout Day Camp and Boy Scout Summer Camp can be downloaded here:

Other thrifty ideas:

·       Start a uniform turn-in and book recycling program. (Pro Tip: Badge Magic comes off with Goo-B-Gone.)

·       Instead of asking for monetary donations when your Troop or Pack needs something, ask for donations of time, skill, and gently used items.

·       Keep your unit’s merit badge library organized. Send out periodic reminders for the Scouts to bring in their completed books. And talk to other local units about book swaps.

·       Ask retailers for discounts or donations when purchasing supplies for your unit.

Same Journey, Different Trails is a monthly article related to the topic of Diversity. To suggest a topic contact Tim Hall at


Same Journey, Different Trails – Upcoming Diversity Training - September


I just left my second weekend of Wood Badge training. Part of that experience is to write a ticket of several goals that I want to accomplish over the next 12 to 18 months. My fellow Wood Badgers and I were challenged to make one of those goals related to the topic of diversity. I realized that like many of us, I probably didn’t know much about diversity or how to support it. I decided that my goal would be to submit a monthly article related to the topic. My hope is to get us all thinking about diversity and how it strengthens Scouting. And maybe I’ll help you come up with ideas for your own diversity goal when you take the Wood Badge course.


What does “diversity” mean? When we hear that word, we usually think of differences in race, gender or religion. But it also includes differences based on age, experience, background, and physical ability. Here is what the Boy Scouts of America 2011-2015 National Council Strategic Plan has to say about diversity:


“True to our mission, Scouting reflects our nation in its ethnic diversity, and shapes our nation by developing responsible citizens.”


For the BSA, and for us as leaders, diversity means being able to share the ideals of Scouting with the widest possible audience. And that means learning the best way to teach and lead our Scouts.


I hope you are planning to attend the upcoming Scouter Success Seminar on September 26 at CPCC, Levine Campus in Matthews. Please consider attending these courses:



SST 218 - Working with Scouts with Special Needs


Learn how to work with your Scout who is not advancing or is being disruptive and may have ADD/ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, or other special needs. Also includes the new advancement procedures for a Boy Scout who requests extra time to complete requirements for the Eagle Rank.



SST 911 - How Boys Learn


This course will high-light strategies for leaders to understand the nuances of normal “boy” behavior, identify problems that can be alleviated by changing teaching styles, rearranging the teaching environment, and the introduction of physical activity to Den or Patrol meetings.


Click here for more information and to register for the Scouter Success Seminar.

Same Journey, Different Trails is a monthly article related to the topic of Diversity. To suggest a topic contact Tim Hall at



Carolina Outdoors Radio Show

Looking for some great information on hiking, fishing, camping or wonderful places to visit, camp, or hike?  Listen to Bill Bartee and Don Yager on “Carolina Outdoors Radio Show.   You can hear them on WBT radio (1110 AM or 99.3 FM) on Saturday mornings at 5 a m. Or better yet, or download their podcasts and listen to them at your convenience.  You can access their podcasts from

Bill is an Eagle Scout and the owner of Jesse Browns.  He and Don have been doing the show for nearly 20 years.




Brown-headed Nuthatches Need a Good Home

With your help, 10,000 new Brown-headed Nuthatch homes will be placed across North Carolina by the end of 2015. Scouts in other states in the southeast can help their states as well. Watch this video to learn more about nuthatches and how your nest box will help them survive and thrive in your state.

The Brown-headed Nuthatch is a tiny songbird found in the southeastern states. This bird is in decline due to loss of habitat from deforestation and urbanization. Scouts made a real contribution to restoring the Eastern Bluebird by building nest boxes; it has been a common Scout service project.  I am an Eagle Scout working with Audubon North Carolina to spread the word to our Scouting community.  Once informed I know we can make a considerable contribution.  This is an excellent Eagle Project or Hornaday Unit Project. It also fulfills other Merit Badge requirements, including Camping Merit Badge 9c and Fish and Wildlife Merit Badge 5a. It also is a great Cub Scout Project; components can be pre-cut and then assembled.

As a demonstration project, I built 22 of these nest boxes with my troop.  You can check my website for information about this bird and building these nest boxes. You can contact me there with questions as well.  Please send me information and photos of your completed project, so I can feature your Troop or Pack and your contribution on this site.

Bennett David
Daniel Boone Council, Troop 91
Asheville, N.C.



Hemby Program Center - affliated with the Siskey YMCA


The Hemby Program Center is located at 9760 Happy Valley Drive in Charlotte.  It is a 21-acrea site housing a Preschool, Afterschool Program and Eagle Rock Day Camp.


There are a number of opportunities for Eagle Scout Service projects.  For further details, please contact:


Mr. Rich Gallagher, Executive Director - Siskey YMCA at:  980.322.7338 or

Fall Activities Guide - As presented at the September CS Breakaway!

Looking for things to do with your units this fall?
In addition to the upcoming Apache District Cub-o-ree and Web-lo-ree, we have posted a great  list of possible activities developed by Scouter Joanne White.  Of course these are not endorsed by Joanne or Apache District.  CLICK HERE for the resource guide.


BSA Recharter Process Changes - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT


Attention all Unit Leaders (COR; Committee Chairman; Cubmaster or Scoutmaster).  BSA National is implementing a policy change that can have at tremendous impact on your unit if not address properly and timely.  This new policy goes into effect on January 1, 2015.  The policy states that all units MUST have their recharter process completed and submitted on or before their scheduled due date.  Most Apache units have their recharter date due on January 31st.  About 13 of the 80 units in our district have their rehcarter due date on March 31st.

As per the new policy, any unit that fails to recharter by their scheduled due date will be eliminated from the BSA rosters.  No youth advancement, BSA insurance will be suspended, no use of BSA camp facilities, etc.

To ensure that all units are properly rechartered, the Apache District Committee is recommending the following:

  1. Ensure that each unit has a Membership Chairman as an active member of their Unit Committee.  This person will be become the focal point for maintaining the units roster and for the units recharter activity.

  2. Ensure that all registered members of the unit have an up-to-date Youth Protection status.  (Youth Protection has a required renewal every 2 years for all registered leaders).  All leaders must be registered and all registered leaders must be current with their Youth Protection.

  3. Unit Leaders need to make contact with their Unit Commissioners to ensure that their recharter process to perform correctly and completely.

  4. Attend the October 2014 Roundtable meeting and pick up your Recharter Package

  5. Attend the Recharter Workshop on the November 2014 Round Table date.  Bring your laptop or tablet to work through the process with your Commissioner or District Leadership.  This is session is predominantly focused on units rechartering in January.

  6. Attend the Recharter Workshop on the January 2015 Round Table date.  Bring your laptop or tablet to work through the process with your Commissioner or District Leadership. This is session is predominantly focused on units rechartering in March or those January recharters who have yet to complete this process to date.

Your Apache District Commissioner Staff is committed to assisting all units toward a successful completion of this process.  We just need your commitment and focus on this very important unit activity.  Let’s ensure that our valuable scouting activities and programs remain un-interrupted by this process.

Please feel free to contact me, Don Herzhauser at, if you have any questions or require any assistance.

Don Herzhauser – Apache District Commissioner


Carolina Thread Trail

Looking for new places to Hike, Bike Walk, Run, Paddle, Learn, or Volunteer
Check out Carolina Thread Trail -

Also view the excellent interactive Map -

The Carolina Thread Trail (The Thread) is an exciting project that’s creating a regional network of greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, 2 states and 2.3 million people. There are 141 miles of The Thread open to the public – linking people, places, cities, towns and attractions. 


Fishing Resources

Looking for places to take your kids fishing?

Both the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department

And the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission have EXCELLENT websites.  The N C Fishing Access map is AWESOME!

For further details please visit:




Eagle Project availability!!


Potential Eagle Projects

Midland Commons Apartments 

Midland Commons is a low income senior housing community.  It is owned by National Church Residences a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing to seniors 62 years old or older and persons with disabilities.  They have several potential project, but especially the need for a raised community garden.

Background information from the Service Coordinator:

“Last year we started our first community garden which took the majority of my residents back to their gardening days. Everyone was excited and worked hard making our garden the best. However, Midland Commons has some residents in wheelchairs and lack range of motion to bend and kneel; this prevents them from participating in our garden.

As Service Coordinator, I am attempting to add some cheer to their lives during this spring and summer time by having raised garden beds installed and wanted to know if your Boy Scouts Unit would take this project on? I hear the Boy Scouts have an “Eagle Project” and can’t think of a better project where the boys would gain wisdom from Midland Commons residents and improve their gardening, project management and construction knowledge.”

For further details, please contact Jonas Richardson, Service Coordinator at (704) 395-8777 or 0827.  His email address is


Hemby Program  Center – affiliated with the Siskey YMCA
The Hemby Program Center is located at 9760 Happy Valley Drive in Charlotte.  It is   a 21-acre site housing a Preschool, Afterschool Program and Eagle Rock Day Camp.

There are several opportunities for Eagle Scout Service projects.  For further details, contact Mr. Rich Gallagher School Age Program Director  (980) 322-7338


James K Polk Masonic Lodge
Scouting and the Masonic Fraternity have a long history together.  The James K. Polk Masonic Lodge 759, located in Pineville, has a potential Eagle Scout Service project.  They are looking to make a nice memorial garden with lighting and benches around the lodge flagpole.   For further details, please contact Randy Richardson, the lodge secretary at  (704) 910-3628.   For further information about the Lodge please visit


President James K. Polk Historic Site - EAGLE PROJECTS CURRENTLY ON HOLD
While several projects have already been completed, there is a continuing need for more projects at the President James K. Polk Historic Site.   Wow, what a great opportunity to do a service project at the birthplace of the eleventh President of the United States. For further information, please call Mr. Scott Warren at (704) 889-7145. He is usually there Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. After hours you can leave a message. 


Reed Gold Mine

Located in nearby Midland, NC, not far from the Belk Scout Camp, and just a 30-minute drive from the Ballantyne area, this is the site of the first gold mine in the United States. For information about merit badges and Eagle service projects call Mike Scott at (704) 721- 4653. 



Comments, suggestions and potential Eagle Service Projects


If you have comments, suggestions or potential Eagle Service Projects, send an e-mail to:


Around the Campfire heard it is definitely worth the visit.

Be Prepared!

Now is the time to double check your hurricane/home emergency supplies and make sure you have a plan. Better still, now is a great time to involve your scout with the family planning.  Give him some tasks so that he is invested in the process.

Some ideas of 'scout appropriate' tasks
- Print a checklist of supplies for your emergency kit (see link below)
- Make sure the Emergency kit is fully stocked; make a list of items you need to replenish
- Clean up the yard of things that can fly around in a windstorm.
As a family, talk about what you will do if the hurricane approaches, when you will evacuate and to where, or what to do if you are staying home and the storm intensifies unexpectedly.  Most important, emphasize that while a hurricane sounds scary, it's manageable, and to stay calm.
Be Ready (kids site)
Crossword Puzzle related to emergency planning
North Carolina Department of Public Safety,000010,000019
Many Cub Scout rank achievements are satisfied by emergency planning.  The following document details the Cub Scout and Webelos Emergencey Prep requirments.

District News!!!!


Highlights from the 2015 Council Recognition


Mecklenburg County Council and Apache District Receive Gold Level Journey to Excellence Award


Two of Apache’s own Awarded the 2015 Silver Beaver!


Congratulations to District Advancement Chairman Craig Gross, and Council Vice President for Membership Ken May on being awarded the Silver Beaver.  This award is well deserved by two of Apache’s own very hard working, very dedicated Scouters.  


Pictured above from left to right are:  Ken May and Craig Gross.


Congratulations to our four new 2014 Apache District Award of Merit recipients


Pictured above from left to right are:  Tony Roux(T24), Bob Branan(T11), Flint McNaughton(T116) and Tommy Anderson(T-167).

Upcoming Events

Salisbury Historic Trail

A neat 6 to 6 ½ mile day hike starting at the Military Cemetery and ending at the Rowan museum.  Allow 2 to 3 hours at the museum.  There are plenty of places to stop and shop.


Visit the:

Old English Cemetery (where several of General Cornwallis’s generals are buried).

Confederate Cemetery

 Union Cemetery

 African American Cemetery

 Old Courthouse

 Rowan County Museum


Trolley Tours run on Saturdays; there is a fee


For further details on the walking tour, please see attached pdf file.

For further details on attractions in Salisbury , please visit



Nearby Places to Visit!!!

Looking for some neat things to do this summer?  Here are a few.  Some are free, while others have a small admission charge.   Consider connecting them to Boy Scout Merit badges (such as American Heritage, and Indian Lore), or to the Cub Scout belt loop and arrow point electives.

Andrew Jackson State Park

Andrew Jackson State Park combines history, art and community activities into a setting that has made it one of the S.C. State Park Service’s most popular attractions.

Popular features of the park include living history programs, an Andrew Jackson museum that details his boyhood in the South Carolina backcountry.  Great opportunities for picnics, boating, hiking and fishing.

Lansford Canal Park

Stretched along the Catawba River on the South Carolina fall line, Lansford Canal State Park is home to the well-preserved remains of the canal system that made the river commercially navigable from 1820 to 1835.

Favorite activities in this Piedmont Park include picnicking, nature watching and studying the canal structures. Fishing is permitted along the Catawba River, and a paddling trail runs through the park for canoes and kayaks.

President James K. Polk Historic Site - EAGLE PROJECTS CURRENTLY ON HOLD

This site is located on land once owned by the parents of James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president. The state historic site commemorates significant events in the Polk administration: the Mexican-American War, settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute, and the annexation of California. Reconstructions of typical homestead buildings—a log house, separate kitchen, and barn—are authentically furnished. The visitor center features a film on Polk's life and exhibits on his family and tumultuous presidency.

Cowpens National Park  

A pasturing area at the time of the battle, this Revolutionary War site commemorates the place where Daniel Morgan and his army turned the flanks of Banastre Tarleton's British army. This classic military tactic, known as a double envelopment, was one of only a few in history.

Kings Mountain National Park

Kings Mountain State Park has miles of forested trails perfect for supreme Kings Mountain hiking, two fishing lakes, and sits adjacent to Kings Mountain National Military Park,  one of many national park Revolutionary War sites. Local crowds flock to the park during regularly scheduled special events, especially every November when living history demonstrations are held at the park’s replica 1800s Piedmont farm.

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

The Latta Plantation Nature Center has an active program of advancement and camping programs for Cub Scouts at all levels.  If your den or pack does not have access to a critical skill, or if your Cubs are seeking adventure not far away, please check out the opportunities on Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve.

Please call Latta Plantation Nature Center well in advance to work out scheduling details.

A nominal fee is charged.  Please see attached pricelist.

Mecklenburg County Nature Preserves

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department operates 3 Nature Centers:  Reedy Creek, McDowell, and Latta Plantation.  You can link to these Centers from

Rankin National History Museum

The Rankin Museum is fun for all ages. Take yourself away from your everyday world and explore faraway places and times past in our exhibits. Imagine what it would be like if you were there! Take a walk in the jungles of Central America, in the backwoods of the Carolinas, or go on a safari in Africa and encounter animals closer than you could ever get in the wild.

Town Creek Indian Mound

Located in Mt. Gilead, NC, Town Creek, has been the focus of a consistent program of archaeological research under one director for more than half a century.  It is one of the most popular State Historic Sites in North Carolina.

Indian Rock

In Charlotte an Indian landmark in the Big Rock Nature Preserve - South Charlotte

Walking and driving tours in Charlotte

Cane Creek Park – Waxhaw, NC

Fishing, swimming and hiking.

Waxhaw Museum

The museum's permanent exhibit is focused on the rich history of the Waxhaws region.  Beginning with its Native American roots, the exhibits trace the history of the region to the turn of the twentieth century. Particular attention is given to Scots-Irish immigration and the rural life of these early settlers to the Waxhaws.

In addition there are exhibits interpreting the American Revolution in the region, as well as exhibits on agriculture and important crops and the Civil War. The turn of the century exhibit gives a unique look at the town of Waxhaw as it existed around 1900.

Charlotte Nature Museum

Located in Freedom Park, not far from up town Charlotte, the museum offers nature-based fun and learning for the family. There is a modest admission fee for non-members. For further details please visit:

North Carolina Transportation Museum

North Carolina Transportation Museum, in nearby Spencer.
This is a great place to visit.

Other Resources:

Insiders Guide- Fun with the Family North Carolina – Hundreds of ideas for day trips with the kids.  by James L. Hoffman

City and county, and state web pages offer great information about parks and upcoming activities.

Resources for hikers

Jesse Brown Outdoors
Sierra Trading post
Backpacker Magazine

Have Fun – Be Safe, and Have a Great Summer!!!!!

2015 Apache District Silver Beaver Recipients

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest recognition, which may be awarded to Scouters within the jurisdiction of a local council territory by the National Court of Honor, based upon research and nominations by the local council. The award is presented for noteworthy service with exceptional character on behalf of youth to registered Scouting volunteers.  

Silver Beaver RecipientsCongratulations to all of our 2012  Mecklenburg County Council recipients, especially to  George MacBain, Dwayne Thomas, and Mark Spisak from Apache District.

Pictured here are Dwayne Thomas,  George MacBain, and Miriam Olynick, a Silver Beaver recipient in 2010.  




Potential Eagle Service Projects!!!

Comments, suggestions and potential Eagle Service Projects


If you have comments, suggestions or potential Eagle Service Projects, send an e-mail to:





Send comments, questions or suggestions about the Apache District Sections of this web site to the Apache District Webmaster / Al Nedrich.