Around the Campfire

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

Upcoming Area Events & Information - Posted 3.24.21

2021 Memorial Flag Ceremony - May 29th!!



For more than six decades, thousands of Scouts have gathered on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day to decorate veterans' graves with American flags. On May 29th we continue that tradition by honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and our freedoms. It is one of the longest running Memorial Day events within the Boy Scouts of America and we hope that you will join us. 


Mecklenburg County Council will be placing thousands American flags, at two locations, on Memorial Day in remembrance of those military personnel who gave their lives for our great nation.

Where: Evergreen Cemetery (4426 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205) and

Sharon Memorial Park (5716 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28212)

When: May 29th from 8:30 am to 11:00 am

If your unit would like to participate in placing flags to honor these brave men and women, please reach out to Trey Eskridge at

CLICK HERE for FREE registration!!!

CLICK HERE for event flyer.


NEW - Wilderness First Aid

Wilderness First Aid courses at Camp Grimes are planned for the last weekend of March and for the last weekend in September on an on-going basis.  Please check often at  for information on course dates and registration.

The next course is scheduled for November 12-13, 2021 at Belk Scout Camp.

NEW - Training Announcements

NEW - National Youth Leader Training (NYLT, AKA “Top Gun”)

The next MCC NYLT course is scheduled for June 27-July 2, 2021 with registration for this course opening February 1, 2021.

IOLS - Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills [for adults] at Belk Scout Camp

NEW IOLS course dates:  Saturday-Sunday, May 22-23, 2021

A message from your Apache Program Chair: 

Dear Apache District,


To quote Dr. Seuss, "the more that you learn, the more places you will go." Looking beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, Scouting will eventually resume its traditional activities and outings. Doing so will require trained leaders, committee members, and volunteers. During this time, the Program Committee of the Apache District wanted to encourage scouting volunteers to utilize BSA's online training resources.


First, all adults participating in scouting must complete Youth Protection Training within the last two years. If your certification is expiring soon, I would encourage you to complete the training now. The training is available on


Second, there are numerous other online training resources available for all other scouting positions, such as Cub Scout Den Leader, Scouting BSA committee member, or merit badge counselor. Those courses are also available at


Third, the Apache District maintains a website with live training class updates and links to training resources. Updates to the training calendar will be published when available.

During this time, I hope all volunteers will utilize the online training resources to broaden their scouting knowledge.


Yours in Scouting,

Alex Eyssen

Program Chair, Apache District Committee

Upcoming Merit Badge Workshops

NEW 2021 Merit Badge Classes!!! -  GREAT NEW ADDITIONS - UPDATED 2.17.21

Scheduled Merit Badge Courses

Indian Lore Merit Badge

This hybrid course with virtual and in-person sessions begins on Zoom on Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The second Zoom session will be Monday, March 15, 2021, 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  The third session will occur at Spring Camp at Camp Grimes on Saturday, April 10, 2021, with craft and cooking activities.

Please read the Merit Badge Guide for requirements and merit badge homework and course information, all posted at

before proceeding to on-line registration and payment.

NEW - Cycling Merit Badge on Sunday, February 28, 2021, 12:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Palmetto Council is offering a Cycling Merit Badge course at Fort Mill Public Library,1818 2nd

Baxter Crossing, Fort Mill, SC 29708. Scouts will visit outside activity stations to cover

requirements. Scouts may complete 1 or 2 required rides by the end of the afternoon. Scouts must

present evidence of completion of all rides to earn a blue card completion. More information and online

registration and payment are available at

NEW – Maporee on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Belk Scout Camp

Maporee -- On-line registration and payment are open!!!

Scouts may chose one of 3 -in-person merit badge courses (either Archery (max 8 Scouts) or Climbing (max 8 Scouts) or Orienteering (max 72 Scouts in 6 cohorts of max 12 Scouts), each lasting all day on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Belk Scout Camp.  Belk Scout Camp will be open for troop camping.  Day Campers may check in at the Health Lodge from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. on Saturday for health screening.

Merit badge classes begin at 9:00 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m.

All participants will follow COVID precautions for health screening, wearing masks, spacing, hand washing, outside eating, outside classes, small cohorts.

Please read the Merit Badge Guide for requirements and merit badge homework and course information, all posted at

before proceeding to on-line registration and payment.


NEW – Spring Camp on Friday-Saturday-Sunday, April 9-10-11, 2021, at Camp Grimes - Save the Dates

Mecklenburg County Council invites Scouts and troops to participate in Spring Camp 2021, a summer-camp dress rehearsal focused on merit badges.  The Catawba Lodge of the Order of the Arrow will sponsor Camping and Indian Lore Merit Badges.  Climbing Tower will be open Climbing Merit Badge.  Shooting Sports Ranges will be open to offer Shotgun Shooting, Rifle Shooting, and Archery Merit Badges.  Communications, Family Life, and Citizenship Merit Badges will be available.  The Summer Camp kitchen staff will provide food for Friday night Cracker Barrel, Saturday breakfast, lunch, supper, Cracker Barrel, and Sunday breakfast.  All participants will follow COVID precautions for health screening, wearing masks, spacing, hand washing, outside eating, small cohorts.

This announcement will be updated in early January with a link to online registration and payment.

We need help with merit badge counselor recruitment.  If you know of an adult with merit badge expertise on any topic, we would like to expand our merit badge offerings for Spring Camp with their participation as a counselor and instructor.  Please let Stuart Tucker (, cell 704 681 0206) know of any leads.

NEW - Merit Badge Saturdays at Belk Scout Camp -- On-line registration and payment are open for:

March 27, 2021                 Environmental Science

April 17, 2021                    Fish and Wildlife Management

May 22, 2021                    Environmental Science

June 12, 2021                   Nature

July 24, 2021                    Environmental Science

August 21, 2021               Environmental Science

September 25, 2021         Environmental Science

November 20, 2021         Fish and Wildlife Management

December 4, 2021           Soil and Water Conservation

Links to Merit Badge Guide, information, on-line registration, and payment are available at

Schedule Your Own

Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Class

Scouts BSA STEM Up and Away Nova Award for Engineering

Scouts BSA members can complete requirements 3, 4, and 5 of the Up and Away Award with a dedicated visit to iFLY Charlotte (Concord).  


For information on registration, scheduling, and cost, please click on


For Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Requirements, please click on


For Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Video Suggestions, please click on


For information on adult registration and training as a Nova Award Counselor and a Supernova Award Mentor, please click on



Scouts and their leaders from Mecklenburg County Council made news with a feature article “STEM’S Hidden Gem” in Scouting magazine, March-April 2020, pages 28-31, about their adventures at PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) in March of 2019.


NEW - Upcoming International Scouting Opportunities

Additional events with BSA contingents (tentative):

Summer 2020, Caribbean Scout Jamboree (exact dates and location TBD)

July, 2021, 16th World Scout Moot, Ireland (exact date TBD) 

2021, 4th Interamerican Scout Moot, Argentina (exact date TBD)

2013, 25th World Scout Jamboree, Korea


Other international Scouting opportunities:

European Scout Voluntary Program

Participants must be 18 to 30 years old and must commit to serve on camp staff in Europe for at least 6 weeks. 


Kandersteg International Scout Centre

Schedule Your Own Merit Badge Courses

Climbing Merit Badge 

Inner Peaks

10715 Independence Pointe Pkwy., Matthews, NC 28105

704 844 6677 

Mr. Chris Dimatteo of the Inner Peaks staff is a registered Climbing Merit Badge Counselor with Mecklenburg County Council. Courses are offered for a minimum class size of 6, a maximum class size of 18, on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. with 1/2 hour lunch break or on Sundays from noon to 7:00 p.m. Courses cover all requirements except for requirement # 1 covering first aid skills, which Scouts must complete through their home troops.

Scuba Merit Badge

Lake Norman Scuba LLC

482 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117

Phone:  704 660 3483

Mr. Andrew Katsamas is a registered Scuba Merit Badge Counselor with Mecklenburg County Council.

Pre-course requirements:

Completion of Swimming Merit Badge

Completion of CPR training

Course completion requires 6 hours of pool instruction each day for 1 weekend and 6 hours of quarry diving instruction each day for 1 weekend and 1 hour review with the counselor.

Schedule Your Own

Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Course


Scouts BSA STEM Up and Away Nova Award for Engineering

NEW – iFly has added virtual (remote) learning opportunities for Scouts interested in earning the Up and Away Nova Award.  

Scouts BSA members can complete requirements 3 and 5 of the Up and Away Award through the online course and requirement 4 with a dedicated visit to iFLY Charlotte (Concord) located at 7840 Lyles Ln NW, Concord, NC 28027, phone 704 851 4359.


For information on registration, programs for individuals or groups, scheduling, and costs, please click on


For Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Requirements, please click on

For Scouts BSA STEM Nova Award Video Suggestions, please click on

For information on adult registration and training as a Nova Award Counselor and a Supernova Award Mentor, please click on


Scouting EPA Award

On August 17, 2020, the EPA and BSA issued a press release and held a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. announcing a new Scouting EPA Award, recognized by a patch.

Scouts must complete requirements before December 31, 2021.

Requirements are discussed at 6:40 and following on the video.

Scouts must earn 4 merit badges, including 1 merit badge from each of 3 groups, 

one from Animal Studies Group (Bird Study or Insect Study or Mammal Study or Reptile and Amphibian Study), 

one from Outdoor Activity Group (Backpacking, Camping, Canoeing, Climbing, Gardening), 

one from Earth Sciences Group (Energy, Forestry, Geology, Oceanography, Plant Science, Weather).

The fourth merit badge is Public Health.

Scouts must also participate in an Environmental or Public Health Community Service project for 6 hours of service.


BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award

In early November, 2020, BSA announced a new conservation award program to replace the Hornaday Award program.  Information is posted at

Depending on the level of award sought, Scouts must develop and execute 2 or 3 or 4 significant projects, involving research, collaboration, project planning, completion, and education.  “The projects must be developed under the guidance and pre-approval of the Scout’s Unit Leader, a BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award Adviser, and the Council Conservation Committee. One of the projects may include the Scout’s Eagle Scout project (if applicable). All projects must contribute to environment improvement on a long-term scale.”


Conservation and STEM Subcommittees

The Council Advancement Committee has recently developed a subcommittee to promote conservation-related and STEM-related activities and awards.  The Conservation-STEM Subcommittee invites Scouts who are interested in earning any of the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards or BSA Supernova STEM Awards consult with the committee before beginning requirements.  These awards will require sustained effort over 2 to 4 years.  With continuous consultation with a trained Adviser offering guidance from the outset, the Scout’s work and documents will be significantly more likely to attain a level of quality and depth to qualify for BSA National review.  A Scout presenting a completed binder and application form for a signature without on-going collaboration with mentors and advisors is not likely to meet the rigorous standards in place for a successful submission and review.  Please contact Stuart Tucker at if any Scout is interested in pursuing one of these awards.

2019 - Apache Awards Banquet

Congratulations to Apache District’s 2019 recipients of the following awards, and to all the scouters who were recognized by their units with the God Send Award.


District God Send Award – Laurie Breininger and Gary Wilson - Pack 79 and Andy Waligowski - Pack 7


Cub Scouters of the Year - Tony Fabiano - Pack 613 & Hector Soberson - Pack 249

Boy Scouters of the Year - Jason Bennett - Troop 3 & Don Denton - Troop 111



Venture Leader of the Year - Doug Whitaker- Crew 167


Commissioner of the Year – David Larsen


55 Years in Scouting

Congratulations to Del Whittaker who received a certificate for 55 Years in Scouting.

2019 District Award of Merit

The District Award of Merit is a Council award presented by districts in the same manner that the Silver Beaver is a national award presented by Councils.  The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level.


Congratulations to members of the Apache District - District Award of Merit class:

pictured - Brian Tenholder - Troop 175, Tara Christensen - Pack 34, Sean Spainhour - Pack 258






Special award -

55 Years in Scouting

Congratulations to Del Whittaker who received a certificate for 55 Years in Scouting.












Opportunities for Eagle Projects

Hemby Program Center  Brace Family YMCA

The Hemby Center is located on Kuykendall Road; between Providence and McKee.

It is a 21-acre site housing a Preschool, Afterschool Program and Eagle Rock Day Camp.  Plenty of opportunities  for Eagle Scout Service Projects.   

For further details:please contact:  Mr. Ben Penegar, Executive Director of the Brace Family YMCA   Phone: (704) 716-4209

President James K. Polk Historic Site update!! - posted 10.1.19

The staff and support group at the President James K. Polk Historic site in Pineville  greatly appreciate the Eagle Scout Service Projects which have been completed at the site.  However, for the time being, they do not have any new projects.   Keep checking Around the Campfire for future updates."

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

Reed's 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:



Keep the Outing in Scouting.  Check out the latest Where To Go Camping Guide


Looking for great places to camp? Each year the Catawba Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, prepares an update to the Where To Go Camping Guide (WTGCG).  The 2019 version has now been published to the web at


The WTGCG contains information on Mecklenburg County Council and BSA camping policies and our Council camps.  You can discover where your unit might go car camping or backpacking or canoe camping with sample trips that units have taken.  The Guide also contains information on camping in association with unit, council, regional, and national training programs, on camping at BSA National High Adventure Bases and at National and World Scout Jamborees

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.


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:

Thank you for visiting - Around the Campfire!!


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