A monthly e-communication for Scouting parents, leaders & volunteers that focuses on the impact of the program & provides activity highlights.
Scouting in Action
Liên Kết Camporee: celebrating the Friendship & Family made through Scouting

Every two years on Labor Day weekend, Vietnamese American Boy and Girl Scout troops in Southern California get together for a Liên Kết "Friendship" Camporee. This year, the event took place at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park in Riverside. Thirteen Southern California multi-unit Boy and Girl Scout troops and one venture crew from Sacramento gathered for a three-day opportunity to bond, have fun, and challenge one another with Scout-oriented activities. There were over 2,000 attendees, consisting of Scout Masters, Venture Crews, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, and parents. 
For many at the camp, it was an event for the entire family. Sons and daughters joined together in the same multi-unit troop, while parents acted as volunteers or Scout Masters. Doing Scout activities together bridges the generation gap typically wide in Vietnamese families, and still preserves the essence of the Vietnamese tradition.
At the Camporee, attendees were separated into Venture, Scout, and Cub Scout groups. The groups were then divided into small co-ed teams. Each team consisted of 7 to 9 Boy and Girl Scouts from multiple troops. The teams competed against one another  through a series of games. The games were designed to try out Scout skills, teamwork, and intelligence, such as the “human checkers” game. As the day passed, Scouts from different troops in the same team bonded with one another in the spirit of Liên Kết. During lunches and dinners, the Scouts returned to their troop campsite  to cook their own meals.
At night, all Scouts gathered around a campfire to show off their troops’ talents through skits and dances. This year, the event organizers chose the theme: “Back to the Roots," so the Scouts performed Vietnamese culture-flavored skits. The gatherings would last well beyond ten o’clock. But staying late did not prevent the camp from waking up before sunrise, ready for another full day of activities.
In the hot sun, parents came to the rescue. Stations of snacks, watermelon and ice-cold water were ready to keep the Scouts re-energized and hydrated for their long day of games.
“My daughter really liked this camp. She said that it was one of the best camps that she’d been to in a long time,” a parent shared. Parents had their fun too. They met up with parents from other troops to compete in cooking and volleyball skills. The supporters of the competing teams were no less enthusiastic with singing and chanting.
It was rather hard to leave on the final day. The fun was lingering and new-found friendships were deepening. Fortunately, thousands of photos and videos, taken over the course of the events will keep the memories fresh for years to come.
About the author: Mr Lu Ta is a parent of a Boy Scout in Troop 1930 and a Girl Scout in Troop 1956, multi-unit Boy and Girl Scout Lam Sơn Troop, since 2007.
'Good Turn' Corner
"[Scouts] they make the future look good!" - Rob Lowe

Written by: John- Aaron Bozanic, Troop 412, Fountain Valley

On September 13, 2015 there was a ceremony called Ride to the Flags. This is an event where we commemorate 9/11 and raise money for the White Heart Foundation. This foundation raises money to help wounded warriors with a variety of issues including artificial legs and constructing smart homes. The event was held in two places, the Navy Base in Port Hueneme and in front of Pepperdine University in Malibu. Motorcyclists from all over California come to this event. They start a ride at the Navy Base and follow along a set route ending at Pepperdine University. 

The follow is an account from David Alverez, Eagle Scout of Troop 412, of what took place at the Navy Base opening ceremony. At Point Mugu, Louis Caprini and I carried a box of flagpoles to behind the stage in order to present the box later. (Louis Caprini made the boxes as his Eagle Scout project). Mr. Sawtelle welcomed the riders to the event and introduced Louis to the audience. Louis and I gave the audience a view of the box from multiple angles. After we stepped off stage, Mr. Sawtelle introduced two previous beneficiaries as well as this year's event's beneficiary, Marine Corporal Kyle Moser. There was later a flag ceremony with the pledge of allegiance followed by a moment of silence and the playing of "Taps." The Scouts departed and prepared for the motorcyclists. Many of the flag holders were confused at the very long wait, but that was revealed to be for the preparation of a helicopter that would follow and film the ride. After the wait, hundreds of riders came down the street, making a thunderous noise as they went. Once the motorcyclists rode by, the Scouts loaded the flags into the back of a van and departed for Pepperdine University.

In front of Pepperdine University, there were a multitude of Scouts and Scouters holding flags waiting for the motorcyclists to pass by. It was Marky Orme's, a Webelos of Pack 563 first time at Ride to the Flags. He expressed, "The Ride to the Flags was fun! We held up flags as the motorcyclists rode by us. Afterwards we folded the flags. I hope I can go again next year."

On our way there someone joined us during our group photos, and had his picture taken with us. The adults seemed excited and we were informed it was Rob Lowe, a famous actor!  He has been in many movies and TV shows including ones like West Wing. I saw him again when we were finishing up with the storing of the flags. I went over and asked him if my dad and I could take a picture with him. He was very gracious and later tweeted his support of Scouts

All in all, I think all of the Scouts had a great time and we are all looking forward to next year’s Ride to the Flags!

Thank you for sharing your good turn, Troop 412! Do you have a good turn story you'd like to share with us? Email scoutingstories@ocbsa.org

Scouter Spotlight
Discover the talent that will improve your unit with the Parent Talent Survey

Dear Unit Leader, 

As a Scout leader, how often have you said, “I need more help!”?
Would you like to know where the hidden talent is in your pack or troop? The people who have not told you about a past background in Scouting? Those who would be willing to volunteer if only they were asked? 

 As a fellow volunteer, I know how helpful this information can be, and our council wants to help you find that hidden talent in your group by offering a simple, online “family talent questionnaire” that asks parents of registered Scouts about their background in Scouting, their interest in volunteering, and about unique professional resources they have that might help you to give your Scouts the best experience possible.

We’ll need your help to do this. Please highlight and copy the blue text below, and paste it into a new email to the parents of your Scouts. Parents in your group are MUCH more likely to respond to the questionnaire if it comes from you, their unit leader. It will take each parent just five minutes to do so, and we will forward the results to you about a week after the invitation goes out.  

Dear Parents,
Our pack wants to learn about your hidden talents!  Please respond to our family talent online questionnaire by clicking the link below.  It’ll take just 5 minutes, and I’d really appreciate your response.

  1. Parent of Cub Scout: Cub Scout Family Talent Questionnaire
  2. Parent of Boy Scout: Boy Scout Family Talent Questionnaire
  3. Parent of Venturer: Venturer Family Talent Questionnaire

Your answers will be kept private, and I will really appreciate your participation.

This service will cost your unit nothing, and we will maintain the privacy of all collected information.  For your information, the questionnaire is listed below at the bottom of this email.

One tip: a few days after you send the parents the questionnaire link, send another email as a reminder for those for didn’t respond to your first request.  

Thank you so much for all you do to make the lives of young people better! It’s our hope that this questionnaire will help make your Scouting role easier by finding the talent among the families already in your unit.

As an additional resource, we created this handout available for download. It includes QR codes so parents can take the survey on the spot during meetings, activities or outings. 

Yours in Scouting,

John A. Hovanesian, MD
Executive Vice Chairman, OCBSA

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