April 10, 2020
The Digital Eagle: Weekly Talon
Welcome to the April 10, 2020 edition of the Digital Eagle: Weekly Talon! This is a weekly publication of the Greater Alabama Council, BSA to help keep you and your family on the Scouting Trail.

From all of us at the Greater Alabama Council to you and your families: we hope you have a wonderful and Happy Easter and a Happy Passover!
A Message from our Scout Executive

As Scouts and Scouters, we have an obligation to make sure we fulfill our Duty to Family and our Duty to Others. The third point of the Scout Law states: A Scout is helpful.  A Scout cares about other people. A Scout willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward. During this crisis we are all going through we need to find ways we can help our friends, our family and those around us we do not know. As Scouts we also need to make sure we are helping out at home and in our neighborhood.
Food banks all across Alabama are in desperate need for food and supplies. I would ask each Scouting family and each Scouting unit to find a way to help our food banks. You can go to the Alabama Food Bank Association at www.alfba.org and find a local food pantry or food bank. We hope that for the next 30 days, Scouts all across our council will organize a Virtual Scouting for Food Campaign in your community. During this pandemic you certainly can’t go collect food in your neighborhood, but you can inventory your pantry and see if you have things that your local food bank may need. You can promote on social media and encourage others to help out and support local food banks financially with an online donation. Call or email your local food bank to find out ways you can safely help out.  And once this crisis is over, local food banks will need our help to replenish their supplies, so start planning ways you can collect food once we are allowed to return to normal life.
On behalf of the staff and board of the Greater Alabama Council, thanks for all you are doing, and please reach out to us if you know of any Scouting family that needs help during this difficult time.
Be Prepared and Keep Scouting

Below the video are links to some of the food banks in our area:

Merit Badges – Adventures in Education
This week, Scouts across the Greater Alabama Council quickly enrolled in online Merit Badge classes for Personal Management and Mammal Study. Demand for e-learning shows how eager our Scouts are to explore and we are preparing for you with great summer merit badge offerings at Camp Comer and Camp Sequoyah! This summer 73 unique badges will be offered at our camps and you can sign-up for classes online with your troop!

Did you know that the Boy Scouts of America offers 135 merit badges? You can see for yourself by clicking on the "Merit Badge List" box below!

What’s your favorite badge? Why? We’d like to know!

With so many choices, there’s something for everyone in Scouting and Rowing Merit Badge reminds us that we are all in the boat together. Your support of Scouting in the Greater Alabama Council makes a difference!
Do-it-yourself face masks help prevent illness

Face masks have become a necessary and functional piece of personal equipment. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published guidelines on how to protect yourself from illness, and fortunately, it is something you can make at home! For guidance and more, click on the links below to not only learn more about these fun and functional DIY projects, but also learn how you can make one using your own neckerchief!
Looking for ways to help keep the Scouting adventure going at home? The Greater Alabama Council has put together a web page where you can find 30 Day Challenges, Helpful hints and activities, and more! To access the page, just click on the button below and keep on Scouting!
Got paperwork? We have two dropboxes!

Do you have paperwork to turn in for advancement, recharter, or any other need? There is a dropbox at the Birmingham office and the Huntsville office that will be checked throughout the day. If this isn't convenient, you can always mail the paperwork to us at the Birmingham office where we will be able to process it to help you and your unit.

We do ask, however, if you are paying for recharters, Scout Cards, or any other payment, please use the postal service to deliver checks.

Greater Alabama Council
516 Liberty Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35242

Greater Alabama Council
2211 Drake Avenue SW 
Huntsville, AL 35805

National Scouting At Home Resource Page

During these uncertain times, Scouting offers a way for Scouts and their families to maintain sense of "normal". To assist with this, a new website has been published with multiple resources and activities for Scouts of any age. To learn more and further your at-home adventures, just click on the link below.

Helpful hints from Scouts at home

Blade from Kimberly submitted this helpful idea for Scouts and their families to hep take care of their neighbors:

"Good turn idea while everyone is quarantined: gather together things that would be fun for the people in the nursing homes that can’t have visitors. Like puzzle books, coloring books, magazines, etc. and take to them to the nursing homes to give them something to do during quarantine."

Thanks for the great idea, Blade! Do you have an idea on how to keep Scouting at home? Mail us by clicking the link below, and be sure to copy your Scoutmaster and Parents on the email!
Do you need stuff from the Scout Shop? Don't worry, you can still get your supplies, including advancement items, straight from the Nation Supply division delivered to your front door! You can email Michele, our local territory manager, directly and she will help take care of your orders. Unfortunately, she won't be able to work with existing store accounts, but she can handle credit and debit card transactions. To fill your order, she needs:

>A list of the items needed (a general description will work)
>Name of Person receiving the order
>Address to ship to
>Phone number of person receiving order
For advancement purchases (all rank, merit badges, and palms):  

You must send a copy of the advancement report, the Scout Book report, OR Printed PDF completed with Unit and Scout’s information, as well as signed by leader.
Every Scout Deserves a trained leader!
The Scouting program thrives with trained leaders, like you! Now is a great opportunity to refresh your skills, learn new methods, and update your training on things like Weather Hazards or Youth Protection Training. Click on the image to the left or the button below to take part in training that will help you be the best leader for our Scouts.