April 2020
The Digital Eagle
Welcome to the April 2020 edition of the Digital Eagle! This is a monthly publication of the Greater Alabama Council, BSA.

Greater Alabama Council COVID-19 Response and Resource Page
By now, you've seen the weekly "Weekly Talon" emails that go out every Friday as well as other informational updates. To find the archives of the weekly "Talon", the GAC's operational updates, and more, just click the button below to go to the GAC's resource page.
Youth Protection: Cyber Chip
Scouts and families are spending more time than ever before online these days doing everything from shopping for groceries to e-learning to even having Scout Meetings! Now is the time to make sure that you and your Scouts are cyber-aware and are practicing good internet habits. Click on the button below to go recharge your cyber chip or to go through the easy training to earn your cyber chip!
Scuba Camp 2020!

Have you ever wanted to learn to Scuba Dive and earn a Scuba Merit Badge while you are at it? Are you headed to Sea Base and want to be certified by the time you get there? Are you interested in earning a passport to the final frontier? Now is your chance. Family Dive Club is offering two Sessions of Teen Scuba Camp this June for kids ages 13-17. Each camp provides you an opportunity to satisfy all the requirements to earn a PADI Open Water Scuba Certification and your Scuba Merit Badge. If you are already Scuba certified, you can come to camp and earn your Advanced Scuba Certification plus CPR/First Aid (ages 12-18). Camp is not for everybody. It requires a strong desire to learn to scuba dive, a mature disposition, strong swimming skills, a willingness to work hard, and a positive attitude. If this sounds like you, then we invite you to sign up for an adventure of a lifetime. Check out the “Camps” tab for registration at www.familydiveclub.com . If you are not quite old enough for Teen Scuba Camp, then check out our Kid’s Ocean Camp for kids ages 8-11 under the “Camps” tab on the Family Dive Club website, it’s a blast. Space is limited so sign up early!

We're looking forward to an awesome Camp Season!

The Greater Alabama Council has two of the finest camps in the Southeast where your Scouts will make lasting memories, experience fun and adventure, and grow as young men and women.

We're still planning on Summer Camp 2020 and we are looking forward to having you join us for a memorable Summer Camp experience. If you're heading to Sequoyah, be sure to pack your swim trunks- the Sequoyah Sidewinder is back in action this year!
Eagle Class of 2019
The Greater Alabama Council is preparing to engrave the names of the 2019 Eagle Scout Class on the wall at the Charles T. Clayton Scout Service Center. If you are a member of the 2019 Eagle Class, please click on the button below to submit your name in the manner that you want it to appear on the wall.
DeSoto Scout Trail

Looking for an awesome weekend trip? Consider the DeSoto Scout Trail for your next unit activity. This 16 mile trail located on Lookout Mountain takes you through breathtaking views of some of Alabama's treasures.

A brand new patch is available for those who complete the trail and can be ordered through the Scout Office in Birmingham. 

For more information on the trail, click the button below.
Summer Camp Staff Opportunities

The Greater Alabama Council is seeking Scouts and Scouters to answer the call of service! We are currently seeking candidates to fill positions as counselors for the 2020 camping season at Camp Comer and Camp Sequoyah. Serving on camp staff is one of the most rewarding experiences in Scouting! Your efforts will make an impact on over a thousand Scouts this summer! Do you have what it takes?

For more information contact Council Camping Director Seth Hill by clicking the button below.
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.
Are you looking for ways to keep Scouting while you're at home? We have compiled a resource page for you to keep the adventure going! You'll be able to find 30-Day Challenges and more on our resource page. To access the page, just click on the button below.
The Downtown YMCA in Birmingham has an indoor pool that presents a great opportunity to Scout troops who may otherwise not have easy access to a pool, particularly year round. The pool at the Downtown Y is available for use by Scouts not only for summer camp water front qualifications, but also for all of the water-based merit badges. You can even get a canoe in for that merit badge!

If you are interested in getting your troop access to the Downtown Y in Birmingham for these activities, contact either of the individuals below:

Elliott Kasprzak, 324-4563, ekasprzak@ymcabham.org

Sarah McMillan, 324-4563, smcmillan@ymcabham.org
Calling All Cub Families!

The Greater Alabama Council is pleased to introduce Cub Family Camp a new event geared to the whole family! Mark your calendars for July 23-26 at Comer Scout Reservation. Families will have a chance to enjoy a fun filled four-day/three-night camping experience with activities planned for both youth and parents! So load up the car and come to Lookout Mountain for fun and adventure for Cubs, siblings, and Mom and Dad!
Join us in Mentone for a family vacation you soon won’t forget!

Save the date: Fish Camp 2020!

This August 28-30 at beautiful Camp Jackson, the GAC will be hosting its first Fish Camp for Adult Leaders and youth 13 and older! This weekend long event will feature advancement opportunities for youth as well as skills instruction for Adults and Youth to help you bring fishing and angling to your Pack, Troop, Crew, Ship, or District's annual program!

Headed up by two, BSA Certified Angling Instructors, this weekend course will help you learn casting techniques, how to read water conditions, proper baits, equipment overview, skills games, and much more!

Stay tuned as more information will be coming in the April editions of the "Digital Eagle" and "Cub Chatter."
Scout Night with the Rocket City Trash Pandas

Save the date! May 23, 2020 will be the first annual Scout Night with the Rocket City Trash Pandas! Scouts of all ages are welcome to join the Trash Pandas for a night of baseball, camping, fireworks, and more. First pitch will be at 6:05pm on May 23.
Announcing the GAC Philmont Contingent

Beginning with lunch on June 21, 2021, Scouts from the Greater Alabama Council will embark on a trek of a lifetime at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. This 9-day Trek will take Scouts and Scouters through some of the most beautiful landscapes and vistas on Earth, and will be an experience like no other. We are currently seeking qualified leaders to help guide this trek. If you are interested in applying for a leadership position on this contingent, please click on the link below and fill out the brief application form.
The Greater Alabama Council is proud to present the 2020 Winter Camp Program for your unit. This opportunity provides you with a great opportunity for cold weather camping atop Lookout Mountain. A camping adventure nestled between the holidays is the perfect opportunity to make your school break a memorable one. With opportunities for advancement, merit badges, program activities, nightly themed dinners, campfires, and much more the 2020 Winter Camp has a little something for everyone!
First Responder Weekend

This September the Greater Alabama Council will host a First Responder Weekend for Scouts, BSA Troops and members. Themed upon Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement, Scouts will have an opportunity to earn a merit badge in the morning taught by professionals in the EMS field and in the afternoon participate in unit/patrol competitions and engage in demonstrations/programs geared toward first responder fields. Join us at Comer Scout Reservation for this new and exciting event!
Accept the Challenge on Jamboree Service Team!

Are you ready to Face the Challenge? The National Jamboree Executive Committee is pleased to announce that registration is now open for older youth and adults to participate as Jamboree Service Team (JST) members. Program, medical, logistics, operations and administrative options are available to those with vocational expertise, skills or a desire to positively impact Scouts and guests attending Scouting’s premier celebration.  

There will be three JST sessions during the 2021 National Scout Jamboree to allow flexibility to desired applicants. Selected volunteers will be able to select a session that best suits their schedule when applying to serve at the Jamboree. The following sessions will apply:
  • Session 1 (July 17-24, 2021)
  • Session 2 (July 24-31, 2021)
  • Session 3 (July 17-31, 2021)
Fees range from $450 to $895 to support offered sessions and incentivize participation. A deposit of $150 is due at submission.
The first 2,021 Jamboree Service Team applications that sign-up and pay the deposit will receive the “Challenge Accepted!” temporary uniform patch. (As shown above).

To register or learn more, click on the box below.
Eagle Scout Scholarship Opportunity!

Hampden-Sydney College has increased its Eagle Scout Scholarship to $20,000 per year. Hampden-Sydney offers a unique college experience, that will build upon the lessons learned as an Eagle Scout. Several rankings of note: Hampden-Sydney ranks in the top 10 for Career Preparation (per Wall Street Journal), Number 4 alumni network in the nation (per Princeton Review), and top schools for Outdoorsmen (per Field & Stream). Founded in 1775, Hampden-Sydney College is located on 1,300 acres in Virginia's beautiful Southside.
Engineering Merit Badge

Sign up to participate in the Engineering Merit Badge Program at the Barber Museum! This program is on the move from start to finish and includes a hands-on Build-a-Bike activity, a tour of the largest motorcycle collection in the world, and a short film. With stunning views of the Barber Motorsports Road Course, vehicle exhibits, and restoration shop, the museum offers a thrilling environment in which to learn about the field of engineering.

The opportunity costs $18 per Scout, and it includes all materials needed for the program, including the Barber Museum BSA Patch. We ask that Scouts be prepared by reading the Engineering Merit Badge book prior to their troop’s scheduled visit. To show pride in your troop and demonstrate your participation as a Scout, we ask that Scouts wear their uniforms.
Reserve a spot for your Scout or their whole troop today!

The Engineering Merit Badge Program, sponsored by Yamaha, will be offered at the Barber Museum on the following Saturdays, at 9:30 am. Spaces are limited, so please contact us to reserve your spot.

  • June 20
  • August 15
  • October 24
  • November 14
  • December 5

Register to attend our Engineering Merit Badge Program . When you arrive at the registration link close the login box to enter your information. The form on the first page is where you'll enter parent information, and the form on the second page is where you will enter the Scout's information. You can register multiple attendees/scouts at one time.

If you have any questions, please email Jennifer Nelson or call her at 205-702-8713.
2020 NYLT

National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

The NYLT course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what he must KNOW, and what he must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as the patrol goes on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership.

NYLT content is delivered in a troop and patrol outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment. Interconnecting concepts and work processes are introduced early, built upon, and aided by the use of memory aids, which allows participants to understand and employ the leadership skills much faster

NAYLE- The Next Step in Leadership Training for your Scout

If your Scout or Scouts in your Troop or Crew have completed NYLT, now is the time to begin thinking about NAYLE- National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience which is available at the BSA's high adventure bases.

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience is an exciting program that enhances leadership skills and expands upon the team-building and ethical decision-making skills learned in National Youth Leadership Training. NAYLE emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and selfless service, using the core elements of NYLT to help youth strengthen these skills. The NAYLE course is now available at all four national high-adventure bases. The material presented is basically the same at all four venues but is specific to the unique environment of each site.

To learn more, apply for NAYLE or explore scholarship options, follow the link below.
Coosa Lodge has made the decision to CANCEL the May 1st Induction Weekend that was scheduled for Camp Sequoyah. This decision was not reach lightly, but in consultation with the National OA Committee and with our own Council, we have elected to cancel this weekend. If you were registered for this weekend, we will look forward to seeing you in August at the Summer Induction Weekend. More details coming on it, soon.

Conclave and NOAC are coming up fast! Be sure to check out coosa50.org for all of the latest information on these two events!

Scouting is a global institution– there are National Scout Organizations representing their home countries and delivering the promise of Scouting in virtually all areas and regions globally. The BSA International Department works to help Scouts and Leaders from the BSA to experience the bigger picture of Scouting and connect with it through our involvement in the World Organization of the Scout Movement. To learn more about Scouting around the world, including exciting events like the upcoming World Scout Moot in Ireland in 2021, click below.
Scout Days!
Stay up-to-date on Scout days
One of the best parts of Scouting is the outing! We're actively building a list of Scout Days at various events near and far that you and your Scouts will love to attend! For more information, click on the Scout Day image, or the button below.