January 1, 2022 Volume 71
Your monthly news & updates
Virtual Roundtable

January 13, 2022
7:00 PM

All Briones District Scouters. We will have our January Roundtable via Zoom Thursday January 13th 7-8pm, Commissioners meeting via Zoom from 6:30-7:00pm. Please plan on attending. Snow sports for Cubs and Scouts BSA.

Scout Shop & Service Center Update

The Council Service Center in Pleasanton is open, 6601 Owens Drive, Suite 100, Pleasanton 94588. The main phone number and professional staff extensions are unchanged.

The new Scout Shop is open. 508 Contra Costa Boulevard, Suite K2, Pleasant Hill 94523
Don't miss important information! Be sure to scroll all the way down! There's a lot of important information in the newsletter this month!!!! Detailed articles so you do not have to look for links.
Upcoming Training, District or Council Events

Saturday - Jan 1 - New Years Day
Wednesday – Jan 5 - Eagle BOR Binder Check - Contact Gordon Bell for time and method
Tuesday – Jan 11 - Eagle Board of Review - Contact Gordon Bell
Tuesday Jan 11 - Eagle Board of Review - St. Monica Catholic Church, Moraga - See Eagle info below for more details
Thursday – Jan 13 - District Commissioners Meeting - 6:30 pm Via Zoom
Thursday – Jan 13 - Roundtable - 7:00 pm – Via Zoom
Thursday - Jan 13 - Kchinkwehelak Village Meeting 6:30 pm - Contact Mr. Stanton
Saturday – Jan 15 – Winter Camp Awareness - USS Hornet, Alameda
Thursday – Jan 20 - District Committee Meeting - 7:00 pm - Via Zoom
Saturday - Jan 29 - Leader Education and Discovery (L.E.A.D) - Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Wednesday – Feb 2 - Eagle BOR Binder Check - Contact Gordon Bell for time and method
Thursday – Feb 3 - District Commissioners Meeting - 6:30 pm - Via Zoom
Thursday – Feb 3 - Roundtable - 7:00 pm - Zoom
Tuesday Feb 8 - Eagle Board of Review - St. Monica Catholic Church, Moraga - See Eagle info below for more details
Tuesday – Feb 8 - Eagle Board of Review - Contact Gordon Bell
Check www.ggacbsa.org/covid for latest info.

For more information regarding the stay at home order please visit the state website:
Our Virtual Order of Arrow Village meeting is Thursday, January 13 @ 6:30 pm. Email Mr. Stanton for the Zoom link if you do not receive an email with it. We normally meet on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. The meetings are approximately an hour long. More information about that below. 

The Lodge name is Yerba Buena Lodge. Our Lodge will be putting together a very active and exciting year ahead with lots of fun activities mixed with exciting service projects, Escape Room, LEAD, Movie Night, Rock Climbing, Hope Walk, OA Trek, Canoe Trip, SF Scavenger Hunt, and Inductions are just a few of the activities that have been planned or done. I would hope that you will get involved and enjoy them with us.

This is your meeting, so come and ask your questions, get your answers and meet your fellow Arrowmen. You can help schedule fun activities to do.

Our mission . . . To seek out new training and boldly go where Scouters go to learn!

Registration is now open! Join your Fellow Scouters on Stardate January 29, 2022 for a one day mission of learning, fun, and scout spirit.

Leader Education and Discovery (L.E.A.D.) is the ultimate training event for Scout Leaders, Parents, and Older Scouts. We are excited to offer this in-person event at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill on January 29, 2022. Come make new friends, meet the people you have only seen on the holodeck, and reconnect with fellow scouters that you haven’t seen in awhile.

This year, L.E.A.D. offers over 100 classes across 5 colleges. We have brought back favorites like cooking, fishing, knots, STEM for all programs, wood carving, and whittling. In response to your feedback, we are offering more advanced and specialized classes like food safety, an expanded suite of technology related courses including online communications, and a whole series of Scoutbook-related topics.
Save the Date!
Sunday, March 6, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Our District Dinner is back, and in person at the Veterans Memorial Building in Lafayette. We are most appreciative to Bill Lew for helping to arrange our meeting. Plans will be getting underway to for dinner planning, Unit Scouter Awards, and District Awards. Please get this date on your calendars and plan to attend a fun event with good food and good friends! 

Troop 200 will be leading 2 crews of Scouts to Florida Sea Base April 2-9 2022 for a Scuba Adventure. There are 2 spots left for Scouts 13-17 years old. We are also running a certification class January and February to get you PADI certified before we go. Approximate cost for the trip including airfare and all transportation is $2000. If you are interested or want more details please contact T200 ASM Mark Weyland at (510) 418-4218.
 Briones Troop Challenge 2022
Saturday April 30 – May 1 with Setup on Friday April 29
(On the graphic you have to count the claw marks)
Camp Herms
Next planning Meeting
To be determined contact Wendell Baker
1070 Larch Ave Moraga, CA
Please RSVP to Wendell Baker at wendell@able-baker.com. Please let Wendell know if your troop is interested in attending.
Troop Open Houses

Troop 200 - Lafayette

Troop 200 invites all first and second year Webeolos and their families to attend our open house on January 11th from 7:00-8:00pm at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Ln, Lafayette.

This is a great opportunity to have fun, meet our scouts, and learn all about the troop! 

Our website is http://www.bsatroop200.net. Please contact Anthony Toribio at T200bg@gmail.com or 925-451-4404 with questions or to RSVP

Troop 401 - Pleasant Hill

Join Troop 401 for a Pinnacles Camp out. Troop outing inviting Webelos as a recruiting event. January 14-17 with a 10 mile Loop hike on Saturday and a 5 mile hike to a rappelling location.

If interested contact Jason Botting jmbotting@gmail.com Scoutmaster.

See the Recent Updates to FAQs for Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse

The updates include answers to recent frequent questions and a new section on maintaining program integrity.

Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill & Walnut Creek Eagle Scouts
December 2021
Congratulations to our newest Eagle Scouts
   Are you wondering where some of the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda Eagle Scouts are? PARENTS: In this time of Sheltering in Place, please send pictures of your Scout in uniform to Norman Gee with the information of the date and the unit the Scout earned their Eagle Scout rank. We want to make sure EVERY EAGLE SCOUT receives recognition for their achievement! Contact Norman normgee50@gmail.com or Bonnie Hazarabedian bonzai@flash.net.
Ryan Bennett- Troop 277
Mason Fara - Troop 212
Zach Lara - Troop 243
Bruce Maher - Troop 212
RC Means - Troop 219
Alex Pawlo - Troop 818
Hunter Pinkstaff - Troop 227
Ryan Sintchak - Troop 212
Reminder of several aspects of the Eagle Scout Rank process that have been missed by many of our Scouts lately. Please read them below and share the information with your Unit Leadership and Eagle Scout Candidates.
If the Scout needs to have an extension of time, please have them complete the form found here: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/GTA- This form then needs to be emailed to our Briones District Advancement Chair Mrs. Bonnie Hazarabedian (bonzai@flash.net), our Council Advancement Committee Chair Mr. Merl Nygren (nygreme@att.net), and our Council Advancement Committee Advisor Mr. Michael Charlesworth (michael.charlesworth@scouting.org) for review.

Please note that our council can only grant up to a six-month extension. Any time beyond that needs to be approved by our National Office. Also, our Council Advancement Committee only meets once per month to discuss extensions, please make sure to have your Scout complete the extension form and turn it in at least a few weeks before their 18th birthday. They are to continue to work towards completing their Eagle Rank even if they have not heard back from the committee about their extension.

Eagle Scout Project Proposals need to be reviewed and approved by either Mr. Ed Isley (ekisely@comcast.net) or Mr. Mark Paulson (eagleworkbook@gmail.com) prior to any work being done on the project. They will sign in the “Council or District Approval” section on Proposal Page H in the Workbook (https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/EagleProjectWorkbook2021c-v2.pdf).

If the Scout needs to complete an Eagle Scout Project Fundraising Application (Fundraising Application Page A in the Workbook), the “Authorized Council Approval” is for only Andrew Dale, as District Executive, to sign after signatures of the Beneficiary and Unit Leader are received. Please have the Scout email him at andrew.dale@scouting.org and make sure to include at least one other adult in that email.

Once the Scout has completed their Scoutmaster Conference for Eagle, they need to send their completed Eagle Scout Rank Application to Andrew (andrew.dale@scouting.org) to review the application before it gets verified at our Council Office. The latest this step can be done is the day before the Scout’s 18th birthday, or the final day of their approved extension. If the Scout has an extension, please have them let Andrew know that final date of their extension at this time.

A few notes on the Eagle Scout Rank Application (https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-728_WB_fillable.pdf):
An Eagle Scout Rank Application can be downloaded from ScoutBook with all of the dates preloaded into the correct fields, by using the information provided on the attached PDF.

Each line on the application must be completed through the signature of the Unit Committee Chair on page two. With the exception of the employer reference, if the Scout is not employed.

All information for each reference must be included: name, address, telephone, and email. If the Scout does not have a religious reference, they must include a parent or guardian in that field.

The Grand total of hours under Requirement 5 on page two is the total number of hours the project took to complete, counting everyone’s involvement, not just the Eagle Candidate. Please encourage your Scouts to start this tally of hours as they are starting to research project ideas.

If even one number on a completion date is incorrect from the Scout’s official records, Andrew will send the application back to the Scout to be corrected.

If there are missing dates for items that have not yet been entered into the Scout’s Advancement Records, please include a BSA Advancement Report (https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34403.pdf) with the application. This report authorizes our Council to enter in the missing dates. If Andrew finds a missing date on an application, Andrew will reach out to you individually for this report.

Once the Eagle Scout Rank Application is correct, Andrew will then send it to our Council Registrar Mrs. Masouda Ibrahimi (masouda.ibrahimi@scouting.org) for the Council Verification step on page two. This process may take a day or two, depending on workload, vacation schedules, etc.

After the verification has been complete, Mrs. Ibrahimi will email a scan of the application back to the candidate, cc’ing Andrew and our Council Advancement Committee Chair Mr. Merl Nygren (nygreme@att.net).

Scouts can then schedule their Eagle Scout Board of Review with Mr. Herb Lederman (herblederkop@gmail.com) for the Lamorinda Area, or Mr. Gordon Bell (gordon.ed.bell@gmail.com) for the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill Area. Scouts working with Mr. Lederman for their Board of Review need to send their workbook to Mr. Bruce McGurk for pre-board processing. After the Board of Review is complete, paperwork is sent to our National Office for final verification and certification. About 3-4 weeks later (sometimes up to 6 weeks), the Eagle Scout’s National Certificate and final paperwork is mailed back to our Council Office. Once they are received, the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair will be notified that the Eagle Credentials and Award Kit is available for pick up. Since the office is closed at this time, we will arrange a pick up time, or Andrew would be happy to drop off the items at your home or place of work.

Please remind your Scouts to always include at least one other adult while emailing any of the people mentioned above. This keeps everyone within Youth Protection and CyberChip guidelines. If a Scout forgets to do so, Andrew will kindly remind them of this policy in his email reply, in which he will include you.
We know that this is a long and complicated process. It can go smoothly by following these few steps.

 Thank you and please let Andrew know if you have any questions.
How to Print Membership Cards and Charter Certificates
For Unit Leaders

Now that rechartering is done, you may want to print membership cards for your members or a charter certificate to present to your charter organization. Click a link to download the how-to PDF: Charter CertificateMembership Cards.

Briones District Troops & Scouts on the Trail to Eagle

Starting now and until the Bay Area Health Officers end the Shelter in Place ruling that is now in place, the following guidelines are in effect for Life Scouts who are following their Trail to Eagle.

  • We will continue to offer Zoom-based review boards for Project Proposal reviews. Check the District website for the procedure. 

  • We will continue to offer in person or Zoom-based review boards for Rank Advancement reviews. Check the District website for the procedure.

  • Scouts may work on developing proposals and preparing the planning section of the Workbook for approved projects. For Scouts who have finished their project, they are encouraged to complete the Report section of their workbook. And, if they have met all the other requirements for Advancement, they should forward their Application to our District Executive to get Council's verification signature . . . again, check the District website for how to do this.

  • Eagle projects can now be done with small fixed groups with masks and distanced as much as possible. 
Briones Eagle Boards of Review

   EBORs are available for Scouts who have completed all their requirements. Scouts can then schedule their Eagle Scout Board of Review with Mr. Herb Lederman (herblederkop@gmail.com) for the Lamorinda Area, or Mr. Gordon Bell (gordon.ed.bell@gmail.com) for the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill Area. Scouts working with Mr. Lederman for their Board of Review need to send their workbook to Mr. Bruce McGurk for pre-board processing.

Eagle Project Ideas

Eagle project ideas can be found in the Conservation section of this newsletter or on the Briones District webpage.
20 ideas for unique Eagle Scout service project beneficiaries

Has your Eagle Scout aged out? Wondering how you can help?

The District is in desparate need of additional volunteer commissioners to help units. While the job may seem large Mark Weyland, our district commissioner, has picked out the 6 key functions a commissioner.

The unit commissioner is a friend to the unit, but what does that mean:

1. They check in with the unit's adult leadership and committee at least 5 times a year to gauge the success of the unit's program and offer suggestions for improvements or praise for their work.

2. They help the unit as needed to interact and engage with online BSA resources, and live or virtual roundtables

3. They help the unit recruit and maintain youth 

4. They help the unit recharter

5. They help the unit resolve issues that may arise that the unit may not be able to solve on their own (act as a diplomat for the district and the council)

6. They set the example in action and in presentation
   Did you know that your units need to record their hours spent volunteering service to others? Every unit has a unique id number that they can use to record the hours. In order to make it easier for units, the District has set up an email address where you can report your hours, what the service was, and the number of Scouts that worked on it. Send an email listing the service, location, the total number of hours (# of Scouts x number of hours) to Briones.service.hours@gmail.com. Recording service hours affects everyone's Journey to Excellence scores (units, districts, councils, sections, etc...).
SAR Eagle Awards Contest

  Information can be found at www.californiasar.org under programs/youth programs, or they can email me directly.

California Society Sons of the American Revolution (CASSAR)
You too can help!
   Your District Committee needs your help, we have many openings. While we're listing only the primary position, every position can use additional help even those not mentioned. The more folks who volunteer the easier the work. Let Bruce McGurk or Mark Weyland know if you're interested in helping.

   We are in desperate need of a Roundtable Commissioner (their job is coordinate the Roundtable meetings from September thru June).

Scouts BSA Roundtable
   We are equally desperate in our need of a volunteer to coordinate and present programs for troops each month.

Cub Scout Roundtable
We are equally desperate in our need of a volunteer to coordinate and present programs for packs each month.

Conservation Chair
   We are in need of someone to be our Conservation Chair. You will be responsible for keeping track of conservation related opportunities in the District and sending the information to the newsletter editor.

Day Camp Directors
   Will you miss not having day camp for your Cub Scouts? We need at least two people to step up and start planning next years day camp. Planning will start in September for 2022.There will be no day camp if no one steps up to chair it.
Unit Commissioners
   This is a rewarding fun job for those who have stepped down from working with their units. It's a great opportunity to share your knowledge with units who need help or just a little advice on the best way to do things.

This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

A blog for BSA's Adult Leaders

The Official Blog of the Scouting Movement
Conservation Corner

Gardens & Landscape
  • Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden: Learn about native, drought tolerant and wildlife gardening. Work parties on Sunday, check their website for dates https://phig.webs.com/. Eagle Scout Projects available. Inquire with Monika Olsenphigarden@gmail.com.
  • Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm: Learn about permaculture and biodynamic gardening at a historic farm in Pleasant Hill. Work parties every Saturday. http://www.rogersranch.org/rodgers-ranch-urban-farm.html.  For Eagle Scout projects, contact  Marian Woodard,  marian@thequantumbusiness.com
  • Friends of Wagner Ranch Nature Area: Join in every Sunday from 9 am - 1 pm to help out with gardening, general maintenance and light construction. Eagle Scout projects are also available. Contact them at https://fwrna.org/contact/
  • John Muir National Historic Site: Garden and landscape volunteers assist with manual labor in the park's fruit/nut orchards and the Mt. Wanda open space areas. Biological internship also available. Contact the Volunteers In Parks Corps at 925-228-8860.

Reduce Reuse Recycle
  • The Crayon Initiative: More than a half million pounds of crayons are discarded every year, turning into a waxy sludge that clogs our landfills and never biodegrades, and is also a waste of resources. The Crayon Initiative collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools and homes across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing waste. Better yet, the recycled crayons are distributed to art programs at children's hospitals across the US, brightening the lives of young patients during their stay. Get your troop involved collecting crayons! Learn more with this guide for Scouts: http://thecrayoninitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/170604_TCI_Scouts_Program_Guide.pdf
  • Volunteer with RecycleSmart and Republic Services! Multiple Farmers Markets in Orinda, Moraga, Danville and Walnut Creek- Scouts can assist with waste sorting stations and the RecycleSmart booth. Annual events like Pleasant Hill's Art Jazz & Wine can also use help with waste sorting stations. For more information, contact Ashley LouisianaAshley@recyclesmart.org 
  • Any troop can participate in a Vermicomposting (Worms!) and Bin Building Workshop with RecycleSmart. It's $20 per family and includes all bin supplies, two hours of instruction and worms! It's a great deal and such a fun experience. For more information, contact Ashley LouisianaAshley@recyclesmart.org

  • Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation: Work parties most weekends; minimum volunteer age is 14, but can be opened to younger children by prior arrangement with a leader (see link below). Eagle Project opportunities include site prep and planting of native plants, as well as invasive species removal. Other projects depend on scout interest. http://www.wcosf.org/calendar/events.html
  • Save Mt. Diablo: Join the Diablo Restoration Team (DiRT)! Dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of natural resources in Contra Costa County, volunteers meet monthly to get DiRTy and contribute to the stewardship of habitat for sensitive and endangered species. Contact Jim Cartanjcartan@savemountdiablo.org
  • Volunteers of Outdoor California: Trail work and camping. Visit www.v-o-cal.org
  • Friends of the Creeks: Help transform a weedy area of creek bank in Civic Park in Walnut Creek into a meadow of wildflowers and native grasses. Restoration days monthly on the second Saturday. Email contact@FriendsoftheCreeks.org.

Water Conservation and Wastewater Treatment
  • Residential Recycled Water Fill Station: Monday-Friday, 9 am - 4 pm. (During wet weather and holidays, please call 925-335-7717.) http://www.centralsan.org/index.cfm?navId=1348
  • EBMUD Resources: In 1978, EBMUD began an education outreach program so that students can learn about water conservation, pollution prevention and watershed stewardship. EBMUD offers classroom materials in English and Spanish at three grade levels, outdoor classroom programs from November to April, and participates in regional education outreach programs. http://www.ebmud.com/recreation/teacher-resources/
  • Rotary Rain Harvesting Project: Get involved with installing rain barrels and other rain harvesting and water conservation techniques. 
  • Central San Student Programs: CCCSD is pleased to offer the following education programs to teachers and schools to help students learn about protecting their environment.  http://www.centralsan.org/index.cfm?navid=161


  • Contra Costa Transfer & Recovery Station Tours: Ever wonder what happens to trash after it's whisked away from the curb? Gain an eye-opening glimpse into the world of garbage on these free tours.  
  • Mt. Diablo Recycling Tours: Learn what happens to recycling after it leaves your curb! Contact Adriana MedinaAdriana.Medina@garaventaent.com
  • Central San Treatment Plant Tours: Central San offers free virtual tours of its award-winning wastewater treatment plant. https://www.centralsan.org/virtual-plant-tour

Here are links for teachers::

Other Local Organizations
Your newsletter editor wants to hear from you!

   The Briones newsletter is sent out around the first of each month to those on the Briones email distribution list. If you wish to have something published in the newsletter, please send it to Norman Gee at normgee50@gmail.com and put Briones News in the subject line.