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Current Duffle Bag E-Newsletter

You can view a PDF version of the April 10th Digital Duffle Bag HERE.
For previous issues click on “Duffle Bag E-Newsletter” below.

Local Council Updates

Belleville Meyer Service Center and Scout Shop is Moving!

Belleville Meyer Service Center and Scout Shop, located at 335 W. Main St., Belleville, IL 62220 will be open through Saturday, April 17th, and close permanently at the end of business.  A new, modern Scout Shop with more merchandise at a convenient and accessible location in the Metro East will be announced very soon.

For added convenience, The ST. LOUIS SCOUT SHOP, 4568 West Pine Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108 and BSA OUTFITTERS, 13347 Manchester Rd. Des Peres, MO 63131 will have extended hours starting Monday, April 19 until the new location is ready to serve you!

The St. Louis Scout Shop will be open on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday and Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

BSA Outfitters will be open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Customers can also send advancement and uniform order electronically though our customer order tool at https://scouting.jotform.com/201336348054046.  In addition, Gateway Traders is an online one-stop-shop for Greater St. Louis Area Council camp, Order of the Arrow and specialty merchandise at https://gatewaytraders.org.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.  Thank you for your patience during this time of transition!


Scout Earns Hornaday Award for Conservation!

Scout James K.

Earning the Boy Scouts of America’s William T. Hornaday Award is no small feat. For Eagle Scout James Karslake, 14, the journey took him through four projects and two-and-a-half years. Karslake, a member of Boy Scout Troop 344, Ladue, worked with Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, Kirkwood, to remove invasive honeysuckle and replace it with native plants. Karslake also established bat boxes at Beaumont Scout Reservation, High Ridge, to help a large bat colony displaced by renovations at a local church. He planted willow tree stakes and native bushes along Deer Creek to prevent erosion, and planted natives and set up bee boxes in Southwest Park, Webster Groves. Congratulations, James!


Local Merit Badge Counselor Helps 450 Scouts Earn Landscape Architecture Merit Badge....During a Pandemic!

Exactly 1,400 Scouts earned the Landscape Architecture merit badge in 2020, according to the official numbers.

Erin McCown Foster, a merit badge counselor in the Greater St. Louis Area Council, mom of three Scouts and professional landscape architect was responsible for 450 of those Scouts — an astounding 32%. Scouts from all over the United States have taken her Landscape Architecture merit badge course via Zoom, including Scouts from Puerto Rico. She’s even had Scouts BSA members from overseas sign up, receiving blue cards from Scouts living in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Central America.

“I thought that maybe by providing these classes I could keep Scouts engaged in Scouting, provide a connection to others during a time of social distancing and maybe help other families like mine keep their kids mentally fit during unprecedented times,” she says. “In the end, it helped me get though the last year of social isolation, too.”

How does Foster make the Landscape Architecture merit badge so exciting? What can other merit badge counselors learn from her about teaching classes over Zoom? And why does she devote so much time and energy to an unpaid gig?

Read the whole story HERE to find out!


1 in 100,000: Scout Earns BSA's Bronze Hornaday Award!

Local Eagle Scout Jackson A. Mills has defied the odds by earning the rarest award in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Bronze Hornaday Medal for distinguished service to conservation. How high an honor? “Think of it as an Olympic medal bestowed by Earth,” says the BSA.

“I am honored to have earned a Hornaday. It took five years of field work, review by experts, and editing reports but it was worth it,” said Mills. He went on: “My knowledge of conservation has grown along the way, and these skills will help me as an adult.”

Since the creation of the Hornaday awards for conservation in 1915, only 1,200 Scouts out of an estimated 130 millions Scouts have earned a major award like the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medal. That’s a ratio of one Scout earning a Hornaday award for every 100,000 Scouts in the history of the BSA. For a matter of reference, in 2019 alone, the BSA awarded 61,353 Eagle Scout medals.

Read the entire story HERE.


Scout Earns Both of the BSA's Highest STEM Awards

Morgan Oser, 16, of St. Charles, has earned the Scouts BSA’s highest STEM advancement awards, the Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award and the Thomas Edison Supernova Awards. The Scouts BSA Supernova awards recognize superior achievement by a Scout in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

An Eagle Scout and member of Troop 72, Oser, is among a very elite group of Scouts who have completed this prestigious award, according to his supernova mentor, Sophia Bright.  In 2020 only two scouts in our region earned the Thomas Edison Supernova.

Congratulations, Morgan! Read the full article HERE.

National Council Updates

None at this time.



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We are always looking for photos and videos of Scouts out having fun to use on social media and in our various publications.  Go to the Digital Submissions page to upload your files!