News and Events

Sapona District Email Distribution Group

  • A busy sky: Cub Scouts help museum display model plane collection By Staff Report Published 12:05 am Saturday, September 23, 2017 SPENCER — About 35 Cub Scouts and their adult leaders descended on the N.C. Museum of Dolls, Toys and ...
    Posted Oct 15, 2017, 8:33 AM by Sapona District
  • Rusher Earns Eagle Published 7:20 am Sunday, February 12, 2017 Bobby “Bo” Lee Rusher III, 16, received his Eagle Scout award on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017,  at St. John’s ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 8:44 AM by Sapona District
  • Boy Scouts collect more than 14,000 pounds of food for local food pantries By Amanda Raymond Published 12:10 am Monday, February 6, 2017 SALISBURY — Boy Scout packs visited neighborhoods all over the county to collect food for local ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2017, 8:37 AM by Sapona District
  • Scouts Give Blessing Bags to Homeless Shelter Guests Thursday, December 24, 2015 By Shavonne Walker It took a group of 35 Cub Scouts three months to collect toiletry items for a group of people ...
    Posted Dec 26, 2015, 9:12 AM by Rowan District BSA
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 16. View more »

2018 Hornaday Merit Badge Mania

posted Mar 15, 2018, 10:05 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Mar 15, 2018, 10:07 AM ]

Camp John J. Barnhardt

April 13 – April 15, 2018

Registration: Pre-registration is required and must be completed using the council online registration system. Deadline for registration and updates to existing registrations is April 7th.

Fees: $35 per Scout and $15 per Adult Leader

Merit Badge Classes being Offered include: Bird Study, Energy, Environmental Science, Fishing, Forestry, Plant Science, Public Health, Soil and Water Conservation, Sustainability, Gardening & Nuclear Science

Payment: All registrations must be paid online. You may pay by credit card or enter the account information from your check with no additional fees. Make sure you receive a confirmation and receipt in e-mail to ensure you completed the process. Print your ticket and bring it with you to check-in.

Check In: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Friday, April 13th and 7:00 am – 8:15 am Saturday, April 14th. Early Check-in is not allowed on Friday – You will not be able to access campsite prior to 5pm. Check in will be at the shelter beside the Log Cabin.

Camping: Camping will be on your own. Troops will need to contact Kyle Camp at the Council office for campsite registration using the Short Term Camping Permit for Camp Barnhardt.

Parking: Only vehicle towing trailers will be allowed in camp for up to 30 minutes to disconnect trailer and return to parking lot.

Garbage: Each troop is to have its own plastic bags for garbage. Each troop is responsible for taking its garbage out of camp or to the dumpsters at the Dining Hall. Campsites will be inspected at the end of the weekend.

Water: The water will be off in campsites, so each troop should bring a water container that can be filled at either the bathhouse or cafeteria.

Bathroom: The only bathrooms that will be open will be the ones in the campsites and the bath house at Campsite #4.,2018-05-06/2390/0/

2018 Hornaday Leaders Guide

Short Term Barnhardt Permit K. Camp

District Leadership Awards Inventory Update

posted Mar 6, 2018, 12:37 PM by Sapona District   [ updated Mar 8, 2018, 1:17 PM ]

A collaborative project has been established, between the Sapona District Committee and the Sapona District Banquet Awards Selection Committee To update the database of all the Awards and Recognition’s that are held by all the Leaders in the Sapona (formerly Rowan) District. This is the one organized and put together in 2011.

Every Leader’s participation and cooperation is requested, to help compile the recognition information, for the updating the database records. Please go through your personal records or your units records, for the recognition’s you have and indicate on the following list (see attachment below).  Please place a check by the awards you have and if possible, please provide the date, you were presented with the award. Thank you for your help in this matter. Pass copies to all your leadership in your unit or fill one out with a summery of the awards held by all leaders for your unit.

Take the time to list the knots on your uniform or if you have woodbadge beads (If you know, please list participate year or Staff)!  

We are also looking to fill some gaps of Award Recipients from the Annual Sapona (formerly Rowan) Adult Banquet. The years we are looking for are: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, all award categories.

If you are a Sapona/Rowan Award recipient please send us your info or if you do not remember the date, that's fine, just let us know what award you were presented with. Also, if you know some else, who is an award recipient, please send us there info.

Some other categories we are looking for are:
  • Cubmaster of the Year  82-85, 89, 2000, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08
  • Assistant Cubmaster of the Year (If Awarded) Before 1992, 94-2008
  • Den Leader Of the Year 89, 97, 98, 2000
  • Webelos Leader of the Year 85, 89, 91, 97, 98, 2000, 02, 03, 04
  • Tiger Leader of the Year 1988-2014
  • Scoutmaster of the Year 97, 99, 2000, 03, 04, 07
  • Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year 89, 91, 97, 98, 2000, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07
  • Venturing Adviser of Year All Years
  • Assistant Adviser of Year All Years
  • Female Scouter of the Year 89, 91, 94-2000
  • Male Scouter of the Year 89, 91, 94-2000, 02, 03, 04
  • District Award of Merit 81-86, 89, 97, 2000, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 11, 12, 14

Please send completed form or additional information to: Henry Fairley IV, 713 West Council St, Salisbury, NC 28144
or e-mail to or drop it by the Sapona District office in St. John’s Lutheran Church Community Building

Henry Fairley IV

Sapona District Adult Leader Recognitions

posted Feb 23, 2018, 3:34 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Feb 23, 2018, 3:37 AM ]

Greetings Sapona District Scouters: 

It has been two weeks since we held a delightful Sapona District Banquet.  Our banquet Chair, Linda Bowman and husband Chuck Bowman, ensured we had a delicious meal aided by Mr. Danny Hunt, caterer, and members of the Sapona Chapter of Itibapishe Iti Hollo Lodge, Order of the Arrow.  Our hosts were First United Methodist Church of Salisbury and Scout Troop 442 and Pack 442 sponsored by the church.

During the evening, the Sapona District honored our Class of 2017 Eagle Scouts.  Special guests, Mr. Frank Merrill, representing the Salisbury Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and Mr. Brad Walworth with the Salisbury Elks Lodge #699 also had special presentations and awards to recognize our Eagles.

Central North Carolina Council Vice President Ryan Mills presented the William T. Hornaday Award for conservation to Eagle Scout Jared Hensley. 

A copy of the Banquet Program is attached for you to enjoy and has additional details.  A very special thanks to Marny Hendrick, Sapona District Vice Chair, for crafting our program and also for crafting an expert script for the evening which kept the program on track and flowing flawlessly.

While Scouting is devoted to the young men and women who are in our Scout Units, behind them are Adult Scout Leaders who guide them and selflessly devote themselves to our youth.  At the District Banquet we saluted all Adult Scout Leaders.  In particular, we recognize those Adult Scout Leaders who have been nominated by their peers and have distinguished themselves during the past year in their positions.  Below are the leaders in specific Scouting roles who were recognized at the Banquet, along with our District Scouter of the Year and the two Scouters recognized with our District’s highest honor, the District Award of Merit.  I have included the citations from their nominators.

Please join me in congratulating all of the honorees, Scout and Scouter alike, for their leadership and service to Scouting.

Gratefully yours,

Joe Gettys

Sapona District Committee Chair

Lion Den Leader of the Year 

The Lion Cub Scout program began as a pilot program by BSA in 2016 and our Council was one of a select few in nation to be authorized to offer it. The Lion Den leader, known as a Guide, has a to be a special and experience scout leader because they are giving a group of five year old kindergarten boys, and their parents, a quality program. Our first ever Lion Dean Leader of the year fits that mold perfectly. He has five years of experience at many roles in his Pack and on the District and Council level including Pinewood Derby Chair, Webelos Resident Camp, Cub Scout Day Camp, Tiger Den Leader, Friends of Scouting, and Scouting for Food. Our winner took on the Lion Guide role with the same enthusiasm he has always shown…making fun-filled den meetings a true adventure for the Lions and their families. He offered a wide range of activities to introduce the Lions to Scouting including pinewood derby, science projects, community service projects, camping, hiking, plants, first aid and much more. We salute him for his creative leadership and congratulate or 2017 Lion Den Leader of the Year:

John Barber, Pack 306


Tiger Den Leader of the Year 

A Tiger Den leader is important because, even with the new Lion program, it is most often the first contact a boy has with our Scouting program. Our winner for 2017 actually started as a Lion Guide and this past year took over as the Tiger Den leader for his pack.  He also attended roundtables to learn more. He involved his Tigers in many community and Scouting activities including Gold Rush, Webelos Woods, Cuboree, Day Camp and The Veterans Day Parade. His Tigers also participated in Scouting for Food and placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  He is truly a dedicated Scout leader who sets the example for others. Please congratulate our 2017 Tiger Den Leader of the Year:

Jim Shepard, Pack 306


Wolf Den Leader of the Year

Our Wolf Den Leader of the year is an Eagle Scout and the father of one Lion cub and a Wolf Cub.  He has served as a leader for two years plus serves a committee member and assist with the Pack parade float and Christmas Party. He and his scouts attended Gold Rush, Cuboree, and Day Camp, placed flags at the Veteran’s Cemetery for Memorial Day, and took part in the Veteran’s Day Parade. They also volunteered at Rowan Helping Ministries and Food for Thought. We salute him for his dedication to his Den and Pack.  Please congratulate our 2017 Wolf Den Leader of the Year:

Justin Farris, Pack 306


Bear Den Leader of the Year 

As we all know, sometimes being a good scout leader requires teamwork, not necessarily a two-headed monster, but leaders who work well in tandem. That is the case for our Bear Den Leader of the year.  Our winner  is an Eagle Scout who has completed Wood Badge in addition to leader specific training, His Bear Den participated in Cuboree, Scouting for Food, Food for Thought and the Camp Card fundraiser.  He has three years of experience as a den leader at various levels. His partner in the Den also happens to be his wife, who helps plan all activities and den meeting. Together they provide a fun learning experience for their Bear Den. Please join me in congratulating our Bear Den leader of the year:

David Basinger, Pack 375 and his assistant and wife, Sabrina Basinger


Webelos Den Leader of the Year 

Our winner has been very involved in all aspects of his Pack for the past several years including one year as the Wolf Den Leader and another as Bear Den Leader. Now he continues that excellence as Webelos Den Leader. He has served on the Pack Committee, as Holiday Caravan parade float coordinator for his pack, and as Nova Mentor and Instructor for the pack. He has served as an instructor for God and Me in the Pack and has served on the staff of the Sapona District Cub Scout Day Camp. His training includes BALOO, Certified Range Instructor and Den Leader Specifics. His Den has participated in Gold Rush, Webelos Day Camp, Scouting for Food, Placing Flags at the National Cemetery, and the District and Council Pinewood Derby. He also has served an instructor at Cub and Webelos Advancement Day for two years. As an NRA certified instructor he has overseen many ranges including sling shots, BB’s and archery. He also com0leted Wood Badge in 2017 and is currently finishing his ticket.  This is a great and inspirational example of a fully involved and dedicated Scout Leader. Please congratulate our 2017 Webelos Den Leader of the Year:

Darren Shell, Pack 306


Cubmaster of the Year 

Our 2017 District Cubmaster of the Year stepped up in a significant way in the past few months when her Pack needed a Cubmaster. She went way outside her comfort zone to take on this important leadership role and assure that the Pack continued to have a fun, quality program. Her Pack is lucky to have her. She has completed BALOO Training and Cubmaster Specific Training and regularly attends our Roundtable sessions. She has also involved her Pack in the District Cub-O-Ree, Gold Rush, Webelos Woods, where she taught First Aid, and Webelos Day Camp.   We thank her for her leadership and for keeping her Pack strong. Please congratulate our 2017 Sapona District Cubmaster of the Year:

Jodie Sain, Pack 320


Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year – 2 winners

Sometimes in the awards process we receive competing applications that are really difficult to separate and make a fair decision. That was the case this year with two highly qualified leaders nominated for Assistant Scoutmaster.  We resolved that problem by giving the honor to both of them. Assistant Scoutmasters are indispensable assets to any successful Troop and so often they are unsung heroes as well.

Our first Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year for 2017 has served his troop in that position for five years. He has completed Leader Specific Training, Outdoor Leadership skills training and earned his Wood Badge beads in 2015. He has attended summer camp with the troop three times while also participating in numerous backpacking trips, bicycle trips, service projects and just about every other unit activity. He faithfully attends weekly meetings, troop committee meetings and Boards of Review.

Our honoree took the position of Troop Chaplain and in that role he compiled a book entitled “A Chaplain’s Devotional”. It contains over 100 pages of songs, poems, prayers, benedictions, responsive readings, inspirational stories and a guide to preparing an inter-faith worship service. This book is used in Troop Worship services when camping. Like most scout leaders, our honoree became involved because of his son’s involvement.  That joint journey culminated this past October when his son received his Eagle Scout rank.  We thank him for his inspirational service to scouting and congratulate our 2017 Assistant scoutmaster of the Year:

Michael M. Hollingsworth, Troop 448


Our second Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year for 2017 qualifies as a veteran because he has nine years’ experience as a Cub Scout Leader and now five years as an assistant scoutmaster.  He is fully trained as both a cub and boys scout leader including Outdoor Leader skills, Wilderness First Aid, and is a BSA Cope/Climbing Instructor Level 2. He has also completed Wood Badge. He has taken leadership roles at Camp Barnhardt summer camp, at Gold Rush, the Aviation Camporee and Advancement Days in the District. In his unit he was the leader for a 50-miler canoe trip and serves as technical advisor for construction aspects of Eagle Projects. He led the unit in placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day, in observing Flag Day, in Scouting for Food and serves as a merit badge counselor.  He is obviously invaluable to his troop and we congratulate him as our Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year:

Steve Wolfe, Troop 442


Our Scoutmaster of the Year is another veteran scouter with five years as a Cubmaster and now five years as Scoutmaster of his troop. Significantly he is not only a role model for his scouts but a mentor for other scout leaders at the Troop and Pack Level. He has earned the Scouters training award the Den leader Training award, Cubmaster of the Year and now Scoutmaster of the year. He completed Wood Badge and has served on Wood Badge staff. His unit partners with a local civic club to work on behalf of Food for Thought. His troop has a very active and varied outdoor program and he pushes his scouts to succeed. Like a good scoutmaster he gets to know each boy personally, their likes and dislikes, their strengths and fears, and even their activities outside of scouting. We thank him for his outstanding leadership, mentoring efforts and involvement at many levels of our Scouting program. Sapona District is proud him with our 2017 Scoutmaster of the Year award:

Jason Kepley Sr. Troop 320


Unit Committee Leadership Award

            The backbone of our Scout units is a strong unit Committee and appropriately we honor a Committee Member of the Year again here in Sapona District.  This individual, like most committee leaders, has a wide and varied scouting background. He just took over as his troop’s Committee Chairperson and if it was up to him, most meetings would take place somewhere out in the wilderness. Since joining the troop leadership in 2009, this man has backpacked over 350 miles, camped over 50 nights, been on at least four biking trips, and has been part of a crew at Philmont Scout Ranch not once, but twice. His training includes Outdoor leader skills, Scoutmaster specific training, Trek Safely, Weather Hazards, Wilderness First Aid and CPR training. He participates in Scouting for Food each year and the Big Sweep. He got his troop involved in the Carolina Orienteering Club and leads orienteering activities several times each year. Under his leadership at the committee level and with the boys, the Troop is in great hands. Please congratulate our 2017 Unit Committee Leadership award winner:

Don Rankin, Troop 448


Unit Commissioner of the Year

Unit Commissioners are the glue that holds the District units together and although we never have enough of them, we have some outstanding leaders providing outstanding service to our troops and packs. Our honoree this year is dedicated to his commissioner duties in a quiet, behind the scenes way.  He uses his extensive scouting experience, his computer skills and his calm demeanor to serve his units, his fellow commissioners and our district at a high level. He has attended four years of Commissioner College, serves on our District Committee and our District Eagle Board. He is a longtime assistant scoutmaster and committee member for his troop. He is a great family man and the proud father of one of our 2017 Eagle Scouts. Please congratulate our 2017 Sapona District Unit Commissioner of the Year

Mark Liddle

Sapona Assistant District Commissioner


District Scouter of the Year

The District Scouter of the Year award recognizes an Adult Leader who offers overall excellence and service to our scout program at the Unit, District and Council level.  Our winner tonight has set the standard for dedication and leadership over a long period of time. She has been a Cubmaster for 8 years and in that time has consistently demonstrated what a quality program is all about. In the beginning she took over a Pack of 8 to 10 boys with a couple of leaders and today she oversees a group of 50 cub scouts and 10 leaders. Under her leadership, the unit has been fully involved in Scouting for Food, the Postal Carriers food drive, Food for Thought, the Veterans Day parade, book collection for the orphan home, and placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day. Her scouts have participated ion, and she has been a leader in the Gold Rush, Webelos Camporee, residence camp, day camp and the Pinewood derby. She has been named Cubmaster of the Year and her unit has achieved gold level in the Journey To Excellence program for three years. She is obviously fully trained and a faithful attendee at our District Roundtables. The mother of an Eagle Scout in the class of 2017, she has another son getting ready to cross over the Boy Scouts. Accordingly she is giving up her Cubmaster role this year and is moving her talents to the Troop level. The Boys Scouts will be much better for it. We thank her for her outstanding service and are pleased to recognize her as our 2017 Sapona District Scouter of the Year: 

Stephanie Mesimer, Pack 306



The District Award of Merit is the highest honor we can bestow on an adult leader in the Sapona District and is a way to properly recognize our dedicated volunteers for a high level of service. Tonight we are pleased to bestow the Sapona District Award of Merit to two outstanding volunteers.


District Award of Merit

Our first recipient of the District Award of Merit for 2017 goes to a lady you all know well. Her background as a Virginia State Trooper and a First Sgt. in the US Army tells you what kind of take charge leader she is and our scouting program is so much better for her efforts. She began her involvement at the Cub Scout level with her grandson and husband and has been a den leader, committee member and chair and pack treasurer. She completed Wood Badge in 2015 and her leadership involvement is expansive beyond the pack. She has chaired the Gold Rush games three years, and as instructor at Webelos resident camp, a Cub Scout Day Camp and at Cuboree. For the past three years she has served as Chairman of our District Pinewood Derby and assisted with the Council Pinewood derby. Under her leadership our Scouting for Food program has reached record heights including the just completed effort that collected almost 30,000 pounds of food for Rowan Helping Ministries, the Salvation Army and other local food banks. She has also involved our local scouts in assisting the Postal Carriers with their food collecting drive as well. She is an active youth leader at St. John’s Lutheran =church, a school volunteer and a faithful volunteer in veteran causes, including Gold Star Families. This is an indispensable volunteer here in the District and in the Council and the scouting program is so much stronger because of her efforts. Please join me in congratulating our 2017 District Award of Merit winner:

Ann Barber, Pack 306 and Sapona District Committee


District Award of Merit

Our second recipient of the District Award of Merit for 2017 has been a faithful and consistent leader in our District and Council for almost two decades. This is a recognition that is long overdue.  The father of an Eagle Scout, he began as a volunteer leader in Cub Scouts and then as an assistant Scoutmaster and Committee member at the Troop leader. In recent years he has worked behind the scenes in a significant way to assure that the Scouting program in Sapona District and the Central NC Council remains viable and strong. As a Friends of Scouting leader, including District Chairman for the past three years, our honoree as led the effort to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the scouting program over the past 10 years. Through his own generosity and his efforts to reach out to others to support scouting he has significantly helped keep scouting financially healthy. His influence extends far beyond scouting as a leader in the business world and in the community. He is a former member of the State Board of Education and is the CEO of a successful business here in Salisbury that reaches across the country. Through his company, he created a unique childhood literacy program called the Appleseed Project. The program places mobile interactive touch screen readers in the hands of thousands of local children to give them much needed literacy skill building tools. It is obvious that this is a “big picture guy” and the Scouting program in the District and Council are much better for it. We thank you and salute you with our 2017 District Award of Merit.         

Mr. Greg Alcorn,

Sapona District Committee & Central NC Council Executive Board

2018 Journey to Excellence & Sapona Scout Cups

posted Feb 17, 2018, 9:02 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Feb 17, 2018, 9:12 AM ]

At the Sapona District Committee Meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the District Committee unanimously voted to utilize the Boy Scouts of America Journey to Excellence (JTE) program as the Scoring System for the Sapona District Boy Scout and Cub Scout Cup Awards in the future. 

This was done for several reasons:

1.  To encourage each Scouting Unit in Sapona District to be aware of and implement the JTE program as a means of strengthening their unit finance, programming, membership and service;

2.  To ensure all Scout Units in each BSA program are measured against consistent standards and measured against their own unit’s previous year’s results to drive continuous improvement;

3.  To eliminate any advantages of larger units versus smaller units and/or new units versus longer tenured units; and

4.  To ensure all units have equal access to the information and standards of our Sapona District  & BSA Recognition.

JTE Scoring is done by each Scout Unit’s leadership and committee with assistance by their Unit Commissioner.  The JTE  Scorecard is turned in with your Unit’s annual re-charter in December.

The Sapona District Cups will be awarded annually utilizing the highest Unit JTE Scores for each Scouting program.  In the event of a tie between two units within the same Scouting program, the tie-breaker for that  program’s Sapona Cup Award will be presented to the unit with the highest percentage of Adult Scouters (all or any registered unit leader-i.e. Scoutmasters & Assistants, Cubmasters & Assistants, Den Leaders, Crew Advisors, Post Advisor, Unit Committee Members & Chartered Partner Representative) who have completed their role specific training. 

Additional resources can be found on the website and by clicking on this link to the Journey to Excellence landing page on .  Please be sure to use the Guidebook for your Unit’s Scouting program which are available by clicking on this link:

2018 Commissioner College

posted Jan 8, 2018, 10:00 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Feb 18, 2018, 3:39 AM ]

Presented by Central NC & Mecklenburg County Councils
“Preventing Commissioner Burn Out"

If your volunteer role includes the word Commissioner, you need to be at this year’s Commissioner College.

Date & Time

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Check in begins at 7:30 AM

Program 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM


$25.00 (Lunch & Patch included)


Deadline to Register is March 16, 2018 (Late fee of $5.00 after March 9, 2018)



Rowan-Cabarrus Community College – South Campus

1531 Trinity Church Road, Concord, North Carolina


Sessions Offered

Roundtable Commissioner

Bachelor Level

Master Level

Doctorate Level

Post Doctorate



For more information contact Chris Mills, Assistant Council Commissioner for Training at or

Kyle Camp, Program Director, at or 704-701-5349

 2018 Commissioner College Flyer (pdf)

Contact E-mail
$25.00 per Bachelor of Commissioner Science
$25.00 per Doctor of Commissioner Science
$25.00 per Master of Commissioner Science
$25.00 per Post Doctorate
$25.00 per Roundtable Commissioner

Late fee
After 3/9/2018 a fee of $5.00 will apply to all Bachelor of Commissioner Science Registrants.
After 3/9/2018 a fee of $5.00 will apply to all Doctor of Commissioner Science Registrants.
After 3/9/2018 a fee of $5.00 will apply to all Master of Commissioner Science Registrants.
After 3/9/2018 a fee of $5.00 will apply to all Post Doctorate Registrants.
After 3/9/2018 a fee of $5.00 will apply to all Roundtable Commissioner Registrants.

Last Day To Register

BSA Board of Directors Announcement

posted Oct 12, 2017, 6:47 AM by Sapona District

Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors voted on welcoming girls into Scouting programs.  Below is the official BSA news release. 

Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.
“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before [1], making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys [2] of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts.  Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization.  It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack.  Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.

Youth Protection Update

posted Jul 2, 2017, 9:23 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Jul 3, 2017, 9:46 AM ]

Hi Sapona Scouters! 

I wanted to pass along some new information regarding YPT (Youth Protection Training). 

As you know in the past, this certification expires every 2 years. There is a new change from National for 2017 where this will need to be renewed on an annual basis moving forward. As a result, I would ask that all units ensure their leadership teams are up-to-date. 

I am happy to help provide any reports you may need to help determine compliance in this area, so feel free to reach out to me.

The YPT course is available online ( and will take less than 30 minutes to complete. If you have folks that do not wish to take it online or do not have the ability to do so, just let me know and we will arrange to come out and teach a class if needed.

Dee Ann Vincent
Sapona District Training Chair

More Info about Youth Protection can be found here:

BSA’s Tour and Activity Plan Eliminated

posted Apr 3, 2017, 9:59 AM by Sapona District

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in Health and Safety.

Be prepared to spend less time filling out forms and more time having fun.

The Boy Scouts of America has eliminated its Tour and Activity Plan, shifting the focus away from paperwork and toward creating a safe space for Scouts to enjoy the program as designed.

The Tour and Activity Plan was a two-page document submitted to your local council for approval at least 21 days before longer trips. As of April 1, 2017, it is no more.

Richard Bourlon, team leader for Health and Safety, encourages unit leaders to instead use a “flexible risk-assessment strategy” when planning outings.

“We looked at how the old plan was being used, how many people were using it, how many calls we received about it, and how much time this took staff and volunteers, versus the return – did it create a safer environment?” Bourlon says. “There wasn’t a correlation, so we’re giving them that time back.”

What’s replacing the Tour and Activity Plan?

The old method: One adult leader filled out the form and submitted it to his or her council.

The new method: Have a plan. Get everyone on the same page. For Cub Scouts, that means the pack leadership. For other units, that means adult leaders work with Scouts/Venturers to plan a trip that’s safe, fun and engaging. No forms required.

“Getting everyone on the same page is a beautiful thing,” Bourlon says. “And then we also know you are using a handbook or other program literature consistent with BSA rules, regulations and policies.”

Going to do an activity that supports Scouting’s values but isn’t in any book? Consult the flexible risk-assessment tools in the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Enterprise Risk Management Guidebook when planning.

This change has added significance in Boy Scouting, Sea Scouting, Varsity and Venturing, where older youth should be doing most of the planning anyway.

“Before, this was only available to adults,” Bourlon says. “Our materials are now publicly accessible and appropriate for youth to use.”

What about Tour Permits?

Though you might find some still floating around, tour permits (local and national) were eliminated in March 2011 and were superseded by tour plans — and then by the Tour and Activity Plan in 2012.

All have now been eliminated.

How does insurance work in the post-Tour and Activity Plan world?

The Tour and Activity Plan wasn’t a determining factor in insurance coverage. (Neither, by the way, is wearing a uniform. You’re covered whether in or out of uniform.)

Registered volunteers have primary coverage for official Scouting activities, and nonregistered volunteers are provided excess coverage for official activities.

If an automobile or watercraft is used, the BSA provides additional excess auto coverage.

To be official, the activity should be consistent with the values, Charter and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, the operations manuals, and applicable literature of the Boy Scouts of America.

Do I need to file any forms or notify the council of any trip we take?

No. But you should use the BSA planning tools available here. In most cases, this doesn’t include forms to complete and submit. These tools are meant to prompt discussions and conversations about risks.

What about Exploring?

The manual process Learning for Life and Exploring used in the past for outing permits is discontinued, too.

How does this change affect the safety of BSA outings?

It doesn’t. The Scouting program, as contained in our handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. But no policy or form will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution.

Moreover, the program hasn’t changed. For example, parents still must give permission for leaders to take youth on a trip. Cub Scouts should only camp at council-approved locations. Etc.

Where can I find more information about BSA Health and Safety?

As always, this page is your best source.

Modifications to Cub Scout program give den leaders more flexibility

posted Dec 2, 2016, 8:50 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Dec 2, 2016, 8:51 AM ]

Posted on November 30, 2016 by Bryan Wendell in Advancement, Cub Scouting 

The Boy Scouts of America has announced modifications to Cub Scouting that make the program more flexible for busy parents, den leaders and Cubmasters. 

The BSA gathered feedback from den leaders who had delivered the new Cub Scouting program for a year. What they learned was that some den leaders had difficulty fitting into their program year all of the adventures required for advancement. This resulted in boys not advancing. After a thoughtful and deliberate review, the BSA has released some modifications to address this concern.

What are the modifications? Some adventure requirements that previously were mandatory will become optional, in a move intended to give Cub Scouters more control over their den program.

The changes, which take effect today (Nov. 30, 2016), were approved by the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America.

The fine-tuning reflects the BSA’s three-step approach to new programs: Launch. Learn. Modify.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know. 

Cub Scouting’s fall 2016 modifications, an overview

  • First of all, you won’t need to buy any new materials. The new requirements will be posted in a free addendum available at This will supplement the handbooks in current circulation and for sale online and in Scout shops.
  • While the overall feedback from den leaders about the new Cub Scout program has been very positive, some den leaders said a number of the new adventures had requirements that were too difficult for dens to complete within the Scouting year.
  • The number of new Cub Scouts is up in many areas of the country, but rank advancement rates have not kept pace, meaning the BSA’s team of volunteers and staff advisers wanted to react quickly to eliminate what might have become a roadblock for some dens.
  • A national volunteer task force developed a solution: Make more of the adventure requirements optional, giving dens more flexibility to match their unique needs.
  • The modifications are designed to ensure that adventure requirements are achievable by today’s Cub Scout dens within a program year. This means they are achievable by all Cub Scouts, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
  • Most of the modifications involve the number of requirements that must be completed, reducing the mandate to a number achievable within the limited time available to many dens. This is done while retaining the rich program options that allow leaders to build strong programs adapted to their needs.
  • The changes increase den-level customization. Units that can handle more content, perhaps because they meet more often or for longer periods, can — and should! — keep the optional requirements part of their program. On the other hand, those that have struggled to finish the requirements will welcome these changes as a way to meet their needs.
  • With the modifications, dens should be able to complete one adventure in approximately two den meetings.
  • The transition should be seamless, with leaders able to use revised requirements as the den begins any new adventure.

Where to find the new requirements

Simply log on to I suggest making it one of your bookmarks.

Pinewood Derby brings Cub Scouts to Transportation Museum

posted Apr 30, 2016, 9:51 AM by Sapona District   [ updated Apr 30, 2016, 9:55 AM ]

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 10, 2016 
By Shavonne Walker 
Salisbury Post   

SPENCER — Seth Warren carefully placed his blue and red “Superman” inspired wooden car on the aluminum track. He would later excitedly announce he won first place in his particular heat. The 10-year-old Cub Scout isn’t a stranger to the District Pinewood Derby races, but he had just as much enthusiasm as if for the first time.

Seth was one of 21 Cub Scouts from the Sapona District, formerly the Rowan District, to enter into the competition held Saturday at the N.C. Transportation Museum. The race was open to those Tigers, Bears, Wolves and first-year Webelos who won in their pack and those who wanted to participate.

Boy Scout Pack 306 facilitated the event, said organizer Ann Barber, but the participants and volunteers were from several area packs.

The event would crown three overall winners, but there were many who walked away winners with trophies and medals.

The best part for Seth of course, he said, was getting to race his car. Seth and his father, Kevin, painted, sanded and placed the wheels on the car. Next year Seth will age out of the competition since he’ll be a second-year Webelos. This is his fourth year with the Pinewood Derby.

“He’s grown tremendously,” said his mother, Rory.

She was initially terrified to let Seth participate in Scouts, she said, but her husband assured her their son would be fine. Seth has high functioning autism and has central processing disorder as well as a number of life-threatening food allergies.

Rory said having to adhere to eating specific foods was really a concern, but her fears were allayed when the Scout pack made sure Seth had a specific type of hot dog while on a camping trip.

“The troop has gone out of their way to help him,” Rory said.

Scouting has helped with his socialization skills, Rory said.

Oliver Shue, 7, is the third generation in his family to be involved in Boy Scouts. His father, Mark and grandfather were all a part of Scouting. Mark is a Scout leader and his father was a Scout Master. Oliver is in his first year as a Scout.

Oliver helped his dad paint and sand his car, he said proudly. Oliver’s favorite part of Scouting is getting to go on trips — camping, the beach, and a tour of the Ronald McDonald House.

The scouts race within their pack with cars that have to weigh a certain amount and be built using a kit provided to them by the Boy Scouts organization, explained District Executive Howard Torrence.

“A big part of this is that they built the cars themselves,” Torrence said.

The event is the culmination of all of their hard work, he said.

This year, the event fell on the same day as Little League for some Scouts. In the past, the derby has had closer to 60 participants.

The Pinewood Derby takes place once a year.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253,

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