Salute to Scouting
August 2020


Camp Offers More Than Just Advancements for Troop 11 Scouts

So much in our lives have been altered this year, but we have found ways to adjust and move forward. Such is the case for Gabe Criblez, a Life Scout from Troop 11 in Allen County.

Black Swamp Area Council had to change how camp operated this year to ensure Scouts got the opportunities to continue to learn, advance and grow as young people like Gabe. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend camp this summer and was not disappointed!

Gabe said he was not sure how his camping experience was going to be this year because of some of the changes with social distancing and safety concerns, but he ended up having a lot of fun with all of the activities from carving, swimming and even hanging out at camp. He reported that he and the rest of the Scouts always had something fun to do at camp.

“Even with all of the activities set up, I was able to still have a lot of free time to fish and just hang out with my Troop,” said Gabe. It gave him free time to be able to hang out with the younger Scouts in his Troop to get to know them better.

Even though this maybe Gabe’s last year of Scout camp and it looked much differently than previous years, he was still happy with his decision to go. He encourages everyone to go to camp for not only a great time, but for all the experience it gives back to young people!

“If anyone wants to go or is thinking about going, I would encourage you to! It was a great bonding experience for the entire Troop,” he shared.

Troop 444 Finds a Way to Put the 'Outing' in Scouting

By David Greene, Life Scout, Troop 444

All throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Scouts BSA Troop 444 based in Tiffin was still searching for ways to keep their Troop running. After lots of searching they figured the Cycling Merit Badge would be a good option not only because it can be led by Troop leaders, but also because social distancing could be practiced.


The requirements of the riding portion of this merit badge are to ride two 10-mile trips, two 15-mile trips, two 25-mile trips, and one 50-mile trip. However, this merit badge is not just biking, it also provides a learning opportunity.  

The Troop started on June 2 by learning about bike parts and bike safety. After completing that they were ready to ride. They completed the 10-mile trips first on July 11 & 16, by biking from Fremont to Lindsey and then they completed the 15-mile trips. This first ride took a while, but the second time it went a little faster. They then completed the 25-mile bike ride on June 18th and 23rd by riding from Fremont to Bellevue and back. They finished off the merit badge requirements strong by completing their 50-mile trip in Maumee.

The 21 Scouts who received their Cycling Merit Badge celebrated with ice cream after lunch.

Completing this merit badge was not only exciting, but it gave everyone the opportunity to see each other after staying home for two months which provided a very memorable Scouting experience.  

If you have a Scouting story to share, please e-mail Jim Mason at