Monday, November 23, 2015



Sometimes when bad things happen on an international level, we find ourselves frustrated feeling that we are unable to do anything to help. Recent events in France, Africa and Belgium are examples of just such occurrences.

In July of this year, our council sent two young men from Helena, Arkansas to the World Jamboree in Japan. A multitude of factors contributed to these young men being able to attend the Jamboree.

·         Generous donors provided the financial resources needed.

·         A chartered partner, the KIPP School Delta provided the meeting place and volunteer leadership needed to run Boy Scout Troop 113 of which both were members.

·         Crowley’s Ridge District Volunteers provided the training for troop leaders and other support service necessary for the troop to operate successfully.

·         Council staff and volunteers worked to secure an agreement from the chartered partner and to recruit adult and youth members.

·         All of these support mechanisms were in place thanks to the time, effort and financial resources devoted by thousands of people like you to the purpose of fulfilling the mission of the Quapaw Area Council.

Upon their return from the World Jamboree, these two young Scouts attended a meeting of the Executive Board of the Quapaw Area Council. During their presentation, they were asked the following question,

“Did you find any group of Scouts from another country to be friendlier than others?”

To which one of them replied, “Every Scout was kind and got along well, like the world should be.”

So the next time you feel “helpless,” remember that the work that you do here has a profound effect that is felt throughout the world.

At this special time of the year, I am extremely THANKFUL for every one of you who gives so generously in so many ways to carry out Scouting’s mission in the Quapaw Area Council.

Happy Thanksgiving

-          John Carman


Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Don’t forget – Thursday, September 3rd is “Uniform Day” throughout the 39 counties of the Quapaw Area Council.

All adults and youth members are asked to wear their uniform to work or school tomorrow in support of and to encourage parents to take their sons to Join Scouting Night at their local elementary school.
Take a photo of you in your uniform at school or work (post it on our Facebook page at:  QACBSA )and post it with #QACPROUD for a chance to win a $25 Scout Shop Gift Card!

Monday, August 31, 2015


I am thrilled to report to you a successful Join Scouting Night recruitment effort within the Little Rock School District (LRSD.) On August 27th, in 30 schools, we recruited 412 new boys which is 149 more youth than we recruited in those same schools last year. This represents a 57% increase over 2014 results for these same schools.

From what we have seen and heard, the discounted joining fee contributed in part to the success. As always, no great plan can succeed without leadership and effort from volunteers and staff alike. So, congratulations to everyone in the Mohawk District for a successful campaign and for providing the opportunity for Scouting to make a significant, positive impact on the lives of so many young boys and their families.

The success experienced in Mohawk last night gives us all hope and optimism for similar success in all other schools that will conduct their Join Scouting Night on September 3rd. We as leaders need to share that success story and personally demonstrate enthusiasm for the potential success of next Thursday’s event. Our attitudes can be a significant factor in the enthusiasm and effort shown by our volunteers over the critical next six days.

Remember that a smile goes a long way. The very best unit leaders who operate the best units are ones who have a positive attitude and visibly enjoy their volunteer work. Their enthusiasm attracts and incites other adults/parents to volunteer within the unit. As leaders we can have a significant impact on the degree of success achieved throughout all subsequent recruitment efforts by showing that we enjoy our work and the challenge presented by the Join Scouting Night project.

The rest of the schools to go September 3rd have the advantage of not having a last minute change and of having ample promotion in traditional as well as new and innovative methods including social media. This is an opportunity of which we must take full advantage .

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Quapaw Scouters,

Many may not know that only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. Outside of this exclusive group, there are many former Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts who, due to the prestige of the title and the lifelong skills they would have gained during the process, regret not achieving Eagle.

That regret was recently profiled by a writer for Men’s Health magazine. Watch the story of a middle-aged man who, despite not being eligible to actually earn Eagle, goes through a process he dubs the “journey to Bald Eagle” .

In the Quapaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 117 Scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2014. Those young men contributed hundred of hours of service to their churches, communities, or other organizations. These projects represented 117 different needs that were met through the leadership, organization, and orchestration of Eagle Scout Candidates.

Remember, even if you missed out on earning the Eagle Scout rank, you can still impact the lives of others by serving as a mentor to young men who are on the path to earning this prestigious honor. Learn more about volunteering with the Quapaw Area Council by visiting: .


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quapaw Area Council's Commitment to Safety - A Message from the Council Key 3

We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees in the Quapaw Area Council, BSA cannot be compromised. Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid.

The Scouting program itself, activities Scouts participate in on a regular basis, and the outdoor classroom used in Scouting have inherent risks. A challenging program and activities help attract youth and retain them in Scouting. Perceived risk during such ventures heightens awareness and builds confidence and discipline vital to building tomorrow’s leaders.
There is a place in Scouting for age-appropriate events that push youth beyond their normal comfort level and stretch their abilities. This is appropriate when risks are identified and mitigated. One should not participate in or promote activities when risks are unknown or ignored. We must protect our youth as part of our program. In a sense, safety is our license to operate.

In particular, Scout leaders are responsible for the physical and mental well-being of everyone under their supervision. Parents who entrust Scout leaders with their children justifiably expect them to return uninjured.

To achieve that goal, everyone must work together to do the following:

   Know, understand, and comply with all rules, policies, and procedures. A great place to start is the Guide to Safe Scouting available in the Scout Shop (printed) or free of charge in an electronic form on Scouting Safely at   

   Model safe behaviors when participating in all Scouting related events.  Leaders set the standard when they use personal protective equipment, follow the rules themselves and take the time to explain why rules exist and how they protect all of us.

   Encourage staff, volunteer leaders, and youth members to share in the management of risk – identifying and reducing risk by enforcing safety rules and practices. 

   Promote, provide, and, when appropriate, require health and safety training.

   Report all incidents and near-miss reporting and hold staff members accountable for implementing reporting procedures at unit, district, and council levels.  Only through reporting can we work to identify issues and work to solve them and protect others.  Our Council’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Committee reviews reports and works to identify additional needs for training and action.

   Support enterprise risk management efforts via your District ERM Chair and the Council ERM Committee.   

   Support, encourage and demand adherence to the principles behind our Youth Protection Program.  There can be no exceptions.  All leaders must be trained and follow the rules to protect our youth. 

Thank you for being part of the Scouting movement and creating an exciting and safe experience for every participant in the Quapaw Area Council.  

A Safety Message from the Council Key 3

BSA to prohibit use of 15-passenger vans made before 2005

Fully loaded 15-passenger vans, like the ones you might use to haul a bunch of Scouts to camp, can be more dangerous than you might think.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says 15-passenger vans with 10 or more occupants are three times more likely to roll over than ones carrying fewer than five passengers.
That’s why all Scouters should take heed of this breaking BSA news: Effective Sept. 1, 2015, the use of 15-passenger vans manufactured before 2005 will no longer be allowed in connection with Scouting programs and activities.

15-passenger vans manufactured in 2005 or later may be used, as long as they are equipped with Electronic Stability Control and seat belts for all passengers and the driver.
This applies to all vehicles, regardless of ownership (privately owned, owned by chartered organization, rentals, etc.).

Why the rule?

First, it’s a fact that adults who are used to driving their SUV or passenger car often overestimate their skills when it comes to driving a 15-passenger van.
Also, the BSA has determined that the risk posed by the use of 15-passenger vans manufactured before 2005 are such that they should not be used. Most pre-2005 vans without Electronic Stability Control have already been retired and are no longer in use.

Safety tips for using 15-passenger vans

Have a newer 15-passenger van that meets BSA requirements? Here are some safety tips from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that you should read:
  • Make sure that the vehicle is properly maintained (correct size tires, steering, brakes, ESC, etc.). The best practice is to complete an inspection checklist daily or before use.
  • Make sure drivers are trained and experienced in operating 15-passenger vans and are properly licensed. (There are online resources for drivers to learn about the safe operation of these vehicles. For example, see this link.
  • 15-passenger vans are very sensitive to loading and should not be overloaded under any circumstances. Agency research shows overloading not only increases rollover risk but also makes the vehicle more unstable in any handling maneuvers. For example, passenger capacity should be reduced by one for every 150 pounds of gear, and roof-mounted storage units should not be used.
  • Make sure that properly sized tires are being used on the vehicle.
  • Before every trip, drivers should check the tires for proper inflation and make sure there are no signs of excessive or uneven wear. The “penny test” is a good indicator of whether tread depth meets the minimum requirements.
  • Make sure all passengers wear seatbelts.

FAQs on this policy change

These come from the BSA’s general counsel.
Q. Where will this policy be published?
A. We will be adding this to the next update of the Guide to Safe Scouting and other BSA publications as they are modified.
Q. Can we remove seats from our 15-passenger vans to meet this new policy?
A. No. Improper loading of cargo can be just as much of a hazard to the driver as a passenger loaded vehicle is to occupants.
Q. Does this apply to our chartered organizations?
A. Yes. The prohibition applies to any vehicles used in connection with Scouting programs or activities. This applies regardless of ownership, including rental vehicles.
Q. Does this apply to camp vehicles used off public roads at low speed if they are not registered for highway use?
A. Yes. The prohibition applies to any vehicles used in connection with Scouting programs or activities. This applies regardless of ownership, including rental vehicles.
Q. Why is the BSA taking this action?
A. The history of injuries due to accidents involving these vehicles coupled with the availability of vehicles with ESC makes it appropriate to take this additional precaution to prevent injuries.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“…One More Day.”

I am frequently asked to explain the notation in my email signature that says, “Make today that one more day.” If you think of a loved one who is no longer in your life, perhaps a parent, sibling, spouse or close friend, you have probably thought to yourself, “…what if I could have just one more day with them?”

With that thought in mind, I encourage each of us to find a day in the near future (and preferably on a regular basis) where we consider a loved one who is still in our life, and devote a day to spend with them as that, “…one more day.”

Thank you for your involvement in Scouting as it provides thousands of families ample opportunity to have just such a special day.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So 2015 Is Here! Now what?

It is the goal of our council to provide new and enhanced communications tools to better promote, grow, and improve Scouting throughout the Quapaw Area Council. To accomplish this, and many other goals, the use of new technologies and communication resources will increase, including the formation of our new blog to be known as the QuapawCompass.

As we move into 2015, here are just a few ideas and thoughts related to my vision for the new year.

2014 was a year of great improvement for quality program delivery in the Quapaw Area Council. We saw improvements in youth advancement and camping numbers (both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) as well as leader training. Our council also improved from last place to first place among councils in Area 8 in the percentage of adult leaders having completed Youth Protection Training.  As we head into a new year our council needs us to focus our attention on the following priorities.

Webelos Transition. The longer a boy stays in Scouting, the greater the impact the program will have on his character. We need a concerted effort to make the transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts as easy as possible for Webelos. Introducing the Webelos to the boys in a troop is crucial in making them feel welcome and to ease any fears they might have about joining a troop. This will require the efforts of all leaders to see that Webelos Dens as a group, have an opportunity to visit a Boy Scout Troop meeting and that Scoutmasters visit a pack meeting to be introduced to Webelos parents and leaders. 
School Relations. In recent years we have lost the opportunity to go into many schools and tell boys about the fun of Scouting. An in-school rally will more than double the number of boys that turn out for a Join Scouting Night event. We must act now on a local basis to strengthen the relationship between local Cub Scout Pack leaders and school administrators to ensure future access for recruitment purposes. Pack leaders should to go into schools before March to thank school personnel for their past help and to offer to do service projects that will be of benefit to the school.

Chartered Partner Relations. The recent change in our membership policy caused us to lose several chartered partners who no longer sponsor packs, troops and crews. If we are to serve an increasing number of boys and girls we must first increase the number of chartered partners (the average number of youth in a unit has not changed in 50 years.) The executive staff has visited every Institution Head over the past three months as part of the annual charter renewal process. It is also crucial that local unit leaders (especially the Chartered Organization Representative) make sure that the organization is well-informed of the unit’s activities and that they understand they own the unit.

Thank you. The time and effort you devote to serving young people is greatly appreciated by all of the volunteers and staff who provide support to you and your unit. We look forward to serving with you again in 2015 as we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of young Arkansans and their families. 

Happy New Year!


John Carman
Scout Executive / CEO