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Boy Scouts successfully complete 165-mile Missouri River canoe trek

July 19, 2015
TSHAB Contingent #2 launching from Little Sioux Scout Ranch dock.

Tri-State High Adventure Base Contingent #2 launching from Little Sioux Scout Ranch dock.

(Omaha, NE – July 17) –  After canoeing 165-miles down the Missouri River from Vermilion, SD, the second Boy Scout Tri-State High Adventure Base (TSHAB) contingent landed in Omaha immediately south of the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge at the Lewis & Clark Landing dock Friday afternoon, July 17, 2015.

TSHAB1 Canoes pass under BKP BridgeThis summer is the inaugural year for the TSHAB canoe treks. The first TSHAB excursion occurred June 22-26 with four Boy Scouts and two leaders in the contingent.  After five days on the river, It was a moving experience to witness the Scouts paddling down the mighty Missouri river nearing the landing, and hearing the mighty cheer of their families and friends lining the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge as the Scouts passed under.

There were seven Boy Scouts and three trek leaders in the second contingent.  They put in at Vermilion, SD on Monday, July 13, and landed this Friday, July 17 at the Omaha Lewis & Clark Landing dock immediately south of the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge.  Not only was it a historic moment for TSHAB and the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council to successfully complete the adventure, but the looks on the faces of the Scouts was breathless!

Between the two contingents, participants hailed from Venture Crew 141 in Nebraska City, Troop 28 in North Sioux City, Troop 104 in Fremont, Troop 463 in Papilion, Troop 42 in Omaha, and Troop 143 in Blair.

TSHAB Crew #1 docking canoes at the Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha.

TSHAB Contingent #1 docking canoes at the Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha.

The Tri-State High Adventure Base is aptly named representing the three states, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota served the Scouting program by the Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America.  The Mid-America Council (MAC) is ranked as a premier Scouting council nationwide and encompasses 58 counties in the three states.  The addition of a high adventure base further enhances MAC by providing Boy Scouts, Venturers, and leaders throughout the region and nationwide a unique, unparalleled experience.

High adventurers get to experience the Loess Hills.  Not only are they beautiful, but the glacier-ground soil and wind-driven land composition of the Loess Hills is only found along a 200-mile stretch of the Missouri River from South Dakota to Missouri, and in Shaanxi, China.

Canoeists also get to experience a piece of history traveling 165-miles of the Lewis & Clark Trail along the Missouri River.  The TSHAB trek allows Boy Scouts to visit state parks and historical landmarks along the river including Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Lewis & Clark State Park where a floating replica of the Lewis & Clark Keelboat is on display, The Sergeant Floyd Memorial Lewis & Clark “An American Adventure” exhibit at the Sergeant Floyd Welcome Center/Riverboat Museum and Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and also the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Visitor Center in Omaha.

TSHAB Contingent #2 at Lewis & Clark Landing docks in Omaha.

TSHAB Contingent #2 docking canoes at Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha.

When asked how it was canoeing on the Missouri River for five days, the boys agreed with Star Scout Michael Wzorek from Troop 42 who replied, “It was fun!  The river is not scary. One day we went 40-miles and I got a little tired, but it was easy to paddle.  I would do it again!”

“As much fun as it is – it’s safety first!” stated Program Director Mike Evano. “Before the contingent gets on the river, they must complete comprehensive training sessions which include how to handle a canoe, river navigation, Emergency First Aide, and more. The Missouri River current runs about two to four-miles per hour.  The speed of travel for a canoe depends on river current, wind, and paddling.”

After docking, packing up the canoes and gear on the trailer, Dan Elder treated the contingents to ice cream at Ted & Wally’s in the Old Market downtown Omaha.  The next stop was returning to TSHAB camp at Little Sioux Scout Ranch for a steak dinner, showers and a good nights sleep!

“Next year we are planning for five excursions throughout the summer,” shared Evano.  If you would like to receive information about the 2016 TSHAB treks and be placed on a registration list, please contact Mike Evano at 402-431-9272.


Tri-State High Adventure Base information flier –

Visit the Little Sioux Scout Ranch Facebook page to view daily photos of the TSHAB treks in progress.  Scroll down the timeline for photo posts.

Loess Hills of Western Iowa –

Loess Hills of China –

About the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council:

The Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council serves more than 20,814 youth through the volunteer leadership of more than 7,017 registered adult leaders throughout 58 counties in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.  It is the vision of the council to provide unparalleled experiences to more youth.  Unparalleled experiences create value, enthusiasm, robust growth and retention of program participants. Scouting in Mid-America Council offers families fun and adventurous things to do. This fun and adventure helps youth develop leadership skills and values important to good citizenship and service to others.  For more information, please visit

American Legion names Elkhorn youth as 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year

July 14, 2015

Copple portrait edited(Omaha, NE) – July 14, 2015 – The Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council is honored to congratulate Ethan Copple as the American Legion 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year.

Copple was notified of his award earlier this spring, and will travel to Baltimore, MD August 28 through September 2, 2015 to attend the National American Legion Conference where he will be presented the 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year plaque, and a $10,000 scholarship from the American Legion in recognition of the honor.

The Nebraska Department of the American Legion, Valley Post #58 nominated Copple Nebraska Eagle Scout of the Year. He was also nominated by the Valley, NE VFW Post #9897 for Nebraska VFW Scout of the Year. Nominations were based on Scouting activities and service, academic achievements, plus involvement in school, community and church.

An Elkhorn, NE resident, Copple is a member of Troop 357 in Soaring Eagle District of the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council.  For his Eagle Scout Project, he wanted to recognize and remember the veterans of the “Forgotten War.”  The Korean War lasted from June 25, 1950- July 27, 1953. Both his grandfathers served in the Korean War era.

Copple created and erected the Douglas County Korean War Memorial which stands at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Elkhorn, NE. The memorial is 5’ high and 3.5’ wide. A 25’ flag pole stands beside the monument.  The memorial lists the names of those in the Douglas County area who died or were reported missing in the war. Statistics show 36,940 serving in the war died, and 8,031 are still missing in action.  The memorial was dedicated May 27, 2012.

In 2013, the Nebraska VFW Post #9897 asked Copple to create a similar memorial commemorating the Vietnam War.  The Douglas County Vietnam War Memorial was placed in Prospect Hill near the Korean War Memorial and dedicated July 6, 2013.

Copple received his Eagle Scout rank in 2012. He was 14-years-old. He is still active with his troop and has completed Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palms. He earned the High Adventure Triple Crown Award by participating in high adventure experiences in all three BSA National High Adventure bases – Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier Boundary Waters, and Philmont Scout Ranch.

A student at Elkhorn South High School, Copple is a member of the National Honor Society, Mock Trial, Cross Country team, Concert Choir, Youth Leadership Omaha Ambassador, and serves as the Cadet Deputy Commander and Emergency Services Officer as a Cadet 1st Lt. with Omaha Composite Squadron (019) Civil Air Patrol. Cadet Copple soloed for the first time June 23, 2015.

When asked what Copple would share about Scouting with other youth, he replied without hesitation, “I enjoy being in nature, and hiking. On the way up to Mt. Baldy, (in the Cimarron Mountains of New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch), I carried the American flag and flew it at the top of the mountain. It felt great.”

He continued, “It’s not always fun or easy, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.”

Resources – 

American Legion 2015 Eagle Scout of the Year Announcement –

American Legion Eagle Scout Scholarships –

Eagle Scout Rank –

What are Eagle Palms – Bronze, Gold, and Silver? –

High Adventure BSA Bases / Camps – Florida Sea Base, Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier Boundary Waters –

High Adventure Triple Crown Award –  national-bsa-high-adventure-bases-now-qualify-triple-crown-award/.

Author – Dixie Wagner, Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council.

Photo by – Robert Copple, Troop 357 Scoutmaster and father of Ethan Copple

Flag Day Veterans Breakfast and Flag Retirement Ceremony

June 13, 2015

Boy Scouts Served Free Breakfast to Thank and Honor Those Who Served For Us

(Omaha, Nebr.) – Saturday, June 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the National Guard Armory in Omaha, the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council hosted a FREE Continental Breakfast to honor the U.S. Flag and recognize the sacrifice and service of our Veterans and the families of deployed Veterans.

Boy Scouts provided an opening ceremony displaying flags from each branch of the military and versions of the U.S. Flag throughout history.

Following the opening ceremony was a program led by local military leaders, both retired and active. Guest Speakers included Colonel Mark Williamson, 55th Wing Vice Commander, and Retired U.S Army Colonel, Byron Diamond.

At the conclusion of the event, all Veterans and Boy Scouts were invited to participate in a flag retirement ceremony led by Denny Deters.

Presented by SAC Federal Credit Union. Sponsored by First Westroads Bank, McGladrey, Aetna, Metro Community College, and VFW Post 2704 US Department.

Program Included:

  • Gathering – Dale Webber, WOWTV Channel 6
  • Posting of the Colors & Pledge of Allegiance – Order of the Arrow Scouts, Mid-America Council
  • Invocation – Chaplain Captain Michael Farar, Chaplain 55th Wing
  • Flag Folding Demonstration – USSTRATCOM Color Guard
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome – Dave Webber, WOWTV Channel 6
  • SAC Federal Credit Union Address – Gail DeBoer, President & CEO
  • Presentation by Colonel Bryon Diamond, US Army, Retired
  • Presentation by Joel Schneider, CPL, USMC, Retired
  • Key Note Speaker – Col. Mark Williamson, Vice Commander, 55th Wing
  • Recognitions and Closing Remarks – Steve Lanni, Council Commissioner, Mid-America Council
  • Retirement of the Colors – Order of the Arrow Scouts, Mid-America Council
  • Flag Retirement – Denny Deters, Veteran / Boy Scout Volunteer

View photos of the breakfast and flag retirement ceremony on the Mid-America Council Facebook page.

Thank you to all who helped with the Veterans Breakfast and Flag Retirement ceremony today.

Event Coordinator – Stephanie Rall, Mid-America Council
Author & photos – Dixie Wagner, Mid-America Council

2015 Scout Ushering Service at Memorial Stadium

June 2, 2015


Be a part of a long standing tradition of service to the University of Nebraska Football program, Sign up today! ALL personnel will be checking in at the west entrance of Cook Pavilion (the old indoor football field). During check in you will show a photo ID which will check you off of a list that has been provided and you will be given a wristband. You have to register to usher on the council website or by calling the Outdoor Education Center, if you do not register, you will NOT be able to participate as an usher!!!

Once checked in at Cook Pavilion, each staff will make their way across the track to Gate 15. There will be golf cart shuttles provided for those who have a difficult time walking. You will HAVE to have a wristband in order to gain access to the stadium.

Football season will be here soon!

We need more Scout Ushers to provide the best possible Fan Experience! If you are wanting to Usher at the Home football games, all you have to do is get signed up on-line. The event registration tab is here on this page. All Ushers must be registered with the Boy Scouts, and wear a FULL uniform to the games (Scout Shirt, pants or shorts, socks, and belt).

A requirement to usher is that you wear a Complete Boy Scout Uniform (shirt, pants/shorts, belt, and socks) in order to be admitted to the stadium. Remember you HAVE TO BE REGISTERED IN SCOUTING TO USHER!!

Please plan accordingly in your arrival times to the stadium to ensure you are still in your position for ushering at least 2 hours prior to kickoff.

Here are the requirements in order to usher:

  • Be at least 12 years old
  • Be a First Class Scout
  • Wear a Complete Boy Scout Uniform (shirt, pants/shorts, belt and socks)
  • Attend every home football game
  • Arrive at least TWO hours before kick off

2015 Home Football Schedule (game times as noted or To Be Announced):

  • Saturday, September 5th, BYU
  • Saturday, September 12th, South Alabama @ 7pm
  • Saturday, September 26th, Southern Miss (Homecoming)
  • Saturday, October 10th, Wisconsin
  • Saturday, October 24th, Northwestern
  • Saturday, November 7th, Michigan State
  • Friday, November 27th, Iowa


ArrowTour to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society – Order of the Arrow

May 22, 2015


(Omaha, NE – (May 21, 2015) – 2015 marks the Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society’s (Order of the Arrow) 100th anniversary. The Order of the Arrow (OA) and its members, known as “Arrowmen,” will commemorate this exciting anniversary milestone with a U.S. cross-country tour to help reflect, connect, and discover the OA’s past, present and future.

ArrowTour will make 110 stops across the country during the summer of 2015, to give current and former OA members, Scout and adult volunteers and Scouting alumni a chance to be a part of the 100th anniversary celebration. The tour stops are free and open to the public.

On Friday, June 19, 2015, ArrowTour will stop at Camp Cedars, 2911 County Rd 15, Cedar Bluff, NE from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“For almost 100 years, being a servant leader is what the Order of the Arrow has been all about,” said Alex Call, national chief of the Order of the Arrow. “It is our hope ArrowTour will be an opportunity to tell the story of the Order of the Arrow by reflecting on our past, and at the same time motivating others to give of themselves in service to others in the future.”

ArrowTour guests will have an opportunity to participate in a program which includes a show recognizing the Order’s rich history, and empowering participants to help shape the organizations future. The tour stop also includes interactive exhibits with activities such as silk-screening, branding wood and leather, and challenging games.

Participants will have a chance to meet some of the OA’s national youth leaders. Alumni can learn about the Scouting Alumni Association and local alumni efforts to supporting Scouting in our area.

An exclusive ArrowTour trading post will carry ArrowTour and OA centennial merchandise for sale. More information about the ArrowTour routes and program can be found at You can also keep up with the tour as it makes its way around the country by following @ArrowTour on Twitter.

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, the OA’s purpose is to recognize those Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. And through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way which warrants similar recognition, such as promoting camping and responsible outdoor adventures, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp. And also develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation crystallizing the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922, and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948, the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community.

About the Order of the Arrow

For more than 99 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth. 2015 marks the Order of the Arrow’s 100th anniversary.

Scouts Step Up When Need is Greatest

May 8, 2015

Drew SFF 1 2015-04-18Scouting for Food drive delivers thousands of meals for those who need it

OMAHA, NE., May 8, 2015 – Scouts took action to fill the nearly empty shelves of the Food Bank of the Heartland, Food Bank of Siouxland, Inc., and other local community food banks in the Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America.  Scouts collected 208,145 meals for those who need it.  Our goal was to collect 161,150 meals.  This year we collected 46,955 meals over our goal!  These meals are provided by 355,234 food items.

“The timing of the Boy Scouts Scouting for Food drive is ideal,” said Brian Barks, Director of Development and Communications for Food Bank for the Heartland.  “From April through September the Food Bank sees donations dwindle but the need for assistance remains high.  This drive not only generates much needed food, but increased awareness to the problem of hunger in our communities.”

IMG_5859One out of five kids in Nebraska and western Iowa live in a food insecure home. This means they don’t have consistent access to the food they need to help them grow and thrive.  For 21 years, the ConAgra Foods Foundation has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council to create the Scouting for Food drive, aimed at feeding these children and others in our communities who are in need.

“These are wonderful results that provide critical resources to help feed children and others in the area who don’t always know where their next meal may come from,” said Chris Kircher, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and President of the ConAgra Foods Foundation.  “ConAgra Foods appreciates and applauds the hard work of the Scouts and the remarkable generosity of the entire community.”

This year was the 5th year Hy-Food drop off 2015-04-18 HyVee 168 & MapleVee assisted the Scouts with Scouting for Food.  Hy-Vee stores served as drop locations for donations from April 11-18. Additionally, stores sold $5 and $10 bags to donate to the drive.  Donations from purchased bags totaled $4,165.

Additionally, this year, the Omaha Beef helped grow the campaign by collecting food donations at games in April.  DPI Management chose to support Scouting for Food as their service project at their annual corporate conference this year as well.

“We are so proud of our Scouts, leaders, families, and communities. Thank you to everyone who helped those in need of meals and responded to our Scouts’ call to action. Thank you to ConAgra Foods Foundation for sponsoring this effort, year after year, and Hy-Vee for their continued support of our partnership with the Food Bank for the Heartland and Food Bank of Siouxland.  Thank you also to the Omaha Beef and DPI Management for supporting Scouting for Food,” said Eric Magendantz, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council. “A Scout is helpful is one of the twelve points of the Scout laws we live by.  Community service is one of the promises we make to the parents of our Scouts, our communities, and those who find themselves in a place of need,” he said.

Across the Mid-America Council, 4,197 Scouts and 3,646 adult leaders participated in the 2015 Scouting for Food drive.  Scouting for Food occurs simultaneously in 58 counties in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The food collected in those counties benefits the people who need it locally. Scouting for Food is the largest coordinated community service project the Mid-America Council does every year. Scouting for Food began in the Mid-America Council in 1989.

For more information, visit

SFF & sponsors logo 2015

Save 25% on Camp Gear Saturday, May 2

April 29, 2015

Get Ready for Camp Fb 2015-04-29