Strong Partnerships, Common Goals: The American Legion & Boy Scouts

There’s a new partnership in town! 

Ahwatukee American Legion Post 64 is now the Charter Organization for Boy Scout Troop 172 in Tempe, Arizona.

This opportunity came knocking at my door recently and I am excited to be the COR (Charter Organization Representative) for this Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop.

One month ago, I had no idea of what a COR was and knew next to nothing about Boy Scout leadership. You see, while I was a proud Brownie and Girl Scout over 45 years ago, I don’t have children and I haven’t been involved with any Boy Scout activities (outside of buying bags of Carmel Corn for their annual fund raisers). I am a BSA novice!

It was sheer serendipity that this all come together in the past 30 days.

Here’s the story.

I was sitting at my desk in my work office building when a co-worker poked his head in and asked, “ Are you in the American Legion?”. 

“Yes, why do you ask?, I replied.

My colleague, Jason, responded, “Well, I googled “local American Legion Posts” and I found a website with photos of veterans and credits to photographer Steve Smull.”

“Yes, Steve is my husband and I’m an officer in that Legion post in Ahwatukee.”

“Wow, that’s great. My Boy Scout troop is looking for a Charter Organization to sponsor us and I was told that the American Legion is a good partner for this.”

Since I didn’t know much about this topic, I responded, “Sounds interesting, tell me more.”

And so Jason and I started the dialogue on how our teams could work together to support each others missions, values and goals.

I received a great deal of support from leaders at the Arizona Department of the American Legion as well as the Grand Canyon Council BSA.

Transition of the CORs at Committee Meeting for Troop172. l. to r. : Tom Sands, Jason Mork, Randy Chaloupka, Brenda Smull, Kent McVaugh, Brandon Eckerson

As I started digging in and reading more about the history of the American Legion and it’s support of Boy Scouts, I was thrilled to see the alliance goes back to the Legion’s first national convention in 1919. Today, American Legion posts sponsor more than 2,500 Scouting unites across the country. Arizona posts support and have CORs in over 35 Boy Scout troops.

In addition to the Boys State and Boys Nation programs which promotes Citizenship and Leadership, the Legion also honors the Eagle Scout of the Year during it’s national convention. The winner of this competition receives a $10,000 scholarship and three runners-up are each awarded $2,500.

The biggest Aha moment for me this past week was the realization of just how many values and goals are common between the American Legion and the Boy Scouts America (BSA).

It struck me that the 4 Pillars of the Legion align to the Aims of the BSA. This is illustrated in the graphic below.

The Legion pillars of National Defense, Youth, Americanism, Veteran Affairs are strongly and clearly in line with the vision and aims of the Boy Scouts.

Both of our organizations can benefit from each other in symbiotic ways for the benefit of our country, our communities, our youth and our veterans.

Post 64’s Color Guard team is also looking forward to working with the scouts on flag ceremonies and events.

There are so many things that excite and motivate me about this new charter and endeavor and I encourage you to learn more about these outstanding programs by going to www.legion.org/scouting/about and www.scouting.org.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s