Orvell Franklin

Central District Commissioner

Treasurer/Public Relations Chair

Pack & Troop 787

602-796-6169 or ofj2@msn.com


      uring a time when our Nation is dealing with unprecedented circumstances, it is a blessing to have individuals who care about our community, especially our youth.  Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts of America) provides a wonderful leadership-based program for our youth in America, while focusing on the important aspects of the Scout Oath and Law.  Recently, as the District Commissioner for Central District in the Grand Canyon Council (AZ), I have had the pleasure to witness some outstanding acts of kindness, support, and leadership that overshadows the uncertainty of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.  Let me share a few stories with you.


On Tuesday July 14th, Troop 3329 (Girl Troop) held a Court of Honor while practicing Social Distancing.  I want to give a special shout-out and Thank You to their Key 3 Leaders: Committee Chair – Lindsay Kittler & Scoutmaster – Joe Day for not only showing these Scouts how to manage a Court of Honor safely during the pandemic, but continuing to guide them through their Scouting experience without allowing the pandemic to slow them down.  Mr. Day went the extra-mile as the Scoutmaster and gifted First Class or above Scouts with a Lashing tool that they could use to practice, while using the same tool to work on leadership skills by showing younger Scouts how Lashings work.  What an AMAZING gift to receive!  I attended this wonderful event and I was proud to be a part of their ceremony.


On Thursday July 16th, I was invited to attend a virtual Cub Scout Pack Meeting held by Pack 324 through Zoom.  OMG, what an AMAZING experience!  I truly do not have enough time to tell you all the great things about Cubmaster – Jessica Mitchell but let me share my experience in the meeting.  With the help of her parents and leaders, this Unit was able to focus on their adventure of learning about reptiles (snakes specifically), where each Cub Scout created their own snakes from Arts & Craft supplies and each Cub Scout shared a fun fact about their snake.  After completing their adventure, Cubmaster Jessica continued into the award portion of the meeting and recognized all her Cub Scouts that completed a requirement, elective, or made it to their next rank.  If that was not enough, they ended their Zoom journey with a song – Good Night Cub Scout.  That song was so affective, my own son, a Star Scout, who joined me for the meeting was singing the song well after the meeting was over.  Great job Pack 324!


As a District Commissioner, I routinely speak with Unit Commissioners regarding our Packs, Troops, and Crews, and recently a Unit Commissioner shared their positive review of the leadership for Troop 244.  As husband and wife, the Committee Chair & Scoutmaster tandem of Lisa & Scot Parks has be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the continued advancement of Troop 244.  Instead of rolling over and letting their Scouting experience stop in South Phoenix, AZ, Lisa Parks took it upon herself to use all communication channels (i.e. Facebook, email, etc.) to keep in contact with her Scouts and their families, while also assisting an Eagle Scout with their project.  Even with Summertime here, the Parks made sure their Scouts were active and slowly planning their future adventures through virtual means like Zoom.  The Parks represent what Scouting is all about and I am happy that Troop 244 has the Parks guiding them into the future.


And my last story hits close to home because this leader has taking Civic Service to the next level while Scouting from Home and is an AOL (Webelos II) Den Leader of my Unit Pack 787.  Rebecca (Becky) Starkweather has made it her goal to reach out to as many Essential Workers or Military Veterans across the U.S. to show hers and other’s appreciation for their service to our country during a time of need.  Each week, Becky has challenged our Scouts and anyone in the Scouting community to draw a picture with an inspirational message, or simply write a letter showing our thanks to all Essential Workers and Military Veterans.  Becky’s desire to give back to others has not only shed a positive light during a time of darkness, but it has also re-engaged our Cub Scouts and BSA Scouts to keep them involved in Scouting as we plan for the new norm – Virtual Scouting.  Thank you, Becky, and keep up the great work!


Just because we cannot be face-to-face or huddled in Den or Patrol Meetings does not mean that Scouting must stop.  The stories above shows you how the objectives and pillars of the Scout Oath and Law has driven and motivated the leaders of our Scouting community to go beyond their limits and work harder for the happiness and well-being of our Scouts and their families.  It is a pleasure to work with these individuals month-in and month-out and I am happy to say that Scouting is alive and well in the Central District out here in Arizona.  Keep up the great work everyone and as I always say – HAPPY SCOUTING!