Colin Lemon Departing the Old North State Council

For the past 6.5 years, I have had the pleasure of working as a professional Scouter in the Old North State Council. In that time, I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of building a STEM program that has been an example for the rest of the BSA. I have worked with some amazing volunteers and staff and could not have been as successful without their energy and enthusiasm.

Beginning on October 1, I will be taking a new position as the Director of Exploring for the Western Region of the BSA. In this role, I will get to guide and support councils throughout the Western Region as they build and grow their Exploring programs. I will also have oversight of all STEM-related Exploring career fields in the BSA. This is an exciting opportunity for us but my family and I will be sad to leave the Piedmont Triad and the Old North State Council.

Below are some words directly from Ed Martin, the Scout executive of the Old North State Council. Thank you all for the support you have given to STEM over the years and I know you will support the program as it continues to grow in the Old North State Council!


It is with mixed emotions that I announce Colin Lemon, Old North State Council Director of Camping and STEM, will be departing our office in late September to serve as the Director of Exploring for the Western Region of the Boy Scouts of America. This position will be based out of the BSA’s national office in Irving, Texas. In this new role, Colin will be responsible for the training, support, and growth of Exploring from Colorado to California including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as the Far East Council in East Asia. He will also oversee all STEM Exploring for the BSA nationwide.

Colin has been a dedicated and valued staff member of the Old North State Council for more than 6.5 years. An Eagle Scout, Colin’s passion for Scouting and his unique skill set have been evident in his many Council assignments. During his time at the Old North State Council, Colin has served as Uwharrie District Executive; District Director of Guilford District; Director of Camping, Exploring/STEM; and in a multitude of camp leadership and staff advisor roles including Cherokee Scout Reservation summer camp director, day camp advisor, high-adventure trek advisor, and Scouting for Food advisor.

In recognition of Colin’s service to the Scouts, Scouters, and families of the Triad, we will be hosting a reception in his honor on Friday, September 22 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The reception will take place in the lobby of the Old North State Council office located at 1405 Westover Terrace in Greensboro. We invite you to attend and share with Colin your personal messages of gratitude and congratulations.

Please RSVP your attendance to the Friday, September 22 reception honoring Colin Lemon by emailing ann.jones@scouting.org

Yours in Scouting,

Ed Martin | Scout Executive/CEO

How to Implement STEM in YOUR Council

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The Old North State Council launched the STEM initiative in August of 2012 and at the beginning, we were not sure what shape it would take! We began with our STEM Merit Badge College and when that was a success, we began adding more and more programs and activities. Now we have several activities for youth throughout traditional Scouting, two programs that reach traditional and nontraditional youth (Exploring) in the middle and high school grades, and we have implemented several new adult training courses this year.

Since there are many councils that still do not know where to start when it comes to implementing a STEM program, the Old North State Council is hosting a mini conference called “How to Implement STEM in YOUR Council” this Saturday, August 26th. This conference is for district and council level volunteers and professionals who want to implement STEM in their own areas and want to hear some of the Old North State Council’s success stories but also roadblocks we have had to overcome.

To see the full announcement, click here: How to Successfully Implement and Grow the STEM Initiative in Your Council. Please take a look at the announcement and if you would like to attend to learn how to implement STEM in your council or district, send an email to colin.lemon@scouting.org by noon this Friday, August 25th. Keep in mind that this is focused on district and council level implementation so unit level volunteers will not find the conference as beneficial.

We’ll see you there!

Exciting STEM Activities for Cub Scouts!

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The Old North State Council will offer a new STEM training on Saturday, August 19 from 2:00 to 4:30 PM that will immerse Cub Scout leaders in several fun STEM activities they can take back to their packs. The training only costs $5 to help cover the materials used and leaders will be prepared to add a lot of energy to their den and pack meetings! Activities could include film canister rockets, micrometeorites, marshmallow catapults, marble roller coasters, tumble gliders, and more! This is not a standard training with lots of Power Point but a training full of activity and energy.

To register, either complete this registration form (Exciting STEM Activities for Cub Scouts! Registration Flier) and send it to the Old North State Council office with payment or you can register online by clicking this link: Exciting STEM Activities for Cub Scouts online registration.

We hope to see you at training!

Another Fantastic Week at STEM X!

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What an incredible week and an incredible group! STEM X was even better this year with more volunteer support, better activities, awesome field trips, rides in a Tesla Model X, and even putting our bungee jump engineering skills to the test!

A huge thank you to all of the participants and their parents for being a part of STEM X in 2017! If you had a great time, we’d love for you to spread the word to your friends and family so they can participate in STEM X next summer! Details about STEM X 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks so keep your eyes out for that!

A huge thank you also goes out to all of the staff and volunteer support we had to make this incredible week happen, especially to our STEM X Chair, Mike Matzinger, who has put a ton of effort into the program design and recruiting all of our volunteers who made STEM X a success!

Check out this great slideshow that highlights our week! We’ll be updating our websites (Old North State Council STEM and STEM X) over the next few days with pictures and videos so keep an eye on that! Thank you to our International Scout, Librael, from the Dominican Republic for putting together the slideshow and taking all of the awesome pictures and videos this week!

Another Day Flies By at STEM X!

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Time is certainly flying by at STEM X this week! Our participants have been very busy learning microscopy, designing model homes, building molecular structures, and so much more! On Wednesday, participants designed a game app for the Android operating system (available for public download soon!), visited residential and commercial construction sites to see things from an architect’s perspective, learned the chemistry of food, and wrapped it all up with College Night! Many parents joined us for Q&A sessions with college admissions representatives, college students, and college professors so these young men and women could prepare for life after high school. Many thanks to all of the schools that participated including Elon University, Guilford Technical Community College, Alamance Community College, and UNC-Greensboro!

Check out some more photos of our week so far!

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Thursday will bring more field trips, more experiments, a relaxing cookout, plus the STEM X participants will get to take a ride in a beautiful Tesla Model X! Watch out for more updates as we start to wrap up an awesome week!

Stayin’ Busy at STEM X 2017!

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It’s day three at STEM X and everyone is having a blast! In the first two days, STEM X participants have been blacksmithing, drilling into bones, freezing stuff, visiting tiny homes, building molecules, building aquifers, and designing roller coasters. Everyone is staying busy…and tired!

Tuesday night’s program includes flying drones and learning about developmental biology as seen through powerful digital microscopes. Wednesday will bring trips to High Point University to experience 2-D design and app development, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and visits to various parks in Greensboro to learn about the landscape design process.

It has been an incredible week for the participants so far and to top it off, STEM X was fully accredited this morning by the National Camp Assessment Program as a Specialty Adventure Camp! This process ensures that the program is held to the highest standards of health and safety, program design and development, and staff excellence.

There will be plenty more to come as the week goes on so keep your eyes out for more updates!

STEM X 2.0 is Off and Running!

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STEM X launched Sunday evening with some very excited young men and women who have already drilled into bones, built roller coasters, and played with liquid nitrogen! Check out what they’re getting into at STEM X in 2017!

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Learning how to insert screws into bones and skulls using a drill!
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Just your everyday roller coaster made from pipe insulation and a little tape.
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Hard at work trying to build the best marble roller coaster!
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Nothing a little liquid nitrogen can’t fix. Right Dr. Walsh?

STEM X is in its second year and looks to be even better than last time! If you missed the action in 2016, check out This Summer Camp Experience Empowers Teens for Future STEM Careers to see the STEM X highlight in Scouting Magazine and visit STEM X for details about the program. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week!

New STEM Training Opportunities for Adult Leaders!

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The Old North State Council is happy to announce several new training courses for adult leaders who want to implement STEM in their unit or event! The best thing we can do for the Scouts and Venturers we lead is to model the BSA motto “Be Prepared” by taking training that will help us deliver the best program possible.

What is the BSA STEM Initiative? is a short session introducing the BSA STEM Initiative. This session is ideal for a Roundtable, OA chapter meeting, or unit meeting and will introduce Scouts, leaders, and parents to the Nova Awards, Supernova Awards, and how STEM is present throughout the BSA’s many programs. All are invited to attend these sessions!

Unit STEM Coordinator Training is meant for any adult leader who wants to learn how to facilitate STEM opportunities within their unit. This two-hour training course gives an overview of the Nova Awards and Supernova Awards, includes the official Nova Counselor training, gets participants active with some hands-on STEM activities, and discusses the resources available to make implementing STEM in your unit easy! Participants completing this training will receive the Unit STEM Coordinator position patch!

Exciting STEM Activities for Cub Scouts! is an opportunity for adult leaders to learn how to prepare for and lead awesome activities in their Cub Scout den, pack, or district Cub Scout events. Participants will learn about several activities such as micrometeorites, catapults, Bristle Bots, paper rockets, and more while also learning how these activities tie into Cub Scout Adventures and Nova Awards!

Exciting STEM Activities for Boy Scouts and Venturers! is an opportunity for adult leaders to learn how to prepare for and lead awesome activities in their Boy Scout troop, Venture crew, or camporees. Participants will learn about several activities such as catapults, paper rockets, marble roller coasters, bungee jump modeling, and more while also learning how these activities tie into Boy Scout and Venturing advancement.

Nova Counselor Training is a short course that will prepare adult volunteers of any program (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing) to work with Scouts on the Nova Awards. No experience in STEM fields is necessary but it is recommended. Participants must be 21 years old and will be registered as a Nova Counselor at the completion of the course.

Supernova Mentor Training is a short course that will prepare adult volunteers of any program (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing) to guide Scouts through the Supernova Awards. Any adult leader can complete the course and be trained as Supernova Mentors but to officially serve as a Supernova Mentor, he/she must also be approved by the council’s STEM Committee by fulfilling some additional requirements. For more details about these requirements, please visit www.onscstem.wordpress.com/adults.

Below is the calendar when all of these new opportunities will be offered throughout the fall.

  • August 15 – Unit STEM Coordinator Training – 6:00-8:00 PM at ONSC Scout office
  • August 19 – Exciting STEM Activities for Cub Scouts! – 2:00-4:30 PM at ONSC Scout office
  • September 16 – Exciting STEM Activities for Boy Scouts and Venturers! – 1:30-4:00 PM at ONSC Scout office
  • October 3 – Supernova Mentor Training – 6:30-7:30 PM at ONSC Scout office
  • October 17 – Nova Counselor Training – 6:30-7:30 PM at ONSC Scout office
  • December 2 – What is the BSA STEM Initiative? – 10:00-10:30 AM at STEM Early College
  • December 2 – Nova Counselor Training – 10:30-11:30 AM at STEM Early College
  • December 2 – Supernova Mentor Training – 2:00-3:00 PM at STEM Early College

Registration details for each course will be announced as we get closer to the dates. The Unit STEM Coordinator Training on August 15 is open for registration now by clicking here to download a registration flier: Unit STEM Coordinator Training.

As always, if you have questions about any training courses or are interested in scheduling a training in your Old North State Council district, please send an email to colin.lemon@scouting.org or call Colin Lemon at (336) 378-9166, ext. 103.

See you at STEM training!

One Week Left to Register for STEM X!

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STEM X is just around the corner and there is only one week left to register! 2017 is the second year for STEM X and we are looking forward to an even better program! STEM X is an awesome opportunity for young men and women who are in or entering high school this fall and participants can be up to 20 years old! These young people will experience STEM programs such as game design, animation, 3-D printing, flying drones, learning how to build houses, the chemistry of everything around us, and a ton more! Participants will also experience College Night, an evening where they will get to ask questions about college life from college representatives, faculty, and current college students. Parents are invited too! Initial registration is done by clicking on this link: STEM X Registration to pay the $200 deposit. The full fee to participate is $475 and includes everything you need from check-in on Sunday, July 30 until check-out on Friday, August 4 and also includes two t-shirts to be worn throughout the week. Registration ends on Friday, June 30 so don’t miss out! For more details, check out www.bsastemx.org or send an email to Colin Lemon.

Summer Programs Have Begun and They Are Packed with STEM!

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Summer is here and there are so many opportunities for our youth to experience STEM while having a blast at summer camp! This week in the Old North State Council, day camp programs began and will continue for the next couple of weeks. Webelos and Boy Scouts resident camps begin this coming Sunday at Woodfield Scout Preservation and Cherokee Scout Reservation. Dad and da Vinci begins on July 8 and STEM X is coming up on July 30!

Both resident camps have increased their STEM programming for the summer of 2017. At Webelos camp, afternoon program will include a new activity in which the Scouts will build and erupt a volcano! Not only will they learn the science of volcanic eruptions but also the chemistry that makes this project work. In addition to that, Webelos Scouts will be able to participate in morning STEM sessions including the “Into the Wild” and “Earth Rocks!” Adventures. Not only that, but week 4 this summer will also include a brand new pilot program for Bear Cub Scouts! For those Bears who participate in week 4, they will work on the Robotics Adventure and get to work on Nova Awards by building and erupting a model volcano and designing a moon base!

At Boy Scout camp, the program has added Robotics merit badge to the massive list of STEM merit badges that have been offered for years including Environmental Science, Astronomy, Space Exploration, Energy, Reptile & Amphibian Study, Fish & Wildlife Management, Archaeology, Mammal Study, Nature, Electricity, Forestry, Plant Science, and Weather. And those are just the merit badges in the STEM/Nature Department! Other departments include STEM merit badges as well such as Metalwork, Model Design & Building, Pioneering, Geocaching, Orienteering, and more!

Dad and da Vinci is our traditional Dad and Lad camp-out with a STEM twist! Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts will enjoy spending the day and night at the Boy Scout resident camp and will enjoy some awesome activities including catapults, bridge building, simple machines, robots, and puzzles. Spaces are still available so make sure you register by June 30! The cost is $50 for one dad and Scout and $25 for each additional Scout. Campers arrive on Saturday, July 8 and leave Sunday morning. Registration can be completed online by clicking on this link: Dad and da Vinci Registration.

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Drilling into a skull at STEM X 2016!

STEM X is just around the corner! 2017 is the second year for STEM X and we are looking forward to an even better program! STEM X is an awesome opportunity for young men and women who are in or entering high school this fall and participants can be up to 20 years old! These young people will experience STEM programs such as game design, animation, 3-D printing, flying drones, learning how to build houses, the chemistry of everything around us, engineering, and a ton more! Participants will also experience College Night, an evening where they will get to ask questions about college life from college representatives, faculty, and current college students. Parents are invited too! Initial registration is done by clicking on this link: STEM X Registration to pay the $200 deposit. The full fee to participate is $475 and includes everything you need from check-in on Sunday, July 30 until check-out on Friday, August 4 and also includes two t-shirts to be worn throughout the week. Registration ends on Friday, June 30 so don’t miss out! For more details, check out www.bsastemx.org or send an email to Colin Lemon.

All in all, we have a crazy amount of STEM going on this summer so don’t be left out! We are working out the STEM calendar for the next school year including all STEM activities, programs, and training opportunities so be on the look-out for that. We’ll see you this summer!