By Elizabeth Burtner

Most of us are getting a taste of our new normal. We can say it's bittersweet. I will probably appear as that Masked Scouter for a while. However, many have assured me that the more I continue to un-mask (now that I've had both of my vaccines), the more comfortable I will become. Now, if I can just stop wearing my sweatpants and house slippers, even to Kroger's, there may still be hope for me yet! Let's hope for that and here's to our future and to moving forward together. Stay safe.

They were selected as the "Best Overall Unit" in the Colonial Virginia Council. They won the Inaugural Commissioner's Cup for 2020. All Scouters and Scouts will have the honor of wearing this one-of-a-kind Council Strip Patch at the top of their shoulder sleeves of their Scout uniforms this next year. This was a competition with many requirements to meet, and during a global pandemic to boot. They have also just had their Annual Rank Up Ceremony as well as a beautiful Flag Retirement at Sandy Bottom Nature Park on Flag Day, Jun. 14. Two members of Langley AFB Honor Guard came out to perform this as well as four Airmen assistants. It was a great day.

Girl Scout Troop 1260 is wrapping up their year and the Brownies are having their last meeting at Starving Artist to create and celebrate together.

Troop 11 B&G have spent time working on a Bench to help support WAVY10 Give Back Day 2021. Delivery is set for Jun. 17. The recipients are Brittingham-Midtown Community Center in Newport News. Another troop from the Southside also made a bench.

… is Liz Burtner, the new Girls' Scoutmaster. A Scouter for almost 23 years, she also helps as an Assistant Leader with the Brownies and aide Lena Anderson and Sandy Elder, who leads us.

Here's a little about me. Growing up, I was a Brownie for one year. This was during third grade in Indiana. We had just moved from West Virginia and needed friends. My sister was in first grade and together we earned "Top Cookie Sellers" that year. Our father was the new boss, made flyers and posted them. This helped us to achieve our goals. This was back in 1976-1977. Fast forward to 1998. It's fall and the Army has recently moved my husband and I to Bryan, TX from Fort Lewis, WA. Our son Christopher is in first grade and is interested in Cub Scouting. They were in need of a Tiger Leader, as so this began our journey together. In those days we met in folks' homes, mostly mine; and the pack meetings were inside the Sam Houston Elementary School cafeteria. I was also his Wolf Leader during second grade. We participated in Pinewood Derby races, food drives and day camps. During my time in Texas (1998-2000), I attended the monthly Roundtable Trainings as well. I dressed as a Gold Rush miner panning for fool's gold, and did a "Smore We Get Together" skit. I created four cub costumes too, yummy looking sandwich boards concept for them. 

It's time to move again. Now we're off to Germany. We were at Sembach Elementary School and I'm now a Bear Leader (third grade). During this time we toured Heidelberg Castle and hiked the Barbarossa Trail. I also took CPR training for the first time. 

Another move finds us in Vincenza, Italy (2001-2003) and at the elementary school I'm leading once again, sharing that responsibility with Hiltrude Nupp. This was during fourth and fifth grades, Webelos time. Our boys also made Arrow of Light. And then bridged over into Boy Scouts there too. I was a Cub Scout leader for five years. Many great times. I even camped for the first time and was very embarrassed that all heard my scream at the big bug outside my tent wall. Moonlight made it grow!

You guessed it, time for another move. This time we're at the International School of Dusseldorf in Kaiserswerth, Germany 2003-2006 (for sixth-eighth grades). Christopher attended all of his middle school there. His father was scoutmaster for two years. And, the boys even took on the challenge of selling Girl Scout cookies. Our Post Support at Schinnen, Netherlands had extra and they needed them sold, as it was too hot to ship them to deployed soldiers. In all truth, it was the moms who sold the cookies out of the backs of their minivans. The boys stood there and assisted us, gaining service hours. And as teenage boys do, eating away at our profits, as the Thin Mints and Samoas were just too tempting. We also traveled to Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany for camping and merit badge opportunities. We traveled with the Boy Scouts to Sainte-Mere Eglise in Normandy, France to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, with Scouts "storming the beaches." We placed flags and flowers all over Europe on the graves of servicemembers, to include General Patton. And other people, like Florence Nightingale. 

I'll bet you know what comes next: moving again. This time to Virginia and Fort Monroe. And, high school at Menchville, 2006-2010. He made Eagle Rank at Troop 43 in 2010, where his meetings were held at Christ United Methodist Church. I continued being involved with Scouting, and was even nicknamed Troop Mom. Helping with advancements, being secretary, helping with committee issues, fundraising car washes twice, and a yard sale. I also sat on rank boards of review. At Troop 43, they also dubbed me Liz. I started teaching Art Merit Badge. I've been doing that for 11 years in person, now virtually.

I continued onward. Achieving success, going to training, learning and participating with my peers. I earned my Methodist Church "Cross and Flame" with Troop 43 and my "God and Service" with Troop 11 at Chestnut. I went to Wood Badge in 2016, became a Bear Critter. Kept going and got elected into the Order of the Arrow in 2019. Attended my Ordeal in March and sealed my Brotherhood all in the same year. For the first time, they reduced the timeline from one year to six months, and I was in the first group for this. And, recently stepped into Troop 11 Girls Scoutmaster role on GroundHogs Day 2021. There were even two summer camps attended by me in 2008 and 2018. The first at Bayport Scout Reservation with Troop 43 and the second at Pipsico with Troop 11 when it was only boys involved in the troops. And I've gone to one conclave.

I have many wonderful memories. One of my favorite moments was receiving the 2018 CVC Spark Plug Award from sitting on the "Eagle Board of Review" with Tim Ewing. I've been sitting on those BoR's since November of 2013. 
Patch collecting and trading is a worthwhile time passer for most scouts and scouters. I've been granted the opportunity to design and have created three patches for Colonial Virginia Council. And one patch for Pipsico and Tidewater Council. Hard work, but worth it. I've gotten to help with Blue and Gold Banquets, Eagle Banquets, the 2014 Reunion Dinner with Troop 43, 2019 Celebration of 100 Years with Troop 11. And, in 2020 and 2021 was able to virtually attend Methodist Scout Trainings for a week and meet monthly about Faith in Scouting with Steven Scheid from Nashville, TN and other Scouters from across the USA. I've celebrated Courts of Honor with Scouts all over the world. And met and volunteered with the Pipsico Busy Beavers on Wednesdays. 

I've gotten to go and help with Scouts and Scouters at the shipyard on two occasions: during the christening ceremonies for CVN 78, the Gerald R. Ford; and SSN 791, the Delaware. Another memory I savor was attending Wood Badge in 2016. Three days and two nights each in September and October. You had 18 months to complete your five goals to equal one ticket. As I've said, I'm a BEAR Critter and this association has many perks along with the friendly competition and camaraderie. I traveled to and from with Janet Cooper, Troop 11G's first Scoutmaster. 

Scouting is not just about awards and trainings. For me, it's more about the skills learned. I've camped in a very wet tent. I've been camping in the snow. There've been tornadoes sighted in Texas and Virginia. I've passed a swim test. Shot a rifle long ago, BB guns, tried archery, gone through PowderHorn Training and pushed myself and was scared the whole time. I've been to Fort A.P. Hill Jamboree (their last year) and to the Summit Jamboree in West Virginia (their first year). It has helped me develop and grow as an adult and leader. If I had to choose whether to take on this journey all over again, I would.
In closing, I hope you make your lemons of life into sweet lemonade too. Drink up. Until next month. Stay well.


Points of Contact for Scouting at Chestnut:

Girl Scouts, Troop 1260: contact Sandy Elder,
Boy Scouts, Troop 11-B (boys): contact Orie Heist,
Scouts BSA, Troop 11-G (girls): contact Janet Cooper,
Cub Scouts, Pack 11 (boys and girls): contact Whitney Sigler,