Friday, December 12, 2008

Iraqi Scouting Links

Here are a few interesting web links about Iraqi Scouting and the history of the Green Zone Council:

Iraq Scouting Wikipedia Page

Iraq Scouting Blog on

Meeting Minutes (10 Dec 2008)


SUBJECT: 10 December Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Dan Bradford, Angela Drinkwitz, Russ Pangburn, Michael Uyehara, David Starnes, Alex McMahon


1. Meeting Location/Embassy: All State Department activities will begin officially operating from the New Embassy Compound (NEC) starting 1 Jan 09 (some functions already transitioning). Next week (17 Dec), we will meet at our current location in the Embassy—new location will be defined at that time.

2. Iraqi Children Participation: Ramazan is setting up a meeting with the Ministry of Education to discuss participation in the program.

3. Spirit of America: Financial support provided by Spirit of America. Using funds to provide propane hoses, tanks, and trees (10 hoses, 5 tanks, 5 trees). Would like to provide the same for Camp Victory—Angela to contact Victory for coordination. Also need shelving to help sort supplies—Dan Bradford providing coordination and guidance.

4. Support from US-Based Scouting Organizations: Waiting until exams are finished. More activities when holidays are over.

5. Kitchen Supplies: Angela to send Dan an inventory of the kitchen supplies.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Meeting Minutes (3 Dec 2008)


SUBJECT: 3 December Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Dan Bradford, Angela Drinkwitz, Ralph Allen, Russ Pangburn, Weldon Hobbs, Pat Bell, Michael Uyehara, David Starnes, Larry Douglas


1. Further discussion on future locations for meetings. Some concerns on location and its affect on meeting participation. General consensus appears to be the NEC. Interim locations discussed were the Chaplain’s building at Union 3 and GRD compound. Will only have the Embassy for another 3 meetings. Need confirmation on new location soon. As the military presence consolidates and draws-down over time, look to Embassy personnel to provide continuity and leadership.

2. New patches are in. Looking to design 5-year patch w/ Iraqi Swords.

3. No Pinewood Derby –no participation from children and school leadership. Ramazan will set up a meeting to re-invigorate school leadership.

4. Discussion around stateside Troops to provide assistance (stuff) for GZC and Iraqi kids. Looking for input and further guidance. One topic of discussion were propane bottles for stoves—need for 5.

5. Larry to check on flooding at conexes from the torrential downpour.

6. Long-term strategy for combining Victory Council and GZ Council discussed. As we grow, it may make sense to combine efforts and councils. Concerns about geographical differences and convenience. Victory seems to have abundant resources / volunteers.

7. Regarding Land/Title issues: Aegis looking to provide support as part of long-term strategy for Iraqi presence; however, no commitment on land/title for GZC. Aegis has the resources to purchase—we need to engage for this effort. Aegis contact is Kevin Holberg.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Iraq Scouting Service Square Knot

Criteria for Award of “Iraq Scouting Service Square Knot” – ISSSK

A. Eligible for Scouters or Non-Scouters; Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts both in Iraq and in the World Scouting Organization.

B. The knot shall be a black and red square knot on white material, with green border; in order to symbolize the national colors of Iraq. The Knot shall be worn in accordance with a person’s organization and country recognized rules. If awarded to a business, the knot may be displayed but is not eligible for wearing by any individuals in the business.

C. Awarded only once; for support of the Scouting Movement in Iraq after 1 January 2004

i) Service Support

a. Direct service by a minimum of 30-hours of service in Iraq to support Iraq Scouting (maximum 8-hours per day)
b. Indirect Service by a minimum of 60-hours of service outside of Iraq to support Iraq Scouting

ii) Financial Support

a. Direct Financial Donation – awarded to any person or business who directly contributes $500 or more into the World Scouting Fund or a recognized Iraqi scouting fund for future use of the Iraq Scouts and Guides.
b. Indirect Financial Donation – awarded to any person or business who raises smaller donations from others, totaling $1,000 or more or who provides “needed: scouting materials, services and/or equipment.

iii) Special Act or Support from a leader or person who makes a regional or national contribution to bring credit or focus or attention to the building of the Scout Movement for Boys and Girls in Iraq.

D. Verification for awarding this recognition knot can be given by the signatures of two recognized Council or Scouting leaders in Iraq for awards under category C.i and ii and with four signatures under category C.iii. Records and the number of these awards that have been given will be kept by the Scout organization in Iraq.

E. The Awardee shall be presented a certificate suitable for framing and the ISSSK.

F. Additional/Replacement ISSK’s may be purchased only by past recipient’s and will cost $3.00 each.

Meeting Minutes - 26 Nov 2008


SUBJECT: 26 November meeting minutes

Attendees: Dan Bradford, Eric Fretz, Guin Rowell, Stephanie Flowers, Steve Mahringer, Bill Addison, Weldon Hobbs, Russ Pangburn, Ralph Allen


- Russ Pangburn taking over Secretary after Tom Bauer’s redeployment

- Scouts property next to Tomb of Unknown Soldier
-- Looking to gain title for Scouts use
-- Would like a lease for 15-30 years?
-- Must be Iraq-led initiative
-- Do not want to lose momentum and have land usurped
-- Would like to mark with stencil
-- Spray paint available on Victory at hardware store next to Bronx, Golden’s, and Liberty Bazaar by PX

- Long-term existence of committee
-- Transition to new location when IZ opens up
-- Still many unknowns as to where various members will be working (new Embassy, Union, Victory etc.)
-- Will coordinate activities via conference call as an option
-- What to do with inventory (turn over to Iraqis?)

- Treasurer update
-- Col King => 3,678.09; Other approximately 1000.00 => total 4,678.09

- New Patches
-- Would like 5-year anniversary patch – should be non-offensive
-- Symbolizes Iraq/Baghdad
-- Design ideas? Crossed Swords and Lion/Eagle/Man were mentioned
-- Would like for January timeframe; need about 60-day turnaround

- Inventory Spirit of America merchandise
-- Target 6 Dec
-- Coordinate with CDR Russell
-- Need some volunteers

- Need to get kids re-engaged
-- Work with local schools and communities; careful not “Americanize” the effort

Monday, November 10, 2008

GZC Council Meeting Minutes (5 Nov)


SUBJECT: 05 November meeting minutes

1. The Green Zone Council met on 05 November at 1130 for its weekly planning meeting.

2. The following members were present:
Ralph Allen Greg Mahoney Larry Douglas
Pat Bell Dan Bradford Jason Pogacnik
William King Rhonda Horried Eric Fretz

3. We discussed the following events:

- Frame with Certificate of Appreciation, flag, and patches has been done for the recognition of Major Stu Wolfe
- Official Knot Patches are in and other new design patches will be in soon.
- A few old patches are left for sale.
- GZC to apply to National for approval of patches and design a certificate to go with the patches
- GZC picture exchange day to be held at Ralph Allen’s office on 11 Nov from 100 to 1400. The historian, Rhonda Horried, will start building a file of pictures to share and has started designing a website.
- Conex box located in the scouting area needs rearrangement for gear accessibility and Embassy conex box is empty.
- One of the projects we will be working soon is to mark the walls around the camping area with an Iraqi Scout symbol to help us secure the woods for the scouts permanently
We need spray paint, if anyone knows how to get some please let us know
- The project to locate scouting books in Arabic continues. Any suggests please let us know.
- Volunteers from Aegis are interested in supporting the GZC. We will be putting together a wish list for them. If you have ideas on different needs, please let us know. Aegis contact is Kevin Halborg.
- GZC liaisons designing a template for tracking contacts back in the States. Please forward any US contacts to Pat Bell or Greg Mahoney
- Ralph Allen’s home council is sending items for the Pinewood Derby.
- Jason Pogacnik, volunteer from GAO, is to follow up on the land issue concerning the scouting camp with a State Department contact
- No action forward with the Girls Only or Boys Only events until the GZC is contacted by the Iraqi BS/GS contact.

4. The Treasures report is as follows:
-$3013.07 in available cash

5. The following nomination was made:
- To show appreciation to KBR Charlie Wilson for his assistance to GZC it was suggested that the GZC present him with a patch and popcorn – APPROVED

6. GZC Links:
MNF-I GZC link:
WWW Blog link:
Email address;

7. Fund raisers are available for all who may be interested in selling some items. Ralph Allen is currently the POC; he has the following items that could be sold:
-New computer bags are available

8. The next meeting will be held in room B-104 at the Palace on 12 November 1130.

Pat Bell
Green Zone Council

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What are Iraqi Scout Camps like?

While the GZC functions in the International Zone, there is a whole country outside our little enclave that is going about their business. Like scouts everywhere, Iraqi scouting has many ties to the joys of nature and camping. Iraqi scouts go to camps, and when they have a camp their schedule may look something like this.

(Special thanks to Zeenat and Moayad for providing this)

Hour Event
0530 Wake up
0545 Morning sports/Calisthenics
0615 Prepare breakfast
0700 Tent/camp Inspection
0730 Flag raising ceremony
0800 Morning activity/Scout Skills
1200 End activity morning/Prepare Lunch/free time
1600 Evening activity (sports, scout activities)
1800 Prepare Dinner
1900 End evening activity (lowering flag ceremony)
2030 Meeting of honor council (camp fire starts)
2100 Night activity (camp fire)
2200 End night activity
2230 Lights off/quiet time/go to sleep

Monday, July 21, 2008

Major Schweiss ~ Virginia Pilot

The following link is to an article about Major Tina Scheiss published in the Virgina Pilot. MAJ. Schweiss was a valuable member of the GZC durring her deployment here to Baghdad. She went above and beyaond to assist in all aspects of the scouting movement here in Iraq. Her influence lives on in the heart of the children and she is greatly missed.

A Girls Day Out !

Recently the Green Zone Council was pleased to participate in a girls day out. The event encompassed ballon animal making, crafts where the girls made braclets, and photo albums and the girls also had the expierence of getting their hair and nails done! There were many team building games. The girls were all smiles and greatly enjoyed the activities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Community Service Event

Hello Scouters!! Recently, the boy and girl scouts here in Iraq went out in the community to help beautify the area. The children found a playground in need of repair, so they grabbed thier paintbrushes and went to work! The children were happy as the put a bright coat of paint on the equipment. Everyone had a great day and now the children of that area have a fresh, and colorfull place to play!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Iraqi Scouting Promise and Law

The Scouting program in Iraq also has a promise and law, much like the Boy Scout oath and laws. As with any translation, it is difficult to truly capture the subtleties of the language, but here we go.

For the Iraqi equivalent of Cub scouts and Brownies, which are translated as Cubs and Flowers, the promise is:

I promise to do my best, including what I must do toward God and my country, and do good every day, and work according to the Cubs (or Flowers) law.

For Cubs and Flowers, the Law is:
1-Cub (Flower) Honest and trustworthy .
2-Cub (Flower) believes in God and is loyal to his country and parents 3-Cub(Flower) Useful
4-Cub (Flower) friendly.
5-Cub (Flower) Thrifty
6-Cub (Flower) Merciful toward animals
7-Cub (Flower) Obedient
8-Cub (Flower) Cheerful
9-Cub (Flower) Clean
10-Cub (Flower) brave

For the older kids, Scouts and Girl Guides, the promise and law are:

Promise for Scouts and Girl Guides
I promise on my honor to do my duty to God and my country, and to help my people in all circumstances and conditions

Law for Boy Scouts and Girl Guides
1 - Scouts (guiding) Reliable
2 - Scouts (guiding) believes in God and loyal to his homeland and his parents
3 - Scouts (guiding) Useful
4 - Scouts (guiding) friendly
5 - Scouts (guiding) polite and respectful
6 - Scouts (guiding) Merciful toward animals
7 - Scouts (guiding) Thrifty
8 - Scouts (guiding) Obedient
9 - Scouts (guiding) cheerful
10 - Scouts (guiding) Clean
11 - Scouts (guiding) brave

For comparison’s sake, the Boy Scouts of America have an Oath and Law:
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

A scout is
Clean and

Pine Wood Derby

May 8th was another great day for the Iraqi scouting program!! In conjunction with the Green Zone Council, with the help of many volunteers, the children were able to expierence a Pine Wood Derby! The children carved and decorated thier cars and raced them agianst each other! The cars were outstanding and very creative. Everyone had a great time and the children were all smiles!! We look forward to being able to interact with the children again soon as the weather gets warmer.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Scouts at the 86TH Combat Support Hospital

March 8th was another great day with the Iraqi Boy Scouts and Girl Guides! Today they went to the 86TH Combat Support Hospital to visit with wounded coalition forces and local nationals. Everyone at the hospital was very excited and this was an excellent opportunity for the Iraqi children to interact with soldiers and locals. The children handed out Trails End Popcorn which was graciously donated. Everyone shared laughs and smiles!! Afterwards the children ate lunch that was provided by the hospital dinning facility, and were allowed to play around in a FLA (military ambulance) and finally played games! There were many games available to include a piƱata, stuffed animals, Frisbees and footballs. The children were so excited and enjoyed tossing around the toys and taking the stuffed animals’ home with them! It was truly a great day for all involved, and a memory that will last a lifetime!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

10 February Day Camp

On 10 February the Green Zone Council had the oppurtunity to share another great day with the Iraqi Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The children were excited, and again the GZC had the oppurtunity to be instructors. We helped teach the first aid and knot tying classes again. The kids also taught us some of the knots that they use!! There was a team building excersise where the kids had to work together to achieve a goal. There were some sports set up and the kids really enjoyed playing soccer with the soldiers! We had alot of volunteers for this event and are looking forward to warmer weather and the chance to work with the scouts and giudes again!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Popcorn Fundraiser

On February 2, 2008, Trails End Popcorn Company donated $25,000.00 worth of popcorn to the Iraqi scouting program. DHL arranged for the two and a half tons of popcorn to be shipped right to our door for free! This was a great event for the scouts and girl guides, giving them the oppurtunity to have a direct hand in funding for the program. The children were all smiles and very eager to do all that they could. While the scouts and leaders ran the event, it was rewarding to the Green Zone Council to help in any way we could. We had so many volunteers who contributed to the success of the fund raiser and would like to extend a thank you to everyone!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

On 29 December 2007, the Green Zone Council had another great day with the Iraqi boy scouts and girl guides. The scouts and their scout leaders arrived at the camp around 9:00 in the morning, and we had the privilege of acting as instructors for a few classes this time! We had a first aid class, knot tying, soap carving, arts and crafts and some games and sports time. While the Iraqi leaders were still in charge of the scouts, it was nice to be able to help with the events! We look forward to warmer weather and the chance to do even more with the scout camp!