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May 31, 2011 | Luke Blount

Yellowstone Scouting Celebrates Three Years of Outreach

Yellowstone Boy Scouts 6
Scoutmaster James Flodine posing with a cub scout.
Yellowstone Boy Scouts 7
Troop 255 just finished its third year of operation

The Yellowstone Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts celebrated their third year of scouting with a "Court of Honor" awarding new ranks to boys of Yellowstone Academy. Scoutmaster James Flodine presented each scout with his new rank at a ceremony in the Yellowstone Academy gym.


Yellowstone Academy is a faith based non-profit school that serves children from families living in extreme poverty in Houston’s third ward. In 2006, a group from St. Martin’s, Houston began a mentoring program at Yellowstone Academy. As a member of St. Martin’s, Flodine volunteered as a mentor and noticed the need for a Boy Scout troop.


“Scouts is the only program that I know of that has all of the productive Christian values encapsulated in a single program,” Flodine said. “When we work these kids through the program, and let them earn their merit badges, rank advancements and learn all the skills involved with scouting, it seeps into them.”


When the program began, Flodine and two other volunteers led about 20 boys through the program, but the troop has quickly grown to more than 85 boys ranging from second to seventh grade. About 10 regular volunteers from St. Martin’s and St. John the Divine, Houston, now lead the groups.


Throughout the year, the scouts participate in events and programs organized by volunteer leaders to earn their merit badges and activity pins. Den Leader Ginya Trier took her Webelos Cub Scouts on an overnight trip to Battleship Texas, St. Martin’s Outreach Sunday and a handyman activity among other activities.


“I became involved through St. Martin’s.” Trier said. “I knew they were doing mentoring, and I have a background in scouting as my son is an Eagle Scout. I had already done all the training. So, being a den leader seemed like the right fit for me.”


On May 26, the boys received their rank advancements and awards from Flodine, and Trier presented each member of her group with a scrapbook from all of the events over the past year. Because of the size of her group and the lack of more volunteers, Trier will be taking two trips to Bovay Scout Ranch this summer for four days of tent camping.


“All of the boys really like scouts,” Trier said. “I’m actually doing a true scout program, and that is not always fun. They are advancing and learning. It is half fun and half school…These boys really need scouting. Scouting is about building character and integrity, and it’s a great chance for these boys to learn.”


As with St. Martin’s mentoring program, Yellowstone Boy Scouts is built on donations and commitments from volunteers to guide and support children with few resources and opportunities. Many more children could be helped with more volunteers.


“I am in desperate need of an assistant,” Trier said. “We need to find volunteers that can work every Thursday afternoon, but I’d be happy to have someone that can even work less than every week. We need somebody to make a regular commitment and work with one set of boys to build an emotional connection.”


The program takes a break over the summer, but will begin again when school starts at Yellowstone Academy. More information about the scouts can be found on their website,


“I love these boys,” Trier said. “These boys have incredible potential. I think they just need a little direction, and I think scouting does that.”


More photos can be found here.