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Serving the youth of Central Massachusetts since 1911

From the Desk of the Scout Executive – May 2018

Embrace the change

I’m looking out my window absolutely surprised by the changes in my garden in only a week’s time. The watershed tree lot behind my home has gone from dead looking trees to a sea of green. My bright yellow forsythia is starting to green up, tulips, hostas, bleeding hearts and ferns are all popping up and beginning to bloom.  And I know later today I need to sharpen my mower blades and do the first mow of the season. New England still surprises me when we go from dormant to fully alive, it’s quite the change.

Here at Mohegan Council and in the entire Boy Scouts of America we are set for a lot of change too. And I know many are excited about the new possibilities while some are a bit afraid of new things that lay ahead. I’ve always looked at change as a type of Spring, you’re not quite sure what or when new things will pop up, but usually they turn out great. Sometimes you must do a little work, fertilizing, pruning, weeding, but the garden is always renewed.

Besides our regular chores of getting Treasure Valley ready for the summer camp season, and helping our Scout units get back to full strength with Spring recruitments we have a few more things going on:

  • On the evening of May 30Nashua Valley Council will vote on whether to consolidate or merge with us. On the morning of May 31, our Council will vote. A joint merger task force has spent a year reviewing and recommending this action. Both Council Executive Boards voted unanimously to proceed, and the Town Hall meetings to date have been positive. It’s a big change in our Council structure, but one that we believe will enhance service to our units, strengthen our Districts, and grow Scouting and the resources necessary to sustain our local movement. Units will still call the same phone numbers, ask for the same staff, camp at the same camps and deliver their weekly program. This new “Central Massachusetts Council” (temporary name) will be a work in progress needing some fertilizing, pruning and weeding as we move forward. More information on this process can be found here, and if both Council votes are positive, be on the lookout for our new Council naming contest.

And at Treasure Valley, we have a couple of great Spring changes:

  • Thanks to a generous grant from the George W. P. Magee Memorial Trust (our largest ever) a new topcoat will be laid on our East camp road June 11-12. This will include some needed widening and handicapped accessibility ramps, and should last for the next couple of decades.
  • On June 13, we will dedicate the new Mohegan Lodge on Boonesville plain. Thanks to a lead gift from the Chuck and Monica McQuaid Family Foundation, again with help from theGeorge W. P. Magee Memorial Trust, and with a ton of service from our active Friends of the Valley volunteer team and the expertise of Ranger Matt, the old Life Lodge has been transformed into a year-round building. It will serve as a great Scoutmaster retreat during the summer and as a heated year-round space.
  • And finally, sometime in July, we will thank all the terrific contributors and rededicate our new and improved Carr Waterfront.

And to top off our season of change, the Boy Scouts of America are changing too.

Here are the big ones:

  • Lion Cubs, the national pilot program for Kindergarteners, has now be fully adopted and now an integrated part of the Cub Scout program. This is an easy change for us since most of our Cub Packs are already using this great program. How do you groom new Tiger Den Leaders? You have a good Lion Cub program.
  • The new Family Cub program officially kicks-off here June 6. Cub Packs and their Chartered Partners have a choice of the adopting this new Family program with boy dens and girl dens, keeping their all boy Pack, and/or starting an all-girl Pack. About half of our Packs have already chosen the new Family Cub model. These folks are excited about being able to serve the whole family, see the possibility of many new parents that can serve as leaders, and are confident they can handle the increased size of the Pack. As one Cubmaster told me, wouldn’t that be a great problem to have? More information on these changes can be found here. And yes, we are ready for girls at Cub Scout Adventure Camp this summer, and those who attended as Family & Friends last year had a blast, so it’s not too late to sign up.
  • Scouts, BSA begins February 1, 2019. A name change, not for our organization, but for the Boy Scout program. Interesting that I saw a 1940’s wool BSA shirt from a Facebook friend with that same logo/name on the pocket. We’ll have the summer and fall to work with existing Troops and Chartered Partners to talk about the extension of our older youth program. Again, the new program is not a coed one, but one where single-gender Scout units might share the same Chartered Partner, Unit Committee and resources, or they may not. This a new garden plot for us, and it will take some work. I can’t wait to see what we will grow. More information to come, click here to check out current resources and to stay informed – remember, you get the info as quick as we do!

Some exciting times ahead. I know together we’ll be able to plant and grow a great garden that will truly serve all the needs of our families today.

See you out at the valley,|
Jeff