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Happy New Year – From the Desk of the Scout Executive, January 2017

Happy New Year!

Can you believe its 2017? The older I become the more quickly the years seem to pass. For a boy a year can seem forever, for the rest of us…….well.

Have you had any time to reflect back on 2016? Have you set some goals for 2017? I’ve had a couple of down days to ponder those questions as I have been dealing with my first cold of the New Year.

Our small, but mighty Mohegan Council has a lot to celebrate from 2016:

  • Solid membership growth overall, and in Cub & Boy Scouting. That’s something we haven’t done in a while. Thanks to all who helped make that possible.
  • We organized six new Scouting units this year, double that from a year ago. We have at least five more that will happen in this first quarter. People and organizations are calling us about starting scouting. Keep telling your scouting stories to people you know.
  • Our Operations budget is looking to be balanced, that would be a first in about 15 years. Thanks to all of you who have given to support scouting.
  • Treasure Valley summer and year round attendance is up. People are telling us they like the new programs we are offering, volunteerism is increasing; led by our great Friends of the Valley retired crew who made Treasure Valley shine and contributed over 3,800 hours of service. I have a very hard time just keeping them stocked with paint! And 2017 is already shaping up to be an even better year!
  • Our Annual “Prepared for Life” breakfast is set for March 22nd at the College of the Holy Cross. Is this the year we cross 300 attendees?
  • A $40k grant from the George Magee Fund has been secured for more improvements at camp, and a generous donor has been identified and cultivated for a larger gift to bring back our ”Blue Tarp Special” near the waterfront to a fully functional building.
  • Our Solar II project has been completed and will hook up to the grid to provide more stable revenue in 2017.
  • We’re sending a Council contingent to the Summit for the National Jamboree.
  • We have good plans set for a strong spring membership campaign, and more tools for units to help them get their parents and boys excited about coming to the Valley for a great summer camp experience

Thanks to all of you who helped make 2016 great, and who will help make 2017 even better. I have a coffee mug that one my team gave me a few years ago that says this “Mohegan Council, is the best at getting better”, and you know that’s been a pretty good motto for us.

See you at camp,

Jeff

 

From the desk of the Scout Executive, November 2016

Was October busy for you? Fall Cub recruitment, Popcorn sales, TVEX – Webelos Woods, a Mill Town Camporee, a Quinsigamond Spookoree, and then we top it off with one of the best World Series ever, where the Cubs take it all. Wow!

It’s November, what’s coming next? Day light savings time ends, winter preparation is in high gear with leaf clean-up and snow blower maintenance, football starts its second half, the Bruins & Celtics get into full swing, and we all get ready for the feast at Thanksgiving……. and if you’re a leader in a Scout unit? You have some November items to tackle too:

  • Did you recruit lots of new Cub Scouts and leaders this fall? Many of you did! Have you got all these new families registered and involved? Are the boys in active dens? Have you oriented the parents? Have you helped your new leaders get trained? If you had a poor recruitment or if one den is a bit small have you contacted your district membership chair and asked for help doing a redo? We have a chance to grow as a Council this year; I’d love to be able to tell folks out in the community that Scouting is back. Let us know how we can help you be successful.
  • Are you on track to get your unit rechartered by Thanksgiving? You need to log in, correct the roster, collect fees, meet with the chartered organization to update them and get signatures, get leaders youth protection trained, and get it submitted to the Council office. It’s not rocket science, but it does take time. Let your Commissioner know if you need help.
  • Have you set a meeting with your Unit Commissioner and Chartered Organization Representative to go over your 2016 Journey to Excellence worksheet? How do you compare to other Scout units across the nation? Will you be a bronze, silver or gold achiever? Get it done, turn it in, get the patch and tell your parents how well you really do. This will also help you set some goals for the coming year.
  • Are you ready to close out your popcorn account with the Council office? We had a great sale (looks like we sold over half a million!) but we do owe the popcorn company a large sum of money that we can’t pay till you settle up. So clear your books so we can clear ours.
  • Have you bought your Scout holiday presents? (Ok, this is a commercial) We have the Scout winter mugs & Christmas ornaments for sale, and we can always order anything you need out of the Scout catalog (let us pay for shipping).

So I hope you get to all the things that need doing as we head into winter. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. And thanks for all that you do to prepare the next generation to be the best that they can be.

Jeff

P.S. Don’t forget to vote!

October 2016 – Lions, Tigers, Wolfs and Bears, oh my

me-darth-at-the-office-2010September was a great month for Cub recruiting. Our district Membership Chairs working with Pack unit leaders have had some great success!

  • 65 brand new Lion Cubs
  • +12.4% in new Tiger Cubs
  • All of Cubbing is up for the month
  • We just missed overall growth for the month, only six youth shy
  • Mill Town district is leading the way with 2.9% growth in September

This really does sound like the year when Mohegan Council, New England and the nation again see a growth in scouting. I think it would be a better country if we had more families having their kids learn and live the Scout Oath & Law. Let’s keep it going.

In other news

Some staff and volunteer changes have happened.

  • We welcomed Kelly Stickney of Douglas to our Mohegan Council Staff as our Council and District Support specialist; she’ll be jumping on a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that makes our council go.
  • Aaron Langlois was welcomed to our Board of Directors. He is the Area Vice-President for Clinical Operations for Gentiva Health Services. He has spent his career in the health field. He also serves on the town of Oakham Board of Health and has a long time association with St Joseph’s Abby. He is an Eagle Scout, a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow and a former camp staff leader at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation.

Other good news. And you know I’ll forget to mention all the things I’ve seen or heard about!

  1. Council Popcorn Kernel, Debbie McMillen, and her great volunteer team have lead an outstanding popcorn campaign to date, initial sales have been terrific (almost a ½ million dollars of product is out on the street) and we look forward to concluding a great fundraiser for our units and council.
  2. TVEX Chair, Ken Choquette, and his team of volunteers had over 600 folks attend our recent Webelos Woods; it was rainy, but also fun.
  3. Our Solar 2 project is in high gear with all the earth clearing and moving done and initial construction begun.

Finally, on a personal note I’m about to add an Eagle Scout to my family. Yes, a time all father’s dread; my daughter (our eldest, Kim) will be married mid-month. Melody and I have been taking dance lessons, and I’ve been thinking about what to say for a toast. It’s a surprise to be at this stage of life, especially when I still think of Kim as my little girl, but her husband to be is a very good guy. When things with them became more serious Kim assured me, “don’t worry Dad he’s an Eagle Scout”. Well, …… who am I to argue with the power of Scouting!

Hope to see lots of you out at Woodsman Weekend next month, have a great week.

Jeff

It’s Go Time!

Its Labor Day weekend, many of us our trying to get the last of our summer fun in while we watch for the potential of severe weather; it may also be a weekend where you gather with friends and family or tackle that to do list of things you wanted done for the summer.

I know I have all types of outdoor yard work and indoor fixit projects to keep me hopping all weekend. I also know we’ll have at least one barbeque supper, call the kids, and maybe sneak off for a few hours for some type of adventure during the weekend. I’ll also spend some time planning for the rest of our Scout year. I don’t know if you do that with your scouting position, but Labor Day is always the break I need to do a little thinking.

So what’s on my docket of scouting things to do? Well, here’s a partial list:

  • Make sure all of our popcorn selling units are having a great sale (a good fundraiser for them and the Council)
  • Promote the new Lion Cub program (easy to do, and all Packs should organize a group)
  • Finish up our 2016 fundraising efforts (if you haven’t pledged to FOS please do!)
  • Start drafting the 2017 Council budget with our volunteer committee and balance this year’s too!
  • Get coverage for the Quinsigamond district and figure out our new operational plan with the new Fair Labor standards that take effect on December 1st (this is a project with tough choices)
  • Help the Treasure Valley long range planning committee finish their draft plan
  • Write up our George Magee capital request by the September 14th deadline
  • Help our Packs run outstanding joining events (the Fall is the best time to recruit new kids and their families)
  • Encourage those who give to United Way to designate part of their gift to Mohegan Council
  • Get everybody to our new TVEX events
  • Call on and recruit more great volunteers
  • Finally continue to support the discussions among the three central Massachusetts councils on what is best for Scouting in the heart of our commonwealth.

Well, quite a list, but I know Unit leaders have some just as long, and as important. We are all playing our part in the mission of this Boy Scout movement. As I just heard at a recent gathering of Scout Executives from across the country it’s “Go time”. It’s time to go out and tell our story about the benefits of Scouting for a boy, a family and a community. Let’s get our “to do’s” done and make the Scouting movement the place to be in central Mass.

See you at TVEX,

Jeff