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From the Desk of the Scout Executive – August 2017

Endings and Beginnings

As I write this, our summer camp staff has finished buttoning up camp for the season and are off to a fun day in Providence. It was the end of a great summer camping season. Here are some facts from this summer of ’17:

  • Attendance was up on the Boy Scout side significantly, +8%, hitting 720 boys weeks.
  • We had a 22% growth in in-council campers and exploded our provisional camping program by 36%.
  • Six Mohegan Council Troops returned to the Valley, and our reviews from Scout leaders were high all summer.
  • People liked our ongoing physical improvements: new beach, docks, boat racks and sheds at the east waterfront, newly seeded & watered green lawns at Boonesville Plain, sports field and the top of the hill, lot of talk about what the new Mohegan Lodge will be at Boonesville Plain (we’re looking to complete that project this winter).
  • Our Cub leaders also enjoyed the improvements on the West beach, again new docks & lifeguard tower and railings.
  • But the biggest Cub improvement was the reopening of the Fort Courage campsite with a fully functioning latrine that also included two showers. Our overnighters really enjoyed that convenience.
  • Finally, lots of great feedback on our staff and program, the native farm and chicken coop gathering lots of interest.

Our team of young staffers delivered a great summer for those that camped with us at Treasure Valley.

Just as we end our summer season, other teams of volunteers are charging ahead with plans for the fall:

  • Our popcorn team is ready for our big kick-off on the 17th, we’ve recruited the Worcester Railers as one of our key sponsors.
  • Our district membership teams are gearing up for their September roundtable kick-offs, Launch Into Scouting patches and free pairs of Railers home opener tickets for new boys recruited by October 13th.
  • Plans are being finalized by our TVEX committee for their three big fall events: Camp Expo on 9/16, Cub Safari on 9/30 and Woodsman weekend on 11/18.
  • Our Order of the Arrow Lodge has a Fall Ordeal planned for 9/9, and the 60th anniversary Fellowship set for 9/23 (and we have a Beaver work day at camp that day too).

Endings and beginnings in our Scouting year. I hope you take advantage of some of the things we have to offer. As always, we plan fun with a purpose, and you know that fun keeps families in Scouting longer. And the longer we can influence them, the better the outcome.

See you at camp


From the Desk of the Scout Executive – July 2017

What inspires you? Is it a vision of what could be? Is it a mentor who helped you? Is it the outdoors where you can see God’s hand in creation? Is it a bunch of enthusiastic people who also want to make a difference in the lives of children? Or is it just a time to get away, break bread with friends, and spend some time dreaming about what can be done?

I experienced all of these things at the Council Key 3 training held at the Philmont national training center. Our new Council President, Rochelle Ray, our Council Commissioner, Robert Shamgochian, and I spent the third week of June in the mountains of New Mexico learning from some great instructors and sharing our experiences with Council Key 3’s from across the country. We came back inspired and loaded with ideas. We also bought our fair share of mementos from the Tooth of Time Traders store. We had a chance to hear from Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh about thoughts and plans for the future of Scouting. He was very good at explaining the opportunities we face and soliciting ideas and feedback from the group. I think the future is very bright for our movement.

Our Key 3 realized that we, like District & Unit Key 3’s, have a key role in driving our organization forward. We all need to be on the lookout for what is best for our Unit, District and Council. And we all need to be on the hunt for new talented volunteers who need to be asked to make a difference in the life of youth in our community.

I hope your summer plans include your unit coming to Treasure Valley. The camp looks outstanding, and the staff just delivered a great first week (special thanks to all those extra volunteers who made “STEAM” week terrific). Boonesville plain and the waterfront have been transformed, the sports field grass is growing, the chicken Coop and farm plot are thriving, our refurbished west side Fort Courage campsite has “Showers”, and work continues on the total rehab of Life Lodge (a blue tarp special no more).

And if you don’t have a unit coming, come visit yourself, we want to show you our progress.

Look forward to seeing you at the Valley,


SE Blog, April 2017 – News from the National Meeting

Just a quick update today because summer is coming and it’s a scouter’s busy time! Our Council Golf outing was last Friday, The Intertribal Pow Wow was at TVSR last weekend, the Walker Memorial was held on Saturday, a lot of Eagle Courts of Honor and Cub Pack graduations are also happening, and on Wednesday, June 7th we kicked off our fall 2017/2018 Program year at Program Launch. And thank goodness the sun is finally shining, …. at least for the next couple of days.

I’m just back this week from the National Boy Scout Annual meeting in San Diego. Rochelle Ray, our new Council President, and Charlie Thompson, our National Representative along with Board member Al Malkasian also attended. We all agreed that we wish more of you could attend a national meeting like this and get a sense of how big our Scouting movement is.

It’s terrific to hear about best practices from across the country from the volunteers who have made it happen. It’s also humbling to hear the stories of those volunteers who have been recognized with the Silver Antelope or Silver Buffalo award. The incredible stories of service and giving to Scouting and the community just make you feel like you can do more.

We were inspired at the Duty to God breakfast by an outstanding story of faith in action, and were reminded that Scouting welcomes all faiths. And most importantly this universal approach strengthens our movement, instead of dividing it. We got to see our very own recent Council President, Eric Schulz, in action as the Northeast Region President as he lead our regional meeting.

Finally, we got to hear from our National President, Randall Stephenson of ATT and the National Commissioner Charlies Dahlquist on the state of Scouting. They shared their thoughts on the journey we have been on, and the opportunities we have in front of us. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh shared recent studies of family and youth trends, and had all of us giving feedback on future changes the National Council may be discussing. What do families need today, and what programs can we provide that help build today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders.

Exploring Explosion will continue as we plan to expand our coed middle and high school career program, and the national pilot of Lion Cubs will also continue as the great majority of packs who have run the program have had very good success. As they said repeatedly, the Adventure is On, it’s time for us to be loud and proud about who we are and what we do. It’s time for us to tell our story about why we volunteer, why we think Scouting is important for kids and our community. It’s time for us to grow again as a movement.

We came back ready to try new things, and to tell our story. The Adventure is On, we hope you’ll join us!

See you at camp,


From the Desk of the Scout Executive – April 2017

To me, springtime has always been a time for renewal. The days are getting longer, and hopefully warmer, so I think it’s naturally a time of more activity. Spring cleaning comes to the inside of the home, and our yards outside start to demand some attention.

In my faith walk it’s also the time we talk about renewal; and with my April 1st anniversary start date as your Council Scout Executive I’m always thinking about the journey we’ve been on, and what we can improve on next. Heck, it’s opening day for baseball, where every team gets to dream big!

Your Council teams are in full swing:

  • Our membership team is helping Packs get ready for spring recruiting which starts April 10th. This is the best time to capture new Tigers and their families for a summer adventure.
  • Our Friends of Scouting teams are busy finishing the Family Campaign. Has your unit had their presentation yet?
  • Our Board and Prepared. For Life. table hosts are following up on givers who missed our terrific March 22nd community breakfast to secure their pledge for the coming year.
  • Our TVEX task force has planned a great event for this weekend out at the valley, “the Amazing Race”.
  • Our Summer camp leadership team is busy filling out their staffs and planning a great 2017 summer season.
  • Our Properties group is very busy figuring out all our improvement projects at TVSR that will be happening this Spring, and during and after our summer season. It’s truly exciting to see all the progress we have made. Look for more improvements at the East waterfront, a major rehab of the Life Lodge, more roofs and latrine work, new cots & tents, a new campsite at Cub Scout Adventure Camp; and finishing the Harvard St service center project so the back of our building won’t fall down.

I hope your Pack, Troop, Crew and Post are making great plans. I hope you and your family are planning your next Scouting adventure. Scouting is alive and well, and like a spring bulb, is just waiting to burst forth to bring good things to our community. Thanks for being a part of this important movement.

I’ll see you at the Valley,