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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,

From the Desk of the Scout Executive – March 2017

“Why do you volunteer or give to Scouting?”

That’s a question I like to ask people involved with Scouting. What’s their story about why they volunteer or support us? I’m always interested in what they have to say, and at times I am moved by what motivates them.

For many they became involved because of their child’s involvement. You know, only an hour a week is what we all say. Others were scouts when they were young and they feel they owe the organization for all the good things that came their way in their Scouting career.

Some have seen a life transformed by the Scouting program. Things like watching their boy go from a quiet introverted scout who never volunteers to a camp staff leader that others look up to. And some remember that special adult that changed their life, or challenged them when they became an Eagle Scout to step up, and to someday pay back Scouting for what they have received.

And the reason all of us should remember many great volunteers are involved and give to support our movement because someone asked them. I’ve heard many stories where folks tell they had no idea what we did, but a Ted, Mike, Warren, Sanjay, Charlie… asked them to help. They agreed because they were asked by a friend. They stayed because of the program we have that does change lives.

Thank you for what you do, I hope I see some of you at our March 22nd Prepared for Life breakfast, and please if you’d like send me a note or email and tell me why you are involved with the Boy Scouts of America.

See yah out at the valley,


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,