Saturday, 24 November 2012

An Open Letter to the Great Alaska Council

It seems that while we all have the best intentions at heart for the youth we serve, we are forgetting that our Council is much more than the Anchorage Area/Wasilla Area/Palmer Area and quite frankly these three areas represent less than a ⅓ of the entire geographic area that our Council covers. That is the issue.........we as a whole seem to ignore every other Scout/Scouter/Unit outside of these areas. How is this fair? It isn’t fair and in order to move our council forward it must stop........IMMEDIATELY!

Many Scouts/Scouters/Units wonder why units outside of the Anchorage/Wasilla/ palmer areas despise and don’t want to work with council. And it is that many units are not properly supported or given a chance to share in the decision making process of Council. Personally I don’t think the answer is that complicated or impossible to implement but that does NOT mean it isn’t going to be HARD WORK. In the end this hard work will pay off and prove to Councils around the country that if the geographically largest Council work as one, there is no reason why geography should be such a burden and hindrance when it comes to serving our youth.

My proposal then is to take the time and effort to get the outlying youth, leaders, and units to involve them in ALL aspects of Scouting. And to ensure that we provide for the same type of opportunities available to the youth in the more urban areas in our Council. I realize that it will never be at the same exact level but we as Scouters can do much better than what the current status quo is.

Finally I will leave you with twoquotes. The first quote is from James A. Lovell, Mission commander of the Apollo 13 Mission, and it goes like this:

Scouting exposes young men to people and experiences
that encourage and nurture positive moral values. 
But we mustn’t take Scouting for granted.
You can do nothing more important for you people today than
to continue, or begin your support of Scouting.
I have never met anyone with devotion to the
Scouting experience who was not a solid citizen,
a loyal friend, and a patriot.
We need more of them.

My last quote is one that personally reminds me why, even though I have no no kids in Scouting, why I continue my participation in Scouting as an adult volunteer. Unfortunately, I do not have the name of the person who wrote it but I’m sure that most, if not all of you have heard the following quote:

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional.
If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a volunteer.
If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

I ask you now to be truly honest with yourself and answer this question.........

“Are you truly a Scouter?”

But please don’t come the conclusion instantly, it requires careful reflection to know the real answer to this question.

Yours In Scouting Service
Mark West
Great Alaska Council
Council Program Committee Member

“In Scouting, a boy is encourage to EDUCATE himself instead of being INSTRUCTED.”

Denali District November 2012 District Committee Meeting

November 16, 2012
Thursday 1900-2045
Denali District
District Committee Meeting

  • Travis Ransom, District Executive
  • Cliff Crismore, Council Scout Executive
  • Mark West, Unit Commissioner
  • District Finance Chair
  • District Advancement Chair
  • District Chairman
  • District Camping Chair
  • District Training Chair

Agenda Overview:
  • District Commissioner Update:
    • Prospects for District Commissioner Position
  • Recharter
    • Trouble Units (ie. Pack 125; Troop 125; Pack 212)
  • District Program Update
    • Advancement (MBU; District ADV Report)
    • Activities (SFF; District Dinner)
    • Training (CS BLT; OWL; OKPIK)
    • Camping (Freezeree; SP Camporee)
  • District Finance Update
    • FOS Planning
    • Popcorn
  • District Membership Update
    • New Unit (American Legion)
    • B2S Nights (Access Issues)
  • District Awards Update
    • SLV Beaver

District Timeline Update:
  • November (Recharter; Membership)
  • December (Okpik)
  • January (Freezoree; FOS; Training)
  • February (District Dinner)

Commissioner Service:

Denali DC
  • Identified potential prospects for DC position
  • Prospects Include:
    • Greg Rothwell (UA: Unknown)
    • Bruce Laughlin (UA: T0209)
    • David O’brien (UA: T0210)
    • Ralph Kiehl (UA: T0210)
    • Jay Goold (UA: T0209)
    • Forney Ingram (UA: P0111 & T0026)
  • Greg Rothwell:
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Bruce Laughlin
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • David O’brien
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Possibility of changing role (CM to SM? -or- SM to CM?)?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Ralph Kiehl
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Jay Goold
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Forney Ingram
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC.
    • Considered a very good prospect.

  • Phone calls to Units that haven’t gotten anything to DE yet.
  • Units that haven’t turned in anything:
    • ???
  • 24 RCHART have been received by DE
  • 16 RCHART sent to registrar
  • Most RCHART turned in have minor errors (ie. CBC Missing; YPT Missing; AREG Missing; YREG Missing)
  • RCHART turn around from registrar is going very slowly (Be patient!!!)
  • Most worrisome unit RECHART include T0125 & P0125 (ie Nothing Turned in to DE)

Critical Units
  • P0125 Need youth. Adult Leader base is strong. RCHART issues
  • T0125 Too many Adult Leaders. Too few youth. B2S Night recruitment? Look into other recruitment options?
  • P0212 Lack of scouting experience. Number of youth provides opportunities for quality programs. Untrained leaders make it difficult to give the youth a proper scouting experience.

District Program Update:

  • Participants/parents/leaders reported MBC provided quality instruction and had enough real-life experience to teach the MB.
  • Few minor complaints but nothing major to report
  • MBU Registration:
    • Lack of proper preparation
    • Lack of an user friendly interface
    • Lack of system availability
    • Overall......... “Registration System was a complete failure”
    • Council IT notified (System needs to be beta tested for future events by volunteers (according to ADV Chair)
    • Need answers about what Council IT has done to resolve the issues
District ADV Reports
  • Distributed to DCOM for review
  • No comments or thoughts brought up
District Dinner
  • Still need to recruit Chairman (Possible candidate......Dan Young?)
  • Plenty of resources available through DCOM Members to help chair
  • “Relatively Simple Job” (Statement is debatable)
  • Chair will need mentor to be assigned to make the event easy to coordinate
  • Recruit District SFF Coordinator
  • Butch Nelson as SFF Coordinator? (Hard to contact.)
  • Start to prepare to encourage unit participation in SFF
  • Don’t need to worry until after the 1st of the year
District Training Update:

  • CS Leader Specific
    • Need to hold course ASAP!
    • Recruit a regular CS Leader Specific Training Team
    • Mr./Mrs. Ed Cullinane (Unable to confirm contact information & experience)
    • BALOO
      • Since OWL Training is needed isn’t there a need for a BALOO Course?
      • Council BALOO Course (Late Spring 2013)
      • Isn’t BALOO a prerequisite to OWL
    • OWL
      • No date established
      • Isn’t BALOO a prerequisite to OWL?
      • Council has planned OWL training (late Spring 2013) but is rarely held due to lack of attendance
  • Date: Saturday, December 1, 2012
  • Time: 0730 to 1700
  • Location: Camp Carlquist, Chugiak, Alaska
  • Topics Include:
    • Cold Weather First Aid
    • Avalanche Safety
    • Staying Warm in the Cold
    • Snow Shelters
    • Best Places to Go For Snow
    • Getting Properly Dressed the Cheap Way
    • Boots and Footwear
    • Rescue Resources
    • Snowshoes
    • Cross Country and Downhill Skiing
    • Winter Navigation (Bring declination adjustable compass and GPS unit.)
    • Food Preparation
    • Pulk Sled Project (Requires advanced registration. November 21 is the last day to register for this session.)
  • Cost: $15.00/person if paid by November 29th (Online registration is available.)
    • If paid at-the-door $18.00/person (No lunch without advanced registration.)
  • Who: Adult Leaders responsible during winter outings, the SPL, the ASPL’s for your unit, or any youth leader that is highly likely to step into the SPL or ASPL position during the coming year.
  • Reminder: Training is required in order to be eligible for your Order of the Arrow 100 Below Points.
LNT Master Educator Course
  • Description: Prepares participants to be LNT Master Educators which is considered the highest level of LNT Instructor Training. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/04/2013 to 05/09/2013
  • Time: TBA
  • Location: Chilkoot High adventure Base, Haines, Alaska
  • Primary Course Activity: Kayaking
  • Cost: $325
  • Description: Highest level of camping/outdoor activities training offered by the BSA. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/11/2013 to 05/17/2013 (Shooting Sports Section includes pistol training which means the training starts on 05/10/2013 instead of 05/11/2013.)
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Carlquist and Camp Gorsuch)
  • Cost: $450 (Depending on volunteer/staff role person may be eligible for partial compensation of the total cost.)
  • Description: Advanced Adult Leader Training for volunteers who have completed all BLT portions. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/30/2013 to 06/01/2013 (Thursday through Saturday) and 06/13/2013 to 06/15/2013 (Thursday through Saturday) (Attendance is required during both sessions to complete the WB21st.)
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Carlquist and Camp Gorsuch)
  • Description: Advanced YLT for youth members either in Boy Scouting or Venturing.
  • Dates: 06/02/2013 to 06/08/2013
  • Location: DHASB
  • Prerequisite: Have attended some form of TLT (ie JLT, TLT, YLT, ILST, or ILSC or any other course approved by the GAC.)
  • Requirements:
    • Be a First Class Scout
    • Be at least 13 years old
    • Be approved by your SM
    • Be a current or prospective Youth Leader
    • Have attended Scout Camp for at least 2 years.
District Camping Update:

  • Dates: 02/15/2013 to 02/17/2013 (Troops have the option of starting on 02/14/2013 if the unit can provide adequate adult leaders during this time.)
  • Location: TBA
  • Theme: Unknown?
  • Note: Final draft of the Leaders Guide is unavailable at this time and needs to be published and released ASAP.
Spring Camporee
  • Dates: 05/03/2013 to 05/05/2013
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Gorsuch or Camp Carlquist)
  • Theme:Search and Rescue
  • Note:No Leaders Guide has been developed for the Camporee. Timeline for Leaders Guide development, publishing, and releasing has not been set yet.
District Finance Update:

  • Date of planning meeting needs to be set
  • Create schedule of when Unit FOS Presentations will occur
  • Start promoting FOS during December RT
  • The 2012 Trails End Popcorn Fundraiser is almost over
  • District had above average performance and sales
  • Dates to Remember: Unit popcorn checks cashed on Friday, December 7, 2012
District Membership Update:

New CS Pack
  • American legion Post 1 is CO
  • Ray ________ is the COR
  • Need to start recruiting key unit leaders including:
    • TDL
    • WDL
    • BDL
    • WEBDL
    • CM
    • ACM
    • PCC
    • PCM (2 Members)
  • B2S Night Visit
    • Approval granted to get into North Star Elementary
    • Date: TBA
    • Time: TBA
    • Primary focus is on first graders
  • Will need to assign an UC to the unit in order to help ensure unit creation and development goes smoothly.
Entrance into Locked Schools:
  • Got permission to do B2S Night visit at Bowman Elementary
  • Need to set up B2S Night ASAP to help P0212 gets more members to help stabilize the unit in regards to youth and adult membership
  • Coordinate with P0212 as P0212 is going to serve as the feeder Pack for Bowman Elementary
  • Contact for P0212 is Reese Baldwin(Hard to get ahold of. Consider getting a new primary contact for P0212.)
  • P0212 is making it difficult for an UC to provide support to P0212
  • Critical Need: Develop better communication to help the unit start and continue to be successful.
District Awards Update:
Nomination Committee
  • Current Members: Andy Ncleod and Al Mills
  • Prospects:
    • Jeff San Juan
    • Ray Wall
    • Ken ________ (Maybe????)
  • Needs to be determined ASAP
SLV Beaver
  • Look for prospective leaders
  • Work on completing Nomination Paperwork and SLV Beaver Application for prospects
  • Council SLV Beaver Nominations are due 12/01/2012 (Urgent Task!!!!!!! Complete ASAP. Preferably completed by the monday after Thanksgiving!!!!!!)
District Awards Dinner
  • District Awards Dinner is in February
  • Nominations completed by January _____, 2012???
  • Look for potential prospects
  • Gather information about good candidates and prospects for the District Dinner.

Total Pageviews