First, for some good news.
Due to work done by you and Scouters in your units, we have for the first time in many, many years increased our registration numbers! Overall, we are up just a couple of Scouts, but we have increased our Cub Scout numbers by over 20 youth. Here’s hoping we have finally turned the corner of year to year decline.
Second, we have met our Friends of Scouting (FOS) goal. The money raised by this program helps fund our Council office, provides camperships for summer camp, and supports many of the activities and training throughout the Council.
Third, summer camp keeps on getting better. For Camp Sunrise and the Cub Scouts look to see facility improvements throughout the camp. New leantos, improved archery and BB gun shooting ranges, and the start to a new shower house. I think the even the fireplace in the dinning hall will be complete by the start of camp. Mt Norris saw a 30% increase in Boy Scouts this past summer. Program and facility improvements continue to make this the camp of choice for Scouts in and out of the Council. If any Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Unit would like a camp representative to come a Pack or Troop meeting and do a promotion, please let me know. We would be glad to set something up.
Now for some information:
As you have probably found out, the hardest thing in getting charters completed is the new Youth Protection Training. I have heard many complaints about how user un-friendly the national web site is. I urge you to try to do everything possible to get you charters in before the end of the year.
Along with charters, is the Journey to Excellence (JTE) sheets and goals. Just like your units, our district has a JTE measurements. Right now, we stand at Bronze level, but are a mere 25 points away from achieving Silver. One area as a district we are measured on, is community service hours. The application to record service hours is very easy to use (not like YPT). I know all units do community service all year long, but we don’t record the hours in the national data base. Please consider recording the hours. Here is a link to the web site: https://servicehours.scouting.org/UI/Security/Login.aspx
Awards. It is important to recognize your fellow Scouters for all the volunteer work they do. We all have folks in our units that always seem to volunteer for everything or do an incredible job with an activity or event. Maybe they extend their help beyond just a unit and volunteer with other groups or for our District or Council. There are many ways to recognize them. Either a simple recognition at an event, or awards within the BSA (Scouter pins, Den Leader pins, District award of Merit, Silver Beaver).
Speaking of District award of merit. Nominations are due into the district by March first. Here is a link to the form: www.scoutingvermont.org/district-award-of-merit.html
And what better way to recognize them than at our annual District dinner, Saturday March 30th at the VFW in Rutland. This is a chance to rub elbows with fellow Scouters and friends. We would love to see units present awards to fellow Scouters. We also have District awards such as, Cubmaster of the year, Scoutmaster of the year, Scouting Sparkplug,
Activity dates. Here are a few dates to add to your calendars:
2/23/18 Klondike Derby
3/9/18 Cub Scout Winter Fun Day
4/26-28/18 Spring Camporee
Plus, many more dates within the Council for activities and training. Please check the Council web site for more information.
To close, I want to wish all happy holidays and happy new year. Please save some time to spend with family and friends. Like I have told our Troop when I was Scoutmaster. Put down the phones, step away from the tv, and go outside for a walk. Take the kids, take your spouse or a friend and just enjoy. Look around and be thankful for all we have. So many memories can be made when you make that time.
Ethan Allen District Committee Chair