By Darryl Alder
Aug 10, 2017

Executive Board Meeting, August 10, 2017

About thirty members of Utah National Park’s Council gathered early today at the Orem Service Center for their quarterly Executive Board Meeting. Following an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, and recitation of the Scout Oath and Law, minutes from the last three months meetings were approved.

Alan Rex reported on the annual audit and its management letter, which was clean. Following the audit report, financial statements from April, May, and June were presented. This prompted a discussion about the Capital Campaign and current state of Council camps from Joel Zabriskie, who asked about the future of Thunder Ridge Scout Camp following the fire.

Dave Pack, the Scout Executive, reported about 500 acres of the 1400 acres were burned at Thunder Ridge. However, most of our usable program areas were untouched. All our buildings were saved and only a few campsite spigots melted. The burned areas included Little Thunder Lake where the semitrailer with canoes was melted into a puddle of aluminum. He also commended the heroic efforts of the Thunder Ridge staff who moved their program tracks to the Beaver High Adventure Base, where they resumed operations and served units that still wanted to come to camp. 

A centerpiece of the meeting was the presentation of a 75 Year Scouting Veteran Award to Rulon Skinner by Rondo Fehlberg. Rulon addressed the Board members for a few minutes recalling the many Jamborees he had attended. Then Ken Krogue, the Marketing Vice-chair, recalled  Rulon’s impact on missionaries at the MTC. He explained that letters from missionaries, time and again, listed Rulon as the teacher that had the greatest impact on them spiritually. 

When asked why, Rulon said that his name was on the list for substitute teachers and whenever he got a call to serve he would fall to his knees and ask God to help him help a missionary that day. Each time Rulon found a missionary that had no one to write to him from home, he would write to that Elder for his entire mission. Ken closed with this, “If you look for landmarks in life’s fareway, Rulon is one.”

Ken reported on a team he took to Jamboree under the auspices of BSA’s Office of Philanthropy. Together they became a kind of press corps that posted more than 40 stories during the five days they were there. He said that the impact of our own marketing strategies as a council are of interest to the Bechtel Summit Scout Reserve, home of the Jamboree and perhaps even the National Council. He explained how they met and interviewed Homer Hickam, the subject of October Sky, while at the Jamboree. He also interviewed Doris Goodwin Kearns, an historian who showed us traits of our national founders who matched the Scout Law well.  He also mentioned that part of this visit to Jamboree was a dress rehearsal for the World Jamboree in 2019, where he hopes to get his army of 55,000 Young Single LDS Adults (who together, speak a total of 72 languages) to serve there along with our social media team

Steve Baugh, Commissioner of Education, reported that camp participation is up 9% from the last year, with JJ’s participation increase of 13% being the largest of the camps. He reported that the Council sent fifteen units to the National Jamboree, which was more than any other council. There were 40,000 participants at the Jamboree, 26,000 of which were youth, including more than 500 of our own Scouts and Venturers

Dave Cook, Vice-President of Asset Management, reported that three miles of road at Tifie Scout Camp have been completed, as well as a new amphitheater. He said that the Asset Management Committee is clearly capable of seeing projects through; they took $350,000 in cash donations and turned it into $2.5 milion in in-kind services to build the road. Likewise, the new amphitheater at Tifie was put together by Northfield Stake during their youth conference using more than 650 people. 

Dave Pack also explained the need for a paved road at Thunder Ridge. He said, “We want to build more stake pavilions and finish the staff lodge at Maple Dell Scout Camp.” When complete, this project will deliver eating space for 200 and make it an indoor winter training venue.

Clint Lawton, Director of Field Services, said that the 2018 Friends of Scouting campaign was just getting kicked off. Countless hours had been spent with Elder Munk to get good church support. Elder Munk is inviting all who might go door to door, to attend a FOS training. Clint reported that there was only standing room in the first stake training, where attendees got new packets with Keepers of the Flame invitations for every ward, prospect cards, user names, and passwords. Also included is Elder Munk’s explanation of where FOS monies go and how it is raised. “All kickoffs will be in August with September campaigns,” he said. “The Primary goal is a face to face ask for every home with a Bishop’s bi-weekly report of how many homes have been visited and then reported to the Area 70 accounting for every family.” 

Dave Pack closed by introducing Terry Grant, a new board member, who works at Key Bank. He is working with the Celebration of Eagles. He also distributed new sample Roundtable curriculum, which are LDS centric but are  based on current national literature. Each roundtable combines all three age groups but allow for beginner, intermediate and advanced program ideas centered on high quality activities led by boys. Each roundtable outline has a section for older youth leaders (teacher and priest patrols) that allow them to stay on the Trail to Eagle. He reported these statistics:  93% of all LDS Eagles are earned after age 14 and 67% after 16. However these roundtables serve the rookie leaders until they understand and can build a robust older youth program.

Lee Hansen offered the benediction, following which a brief video from the Chief on serving the entire family with Scouting was viewed. Those interested completed a survey by email after viewing the video.

Author:Darryl Alder |  Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council.

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