All of our goals are meant to help us reach our BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) of increasing the number of eligible young men serving LDS missions by 25 percentage points by 2024. In 2016, we are working on some more specific goals to help us do that:
1. Financial Viability
Matching revenues and expenses is a duty of any organization and UNPC is no different. Friends of Scouting was down significantly this year due to the mixed messaging coming from our National BSA and our largest chartered partner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the other hand, we had more boys and girls attend our camps in 2015 than ever before. More capital projects were completed in the last year at our camps than ever before, thanks to some generous donors and dedicated volunteers. We generate revenue from our Scout stores, Scout Expo and other activities. With membership continuing to grow, we are poised for strategic investment in 2016.
We are grateful for our existing donors. Our adult volunteers and boys are the beneficiaries of these invaluable contributions. And we continue to look for new donors. Our greatest challenge is handling membership growth. Over the next 20 years, we anticipate 40,000 or more additional Boy Scouts needing to be served, in addition to the almost 90,000 today. That will require better amenities at existing camps and more camps. We continue to appeal to the philanthropic community for help and many respond to our needs, including several who are regular donors.
3. Camp Amenities
Many of our camps are being upgraded. If you haven’t been to Maple Dell in a few years, you will be amazed at the opportunities for campers. In the next few months, a new zip line will be installed, creating yet another high-demand activity for those who attend camp there. Construction is also under way for a stake pavilion at Maple Dell.
Quail Creek has been involved in a community project with hundreds of volunteers and donors building a new state-of-the-art pavilion and upgrading the property. We have finished some upgrades to Tifie, which is still in optimal condition from improvements there over the past 10 years. Beaver has a new well for better water coverage. Thunder Ridge has a new archery range. Scofield has a new nature lodge along with new bathrooms and showers. Plus, we have revamped the programs at each of our camps to maximize opportunity for youth of all ages.
4. Journey to Excellence
We are focused on helping districts work better with chartered organizations. How can we better serve these partners? We have recruited more council commissioners to provide support to our districts. Over the last 12 months, we have made significant progress in Scouts and volunteers understanding how to utilize what our council and districts offer. You can read more of my thoughts on Journey to Excellence in this article I wrote earlier this year.
5. Social Media
UNPC launched a national Scouting blog, The Voice of Scouting, and other councils are helping us in this effort. We want Scouters to get relevant, timely information that can help them stay informed and better run their units. We also hope to spread the uplifting stories of Scouting that show how this movement can improve the lives of youth and adults throughout the nation and across the world. If you have a Scouting story you’d like to share, add your voice by contacting the blog team at firstname.lastname@example.org
We love our BSA volunteers and boys. Helping them succeed is our highest priority. May 2016 be a year of success in building character in young men.
If you have questions, concerns, or feedback, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 801-368-2166.
Author: Stan Lockhart | President, Utah National Parks Council, BSA