By Annaleis Smith
Aug 22, 2018

Meetings You’ll Be Sorry You Missed.

There have been a few meetings you might be sorry to have missed lately (3 of them within a 10-day span).  There was one hosted by the Wood Badge alumni association on Aug 9th, another at the St George Elks Lodge on Aug 11th and the most recent was on Aug 18th at the Provo Elks Lodge. You may have seen an invite to one, two or all 3 of the events on Facebook that looked something like this:

Or maybe you received a flyer or read my previous blog article with an attached flier something like this:

If you missed them all, don’t worry. I am pretty confident that meetings like these will continue to appear throughout the Utah National Parks Council (and across the state) during the next year or so and I hope everyone can make it to one or more of them soon, especially if it is as great as the one that I attended this past Saturday.

The one I attended was GREAT!

I attended the event/meeting sponsored by the Baden Powell Service Area that was held on Sat. Aug 18th at the Provo Elk’s Lodge and I am SO glad I was there!  Other than my week on staff this summer for Akela’s Council, I have not been to a meeting (Scout or other) that was so engaging and full of positive energy for quite a while.  I left the meeting feeling inspired and more optimistic about Scouting’s future here in Utah.  It’s been a while since I have felt such energy and shared dedication from a group of Scouters.  It was awesome! (Anyone else who attended please leave your impressions or share something you learned from this event in the comment section at the end.)

WHAT you missed – A Simplified Recap.

The meeting at the Provo Elk’s Lodge began with an opening flag ceremony by a few youth members from Pack 51.  The littlest Scout was SO cute in her official Lion uniform. They did a great job!  Then everyone was welcomed by Ryan Bertram the UNPC professional assigned to the Baden Powell Service Area.  He was followed by Brad Harris who is currently the chairman of the Baden Powell Service Area Task Force – a group of about 15 volunteers interested in helping Community-based Scouting succeed.

Brad went through a brief presentation about many of the things that will and/or could be changing about Scouting here in Utah beginning in 2020 (or sooner).  He had a list of advantages and disadvantages and most everyone in the room, including Brad himself, agreed that even the disadvantages really are advantages in many ways. Derrick Larsen, another UNPC executive, talked about what it takes and how to start new units.  And then a couple of volunteers shared some “Success Stories” about how and why they started the units they serve in. Brad Harris speaking to Scouters about the Future of Scouting in Utah

An Experienced Panel of Scouters for Q&A

There were 6 volunteers and 1 professional who then took their spots at the front of the room to answer questions from the nearly 100 people who showed up for this event.  Derrick Larsen represented the UNPC, The volunteers (most of whom are members of the Task Force) were; Brenden Taylor from Sea Scout Ship 1000, Todd Cope from Explorer Post 8740, Julia Oldroyd from Venturing Crew 707, Evan Clements from Troop 1456, Felice Clements from Family Pack 1456 and Michele Bray from Pack 1179.  They answered questions both general and specific and they were also available after the meeting for additional questions and “brain picking”.  We have SO many great leaders willing to help and share.

Yep – It’s Online

If you are really wishing you had been there you can find a recording of almost the entire meeting that you can listen to and watch on YouTube – thanks to one of the great Scouters in attendance. Thanks, Merinda!

Some of the resources referenced can be found at – check out the resources and be sure to take the survey to let others know where and how you would like to serve in Scouting come 2020. 

FOOD and FUN Followed

Following the official part of the meeting, there was a cracker barrel of course – but not just your ordinary table of snacks.  There were hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings, yogurt, fruit, and so much more.  Best of all, there was plenty of space to sit and ask questions or share ideas or stories with others. Many people stuck around for at least 1/2 hour some for an hour.  It was great to see so many people enjoying the food, atmosphere, and the Scouting conversations.

There were also some fun activities for the kids. There were almost 25 children in attendance.  During the meeting, there were games in the hallway and afterward, there was a Potato Derby downstairs.  Fun for all! Pinewood Derby wheels on a potato (or other vegetables) and let them roll!

WHY was it a great meeting?

It was a very informative meeting and many ideas were exchanged.  But honestly, for me, the very best thing about it was just the way it felt to spend time with other dedicated Scout leaders discussing what we can do to help the future of Scouting in Utah.  The information shared was great but the energy in the room was even better.  Everyone was there because they wanted to find out more.  What can I do?  How do I do it?  Who can I talk to that has already done this.  It was great to see so many gathered together for a common purpose.  Excited about what the future can bring if we choose to make it so.

WHAT’S NEXT from the Baden Powell Service Area?

Next month the Baden Powell Service Area task force will host a Roundtable.  This Roundtable (sharing of ideas) will be held on

Saturday, September 29th at 10-12pm

at the UNPC office in Orem.

Anyone is welcome to attend.  This first roundtable will help determine what kind of services, training, and other events are wanted, needed and have volunteers willing to help make them happen.  Those that attend may also help determine how often these roundtables and other events will happen. Would you like to participate in a VOA, Powder Horn or how about a district/council wide Pinewood Derby or Camporee?  Come to this Roundtable on Sat. September 29th to share your ideas and volunteer to help and it can happen!  Can’t make the meeting?  Have an idea you would like to share or another way you would like to help – email Ryan Bertram or Brad Harris.

Author Annaleis Smith is a “stay-at-home” mom of 5 (3 boys 2 girls).  She has been a Cub Scout leader since 2003.  She has also been involved with district roundtables since 2008 and various council committees (including Akela’s Council) since 2010. Annaleis currently serves as a Cubmaster, Assistant Roundtable Commissioner, and president of the Commissioner College Cabinet for UNPC.

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One thought on “Meetings You’ll Be Sorry You Missed.

  1. AvatarJed

    Thank you for documenting last Saturday’s meeting. It was fun to spend time with the children at the vegetable derby. For 2019 I would like to see the Baden Powell Service Area Task Force assist with Leader Training. I had a wonderful time learning about the current Cub Scout program at Akela’s Council 36 and would like to see a couple of courses and at least one Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation offered in 2019 so Cub Scout Packs can Be Prepared to go camping in 2020…


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