April 23, 2018

Scouting Family,

”Think, dream, believe, and dare.”  This is what we have done and are doing as a Council, to prepare our properties for the future. This is a quote from Walt Disney, a Boy Scout himself. who received the Silver Buffalo Award, Scouting’s highest honor for adults.

As you may or may not be aware, in 2014 the Bay-Lakes Council established a visionary plan called “Imagine 2024” to address the facility and program needs of the Council properties.  This plan established a robust vision of what Scouting will be in our Council over the next 10 years. At the foundation of this plan is a wealth of information from years of planning efforts.  In 2017, “Imagine 2024” was given a new name of “Growing Future Leaders”; which marked movement of the plan into the next phase. A year-long master planning process was most recently completed which led to the creation of a Prioritization Committee to assist in confirming and establishing a direction for this powerful effort.  The committee used the following criteria to determine options, prioritize projects and ultimately make a recommendation that our Board of Directors approved on April 18, 2018, at the Council Board Meeting.

  • EXPERIENCE                                                                                                        Provides extraordinary Scouting experiences for all current and future Scouts for years to come.
    Includes long-term sustainability plan for camp facilities and operations.
    Allows for scalability and flexibility to accommodate future growth and trends for years to come.
    Makes the most of capital funds raised and entrusted to our care.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, we are excited to announce the following “enhanced” direction and plan of how we will be using the amazing, flagship properties of the Bay-Lakes Council:

Cub Scout Summer Camp at Camp Rokilio
Enhancements to current Cub Scout camp.
Webelos Summer Camp at Camp Gardner Dam
Currently at Twin Lakes leased property.
Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Bear Paw
Brings our Boy Scout Summer Camp programs together from Camp Hiawatha, Camp Bear Paw, Camp Gardner Dam. All current programming opportunities that are offered now remain available.
High-Adventure Camp at Camp Hiawatha
Continue to offer current and new high-adventure programs at Hiawatha. Webelos Summer Camp and Cub Scout Summer programs also offered here.
Jax Camp
Continue to offer camping opportunities at Jax Camp.

New buildings will be designed for year-round usage and will be available to all Scouting programs and participants.  In addition to creating flagship camps from a property and experience perspective that will serve all Scouts (every level, both boys and girls), this plan offers many other benefits. It also allows us to establish our new Webelos Summer Camp program location with greater speed and at a lower cost than our initial plan. Our camps will have major enhancements and will provide the programs our Scouts have loved for years: like patrol site cooking, shooting sports, kayaking, fishing, swimming, boating, ecology, new programming involving technology and activities in the future we have yet to imagine. The high adventure and STEM programs offered at Camp Gardner Dam now, will continue to be part of the program offerings at Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Bear Paw.

By June 1, 2018, a plan will be announced as to when each of the transitions supporting Growing Future Leaders will occur. All the planned transitions may not occur at the same time:

  • Boy Scout Summer Program at Camp Gardner Dam to Camp Bear Paw
  • Boy Scout Summer Program at Camp Hiawatha to Camp Bear Paw when new high adventure base camp programs are ready
  • Webelos Summer Program at Camp Twin Lakes to Camp Gardner Dam
  • Hiawatha Adventure Base Camp at Camp Hiawatha

An important item to note is that the current 2018 summer camp program operations will NOT change.

After reading this letter, please watch a short video message with some additional information about this important update:

Our first Cornerstone Project of “Growing Future Leaders” – a new Welcome Center at Rokilio – is now underway. Please look forward to more information about this project and a groundbreaking ceremony later this year!

Walt Disney also said, “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.  While our Growing Future Leaders plan prepares us for the future, it is grounded in the rich heritage of Scouting in Bay-Lakes Council and fueled by the passion, commitment and unity of our Scouting Family.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bay-Lakes Council, we share our excitement and thank you for your support as together we move forward with this significant step in our “Growing Future Leaders” journey.

Communication will be key as we progress. We are committed to doing a fantastic job of sharing information and keeping you updated! If you have questions, please contact the council or speak with any member of our board.

Make it a Great Day for Scouting!