Welcome Back to the GUIDE!

Thank you for continued feedback of The Guide. As we all adjust to the ever-changing conditions these days, we are glad to be back, hopefully resuming the every-other Friday routine. Meanwhile, see below for feedback options.


President’s Message

This will be my last message to everyone. My term as Council President ends at our April 22nd Annual Meeting. It has been a tremendous experience and pleasure to serve all of you. So, I will leave with a parable.

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!


Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Bill Braun, Council President

Commissioner’s Corner

Like you, I am finding dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to be a challenge. Everything takes more time and has to be done at a distance. I am learning about Zoom meetings, Dropbox document sharing, and I may even be forced to start up on Facebook. (Yes, I am a bit of a dinosaur!)  I know we’ll survive it, we always do, and soon it will be back to business as usual.

We all know that the Scouts and volunteers of Bay-Lakes Council expect a lot. 
Their lives are crowded with all sorts of options of things to do and ways to spend their time. They are trying to wring as much value out of the activities they choose to participate in and should see Commissioners as a valuable tool to help them in their efforts.

As Commissioners, we continue to look for ways to serve you. Our goal is to give top-notch service and provide units with the information and coaching they need so that they can solve the issues that they face.

So… if you need something, give a Commissioner a call. We’ll do our best to give you a hand.

Roy LaPean, Council Commissioner

COVID-19 Update

The Bay-Lakes Camp Leadership Team wants to assure everyone that we are actively monitoring developments closely. We are 100% committed to the safety of you, your Scouts and leaders, and our staff and volunteers. Under the Governor’s “Safer at Home” directive, the Center for Scouting remains closed. However, Scouting business rolls on. Our staff team members continue to be available via e-mail and phone to answer questions and to provide service to you. While the camps remain closed and all Council and District activities are suspended, see the next message for ways to keep Scouting a priority during these days. The Scout Shop also remains closed. You can still go online and order items. (SPOILER ALERT: there is a clearance sale until April 19, 2020, so be sure to check it out.) We will continue to update you on new developments. We cannot emphasize enough that the safety of our Scouts, their families and leaders, and the volunteers and Council employees is our top priority. We continue to be deeply grateful for our Scouting community. Together, we will overcome any challenges that may face us in the future. For now, Scout on safely and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions

Scouting Can Still Happen

We might not be meeting or going on outings, but Scouting can still happen. Scout units should not hold in person meetings, activities or outings during the public health emergency. However, there are ways to continue unit Scouting programs via virtual meetings including conference calls and video conferencing. Keep in mind, many Scouting activities can take place at home. Advancement can occur even while we are home. If you have not “liked” the Bay-Lakes Council FACEBOOK page, or your local district pages, please do so. Staff has been posting information to help keep us all on track.


Parents: Check out these Scouting @ Home resources. Learn how to earn a special patch created for this activity. Adults leaders: If you are not familiar with “Bryan on Scouting”, try this link. For Scouts BSA boys and girls, you can still work on merit badges. Here are some fun projects for Cub Scouts. Finally, let us know how you enjoyed Wednesday night’s Scouting@Home virtual campfire. Earlier this week, we had confirmation from units from five states who were going to participate. (Please note that the camp-in is not a part of the Scouting @ Home patch challenge. If you would like to earn the FREE patch, you must complete the requirements and submit proof here. If you’re doing some pretty cool Scouting stuff at home, post it to Facebook and tag us using the hashtag #scoutingathome.


Do A Good Turn is Essential Now More than Ever
From our earliest days in Scouting, we learn to “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Scouts, if it appropriate in your neighborhood and your parents/guardians approve, please check on your neighbors, especially your older ones. Just be sure to step off the porch after ringing the doorbell to maintain appropriate distancing. Remember how you’d go over to their house and help them shovel snow last winter?  Springtime yard clean-up chores can easily be done to help them out (of course, while you do your yard too.) Lots of possibilities to do that daily good turn. Here are a few other ideas.


Summer Camp Planning Continues
It is hard to think about going to camp this summer when school has yet to resume, but we are still working toward June. Our camp leadership teams are actively preparing, as if camp will be unaffected, in order to offer the best program for your units and Scouts. We encourage you to plan for camp as normal, during this unprecedented time in all our lives. For example, for those attending Bear Paw Scout Camp and Camp Hiawatha. we encourage Scouts to use this “home time” to work on their prerequisites. Safety is paramount. Let’s follow our motto and “Be Prepared”.


Because “situations” can change so rapidly, in the event, that summer resident camp should be adjusted, or possibly be closed in part or whole, we will be informing your camp coordinator promptly. If we are closed for some weeks and opened during others, we will work with each unit to reschedule their 2020 camping experience to a week which camp is open. If it is determined that we are not able to provide a Resident Camping experience this summer, your unit will have the option to transfer those fees to the 2021 camping season or request a refund. Likewise, we know that without meetings and the uncertainty of this situation, collecting and submitting payment can be difficult. Please note that the “Early Bird” pricing for Scouts to be paid-in-full is extended to May 15.


Meanwhile, at its teleconference last month, the Bay-Lakes Council Board of Directors began to develop a plan to complete deferred essential camp maintenance requests, and to ensure that the facilities are ready for us. The rangers are hard at work to keep the buildings and ranges properly cleaned and ready. Even so, as noted above, the Board is working on alternative plans “just in case.” But every effort targets camp! Summer Camp 2020, has the potential to be, the most memorable in camping history. But only if you are there, too!


NEWS FROM WEBELOS RESIDENT CAMP at GARDNER DAM: Director Brittany Burmeister writes: “Superhero Training Academy” is in session! This summer, you and your cadets will be jumping into the training academy and will spend the session learning the ways of a hero. Training spots such as the Recharge Station, formerly known as the Trading Post, will incorporate the superhero life in every aspect of camp.


New this year! Gardner Dam Scout Camp will feature a brand new rock throwing range. Sounds kind of funny, right? Featured over by the BB Gun and Archery ranges, the rock throwing range will be an exciting place to watch and hear what happens when you throw stones at various objects. Things such as saw blades and pie tins tend to ring throughout camp, while old coffee mugs and sporting clays explode on impact. All is done within a controlled and safe environment, yet still provides excitement and fun.


Build My Own Hero will be the camp-wide pin to be earned this summer. Rather than one full session for the pin, these requirements will be sprinkled throughout activities during the course of camp. We will recognize local heroes and create care packages for those local teams to thank them for their service. Cadets will have an opportunity to create their own super hero persona right after checking in at camp. There will also be a cadet training challenge which will test their team abilities in accomplishing obstacle-like challenges while also diving deeper into heroism they can provide once leaving camp.


Training Staff training is not only an important aspect to the summer camp experience, it’s essential. We are revamping the way we train our Webelos camp staff this year. Beginning mid-June, our staff will arrive for a week-long staff retreat where they will not only learn their role and the skills needed to complete their job, but will also learn how to provide excellent customer service in all areas of camp. Safety is #1 at camp and we are excited to be able to provide the safest experience possible with customer service that will rival Disney.” Thanks, Brittany!


ARE YOU REGISTERED YET? All that said, if you have not yet registered for resident camp, take these days to do so. You will find new activities alongside our favorite programs this summer. Bay-Lakes camps will still be the place you wanted to be this summer. Even if your unit might be camping elsewhere, you can still come to camp as a provisional Scout. We will have more details in the weeks ahead. But first, you want to register.


Links to Your Summer Camps


New for Summer Camp
We are excited to introduce the new 2020 Northwoods High Adventures. Scouts BSA and Venturers can choose from several adventures in Northern Wisconsin. Fees include all equipment, staff support, transportation, and food. Here is what is planned:


This program finds Scouts paddling among the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Lake Superior! Participants spend 5 days on the water and 4 nights camping. Cost is $550 per person. Contact Troy Seehafer at (715) 365-3111 for details and to sign up.


This exciting high adventure trek utilizes the very popular destinations of Door County and the Wolf River to build an action filled week. The program is very flexible, and it can be adjusted to be a full or partial week program. It has two different start days. Monday and Wednesday. You could do both the Whitewater or Sea Kayaking program or either as a separate program. Adults are welcome to participate. For more details, please email Dave Benton.


Scouts must be ready for the challenge of a five-day backpacking trek through the Porcupine Mountains. Cost is $475 per person. Contact Troy Seehafer at (715) 365-3111 for details and to sign up.

Learn the Latest with the April Summer Camp Webinars

A great way to learn about camping: the 2020 Summer Camp Webinars will be April 29-Cub Scouts & Webelos at 6:00 PM CDT and Scouts BSA at 7:00 PM CDT live on the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page. You will hear directly from our Camp Directors, learn about program offerings, and any updates in our procedures for camp. Webinars are recorded and posted for later viewing on the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page.

Pre-Camp Swim Testing

Save time this summer at camp. Did you know that your unit does not have to wait till summer camp check-in to do its swim tests?  As soon as we get back to “normal,” contact your local YMCA or swimming pool to make arrangements. When swim tests are conducted away from camp, remember that the Camp Aquatics Director retains the right to review or retest any or all participants to ensure that standards have been maintained.

SPOTLIGHT: Trained Leaders are Essential

We know that every Scout deserves a trained leader: both youth and adult. National Youth Leader Training (NYLT) is an exciting, action-packed program designed to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience that they can use in their home troops and crews, as well as other situations demanding leadership of self and others. Registration is now open for the traditional course, June 14-20 at Camp HiawathaThere will be transportation available from Appleton, Green Bay and Marinette. The Pack and Paddle course is scheduled for August 9-15, also at Camp Hiawatha; more information and registration here.


The Council-sponsored adult course is known as Wood Badge. It is an immersive course, over two weekends, that combines the Scouting Aims and Methods with learning about leadership and team development skills in an active, outdoor environment. Its goal is to enable adults to provide a quality program efficiently that will enable their youth to grow to their greatest potential. This year’s dates: Aug. 21-21 at Camp Rokilio and Sept. 12-13 at Bear Paw Scout Camp. More information, click here.


Get to Know: The Kon Wapos Lodge, Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s “National Honor Society”. Scouts and Scouters, who meet the eligibility requirements, are eligible for election. The April 1 deadline for unit elections has been extended and the Order of the Arrow has approved the lodge to conduct virtual unit elections. The Order of the Arrow lodge leadership team will be contacting unit leaders with instructions on how to conduct a virtual unit election. “Arrowmen” are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. You will know them by their distinctive pocket flap on the front left pocket of their uniform and their red arrow-on-white sash at O.A. events. The Kon Wapos Lodge serves the Bay-Lakes Council and sponsors the Kon Wapos service award for campers who also provide service to summer camps. The Lodge is further divided along District lines into chapters, which sponsor May/June and August work weekends before and after summer camp season. (Because of current concerns, most of these meetings are being held online, if not cancelled or postponed. Scouts BSA and Venture leaders, please get on the Lodge distribution list for current updates) Watch for those dates, in upcoming issues.) This summer, the Lodge will send a contingent of youth and adults to the National Order of the Arrow Conference, a gathering of over 8,000 Arrowmen on the Michigan State University campus in early August. 

Scouts: Have You Ever Been to a Jamboree?

Next summer, Scouts BSA girls, Scouts BSA boys and a Venturing Crew will be formed into a Bay-Lakes Council contingent for the 2021 Jamboree. If you are a Venturer or a First Class Scout who will be at least 12 years old on July 21, 2021, you are eligible to register for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The National Scout Jamboree is held July 21-30, 2021, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in the coal hills of West Virginia. There will be touring in the Washington D.C. area July 16-20, 2021. Youth can register hereThe steering committee is busy with leadership recruitment and contingent planning. Adults interested in serving as a leader in the contingent can apply now by contacting John Heyer. Staff opportunities and more Jamboree information can be found here. If you have questions or need more information, contact Michael Mailand or John Heyer.


Final Thoughts …
It is an understatement to say these are challenging times. But we as Scouts have never shied away from challenges and opportunities. WE can help each other. WE can set the example. WE can do each day what we promise at every Scout meeting we will do: the Scout Promise and the Scout Law. Now is a good time to practice doing a good turn daily, whether for those at home with you or for someone down the street who really needs your help. Keep washing your hands and stay socially distant. Stay Home. Stay Calm. Scout on! And, see you at camp, sooner rather than later.


Until next time…it IS a great day for Scouting!


In the Spirit of Adventure,


Warren Kraft
Vice President-Program Development
Bay-Lakes Council
Adventure beyond the Expected


We’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and feedback: Let us know what you think.  If you have an idea, event, question or comment, please share with us. It is easy; just click the “reply” button to this email, or send it directly to warren.kraft@baylakesbsa.org. Know a friend who would appreciate this news? Feel free to forward it and have them let us know to add their address to the distribution list. And, thank you very much for supporting Bay-Lakes Council Scouting at its finest.