• We welcome our new Scout Executive.
  • We take a look at the efforts that are underway to ensure a safe and fun summer resident camp experience and report that the campership deadline extension of May 1.
  • Camp Hiawatha shares exciting TREK adventures ahead for Scouts.
  • The Scouting for Food annual campaign has gone “Virtual.”
  • An invitation to participate in our Scouting @ Home Campout May 1-3.

Welcome to the New Bay-Lakes Council Scout Executive, Ralph Voelker!

  Last week, it was announced that Ralph Voelker will serve as the new Scout Executive for Bay-Lakes Council. We are excited for him to join us on May 15. If you missed the communication announcement, find it here.

COVID-19 Updates
  While the Center for Scouting and Bay-Lakes Scout Shop remain closed during the Safer At Home order, staff members remain available by phone or email to provide service. You can still order your uniform requirements and other items online! (Another SPOILER ALERT: Save 25% on select items for Backyard Camping through April 20.)

  In case you missed it, Council President Bill Braun, he sent a short message regarding COVID-19, reaffirming the efforts to keep Scouting safe. Currently, there are three teams working on contingency planning as we try to anticipate our return to “normal.” Every Monday morning, a teleconference with the key volunteer leadership and professional staff takes place. During this meeting, they review the past week’s efforts, discuss current updates, and establish objectives for the coming week for the wide variety of programming that occurs in Bay-Lakes Council.
  Camp staff continues preparations to conduct camp in a variety of scenarios, depending on guidance from the state and county guidelines that best serve our Scouts and leaders.
  A COVID-19 Task Force of volunteers and professional staff has been established with its specific focus to identify and work through issues and possibilities for a strong, well-developed, and effective resident camp program. Two weeks ago, the volunteers serving on this Task Force began the process of contacting the individual unit’s camping coordinator to discuss various scenarios for summer camp.
  Meanwhile, the Council is participating in a state-wide effort among other Scout councils who have camps in Wisconsin, to formulate a unified approach to summer camp. Because our camps are regulated by our state and county health departments, we must follow guidelines and regulations as we consider these options: the summer schedule as originally published, a shortened camping season that would begin July 5, or other camping and advancement opportunities if no resident summer camp is permitted. Their next conference call will be this week.

  If you have any comments, concerns, or suggestions about the summer resident camp experience for your Scouts, please send it our way. All feedback is important as we navigate through these uncertain times. Use the reply function on your e-mail and the message will come directly to me, or send me a message directly to I will compile the results and share it with the teams working to continue the Bay-Lakes Council tradition of safe Scouting in everything we do.

Some Have Asked How They Can Help
  We are working to do everything we can to keep our small staff healthy and productive while supporting our volunteers remotely. With our camping programs uncertain and our Friends of Scouting fundraisers impacted, we remain hopeful philanthropic support will aid in keeping our vital mentoring programs strong for our youth. Our Scouts remain hopeful to go on their camp adventures this summer. They’ll be counting on our volunteers in their units as well as the District and Council Leadership to help continue to deliver on our mission to introduce our youth to the Scout Oath & Law.

   We are asking for your support to help us continue this work by making a modest donation by visiting us at your family has been impacted by the Public Health Crisis, please know that our prayers are with you and we will continue to accept requests for registration and camping support through our Scholarship Fund. Together & united we can help those in need.

Scouting @ Home Continues
  How are those activity pins comings along? Merit badges or Venturing awards? If you have not “liked” the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page, please do so. Many opportunities are available to continue Scouting at home. At the Scouts BSA level, revisions have been made for First Class, Second Class, and Tenderfoot requirements. You can find the information here.
  Parents: check out these resources. Learn how to earn a special patch created for this activity. More resources were provided in the last edition of The Guide.
  For more information, please visit for event details or the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page for updates

 Tune in for our Live Campfire Program with a Friday night campfire on May 1st to begin at 6:30 PM Central Time on the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page.

  • Make May 1-3 a Camporee Weekend in your own backyard! Friday May 1 is the Bay-Lakes Council Scouting @ Home Campout, and Saturday, May 2 is a National BSA Sponsored Camping program…stay tuned for details.
  • Join our Best Backyard Campsite Competition by setting up your backyard campsite and sending us a pic at by 5:30 PM on Friday, May 1.
  • Register to submit your best YOUTH or FAMILY campfire skit, song, or story by Noon on April 29. The best submissions will be featured in the LIVE Friday Night Campfire program on May 1.
  • If you are not equipped to camp out in your backyard, feel free to do a blanket tent fort in your living room!
  Register to submit your campfire videos here. Questions can be sent to


This Summer at Camp Hiawatha
  Camp Director, Erick Kestila, provided the following update, focusing on the high adventure activities planned for summer camp:

“The best out-of-camp experience will be Sea Kayaking along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. A full day or a half day trip will be offered. There is an additional cost with this side adventure. Both Scouts and adults may participate in this fantastic adventure. This and other treks can be found in the Leader’s Guidebook.
  We at Hiawatha are not only waiting for COVID-19 to go away, but also for the snow to melt, as we still have three feet of snow on the ground! We are all praying for camp to begin. Bring on the sunshine and happy days at Camp Hiawatha.”
  Paddling, fishing, hiking and biking adventures await Scouts BSA units, and some of these are open to the unit leaders. A cruise around Pictured Rocks is also available through camp at a discounted price.

Summer Camp Notes
  The deadline for campership applications has been extended to May 1. Information and an application can be found here. The Early Bird pricing for campers to be paid-in-full has also been extended to May 15.
  If you are not yet signed up for Cub Scout or Webelos camp, no problem, you can do so here. For Scouts BSA summer camp, please sign up here.

April Summer Camp Webinars
  You can get all your camping questions answered during the 2020 Summer Camp Webinars. The next one will take place on April 29. Cub Scouts & Webelos begins at 6:00 PM CDT and Scouts BSA begins at 7:00 PM CDT. These take place live on the Bay-Lakes Council Facebook page. Past webinars are also posted for viewing.

Scouting for Food Has Gone Virtual
  On Wednesday, April 15, the Bay-Lakes Council Annual Scouting for Food Drive went virtual — with a Scouting for Food ONLINE DONATION CAMPAIGN. The drive goes through April 30! This grassroots effort will work with the local food banks in Bay-Lakes territory. Additional information, instructions, and participation information can be found here.
   Unit Leader Challenge: Have a contest among your Scouts to see who can get the most shares on social media. To make the biggest impact, share this as far and wide as possible. The more exposure the local food banks and pantries get — the better. The success of this campaign provides publicity for the local food banks. The more we can share, the greater the impact we can make. We know our Scouts are trying to find ways to do their GOOD TURN DAILY.

The Kon Wapos Lodge Update

  From Lodge Chief Nate and Lodge Advisor Michael Mailand, comes this update: Every year, Scouts BSA Scouts elect candidates from their units for membership in the Order of the Arrow. In normal times, these are in-person activities. This spring, efforts are underway to conduct the selection virtually; one unit experimenting with the procedure to fine tune the process before it is released to the remaining units. Look for an update in the next couple weeks. 
  There is still room for this summer’s National Order of the Arrow Conference in early August at Michigan State University. A virtual contingent meeting will be held April 26. Contact Michael Mailand for registration and additional information.

2021 National Jamboree
  The Bay-Lakes Council contingent for the 2021 Jamboree will include Scouts BSA girls, Scouts BSA boys and Venturers. They will leave July 16, 2021 by coach bus and will tour the Washington D.C. area. Participants who register now will have input on the trip. Initial plans include touring a Civil War battlefield and visiting sites in our nation’s capital. A few youth members will be selected to serve in an honor guard and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. After leaving in the DC area, the contingent will head to the Jamboree to spend 10 days at the Summit with about 30,000 Scouts from around the country.  A new program at the 2021 Jamboree will be the Hometown Celebration Day. Youth will showcase their area of the country with food, music and activities. The contingent returns to Bay-Lakes Council on July 30, 2021. 
  Scholarships are available for youth participants. Youth can register here. Adults interested in serving as leaders for the contingent can contact John Heyer.
  The Jamboree Service Team (staff) is looking for volunteers. Additional information and registration details can be found here. Join the Bay-Lakes Council 2021 Jamboree Facebook group. For more information email Mike Mailand.

  Twitter: @NSJ2021             Facebook: 2021 National Scout Jamboree            Instagram: @NSJ2021          

In the Next Issue
  As Scouts, we are thankful for so many things: our parents, spouses/partners and friends who support us. We are grateful for our leaders who volunteer their time and effort to make Scouting happening in our communities. Did you know that each year, several are presented with special recognition from their peers within Bay Lakes Council? Next edition: meet the Silver Beaver Award recipients.

Final Thoughts…
  Itching to return to what we considered “normal” before the “Safer at Home” directives took effect, before schools and businesses closed? A different kind of Easter and Passover came and went. We cannot wait to get back to our in-person unit meetings, weekend activities and trips to Bay-Lakes Council camps. As Scouts, we promise to do a good turn daily, to help other people at all times, and to continue to do Scouting. We do not walk 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. Keep washing your hands and stay appropriately distant. Stay Home. Stay Calm. Scout On! And, see you at camp, sooner rather than later.

Links to Your Summer Camps

 Have a thought or question? We’d love to hear from you: Let us know what you think. Please share your comments with us. It is easy; just click the “reply” button to this email, or send it directly to 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. BRAND NEW THIS MONTH: look for past editions on the Council homepage under News & Updates. And, thank you very much for supporting Bay-Lakes Council Scouting at its finest.

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

In the Spirit of Adventure,


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