From the Council President, Rod Goldhahn


I am proud and excited to start this term as your President. This is a challenging time for all of us, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the way you all have pulled together to keep Bay Lakes Scouting alive during these last several weeks. You have found creative ways to continue to engage, advance, support, and, above all, to have fun during this time of “shelter in place.” As we return to regular activities, I look forward to visiting all corners of the Council with our new Scout Executive, Ralph Voelker. In the meantime, we are always looking for energetic people to add to our Board and Committees. If you or someone you know is ready to help, let me know.  Give me a call at (920) 468-1975 to talk about your ideas to improve the Council. Until next time…
A Word from the Council Commissioner, Roy LaPean


Scouting still amazes me, even after spending my whole life involved in the program.  We were faced with a huge challenge – the COVID-19 virus and all the restrictions that came about to ensure our safety and slow the spread of this infection. Yet, in Bay-Lakes Council, approximately 50% of our units have figured out a way to continue to meet in a virtual world. Individual Scouts are also accessing Scouting through a variety of channels and working on everything from merit badges to the completion of some of the on-line challenge activities that seem to be coming from everywhere. Scouts in Appleton even figured out a way to hold a virtual Scouting for Food drive that was extremely successful. And, we continue to make plans to safely participate in what for many is the hallmark of the Scouting program, summer camp.

May 5, 2020: #GivingTuesdayNow

At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.

#GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity–to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and heal. We hope you will consider Scouting when making a decision to give.



One thing I know about Scouts and Scouting, we are extremely resourceful – not much can stop us.  What a wonderful thing!  Let’s all continue to do our best to navigate through this memorable time. I believe we will all be able to look back and be proud of what we have been able to accomplish.


By the way, I would like to welcome two new District Commissioners who have joined us within the last couple of weeks – Shaun Philhower in Northern Lights and Jim Wellens in Twin Lakes.

Thank you both for stepping forward and offering to serve the Scouts and Scouters of Bay-Lakes Council!

Scouting @ Home: Virtual Merit Badge Sessions


Just a few spots remain, so grab them while they are still available! Keep checking back here for future Merit Badge offerings.


Register now for Digital Technology: Offered on May 5, 7, 19, & 21.

Register now for Citizenship in the WorldOffered on May 12, 14, 26, & 28.


By the way, check out the weekly challenge and all past programming.


COVID-19 Related Updates


Summer Camp
EXTRA! EXTRA! The deadline for the Early Bird “payment in full” has been EXTENDED to June 1.


The safety of you, our Scouts and leaders, our staff, and our campers, staff, and guests is our primary concern. As we continue to plan for a great future of Scouting activities, including summer camp, we follow both government and BSA directives and mandates, at these will ultimately determine whether and how we can resume safe Scouting.


As we prepare for summer resident camp to begin in July, our team continues to monitor communications from the Centers for Disease Control and Wisconsin & Michigan’s Department of Health and will implement their guidelines and recommendations. Our states’ and counties’ health departments and the Boy Scouts of America determine what regulations will govern our camping activities, once the “Safer at Home” order has been lifted and the “Badger Bounce Back” plan, and State of Michigan comparable plan, are in place.
The Council has a COVID-19 Task Force, with weekly teleconferences, to work through the challenges and opportunities to ready summer camps for operating. Task Force members are also assisting units with June camping registrations to transition to available sessions.


We are optimistic that there will be a summer camp season. We will always keep the safety of our campers, staff, and visitors the highest priority in every decision that we make. Meanwhile, our camp staff continues to train for resident camp as if camp will be otherwise unaffected, in order to plan and prepare the best program for your units. We know that we will need to make adjustments to ensure safe Scouting. We encourage you to prepare and plan for camp as normal, if for no other reason than to have some normalcy during a trying and confusing time. We urge Scouts BSA Scouts to use this time to work on their prerequisites and other merit badges. Most importantly, let us all continue to live the Scouting experience following the Scout Promise and Scout Law.

The Center for Scouting
The Office remains physically closed, but the professional and support team are at home working hard to be available to our volunteers via phone and email

Scout Shop
The Scout Shop remains closed for business at this time. Be on the look out for updates soon!

Camp Properties
Remain closed through June.

In-person Programming
All in-person Council programming for May and June will also be rescheduled. This week, those event directors began to reschedule these activities for later this summer or early this autumn; so, stay tuned to hear about your favorite event. Units should not conduct in-person activities

Cub Scout Camp at Rokilio Update


We caught up last week with Michael Thunes, the returning summer Camp Director at Rokilio. In between the daily preparation for online teaching activities, he provided us with this update:
Our theme is “Super Heroes” and we will better integrate that theme throughout the entire session, and not just at campfires.  We plan to offer the full program as outlined in the leader’s guide. For this summer, our focus is on a few things. We want the campers’ time to be valuable and fun, so we have some more activities for the scouts to participate in. We will keep last year’s change that each program block has two choices for programming. Lastly, we will tailor the open programming for each rank. Scouts will have more complete adventures, but we will keep the just-for-fun activities as well. 
“While staff continues to meet virtually and plan a full camping program, we also are planning for any adjustments based on the current guidelines and requirements. We are excited for summer camp to get here.”


There is still time to get in on the Superhero action that is being assembled for Cub Scout Summer Camp! Click here to register.

Congratulations to our Leaders: the Silver Beaver Recognition

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 happen in our communities. Every year, there are scout leaders recognized for their activities. It is called the Silver Beaver Award. Introduced in 1931, it is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America.  Recipients of this award are registered Scouters of exceptional character who have made an impact on the lives of youth through distinguished service given to the council.


Shannon Thomas
Shannon is Cubmaster of Pack 3824 and Committee Chair of Troop 824. Over the past eight years, she has been Tiger Cub Coach, Den Leader, and Webelos Leader for Pack 3824. She received the District Award of Merit in 2019 and earned the William D. Boyce award in 2017.
Shannon is the Lakeshore District Roundtable Commissioner and, on its staff, and is a Unit Commissioner. She staffed the 2016 Wood Badge course, and both the 2019 National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE.)
Active in the community, she is Vice President of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeaulah PTA, Coach for Elkhart Lake-Glenbeaulah Soccer, and Coach for Elkhart Lake-Glenbeaulah Basketball.
At her church, St. Thomas Aquinas, she is a Religious Education teacher, and the Children’s Christmas Mass Choir Director. She assists the Shephard of the Hills ministry, and is a member of its dinner auction committee. Shannon is the Owner of Request Entertainment and is married to her husband  Jeffrey.


Brendan Marston    
Brendan earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1998, and continues to give back to Scouting, at the unit, district and council levels. He was a Unit Commissioner for Gathering Waters District and a merit badge counselor in Twin Lakes District. For Troop 67, he was an Assistant Scoutmaster for 5 years and a member of its troop committee. He was a Venturing Crew Advisor for Crew 9143 for 2 years. He was an Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 3074 for 3 years and the Cubmaster of Pack 3045 and 3074. Brendan is currently on the Bay-Lakes Council Executive Board these past 5 years, and for 3 years as the Vice President of Program.
Brendan is a Vice President with Associated Bank, is active in his church and a member of the Elks Club of Neenah. Brendan and his wife Katie have involved their whole family in Scouting.


Alyssa Dudkowski
Alyssa is an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 81. She was the 2015 NYLT Course Director and a member of the National committee to update the course syllabus. She staffed the 2017 National Jamboree, several Scouting Universities and Trainers EDGE courses. Alyssa was a Den Leader for 6 years, the Pack 9269 Committee Chair for 3 years, and an assistant Crew Advisor for Crew 9212. She has been on Gathering Waters District Committee for 6 years and Bay-Lakes Council member at large for 5 years. Alyssa is married to her husband Phillip and works for Kimberly-Clark Corporation as a Patent Attorney.


Alan Barr       
An Eagle Scout, Alan is Scoutmaster of Troop 400 and the Hiawathaland District Chairman. He was an Assistant Scoutmaster for his troop for 2 years. He is a current member of the Bay-Lakes Council Executive Board for 5 years. He received the District Award of Merit in 2017.
Alan is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Creative Change Associates. He has trained more than 100 high school students to serve on local boards by providing them leadership skills.  Alan works with the following organizations: Schoolcraft County Economic Development Corp., as its CEO and Executive Director; Habitat for Humanity- Hiawathaland, as the Board Vice President; CUPPAD Regional Prosperity Initiative, as the Board Co-Chair, Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance Board, as its Vice President, and the Upward Community Youth Board, as its Treasurer. Alan is married to his wife Julie.

Vance Linden
Vance is the Committee Chair of Troop 643 and a member of the Bay-Lakes Executive Board of Directors. He has been a Den Leader, Webelos Leader, Assistant scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, and merit badge counselor. For 4 years, he was the Twin Lakes District Chairman. As part of the district Friends of Scouting campaigns, he helped to raise over $100,000. He received the District Award of Merit in 1984 and has been very active in Council and National training programs.
Vance is the President of Waupaca Library Foundation Board and a member of Waupaca Winchester Executive Committee, and is a Past-President of ThedaCare Waupaca Foundation Board and the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation. Vance is retired and married to his wife Ann.


Nicolette Bergschultz
Nicolette is a member of the Lakeshore District Committee and is very active in Scouting, the Sheboygan community, and various school activities.
Nickie received the District Award of Merit in 2018. She has held several unit positions including a committee member of Pack 3827 and Troop 872, an Assistant Den Leader and Assistant Webelos leader of Pack 3827, and an Assistant Crew Advisor of Crew 9702. She has worked on many district and council events, including: Scouting University, Trainers EDGE, PI Day, Mom and Scout, and numerous council and national training courses. Most recently, she was the 2019 Wood Badge Course Director
Nickie, has been the treasurer for Sheboygan South Band Boosters Club, assisting with fundraising, planning band trips and events across country. She conducted classes in money management and related responsibilities for both students and parents. She supports the Rockets for Schools program at all levels of education, assisted the team in learning, fundraising and traveling to a national event (their team winning the event.) She is a trained liaison for the American Field Service-USA that brings international students to the Sheboygan area. One of those students, from Japan, attended the 2017 National Jamboree.
She is the Optical Manager for the Walmart Vision center and is married to her husband Kenneth. They have two children.


Willard Croff
Will is the Chartered Organization Representative for Troop 178, and has been a Committee member for 33 years. He held several unit leadership positions including: Cubmaster of Pack 3178 for 6 years, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 178 for 6 years and Scoutmaster for Troop 178 for 8 years. Will was a member of the Gathering Waters District Committee for 9 years. He led, as well served on the staff of several council Dad and Lad programs and on the staffs of several district and multi district events.
Will is active in his church, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, serving for years as the young men’s Stake President. Will is a photographer by profession and is married to his wife Kathy.


Edward Gerczak, Jr.
Ed is an Assistant Den Leader in Pack 4173 in Voyageur District. He has held these unit positions: Pack 4201 Charter Organization Representative for 7 years, a Den Leader for 6 years and its Cubmaster for 15 years; an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 4201 for 8 years, and assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 1201 for 6 years. He was part of staffing Cub Scout College, Mom and Scout weekends, Voyageur District Kickoffs, and the Voyageur District camporees. Well known for his cooking at many Scouting and community events, he is a member of on the Allouez Business Association. He is the owner of Allouez Beer and Liquor Store. Ed is married to his wife Mary.


John Sturdy   
John is a Committee member of Troop 1139. He sits on the Voyageur District Advancement Committee for 17 years, and chairs the District’s Eagle Scout Boards of Review. He has been a contingent leader to Philmont Scout Ranch and to Florida Sea Base. John earned the Eagle Scout rank in 1967, became a Vigil Honor member, received the James E. West Fellowship Award in 2005, and received the District Award of Merit in 2014. John is a fixture at Bear Paw Scout Camp: a volunteer Commissioner for 6 years, a Campmaster for 6 years, and a Maple Syrup staff member for the last 10 years. John is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 224, sitting on its the college scholarship committee for 9 years, and for the past 6 years, has been an instructor on the United States Power Squadron teaching boating classes. John is currently retired.


John Ponczoch         
John is an Eagle Scout and father of five sons. He is the Committee Chair for Pack 3178 and has also been the Charter Organization Representative with them for 5 years, a Den Leader for one year, and a Webelos Leader for 2 years. For Troop 178, he has been a member of its committee for 5 years and was an Assistant Scoutmaster for 12 years. For 2 years, he was Varsity Coach for 2 years for Team 6178. John has been serving on the Gathering Waters District Committee for the past 9 years, the District’s Eagle Scout Board of Review Committee for 10 years, and has been a merit badge counselor for 39 years.
Outside of Scouting, John is a past president of the Institute of Management Accountants local chapter. He is the treasurer of Brigham Young University Alumni Chapter, and is a member of the American Legion. He actively supports his church The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, serving as the Regional Church Youth Leaders for 6 years.
John served in the United States Air Force for 9-½ years. He is an accountant by profession and is married to his wife Virginia.


Mark Kohls
Mark is the Committee Chair of Troop 1401. Over 24 years, he has served as a Den Leader Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, and Committee Chair. He was one the Council’s 2017 Jamboree Scoutmasters. He received the District Award of Merit in 2010. He has been a Unit Commissioner for 5 years and continues to assist on the shooting sports range during summer months.
Beyond of Scouting, he served on the board, Vice President, and President of the Bay Area Genealogical society for 12 years, and at the state level of the Knights of Columbus on various committees for 25 years. Mark is married to his wife Nancy and works at We Energies as a Senior Infrastructure Project Engineer.
Congratulations to each of you, not just from your Scouting friends, but from all those people whose lives you continue to enrich with service. Thank you very much.
Order of the Arrow: Kon Wapos Lodge Update


The deadline for virtual elections has been extended at least through the end of May. The Lodge leadership team will contact leaders whose units have not held a unit election this year with the instructions on how to conduct as virtual election yet this month.


The new members are generally inducted as part of the annual Spring Conferences held at each Bay-Lakes Council camps. They also participate in the service projects to get camp ready for summer program. These conferences were originally  scheduled for May 29-31 and June 5-7. Because in-person programming has been cancelled through June alternative plans are under review to provide this needed service to be ready for our campers in July. Updates will be posted here.
NEW this year: the Kon Wapos Award @ Home. This award is a program available at summer camp. It is represented by a nifty patch awarded to all Scouts, Venturers and adults who complete certain requirements based on the principles of the Order of the Arrow: Brotherhood, Cheerfulness and Service. We will be present again this summer at camp. Meanwhile, the youth Lodge leaders are working on an “@ Home” version. Stay tuned for more details.
There is still time to join the contingent of youth and adults headed for the National Order of the Arrow Conference in early August. This event is a gathering of over 6,000 Arrowmen on the Michigan State University campus. Contact Michael Mailand at for more information.
2021 National Jamboree Planning Continues


Scouting’s flagship event is one-of-a-kind. It’s a gathering of approximately 40,000 Scouts, leaders, and staff that showcases everything that is great about the BSA and its members. Held every four years, the Jamboree is an amazing opportunity for participants, volunteers, and visitors to experience the best of Scouting, all in one place. This year units will include Male Troops, Female Troops, and Venture Crews. In addition to the Jamboree, the Scouts will also tour part of Washington, D.C. before heading to the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. This will be a mountaintop experience. You can register now and scholarships are available. The application deadline is May 31. More information can be found on the Jamboree page at the Bay-Lakes Council Jamboree webpage.


Adults can be a part of the Jamboree fun, too. Applications for contingent leaders are being accepted. The Jamboree Service Team (staff) is also looking for volunteers. Program, medical services, trading post and more. There’s a job for everyone. Be a part of making the Jamboree a mountaintop experience for the youth.  Experience the best of Scouting at this premiere event. Go to Bay-Lakes Jamboree for more information.
Before we go, a trivia question: When was the first National Jamboree and where was it held?


It’s an interesting story. The answer will be revealed in the next Guide. If you can’t wait until then, contact Mike Mailand for the answer to the trivia question and get answers to all of your Jamboree questions.

Final Thoughts…

As  you have read these messages during the past few weeks, safe Scouting is our number one priority. All our conversations begin with and end with first consideration of the health experts to protect everyone from the spread of COVID-19. The protection of our broader community’s health safety and welfare is our principle focus.


Scouting happens because of each of you. We promise to do a good turn daily, to help other people at all times, to continue to do Scouting. “THANK YOU!” 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


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. Looking for past editions? Check out the Council homepage under News & Updates. And, thank you very much for supporting Bay-Lakes Council Scouting at its finest.