In This Issue:

  • A Welcome to our New Scout Executive
  • Messages from the Council President and Commissioner.
  • Ensuring a Safe Summer Resident Camp including Pre-Camp Safety Activities
  • Refund Policy Revamped for This Summer
  • What’s New for Bear Paw 2020
  • Scouting @ Home Continues: Merit Badges and Weekly Challenge
  • Updates from the Council Jamboree Planning Team and the Kon Wapos Lodge
Welcome to our new Scout Executive, Ralph Voelker
Today is the day! After all the waiting, we welcome our new Scout Executive: Ralph Voelker, his wife Jill, and their Bernese Mountain Dog, named Ruby Sue.
Ralph began his Scouting career as Associative District Executive at the Denver Area Council in Denver, CO. He moved on to become the District Executive M/P and later Camping Director with the Denver Area Council. He was promoted to Director of Camping and then Field Director for the Cascade Pacific Council, Portland, OR and on to Scout Executive of Redwood Empire Council, Santa Rosa, CA. From there he served as a Professional Development Specialist for the Center for Professional Development and then as Scout Executive of Pacific Harbors Council in Tacoma, WA.
Ralph is an Eagle Scout who enjoys writing Scouting stories and voice acting.
Welcome, Ralph and Jill, and Ruby Sue; we are glad to be on the Scouting trail together!
From the Council President, Rod Goldhahn


It was just last evening we received the news of the Supreme Court ruling concerning “Safer at Home”. A lot of you have questions about how this will impact Scouting in our Council. Please know that our primary objective always has been and always will be the safety of our Scouts, volunteers, and staff. We are as anxious as anyone to get back to some form of normalcy. Our staff and committee chairs are working tirelessly to assess when and how we best do that. As the picture becomes clearer, we will communicate that as soon as possible. Until then, please stay the course. Continue to do the things to keep Scouting exciting and progressing in the many unique ways you have shown on-line and via social media. While we have never faced the kinds of challenges we are seeing today, I am continually grateful for your efforts and the support of our many friends and donors.
A Word from the Council Commissioner, Roy LaPean


I want to take a moment to talk about the role of a commissioner in helping keep a unit healthy and strong. Actually, they play several roles. A commissioner is:

  • A friend of the unit – the most important of their roles.  Building a great relationship with the unit leadership is key to success.  It springs from the attitude, “I care, I am here to help you, what can I do for you?”

  • A representative – The average unit leader is totally occupied in working with the Scouts. Your commissioner is visible as a representative of the Boy Scouts of America when they visit your meeting, serving as an example of the ideals, the principles, and the policies of the Scouting movement.
  • A unit “doctor” – As “doctor”, your unit commissioner knows that prevention is better than a cure. They are there to see that your units make good “health practices” a way of life.  Use them to help you diagnose what may be ailing your unit and then help you find the appropriate remedy. Quick action is needed for units at risk; ones who are not meeting or growing, lack trained leadership, or are having issues with their chartered organization.
  • A teacher – Commissioners are experienced Scouters with a wealth of information to share.  Take advantage of their practical knowledge, access to resources and their network of other Scouters. Roundtable commissioners have additional opportunities to teach in a “classroom” like setting at monthly roundtables.
  • A coach – Commissioners help to guide units in solving their own problems.  Everyone needs coaching or assistance from time to time, even experienced leaders. Commissioners provide them with different “plays” that might be the right one for them to move ahead or succeed at solving a problem.
So, give a Commissioner a call. Let them help you in your mission to serve the Scouts of your unit.

This past week, a former commissioner, David Hirn passed away. Not only was he a huge part of what makes Bay-Lakes Council such a great place for Scouts and Scouters, but he was a personal friend and mentor to me and many other leaders in our Council. Au revoir, mon ami.

Matching Gift Donation – Exceeded – Thank you

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.

Thank you so very much for your generosity! There is still much work to do, but know we are up for the challenge.

Scouting @ Home Hike-In! Friday May 29 – Sunday May 31
Awards Campfire, 6:30 PM Central Time
(Open to all Bay-Lakes families and the General Public)

Bay-Lakes Council Scouting @ Home is changing our shoes and putting on a HIKE-IN! (See what we did there?) Lace on those hiking boots, and plan a family hike for the last weekend in May. Send us your pictures as you defeat cabin fever, and put the Outing Back in Scouting. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Plan a day hike for some time during the weekend of May 29 – May 31! As long as your planned hike is safe, maintains social distancing, and is in compliance with Wisconsin and Michigan Covid-19 restrictions, your hike can be anything from a weekend wilderness Backpack trip, to a lap around the sofa.

Email us your favorite picture in each competitive category for our Best Picture Contest. Label the subject line with your first name, unit number, picture location, and picture category. Send your pics to

Picture Categories include: Best picture of Cub Scout(s), Scouts(s), Venturer(s), Best Family Pic, Best Scenery, Best Wildlife, Best Plant Life, Best Action Pic, and Best Service Project Pic.

Tune in to our Awards Campfire broadcast at 6:30 PM Central on Monday, June 1, for an Awards Campfire featuring a slide show of everybody’s hike, red carpet treatment of winning picture announcements, plus a few songs and skits from Summer Camp and/or Council Staff. You won’t want to miss this! The awards ceremony will be held at

For Help planning your weekend hike, go to to to build your 10 Essentials Kit, Learn the Outdoor Code, and find out what Advancement Requirements your Family Hike may apply to your Cub, Scouts BSA Member, or Venturer.

Ensuring a Safe Summer Resident Camp

During these past months, we all have made decisions to protect ourselves and our families, and anyone else with whom we come in contact as we gingerly move about for our essentials. Through the past GUIDE issues, we have shared some of the actions and planning underway for outdoor programming. Safety, first. We await direction from the Wisconsin and Michigan Departments of Health, which closely regulates all camping activities, to determine our ability to operate safely. And adjust and adapt, as necessary based on the county health departments, in which our camps are located, and CDC guidelines, to operate safely.

Our summer resident camp programs will look much different than in past years. Here is a non-exhaustive list of those activities intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of our campers, visitors and staff.  (By the way, there are activities that you can do at home to ensure a safe and healthy experience before you even leave for camp; so, keep reading)

  • Working closely with the Council Medical Director and all the resources available, there will be new protocols for both pre-arrival and on-site screening.
  • Any participant in a high-risk category for protections from the coronavirus should not attend camp this summer, based on current protocols.
  • Because of the higher risk of transmitting communicable diseases, visitor opportunities may be restricted, or eliminated altogether, consistent with CDC, and with state and local regulations and guidelines.
  • There will be increased cleaning and sanitation in shared spaces, buildings and program area.
  • Food service operations will be adjusted.
  • Camp-wide activities and large gatherings will be limited based on size of attendance and the ability to maintain physical distancing, or will be eliminated if these cannot be done safely.
Updated Heath and Medical Record Policy. A couple things to note about the annual Health and Medical Record required for resident camp. Please remember that there is a new form as of this year.  Check here for the details and the new form.


Just released Monday afternoon, the National Council indicated that any health form Part C from Feb 1, 2019 to present will be accepted for this summer. Remember that Parts A and B must be updated within two weeks of coming to camp.
For part C, the following options are accepted:
  • Telephonic Wellness Appointment by existing health care provider with examiner’s signature
  • Professional or compliance wellness exam – an exam that is required for emergency responders, pilots, etc.
  • Local community clinic or alternative health care provider – can’t see your doctor, see a different one.
Summer resident camp provides youth what they need now more than ever: resilience, determination, leadership, and friendships. We are working hard to offer a safe experience for every camper this summer. It remains our number one priority. We are also committed to keeping you updated.

What You Can Do at Home to Prepare for Summer Camp
A healthy summer camp really does start and end at home! Here are some things you can do to help your child have a great camp experience.

  • If your child is showing signs of illness such as running a temperature, throwing up, has diarrhea, nasal drainage and/or coughing/sneezing, keep the child home and contact your camp director. This greatly reduces the spread of illness at camp but also supports your child’s recovery. Know your camp’s policy about illness and camp attendance.
  • Teach your child to sneeze/cough in his/her sleeve and to wash his/her hands often while at camp, especially before eating and after toileting. If you really want to achieve impact, teach your child to accompany hand washing with another behavior: keeping their hands away from their face.
  • If your child has mental, emotional, or social health challenges, talk with a camp representative before camp starts. Proactively discussing a camp’s ability to accommodate a child can help minimize – if not eliminate – potential problems.
  • Should your child need a particular nutrition plan because of allergies, intolerances or a diagnosis (e.g., diabetes), note these on the Health History form but also contact the camp to make sure (a) they have noted that need and (b) the camp can address it. Discuss how your child will receive appropriate meals and snacks then explain that to your camper. Should your child be uncomfortable with the plan, arrange for a camp staff member to assist/monitor the process until the child is comfortable.
  • Make sure your child has and wears appropriate close-toed shoes for activities such as soccer and hiking, and that your child understands that camp is a more rugged environment that the sub/urban setting. Talk with your child about wearing appropriate shoes to avoid slips, trips and falls that, in turn, can result in injuries such as sprained ankle.
  • Send enough clothes so your child can dress in layers. Mornings can be chilly and afternoons get quite hot. Dressing in layers allows your child to remove clothing as s/he warms while still enjoying camp.
  • Fatigue plays a part in both injuries and illnesses – and camp is a very busy place! Be sure they get enough rest at night. If the child will be at a resident camp, explain that camp is not like a sleepover; they need to sleep, not stay up all night!
  • Remember to send sunscreen appropriate to the camp’s geographic location and that your child has tried at home. Teach your child how to apply his/her sunscreen and how often to do so.
  • Send a reusable water bottle. Instruct your child to use it and refill it frequently during their camp stay. Staying hydrated is important to a healthy camp experience, something your child can assess by noting the color of their urine (“pee”); go for light yellow.
  • Talk with your child about telling their counselor, the nurse or camp director about problems or things that are troublesome to them at camp. These camp professionals can be quite helpful as children learn to handle being lonesome for home or cope with things such as loosing something special. These helpers can’t be helpful if they don’t know about the problem – so talk to them.
  • Should something come up during the camp experience or afterward – you see an unusual rash on your child or the child shares a disturbing story – contact the camp’s representative and let them know. Camps want to partner effectively with parents; sharing information makes this possible.

If you need more information, please contact your unit’s leader who can either contact the Camp Director or the Council office. We encourage each of you to build the partnership between you and your child’s camp leadership team. It’s one way to help your child have the best camp experience possible!

What’s New for Bear Paw 2020
A brand-new summer camp staff who is excited to provide one of the best summer camp programs ever…A whole new look to camp as a result of the 2019 storm, with new program areas and camp layout…A continued focus on the summer camp customer experience and renewed spirit of adventure.

The approach to the summer of 2020 was to take what we learned in 2019 and apply those lessons to improve the program we provide our Scouts each summer. Pat Williquette has come on board as our Summer Camp Director and Toby Wing as our Program Director, both long time campers and summer camp staff. They have put together one of the best summer camp staffs that have walked the Camp trails over many years. Expect to experience some very exciting projects and activities that all these young people have envisioned for this summer.

It’s all about program and we have it. Taking what we offered in 2019, in conjunction with all the input from leaders and campers along with many other volunteers, we adjusted our schedule and made several changes to our advancement program. We think you will find the changes to be well worth your week at camp. If you have not had a chance to explore our 2020 Program Guide, please do so. You will notice that for the most part, our weekly schedule is the same as 2019, the big difference is the advancement program schedule has changed. This was in large part due to the input and feedback of our 2019 campers and leaders. The merit badges and skill advancement options have remained, but their schedule has changed. A huge thank you to the volunteers who helped develop this advancement program.

Camp is a Phoenix and rises steadfastly from the ashes of the July 2019 storm. Follow Bear Paw on Facebook as Council volunteers bring camp forward. Here is a short list of some facility changes: a new boathouse and year-round nature center, a new Maple Educational and STEM center, the new Jack Van Sistine educational Center for shooting sports, a new program storage building, a new shower house/restrooms near the waterfront, and a new commissioners/leaders center with year round bath facilities. Many Council volunteers continue to work hard to make these projects happen.

We hope to see you this summer! Don’t forget: fall camping is not that far away. Plan now and and make your camping reservations soon.

New Summer Camp Refund Policy
Because of the extenuating circumstances that COVID-19 presents, Council has revised its summer camp refund policy for the 2020 season.  The full message was sent last week to the unit camping coordinators to be distributed to the parents and campers.  Here is a summary of its contents:


1) If camp is canceled in its entirety, whether by State or Council, registrations will be transferred to 2021 summer camp.


2) If a specific session is canceled but camp still occurs for the 2020 camping season, the unit or individuals can reschedule to another session this summer.


a. If an alternate session cannot be arranged, registration will be transferred to 2021. The unit will receive first choice of any session and building/campsite, based on first come first serve and building/campsite capacity availability.


3) If a unit or an individual does not want to transfer to the 2021 summer camping season, a full refund will be made.


4) For any participant who cancels, a full refund will be made, provided the request is received no later than May 25, 2020.


5) For all cancellations received on or after May 26, 2020, those requests will be reviewed on an exception/case by case basis.

Due to the May 25, 2020 cancellation deadline, final payment is requested by June 15, 2020.

All refund requests are to be made by email, sent to Laura is working remotely while the Center for Scouting remains closed. For individual participant requests, please provide names and reasoning for the requests. Any questions can also be sent to Laura.

The Kon Wapos Lodge Update


Welcome to the new Supreme Chief of the Fire
Kon Wapos Lodge welcomes our new Scout Executive, Ralph Voelker, who also becomes the Supreme Chief of the Fire for Kon Wapos Lodge.  The members of Kon Wapos Lodge look forward to working with him to continue ‘Cheerfully Serving Bay-Lakes Council’.


The Key 3 of the Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow has a Key 3, just as we do in other areas of Scouting. The Scout Executive appoints an adult volunteer to serve as the lodge adviser. They can also appoint a staff member to serve as the staff adviser.  The youth members elect a youth member as lodge chief to lead the lodge. The lodge chief, lodge adviser and staff adviser are the Key 3 of the Order of the Arrow lodge.

Lodge Chief Meeting the Challenge
Nate Ruggles is serving as the 2020 lodge chief of Kon Wapos Lodge.  He has been leading virtual meetings with the other youth leaders and adult advisers to adapt and plan for the challenge we face and to continue serving Bay-Lakes Council. Under his leadership, the lodge has instituted a virtual unit election process that allows our units to conduct elections for new members of the Order of the Arrow. They will be introducing a Kon Wapos Award at Home program, for Cub Scouts, Webelos, Scouts and Venturers to complete while we are Safe at Home. Alternate plans are being explored for service weekends in each of our camps and to conduct inductions programs for the newly elected candidates for membership in the Order of the Arrow. Nate is anxious to meet the new members and is hopeful we can gather in August at Bear Paw with current and new members.
Virtual Unit Elections
Virtual elections are being conducted during May. Scouts BSA units and Venturing Crews that did not complete their election before the Stay at Home went into effect, are able to conduct an election using a virtual process. Unit leaders can contact with questions.
Spring Conferences
Our annual Spring Conferences are held at each of the Bay-Lakes Council resident camps to induct new members and perform service projects getting our camps ready for the summer. Our May 29-31 service and induction weekends at Bear Paw & Rokilio; and the June 5-7 weekends at Hiawatha and Gardner Dam are cancelled. The OA is looking at alternate plans to service the camps and induct new members. Stay tuned for updates communicated in future issues of The Guide, along with emails and information on the Kon Wapos website.


Momentum replaces National Order of the Arrow Conference
Today is the last day to notify A.J. Riechter if you wish to participate. Those who were registered for the National Order of the Arrow Conference.


The National Order of the Arrow conference at Michigan State has been cancelled.  An alternate national OA event is being planned for the same time period of August 3-8 at the Summit in West Virginia called Momentum. It will feature high adventure activities in the mornings using the Summit program areas to check out the Big Zip, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, or even BMX riding. Afternoons will include OA training and activities followed by special OA programs in the evening.


Today is the last day to notify A.J. Riechter if you wish to participate. Those  who were NOAC delegates can choose to attend the Momentum event or receive a refund. Final pricing and a tentative itinerary will be announced later. All delegate must travel with the contingent. Departure: the morning of Sunday, August 2. Returning: either the evening of Saturday, August 8 or during the day Sunday, August 9.
2021 National Jamboree Planning Continues
Over 30,000 Scouts are expected to participate in next summer’s National Jamboree. You can be a part of the Council contingent. The Jamboree Service Team (staff) is also looking for volunteers. Program, medical services, trading post and more. Adults can be part of the contingent leadership or service team. Watch for a virtual Jamboree Rally to answer all your questions. You can register now! There are scholarships available; the application deadline is May 31. More information can be found on the Jamboree page at the Bay-Lakes Council Jamboree webpage.

Jamboree Trivia Question from May 1 Issue

When was the first National Jamboree and where was it held?
Answer:  1937, Washington, D.C.  But here’s the rest of the story…It was originally planned for 1935.The polio epidemic forced the postponement of the first National Jamboree. And now you know the rest of the story.

New Jamboree Trivia Question

How many National Jamborees have been held? The answer will be revealed in the next issue of The Guide. If you can’t wait until then, contact Mike Mailandfor the answer to the trivia question and get answers to all of your Jamboree questions.

Final Thoughts…

As we go through life, people come into our lives, some of whom have such a positive impact that they never really “leave” you. Sometimes, these people provide inspiration within the Scouting unit and nearby community, for which we are truly grateful. Some provide leadership and example to a greater audience.  Each one of those individuals have lived a life worth celebrating. Scouting bid farewell last weekend to David Hirn of Sturgeon Bay. He was known for his rowdy renditions of “Alouatta” that bounced the tables in the Bear Paw dining hall.

In 2005, during the Council’s Hurricane Katrina work trip to bring back Camp Tiak in Mississippi, he showcased his musical director skills in a rousing rendition of the “Johnny Appleseed Grace.” Even earlier, when we first met at Section Conclave, he and his Eagle Scout son Kyle successfully taught me fire-starting with a bird’s nest and flint-and steel technique. Many youth and scouters eagerly joined his staffs for OKPIK cold weather camp training, or the Council’s 100th Anniversary of Wood Badge last fall, or the many events and activities that had David’s “mark” on them. To enhance my Lord Baden-Powell wardrobe, Dave presented me a ribbon rack of the Founder’s military badges and honors. Always deeply philosophical, he truly was one of the finest. And, now, he has “gone home.” Please join us in our prayers and warmest thoughts to his wife Pamela, their two children
 Dana and Kyle, and the entire clan of family and friends. The notice can be found here.
From Kyle’s tribute on his Facebook page, “Now as my dad would say, ‘That’s enough goo-gahin’ around. Let’s get on with it.’”
From all of us: Thank you, David.


Till we “meet” again: 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



2555 Northern Road
Appleton, WI 54914


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. Thank you very much for supporting Bay-Lakes Council Scouting at its finest.