From the Scout Executive

This past week I got the opportunity to address all four of our resident camp staffs. What an amazing group of Scouts and Scouters!

The energy they radiated lifted my spirits and reminds me of why we all do this. There is always a new Scout at the head of the Scouting trail, looking for us to show them to the pathway to adventure. This is going to be an interesting year for our camps. The COVID-19 protocols are being implemented and are real. My temperature was taken, was issued a mask, and even socially distanced as best as we could. Our staff is ready to provide as safe an environment as they possibly can. It was fun touring preparations for camp with some camp directors and program directors. The pride they are taking in getting camp ready is palpable.

Work continues on many projects in our camps. Bear Paw is the place where the progress is rapid and you can see the replacement of buildings from the storm. At Rokilio, the shower house has undergone a big change and the welcome center is operational. At Gardner Dam the area where the new dining hall is to be built has been prepped and is ready to go. At Hiawatha the boat house is usable and should be finished in the upcoming months. All in all, a lot of change happening and change that everyone should be proud of. So many volunteers have been making these construction projects happen, a snappy Scout Salute to everyone that has been helping!

The summer camping season is upon us! Let the fun begin.

Ralph Voelker
Scout Executive

Need more information right now? Bookmark these links:

Council Website:
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Bay Lakes Council Camps:

From the Council President

Sunny skies, hot temps, humidity, afternoon thunderstorms…summer is upon us!

Camp season started this week. Initial reports are that things are going well and everyone is enjoying themselves. Huge kudos to the volunteers and staff who have worked tirelessly these past several months to make this happen!

It may be difficult to start thinking about fall, but it’s imperative we all begin to assess how we will approach recruiting, as the summer comes to an end. Those well thought out plans for spring recruiting were not able to be executed, due to COVID-19, and it shows in our numbers. There is still much uncertainty as we look to the fall. Will schools be open? How large a group size will we be able to assemble? How many people may still be out of work?

Staff and volunteer resources are already looking at options to address a very different recruiting picture than we’ve had in the past. You can expect to see a much larger social media presence and perhaps some more virtual events to encourage new youth to experience Scouting. You can all help by beginning discussions in your units about ideas to approach local recruiting differently. Locations, events, advertising, partnerships, etc. Creative ideas can come from anywhere. Get your parents and Scouts involved in helping identify new approaches and share those with your Commissioners, so they can help share them with other units.

Many of you, and those Scouters who came before you, have lauded the impact the Scout Oath, Law, and leadership experiences had in your lives. Let’s all work together to make those same opportunities available to as many of our young folks as we can!

If you have questions, or would like the opportunity to help even more,  by serving on one of our teams,  just send me an email to!

Rod Goldhahn
Council President

From the Council Commissioner

I had a chance to spend a few hours at Bear Paw and Rokilio this week as camps start to open. While it was certainly a different type of camp – smaller numbers of Scouts, rotational scheduling and moving together, face masks, sanitizing everything, it still felt like a Scout summer camp. Dappled sunlight on the trails, hot weather, a few bugs, ice cream at the trading post, staff running around dressed as superheroes. Did I mention smiling leaders and laughing Scouts?

I heard several times from leaders how happy they were that Bay-Lakes Council had found a way to get the camps open. They said this was one of the few things their Scouts had to look forward to this summer that wasn’t cancelled. The Scouts were so excited and the parents thankful. I couldn’t be prouder of what our Council accomplished.

To all of the Council leadership and administrative staff, rangers, camp staffs, vendors and Council volunteers who worked so hard to make camp happen for the Scouts this summer – CONGRATULATIONS!

You did it!

Roy LaPean
Council Commissioner

Remember, Clyde is your go-to source for all your commissioner questions. Send him a note at  BAYLAKESCOMMISSIONERHELP@GMAIL.COM.

Center for Scouting Office Closure July 15

The Bay-Lakes Council Center for Scouting will be closed from 8:00 AM till 1:00 PM, on Wednesday, July 15, for all-staff training.

Regular office hours, are Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. To make an appointment, call (920) 734-5705.

Senior Scout Spotlight

What a year so far! We know that unfortunately the end of the school year was nothing short of out of the ordinary.

We would like to celebrate our Scout’s that have graduated this year as best we can! We will be featuring a graduating Senior Scout each edition of The Guide.

We will also be featuring them on our social media platforms. Help us in congratulating our Scouts on this great accomplishment!

Wyatt is a 2020 Eagle Scout and will be attending
UW Madison School of Business.
Seth is an Eagle Scout.
Would you like to have us highlight your Senior Scout? Email Alex Behrend with the below information:
  • 1 or 2 pictures of your Scout in uniform or camp and gown
  • Name how you would like it displayed in posts and newsletter
  • Unit number and town in which you live
  • Favorite memory in Scouting
Check out all of our Senior Scouts listed on the Council website.
Summer Camp is Indeed (Finally) Here

Perhaps your unit began thinking about summer camp just after the winter holidays. Never did we expect all the changes and challenges of those ensuing months.  But summer resident camp is finally here and underway.  We welcomed our first Scouts BSA units at Bear Paw last Sunday, July 5, and our Cub Scouts to Camp Rokilio and Webelos to Gardner Dam on Monday, July 6. Our friends are set for an exciting three weeks at Camp Hiawatha starting this Sunday, July 12.

We checked in with our camp directors, but they tend to be a bit busier these days. This week begins the National Camp Assessment Program visits. These are the national BSA camping standards by which we are measured. The assessors usually come in the night before to review all the paperwork, ranging from water tests to staff training credentials, and they spend the following morning (at least through lunch) observing the programs in action. You might notice a pennant displayed in the camp office that announces the camp “passed inspection.” Staff worked hard for that pennant and are rightly proud of the accomplishment; it means they have reached a higher level of camp professionalism. 

​​Meanwhile, read on below about what else is happening at Gardner Dam, Rokilio and Hiawatha!

From Jeremy, Program Director at Gardner Dam: Gardner Dam Scout Camp opened this week in a spectacular fashion. From the moment the first Webelos and leaders entered the aptly-named “Superhero Training Academy,” the energy and excitement surged through the staff. New this year along the lines with the SuperHero theme, we have renamed everything about camp, even the campers themselves are being called cadets.

Our story started the moment the campers entered the parking lot with the staff in full costume. Some dressed up in rather silly attire such as Dr. Evil, Captain Obvious, and the ever brightly colored Phil the Phlamingo (yes, with a Ph). After cadets have passed their health screening, the staff escorts the group on a tour of camp. All the while, Spike is chasing Dr. Evil around.

After check-in and while making my rounds, I came across a Scout sitting on the edge of his campsite. Had I not seen what happened next, I would have guaranteed that the camper was a little homesick or ready for the next activity. I watched an adult come over to invite the camper to play some games on his (the adult’s) phone. What shocked me, and best describes the importance of camp, and even more so during these troubling times, was the Scout’s answer: “No, Dad, I’m enjoying being outside and listening to nature.” This resonated with me. Not only was this Scout having an incredible time at camp, but this was the first time in potentially months that he is able to be outside and be active.

Gardner Dam Scout Camp offers an exciting opportunity to be outside and enjoy nature. Despite some of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented this year, the staff works hard to overcome every single one, to offer the full and complete Gardner Dam Scout Camp Experiences to every single person. Put best by our mission statement: “We teach, learn from, and support personal growth by providing experiences in the outdoors and giving access to opportunities for fun, development, and adventure to every person at Gardner Dam Scout Camp.”

While some modifications have to happen, it continues to be our main goal as a staff to raise the bar even higher, and make this summer the best summer ever…and safest.

From Gabe, Service Director at Rokilio: As the first session is coming to an end, we at Camp Rokilio are still having a blast with our superheroes in camp. Our staff is excited to bring you the classic camp experience, but with a new, more personal flair. Campers get to experience all the fun of camp while staying safe and healthy. In order to uphold our high standards for health and safety, we provide each camper with individually packaged meals. All the adventures at camp are still here and in full force. The adventure loops are fully integrated into the daily program. We make it easier to complete more advancements while having all the fun throughout. The staff is looking forward to having a fantastic summer with the Packs to come.

From Erick, Camp Director at Camp Hiawatha: I can’t wait for campers to arrive at Camp Hiawatha this Sunday. We have been working most of May and June to make improvements for you at camp. The Boat House is nearing completion along with a new boat dock. We have lots of new faces on camp staff this year, who spent this past week in training, and they are pumped to meet all of you that are coming to camp. We are mowing the grass this week, so you won’t have to tunnel into your campsite.

We have had lots of visitors this spring from the snapping turtles laying eggs on the beach to the three new baby deer that are running around camp. We have a pair of Loons and a couple of Sand Hill Cranes that are hanging out. We have been listening to the coyotes and whip-poor-wills at night. So, we have the sights and sounds of nature, and the skies have been filled with stars. The stage is set, we are ready; cue the Scouts to come and have an adventure at Camp Hiawatha.

Share with us: We know that you share your summer camp pictures with your unit. Consider sharing some of them with us. You see and experience differently than camp staff and those photographers. We will try to publish them as best we can, and may use them for our 2021 summer camp promotions. (SPOILER ALERT: We are working hard to get the 2021 guides in first draft form and ready for distribution yet this summer.)

Cub Scout Fall Recruitment Training

Fall Recruitment training has been moved to Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at 6:00 PM Central Time. It is an online Zoom Council-wide training event. Please change the dates on your calendar and let your leaders know of the changes. 

Zoom Meeting Info:

Meeting ID: 831 1546 9545, Password: 7vb4T1
ORDial by your location: 312-626-6799,
Meeting ID: 831 1546 9545, Password: 446593.

Your District Director or Executive will schedule times to pick up your Pack’s recruitment supplies, and has more information about the roles needed for a successful fall recruitment.

There is a series of national recruitment training webinars that began Thursday night, July 9 ( Manager).Links to current and past webinars, to recruitment tips and to other advice, can be found here: Click here to register for training webinars.
Future webinars: July 16-Scoutbook 101/Who’s Zooming Who?, July 23-Geofencing/Social Media/Peer-to-Peer Recruiting, August 6-How to Print, Digital, Video, and August 20-5 Things you should be doing now.All dates have a start time of 7:00 PM Central.
Bay Jammer is at Bear Paw Scout Camp

Bay Jammer is one of the nation’s oldest and most premier summer events. Bay Jammer includes a weekend series of competitions that build on the values of Scouting, encourages teamwork among youth, tests one’s Scouting knowledge and perseverance, and brings friends of all ages together. Competition events include: Marlin Spike, Compass Relay, Log sawing, first aid, sailing race, swimming competition, canoe race, ring buoy toss, log rolling, pulling boar, drilling and maneuvering, lip sync battle and a dance!

This event is open to Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Explorers, Sea Scouts, Senior Girl Scouts, Ambassador Scouts, and Mariner Ships. Participants must be 13 years old to attend. All will need to complete a swim test in order to participate in aquatic events. Tests may be completed before arrival or may be taken the day of arrival.

Click here to register.

From Kon Wapos Lodge, Order of the Arrow

Service at Camps – THANK YOU
Thank you to the Order of the Arrow members and other volunteers who answered the call for service at our camps! We appreciate the extraordinary effort to help with various projects to prepare our camps for the 2020 summer season.
S’Mores Night at Summer Camp
Lodge Chief Nate Ruggles is pleased to announce that Kon Wapos Lodge will be providing the ingredients for a S’mores night for everyone attending a Bay-Lakes Council camp this summer. He would like to see even more Cub Scouts, Webelos, Scouts and Venturers attend a Bay-Lakes Council camp during the 2021 season for “S’more” fun and “sweet” treats.
Lodge Contingent Heads to the Summit
A group of 18 Lodge members from will attend the National Order of the Arrow event, Momentum, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, next month. They will attend the latest leadership training and participate in the adventure areas at the Summit. Zip-lining, biking, white-water rafting and more.
Fall Product Sale is Almost Here! Training (Virtual) on August 15 at 9:00 AM

We are getting ready to launch the 2020 popcorn sale! Although we won’t be able to get together this year for in person training, we will make sure we have the best training yet! Training will be on Saturday, August 15, at 9:00 AM. The link to sign up will be sent and posted on the popcorn web page.

What can you do now? You can sign up to register for the 2020 sale at

Who wants $500 in free Popcorn!!!??? Really, who doesn’t!

That’s right – if you are a new unit to the sale, you will receive $500 in free product to sale. There are just a few things you have to commit too – attend the August 15 training, sign up for ACH withdrawal, do your best!

If you have questions regarding the sale, reach out to your District Popcorn Kernel team. 

All the information you need can be found here. Page will be updated by end of July, keep checking back for information.

Rally Nights for the National Jamboree

There are two Virtual Jamboree Rally nights in the next two weeks, where you can learn all about the excitement next summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Both begin at 7:00 PM Central Time, and are scheduled for Monday, July 13, or Wednesday, July 22.

Register here for July 13 and here for July 22. You will receive an email confirmation with log-in details.

Over 30 Scouts have already registered for the Bay-Lakes Council contingent. You can register online here.

The contingent will travel to to Washington, D.C. for 3 days followed by 10 days at the Jamboree. Adults can apply to serve as a leader by contacting

To register as a member of the Jamboree Service Team, go to the National Jamboree website.

For questions and more information, contact Mike Mailand at

Final Thoughts …

My lovely bride and I did a lot of camping with the kids before Junior joined Cub Scouts in first grade. I think he was about three when my daughter and I tented at Peninsula State Park for a couple nights. As he grew more active in Scouting, the family camping diminished, and gear was donated to our troop. But, then…  My daughter announced that she secured a campsite for that next weekend, and my wife and I were joining her family. (But we were getting a hotel room as a safety valve. Okay, fair game.) The grandsons are approaching six and three this fall., and they could become “one with dirt” (like our son in those early years) and not have Mom and Dad too upset, so long as their shoes came off before going into the tent. Did I mention that we had fun? Erecting the new tent right out of the box was a challenge for my son-in-law and I, much different process than the ones I used for those decades. The campfires were strong. The pudgy pies were delicious. The waterfront was a hit in the hot, humid summer weather. And, the sleep was sound. Best of all, as we packed up for departure, both grandsons wanted to stay. It is why we do Scouting, for the experiences not found in town, for the promises that nature keeps, for the joy of shared values. Best of all, Opa started talking about winter camp. (We still have that gear!)

Till we “meet” again: Scout on! And, see you at camp!

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

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