From the Scout Executive – Ralph Voelker

Soaring Leaders

Over the last few years I have had the privilege of being able to watch a pair of bald eagles soar through my neighborhood in the state of Washington. Sunrise was a particular time of day that was fun to watch them. Each time they came into my life I was reminded of our Eagles and how proud we are to see them spread their wings and become leaders in our world.

There is another group of Soaring Leaders that I want to talk about today. Our camp programs come to life because of the dedication, determination and Scout Spirit of our camp staff. Most of them are high school students and all represent the very best of Scouting.

To recognize them we have decided to create a permanent plaque in each camp where the name of the best camp staff member for that year will have their name engraved to become a part of the permanent history of the camp. The award will also come with a $1,000 college scholarship to recognize their efforts and help them pursue a lifetime of leadership within a career of their choice.

The staff will determine the recipient based upon their recognition of the following traits:

  • Flying high and proud
  • The Staff member that is looked up to by the Scouts, leaders and staff
  • Being unafraid to fix anything that needs to be fixed
  • An unwavering example of the Scout Oath and Law
  • Proud of their camp and proud to stand with all the staff to bring Scouting to life
  • To be remembered forever as the best of the best

We have so many staff members to be proud of this summer. I look forward to being able to share with you the names of the staff members selected as the Soaring Leader for summer camp 2020.

Ralph Voelker
Scout Executive

Need more information right now? Bookmark these links:

Council Website:
Council Facebook Page:
Bay Lakes Council Camps:

From the Council President – Rod Goldhahn

Several of you have had questions about the BSA National Council bankruptcy and the abuse claims. I’ll try to provide some clarity and update the timeline.

The most important point to begin with is that the BSA lives the Scout Oath and Law, and any youth who suffered abuse while in the program deserve justice, and they will be appropriately compensated, as determined by the courts. As volunteers, we know our current Youth Protection training, and standards like two deep leadership offer some of the strongest protections against any abuse, so why is this happening now? Several states have broadened their statute of limitations for these types of claims, and the majority of claims to date deal with abuse that happened decades ago.

Plaintiff’s lawyers in some of the ads you may have seen are claiming that the National Council bankruptcy was done to avoid responsibility. That is simply not true. The leaders of our National Council recognized we have a responsibility to the victims, and the enormous financial impact this could have on individual Councils. That leadership determined that consolidating all claims at the national level was the best way to resolve the claims while protecting the programs in our local Councils. The bankruptcy would allow the BSA to pool all unrestricted assets of the organization to settle the claims. The court has agreed to make all claims part of a national class action, to be resolved by a panel of three arbitrators.

There are certain requirements. All claims must be filed by mid November.  In order to make this information known to virtually all potential victims, both plaintiff attorneys and the BSA will be running ads in print, cable, and social media between now and November. So, parents will be seeing these ads at the same time we are trying to do fall recruiting. Some of your friends may question you about it. It is critical we make it clear to the parents that our YPT standards are some of the strongest in the nation and their sons and daughters are safe in Scouting. We can be proud of the fact that our Scouting programs continue to develop leadership skills and strong moral and ethical standards in today’s youth.

Rod Goldhahn
Council President

From the Council Commissioner – Roy LaPean

Playing Hooky

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had the great pleasure of being able to visit our camps and talking with the Scouts and leaders who are attending camp this summer. I am hearing from leaders how happy they are to have the camps open and how appreciative they are for the attentiveness of the camp staffs.

You can see the joy from the Scouts, being able to run around, enjoy the fresh air and not worry about the cares of the outside world, at least for a few days.

At one point, as I sat outside the Gardner Dam Trading Post (doing ice cream quality checks), a leader came out of the Trading Post holding a slushie. She sat down at a nearby table and started to enjoy her ice-cold treat. As we talked, we decided that it felt a lot like playing hooky from school and how relaxing it was, just sitting in the sun at camp and talking. Just like when we were kids. What a great feeling!

Summer is passing quickly. Take some time to act like a kid, have a little fun and pretend you’re playing hooky. I don’t believe you’ll be sorry.

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

Roy LaPean
Council Commissioner

Summer Camp is Off and Running Fast

If you are not on Facebook, you can still see all the activities of summer resident camp. Just go to and “google” for a particular camp. If pictures tell a story, you want to check out the video of the kayak slide at Gardner Dam. There are a lot of great things happening, safely, at camp.

We are excited that all four camps received their national accreditation. The certification, based on BSA National Camp Assessment standards, means they have reached or exceeded hundreds of standards that demonstrates a higher level of camp professionalism. You might notice a pennant displayed in the camp office that announces the camp “passed inspection.” Staff work hard for that pennant and are rightly proud of the accomplishment; it. Meanwhile, here is a peek at what else is happening.

From Brit, Camp Director at Gardner Dam:  Things are moving along quite swimmingly here at Gardner Dam. We’ve had an excellent few weeks and the staff are as energetic as ever. We’ve seen a lot of cool wildlife and have gotten to experience some of the hidden gems of the property with the Scouts. Just today they found a salamander and learned how to make a terrarium for him out of items from the natural habitat. It was a really awesome experience. We’ve also had a blast with many Scouts completing requirements for Aquanaut, Into the Wild, Castaway, and Outdoorsman. Hiking through camp has been a big hit this summer and a stop on the lower bridge has been quite welcomed by those having a program in Petter’s Place (also known as Henchman’s Hideaway in the training academy). We are in the middle of session 8 right now, and while the energy is high, the end of summer is looming near. We can’t believe we were able to actually open summer camp and now we can’t believe it’s almost over. #bestsummerever

From Erick, camp director at Camp Hiawatha:  The first session of campers arrived this past Sunday. The wildlife is on duty to amaze the Scouts. (Lots of visitors from the snapping turtles laying eggs on the beach this spring, 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-por wills at night.) The water heater has been on and waterfront reports they have plenty of water for their activities. Shooting sports are armed and action is underway at the shooting ranges. Ecology/Nature is abounding with a chorus of birds, bugs and squirrels. The night sky has turned on so the skylights are burning bright. The campfire skits are unveiled to the laughter of the campers. Staff is delivering an awesome experience. [Editor’s Note: Camp Hiawatha was featured on WLUC-Marquette TV news earlier this week. Check it out here.

Did you know? Before units leave camp, they are asked to complete surveys about their experiences, highs and lows, and what needs improvement. We ask the leaders to complete one survey and give or help the Scouts complete their own, because the Scouts see differences that we adults might miss. Here is a very short sampling:

From Troop 15, first week at Bear Paw: Staff was very accommodating all areas, very helpful with completing merit badges. From Pack 3016, first session at Gardner Dam: Thank you so much for doing camp this summer. Hard situation with COVID-19 but you guys did a great job; and from their Scouts: Really great job with camp. Scouts had a blast. From several leaders and youth of Pack 4143,  third session at Rokilio: Love the bog walk, thought you guys did a great job with all the hurdles, can’t say enough about staff’s positivity, missed the dining hall, but food delivery was great, food was better than years past, I liked the new scheduled when I thought I wouldn’t. [There are many more units with many more comments, and many suggestions to improve even the COVID-impacted protocols. Know that each camp’s camp and program directors review the surveys with staff before the next session and adjust/accommodate what they can to improve the experience. So, camper feedback is always important. We are already using the information to plan for next summer.]

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: The 2021 guide is out and soon — the pricing for next summer!  So, units can make their reservations yet this year. Watch for details.)

2020 Fall Popcorn Sale – Council Virtual Popcorn Kick-off August 15, 2020

Units can earn free leaders to 2021 Bay-Lakes Council summer camps this year!

That’s right – Units can earn free leaders to camp! Click here for details. Check out the popcorn webpage for all the new bonus prizes this year!

Click here to sign your unit up today, so you get the communication regarding the upcoming sale. If you need assistance with signing in, please contact Nikki Woolf, or 920-734-5705 ext. 118.

Virtual Kick-off Sign-up: This year, because we can’t be in person, we will be offering a virtual kick-off for all Scouts and Scouters to attend. There will be a breakout for unit Kernels, Scout leaders, Scouts and parents. Everyone is welcome. We will host this event online, so click here to register.

Continue to check out for updates.

Cub Scout Fall Recruitment Training is Online – Be Part of this Epic Marketing Campaign!

Imagine TV and streaming video ads about the Value of Scouting taking place across the Council in August and September. Imagine specific ads appearing on Facebook for your Packs recruitment night. Imagine positive stories about your unit in the media – all of this is taking place this now to gear up for an epic fall recruitment season. Check out the specifics below and how you can take action now to be a part of history.

Did you miss the Fall Recruitment training this past Tuesday? No worries, you can click the link to watch the video. Some of the things that are highlighted in this training:

* Multi-Layered Targeted Video Campaign!
*Facebook Ad Campaign for each Pack’s recruitment night!
*Digital Flyers and Digital Youth talks!
*COVID safe parking lot drive thru sign up events!

Don’t wait Pack Leaders! We need everyone to do the below to ensure we are inviting as many kids to join Scouting as we can.

Pack Checklist to a successful Fall Recruitment:

2. Update your Pack’s Be A Scout Pin by August 1st.
3. Designate your pack’s New Member Coordinator to communicate with district and council and your pack’s news editor–to help share the good news. Complete by Aug. 1.  Click here to submit contact information.
4. Contact each Elementary School you serve, and schedule a Covid-Safe School Sign-up Event in the school parking lot some time between Mid September, and Mid October.  Submit by Aug. 15

Click here to submit sign up event information.  **This is also where you order your Recruitment Supplies**

A series of national recruitment training webinars that began earlier this month are available at Manager.Links to current and past webinars, to recruitment tips and other advice, can be found here.

National BSA Family Fun Fest is on Facebook Live

Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 8 at 10:00 AM Central Time. If you like funny pets, rockets and astronauts, Pinewood Derby cars, movie make-up artists and backyard camping then you’ll love Family Fun Fest! It’s outdoor adventure you can have online!  A full rundown on the events can be found here.

Click here to watch a short promo video or visit for more information.

2021 Camp Guide Release and Fees Announced

With just a week left of summer camp this year we have already begun preparing for the 2021 summer camp season. Program guides for all camps along with a message from our Vice-President of Program can be found on the Bay-Lakes Council Camps website.

As we review surveys from this summer we will make adjusts for 2021 to meet the needs of our Scouting Families. Updates will be emailed out to individuals that download the guides, so if you would like to stay in the loop, make sure to download the 2021 Camp guides. We have also set our pricing for 2021 already. That’s right, you can start planning your 2021 adventures now! Click here to see the 2021 fee schedule. Can you believe your eyes? Fees have gone down for our 2021 season!

Don’t Miss Out on Our Upcoming August Events

The following Council-sponsored weekend events for August have all been adjusted to comply with the COVID-19 protocols that are keeping summer camp safe.Click on the title of each event more additional information.

August 7-9: The Family Scouting Outing at Bear Paw Scout Camp
A weekend designed for you and the family to explore Bear Paw and the greater Mountain area. Bring your tents, camper or RV to set up in one of our campsites. Your Scout and family can participate in our planned weekend activities or explore the forests in and around Bear Paw.  

August 8-9: Fall Whitewater Weekend at Wausau and Gardner Dam
The August event will take place at Wausau Whitewater Park and on September 18-20, it will be held at Gardner Dam Scout Camp. Open to all Venturing Crew and Scouts BSA members. Leaders and parents are always welcome to participate as well. Participants are taught the techniques and safety of kayaking on a whitewater river. In addition, the weekend includes time for movies, campfires and getting to meet new friends.

August 14-16: Bay Jammer is at Bear Paw Scout Camp
One of the nation’s oldest and most premier summer events. Bay Jammer 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. It is series of competitions that build on the values of Scouting, encourages teamwork among youth, tests one’s Scouting knowledge and perseverance, and even includes a dance! 

August 21-23: Dadventure is a Go at Bear Paw
Adjusted to the health and safety protocols, Dadventure still packs lots of fun into a “tiny” weekend.Campers will be groups to move from event to event. Learn about chemical reactions, gaze at the stars and make your own amazing slime! Also included are some of our tried and true favorites: branding iron, Akela Warrior Challenge and 2 person saw. Many of the activities count towards Advancement Requirements. Get the early bird discount with your registration before Aug. 1.

August 23: Scout Day at the U.P State Fair in Escanaba
Scouters get free admission when in uniform! Units can put on a Scouting activity in the Big Tent area to showcase Scouting to the UP.

August 28-30: Kon Wapos Lodge Gathering at Bear Paw Scout Camp
Ordeal candidates will complete their Ordeal and join our brotherhood, as well as Ordeal members sealing their membership by becoming Brotherhood members. Those who were selected to be Vigil honor members will also hold their vigil on these weekends. For those not doing their Ordeal, the weekend will be filled with service projects to get our camps ready for the fall, as well as fellowship for everyone. Another focus is the election of the new Lodge Leadership.

And that is just August! You can find more events right here. (Hint, in the upper left, click on grid view for easier viewing.)

The National Jamboree Has Been Postponed

It is with great disappointment when we heard the announcement that the 2021 National Jamboree has been postponed. A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

All youth participants and leaders will receive a full refund of any fees paid, which will be processed by Bay-Lakes Council. Jamboree Service Team members (staff), will receive a refund directly from the National Jamboree.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mike Mailand at

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 Scouts 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 feature them on our social media platforms. Help us in congratulating our Scouts on this great accomplishment!

Troop 865, Kettle Country District
Chartered to Mequon United Methodist Church
Bryce is an Eagle Scout.

Troop 117, Gathering Waters District
Chartered to American Legion Post 106 – Krause/Kraft
Kade is an Eagle Scout, recently earned his Triple Silver Palms, and graduated with High Honors from Seymour High School.
He will be attending UW-Platteville in the fall to pursue a degree in Mechatronics Engineering.

Troop 1054, Northern Lites District
Chartered by Lions Club – Peshtigo
Braden is an Eagle Scout.

Would you like to have us highlight your Senior Scout? Email Alex Behrend with the following 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.

From Kon Wapos Lodge, Order of the Arrow

The Momentum Event is Cancelled.

Equally disappointing for the 18-member Lodge contingent, was the news that next month’s Momentum event at the Summit Bechtel Reserve is cancelled. Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

S’Mores Night at Summer Camp
Did you get your S’more at camp this summer. Chief Nate Ruggles said the Lodge provides 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 BSA and Venturers attend a Bay-Lakes Council camp during the 2021 season for “s’more” fun and “sweet” treats.

Scouts Elected for OA Membership
Unit elections were held in Scout and Venturing units to select members to join the Order of the Arrow. The OA has been conducting “call-out” ceremonies at our Scout camps this summer to recognize those who have been selected to become candidates for membership in the OA. A “call-out” ceremony is not required to attend the Ordeal weekend. Kon Wapos Lodge will be inviting all those elected and their parents to a virtual “Welcome” meeting, where they will learn about the next step in becoming an Ordeal member. The lodge leadership is evaluating when we can safely conduct our new member induction weekends. We expect to make an announcement by August 1.

Final Thoughts …

One of my favorite locally-owned coffee shops announced that it was closing after five years. By September, new owners will take over the space with expectation as high for them as they have been for the current operators. I want to share their announcement:

“We started Timshel five years ago with the simple mindset: we have a choice in everything that we do. The word Timshel is a Hebrew word that means “thou mayest”, indicating that we all have choices in this life. This was the guiding voice we followed during our years of business. We tried to embody that mindset in all our choices: the coffee and food we served, how we treated our employees, and the relationships we developed with our customers.”

Indeed, gratefully, we have choices, some of which might not be as good as others. But to choose Scouting is to enable trained leaders to help youth and adults become better members of society. It’s been a lot of decades since those youthful Scouting days in Kimberly, but to this day (admittedly with a couple decades away from the program) being “here” is one of those “timshel” decisions I am glad my parents helped me make. I hope you think so too.

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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