From the Scout Executive – Ralph Voelker

Soaring Leader Camp Staff Award and Scholarship Recipients

This past summer a new award, the Soaring Leader Award, was presented at each of our resident camps. Each staff selected the member that best exemplifies the qualities of a great staffer at their camp:
  • Flying high and proud
  • Being looked up to by Scouts and staff
  • Unafraid to fix anything that needs to be fixed
  • An unwavering example of the Scout Oath and Law
  • Proud of their camp
  • Remembered forever as the best of the best

The award comes in two parts. Their name on a plaque to be displayed proudly at the camp they served and a $1000 college scholarship. Below are the award recipients for 2020.

Bear Paw Scout Camp
Tobias Wing was selected by our staff as our Soaring Leader at Bear Paw Scout Camp. He is our current Program Director and is working his 8th year on staff at Bear Paw Scout Camp. Tobias is currently attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, and is working on an aerospace engineering degree and will be completing his degree later this year. Presenting the award is Rod Goldhahn, Council President and Roy LaPean, Council Commissioner.

Gardner Dam Scout Camp
Henry DeLuka has selflessly given his time to better camp for the Scouts. He’s always willing to help and he spends his downtime making sure all of the campfires are built and ready to go. Henry also comes from a long line of DeLuka’s involved in Scouting and in GDSC. This summer will be the 38th time the DeLuka last name appears on a staff paddle. Henry is preparing to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering this fall to pursue Computer Engineering. Presenting the award is Rod Goldhahn, Council President and Brittany Burmeister, Camp Director.

Camp Hiawatha
Austin Curtis is an Eagle Scout. He is a High Energy Full tilt Smiling Scout. He is very helpful and willing to do anything for anybody. He wants to go to a trade school and eventually work in construction. He is taking a two-year Welding program at Northern Michigan University. He has been on Staff 5 years. Austin was presented the award by Ralph Voelker, Scout Executive.

Camp Rokilio
Austin Scholten was chosen for this award because of his dedication and commitment to making camp fun and exciting for every participant. This year he made an effort to learn every camper’s name from his area. He also performed leadout songs with every meal. Every activity he leads he asks himself, how can I make this better for the participants? Brian Robb, Director of Field Service, presented the award.

Congratulations to these fine Scouts for their outstanding achievements!

Each sets a great example for their fellow staff members to excel toward next summer.

Ralph Voelker
Scout Executive

Need more information right now? Bookmark these links:
Council Website:
Bay Lakes Council Camps:

Heidi Hummel Receives Venturing’s Summit Award

Congratulations to Heidi Hummel of Venture Crew 2356 Marquette, MI. Recently, she received Venturing’s highest award, the Summit Award.

Heidi hails from Duluth, MN, and joined the crew when she moved to Marquette to attend Northern Michigan University. Heidi grew up in an active Scouting family. Her brother is an Eagle Scout and her parents were leaders. Heidi Scouted with members of her brother’s troop, joining activities and learning skills and leadership right alongside the boys.

Heidi said she was excited to join Venturing and chose the Summit Award because she wanted to have a goal as challenging as the Eagle Rank. For the last three years Heidi has worked both summer and winter at Northern Tier National Adventure Base. She found that meeting other people, who also liked outdoor camping and adventure, was a positive experience along with leadership skills and building confidence in herself. Through her Scouting experiences Heidi found that she liked teaching people of all ages in the outdoors and that lead her to the Outdoor Recreation Program at Northern Michigan University.

Please Welcome Our Two Newest Professional Scouters

With great enthusiasm, we give a hearty Bay-Lakes Council welcome to Bobbi Gordon and Scott Domino!
Bobbi joined us on August 15 and will be serving as District Director in the Voyageur District.
Scott joined us on September 1 and will be serving as the Director of Support Services.
We are excited they have joined our team. Join us in welcoming them both to the Bay-Lakes Council Ffamily.

BALOO & NRA Basic Rifle and Shotgun are Cancelled; IOLS Postponed

After careful thought and consideration, the September 25-27 NRA Rifle and Basic Shotgun Class and the October 10 BALOO Course are canceled. Those registered have been contacted and refunds will be given. 
Meanwhile, the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS), sponsored by Gathering Waters District, for September 12-13, has been postponed. Please watch for any rescheduling information. The 2021 spring weekend is set for May 15-16 at Twin Lakes Camp.

As you look at “Upcoming Events” in every GUIDE, it is important to remember that each of these weekend events has a different planning team of professionals and volunteers. The team evaluates its programming options and related activities and the available facilities against the safety protocols for short-term camping weekends. 

Scout safety remains our top priority. If the planning team determines that it cannot safely offer the activities, the event will be canceled or postponed.

Scout Advancements Adjusted for COVID-19

Earlier this week, we received word that the document “COVID-19 FAQ” was updated with some new adjustments to requirements. Second and First Class swimming are among them, as well as, some camping requirements and the time extension to achieve last year’s Cub Scout ranks. Review the latest information here.

Board Approves Multi-Purpose/Dining Building at Gardner Dam

During their August meeting, the Board of Directors for Bay-Lakes Council gave final approval to construct a new multi-purpose building/dining hall at Gardner Dam Scout Camp.

The structure will be located across main camp road from the main parking lot between the Wausau Homes Adventure Lodge and the Heckrodt Program Center. The parking lot side will house the restrooms, easy access for those campers just arriving. A large multi-purpose room provides space for dining and training. There is a smaller dining area and serving line adjacent to the kitchen and dishwashing room. All deliveries will use an auxiliary road so as not to interfere with foot traffic. A porch will face the parade field. Construction is expected to get underway yet this month, as the land itself has already been cleared of trees and roots, and leveled. Weather permitting, the fully air-conditioned building will be ready for summer camp 2021. The building’s rated capacity is 299, so there will be plenty of room!

A Look at Camp Properties

This month, we want to focus on the great work underway, and completed at Bear Paw Scout Camp.  During winter 2018, snow crumbled the program center. In mid-July 2019, an unusual weather phenomenon called a “macroburst,” toppled thousands of trees and damaged many buildings; restoration effort began before sunrise. 

Since then, thousands of volunteer hours, and people spending whole weeks in camp, helped bring back Bear Paw for this summer. We caught up with Camp Ranger Andy Anderson and Craig Berndt, Vice President for Properties, for this update:  
If you attended summer camp at Bear Paw this year, you saw the extensive camp restoration underway from the snow damage and wind storm of 2019.  A number of camp buildings are under construction to replace buildings damaged by these storms, including a new Program Storage building, a new shower house, a Leader’s building, a STEM/Sugar Shack, and the Nature Center/boathouse.  These buildings are in various stages of construction with the Program Storage Building the first to be completed.  This building houses the program and high adventure gear including the ATV’s, bicycles, and winter equipment.    Thanks to Dave Benton and the council staff for planning and initiating the camp restoration, and the many adult volunteers that have worked tirelessly over many weeks constructing these buildings.  One key goal is to have the STEM/Sugar Shack building ready for operation next spring for the maple syrup season at Bear Paw.
Great thanks to you two, Craig and Andy, and the hundreds of volunteers who continue to make scouting happen at our camps.

Bay-Lakes Council Museum Featured in National Magazine

Our very own Bay-Lakes Council Museum is featured in this month’s edition of the Journal  of the International Scouting Collectors Association. There are over 75,000 items in the Museum’s collection which focuses on collectables and history of the Bay-Lakes Council and its “legacy” councils (the smaller councils that merged into Bay-Lakes) and the Order of the Arrow Lodges. There are permanent displays at the Center for Scouting and inside the new Welcome Center at Camp Rokilio. Additionally, Camp Hiawatha, Gardener Dam Scout Camp and Bear Paw Scout Camp host exhibits pertaining to each camp’s individual history. 
Among the collectables, there is a 1910 BSA Handbook that was rebound in leather and presented to participants at an event at the Waldorf Historia hotel. Baden-Powell was present at this event at which he official recognized the Boy Scouts of America. There is excellent attribution that documents that this handbook were owned by Gilbert Nelson. (He was the first Chief Scout Executive in 1915, and flew for the 8th French Army in Europe during World War 1. He died in 1918 and is buried New Haven, CT.)
A most unique feature is that the Museum team has perfected the “portable museum” that appears at many different Council and district events. Did you know the portable museum had 6,250 visitors in 2013, which grew to 9,505 in 2019. The displays appear at about 30 events yearly within the Bay-Lakes Council, and have been to Wisconsin Trade O Rees and the Philmont Training Center. Museum chairperson Dale Opgenorth attributes the fairly high number of annual visitors to the fact that the museum displays are taken to the scouting public. The displays are also customized for each different event. The Museum offers the Scouting Heritage and Collections Merit Badges and tries to fulfill display requests even for unit events. Memberships are available at $10 per year which includes an annual patch. A lifetime membership is available for $250 which includes each year’s annual patch. The annual patches are given out instead of membership cards. 
The Museum’s website, in essence a virtual museum, is here. For more information, and to review of a copy of this article, contact Dale at

Virtual Trivia Night: Fall Edition

This past spring, the Bay-Lakes Council hosted a Virtual Trivia Night Fundraiser. The night was a success, we raised money for the Council, made friends and had fun. Our Fall Virtual Trivia Night is set for Friday, November 20. Participation fee is just $75 for a team of 5. Individuals are welcome to register for $15 per player. Proceeds generated will benefit youth served by the Bay-Lakes Council, Boy Scouts of America. The prize will be a $100 gift card to a local establishment of the winning team’s choice.

This is a general knowledge trivia contest geared for adults. For more information & to register click here.

Summer Camp 2021

As we continue to share camper reviews from this past summer, efforts are well underway to exceed those experiences in 2021. Our vision “Adventure Beyond the Expected”, is not just a slogan; it is a mission. So we continue to study what went right, what was not so right, and what can be done to improve 2021 resident camp. This time read about Camp Hiawatha:

From awesome staff and check-in procedures, to good words about the patrol style scheduling, many of the leader and scout comments recognized the intrusion of COVID-19 protocols. One leader appreciated the uniform schedule for his troop as he was able to be out of the campsite with the Scouts more than in years past. His Scouts has a lot of fun together and the week was great for team building. One Senior Patrol Leader wrote that his unit appreciated the service projects so scouts could earn their rank advancement hours.

Among the items we are working on is the commissary and trading post areas. Many commentators asked for more variety of sale items in the trading post, though one leader appreciated the sweat shirts that they could purchase; another recommended a walk-up window for soda and ice cream. Food variety and portion size were common themes for those commenting on the commissary. (Hiawatha is a patrol-style cooking camp, so Scouts have to retrieve their meals at certain times.) A third set of comments wished for better pre-camp communication, with several leaders recognizing that the ever-changing circumstances, even during the camp session, made that more challenging.

We hear you. While camper surveys are helpful, we always are seeking your feedback to improve. Simply reply to this email and your messages will get to the right people. That’s a promise.

Plan your 2021 Summer Camp Now: What! School just started an we should already plan for next summer? Indeed! To aid your unit’s planning for 2021, the Leader’s Guide for each camp is already online.
Camp costs for 2021 have gone down! See pages 8-9 of the Administration Guide. Make your reservation now, put down your deposit and reserve your session/favorite campsite.

The Orion Project at the Summit

The Summit Bechtel Reserve will host The Orion Project next July. A week of high adventure at the Summit. Ziplining, BMX bikes, climbing, whitewater rafting, shooting sports and more. 

You can get an idea of the program at the Summit by watching this video.       
ORION 1:  July 18-24, 2021
ORION 2:  July 25-31, 2021
We will form council contingents for each week, depending on interest.  There may be an optional touring package before or after the Orion week.  Touring would be an additional

  • The base cost is $910 per person plus transportation cost (to be determined). Adult leaders and youth participants pay the same fee.
  • All participants must be currently registered Venturers, Sea Scouts, or Scouts BSA. (Please note that a participant must be 13 yrs. of age at the time of the event to be eligible to shoot high-caliber firearms.)
  • Tents, cots and all program equipment are provided.

Participant meals include dinner Sunday night through breakfast on Saturday(departure day). Lunch on arrival day is not provided.
If you are interested in being part of the Orion Project, complete this survey.

Questions, more information: Email Mike Mailand at

Cub Scout Adventure Videos and Leader Resources Available

Den Leaders and Parents: need some resources to help your Cub Scouts with their adventures from Lions through Webelos? We have available tips and video resources.

There is even guidance for Scoutbook, the BSA’s online unit management tool, which helps Scouts, parents and leaders track advancement and milestone achievements along the Scouting trail. The Den Leader Experience is a web app that makes it easier than ever for den leaders to prepare for and lead meetings, track advancement and attendance, and more. To take a look at ALL of the Cub Scout Adventure Series Videos. Scroll down to CROWD SOURCED DEN LEADER RESOURCES. They are all there.  You can use them in a live Den Meeting, you can Zoom them, or send them to your parents. Bonus Hack:  For extra easy advancement preparation and execution, you can download PDF worksheets for each Adventure to use with the corresponding video!
In Case You Missed It: We have sample Pack Calendars for every situation. SAMPLE PACK CALENDARS FOR ANY SITUATION
The 2020/2021 Scouting Season is going to demand of us some flexibility (Semper Gumby/Always Flexible!), and some tenacity.  Lucky for us, we all know that in Cub Scouts we “Do Your Best”! 
In that spirit, we reached out to some of our best Cub Scout Leaders, and we invite you to take a look at a Help piece, and a couple of sample calendars.  One is for a full-service Pack with a viable meeting location and lots of participating families, while another is for a small Pack with meeting location challenges.
We invite you to take a look, and mix and match as you adjust your Pack calendar to adapt to this year’s opportunities.  Thank you, Joe Heimerl and Sarah Halverson, for putting this together.

Program Planning Tips During COVID-19
Full Service Pack Calendar
Virtual Den Calendar
Virtual Pack Calendar
The Brand-New Den Leader Video Series is Here!  
Many different volunteers and staff across the nation, have put together a collection of virtual den meetings videos, rank overview videos and Scoutbook help videos, for you to use this fall/winter. To watch these videos, click here.  For more resources for your den leaders to use, visit this link.


Miesfeld’s Cooking Corner with Mister K

Campfire Jambalaya  featuring Miesfeld’s fabulous Andouille Sausage. This mouthwatering dish will transport your meal to the Louisiana Bayou. With just the right amount of heat added to this delicious and satisfying sausage and rice dish, Miesfeld’s Campfire Jambalaya is sure to become a family or Scout Unit favorite any time of year. Take a look at Mr. K’s finished dish…you will want to make it tonight for dinner.

Click here to watch the video and here for the recipe. Check out all of Mr. K’s past recipes!

Voyageur District Honors its Leaders

Last month, Scout leaders from the Voyageur District gathered to celebrate the families of Scouting and to present honors and recognitions to their leaders.

All with masks and appropriate distancing, of course. We congratulate these award recipients:

  • Rookies of the Year – Jennifer Harris, John Huss, Matt Johnson, Eric Razdak, Jennifer Thetreau, Emily Tietyen, Christine Deuchert
  • Square Knot Award – Jason Gajeski, Sarah Halverson, Sara Keller, Holly Schlag, John Stubb, Charles Winnekens
  • Distinguished Unit Scouter Award – Danielle Green
  • District Award of Merit – Patrick Williquette
  • Grand Voyageur Award- Neil Walker

And, they also formally presented the Silver Beaver Award to Ed Gerczak Jr, Mark Kohls, and John Sturdy. Congratulations and thank you very much for your awesome leadership.

1200+ Hours of work in Camps & 4400+ S’Mores at Summer Camp

The Kon Wapos Lodge held its Gatherings, Aug. 28-30 at Bear Paw Scout Camp and Camp Hiawatha. Led by Lodge Chief, Nate Ruggles and other youth leaders, over 200 people gathered at the two camps to induct new members and provide service. Every activity complied with the COVID protocols that Council has in place for weekend events: outside dining, tenting 1 per person, camping by district, distancing or masks when not able to distance. Even when the new members gathered for a “group” picture, they were distant from each other.
•          200+ people
•          1,200+ hours of service to camps
•          $12,000+ value of service @ $10/hour
•          90 new Order of the Arrow members inducted 
•          28 new Brotherhood members
•          12 new Vigil Honor members
•          4 ceremony bowls operating simultaneously
•          20+ ceremonies

Bear Paw Scout Camp
•          clean up sugar bush area for maple syrup operations to replace sap tubing system damaged in 2019 storm
•          clean up of Munsee campsite storm damage to prepare for construction of new latrine
•          clean up storm damage and rebuilding of action archery range
•          roof installed on new restroom/showerhouse on waterfront hill
•          300’ of trench and installation of underground electrical conduit to new buildings

Camp Hiawatha 
•          erosion prevention and landscaping at the waterfront
•          electricity installed at the boat house 
•          cut down dead trees, cut and split into firewood
•          landscape improvements around family cabins
•          inventory all picnic tables and benches in camp for repair during future service weekends
•          support boards installed in patrol shelters in 4 campsites to prevent snow damage
The youth members of the Beshkno Chapter (Lakeshore District) also elected their 2020-21 leaders: Caesyn A. Chief, Mydasia Z. Vice- Chief and Kimberly D. Secretary/Treasurer. Congratulations! The other chapters elect their officers at different times of the program year.

Kon Wapos S’mores Nights at Summer Camps

The Order of the Arrow provided S’mores supplies for all campers in each of the camps during the 2020 summer camp season.  Kon Wapos Lodge also provided root beer floats to the staff at each camp as a thank you for their extra effort to prepare and conduct camp. The O.A. also provided service and S’mores for Dadventure at Bear Paw in August.


4,400+ S’mores

  • 8,800+ marshmallows
  • 2,200+ chocolate bars
  • 4,400+ graham crackers
  • 2,200+ smiles

168+ root beer floats

  • 14+ gallons of ice cream
  • 14+ liters of root beer

Looking Ahead – Upcoming Events

  • BSA Family Funfest on Facebook LIVE! – September 12
  • Order of the Arrow Welcome Meeting –  September 16
  • Fall Whitewater Weekend at Gardner Dam – September 18-20
  • Lakeshore District Pinewood/Book Give-Away – September 24 or 26
  • Life to Eagle Virtual Training – September 24
  • Bishops Mass – September 26

Click here to get more information on each event listed above.

You can find more events on the Bay-Lakes Council website. (Click on grid view for easier viewing.)

Final Thoughts…

If students did not begin school last week, one way or another, they were in their classes by the end of this week.  (Remember when we grew up, the first week of school tended to be the hottest week of summer? And, no air conditioning?) Every school year represents a new beginning. A fresh start with a different teacher, who might not know of your behaviors from last year. A fresh supply of new school items, even if some youth are fully online in these first weeks. A fresh new start to the Scouting program year. No matter how these activities may be held, with masks and appropriate distancing, or in online settings and ZOOM meetings, this month offers many options to live the Scout Oath/Promise and Law. When someone drops their books in the hallway, we might not be able to help pick them up, depending on conditions, but we still need to find ways to do our “Good Turn Daily.” The same people who counted on us last school year, are still counting on us to “Be Prepared.” And, as families move in and out of our neighborhoods, there are new people who need to know what we do: we do Scouting! With many thanks to the teachers and support staff, the administrators and the elected officials, and especially to our parents, even grandparents who are now tutors; we can do this. And, always make it a great day for Scouting!

Till we “meet” again: Scout on! And, be safe and stay healthy!

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


Have a thought or question? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your comments with us. It is easy; just reply to this email or send a message to

Looking for past editions? Check out the Communications feed on the Bay-Lakes Council website. Thank you for supporting Bay-Lakes Council Scouting at its finest.