Happy Holidays From the Bay-Lakes Council!

From the Council President

We Need You 

​Christmas is nearly upon us! This is a time of caring and expectation. To those who have suffered during these trying times with the loss of a loved one, job, hours, or struggles with illness, our heart goes out to you. With vaccines now in distribution, we pray the future will be brighter. As we look to our Scouting future, the same holds true. With difficulties in being able to meet, camping concerns, and overall financial struggles, it’s been a tough year for the Council. Many thanks to those who have worked so diligently to make the best of this situation.  

The mission of Scouting is as relevant today as it has ever been. The values and leadership skills we teach are critical in today’s world. We must carry on and continue to strive to be the top youth serving organization in the area. What can we do? The first thing is to stay safe and healthy.

Thank your healthcare professionals and first responders. Reach out to those who are struggling. Many of you are already doing this. Looking further ahead, our efforts to reach more youth are critical. Membership is the lifeblood of our future.  
You will see local marketing efforts to get positive Scouting stories in front of families. We must be ready to invite any and all youth to join us. If you have creative ideas to do this, share them at Roundtables. Make every effort to keep those current Scouts who are wavering.  
The next is to maximize the use of our resources-our camps. We will finish the year with a financial loss and expect next year to be a struggle, as well, as the area gets back to “normal.”  Simply making sure your unit attends a Council camp is an easy way to help. Even with the pandemic, considerable effort was extended to improve the facility and program issues you told us about. Feedback from those who did attend camp, was very good. Those efforts will continue for this coming year. If you’re thinking of camping out of Council, please reconsider. We need you!
Thank you for being part of this great organization and for all you have done to continue the mission. The opportunity to make an even larger impact is in our hands. Let’s do it!    
If you have questions, or would like the opportunity to help even more,  by serving on one of our teams,  just send an email to rgoldhahn@aol.com.
Rod Goldhahn
Council President

From the Council Commissioner

The Gift of Scouting

As leaders in the Bay-Lakes Council, we have the opportunity to provide the youth of our Council with a tremendous gift.  That gift is Scouting.

Today’s youth need the core values Scouting’s gift brings – character and leadership development, citizenship training and personal fitness. Scouting provides opportunities for young people to develop new skills and explore career choices. They are able to practice service to others, build self-confidence and learn to make sound ethical and moral choices. These are great gifts indeed!

2020 brought many challenges to us as leaders in delivering Scouting’s gift to the youth of Bay-Lakes Council. Together, we worked hard, applied creative solutions and overcame these obstacles to the best of our ability. 2021 promises to bring even more challenges, but the end is in sight and we are on a roll.

As long as we continue to work together, we’ll be fine. To all of you, may this Holiday Season and coming year bring all the best to you and your families.

Yours in Scouting,

Roy LaPean
Council Commissioner

Santa Clyde Sez: Give your Scouts the gift of a trained leader!
Complete Your Youth Protection Training Now At my.scouting.org.

Register Now for Wood Badge 2021

Scouting’s premier adult leader training program, fully revised and improved, Wood Badge will be held next summer over two weekends: Fri.-Sun., Aug. 20-22 at Gardner Dam Scout Camp and Sat.-Sun., Sept. 11-12 at Bear Paw Scout Camp. Wood Badge an “immersive course” in Scouting Aims and Methods coupled with learning about leadership and team development skills in an active, outdoor environment, with the goal of enabling adults to provide a quality program that will enable their youth to grow to their greatest potential.
Why do we offer Wood Badge? In simplest terms: to enable and empower leaders to deliver Scouting’s best for their units.  We seek to build stronger units, to learn the “what” and “why” of Scouting, to gain personal experience, and to help other groups with the skills learned in this course. Most of all, to have fun and capture the same “fire” that our youth have for Scouting.
All the information you need to know can be found here. If you have any questions, contact Christopher George, Course Director, at cgbrewmaster@gmail.com.

Winter Amidships is on the Horizon

It is, perhaps, Bay-Lakes Council’s longest running, volunteer-led scouting activity. The 47th annual Winter Amidships (WAM) is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2021, at the National Guard Armory in Fond du Lac, WI. This is a one-day competition event for Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships, Career Explorer Posts, Girl Scout/Mariner Troops, American Heritage Girls Units, and 4H Clubs. Youth participants must be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America (Troop, Crew, Ship, Post participant), Girl Scouts – USA, American Heritage Girls or 4H. Dinner is included; lunch is on your own. Awards and a dance end the day.
WAM was first held in Fond du Lac in 1972 as a co-ed event for teenage Sea Scouts and Mariner Girl Scouts. An event called “Mid Winter Cruise” (1952-1971), preceded WAM, providing activities Mariner and Senior Girl Scouts. (For various reason, WAM was not held during three years.)  Did you know that the penguin is the event mascot, first appearing on the patch in 1973? The first patch (1972) had a sailboat with long skis attached.

More details can be found here.

Wilderness and Remote First Aid Re-imagined

Two separate courses will be held: March 6-7 and April 10-11, 2021, at Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Center, north of Gardner Dam Scout Camp on Highway 55. The primary purpose of the Wilderness and Remote First Aid course is to provide individuals with a foundation of first aid principles and skills to be able to respond to emergencies and give care in areas that do not have immediate emergency medical services response, such as wilderness and remote environments. This training is highly recommended for all activities where emergency help is an hour or more away. The course will be limited to nine participants under current health requirements.

Registration will open after the holidays. Information for the March event is located here 
and for details of the April event, click here.

Bay-Lakes Council Unit News

Hortonville’s Troop 36 and Pack 3036 Combined Efforts
Approximately 35 Scouts from Hortonville’s Troop 36 and Pack 3036 combined efforts to make the holidays a bit merrier for those in need, as well as those who sacrificed for our country. With the holiday season nearing, and the need for food assistance never greater in our area, the Scouts decided to lead a Scouting for Food Drive to benefit the food pantry in Dale, which serves the Hortonville community.

Additionally, after hearing of COVID struggles at the Veteran Home in nearby King, WI, from Austin Lederhaus (a former Troop 36 member and Eagle Scout who now works there) the Troop decided to make 400 cards. A card would be delivered to each resident at this care facility for veterans and their spouses.

To tackle both of these projects, the boys realized they’d need more help and enlisted the assistance of Hortonville’s Cub Scout Pack. The two groups spent over 12 hours combined to put their plans into action. On Sat., Dec. 5th, Scouts met at the St. Peter & Paul Parish gymnasium and split into groups, taking turns working on cards and passing out Scouting for Food door hangers to approximately 1,000 homes throughout the Hortonville area. Non-perishable food donations were picked up the following weekend and the community was very generous as 6-7,000 items were collected. Thanks goes to Festival Foods in New London and Quick Trip for their donations. Check out the photos from their efforts.

Hobart’s Pack 4477 conducts Flag Retirement
Under the leadership of Cubmaster, Matt Rode, Pack 4477 held a flag retirement earlier this month. Eight Scouts from Hillcrest and Lannoye Elementary Schools were able to participate.  

Cedarburg’s Troop 830 Food Drive and December Community Service
Conducting a contactless food drive, Troop 830 gathered hundreds of items for Food Sharing. This month, the Troop also continued its annual toy collection for the children of the Wind River Indian reservation. Scouts assisted “Bobs Under the Bridge” — a local group that brings food and supplies to the homeless in Milwaukee. They also make care packages and treat bags for the holiday and winter season, create toiletry bags and collect winter gear such as hats, gloves, and hands warmer.

Gathering Waters Units Host Successful Food Drive
The Scouts of Troops 77, 177, 3077, and Pack 3177, collected over 5,000 food items as part of the annual Scouting for Food drive in the Greenville area. Over 5,000 flyers were delivered as part of the effort. Two trucks and trailers were used to collect and deliver the food to the Dale food pantry. Thanks to all of the Scouts that participated and Erik Johnson for Coordinating!

Let us know about your unit’s activities. Food drives are a great way to help local food pantries, even beyond this holiday season. There is always a need to share with others and in these times, the need is even greater. Tell us what you are doing in support of Scouting by submitting your story.

Eagle Scout News

On October 12, 2020, a Board of Review was held for Kyle Gildemeister, earning his Eagle Scout rank. Kyle is a member of Troop 1084 and chartered to The First American Lutheran Church of Oconto.

Kyle’s Eagle project was to design and lay out a scaled down model of a prayer labyrinth. This was completed for the First Presbyterian of Oconto, and was displayed in the fellowship hall of the church. The labyrinth model will some day be expanded and moved to the backyard and made into a prayer garden.

A formal award ceremony is in the planning stage, depending on the effects of COVID-19, and the restrictions it produces will be set for a later date.

eatured on WBAY-TV news earlier this month, Ava Van Straten from the Voyaguer District, has joined the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts.

A student at Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, she also received the Gold Award, the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA, earned by 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts. For her project, she wrote a book titled Parker’s Path, and created curriculum for elementary school students based on promoting empathy.

Ana is a “lone” Scout, which means she is not affiliated with a Scouts BSA unit.

See the full story here.

Eagle Scout Scholarships

Bay-Lakes Council is fortunate to offer three different annual scholarships for Eagle Scouts.

The Donald D. and M. Marie Belcher Charitable Foundation provides three (3) two-year $7,000 college scholarships. Scholarship recipients are awarded $3,500 the first year with the balance renewable for a second year. Details and the application can be found here.  

The Sons of the American Revolution sponsors a national scholarship essay contest that begins at the local level. Get all the details and Wisconsin/Michigan contact information here.

Finally, Bay-Lakes Council has assembled a list of several other scholarships available to Eagle Scouts.

Summer Camp News

Mission Possible: 2021 – More than Just a Theme; a Purpose
With snow and chilling temperatures around us, it is never too early to think about summer camp.  Thousands of scouts and leaders participated in a safe and fun-filled 2020 experience, and more excitement is on the horizon. Our mission is to engage our guests by delivering quality, innovative, and “Life on the Edge” experiences that support the mission of the Bay-Lakes Council.
Last month, we announced our camp directors. In case you missed it, check out the article.
From Brit, Gardner Dam Scout Camp
Gardner Dam Scout Camp is extremely excited for the summer of 2021. With a theme like “Operation: Mission Possible,” we are taking our program to a whole new level. We are in the middle of our hiring process as well as designing an excellent program. June will be here before you know it and we can’t wait! P.S. If you haven’t checked out our application to be on staff, head to baylakescamps.org and scroll down to the Apply Now button.
ScoutsBSA Summer Camp Registration is Wide Open
Be a part of the year-long celebration of 100 years of Scouting in Bay-Lakes Council at summer camp. Prices are reduced for next summer. The Leaders Guide are posted. Find them here. Make your reservation now, and get your preferred campsite or building. On that page where you find the leader guides, click on the menu item “Make a Reservation” at the top right of the page, and select your camp from the drop-down menu. Contact the Program Department by email at reservations@baylakescamps.org or by phone at (920) 734-5705.
Cub and Webelos Camp Registration Also Underway 
Registration for Cub Scout & Webelos Summer Camp began earlier this month and the response is incredible. Building and campsite reservations are disappearing, so waiting is really not an option. This year’s registration process will again be online. A deposit of $10 per person is due upon registration. Staff will be available by phone (920) 734-5705 to provide assistance and answer questionsOtherwise, follow this link for registration how-to and frequently asked questions.
Apply for Summer Camp Staff
For as much fun as our Scouts and leaders have at summer camp, there is a special camaraderie and satisfaction being on staff.  Applications are still being taken for a wide array of positions at all four camps.  The process is simple, it will take you less than three minutes. Simply follow this link.
Begin the extra special journey of a Scouting lifetime. See you there!
Scouting@Home Still Going Strong

As we edge ever closer to returning to “normal” Scouting activities, be sure to bookmark the Scouting@Home webpage — your one-stop resource for conducting safe Scouting activities. While there, check out Mr. K’s Cooking Corner, sponsored by Miesfeld’s Meats of Sheboygan; have you you tried his Bratwurst Hash?

This is also your place for tracking online merit badge offerings from Scoutmaster Mark; watch for announcements about Law, Cooking and Scouting Heritage merit badges, coming soon. Each class will accept a maximum of 15 Scouts, with the remaining put on a waiting list to receive preference for the next opportunity. So, do not get discouraged if you did not make the first 15 registrants. Counselors are needed in order to offer additional sessions. The cost for Bay-Lakes Council Scouts is $15 per class.

STEM Challenge #5: Liquid Excitement

The latest STEM Challenge is all about the cool things that you can do with liquids. Scouts should enter the age category appropriate to their age & rank to ensure that they are competing with Scouts in their same age group. Each level of Scouting must meet minimum requirements for the challenge. Points will be awarded for each feature included. All of the details can be found here.

Remember, new challenges are released every 3 weeks and 1 day at 4:00 PM until the Just Shy of Pi Day (3.13.2021). Find them on STEM’s Facebook page.

100 Years of Bay-Lakes Council Scouting: Valley Council

It  was called “A Boys’ Paradise” when Valley Council opened its first summer camp operations in 1933, at what is known today as Gardner Dam Scout Camp, located along the Wolf River in Langlade County.

Records indicate that Scouting began 18 years earlier in the Fox Valley area when the first Scout Troop formed at Columbia Hall. Five years later, Valley Council was formed. Read all about the history of this Council here.

These featured articles celebrate over 100 years of Scouting in Bay-Lakes Council are provided by Dale Opgennorth and the Bay-Lakes Council Museum. Contact Dale at opgenorthdale@gmail.com if you have any questions.

In-Person Scouting Events and COVID
Bay-Lakes Council strives to promote safe Scouting at all levels of activities. No new in-person Council and District events will be scheduled through the end of this year. With fingers crossed, however, we are beginning to plan for 2021, working with coordinators to adjust the activities as health circumstances may permit.

Meanwhile, the Council encourages units to continue to practice safe Scouting. Review the checklist that must be used for holding any in-person meetings. If it is not practical to meet the minimal protocols found on the checklist, please do not restart in-person activities. Thank you for helping to keep Scouting safe.

New short-term camp and building reservations have been suspended. Council staff is working with units that have existing reservations to determine if those can still be honored during these times.

Find all your COVID information here, including links to state and county health departments for updates. If you have any questions contact the Center for Scouting at (920) 734-5705 or communications@baylakesbsa.org.

Kon Wapos Lodge Updates

Kon Wapos Lodge members elected their new 2021 Lodge Chief and officers during a virtual lodge meeting. Lodge Chief, Jack Salzwedel, is looking forward to 2021 and the opportunities to eventually gather in person with OA members from around the lodge for OA activities.

The youth leaders of Kon Wapos Lodge conducted a virtual Brotherhood on Dec. 5th & 6th as part of the virtual Lodge Leadership Development weekend.  Members who have been Ordeal for at least 6 months, were eligible to complete their Brotherhood.  The lodge is considering another virtual Brotherhood in the spring. Stay tuned for updates in 2021.


The Lodge Leadership Development program included several training modules and a keynote address presented by Scout Executive and Kon Wapos Lodge Supreme Chief of the Fire, Ralph Voelker. The National OA Chief, Zach Schonfeld, joined the lodge to share national OA updates with members. Several virtual games and fellowship activities were held during the weekend.

Lodge Chief – Jack Salzwedel
Vice-chief, Program – Thomas Crow
Vice-chief, Inductions – Milo Rades
Secretary – Mydasia Zipperer
Treasurer – Anthony Breimon

Looking Ahead

Given the ever-changing health circumstances and the differences between the regions of the Bay-Lakes Council, events listed here may be cancelled, postponed or moved to a virtual opportunity if possible. Verify with the event coordinator whether this activity has been postponed or moved to an online presence.
  • 1/16/21: Lakeshore District Klondike Derby has been Cancelled
Check out all Scouting events on the Bay-Lakes council calendar.

Final Thoughts…

Looking Beyond the Skies

For sky watchers, December was to have been a banner month, especially if you were in the right places. “It may be getting colder, but the night sky is giving you a wagonload of reasons to go outside in the cold,” I recall one science talker saying. The “predictable” events included one of the most active meteor showers during the year and an alignment of two planets next week, called the “Christmas star”. For the triple play, we were to see of perhaps the most stunning display of northern lights, reaching as far south as Illinois over the course of two nights. Borrowing the baseball statistic, the sky is batting oh-for-two so far, at least in my particular location.

Though clear skies prevailed over those two nights, there were no “stunning” northern light displays. Last Friday, there was a colorful orange light show over Lake Erie, the result of LED lighting from Canadian greenhouses. But nothing in east central Wisconsin. (For me, the closest were thin clouds streaking across the northeast sky.) And, cloud cover prevented viewing of the Geminids meteor shower earlier this week. So, the banner month of sky viewing comes down to next Monday, Dec. 21, when Jupiter and Saturn align, their closest approach from our view since 1226. It will be visible to the unaided eye for about an hour after sunset in the southwest sky. While they will come close again in 2080, the next “Christmas” star conjunction will be 794 years from now. Yes, I am rooting, “Come on, clear skies!”

A year ago, no one could anticipate what 2020 experiences would actually be. For better or worse, we learned (hopefully) patience and resilience, even as we may have witnessed (or perhaps participated in) behaviors that betray our scouting values. While it was oftentimes a struggle, the ability to keep looking forward, to keep looking up, provided a valuable reminder that as Scouts, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of friendship, courtesy, respect, and honor. We experienced perhaps greater disappointment for whatever reason: sometimes as “simple” as a missed sky viewing opportunity of the spectacular; sometimes requiring help from others.

Each new year offers the potential for new beginnings, whether or not one makes a “resolution” to confirm it. Honestly, it is not just a cliché that our communities need us, active and fully engaged, looking up and looking forward. We have the values, we have the mission, and we have the vision. And, just like December skies, we have the potential to be and do the truly spectacular.

December is a world of holidays, from Christmas and Hannukah, to Boxing Day in the former British Empire and Ōmisoka, New Year’s Eve, in Japan. However, you celebrate these days, may they be safely enjoyed with those most important to you and provide you with the renewal that we need. See you next year!

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

In the Spirit of Adventure,

Warren Kraft
Bay-Lakes Council Vice President-Program Development
Adventure beyond the Expected