Montana Trails – May 2014
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Montana Council Rocks!
On May 2nd and 3rd the Montana Council’s Annual Convention was held at the Northern Hotel in Billings, and it rocked! Those of you old enough to remember the 1970’s will know that there is some great music from that decade. The Friday night Scouters Appreciation banquet had a 70’s theme, a DJ, a disco ball and some terrific music to go with it. Many dressed up and you can see photos below of somewhat wild and crazy Montana Scouters who got into the evening. More important than the music, it was a terrific night to salute the outstanding achievements of our districts and their volunteers who accomplished important milestones of service last year. This event kicked-off our annual convention with enthusiasm and style.
Early Saturday morning we were up for breakfast featuring recognition of the great leadership our council training events such as Wood Badge and NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training). Then it was on to seminars and sessions, including our new and dynamic MOHAB (Montana High Adventure Base) program, a greeting by the mayor, membership retention session, financial forecasting, and a council board meeting. Then we had a special report and recognition gathering for our Investment in Character and Leadership (ICL) annual campaign. Council ICL Chair Scott Jourdonnais led this short and lively gathering. Next was lunch where we paid tribute to many exceptional Scouters for recognitions including anniversary awards, popcorn sales, commissioner service, tenure, and the special President’s awards. This gathering was emceed by Venture Scout Jessica Scanlan and our keynote speaker was Frank McAllister, Council Executive Board Member and National Board Member, who gave a dynamic presentation about the new merit badges – Mining in Society Merit Badge and Sustainability Merit Badge – and why they are both important to Montana Council.
The pace did not let up for the afternoon as we had youth protection training, key information on upcoming Jamborees – World and National – and a session on Venturing. This was followed by our annual meeting and election of officers. Then a quick pause for a little relaxation and fellowship. Oh, I don’t want to forget the special Trading Post that was open all weekend – we had a whole bunch of newly branded Montana Council and Team 315 items for sale, including shirts and jackets – from companies like Roper and Stetson – when you see them you will want them – very cool. Our newest employee – Deb Kovalicky – is our new Director of Merchandise, and she will be leading the charge with new products that I am sure you will find exciting.
The evening included a reception and on to the Silver Beaver Recognition Dinner. This special evening featured the installation of new council officers, a keynote address from Tom Fitzgibbon, Assistant Chief Scout Executive (who came from Texas to be with us!), followed by a few remarks from me, and a stirring report and challenge from our Council President Chuck Eubank. Of course, the program concluded with a great highlight – the awarding of 9 Silver Beaver Awards to some very deserving Montana Council Scouters! They are Greg Beach, Loren Brown, Ellis Hawks, Tony Higuera, Larry Johnson, Garth Kallevig, Tom Loch, Fritz Snyder, and Frank Votapka!
This was a remarkable weekend for Scouting in Montana Council! There were over 150 folks who attended and if you talk with any of them I think you will find that it was both fun and inspiring. I urge you to mark your calendars now for next year… it will be April 24-25, 2015 at Big Sky! I would like to also thank our hosts from Black Otter District – they did a terrific job, and our special presenters from Area 2 leadership (including the Rocky Mountain states plus Idaho and Utah) that included Dave Hyink, Don Diaz, Kelly Williams and Mike Marchese. Finally I would like to congratulate and thank John Manz, Council VP of Administration and Convention chair, Jory Dellinger, Stacie Cline and Michelle Ferguson – all worked long and hard to make this a memorable event for all who attended!
You see… Montana Council does rock, and in more than just music!
One more plug for the Council Camporee!
Another Montana Council Event that will rock is the Council Camporee to be held next month in Townsend! Council Camporees happen only once every 3 or 4 years and this is going to be a mega-Montana Scouting event! For most Scouts this will be the largest Scouting gathering that they will attend as a Scout – so don’t miss this opportunity! Check out this link for details! New information for Cub Scout packs – there will be a special Council Pinewood Derby held in Townsend on Camporee Saturday! For just $15 a Cub Scout and parent can participate in the Pinewood Derby and then attend the Camporee for the rest of the day – what a fabulous chance to see Scouting on a big scale and have a super Scout outing! Check out the Pinewood Derby/Council Camporee information below and get signed up right away – don’t be left out!
Yours in Scouting,
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