I hope you’ve been out camping, enjoying outdoor adventure, and spending time with loved ones while making time for personal reflection and prayer. As the new school year approaches, you will notice that our district will have had a few changes. For starters, our beloved Catherine “the Great” Buckalew has been promoted to Council Program Director! She is taking over for Janssen Lemley, who is now the Field Director for the Woodward Field Service Team (consisting of Mahican, North Star, and Sunset districts), another worthy promotion that will positively affect our district and help carry into Journey to Excellence (JTE) Gold in the days ahead. Janssen’s promotion is right in the wake of the Woodward Field Service Team’s former Field Director, Leon Bell, who is now the Assistant Director of Field Service for the Great Lakes Field Service Council, a much needed position of leadership and service in our Council for an overwhelmingly competent and deserving professional Scouter who is well into his second decade of dedicated service as a Scouting professional in Michigan.
Also among our changes is the departure of our own dear Gerald “Jerry” Bricker, our steady and dedicated Sunset District Chair. Jerry served as our District Chair for two years and continually championed our district’s efforts to become a JTE Gold Medal district. During his tenure, he led our district to growth in membership, popcorn sales, and Friends of Scouting gifts—an exceptional achievement for our district under his watch and guidance. Fortunately, he has agreed to continue as a District Committee Member as we begin the search for his successor. When you see Jerry, be sure to thank him for all he’s done to serve our distr ict, and for his continued support of the Scouting Movement in our district!
Now, as we head towards the end of August 2018, there’s a few bases each unit will need to cover in order to pursue the proof that their unit is a safe, high-quality unit that is serving youth with purposeful fun at their unit’s fullest potential—the proof of JTE Gold!
1. REVIEW YOUR UNIT’S CALENDAR – Your unit may have already planned out the next 12-18 months of program (which it should have), but you will want to make sure that your calendar is still on target. Particularly for the fall season, you’ll want to solidify your Fall Recruitment date, time and location, as well as a “follow-up” recruitment night that invites those who missed the first recruitment night to a pack meeting—be sure to email me the details, along with the phone number and email of the primary contact for the recr uitment night, so that we can get your flyers ordered and ready to distribute at the Scout Talks in your community’s schools (whatever time you schedule for the Scout Talk, if you’re unable to do the Scout Talk, we can get it covered by another professional or volunteer, but you have to let us know ahead of time. Because our council will be offering free handbooks to new recruits this fall, you’ll want to have your recruitment complete with applications submitted by the end of September 30, 2018, when the free handbook incentive is scheduled to end. The Parent Orientation that follows the first recruitment night can be 30-45 minutes before the next unit meeting and is a great opportunity to recruit every new parent to help with SOMETHING in the unit, and then take that list to the returning parents as a challenge to step up and assist the unit with a registered position or a coup le of unit events. “Many hands make light work”, and trained hands improve the quality.
2. SIGN-UP FOR SUPER SATURDAY – Here’s the link: https://scoutingevent.com/272-2018GLSuperSaturday. Super Saturday is our annual Popcorn Sales and Recruitment Kickoff, at Lawrence Tech University. There are two sessions to choose from, the first session is 9-10:30am (check in at 8:30) the second session is 10:30-12pm (check in at 10). There will be lots of cool prizes and some seriously advantageous changes to the popcorn sale, so be sure to send a representative to the Popcorn Session or the Cub Scout Recruitment Session. You don’t want to miss this event! If you have any questions, you can contact our buddy Catherine Buckalew (GLFSC Program Director; Catherine.Buckalew@Scouting.org) if you have any questions about Super Saturday.
3. START PLANNING FOR RECHARTERING – Set a date for all of your returning Scouts and Scouters to submit their registration fees to your unit for the 2019 Scouting year. Also, if they haven’t already, they’ll need to complete YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING (YPT) – it is an almost entirely new training in 4 parts (about 20 minutes each) and if they don’t complete the new YPT, they will not be able to re-register until they complete it, preventing some our units from rechartering and preventing them from purchasing advancement awards and endangering their unit’s tenure.
4. TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING – Please log on to My.Scouting.org and complete the Position-Specific training for your position, and constantly challenge others to do the same. Our youth deserve a program that is at its highest potential—an impossible feat for units that refuse to hold their leaders accountable to the completion of training sp ecific to the position they’ve committed to serve in.
5. REVIEW YOUR JTE STATUS – Journey to Excellence is a tool for assessing the health and success of your unit’s efforts to implement the Scouting program, as well as providing guidelines for how your unit can grow and receive recognition and awards for your successful service of our Scouting youth. Check out this website (https://www.scouting.org/awards/journey-to-excellence/) to learn everything you could possibly want to know about JTE!
6. SEND US YOUR UNIT MEETING DAYS/DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATIONS – If we know when and where your unit meets, we can send new recruits your way who are looking for a Scouting unit in your area. Also, members of the commissioner staff and I would like to visit your unit to get to know you better—outside of your unit’s Blue and Gold or Court of Honor.
I look forward to seeing you at Roundtable at 7 PM Thursday, August 9, 2018 at St. Aidan Catholic Church (17500 Farmington Rd, Livonia, MI 48152). Be sure to be there, as there’s always information and resources that are only at Roundtable.
I hope to see you there!!!
Yours in Scouting,