Sr. District Executive
Scouting for Food returns to Oakland County
Scouts across Oakland County are getting ready for this year’s Scouting for Food event, a
nonperishable food drive set to begin during the first weekend of November.
The Scouting for Food initiative, which is carried out in partnership with Gleaners Community
Food Bank, utilizes thousands of Scouts across the region in collecting essentials. These are then
distributed through the Gleaners network of charities. During the 2021 drive, Scouts collected over
112,000 pounds of food, though local organizers feel confident that this year’s drive will exceed
For Clarkston Troop 189, the drive represents a proud yearly tradition. Assistant Scoutmaster
Dennis Weaver explained that cheerful service is an essential element of the Scouting program,
and the project represents a great opportunity to encourage a spirit of volunteerism in younger
“I hope the Scouts will gain a better understanding of how easy it is to do something nice for
someone else,” Weaver said. “Our Oath calls for us to help other people at all times.”
According to project coordinator Bob DeWar, the Scouts will distribute special bags to homes
across the county on Nov. 5, requesting that residents leave donations on their doorsteps for
pickup in one week. Scouts will then revisit those houses on Nov. 12 to retrieve bags filled with
canned goods, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, juice and other items in high demand, DeWar said.
DeWar expressed high hopes for the drive in Scouting’s local districts, as units in Oakland County
are among the fastest growing in the state of Michigan. In north Oakland County’s Pontiac-Manito
District alone, as many as 300 newly registered Scouts may participate in the drive for the first
“Our local districts have experienced unprecedented growth in the last two months,” DeWar said.
“With more active Scouts than we have had since before the pandemic, we believe this drive could
be our largest in many years.”
Additional information about the drive can be found at:
Scouting for Food
Brandon Kathman For Immediate Release:
Operations Marketing Lead 8/9/2022
Scouting’s local Michigan Crossroads Council has announced it will provide free fishing poles for
all who join its programs between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, a giveaway they believe will make new
youth feel even more welcome in the organization.
“The ‘Hooked on Scouting’ initiative will equip scouts for their first of many adventures in
Scouting,” Director of Field Service Aaron Craig said. “Fishing has always been a popular activity
at our camps, especially for our Cub Scout families.”
According to Craig, registrants will receive their pole once a membership application is received
and receipted. The Michigan Crossroads Council welcomes both boys and girls in its five
programs: Cub Scouts (ages 5-11), Scouts BSA (ages 11-18), Venturing (ages 14-21), Sea Scouts
(ages 14-21) and Exploring (ages 14-21).
The council has secured a supply of 6,000 Zebco rod and reel combos, though they anticipate
placing a second order to resupply before the initiative concludes. Scouting in Michigan already
experienced a surge in new membership during the spring, registering almost 2,000 new
participants by June 30.
“We are so excited to continue growing our movement this fall,” Craig said. “Scouting offers
unparalleled opportunities for young people as well as their families. Many organizations will take
children camping, but we empower them as the future leaders of this nation."
Much of the council’s growth is concentrated in its Cub Scout program, which serves elementary-
age children and is intended to develop foundations in leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness
through family activities. According to Craig, the fishing pole giveaway coincides with the
beginning of the Cub Scout program year, an opportune time for new youth to join.
Craig suggested that interested families seek out “Join Scouting Nights,” which are often
promoted through local elementary schools. Alternatively, information and contact information for
local units can be found at beascout.org.
; summer camp
Brandon Kathman For Immediate Release:
Operations Marketing Lead 7/26/2022
Cub Scout Day Camp returns to Agawam
Cub scouts from across southeastern Michigan returned to Orion Township’s Camp Agawam for
Day Camp in late July, more than doubling the attendance of the event in 2021.
“This is a milestone to be proud of as we build this thing back up after COVID,” Keegan
Springfield, a field director for Scouting’s local Michigan Crossroads Council, said.
Over 100 elementary-age youth participated in this year’s “wild west” themed camp, along with
their siblings and parents. Twenty-four older youth staff from the Scouts BSA program also
supervised the games and activities. Many have volunteered to put on the program for years.
“I like to staff Day Camp because I get to meet people from different troops in the area,” Nick
McKinnon, 14, said. “I remember when I was a Cub Scout, and the staff made Day Camp a lot
Scouts learned how to make paper, shot BB guns and tried to “herd” beach balls. Other summer
mainstays like swimming and fishing also featured. Several scouts caught their first fish on
Tommy’s Lake, and one excited youth attested that a large fish had snapped his pole.
The increase in Day Camp attendance coincides with a marked growth in membership of the
national organization during 2022. With 35,789 more youth in the summer of 2022 than the
previous year, the Boy Scouts of America is outpacing its own projections. The growth is most
apparent in the Cub Scout program, which experienced a spike of 15.5% more active youth.
Cub Scouts teaches young people grades K-5 perseverance and develops their problem-solving
abilities, according to the Boy Scouts of America. It allows youth to develop foundations in
leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness through fun activities involving parents and guardians.
To learn more about local Scouting, visit beascout.org or call the local office at (947) 886-5736.
A Cub Scout pulls a fish from Tommy’s Lake Campers participate in a team-building exercise
Theo Foss jokingly “rides” a pool noodle horse Campers “herd” beach balls
Local Scouts serve at Selfridge Air Show
by: Doni Muzzy, Local Scout Leader
In an era where help wanted signs are apparent everywhere you look, organizations are also
usually shorthanded when it comes to volunteers. Thankfully, organizations such as the Boy
Scouts of America (BSA) are still coming through and assisting where needed.
The Selfridge Open House and Air Show is an extremely popular event, showcasing one of the
oldest continuously operating military airfields in the nation, and wowing the crowds with sky
performances by aircraft like the A-10C Thunderbolt II, CH-47 Chinook, the F-22 Raptor and
more. But with all the people enjoying the show, there must be others to serve them, and that’s
where the BSA units came into play.
Scouts from Troops 127 (Boy and Girl), 209 and 1927 were on hand to help, and although
originally were intended for use elsewhere, primarily served concessions to keep the crowds
hydrated during the perfect sunny day on the air field. The scouts worked both days of the air
show, leaving minimal time to actually enjoy the show. “It’s what we do…” is a common quote
from one of the scout leaders in regard to serving the community. The scouts stayed flexible
and served where they were needed.
During the events, Scouts have the opportunity to camp on site. The scouts, who operate
separately in different units, came together and camped at the Top 4 Park on base. The scouts
enjoyed friendly camaraderie, shared meals and desserts and enjoyed each other’s company
for the weekend. As an added bonus, Brigadier General Rolf E. Mammen, Commander of 127th
Wing stopped by the camp area and thanked the Scouts for their role to make the air show a
Even though units appear to be in competition, those in the program understand that each unit
has its own personality, and everyone wears the same uniform. At the end of the day, it makes
sense that multiple units would come together to help serve the community. And doing it while
having fun with your troop and making new friends? That makes it worth it.
Brandon Kathman For Immediate Release:
District Executive 7/5/2022
Scout plans project at therapeutic riding center
Local scout Vivien Burke of Troop 185 aims to renovate the viewing room at O.A.T.S. (Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles), a nonprofit equestrian center located in Ortonville, to fulfill her last requirement for the rank of Eagle Scout.
O.A.T.S. offers alternative therapy through the healing power of horses for special needs children and adults, disabled veterans, and youth campers. Their facility spans 40 acres and offers year-round programming for those they serve. According to Burke, she has volunteered as a horse guide for O.A.T.S. several times, and her cousin received therapy through their programs.
“This project will help O.A.T.S. for years to come, providing a welcoming space for parents to watch their kids, volunteers to relax, or even help clients decompress if they get overwhelmed,” Burke said. “My hope for this Eagle Project is to help people in the community for years to come.”
The viewing room presently fulfills multiple functions, serving also as a family gathering area and volunteer break room. With many years of intense use having taken a toll, Burke endeavors to make the room warm and inviting. After removing the old furniture, she will give the space a deep clean and paint the walls to match the O.A.T.S. color scheme. The prospective Eagle will also install new flooring and furnishings, including sensory games and activities tailored for O.A.T.S.’ many autistic riders.
“It will benefit so many people here at O.A.T.S.,” Doug Rohrabaugh, the center’s executive director, said. “The Scouting community has been very kind to O.A.T.S. throughout the years and we are happy to continue to have scouts here at the farm.”
Burke seeks to raise at least $2,000 for this renovation and is also looking for potential partners. Michael Keene of M&K Floors in Oxford has pledged materials and labor to refurbish the floors of the viewing room.
“It would be great to find someone to partner to paint, so it looks professional and not like a bunch of kids did it… to donate new furniture that is comfy but has a material that won’t collect dust,” Burke said. “The lighting could use some help, as it’s kind of dark in there.”
Those interested in supporting Burke’s project can mail checks payable to “Troop 185” to the treasurer at 5724 Shannon Lane, Clarkston, MI 48348, noting “Vivien Burke Eagle Project” on the memo line. For other ways to donate (online, partnerships, etc.), call 248-843-9386.
Scouting delegation presents report to state legislators
Scouting’s Michigan Crossroads Council held its first ever “Scout Day at the Capital” in Lansing on June 23.
Written by Jesse Quintana
Scouts from all over Michigan attended to represent the organization at the state legislature. The event included activities like archery and rock climbing on the lawn as well as a free lunch.
Over 500 scouts flooded the grounds from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Throughout the day, scouts entered the capital building and took hour-long guided tours. The tour took scouts through all five floors. The floors had many educational features, including portraits of former governors and a room full of past state flags.
“I think scouts can learn a lot about our state government,” Council CEO Don Shepard said of the event. “Whatever these scouts participate in, they’re bound to learn a little bit of something.”
At 11:30 a.m. twelve youth delegates selected from across the state assembled at a podium on the capitol steps. They expressed how the Scouting movement has changed their lives and the lives of others around them.
“Scouting does truly care about how their nation is and how it’s running,” Vivien Burke of Waterford Troop 185 said. “They care about the future, and the younger scouts are definitely the future. Showing them how everything works and runs will definitely teach them.”
After the speeches, scouts dispersed across the lawn to participate in other activities. One of the more popular activities was the rock climbing wall. Scouts went head-to-head with politicians in the “challenge a scout” competition.
Another activity was archery. The inflatable range used bows with foam-tipped arrows. The targets were plastic balls suspended by air streams. There was a science table with many experiments that the scouts could conduct. There were balloons that scouts would fill by running and rockets that would run on water and “fizz tablets.”
After the speeches, a hotdog lunch was provided to all in attendance. According to the scouts, it was a great experience that also showcased the institution’s functions.