A Message from the Key 3
2017 was an outstanding year for the Southern Shores Field Service Council! The Council achieved Silver Journey to Excellence status because of the dedication and determination of thousands of volunteers, an excellent board of directors, and a focused Council staff. We are proud to report a year of membership growth, increased youth retention, increased unit retention, increased popcorn sales, increased community service hours and 224 Scouts achieving Scouting’s highest honor, Eagle Scout!
Scouting truly makes a difference in the lives of children, their families, and the communities they live in. Thank you for interest and support.
Seed to Life – Turning Meals into Program at Rota-Kiwan Scout Reservation
The purpose of the Seed to Life Initiative is to improve camper’s knowledge and behavior in regard to healthy lifestyles and nutrition by creating real-life experiences and connections to nutrition, food production, and environmental sustainability.
In 2017, Rota-Kiwan created an on-site outdoor interpretive area with a garden, hoop house, chicken coop and compost site. Campers had the opportunity to learn in work in the large hoop house garden. They assisted with the planting, harvesting, weeding and sampled a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables they helped grow.
The small flock of chickens (3 of which were affectionately named Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner by the camp staff!) raised created multiple opportunities for campers to learn about sustainable food sources, and where their food comes from.
The compost site used food waste from the Dining Hall operation to create fertilizer for the garden. This also provided educational programming around the process of decomposition, sustainability, and the circle of food production. Campers learned how to care for a healthy compost pile enabling them to implement composting in their own homes.
HEROES – “Helping Each Scout Receive Opportunities for positive Experiences and Success”
The concept of Heroes is to help inner-city youth find the heroes within themselves and their communities. HEROES are a carefully designed, culturally relevant program that combines the resources of Scouting with the strengths of the community to provide youth with a support system that will help them build resiliency, skills, and values necessary for a successful future. Over the past year the Heroes program has been recruiting adult leaders and developing relationships with chartered organizations in the inner-cities of Berrien and Kalamazoo counties. In 2017 181 youth participated in the Heroes program through 14 different Scout units.
Washtenaw County Scoutreach
Through the dedication of funders, staff, and volunteers over 80 low-income boys received a weekly after-school Scouting experience through 5 Scoutreach units. The boys worked diligently, earning 137 awards including knot tying, knife safety, STEM based exploration of air, basic fire safety and first aid, and basic camping skills. A mother with two sons in one of the Packs has shared that she uses Scouts as an incentive for good behavior and school work completion. If they act up, she just has to mention Scouting and they always quickly adjust their behavior because they love it so much and look forward to it every week. She said this has been a great experience for them and if very thankful.
RUSS COLLINS - 2017 DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN AWARD
Russ Collins, director of Ann Arbor's historic Michigan & State Theaters and founder of the Cinetopia Internal Film Festival was the 2017 Boy Scout of America Distinguished Citizens Award.
Some of Russ' favorite memories include campouts and trips to other parts of the United States. A trip to Mt. Katadin in Maine gave him his first opportunity to travel to the East Coast. Climbing a mountain and having lobster for the first time, I was able to experience things that expanded my horizons and were excellent," he said. "I had never been out east or eaten lobster before this trip."
When his son Alan, now 34, joined Troop 4, Collins served as a troop leader and was able to join him on trips, including several to St. Helena Island in the Straits of Mackinac. Troop 4 adopted and painstakingly worked to restore St. Helena lighthouse on an island without electricity or any modern amenities.
Collins said this is at the core of what Scouting has always been about for him. He said "Scouting opened my mind and helped me get out of my comfort zone and make new friends. The Boy Scouts were transformative for me. Like many Scouts I still remember the Scout Law and Oath."
The wide variety of programs designed to challenge and inspire confidence set the standard for performance in all areas of Collins life. He said scouting really did teach him the meaning of self-reliance and the importance of striving for excellence.