From my chairs in Everett and Bellingham, I can see through the window that the pace of the world is steadily increasing as the holidays approach. 

It is always one of my favorite times of the year. Not so much because of food, gifts and merriment, but significantly because – in my work in helping the instill the values of the Scout Oath and Law in our young people  – it is an opportunity to reflect on our successes and the volumes of work that is accomplished on behalf of our shared cause. 

It is also an opportunity to say “thanks” – not that we don’t always feel thankful because we do. It is simply a great opportunity to remind everyone just how thankful we truly are. 

It should come as no surprise to you that I believe, and I know, that the Scouting program is one of the most significant movements of our history as a Nation. 

Scouting does so many things that simply cannot be replicated without. 

It is also one of the most demanding personnel resource organizations in the world. It takes an army of volunteers to grease the gears of Scouting.  I am always impressed and humbled when I see someone volunteering for a few hours to help others this time of year. 

That, however, is a mere candle to the inferno that is a Scout Volunteer. The hours, the miles, the preparation, the caring, the support and the excitement that surrounds our volunteers, donors and involved parents is beyond inspiring. You are amazing. 

While many of you will never fully comprehend the business side of Scouting (fundraising, management, employees, administration, support, marketing, oversight) I can promise you this: They too deserve thanks – the team works very hard every day to keep up with that side of the house. 

The old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is perhaps no better suited than it is to Scouting. 

All of us, working together makes Scouting work.  The proof is the in results of the kinds of youth we raise. An additional reason to give thanks. 

As the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I hope the holiday finds you surrounded by family and friends and, despite all the craziness in the world around us, you also find a reason to be thankful. 

I am thankful for all our Scouts, our Volunteers, our Donors and our Friends.  I wish all of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. 


Kevin Nichols 

Scout Executive 

A follow-up to Steven Davis’ thoughts from the October Mountain Echo.


As Steven so well described, “Scouting matters.”   It matters to each of us for different reasons, and we all have our own stories to tell.  Reflecting on these stories can help us remain involved in Scouting over time and/or help us later on to reconnect in Scouting as alumni.  

I once was asked during a Commissioner meeting to describe what Scouting had done for me.  I think it was an attempt to help me to reflect on why Scouting mattered to me.  At the time, I was a fledgling Unit Commissioner, and obviously had not been a Boy Scout as a youth.  My sons were still young Scouts and I could already see what Scouting was doing for them in terms of their character and leadership development.   But other than the interesting opportunities provided to me for donating my time as a Scout Mom, I was really perplexed about the question of what Scouting had done for me.  That meeting ran late into the night, and I went straight to bed when I got home after I checked on my sleeping family.  As I drifted off to sleep next to my snoring husband, I realized that I had my answer right there beside me. 

Like many little girls, I dreamed of being a bride someday so that I could wear a beautiful long white dress.  I repeatedly pestered my mother with the question of how would I know when I wanted to marry someone (it was all about that dress).  She usually would tell me that I would somehow just know and that would be the end of the conversation until the next time I asked. Eventually, she said that I would know because it would be a person who I knew that I could trust.  I don’t remember ever asking her again, but Mom was right. 

During college several years later, an Eagle Scout landed in my life and I realized that he was different from other people I had ever known. Forty five years ago, while wearing a beautiful long white dress, I married him because, among many reasons, I knew that I could trust him.  Scouting had helped to develop a young man who I wanted to share the rest of my life with.  

Scouting definitely matters.  Why does Scouting matter to you? 

~Sue Rhodes


With winter just around the corner, we suggest going over Hypothermia (and First Aid for it) with your Scouts this month.  

Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature that is dangerous, and potentially fatal if not properly cared for. Hypothermia most often occurs when individuals are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for extended periods of time. However, it can also occur in warmer environments in situations such as wearing wet clothing in windy conditions, becoming chilled from being in the rain for an extended period, or submersion in cold water. 

Sweating leads to wet clothing, which increases the possibility of becoming chilled. Dressing in layers that are easy to put on or take off will help you to avoid becoming chilled, or becoming too warm and sweating heavily in your clothes. Planning is essential before a trek or outing to make sure you are prepared for possible changes in environmental conditions. 


Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can be generated. A person is experiencing hypothermia when the body temperature drops 2 degrees Fahrenheit or more below that individual’s normal body temperature. Normal body temperature is usually considered to be 98.6 F (37 degrees Celsius), but many people have a normal body temperature below that level. 

Once the body temperature begins to drop, the heart, brain, and other organs start losing the ability to function properly. Left untreated, these vital organs will begin to fail, eventually leading to death. A person experiencing hypothermia often isn’t aware of their condition because the onset is gradual and, as hypothermia progresses, they become confused and agitated. 

To prevent hypothermia, be aware of your environment and dress accordingly. Cover all exposed skin surface possible to help prevent heat loss. Avoid activities and clothing that will cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold temperatures will cause more heat loss. Wear multiple layers and stay dry. 

Signs/Symptoms of Hypothermia 

As hypothermia progresses, the person will exhibit 

Care of Hypothermia 

  1. Get the victim out of the cold.
  2. Remove wet clothing and wrap them up in warm, dry clothes. Add additional layers such as a sleeping bag, blankets, or some form of plastic to hold in body heat. 
  1. If the victim is conscious and able to swallow, offer warm liquids to drink. DO NOT give alcoholic drinks.
  2. Handle them gently. Excessive movements or rough handling can lead to cardiac arrest.
  3. Apply warm, dry compresses to the neck, chest, and groin areas. DO NOT apply heat to the arms or legs, as this speeds cold blood back to the heart, lungs, and brain, causing the core temperature to drop even more. This can be fatal. 
  1. DO NOT apply direct heat as with hot water bottles, a heating pad, or a heating lamp. This extreme heat can cause skin damage, an irregular heart rhythm, or even cardiac arrest. 
  1. If a person with severe hypothermia who is unconscious seems to not have a pulse or not be breathing, perform CPR. CPR should continue during rewarming. Sometimes, people experiencing hypothermia can be successfully resuscitated. 
  1. Get emergency care/call 911.

 Prevention of Frostbite 

How does the body lose heat? 


Denise Lesniak
SR VP Membership
“More Scouts equal more fun,” is not a new phrase. You have probably heard that many times before. A den of seven (or more) Scouts brings lots of fun and energy to the program! With Join Nights and Join Nights Part 2 behind us, there is still time to build up your unit’s dens.
Here are two areas to focus on, when recruiting new Cub Scouts:
1. Bring them to you. This may be done by opening up your next Pack meeting to guests; or have your Scouts bring a friend to the next activity. You may even challenge each of your Scouts or dens to see who can bring the most friends to a meeting. This challenge may be for a specific meeting or may take place each month. Chart the numbers and offer a special prize to the Scout or den with the most guests. Anything special planned for holidays? Let others know about it. Ask your Chartered Organization if they can assist with promoting your event. Post pictures, Pack calendar, meeting location (with date/time) and contact information on bulletin boards where you meet. Just ask others to join. You will never know if youth and their families are interested in joining, if you don’t ask!
2. Be visible.  What community events is your Pack involved with for the fall and holiday season? Any food drives planned. What about Harvest Festivals? Is your community hosting a tree lighting event? These are great places for your Pack to be seen. Whether your Pack is hosting a hot chocolate station, handing out event maps or helping with set up and clean up, people notice the uniform and our Scouts. Always have something to hand out with your units meeting and contact information. Small, business card size items are easy to carry and hand out for those asking questions. 
Looking for ideas? Check out the Membership and Marketing hub at Here, you will find an assortment of resources readily available and a section titled “Fall/Spring Recruiting Ideas.” Also, visit Mount Baker Council’s Membership site at for more resources. This is where you will find the link to request flyers for promoting your Pack. In addition, there are many scouting groups on social media. It is easy to find one that fits your needs and they have many ideas to share.
Our Membership Committee’s 2019 Pack Challenges are still achievable! These continue through December 31, 2019. Check your current registration and see how close you are. You might be closer than you think. 
7 UP CLUB – all Packs are challenged to have one Lion Den and one Tiger Den of 7 or more Scouts by December 31. This 7 UP Club will be invited to Fire Mountain for a FREE day of fun with a fishing frenzy, archery and more in late May!
DRIVE FOR 5! – All Family Scouting Packs are challenged to add 5 or more girls (from last year’s total) to their unit by December 31. All young ladies in the Pack will be invited to spend a FREE afternoon and evening campout with some of our local Scouts BSA Troops for girls, at Fire Mountain in late May!
Please contact your District’s Membership Chair or Field Staff if you have any questions or need assistance. And remember….More Scouts equal more fun!

Fire Mountain Scout Camp 

What Project is up next? 

With the completion of the new Staff Shower House and the Fire Eagle’s Nest (Staff and training building) we have moved our time, energy, and resources to the new Ranger’s Shop.  The building can be seen as you drive into camp on your right hand side (the Southeast corner of the parking lot).  Here are some pictures of the Shop/Storage Building under construction.  


This building should be completed by the end of November.  The storage end of the building will be a secure and climate controlled building for program storage.  There will be storage for Order of the Arrow, Day Camp, Summer Camp, NYLT, Wood Badge, and the Properties Committee.  This building will also include an Armory for all of the Shooting Sports.  The Ranger’s Shop will be a secure and climate controlled work and storage space for the Camp Ranger.  It will have two large bay doors, so that vehicles, tractors, and other motorized equipment can roll into the shop for repairs, maintenance, or to simply store out of the weather. Another feature of this building will be two electrical hook-ups for RV use.   

Way more to come over this winter and next spring.  If you have not been up to Fire Mountain Scout Camp recently you will be very surprised at all the improvements.  The Master Plan for Fire Mountain Scout Camp improvements can be found on the Mount Baker Council website.  

Scott Suchan 

SVP Properties Committee 

Summit Bechtel Reserve
July 21-30, 2021
Calling All Scouts and Scouters
Do you want to be a part of this once in a lifetime event? The 2021 National Jamboree will be the highlight of your Scouting Career. Mount Baker Council has started the organization of Troops to attend the 2021 National Jamboree for both Scouts and Scouters who may want to attend as a NJ Troop Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster. 
Be need to hear from you if you think you might be interested in attending. Please see below some early information :
Estimated dates : July 19th – 30th , 2021
Open to all Scouts (Male and Female) who meet the qualifications
If you are an adult Scouter or Scout and have a preliminary interest in attending or helping out with the Jamboree, we need to hear from YOU !!
Additional Information at
More Information to follow very soon –
Dave Edenfield                                Mark Hallerman 
360-318-6829                                    425-241-6682
Co-Chairman  2021 NJ                    Co-Chairman  2021 NJ

Mount Baker Council is excited to again be a part of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. 

In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is continuously important to remember our duty to others. We can carry that momentum of being thankful from our conversations during the holidays into an actual sphere of difference. 

On December 3, 2019, you can be a part of the difference for a youth in the fivecounty area of our Council and support the strength of our community by helping build young people of character and values. 

Make your #GivingTuesday gift online here. 

As Scouts head out every day to do good turns and, “To help other people at all times,” let us lead by example by showing that Scouting values matter. 

Help spread the word about Scouting this #GivingTuesday!  Post, share, tweet, give and invite others to do the same. 

Look for our announcement on December 3, 2019, that you can share and will direct anyone interested to the appropriate place to give. 

We thank you for your time and for supporting Scouting in Mount Baker Council. You truly make a difference in our youth and our community. 

To learn more about #GivingTuesday please visit: 

“On no, we missed it!”
Parents across the country may be having this realization right now. Others may have attended a local sign-up night but didn’t register. Others may have expressed interest through our website. These families deserve a second chance to join our life-changing program. 
Host a Second-chance Recruitment Event
Don’t be scared by the word “event.” You can create a second-chance event by simply promoting the first Pack meeting after each sign-up night as another chance to join. These Pack meetings should include a fun activity that new, existing, and prospective members can all enjoy. 
Many Packs has made this a standard operating procedure. “As a Pack, we are committed to hold at least one second-chance sign-up event, which is usually during the Pack meeting,” said the Cubmaster of one of our leading units. She also made a few recommendations for Packs planning a second-chance event: 
1. Designate a few volunteers to welcome every new family
2. Provide the same welcoming materials you offered at your initial sign-up night
3. Give everyone a chance to join, but especially focus on Lions and Tigers recruitment. Those programs are easy to incorporate new youth and parents.  
Promote it
Send a personal email invitation to each family that attended a Pack sign-up night but didn’t join. Make sure to send the message from an email account that the recipients will recognize and use a simple subject line like this one: “It’s not too late to join Cub Scouts!”
And don’t forget about the families that didn’t attend a sign-up night. Facebook is an easy and effective tool for reaching this audience. Packs can create a free Facebook event in just a few minutes through their unit Facebook page. The Facebook page you use to create this event should be up to date, easy to understand, and appealing. Contact your District Executive for help with Facebook geofencing – free to your pack!
Take it to the Next Level
If you have a bit more time and resources, you can create a whole new event geared toward getting your new members outdoors right away and recruiting even more families.
Another creative Cub Scout Pack held one such event at a church and even offered overnight camping on the church’s grounds. This event and others like it included water bottle rockets, a portable rock wall, kickball, a monkey bridge, cooking, a mini-hike, and more.
Remember What’s Really Important
It isn’t important whether you decide to offer a brand-new experience or if you simply promote your next Pack meeting to prospective Cub Scouts. What matters is that you give families another chance to join our life-changing program.  Your Pack also gets a chance to recruit more adult leaders.

Q:  Why are the fees increasing now?

A:  While costs increase every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. As the organization’s financial situation has shifted over the past several months, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically.

Q:  Does this apply to youth members and volunteers?

A:  Yes, the new fees apply for Exploring youth and adult members. Effective January 1, 2020, the new fees are:

  • $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
  • $36 for adult members (includes cost of background check and Scouting Magazine)
  • $60 for unit charter fees

Q:  Are there increases in other programs of the Boy Scouts of America?

A:  Yes, the fee increase for other membership fees for 2020 are:

  • $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts
  • $36 for adult members within these Scouting units and Council/District volunteers

Q:  Is Scouting still a good value?

A:  Absolutely! While most extracurricular activities are seasonal, Exploring is a year-round program that remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow.  For most of our youth members, the new registration fee amounts to $5 a month, which is an enormous value when you consider that many seasonal extracurricular activities often start at $100 for programs that last a few weeks.

Q:  What will the money be used for?

A:  Every dollar of membership fees will go to cover the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for members participating in approved Scouting activities, background checks for adult leaders, program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q:  Is this increase being implemented to cover the cost of the additional background checks?

A:  No, the cost of background checks is not the prompting the fee increase.

Q:  Why is this being announced now?

A:  We recognize the timing of this fee increase creates challenges as units have already begun collecting fees for their 2020 registration renewal process, and we would not make this difficult decision if it were not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. We are committed to supporting you through this process and are making necessary adjustments to the online rechartering system to ensure units can carry out the recharter process.

Q:  Does this increase cover financial challenges the organization is facing?

A:  The increase was prompted because the cost of liability insurance we must carry to cover all Scouting activities has increased dramatically over the past several months, and the organization is no longer able to offset the cost of insurance. The national membership fee also enables us program development and training resources, continuously updated youth protection and youth safety training, improved IT/digital experiences and services to our councils nationwide.

Q:  When will this increase take effect?

A:  The new membership fees will take effect starting January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 program year.

Q:  Is financial assistance available?

A:  We are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to the many existing council and unit membership assistance funds, we have established the donor-funded Growing Future Leaders Fund to provide financial support to those who need it.  In addition, the Mount Baker Council has had in place an Opportunity Fund for those Scouts in need to assistance to participate in the program.  The Mount Baker Council Opportunity Fund is still available to those youth needing assistance.

Q:  What measures has the national organization taken to offset the financial challenges?

A:  In addition to ongoing efforts to streamline and simplify the organization, the national organization has taken a number of steps in addressing its financial challenges, including the recent elimination of more than 35 positions at the National Service Center and ongoing consolidation of departments for the most effective utilization of resources in support of Scouting.

Q:  Will the national membership fee continue to increase?

A:  Although no decision about future increases have been made, the cost of operating our organization and services increases every year. Should it be necessary to increase fees in the future, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to evaluate the needs and make such decisions, whenever possible, at the National Annual Meeting in May or early in the summer so that they can be announced with as much lead time as possible to allow for councils and units to be able to plan accordingly. 

 Q:  My council recently announced a new fee to cover insurance. Does this change mean that fee is no longer necessary?

A:  No, the liability insurance that we need to carry for all Scouting activities at the national level is different from local fees that are collected to address local needs, which can include such as local property and accident insurance, as well as unique local programming costs. The Mount Baker Council will continue to charge the $7 per year insurance fee as previously announced.  This means every Explorer youth member and every registered adult leader will pay $43 at recharter time. 

Q:  In addition to the national membership fee, my council is implementing a program fee. Is that allowed?

A:Starting August 1, 2020, councils can choose to charge a local program fee, up to but no more than the national membership fee – up to $36 for youth members in Exploring and up to $36 for adult members.  The local program fee can include local insurance costs (i.e., accident, property, etc.), as well as cost to administer unique local programming efforts.

Q:  Will be I charged the new fee for multiple registrations or positions?

A:  No. You will only be charged the membership fee for your primary position.