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.
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?
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
- Feeling cold, shivering uncontrollably
- Cool or cold skin on the abdomen, chest, or back
- Presence of the “umbles”
- Stumbles: loss of control over movement
- Mumbles: slurred or incoherent speech
- Fumbles: poor coordination or reaction time
- Grumbles: change in behavior or attitude
As hypothermia progresses, the person will exhibit
- Stiff muscles
- No shivering
- Skin that feels ice cold and may appear bluish
- Confusion, agitation, memory loss
- Slow, weak pulse
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Care of Hypothermia
- Get the victim out of the cold.
- 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.
- If the victim is conscious and able to swallow, offer warm liquids to drink. DO NOT give alcoholic drinks.
- Handle them gently. Excessive movements or rough handling can lead to cardiac arrest.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get emergency care/call 911.
Prevention of Frostbite
- Be aware of the weather conditions you may encounter on your trip.
- Always dress in layers appropriate for the temperature. Make sure that you wear a hat in cold conditions, even while sleeping.
- Limit exposure time when conditions dictate.
- Stay well rested, hydrated, and fed.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Watch for early signs of frostbite in other members of your crew.
- Know your limitations and those of your crew. Don’t exceed them.
- Plan your trip based on your entire crew’s abilities and preparation, but always have a Plan B just in case.
How does the body lose heat?
- Radiated heat—heat loss through unprotected skin surfaces
- Direct contact—something cold, such as cold water or ground, drawing heat away from the body
- Wind—carries body heat away from the skin surface
- Evaporation—sweat evaporating from the skin’s surface, which can cause heat loss
- Boy Scout Handbook—First Aid chapter
- Wilderness First Aid Emergency Care in Remote Locations (4th edition), Chapter 15. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Hypothermia: www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/staysafe/hypothermia.html
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.
SVP Properties Committee
- Must be 12 years of age by the first day of the jamboree or 11 years old and graduated the 6th grade
- Must be a First Class Scout
- Estimated cost $3600 which includes all expenses (air fare, registration, Jamboree fees, tour, etc.)
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 five–county 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. https://www.mountbakerbsa.org/giving/giving-tuesday/
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: www.givingtuesday.org.
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.