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Archived Stories

Articles and information in prior issues of the Scarlet Sassafras still pertinent to today's readership.

State Senator Van Woerkom's Letter

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Chicago Boy Scouts council appeals court decison on Owasippe zoning
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Posted by Lynn Moore
MLive.com - Muskegon Chronicle
June 24, 2008 23:41PM
 
BLUE LAKE TWP. — The Chicago Boy Scouts council has officially appealed a court decision upholding the zoning of its Owasippe Scout Reservation.
 
The "claim of appeal" was filed late last month in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Chicago Area Council of Boy Scouts of America is asking that the court overturn a ruling by 14th Circuit Judge William C. Marietti that Blue Lake Township is justified in restricting use of Owasippe to camping.
 
The Chicago Area Council is trying to sell much of the 4,800-acre Owasippe property, and argued to Marietti that the township's zoning unfairly restricts use, and therefore the value, of the property.
The appeals court filing isn't much of a surprise. The council board of directors voted 15-5 in March to appeal the decision.
 
"I'm not surprised at all," said Blue Lake Township Supervisor Don Studaven.
 
Then again, he said he's hoping the council will end up withdrawing the appeal. The council is mired in controversy after two unsuccessful attempts to seat a new board of directors.
 
The Chicago council's membership has twice voted to reject proposed slates of board members. As a result, the national Boy Scouts organization, which reportedly has taken control of the Chicago council, will appoint a new board. It already has appointed a new Scout executive for the council.
 
The decision by the council board to sell Owasippe -- and to sue Blue Lake Township -- has proved vastly unpopular with the general membership. The council has operated camps at Owasippe for 97 years.
 
Council attorneys told Marietti that camps at Owasippe are money-losers and that they are too far away from the core Scouting activities in Chicago. A Holland-area businessman has offered $19-million for the land, though the offer reportedly is contingent on the property being rezoned for residential use.
 
The township rejected a request by the Boy Scouts council to rezone the land to allow, according to Marietti's calculations, up to 2,400 new homes.
 
The Chicago council has not yet filed a brief with the appeals court outlining its reasons for appealing Marietti's decision. The township then will file a response, said township Attorney Doug Hughes.
It could take as long as a year before the case is heard before a three-judge appeals court panel, Hughes said. It could take that panel another six months to issue a ruling, he said.
 
It has been reported that the Chicago council already has spent $1- million on the Owasippe litigation, though an attorney for the council disputed that figure without giving a different one.
 
The township has spent about $250,000 to defend itself.
Studaven said the Michigan Townships Association has indicated it will file an amicus curiae brief in support of the township's defense of the appeal. Such briefs are filed by groups that aren't party to a lawsuit, but believe they have a direct interest in the outcome.
 
The Owasippe case is widely seen as a test of townships' rights to determine the best and most appropriate use of property through zoning ordinances.
 
- All Rights Reserved, MLive.com
 
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CAC Annual Meeting & Board Election Set
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On Monday, June 22, at 7:00pm, Chicago Area Council will conduct its long-awaited Annual Meeting & Board Election.  This will be held at the University of Illinois Chicago Campus in Room 302 of the Student Center East Building, 750 S Halsted.  ALL CAC Chartered Organization Reps are highly encouraged to make arrangements to attend and vote.
 
We would further suggest that past Members-At-Large also attend in support of their COR bretheren since their positions and voting ability were eliminated by BSA's Central Region last June when the current board was "appointed" after the last slate was defeated. 
 
Volunteer Scouters anxiously look forward to analyzing what type of board and officers are slated by the CAC Nominating Committee and if their interests will be well represented by those placed on the five slates.  Their belief and argument in the past was that the board did not well represent them and that their submitted nominations were either outright rejected or filtered out from review by the nominating committee at that time. 
 
The Nominations Committee has completed their deliberations and have set the CAC slates for board members, council officers, advisory board, members at large, and national representatives. The five completed slates can be seen via the following CAC weblink: 
http://www.chicagobsa.org/openrosters/DocDownload.asp?orgkey=929&id=61165
 
PLEASE GET YOUR UNIT COR'S TO COME OUT AND VOTE!  KNOW YOUR COR!
 
The future of council governance is truly in the hands of us all as good stewards of the Scouting movement in Chicago.
 

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ALL ABOARD THE REFORM TRAIN!
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by Ron Kulak
 
After much careful thought and deliberation, I am supporting all five slates being presented on Monday evening at 7:00pm at the UIC Student Services Center.
 
It is not a perfect world that we live in.  As an old proverb stated, "To walk 1000 miles, you must begin with the first step forward."  We all need to begin a new trek toward progress and improvement in Chicago Area Council on the eve of Scouting's 100th Anniversary and on the threshold of Owasippe's Centennial.  The table is set for positive action if we all pitch in and strive for success.  However, failure will be a self-fulfilling prophecy if we sit back and only see the glass as half-empty and bitterly complain as grumpy old Scouters unwilling to be Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, and Kind. 
 
I believe we need to join hands in a circle of fellowship and unite toward a common vision.  This vision is still being developed...by all of us.  It will take many people countless hours around the table willing to discuss the merits of such an undertaking.   Success will not be in the cards unless positive communication begins and people seek to not only listen but to also educate each other.  "Firm Bound" should be our mantra.  "Carpe Diem" should be our cry.
 
We have sufficient board representation now to begin down the road of reform and achievement.  We have the will to succeed.  We have a Scout Executive who respects our interests and wants us to be a part of the governance solution to CAC and who wants Owasippe to grow and to flourish.  We will get a council president who comes from our ranks, who has fought the good fight, and who respects and embraces the frontline Scouters.   The planets are starting to align in our favor, and we need to take advantage of an improved representative position.
 
We are compromising nothing, but we are opening the door to greater progress and much Good Will. 
 
Let us load up the train and begin the journey downhill.  As we travel, we will increase our speed, gain momentum, and increase our cargo and resources along the way.  "All Aboard" is an understatement.
So, do you want to be a passenger for the ride or an onlooker merely waiving along the tracks?
 
I endorse and support the slates so we can begin to mend fences and achieve our goals from the inside rather from the outside looking in.
I am asking you to do the same.  If you cannot vote, please attend the annual meeting on Monday night, 7pm, and lend some moral support!  Please get your fellow district CORs out to vote as a show of strength and concern. 
 
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Owasippe trek raises money for camp, Cancer Society
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Monday, June 23, 2008
By Lynn Moore
For MLive.com - Muskegon MI
 
BLUE LAKE TWP. -- What started out as an idea to take a long walk wound up as a nearly 200-mile trek from Chicago to Owasippe Scout Reservation for a longtime troop leader and camper.
 
Bob Kurth, who lives in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, left the Museum of Science and Industry in the Windy City on June 13. Averaging more than 23 miles a day, he arrived at Owasippe in Blue Lake Township eight days later, on Saturday.
 
"It was a marvelous walk," Kurth said from Owasippe this morning. "I'm just excited about being here."
 
Kurth, 65, took the walk for a variety of reasons, including as a personal challenge and as a chance to see the countryside that he usually zips past on the freeway on his way to Owasippe.
 
He has camped at Owasippe for 37 years. This year, he's working at the camp until Aug. 12 -- joining young employees, some of whom are in their teens.
 
"I'm working here this summer just because I figured it was time," Kurth said.
 
He used the walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society, the Owasippe Staff Association and Boy Scout Troop No. 1559 in the Chicago area, of which Kurth is scoutmaster.
 
His wife drove his "chase car," picking him up for meals and to transport him to a hotel or friends' homes to sleep at night.
"It started out just simply because I really wanted to take a long, long walk," said Kurth, who typically walks about three miles a day for exercise.
 
His inspiration came in part from two beautiful walking sticks given to him as a gift from an old friend who was a lifeguard at Owasippe in the 1930s and is still lifeguarding today.
 
"I said 'They're too beautiful to use,' " Kurth said. "He said 'Wear them out."'
 
As Kurth approached Owasippe on Saturday, some people joined him for the final mile to the camp. Many others waited for him outside the camp's administrative offices.
 
Blue Lake Township Supervisor Don Studaven, who said Kurth is an "old friend," was among those who welcomed Kurth back to Owasippe.
"Boy, that's a long walk," Studaven said.
 
 
All Rights Reserved - MLive.com
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G-Dawg Has Landed
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Saturday, 06/21/2008
 
187 Miles later after leaving Chicago...
 
Dear Friends,
 
Just a quick note - to thank you all for the support and encouragement you have given Bob and I for the last few weeks, especially the 9 days since his trek began.
 
This morning he started off on his last 7 miles just after 8:30.  He was greeted by Phil, joined by Joe Sener and Don Studaven along the way, and then totally surprised by Rachel and Meghan at the Holton-Whitehall Road.  By the time he reached his final destination at
the Owasippe Ad Center, there was a cheering crowd and not one but two finish lines for him to cross.  And he was stronger than ever.
 
He has now started his summer job as commissioner at Camp Wolverine (Zaxie!) and Rachel, Meghan and I are safely at home.  I am sure she will be updating the blog for the final time(s) very soon, but meanwhile thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It was an
experience I will not soon forget and of course neither will G-Dawg. 
 
Hugs,
Sharon Kurth
 
[Note:  Donations are still being accepted and are tax deductible within limitations of the IRS-code and can be made payable to BSA Troop 1559 and sent directly to Chicago Community Bank, 47 W. Polk (Suite G6), Chicago, IL 60605.  Please reference G-Dawg's Trek.]

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BOARD SLATES DEFEATED BY A MARGIN OF 5 TO 1
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from
www.fortdearborn.org
 
(6/2/08)  By an unprecedented majority of approximately 5 to 1 the Members at Large and Chartered Organization Representatives defeated all five slates presented by the nominating committee at the reconvened Annual Meeting of the Chicago Area Council held at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.  This was the Board’s second defeat of a presented slate during this voting term.
 
Before the vote was taken, Council President Michael Hughes opened the meeting for discussion on what could be done as a solution to the problems between the CAC boards and the voting members. “Tell us what you want and we’ll make the decisions,” said Hughes.
 
Scouter Greg Brunet, a former Member at Large who was inexplicably removed from the presented slate, questioned how these removals of long-time MALs and why.  Hughes answered that he had appointed the nominating committee but had given no input to the process so he was not aware of the changes that had occurred on the slate. 
 
“You mean,” rebutted Brunet, “that you’re the president of this corporation and Vice President Glenn Emig was removed from the slate and you didn’t know it?” 
 
“I was not aware of the changes,” insisted Hughes.
 
Brunet continued by asking why Brian Kasals was nominated as Vice President in favor of Glenn Emig when Kasals had been termed a “lightning rod” and removed from the Board during the National Takeover of the Council three years ago.
 
New Scout Executive Chuck Dobbins stated that the “lightning rod” classification was not meant at the time to indicate anything derogatory and that it was meant at the time to refer to specific individuals concerning the specific issues at the time.  Many CORs seemed dubious of this explanation.
 
Dr. Francis Podbielski, a COR, moved that the vote be taken and discussion held until after the vote.  Hughes refused to accept the motion because the bylaws did not allow for motions from the floor.
 
Scouter Andy Witt questioned the board secrecy concerning Council finances.  He wanted to know where the money went from the Owasippe fires of several years ago.  Hughes explained that the terms of the insurance only paid if they rebuilt the burned structures and that the cost of rebuilding was more than the insurance settlement would have been.  Therefore, it was decided not to rebuild.  He offered to open the books to Witt if he came to the Scout office. 
 
Although Hughes cited the Council’s new Strategic Plan which includes a “right-sized” Owasippe, he explained that the Council was pursuing the appeal to maximize the value of the property and intended to negotiate with Ben Smith to void his purchase agreement if possible.
While it has been reported in newspapers and in council membership meetings that the sale of Owasippe was contingent upon the property being rezoned, Hughes stated that the lack of rezoning did not void the contract.  He refused to make a copy of the contract widely available to the membership but would discuss it with any Scouter who came to the Scout office.
 
Scouter Bob Burns asked about the Board’s ability to appoint themselves if the slate were defeated twice.  SE Chuck Dobbins then read the clause in the bylaws which had been amended by National three years ago.  The amended clause does not allow the board members to appoint themselves but does give that authority to the National Council.  Since these amended bylaws had never been distributed to the voting members, very few in the room were aware of these changes. 
 
COR Stefan Morgan, a youth pastor from the Southside, stated that he had attempted to get a copy of the bylaws from the Council Office but it took him over 4 months before he received it.
 
Morgan also expressed what he felt was discrimination in the way the Council was redistricted several years ago which caused district lines to be set along racial divides in his area.  He also stated that due to the actions of the Board of Directors over the past few years, there was definitely an issue of trust between the voting membership and the Board.  Hughes explained that a review of the Council Districting was part of the Strategic Plan and that CORs could get copies of the current bylaws by coming to the Council office.
 
One Scouter joked, “Why don’t we just have our next meeting at the Council Office so that this information will be available to us?”
 
Scouter Ray Toler questioned the manipulation of the numbers on the currently presented slate.  “With the vote of the CORs capable of being overturned by the bylaws and the total number of the Board of Directors at 12, the 13 members of the Executive Board become the largest voting block in the council with no other group carrying enough votes even to tie their decision.  Is there anyone in this room who thinks this is fair, ethical, or even American?” questioned Toler.
 
Others questioned why the meetings were held at such inconvenient times and why the meetings were not run by Robert’s Rules of Order.
 
One Scouter called for the reinstatement of Ron Kulak, who had been suspended from Scouting by former SE Jim Stone for holding a “Save Owasippe” rally with a legal permit.
 
Hughes had few answers for the questions asked of him. “Oh yes, we used to have the meetings in conjunction with the Annual Dinner, didn’t we?” said Hughes.  He did not answer the question concerning rules of order in the meetings.
 
Eventually the discussion ended and the vote was taken with the following results:
 
>>> APPROVE vs DISAPPROVE <<<
 
Members at Large: 13Y vs 53N
 
Advisory Board: 12Y vs 54N
 
Board of Directors: 14Y vs 53N
 
Officers and Executive Committee: 11Y vs 55N
 
Representatives to National Council: 11Y vs 55N
 
While the votes were being tallied, new Scout Executive Chuck Dobbins addressed the group. “For those of us professional Scouters who made our careers in the Central Region, the Chicago Area Council has an aura to it.  Many great and respected Scouters have served in Chicago.  It is my goal to restore the aura of Chicago Area Council,” said Dobbins.
 
Following the vote Brad Farmer, Director of Central Region BSA spoke to the group about what was to come.  “National Council will now appoint a Board of Directors within 60 days.  These appointees will serve until the next election to be held on or around June 30, 2009,” according to Farmer. “Be assured that National Council has no opinion on any of the issues involved here.  It is our desire to restore Chicago’s ability to function as a council.”
 
Farmer also stated that the Chicago Area Council was now in receivership and had been for over two years—a fact unknown by any of the voting members in the room.
 
Farmer stated that he would review any nominations the membership might have and that they may be submitted to him within 14 days to be considered.
 
Nominations should be in writing and mailed to Brad Farmer, Director of Central Region, 230 W. Diehl Rd., P.O. Box 3085, Naperville, IL 60566.
 
In closing the meeting, Hughes made a Freudian slip which caused ironic laughter in the room. “The board has heard your discussion no matter what we do,” said Hughes.
 
Following the meeting, the Scouters present seemed to find new SE Dobbins to be a dedicated and affable Scouter who seemed to sincerely want to resolve the problems within the council.
 
“I liked the guy,” said one Scouter in the hallway following the meeting, “but time will tell. We’ve been lied to and hornswaggled before.  If he sides with an uncontrollable board and allows the disenfranchisement of the membership votes to continue, then he becomes no better than those he protects.”
 
“These guys just don’t get it?” complained one Scouter. “They say they want things to improve.  Do they think they will force a Board of Directors on us that we do not want and we will all of a sudden be happy about this?  There will be no resolution to these matters in a membership organization as long as the vote of the membership is ignored.”
 
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Members to Board: We Don’t Approve
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from
www.fortdearborn.org
 
(4/2/08) By a vote of over 3 to 1 the Chartered Partners and Members at Large of the Chicago Area Council sent a clear message to the Board of the Chicago Area Council at the Annual Meeting on April 2nd. All five of the slates proposed by the Nominating Committee were defeated by enormous margins.
 
The Annual Meeting was opened at 5pm by Board President Michael Hughes who introduced the members of the head table: Council Commissioner Charles Beavers, Scout Executive Jim Stone,  New Interim Scout Executive Chuck Dobbins and Harvey Camins representing the Nominating Committee.  Also introduced was Bob Denlinger from BSA Central Region who was observing.
 
Stone, Beavers, and Camins gave reports but Dobbins remained silent throughout the meeting.
 
Stone in his report extolled the accomplishments of the Council over the past year.  According to Stone, traditional membership shows continued growth as well as success in a new program called Soccer and Scouting. Stone also reported that the Council had received the Centennial Quality Council Award. 
 
He did not explain how a Council that achieves the Quality Council Award could receive a provisional charter from National Council.  In fact, no mention was made to the membership of the provisional council. The Quality Council Award and the Provisional Charter were presented at the same Board meeting.
 
No mention was made of the recent Board actions to continue the Owasippe appeal.  In fact, the meeting seemed designed to ignore any and all of the recent controversial actions by the board.
 
Voters were not pleased with the Board's recent decision to continue the Owasippe appeal despite the cost of the original trial approaching a reported $1,000,000.  Voters also did not appreciate the makeup of the Nominating Committee which had no front line Scouters and included 3 members of what had been an opposing Nominating Committee two years ago.
 
"Two years ago, these guys tried everything in their power to thwart the will of the membership.  A judge declared their committee illegal and refused to let their slate come to a vote.  Now we're supposed to believe that the same guys are all for the will of the membership? I didn't know leopards could change their spots." complained one Scouter.
 
Hughes, visibly uncomfortable in front of the audience, obviously had each word he spoke scripted.  Several times he mis-spoke or ineptly read someone else’s lines.  At one point following the election he stated that the next meeting would be reconvened in 30 days.  Later he stated, “I want to clarify that the meeting will be in 90 days. Someone thought they heard me say 30 days.”  “Just everyone in the room,” quipped one Scouter in the crowd.
 
While presenting the high points of a new Council 5-Year Plan, Hughes stated that the plan included plans for a smaller Owasippe which would still require portions of the property to be sold.  At this point, there were several groans and calls of disapproval from the audience.
 
Harvey Camins, who presented the slate on behalf of the Nominating Committee, finished his presentation to silence.  Hughes started to proceed to the vote when Steve Henclewski, a Scouter from the audience, asked how it could go to a vote without a second. 
 
Hughes then asked for a second to the motion.  A voice from the crowd seconded the acceptance of the slate.  Hughes then attempted to proceed to the vote a second time but Henclewski asked to be informed of who seconded the motion.  “George did,” said Hughes. 
 
“Who’s George?” responded Henclewski. “Oh,” responded Hughes, “George Walper.”
 
These confusions of procedure have been common at CAC Board Meetings.  No Rules of Order are specified in the CAC bylaws and the Council does not use the standard Roberts Rules of Order.  Rules of Order in the Chicago Area Council seem to rely on the whim of the President of the Board.
 
It had been rumored that a resolution would be introduced at the meeting to utilize Robert's Rules of Order in the future but no such resolution was introduced.
 
Ballots were distributed and collected by appointed tellers who sat at the table in the front of the room and counted the votes.
Of the five slates in question the voting was as follows:
 
Slate for Members at Large:
 26 Approve;  47 Disapprove
 
Slate for Board of Directors:
 17 Approve;  58 Disapprove
 
Slate for Executive Officers:
 17 Approve;  58 Disapprove
 
Slate for National Council Reps:
 24 Approve;  51 Disapprove
 
Slate for Advisory Board:
 17 Approve;  58 Disapprove
 
Following the vote, Hughes adjourned the meeting without further business and without a second.
 
According to the CAC Bylaws, the Council must reconvene the meeting within 90 days for another vote.  The Nominating Committee may choose to revise the slates or present the same slates again.  Should the slates be rejected a second time, a clause in the bylaws then allows the Board to override the vote of the membership and appoint themselves. This clause in the bylaws was inserted originally in 2002 when the council announced their intention to sell Owasippe.  It was passed by the Executive Board and never given a vote or even discussion by the CORs or the MALs whom it affects.  It was reinforced last year by National Council's lawyer Ellen Babbitt, who used it to threaten the membership against disapproving the slates.
 
“I would like someone in this room to explain to me how an election is fair if the losers have the ability of appointing themselves,” questioned one Scouter in the lobby following the meeting. “Explain how this fits in with Timeless Values.”
 
“We all love Scouting,” stated another Scouter, “but do we love it so much that we are willing to accept this board’s arrogance and unethical behavior in order to have it? If we allow ourselves to accept this, we have torn the heart out of Scouting. We have given it feet of clay.”
 
“We have voted our conscience,” claimed another Scouter.  “They may connive and finangle and make our votes meaningless but we have sent them a clear message that we are tired of their unresponsiveness to the membership and do not like the direction this board has taken.  They can attempt to bring this Council back in line with the wishes of the charter partners or they can continue to escalate the tension and strife.  I hope they get the message but I am doubtful.”
 
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[ps: THANKS & KUDOS to those who sacrificed and made it a personal priority to vote on April 2nd!!!]

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CAC REORGANIZATION PLAN ANNOUNCED
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June 29, 2006
 
For several years, there has been controversy within the Chicago Area Council about the governance of the Council and the proper direction
of the Council’s programs.  Indeed, some of those disputes recently
became the subject of litigation in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois.
 
We would like to update the Scouting community in the Chicago Area
Council (“CAC”) on the progress toward resolution of these matters,
including resolution of the impasse relating to the election of
members at large, directors, and officers.
 
During the spring, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America
(“National”) assembled a fact-finding committee to meet with the two
sides involved in the litigation in the Circuit Court of Cook
County.  For the sake of convenience, we will refer to these two
parties in this communication as “the incumbent leadership” and “the
Scouter 11.”  After meeting with the two parties and discussing the
matters within the committee, the fact-finding committee (which
purposely had no representation from the CAC) reported to National. 
Having reviewed those findings and recommendations, National
concluded that, in view of the history of conflict, neither the
incumbent leadership nor the Scouter 11 could effectively lead CAC
and promote Scouting’s mission.
 
National presented a reorganization plan to both parties in the
litigation with the goal of re-focusing the Council on effectively
promoting Scouting within the City of Chicago and surrounding
communities.  The parties were given the choice of accepting
National’s plan of reorganization or risking the loss of CAC’s
charter, in which case all the assets of the Council would have
reverted to National for use in promoting Scouting in the local
areas. 
 
The plan of reorganization, which was accepted by all of the parties,
includes the following primary elements:
 
1.         A new executive committee (which would also constitute the
Nominating Committee) would be formed and approved by CAC’s Board of Directors.  The committee would consist of seven experienced former presidents/chairpersons from bordering councils and two representatives from each of the incumbent leadership and the Scouter 11.  Over the next six months, this executive committee would primarily manage the affairs of the CAC with the ultimate goal of
having the CAC elect a slate of directors and officers in January
2007 in accordance with the bylaws of the council.
 
2.         Six specific members of the existing board (three from
each of the incumbent leadership and the Scouter 11) would step down
from the board of directors and all committees but would be
encouraged to join the Advisory Board.   These six individuals have
all given generously of their time and talents, but they were
perceived to be “lightning rods” for the opposing parties.  We wish
to express our gratitude to those individuals:  Dennis Chookazian;
Rita Egan; Lew Greenblatt; Brian Kasal; Joe Sener; and Larry
Strickling.  We are a better Council because of the past efforts of
these six dedicated Scouters.
 
3.         All members of the existing executive committee would
resign from that committee.              
 
4.         All litigation and appeals would be dismissed. 
 
5.         Various changes to the bylaws would be adopted to prevent
a similar course of events from evolving in the future.  Key among
these is that, upon two failed attempts to elect the slate, National
would decide who the elected officials would be.
 
The members of the to-be-formed new executive committee have already met twice, and an air of dedication, understanding, and cooperation is prevailing.  There have been tremendous attempts on the part of the non-CAC members to comprehend the issues that brought the Council to its present position.
 
The members of this new executive committee represent a very
significant body of experience in managing affairs of local
councils.  The seven members from the bordering councils are to be
the following: 
 
•           Calvin Bellamy, former President of the Calumet Council;
•           Brian Harris, former President of the Thatcher Woods (now
Desplaines Valley) Council;
•           John Jadel, former President of the Northeast Illinois Council and former President of the National Eagle Scout Association;
•           Richard Jones, current President of Area 7 of the Central
Region;
•           Mike Skarr, former President of the Rainbow Council; and
•           Randy Tavierne, former President of the Three Fires Council.
 
Joining these gentlemen are Mike Hughes and George Walper from the incumbent leadership and Jim Adamitis and Glenn Emig from the Scouter 11.
 
This new committee is undertaking to have meetings with interested
Scouters to listen to the concerns directly from the various
constituencies within CAC.  These meetings are expected to begin in
August.  Additionally, the committee has been charged by National
with the responsibility to review the pending sale of Owasippe and
the related zoning matters and the relative position of Learning for
Life within the CAC program.  At this juncture, there are no plans to
alter the previous decisions made by the board of directors on any of
these matters.
 
As decisions are made by this new, select executive committee, we
will advise the members of the Chicago Area Council.  Because of the
sensitive nature of these future discussions, we implore each of you
to understand our need to communicate only the final recommendations and decisions.  We intend to review in detail each of the major issues which has brought this council to this impasse.  We believe we can find acceptable solutions to each problem and opportunity before us, and we want to assure the members of the Council, as well as the many other supporters of Scouting within the Chicago area, that the interests of the youth in the Chicago Area Council will continue to be served.
 
James D Stone
Scout Executive/CEO
Chicago Area Council, BSA
On behalf of the Reorganization Committee
 

NEW OWASIPPE LEGEND???
newlegend.jpg
FIRST - HOOVER, THEN OWASIPPE, THEN NO CAMPS!

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So, We Hit A Speedbump In The Road!
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an editorial
 
Until word comes down from the Illinois Appellate Court regarding the appropriateness of the election and the validity of the nominated slates, the council election will be postponed until further notice.  The judges aggressively pursued facts and had rapid-fire questions for the attornies of both sides. 
 
Four judges presided over the hearing on Thursday, the newest of which was the Honorable Anne Burke.  She joins veterans of the bench judges Joseph Gordon, Margaret McBride, and the senior presiding judge Robert Cahill.  They assured all that they would quickly decide if they would accept CAC's request for an in-depth appeal hearing and if the election should move forward sooner vs later.
 
The judges were quick to point out flaws and were very opinionated regarding their jurisdiction of the case, the necessity of hearing it, and the actual substance of the matter...but didn't yet feel they were 100% sure of the facts or their decision.  Judge Margaret McBride stated her concern over CAC's apparent "arbitrary capriciousness" with the present slate and nominating committee and wondered about the council's inability to get three prior candidate slates elected in 2004 by its constituent membership.
 
Current information on the Illinois Appellate Court judges assigned to review CAC's request:
http://www.state.il.us/court/AppellateCourt/Bio_1st.asp
 
At least 35 frontline Scouters were in attendance supporting the "Scouter-11".  From what could be seen, only three alleged supporters of the Greenblatt-Stone cabal were in the courtroom: Michael Hughes, Brian Kasal, and Susan Castillo.  It was also pointed out that two attornies from the National BSA office in Irving, TX, were present in the courtroom monitoring the proceedings...further indicating that national BSA leadership has placed this whole matter on their radar screen.
 
We apologize if anyone was put out for coming in for the vote that we just couldn't reach in time.  Sometimes, the unexpected happens and we have to roll with the punches, but we continue to hope for the best and to put one foot in front of the other.  We were in an akward situation and couldn't shut our electoral machine down if there was even the remotest chance that the vote could have occurred.
 
Stay tuned and thanks for your continued interest and support!  UNITED WE STAND!  Don't be discouraged by this bump in the road.
If you are able, please support the HEART Fund with a donation.  There is no better time than now to contribute your monetary support for our legal battles still engaged.  Details can be found on both the Fort Dearborn and Owasippe Staff Association websites.
 
Lastly, if you want to be sure that your CAC unit chartered organization rep is on our email and mail list, please forward that person's contact info to me at Owasiron@juno.com (ie. name, address, phone number and email address), and I'll promptly get this to the appropriate COR/MAL database coordinator.  Obviously, CAC is not cooperating with "the rebel alliance" and is not forthcoming with such contact information that can be used in organizing and communicating with our Scouter constituency.   
 
~ Ron Kulak
Suspended and spurned but not silenced.

=============================================
Judge Agran Mandates CAC Election! 
=============================================
www.fortdearborn.org
 
(3/1/06)  At the hearing today [Wednesday] in Cook County Chancery Court, Judge Martin Agran ordered the Chicago Area Council to conduct its annual election on the May 5, 2005 slate on Thursday, April 20th.
 
The election will be held at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza at 6:30 pm on the specified date pending confirmation from the hotel.  If no confirmation is received from Holiday Inn, the judge ordered that another suitable location be chosen.
 
Additionally, Judge Agran ordered Scout Executive Jim Stone to mail notice of the meeting to all voting members of the Council no later than March 6th.
 
Additional nominees may be submitted to the Nominating Committee in writing provided they are received on or before March 21st.  The official members of the Nominating Committee per the order are: Lawrence Strickling, Lewis Greenblatt, Rita Eagan, Brian Kasal, Glenn Emig, and Michael Hughes.   In compliance with the order, the Nominating Committee will meet to review any new nominations on March 28th at 8:00 am at the Council office.
 
Judge Agran also issued a ruling concerning the Scouter 11 motion that recent Greenblatt appointments to the board were done for the purpose of "stacking the deck" with cronies.  The Scouters had asked that these recent appointees  be removed from the board. 
 
On this point, Agran ruled that appointee David Galowich was properly elected and appointed and may remain on the board.  However other appointees, Leslie Andersen, Willard Brown, and Josh Fiegelson were not duly elected or appointed and may not sit as directors at this time.
 
Following the ruling, CAC attorney David Simon filed a motion asking the judge to stay the election.  Judge Agran will hear arguments and rule on this motion on March 8th.  In addition, Simon stated that CAC intends to appeal the Chancery Courts decision to the Appellate Court asking for a restraining order to halt the election process.
 
Despite the intention of CAC to appeal, Agran stated in his order: "Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 304(a), there is no just reason to delay enforcement or appeal from this order."
 
Up until now there has been no indication that the full CAC Board of Directors has officially been notified of any of the previous decisions of the Court in this case. A board meeting is scheduled for March 15th, at which time the board should be expected to receive a full report on all proceedings.
 
For more background info on these court proceedings, go to...
http://www.fortdearborn.org

==============================================  
"HEART" LEGAL FUND DONORS NEEDED!
==============================================
PLEASE let your friends and Scouter associates know that a fund to assist efforts to help carry on this legal battle by the "Scouter-11" to correct and reform council governance has been established at LaSalle Bank of New Lenox. Financial contributions should be sent to the "HEART Fund" (ie. Honesty, Ethics, Accountability, Reform, and Transparency). Donations should be payable and sent to "HEART Fund" c/o LaSalle Bank NA, Atn: Stan Benes, 251 E Maple Street, New Lenox, IL 60451.

A flyer and transmittal form for this special fund and donor program can be found on the following link:
http://www.owasippe.com/docs/heart_fund.pdf

With the account just being recently opened, substantial donations have already started to stream in. Your personal contributions are urgently needed and graciously accepted at this time! THANKS goes out to those who have already stepped up.

Financial assistance is definitely needed from us all...NOT just from these eleven brave Scouters IF we are to prevail in our mission of improving the Scout program for our youth, maintaining the "Outing" in Scouting, allowing our Scouters to have unimpeded self-governance, and to restore fairness and accountability to council administration.

Educate your friends and fellow Scouters, beat the drum loudly, and help us expand our army of supporters and our cache of cash to continue this worthy fight.

CAC  Notifies Membership of Election

www.fortdearborn.org

(3/7/06) In a mailed announcement postmarked March 6th, the Chicago Area Council notified Chartered Organization Representatives and other voting members of an election meeting to be held at Holiday Inn Mart Plaza at 6:30 pm on April 20th.

The meeting was scheduled in compliance with a recent order of Judge Martin Agran, who mandated the time and place of the election.  The last election was in December 2004 and the proposed slates for that election and two previous elections had been rejected by the membership.

The slates to be brought before the membership on April 20th will be the ones proposed on May 5, 2004 by the nominating committee seated at the time of the December 2004 election. Following  the third defeat of the slates, the December nominating committee made several changes and proposed a slate on May 5th they felt would be approved by the membership.

But Council President Lewis Greenblatt  refused to bring the May 5th slate to a vote and subsequently dissolved the December nominating committee.  He then appointed a new nominating committee which proposed a different slate, reinstating many of the changes made by the December committee.  over 40% of the voting members petitioned for a vote on the May 5th slate but Greenblatt refused to honor the petition.

However in a court case brought against Greenblatt and the Chicago Area Council by eleven local Scouters, Judge Agran declared Greenblatt's actions a breach of his fiduciary duty and in violation of Illinois State Law.

Agran's final order on the matter mandated the upcoming election.

Members may make further suggestions to the nominating committee in writing provided the suggestions are received before March 21st. The nominating committee will reconvene on March 28th to consider any new suggestions. No nominations will be accepted from the floor at the meeting.

All CORs and voting members should make plans to attend this extremely important voting meeting.  Holiday Inn Mart Plaza is located at 350 N. Orleans St. across from the Merchandise Mart.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 sharp and according to the bylaws, no other business will be transacted.

[ Note:  In a brief court hearing with Judge Agran on Weds, March 8th, CAC was denied its request for a stay of the election, ie. temporary restraining order.   After CAC's legal counsel pleaded for consideration of their request, Judge Agran said he would uphold his order of March 1st mandating the April 20th vote on the May 5th slates.  The CAC Admin may now be seeking injunctive relief and a stay order through the Illinois Appellate Court. ]

 

April 20th Election Flyer

===============================================================
Pertinent Facts Regarding the Vote on April 20
===============================================================
from www.fortdearborn.org
 
The council held an election in May, 2004 and the slate of candidates was defeated.
 
The council held another election in September, 2004 and the same slate of candidates was defeated again.
 
After this defeat a series of facilitated summit meetings between paid professional staff, board members, and volunteer scouters were held from October, 2004 through February, 2005.  (None of the suggestions that resulted from these meetings have yet to be implemented by the council.)
 
While the facilitated meetings were going on, the council held another election in December, 2004 and the same slate of candidates was defeated for the third time.
 
A nominating committee, appointed by the board, developed a new slate of candidates which they felt would be a good compromise slate. That slate is now known as the “5th of May slate”.
 
Lew Greenblatt, Council President, did not like some of the names on the slate and tried to get the nominating committee to make changes to the slate.
 
This effort was defeated by the nominating committee twice and the slate was supposed to be presented to the voting membership.
 
Per the council by-laws if 20% of the voting membership requests a vote on an issue, the council is supposed to hold that vote within 90 days.
 
A petition signed by 40% of the voting membership was presented to Lew Greenblatt in June, 2005 requesting that the May 5th slate be brought up for a vote.
 
On June 22, 2005 the executive committee of the board met and at this meeting Lew Greenblatt did the following:  dismissed the nominating committee which was appointed by the board, threw out the 5th of May slate, ignored the petition signed by the 40% of the voting membership, installed a new nominating committee, and instructed them to produce a new slate of candidates.
 
At the full board meeting held on June 23, 2005 when questions arose about these actions, Lew Greenblatt refused to discuss these issues and closed the board meeting
 
As a result of these actions by Lew Greenblatt and some members of the executive committee a lawsuit was filed in the Cook County Chancery Court over the governance of the Chicago Area Council.
 
All of the details and court records may be found in the Fort Dearborn Dist website, http://www.fortdearborn.org
 
As a result of this lawsuit Judge Martin S. Agran found that Lew Greenblatt had breached his fiduciary responsibilities, violated the by-laws of the Chicago Area Council, and had broken the law of the State of Illinois.
 
Judge Agran ordered the council to hold an election on the 5th of May slate on April 20, 2006.
 
It is extremely important for all board members, council Members at Large, and Chartered Organization Representatives to attend the meeting on April 20th and vote for the May 5th slate.
 
For the final amended slates to be presented for consideration and election by the council electorate on April 20th, go to...
http://www.chicagobsa.org/
 
[ NOTE:  GET OUT THE VOTE...ALL HANDS ON DECK - GENERAL QUARTERS!  Anyone can come by to bear witness to this democratic process and to the beginning of reform in CAC.  However, we NEED ALL COUNCIL VOTERS to make arrangements to do what is necessary to be at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N Orleans, on Thursday, April 20th, by 6:00pm with evidence of 2006 unit chartering and/or personal valid 2006 registration in-hand.  Please expect to be challenged at the door, so BE PREPARED!    Council Electors are urged to make personal sacrifices, if necessary, to be in attendance and to cast their vote FOR ALL 5 MAY 5th SLATES... FOR REFORM AND FOR POSITIVE CHANGES IN CAC! ]
 

================================================
On Quinnzees, Igloos, and Other Fun Snow-Things
================================================
I prefer quinzees as my snow shelter of choice.  You can build them with only 6" of snow, though it's a lot of work.  Here's a website that explains it pretty well.

Here's Dan Beard's version of building an igloo.  It works too.
 
- YIS, Cliff Golden
 
PS:  For Quinzees, it doesnt matter how deep the snow is, as long as there is enough to make a big pile for every 2-3 boys.  Just put in "Quinzee" in your search enginge, and youll find all kinds of stuff.

===========================================
Judge Orders Vote on May 5th Slate
===========================================
EXTRA:
www.Fortdearborn.org
 
(1/5/06) On Tuesday, January 4th, at "high noon" in the Cook County Chancery Division in downtown Chicago, Judge Martin Agran listened to questions and arguments by both sides and has now agreed to the judicial relief requested by the Scouter-11 by mandating that Chicago Area Council must now move ahead and hold its annual election of board members, executive officers, and members at large but only as provided with the previously designed May 5th slate.
 
After discussion with both sides, Judge Agran further ruled that only the members of the CAC nominations committee who originally engineered the May 5th slate may consider additional nominees but that the slate must otherwise remain intact as it was first approved by that committee. The court will now permit registered CAC Scouters to forward recommendations and resumes of additional candidates for this slate within 30 days of the election, yet to be set.
 
In court representing both sides to this case as legal counsel were Leonard Shifflett of Quarles and Brady LLP for the plaintiffs (Scouter-11) and David Simon of Wildman, Harrold, Allen and Dixon LLP for the defendants (CAC).
 
During the hearing, CAC's legal counsel requested to amend the original nominations committee with replacements for two original committee members who have since resigned from the council, namely Bill Saltenberger and Duke Chapman. But Judge Agran denied CAC's request to do so after the Scouter-11's attorney argued that there was no provision in the council bylaws that required the nominations committee to be comprised of a certain minimum number.
 
The remaining members of the court-approved nominations committee are Lew Greenblatt, Rita Egan, Glenn Emig, Mike Hughes, Brian Kasal and Larry Strickling. No other committee may be convened nor can the council ignore the election process now required without being in contempt of court.
 
"The Court reiterated its December finding that the Council had acted illegally to prevent the nominating committee's May 5 slate from being presented to the membership for a vote and remarked that the process Council was seeking to implement now seemed designed to again deny the members a vote on the duly approved slate from last May," stated one of the plaintiffs.
 
Judge Agran acknowledged that CAC bylaw procedures require providing registered scouters an opportunity to submit names for consideration for the board slate prior to the election. The judge did direct that thirty days be allowed prior to the voting meeting for additional nominations to be submitted, however the May 5th slate could be put forth intact--new nominations are not required.
 
The court set January 19 for a status hearing and requested both parties come prepared with a plan to admininster this election, i.e., date, time and location of the election.
 
Plaintiffs hoped that an early agreement will be reached on these matters so as to eliminate any further arguments and a need for further judicial intercession.
 
CAC's legal counsel acknowledged that the Council has no problem with running an election but only sought court clarification on the final rendition of the May 5th slate and the constitutionality of the nominations committee to administer this.
 
More clarity on remaining procedures and a schedule will arise within the next two weeks. Background material on this case with links to PDF copies of court filings are posted to www.fortdearborn.org.
 
# # #

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

JUDGE SIDES WITH SCOUTER-11

per Debra Carte, White Lake Beacon, 12/19/2005

“The Scouter 11” prevailed in all but one of the nine charges they brought against the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts, and they’ll be back in court on Jan. 4 in the hopes of a unanimous decision.

The 11 Scouts, some of them council board members, sued the Chicago Area Council and its president, Louis Greenblatt, on Sept. 27, charging violations of council bylaws and the Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation Act.

The Scouts sued when Greenblatt took steps to prevent the council membership from voting on a slate of officers and directors, called the May 5 slate, that he opposed. The Scouts said Greenblatt went as far as to dissolve the December committee that nominated the slate, created a new committee and appointed members to it he knew were in agreement with him.

Judge Martin Agran of the Chancery Court of Cook County, Illinois, agreed with eight of the nine charges brought by the 11 Scouts, saying Greenblatt had breached his fiduciary responsibilities as council president, and that by dissolving the December nominating committee and appointing a new one, he had violated Illinois law.

The Scouter 11’s ninth complaint asked the court to invalidate Greenblatt’s appointments to the reconstituted nominating committee and to order a vote on the May 5 slate. It was dismissed by Agran because a procedural error failed to name the appointees in the complaint.

The Scouter 11 is now asking Agran to amend his ruling to make way for the membership to vote on the May 5 slate. Agran will hear their request on Jan. 4 in Chicago along with a motion by the Chicago Area Council that asks the judge to allow it to meet in order to discuss the judge’s decision. Because the Scouter 11 suspects Greenblatt and the council may use the opportunity to dissolve the December nominating committee and void the May 5 slate, the Scouts have filed a counter-motion against the request.

On Dec. 9, a spokesperson for the Chicago Area Council said the council is seeking clarification with regard to what is the next ballot and what will happen to the board members who are currently serving.

Devin Schindler, a lawyer representing the Chicago Area Council, said there is a need to confirm whether several individuals on the May 5 slate have withdrawn their names from nomination. If they have, the slate may no longer be valid under the bylaws, Schindler said.

As to whether Greenblatt should now resign in light of Judge Agran’s decision, Schindler said he will not.

“Lew Greenblatt is not resigning from his position. He has done nothing wrong and there is no reason for him to resign. Lew is a hard-working volunteer who holds this post because of his love for scouting. For anyone to suggest that his conduct - or the conduct of any of the hard working volunteers who serve on the board - would warrant a reprimand either does not understand the nature of the litigation process or is being petty and mean-spirited,” responded Schindler in an email.

Some believe Greenblatt is opposed to the May 5 slate because it may be more disposed to retaining Scout camp property the council is now trying to sell. The council sold Camp Hoover in Aurora, Illinois two years ago, saying the council was strapped for cash. It has now accepted an offer of $19.4 million to sell the Owasippe Scout Reservation in Blue Lake Township, outside of Whitehall. The reservation is 4,765 acres of ancient forests and lakes, and is habitat for the endangered Blue Karner Butterfly.

A significant number of the Scout membership are opposed to the sale of Camp Owasippe. In a memo issued by Greenblatt shortly after the Scouter 11 filed suit, he said he believed the lawsuit was brought as a result of political fallout over the council’s attempt to divest itself of camp property. The attorney for the Scouter 11, Leonard Shifflet, has said the lawsuit had nothing to do with the selling of camp property.

In a recent press release, the Owasippe Outdoor Education Center (OOEC), a group of local and Chicago area Scouts working to preserve Owasippe as a camp, said the court’s decision in favor of the Scouter 11 is a step to reforming the governance of the Chicago Area Council.

“Over the last few years we have observed a growing unrest among the membership of the Chicago Area Council with the vision and oversight of the traditional Scouting program of the Council. We believe this decision of the court is a step toward reforming the governance of the Council to better reflect the wishes of its constituents,” the OOEC stated in its press release.

The $19.4 million offer on Camp Owasippe is contingent on the property being rezoned for residential development. The Chicago Council submitted a rezoning request to Blue Lake Township about a year and a half ago. The request, if granted, would take the 4,700-acre camp out of the conservancy district established by Blue Lake Township and would open the property up to development with lots ranging from 11,000 square feet to 10 acres.

A public hearing on the rezoning request will take place on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Blue Lake Township. A huge crowd is expected to attend, and township planners are anticipating the hearing to last most of the day.

Copyright 2005 Shoreline Media, Inc.

- per www.fortdearborn.org:

In their First Amended Complaint the plaintiffs raised nine issues
for which they requested judgment.  Although the decision is contained in a long judicial summation, Judge Agran basically ruled in agreement with the plaintiffs on the following issues:

> The December Nominating Committee (as defined in the First Amended Complaint) was duly appointed by the Board of Directors;
> The May 5, 2005 slates (also defined in the First Amended
Complaint) were duly approved by the December Nominating Committee;
> The act of the Executive Committee in disapproving the May 5, 2005 slates was beyond its authority;
> The members properly petitioned the Council to hold a meeting to
vote on the May 5, 2005 slates;
> The Defendants violated the Plaintiffs' rights by not calling a meeting of the members within 60 days of June 10, 2005 for the purpose of conducting a vote on the May 5, 2005 slates;
> Defendant Greenblatt's action in dissolving the December
Nominating Committee is in violation of the General Not For Profit
Corporation Act of 1986, including Sections 108.40(a) and (c)(4);
> The action of the Executive Committee in appointing a new
Nominating Committee after Greenblatt's dissolution of the December
Nominating Committee violates 805 ILCS 105/108.40(c)(4); and
> Any slates nominated by the new Nominating Committee are void and should not be presented to the members for a vote

The complaint also contained a ninth issue involving seemingly
illegal appointments to the board of directors by Greenblatt.

Any persons voted in or appointed as Directors by the Executive
Committee but not the Board of Directors are not valid Directors
because their appointments were made in violation of 805 ILCS 108.40
(c) and such persons have no power or authority to serve as
Directors of the Council.

Judge Agran dismissed this point due to the fact that the alleged
illegal appointees were not specified by name.

Agran's rulings should now open the way for a vote on the May 5th
slate presented by the original nominating committee.

More detailed information will be posted as it becomes available.

# # #

[Note... More background on this case and all the grievances filed in the original 19-page complaint along with subsequently filed motions can be found for your review and study on the Fort Dearborn District Website at www.fortdearborn.org along with accompanying links. You will NOT find any reference to this case and complaint on the CAC website nor in its printed "Scouter" newsletter.]

 

==============================================
Is The 3rd Time A Charm?  Summit Set!
==============================================
The recessed Annual Meeting of the Chicago Area Council will occur on Wednesday, December 1, at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans Street, Chicago, at 6:00pm.  The proposed election slates had been voted down by the membership first in June and then again in September.   The purpose of this meeting is to consider the report of the Nominating Committee and to vote on reconstituted slates.  This is NOT exclusively a board vote but will be an added reconvened meeting of the CORs and MALs for voting purposes.  Be sure your chartered institutional rep is there!
 
Suggestions for consideration by the Nominating Committee may be submitted no later than November 1 to G.A. Finch, Chairman, Nominating Committee, Chicago Area Council, BSA, 1218 W Adams, Chicago, IL 60607.
 
On September 8th, approximately 54 volunteer Scouters, comprised of board members, members at large, and chartered organization reps, met at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in downtown Chitown to reconvene the annual CAC board meeting from June for the purpose of electing five different slates of officers and board members.   In each instance, the slates were voted down roughly by a margin of at least 3-to-1.   Upon the conclusion of the voting, the meeting was adjourned with no other dates set for a subsequent board meeting to decide the fate of those slates.

The voting results were as follows:

> Members At Large:     9-Yes, 37-No
> Board of Directors:  13-Yes, 36-No
> Advisory Board:      12-Yes, 40-No
> Executive Officers:  13-Yes, 40-No
> National BSA Reps:   12-Yes, 42-No

Curiously absent from the board meeting was Dennis Chookaszian, council spokesperson in the Tribune and Sun-Times and apparent leader of the adhoc strategic properties committee dealing with the proposed rezoning and fate of Owasippe.   From a board of directors group of 50-60, there were fewer than 15 of them at this meeting.   Also, representation of chartered organization reps and members at large was also lacking at about 12% of those so designated.

But, before the above election takes place, an opportunity has also presented itself for council dialogue and potential reform per the Council Exec Committee.   At least one summit meeting of board members, selected district volunteers (only two per district), and pro-staff has been scheduled for October 25 beginning at 4:30pm at a conference room in the building which housese Presdient Lew Greenblatt's office.  It is anticipated that the meeting will be moderated by a 3rd party facilitator.   Council issues and concerns from all sides will be discussed and debated with the goal of the group to find common ground and to develop an action plan to devise a better, more responsive council with better administrative representation from the districts.   If you want to know who is on your "district team" of delegates, contact your district chairman or district commissioner and let them know what is important to you and how you feel about things.  Be sure that your district delegates are knowledgeable, conversant, and well versed in district and council issues and truly represent the sentiment and dedication of district volunteers.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CAC Financial Data From Guidestar, Illinois Attorney General's Office

Chicago Area Council's IRS 990 for fiscal year end 2000. You can find it
at
http://www.guidestar.org   
Do a search for : Boy Scouts of America Chicago.
Then click on the small link that says : more financial information.
Then click on the line that says: view IRS form 990.
If you page down a few pages you will find a number of interesting things.

Note:  Keep in mind that Owasippe has been reported to run a deficit of $200,000 year.   By the way, the Detroit Area Council's camp, D-bar-A, runs an annual deficit of $400,000 which they consider an acceptable level to support their program facility.   They have made the philosophical decision to NOT make their camp a "profit center" to support the council bottom line but rather to allow the council's bottom line to support their operations at their council camp.

Financial stats from the CAC Annual Report to the Illinois Attorney
General's Office for the period 07/01/2001 through 12/31/2001 (including 2001 IRS form 990):

* Total Revenues = $ 3,320,892

* Total Expenses = $ 3,216,378... for a net surplus of $104,514

* Top 6 Annual Salaries combined for $579,300 and are included in a total payroll of $1,016,509.  Include another $109,216 of employee benefits and employee expenses account for 36.5% of revenue.  In the 18 months ending December 31, 2001, CAC paid out $3,436,700 in total
salaries and related expenses. This    is to support a reported 40,000 youth in 7 districts...or roughly $85.92 per youth or $490,957 per district.

* Interesting Expenditures with no further explanation:  Travel expenses of $61,951;  $685,852 in supplies; Specific Assistance to Individuals of $163,498 (see below).

* Camping Fees of $1,144,284 represents 34.5% of total revenues.  Surely, most of this had to come from summer and off-season usage at Owasippe and Hoover.

* Gross profit from sales of inventory = $385,622.   Is this trading post
merchandise or sales of program assets?  This represents 11.5% of total revenue. 

* Insurance Claim Settlement = $502,807  (This is the insurance
settlement from the Owasippe fires on fully-depreciated buildings).   This represents 15% of total revenue.   This has NOT been reinvested at Owasippe for replacement structures, ie. Reneker Lodge, Camp Carlen Dining Hall, ranger residence LC1.

* As an assest, CAC booked $4,256,656 in respect to land, buildings and equipment at Owasippe.  What basis is used to establish this value...cost or market?

* In 2000, CAC earned $172,733 in income from interest, dividends or
amounts received from other payments.   How much of this was earned on principal amounts held in trust for camp operations (endowments) and did this get transferred to help support camp operations as originally intended by the original donors of such funds or did this offset interest expenses from general operational loans that such funds may have securitized (ie. $2,000,000 in principal on a line-of-credit)??

* $163,498 in national membership (registration) fees were paid for
children who were unable to afford them.  What programs/districts are these youth from and what head count does this represent?   Also, does this have to be paid out at the detriment to programs and facilities, ie. sale of camping properties.

* Interesting comment regarding Line #93A, Camping Revenue... "earned for use of camping facilities which help to develop character and personal fitness in youth".

* In the six months ending December 31, 2001, CAC expended $220,893 in "occupancy expenses" or $516,657 for the eighteen months ending December 31, 2001...or $28,703/mo.   This is presumed to be related to mortgage payments and utility costs on the service center.

* How much interest was specifically drawn from the Fossett Endowment Fund and the Milton H Gray endowment  fund to specifically pay for improvements in those programs at Owasippe?   Information from Owasippe indicates that they received no such funding from these programs to tend to related camp needs in the last twelve months.

AND...given the above...we're really concerned about a $200,000 deficit at Owasippe?   Where's our priorities?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
What About Previously Established Endowments?
 
And, if you were wondering about those secured "funds held in trust" from donations and other endowments, click open the below accounting from Chicago Area Council which shows their 12/31/01 status.  Wow, who controls those pursestrings and authorizes the use of earned interest?

> Click Here For CAC Trust Fund Records

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Let's Take A Walk Down Memory Lane
 
Joe Sener, Chairman of the Owasippe Committee, and Steve Adams, CAC Director of Camping report plans to reconstruct the Camp Carlen Dining Hall in time for the opening of Camp next June (2002).  They have indicated a committment to get the camp back on track and to utilize available insurance proceeds to begin work on a replacement structure as soon as possible. If construction delays are encountered, the camp will still open with a makeshift dining hall, probably a circus tent, to feed the attending troops en masse. Camp Carlen will open for the 2002 season with 4 periods of Scout program, one week of Venture program, and one week of Webelos program (2 split-week sessions). Next summer will be Owasippe's first attempt to design a summer camp program specifically for Venturing BSA. This feature will be open to ANY registered Venture Crew regardless of Council affilitation.

Camp staff and interested leaders can submit their design and usage ideas to Joe Sener and Steve Adams at their respective e-mail addresses and are encouraged to do so at their earliest opportunity as architectural plans and proposals for a new Carlen dining hall are already being reviewed. The Owasippe Committee, however, has yet to review definitive details on any replacement structure for final approval. Rumor has it that the new dining hall design may include a new camp office and trading post.
 
TO BUILD OR NOT TO BUILD?    It would behoove those passionate about camp program quality and those concerned about Owasippe's legacy to be proactive in pursuing the early rebuilding of these structures in an expert fashion fully utilizing available insurance proceeds.  Please communicate your positive interests and constructive ideas early and often to...

Carlen Dining Hall Fire Cleanup, May 2001

>>> Owasippe Fires, Anonymous Website

NOTE...There still is no word on when or how the Camp Reneker facility will be rebuilt but several concepts have been discussed which include an on-site ranger's residence and a separate storage/program outbuilding.

It is rumored that insurance proceeds may have a time element involved. If that is true, it would behoove the council to take swift action to rebuild, to maximize their benefit, and to minimize any out-of-pocket expense for reconstruction.   Any further procrastination would also just unnecessarily delay the introduction of any replacement structures which the quality of the camp programs depend on and which campers expect to have at their disposal and usage.
 
cFall2001

 

> Send your ideas and opinions to Jim Stone

Supporting Commentary

07/05/2002 - A Scout Is Trustworthy?
 
Is a Scout always trustworthy or only when it suits him?   Case in point... it was a fairly logical assumption that, when the Camp Carlen dining hall and Camp Reneker lodge burned down, replacement buildings would spring up fairly expeditiously paid for by the proceeds from sufficient building insurance.  We were told that insurance funds were received and were being held "in trust" for replacing the structures.
 
Well, here we are, a year-plus later and...guess what...NO buildings, NO plans and specs, NO articles or proclamations of the future... only silence and inaction.   This all raises questions, some of which are... Why the silence?  Why no action and the unusual delay?   Where is the insurance money?   Where is the commitment to the camping program?   Why is complacency even an option?   That these questions even have to be made raises the spectre of "distrust" with the Scout council administration.
 
Questions do not get answered unless posed to the source and to those accountable to Scouting.    Press the questions, demand answers, and require the perpetuating of program and facilities.  Our silence only empowers the few to take care of business for their own benefit...not for the Scouts.
 
Dan Beard
 
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12/03/2001 Regarding COPE and Carlen...

The Owasippe Committee is working on plans for a climbing tower. First we need an inventory of what is on hand and get some idea of the costs to build the tower. There is about $1,000 remaining from the OSA contributions. I believe there are also poles on site. Tim Toerber has joined the Committee and will be performing the inventory so we can determine where we are.

I have seen the specifications for the reconstruction of the Camp Carlen dining hall and it consists of a detailed, priced Bill-of-Material based on the original designs. There won't be any more work done in that area until at least after the Council Strategic Planning is done... similar for Reneker.

--- Joe Sener, Owasippe Committee Chrmn
Joe_sener@baxter.com

November 2, 2001...

I want to take this opportunity to discuss some of the different things we are working on at the Owasippe Committee.

We are working diligently to line up a solid team of Camp Directors for next summer. We have talked to some great candidates and are trying to reach others. Our goal is to have had the preliminary discussions with the directors prior to our upcoming first round interviews on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Council Strategic Planning Team has begun working on a revision to our five-year plan. We are clear and agreed on our mission: To serve the youth of Chicago. One outcome of our plan is likely to be a plan on replacing our buildings at Owasippe. As yet, we have not decided what to rebuild and where to rebuild it. The insurance proceeds from the unfortunate fires at camp are safe and working for us until we determine how best to use them.

We have enlisted the aid of one of our friends and neighbors at Owasippe, Ron Humbert, to help us with the conservation plan for Owasippe. Ron is an avid naturalist and a geologist by training and a former staff person. Ron will be a great addition to our team.

The investigation continues into the cause of the fires at Owasippe. Jim Stone is staying very close to the investigation.

The cabins at Owasippe have been shut down for the season and the ranger staff, led by Ron Wilson, are settling in for the long Winter.

Out next steps are to finalize a series of calls to those leaders who filled out surveys while at camp. Finalize the strategic plan, conduct the staff interviews and work on new program ideas for this summer.

We are looking for help from the volunteers of Chicago. We need people like you to help out. Please give us a call.

Joe Sener
Joe_Sener@baxter.com

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FIRE INVESTIGATION STALLS

There has been no breaking news on the investigation. The Muskegon County Sheriff Robert Carter said there is no determination, yet, on whether the most recent fire was arson. "We haven't been able to find the perpetrator because we haven't had any information," said Carter. "This is a perfect example of how the Silent Observer program could give us a break in this investigation." Carter said anyone who wishes to leave a tip with Silent Observer can do so by calling 72-CRIME (722-7463).

Scout Exec Jim Stone and Assistant Scout Exec Anthony Gibbs drove out to Lansing, Michigan, in Mid-October to meet with the state's ATF Director and a State Senator to look into why the arson case hasn't progressed and turned up any further leads and convictions. They have been concerned and perplexed for some time now over the lack of positive results from the fire investigation by the county, state and federal authorities.

The Owasippe Staff Association (OSA) has issued a resolution regarding the fires and has posted an initial reward of $1,000 on news leading to the arrest or conviction of the person(s) responsible for the fires. The State of Michigan had already posted a $5,000 reward and Muskegon County has an unstated reward value. You can read the OSA's board resolution at http://www.Owasippe.net and view some new pictures on the aftermath and cleanup of the Carlen fire. Anyone wishing to contribute toward the OSA's "reward fund" may contact President Ron Derby at Rderby@xbx.com or c/o The Owasippe Staff Association, PO Box 7097, Westchester, IL 60154. Derby said anyone sending a check should note it for the arson reward fund. "If this case is resolved in a manner other than through our reward offering, all the money in that fund would be used to rebuild," said Derby. "Anyone donating would get a notice for their taxes of a charitable contribution."

No word has yet come From Chicago Area Council regarding the composition of a specific committee to review the prospect of reconstructing the burnt facilities. However, a strategic plan is being devised regarding the overall use of Owasippe and this will dictate, moreover, what type of structures are built. Tentative plans to rebuild Carlen for 2002 have been stated, however there are no specific concepts or timetables regarding same. It has been 7 months since the last fire at Camp Carlen on May 15th. Camp Reneker reconstruction plans are still unknown for the same reason, waiting on a council strategic plan.

Insurance benefits have been paid to Chicago Area Council and are on deposit in a designated "fund". Specific amounts are unknown. We all are eagerly waiting for CAC to take some positive action with all of this and respond accordingly to the volunteers. As time moves on with no action or plan, it becomes more likely that no reconstruction will occur by the opening of camp in July 2002. While legitimate concerns still exist about a possible arsonist still on the loose, there has NOT been any urgency to move forward with discussing the potential usage and design of these replacement facilities within existing committee structures, ie. Owasippe Task Force and Camp Properties. Before the first shovel of dirt is turned over for new foundations, a plan must exist.

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OWASIPPE FIRES CHRONOLOGY:

* Sept 24, 1999...Camp Blackhawk dining hall extensively damaged in three places internally.
* March 25, 2000...Property manager's personal residence (LC1) is heavily damaged by fire.
* March 27, 2000...Property manager's personal residence incurs second fire which completely destroys the building.
* September 1, 2000...Fire demolishes the Reneker Family Camp lodge along with all stored program equipment from the prior summer.
* May 15, 2001...Camp Carlen dining hall destroyed beyond recognition by an intense overnight fire during a driving rainstorm.
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STAFF ASSOCIATION PASSES RESOLUTION!

The OSA Takes a Stand Against Arson
Reward Offered - June 20, 2001:

WHEREAS...
Owasippe Scout Reservation is Americas oldest operating Boy Scout Camp in the United States, established in 1911, located on roughly 5,000 acres in the Manistee National Forest, and serving thousands of Scouts annually, and

WHEREAS...
The Owasippe Staff Association is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the physical well-being of Owasippe Scout Reservation and to the enhancement of its programs and facilities, and

WHEREAS...
There has been recent and catastrophic damage done to these same facilities and resources of Owasippe, namely a residence, a program lodge, and two dining halls, all consumed by fire suspected to be arson, and

WHEREAS...
There still is at large the perpetrator(s) of these fires, breeding uncertainty, fear, and caution among those using the camp.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED...
That the Owasippe Staff Association denounces these acts and finds them to be criminal, cowardly, immoral, and in opposition to its own purposes and principles, and

That the Owasippe Staff Association formally requests the Chicago Area Council, BSA, and its administrators and law enforcement agencies treat this matter as their highest priority and exhaust all available resources in the ongoing investigation of these fires and in the arrest and conviction of those responsible, and

That, in keeping with these interests, the Owasippe Staff Association posts a reward of $1,000 leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for said crimes against the camp and encourages all others who support Scout camping to assist with this reward fund and in the overall investigative effort to bring those responsible to justice.

That it be known that the Owasippe Staff Association offers our talents and participation to any planning/rebuilding committee and strongly encourages the formation of said committee in a timely fashion.

Approved by a unanimous vote of the board of directors of the Owasippe Staff Association on this the 20th day of June, 2001.

Signed and Sealed,
Ron Derby, President

Attested to,
Mike Campbell, Secretary


------------------------

Anyone with information should contact the Grand Rapids branch of the ATF. Call 616-456-2566 and ask for Agent Mike Marquardt. You can also call the Muskegon County Sheriff's Dept. at 231-724-6351.

The larger the reward, the better the chances are of someone coming forward with information. Would you like to help bring this criminal(s) to justice?

If so, please make checks payable to the Owasippe Staff Association c/o The OSA Arson Reward Fund. Send checks to the OSA, P.O. Box 7097, Westchester, IL 60154.

If the case is solved in a manner that does not qualify for the reward, the OSA will roll the reward fund into a rebuilding fund to be used at Owasippe. Tax deduction documentation will be provided accordingly.

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Nov 16, 2002... CAC Endowment Trust Funds (asof 12/31/01)
 
What follows are the specific accounts held in trust by CAC, the principal amounts of which are restricted and whose interest income is to be specifically used for a program or to support general operations of the council.   At the end of 2001, the total of these funds were $7,447,519.01.    Some of these funds may have been used for collateral on loans to the council, but we are not certain of that.  If that were to be the case, it can be logically assumed that the interest earning potential would be degraded to some degree by the associated loan expenses.   It has also been alluded to at the fireside chats that continuing annual operating deficits by CAC may have to start eating into these principal balances if there is NO OTHER recourse or cash flow, ie. loans, delayed payments, expense reductions.   The council president, Lew Greenblatt, has stated at the Fireside Chats that CAC's anticipated loss for this fiscal year will be anywhere from $750,000 to $1 million.
 
Owasippe Funds
 
1980 Capital Campaign (camperships) *        $  961,168.32
OSR 1981 Land Sale (camperships)                    262,883.70
OSR 1981 Land Sale (maintenance)                    354,241.27
Nunn - OSR *                                                          73,477.84
Fossett - OSR *                                                       38,220.77
OSR 1994 Land Sale (Operations)                         64,567.92
Milton Gray - (OSR Gray Staff Village) *             30,900.00
                       Owasippe Endowment  Total:  $1,785,459.60
>Potential Earnings @ 2.96% APY, Netbank:    $52,849.60
 
Hoover Outdoor Education Center
 
Hoover Fund *                                                 $1,987,672.99
Hoover Foundation *                                            659,094.93
                                       Hoover Total:              $2,646,767.92
>Potential Earnings @ 2.96% APY, Netbank:    $ 78,344.33
 
 
Other Remaining CAC Funds
 
Watzek *                                                          $1,136,435.82
Permanent *                                                            73,686.61
Schiff Foundation *                                               156,161.20
Vehon *                                                                 958,430.58
Bequests                                                               401,433.07
Nickles *                                                                 18,379.97
Sea Exploring                                                          81,442.36
Burket *                                                                 189,321.66
                                       Other Fund Total:     $3,015,290.98
>Potential Earnings @ 2.96% APY, Netbank:    $89,252.61
 
          CAC Endowment Funds Grand Total:   $7,447,519.01
>Potential Earnings @ 2.96% APY, Netbank:  $220,446.56
 
Please Note:  It has been reported that Owasippe's annual operating
deficit is anywhere from $200,000 to $325,000, depending on whom
you talk to and at what meeting it was reported.   The specific components of this are a mystery.   Also, we believe that no funds were allocated or distributed to the Owasippe operations from either the Fossett or Gray Funds as originally designed to support the Sailing Base or the Staff Family Village.   It probably is time to ask for a specific accounting of the specific amounts of earned interest and the dates and amounts of their allocation and specific uses at Owasippe during 2002.
 
* Denotes donor-restricted funds.  All other funds are board designated.
 

CAMP WOLVERINE'S OLYMPIC SIZE POOL, BUILT 1964
CAMP WOLVERINE POOL PARTY - WHERE WET IS BEST

Numbers Are In For the 2002 Season
     by Joe Sener, Owasippe Committee Chrmn
 
I thought I would share the final numbers from Owasippe.  The summer finished at about 97% of plan, short just 3%.  Unfortunately the plan was already about 12% short of last year.  Clearly, we paid the price for last years issues.  As a result of fall off in attendance and our inability to get any interest in a Venture camp at Carlen, we closed that camp at the end of 5th period.  Many of the staff have stayed on to volunteer for room and board.

The good news is that sign-ups for next year are VERY strong (Pete Klaeser
is still working out the numbers but I will have them by next week).  The staff did an OUTSTANDING job of delivering on a great program.  We will try to have an analysis of sign-ups for 2003 versus 2002 along with early projections for attendance.

On a staffing front.  We will announce the leadership for next summer at the closing banquet this year (Sunday, August 11).
 
(NOTE:  Owasippe's key leadership were asked to return and they have tentatively accepted pending their review of their personal schedules and council contracts for 2003).  
 
*** Click Below To Open A File Showing 2002 Attendance Numbers for Owasippe Scout Reservation by District...
 
 
 

> Click Here For 2002 OSR Stats

National Camp Standards Inspection '02
 
On Tuesday, July 2, Owasippe was visited and inspected by a team of national camp inspectors from the BSA.  All section camps and the reservation in general received an "A" rating.  However, the COPE high course was temporarily shut down to address BSA inspection issues and to make some corrections.  Work began immediately to make necessary repairs and amendments to bring the course into compliance with national BSA standards.   In addition, a 2nd opinion and inspection was requested of the firm retained by the BSA to design and regulate their "rope courses".   As a result of all this, the COPE course was deemed to be suitable and safe for use and its "high course" reopened on July 15 (3rd Period).
 
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03/08/2002...from Joe "Duke" Olechno on the upcoming Bio-Blitz to be sponsored by the Michigan Nature Conservancy.
 
Steve Horvath and I tried to compile all the plants and animals in a long list when I was at North, maybe '76.

There are a few hot spots.  Paradise valley (and Gerken Creek and Brown Turtle) have some very interesting wooded wet areas.  Most people will probably think of these because they are so obvious.  I think that the Quaking Bog area is often overlooked on flora and fauna because everyone is jumping around.  There are some interesting marl bottomed lakes east of Bass Lake.  Some areas out there are very high in mints that are probably the remnants of agricultural mints.  There are also some very sunny wetlands (in contrast to Paradise VAlley) that might be of interest.  There are a number of sundews that are just above water line in Wolverine.  Cleveland Creek downstream of the dam but before Russell Road has an interesting marsh with plants I rarely found elsewhere in Owasippe but were not particularly rare in Michigan.  There were some interesting insects at the oil sites a few miles east of camp but I think that they were private property.  I think that the tar pits by the admin. center were too small to draw anything special.  Some of the rarer plants - pippsissawa, indian pipe, lady slipper and rein orchids, iron wood, a very thin, strap leafed milkweed, various ribes.  There are a large variety of blue and yellow spotted salamanders (Jefferson and Tiger?) as well as some efts (9-acre lake area for them.  Red-eared pond sliders are ubiquitous but probably because kids let them loose since they should be farther south.  A few lesser seen birds include Kirtland's warbler (I saw only once between West and Stuart either 71 or 72, nightjars (North about 76 - I think that they are actually common but because they are crepuscular not seen often) and once a grouse (I would have said a greater prairie chicken but it could of been a sharp-tailed - in either case, it was not a pheasant.)

Perhaps one of the most interesting plants from a historical point of view if not from a native flora or rarity POV are the apple orchards around the reservation.  These are "spitter" apples for the most part.  Grown from seed rather than from cuttings as most apples are today.  That means that the apples taste and look different on every tree.  This is the type of apple that Johnny Appleseed planted across the Ohio Valley.  I encourage you to read  "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan to understand the importance of something so mundane as apple trees that don't match any commercial strain.
 
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Blame It On The Weather...Bald Eagle Sightings Are Down   by Dave Lemieux, Muskegon Chronicle Staff Writer, 03/15/02

Bald eagle sightings in Muskegon and Ottawa counties dropped by more than half from last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources' annual midwinter survey.  

The state totals were also down from last year, but that doesn't mean there are fewer eagles, according to the DNR. It has to do with the mild winter, which meant eagles didn't have to migrate so far south to find open water, officials said.

Volunteers reported 49 eagles in Muskegon County and 21 in Ottawa during the two-week survey Jan. 1-15. Last winter, 112 eagles were sighted in Muskegon and 148 in Ottawa during the survey.

In a normal winter, eagles move south in search of better fishing when the lakes and streams farther north freeze. They usually begin arriving in the area in late November.   Open water extended much farther north this winter, the state's warmest on record since 1896. The state's average temperature from December through February was 29.1 degrees, or 7.5 degrees above the 108-year average of 21.6 degrees, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records.

Statewide, 990 eagles were reported this winter. That's down from the record 1,510 reported last year but still ahead of the 782 reported in 2000.   Bald eagle numbers are fine overall, said Eve Rolandson, a DNR re-source specialist. As recently as 1980, only 84 pairs were sighted in the state.

Rolandson said the weather was a factor in this year's count also because there was more snow last year, and more people were outside taking part in recreational activities, which allowed them to spot birds.

The 109 eagles reported in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, Kent and Allegan counties accounted for just under 17 percent of the 656 birds spotted in the Lower Peninsula.

2002 Muskegon Chronicle
 
TSS Note:  For years, Owasippe campers have been treated to the sights and sounds of bald eagles soaring over the camp and fishing on its lakes.   It has been a few years since a pair has nested and had young...and been documented.   Such nests in the past have been located at the north and south ends of Lake Wolverine, Camp Crown, and Camp Blackhawk, where remnants of the last nest can be seen behind the archery range by a creek.   I am not aware of any camp procedures in the reporting of these nests and sightings to the DNR but do know that DNR officers have been at the camp in the past to observe the nests.
 

The Black Bear

BLACK BEAR VISITORS AT CAMP?

Rogue black bears have been seen sporadically in Oceana County just north of the White River in the last couple of years and some sightings have been witnessed in the Owasippe area, namely Lakewood Club, Montague, Camp Schneppaho, and near Blue Lake County Park. The Michigan DNR has reported a rise in the black bear population and believes that younger immature bears are seeking their own territories southward toward Oceana and North Muskegon County.

> The Black Bear And Related Links

Virtual Campsite

Uncle Don On Duty At Blue Lake Township

Don Studaven was first hired at Owasippe Scout Reservation in 1987 by Jim Chandler to be Property Superintendent but had worked for at least twenty-years prior to that by CAC as a ranger at Camps Ft Dearborn, Harrison, and Kiwanis (Editor's Note: I remember him at Harrison when I was still a Scout camping there with my unit for "summer camp".) Don now is doing yeoman's work for Blue Lake Township as Supervisor having been elected to that job a year ago while still keeping Owasippe close to his heart. He is a Lifetime Member of The Owasippe Staff Association.

***PHOTO and story courtesy of the White Lake Beacon, 02/18/2002, Ronda Howell, reporter. For the full story, go to the White Lake Beacon website at...

 

 


> White Lake Beacon Website


REQUIEM FOR AN ELDER OF THE TRIBE

It is with great sadness and regret that I report to you the passing of Edward P Black of Vero Beach, FL, on Monday, January 7th, after a prolonged illness. He is survived by his wife, Donna, and son, John. He was born May 7, 1932, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and moved to Vero Beach six years ago, from the Chicagoland Area.

Ed (EPB) Black worked for the Boy Scouts of America for 39 years, prior to retirement. He was a US Army veteran of the Korean War. He was current district vice president of the Florida State Elks, member and past exalted ruler of Vero Beach Elks Lodge No. 1774 and member of the Republican Club.

Ed was a retired long-time career professional with the BSA having served in a variety of positions in Miami-FL, New York-NY, Far East Council, Rochester-NY, Chicago-IL, Munster-IN, and LaGrange-IL. He most notably served with great distinction as the legendary reservation director of Owasippe at a time that many people feel was the camp's "glory years", 1971-1978...when it operated with unprecedented record attendance utilizing 8 camper periods at 7 section camps and 5 Lone Troop Camps.

It was during this period that the innovative "outpost" programs were introduced including the Diamond-O Ranch and the sailing base, the Owasippe museum was founded, the trail program and the vehicle fleet expanded, the Pack N Paddle and CIT programs modified and enhanced, and the OSA given life and encouragement. The Order of The Arrow Owasippe Lodge also saw record growth with 30 active Chapters and with Ordeal inductions conducted at Owasippe during each of its eight periods. As Chicago's Director of Camping, Ed was also the professional advisor to the Order of the Arrow.

Ed relished his time at Owasippe, was passionate in his duties, influenced and motivated many, and really loved driving his jeep, OSR99, around camp in his visits with the staff and troops. And who could ever forget his visit to roll call at Montague's Village Inn? What a charismatic leader and great communicator he was!

You can send your messages to Donna and John at OSR99@aol.com, or 5055 Third Manor, Vero Beach, FL., 32968. A memorial service will be 2:00pm, Jan. 18 at Cox-Gifford Funeral Home, Vero Beach. A memorial service in Ed's honor will be planned soon for Owasippe.

Donations may be made to the Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services, Headquarters Office, P.O. Box 49, Umatilla, Fla. 32784, in Mr. Black's memory.

A campership fund is also being established in Mr Black's memory with the Des Plaines Valley Council BSA, La Grange IL, 708-354-1111.

May the great Scoutmaster of all great Scouts watch over us, and our friend, Edward, till we meet again...


INSIDE THE "NEW" RENEKER CAMP OFFICE

OK...here it is...for those of you who have NOT had the privilege of getting the grand tour of the NEW Camp Reneker office (minus the office where I was standing to take this PIC). My gracious hostess for this quick tour was the talented "miss cordiality" of Camp Reneker, Tricia Monahan. Ohhhhh, for the old days of the Camp Reneker Lodge! Say your prayers, insist on reconstruction ASAP, and send along your opinions/ideas to the Chicago Area Council....and this view will, hopefully, soon be just a memory. 

Inside The Trailer That Was The 2001 Reneker Camp Office

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CHAIRMANSHIP OF OWASIPPE COMMITTEE CHANGES HANDS

At the end of October, Joe Sener was appointed chairman of the Owasippe Committee by Council Vice President George Walper replacing Chauncey Niziol who had been chairman of that committee for the last several years. The Owasippe Committee is a sub-committee of the Chicago Area Council program committee and is the closest thing to a Camping Committee that it has. According to the National Council, BSA, the "council camping committee" has responsibility for the camp's program, maintenance of facilities, conservation of natural resources, camp promotion, camp development, compliance with health and safety standards, and budget/finance.

What follows is a statement from Joe Sener and Chauncey regarding Sener's appointment to this new role of Council leadership...

"In an effort to make sure we are communicating with everyone we thought we would send you this message to let you know that Chauncey and Joe have changed roles this year.

Joe has agreed to take over as Chairperson of the Owasippe Committee. In this role, Joe will act as the primary conduit between the Committee and the professional staff and George Walper, the Vice President for Program for the Chicago Area Council. As far as the committee is concerned we are all working together to the same goal and we will continue to act as a team. Our start for this year is a good one and we need to stay the course and respond to the direction set by the long term planning committee meeting now. Joe is our representative to that committee and will be reporting on its progress at the Owasippe Committee meetings.

Chauncey will continue to be a major force on the Owasippe Committee, whatever I know, he knows, and will continue to work his genius in the area of camp promotion and development."

Joe Sener & Chauncey

EDITOR'S NOTE: The other members of the "Owasippe Committee" are as follows...Jim Adamaitis, Steve Adams, Ron Bradberry, Mike Campbell, Norville Carter, Ron Derby, Pat and Wally Kleinfeldt, Anthony Marzano, Bob McMillin, Kevin Oster, Jim Schlichting, Pat Troy, Andy Witt, Jason Znoy.

[E-mail Joe Sener]

The Sounding Board

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2001 CAMP ATTENDANCE ANNOUNCED

At an Owasippe Committee meeting held on Tuesday, September 25, Steve Adams released some stats on the 2001 summer camp season. 219 units attended Owasippe with 3,337 Scouts and 1,117 leaders for a total pop count of 4,454. This was strictly CAC and Out-of-Council units only and did not include participation from the Ukrainian Scouts and Camp Plast.

Of the 219 units attending Owasippe, 56% of those were from CAC (123). However, 53% of the Scouts attending Owasippe, 1,770 were from Out-of-Council (OOC). This count is down by 180 from 2000. As a matter of fact, there was a drop-off of 41 such OOC units from 2000. CAC only camped one fewer unit in 2001 vs 2000 but actually had an increase of 97 more Scouts. In 2001, Owasippe had an overall net decrease of 83 Scouts and a dropoff of 42 participating units.

The average unit size at Owasippe in 2001 was 20.3, youth and adults, of which the average number of Scouts was 15.2. Interestingly enough, for every three Scouts attending Owasippe, there was one adult leader.

With this being a Jamboree year, Steve Adams considered these fairly good numbers. It is his opinion that dollarwise, considering last summer's fee increases and all, that the red ink should be reduced. At this same meeting, it was announced that there would be a freeze on camp prices in 2002.

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DERBY AND BISSET WED AT CROWN CHAPEL

On Saturday, October 6th, at 3pm, Ron Derby and Susan Bisset "tied the knot" in Scouting fashion at the well-decorated Stone Soderstrom Chapel overlooking the scenic waters of Lake Wolverine near the Crown High Adventure Base at Owasippe. It was a crisp and windy Autumn day accented by brilliant Fall colors and a few snowflakes, but the love and support of over 200 friends and relatives warmed the hearts and souls of those in attendance. "Deacon Dan" Troy, Owasippe Chaplain and Camp CIT Coordinator, officiated at the ceremony at which Ron and Susan exchanged vows that they had written. Wedding bubbles were offered up as the bride and groom and their bridal party exited the open air chapel. The reception was held at the Montague VFW Hall.

Ron had served on the Crown and Blackhawk Staffs in the late 80s and early 90s and currently volunteers on the CIT Training Staff during staff week. He is the current president of the Owasippe Staff Association. Susan has been on the Crown High Adventure Staff as a trek guide since 1997 and last year served as the Crown Base director.

NAGEL COPE COURSE DEDICATED AT "FIX-IT" WEEKEND

On Saturday, September 15, 2001, the Charles F. Nagel Memorial COPE Base was dedicated before an estimated gathering of 100 friends and family, camp staff and Scouters. A handsome plaque mounted to a large boulder was unveiled at the entrance to the course. Ron Derby, president of the OSA, presided over the ceremony. An invocation and blessing was provided by Fr Paul Johnson of St Mary of The Woods Church in nearby Lakewood Club. Testimony and proclamations were provided by Jim Stone, Chicago Area Council Scout Executive, as well as by Frank Chlebek, Ron Kulak, Patrick Monahan, and Chauncey Niziol.

Immediately following the dedication program, those gathered went on tour of the COPE Base and witnessed a live demonstration of the high course and zip line by this year's COPE director, Dave Meyer, accompanied by Scout Kenny Graczyk. Their abilities and traversing was met with frequent applause, especially after that quick ride down the 200-foot zip line. They were assisted by spotters who volunteered from nearby Camp Gerber who also have a COPE course with a climbing wall but with no high-course.

If you would like to contribute toward an ongoing fund to support the Charles F. Nagel COPE Base, you may do so c/o the Owasippe Staff Association, PO Box 7097, Westchester, IL 60154-7097. Submit any questions or comments about this to OSA President Ron Derby, Rderby@xbx.com.

***EAGERLY WAITING FOR...CLIMBING MERIT BADGE...but, while we wait, we whet our appetite with the following resources...

The memorial to Chuck Nagel was dedicated on Sept 15 at the Owasippe COPE Base where that facility was renamed in his honor. Chicago Area Council supplied the plaque, the boulder was donated by the White Lake Nursery, and the setting was built by Tony Krier and Ron Wilson. Course materials and equipment were purchased by the Owasippe Staff Assoc and labor was furnished by Rob Pruden and selected members of the ranger staff and other volunteers, especially Consumers Power.

> Challenge Course Services of Rockford

> Indoor Rock Climbing Gym

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A TALE OF TWO OWASIPPES

If you were to talk to leaders attending Owasippe during 1st and 2nd periods and then interview leaders from 4th and 5th periods, you would swear you were talking about two different Scout camps....at least in the area of food. From late deliveries, cold food, mixed entrees, and insufficient servings, catering has improved in all of those areas and is getting good reviews from returning units who were at camp during 4th and 5th periods. Whatever has happened to make these improvements possible, PLEASE....keep up the good work!

It's unfortunate that the learning curve, good communications, and an awareness of what is important has taken so long to develop and grasp by all concerned at camp. But...better late than never. I think that "food" sometimes is not given the level of importance that it deserves and that is assigned by the units at camp.

Aramark, Owasippe's caterer, is a nationally known food services vendor and is no stranger to Scouting circles with its service at Philmont, Northern Tier Canoe Base and The National Scout Jamboree at Ft AP Hill, Virginia, this summer. If you would like to learn a little more about this company, click-on to this link to their web-site.... http://www.aramark.com/.

Staffing has also grown in numbers since first period and camps have tremendously developed their program areas. Compliments to the camp directors and their dedicated and hard working staff. Kids are coming home happy with their experiences. Many campers have been motivated sufficiently and have asked for camp staff applications to the tune of at least 5x more than last summer! More news on that within the next few weeks once camp closes and all of the numbers are in.

Early indications on camp population shows that camp will be at least on par with last summer. A better tally will be forthcoming sometime soon. 5th Period appears to have had about 700 campers and leaders in all 3 Scout section camps. Carlen has remained open despite low numbers.... about 75 in attendance...for 5th period. They are expecting the same or less for 6th period. With Wolverine and Blackhawk at virtual capacity levels for their program areas, it would be wise of us to better utilize Camp Carlen. How can that be done?

>>> ARAMARK...More information on Owasippe's catering firm for 2001-2002

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OWASIPPE SCOUT RESERVATION CELEBRATES 90 YEARS
White Lake Beacon 2001...July 30, 2001

More than 90 years of camping at the oldest Boy Scout camp in the United States was celebrated at a community picnic last Wednesday evening at the Owasippe Scout Reservation in Blue Lake Township.

A long-standing and strong relationship between the Chicago Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and Whitehall were recognized.

It was in 1910 that a group of Chicago businessmen came to Whitehall to look for a site for a camp. That year the relationship began when the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce donated 40 acres of land to the scout council. Since then the camp grew to over 12,000 acres. In recent years much of the camp land has been sold for housing development, but Owasippe still has 4,200 acres in Blue Lake Township.

At a brief ceremony, Chauncey Niziol, chairman of the Owasippe committees, talked about the history of the camp, and introduced the leaders. Jim Stone, Chicago Area Council Scout executive, said, "We're proud to be a part of your community and hope you are proud of us." Stone talked about suspicious fires which have damaged or destroyed some camp buildings in recent years, and asked for help in the investigations. He also pledged that the camp will not let the fires deter the scouts from instilling values in young people.

Mike Guinon, chairman of the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce board who gave a miniature replica of the World's Largest Weather Vane to Niziol in recognition of the camp's anniversary, said Owasippe has been an important part of the community. "They bring a lot of people to our community. They have been an asset for a long time." Whitehall Mayor Norman Ullman said a lot of scouts who camped at Owasippe, now live in the area.

The picnic was attended by chamber of commerce members, Mayor Ullman, Montague Mayor Henry Roesler Jr., Blue Lake Township Supervisor Don Studaven who retired as director of Owasippe Scout Reservation in 1994, and State Rep. Gerald Van Woerkom.

(Editor's Note: For those interested, a demonstration of the new COPE course was provided by that staff including an exciting slide down the zip line by Ginger Russell, a member of the COPE staff and a citizen of Whitehall)

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Canoeing Buddies

LEFT: Camp Reneker CITs huddle together to stay warm after their canoe trip down the White River which ended at Diamond Bend only after their canoes mysteriously capsized enroute. They still managed to smile nicely for the camera and were in terrific spirits. Photo courtesy Ron Kulak, July 2000.


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LOGGING AND TREE/BUSH TRIMMING

From what can be surmised, about 200 trees were taken out of campsites at Camp Carlen...very few stumps of which showed signs of rotting or disease by this writer. IF what Rob Pruden says below is true, It would be amazing to know that the only such diseased trees on the reservation are at those very Carlen campsites which have stood the test of time with all the oaks on the reservation. There has yet to be any objective forestry study done other than by the logger whose interests are only self-serving. To date, I am not aware of any Council-planned reforestation program at Camp Carlen, but the camp staff there is eager to start one during the course of the summer.

The same such "trimming" that was done early on at Camp Reneker is now being done at the Milton Gray Staff Village by "hunt club" volunteers on weekends who are removing sassafrass, milkweed, lower tree branches, and other tall perennials. One has to wonder if this club's time can be better used elsewhere. Actually, what was trimmed at Reneker does not look bad and has given it a "KOA Campground" look. But, have any of you ever complained of the natural growth, shrubs, and wildflowers growing in abundance around the reservation unaltered by us humans?? I think this may be one of the reasons why "we return so faithfully each year"! --- Ron Kulak

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We addressed the removing of trees in Carlen because of the many hazards of the dead trees. The black Oak is dying at a rapid rate in this camp. Many of the trees are hollow half way up the tree or at the base. It is becoming a growing concern in all of the camps.....Those who have seen the cut at Carlen feel that it is right and needed to be done. I will admit the timing should have been in the fall, but the decision wasn't made until spring. The COPE course decisions were made by others and passed on to me. In order to construct a course on poles, trees had to be eliminated. Twenty-two trees were removed on the hill and smaller pines were removed off the hill for the zip line.

I am amazed at all the talk by so many when so few have actually been at camp to see the area. The cutting at Reneker came as a result of talks with law enforcement to open the area up to make it more secure. Menasha had nothing to do with the removal of the Scrub oak that was there. Roofs are rotting because they get no sunlight. We had complaints last year because of tall grass and small trees all over. We are planning on mowing the area and keeping it looking nice.

--- Rob Pruden, Past Owasippe Property Manager

Carlen Logged Sites #7 c-2001

The Carlen Staff hard at work setting up Site 10 during staff week amid all of the debris and slag leftover from the devastating logging job done in that vicinity just prior to the opening of camp. Most of the shade trees, the old growth oaks, were taken out in the area of Sites 7-8-9-10-11 purportedly because of "heart rot" but no conclusive signs of that could be found. The camp allegedly received $35,000 for this logging operation. To date, no reforestation effort has occurred at this location.

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS!

OK...We're going to take a trip down memory lane...to 1983 and the days of disco and leisure suits, to the tunes of the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson, when President Reagan was busy fighting communism and "voodoo economics", to the 5th anniversary of the OSA and the building and rehabbing of all the rifle ranges at Owasippe, to at time when Ron Kulak actually still had some hair on his noggin, to the time when one week at Owasippe cost only $75 and a Reneker cabin for one week would run $80, when 70% of Owasippe was made up of units and Scouts from Chicago Area Council, and when Owasippe actually was running 7 periods plus staff week with 5 fully-staffed and operating section camps...

CAMP ADMINISTRATION...

***Res Director, James L Chandler
***Asst Res Dir/Program, George Sparks
***Asst Res Dir/Properties, Ed Hoolehan
***Asst Res Dir/Services, Bill McCahill
***Business Manager, Glenn Roberts
***Blackhawk Director, Dave Schlichting
***Carlen Director, Rick Lowy
***Crown Director, John Kyle
***Health Lodge Director, Denise Cassidy
***Reneker Director, Terri Horvath
***Wolverine Director, Bill Schaefer

OUTPOST CAMPS: Fishing, Frogman, Horsemanship, Wagon Trail, Sailing, Survival, Indian Lore, The Ultimate Challenge (COPE), and White River Engineering and Lumber Co.

PLUS...the Voyageur Program required that a First Class Scout and a 3rd-yr camper had to canoe 40 miles, hike 15 miles on the reservation, visit all of the outpost camps, visit at least two other section camps, and complete an approved conservation project...Whew!!!

Yes, those were the days! What were you doing in 1983?


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FAMILY CAMP BEGINNINGS

Camp Reneker f/k/a/ "Family Camp" was completed and opened in 1964 along the Maintenance Shop and Health Lodge located at Ad Center. The dedication for all of the new facilities (Ad Center, Trading Post, Food Prep, the 2 cooks dorms, Wolverine North, Wolverine South, Health Lodge, Maintenance, Rangers Residences and Family Camp) was in July 1965.

The OSR buildings were completed after Camp Yorkville was opened (AKA Hoover) and the Rangers Residences at Owasippe, Hoover and Camp Crete are from the same blueprints.

Model cabin on Lake Wolverine was the prototype for the Reneker cabins and what was built for the A & B sides were a modified version of what we know as Model Cabin.

Staff village has 19 cabins. Number 20 was at Reneker but fell to a fire in 1973.

CAC had a Camp Capital Campaign between 1959 and about 1961 to fund the expansion and building programs.

--- George Johnson

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