Posted by John Gillis
May 9, 2024
President Elect-Elect Jared Campbell, welcomed all to the Club with the Camp for Kids. We stood for the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the Philmont Grace prayer by Past President Jim Porter. One guest of our members and guests of our speaker were introduced. We recognized the following Club anniversaries:  Joanna Sebelien (21 years), Mary Kingsley (19 years), and Sandra Benton (11 years). Jared thanked the May birthday celebrants who served as greeters and then welcomed Past President Tony Andresen to the podium to review the Camp Centennial festivities over the next two weeks and to encourage volunteer sign-ups for the Open House on May 18 and the Thursday luncheon on May 23. In the absence of Eric Bubb who was said to be giving interviews for the upcoming Greater KC Day, also occurring this coming week, Jared encouraged support for Greater KC Day starting with the Pep Rally at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Wednesday, May 15 at 4:30 and the actual GKC Day celebration at the Monarchs’ game the following evening.
Jared then made a big announcement regarding future lunch meetings. First, there will be no lunch meetings the following three Thursdays beginning May 16 which is Greater KC Day, the Centennial Luncheon at the Camp on May 23, and the Fifth Thursday on May 30. And, the very last meeting we will have at the Kill Devil Club will be June 6 with Memorial Day. The following Thursday, June 13, we will begin meeting at the Crowne Plaza located at 1301 Wyandotte Street. There is a parking garage and an easy walk to the meeting location.
Past President David McCaughey then introduced today’s speaker, Tom Fyffe, a member of the Lee’s Summit Rotary Club and the Senior District Executive for the Three Trails District of the Heart of America Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Three Trails District serves the Center, KCMO, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Hickman Mills, and Lone Jack School Districts. The Heart of America Council serves 17,100 youth across 19 counties in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Its mission statement is to “prepare the young people of eastern KS and western MO to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout.” The Council is the #1 Life Sciences Club across the nation, a prestigious honor based on weighing of several factors. The Council has scout camps in Osceola, MO (The H. Roe Bartle Camp) and Kansas City, KS (Theodore Naish Scout Reservation). The Council considers the Rotary Youth Camp a third camp for kids that don’t have opportunities due to health or other limitations.
The Council features four primary programs:  Cub Scouts (youth K-5 working on grade based progressions), Scouts BSA (ages 11-17 working at own pace to obtain Eagle Scout), Venturing (Co-ed program ages 14-20 featuring high adventure and leadership experiences), and Exploring (another Co-ed program ages 15-20 featuring hands on learning for career development through internships and mentoring from experts in various fields, such as law enforcement, emergency responders, aviation, government and law, and skilled trades). The Scoutreach Program meets kids where they are and is an after-school and summer-based program with 116 scouting opportunities. The Council saw 2,800 youth participate in the program last year.
One of the biggest questions addressed the brand change for BSA announced just this week. This change is centered around becoming more inclusive with more opportunities for young ladies to participate in scouting. While there is no plan to merge the BSA with the GSA, there are pilot programs afoot which could lead to some blending in the future. The catalyst for the brand change is to bring the BSA closer to the World Scouting Organization, an international co-ed scouting organization. The Heart of America Council is not participating in any pilot programs and the speed at which any change may occur is presently unknown.
Jared read a quote from Bear Grylls: “What Scouting says to people is:  Every child has a right to have an adventure. Life is about grabbing opportunities.” We collectively said the 4-Way Test together and the meeting adjourned.