Steve Micke introduced Tom Meyer, District Executive of the Voyageurs Area Boy Scout Council. Tom said he has been involved with Boy Scouts for 50 years, starting in 2nd grade and receiving his Eagle Scout award in 1975.
Then he got involved with scouting again with his kids as their Scoutmaster. Tom showed us an old Boy Scout backpack and how they teach the boys that it's important what you pack in your backpack. Our communities are like a backpack - what you put in, you get out. He told us a story of a backpacking trip he led with scouts to the BWCAW. The river they planned to follow was nothing but mud, so they portaged 18 miles in the mire, nearly sucking the boots off their feet. The boys loved it! Tom has taken 68 scout trips to the BWCAW. It brings challenges to today's kids who lead a more sedentary lifestyle and have no outdoor education. Scouting today is value based and provides positive mentors.
Next, Tom showed us a Power Point of the Voyageurs Area Council. The 4 main programs of the BSA are Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts (age 11 - 17), Venturing (13-20), and Exploring (13-21). A 5th program was added called Sea Scouts, where scouts live in Bayfield and train on 7 sailing ships. Boy Scouts was formed by a General in England as preparation for the military. Now Boy Scouts provides leadership development, trains leaders and mentors, offers citizenship training, advocates nature conservancy, offers physical fitness, and promotes community service. Cloquet has 2 Boy Scout troops. The Voyageurs Area Council needs 3 things - your time, your talents to share, and your financial support. Remember how important it is to pack the right things in your community backpack!