Update on Critical District Issues: District Comm. Meeting Times, Medicine River, District Calendar

Dear Scouters,

We have received many excellent questions and requests for clarification on a number of issues facing us in Lewis and Clark District as we enter a new Scouting Year.  The next district meeting is coming up on Tuesday September 2 at the Great Falls East Stake Center.  It was noted that the district calendar has the meeting at 7pm, which would be a change from tradition.  If there are no major objections let’s try an even earlier time of 6:30 pm on September 2.  We’ll discuss a proposal to make this a “permanent” change at the meeting itself to make sure it works for folks in the long term.

Next, I had a more in-depth conversation with council leadership about their feelings on Medicine River Scout Center.  There is not a hearty appetite at this time on the council level for development of such a facility in any context or location.  The council has been focused lately on orchestrating major improvements to our Montana Council Scout Camps.  Improving our existing Scout Camp assets is a worthy goal from any perspective, and one that we on the district level should heartily support.  I suggested that, taking advantage of coincidence, now is a great time to pursue something like MRSC, as well.  The program benefits of a facility with the potential of Medicine River, it’s proximity and size, are hard to underestimate for our district.  In the short period that we have occupied the site, it has served us well on a number of levels.  The list of possible uses ranges from a permanent home for Cub Day Camp to episodic use for camporees, trainings, Courts of Honor, Crossover ceremonies.  Even a council camporee is not out of the realm of possibility for this site.  Long story short, I do believe if we can demonstrate that Lewis and Clark District, the home of the council headquarters, can promote, develop and utilize this site as a integral part of an excellent Scouting program, we’ll earn their blessing.  That said, there is a great deal of work left to be done and we’ll need commitments from volunteers at every level to succeed.  What this effort looks like will emerge from conversation amongst ourselves at District Meetings, Roundtables, Unit Meetings, Campouts etc.  We’ll resume the discussion at the District Meeting on September 2, 6:30 pm.

Lastly, there were further questions about the year’s calendar and inaccurate or missing dates on the website calendar.  We will flesh those dates out in the coming month, and hopefully arrive at something that resembles life as it happens, or die trying.

I’m looking forward to seeing a huge crowd of fired-up Scouters at the District Meeting.  It’s going to be an exciting year – I promise.

Yours in Scouting,

Peter Jennings   Chairman   Lewis and Clark District Committee

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