Long Range Plan
I remember the first time I walked through the gates of our council camp to spend two weeks in the summer of 1972. I stayed in Chesepeake, which at that time spilled over into the lower area. As I was walking around camp this past summer 32 years later, I marveled at the changes made in the past years: new buildings – Basset, the training center, the storage barn, the renovated ranger house, the Tierney lean-tos; new campsites – Scaticook, Paugassett, Pootatuck, Wepawaug, and new programs, kayaking, rifle, older boy program, First-Class emphasis, to name but a few.
As Council President, I look at the camp with different eyes than that of an 11 year old Tenderfoot. What I marvel at is the work and effort that came together in order to continue to make the camp and the council grow and prosper. I believe that Scouting is an important program for American youth in general and Valley youth in particular and I want to ensure that our council and our camp continues on the wonderful path laid out during these past 84 years of Housatonic Council.
This requires work on all of our part. I look around our council and sometimes all I see are workers. On any given day in our council we have people wielding a hammer at the camp in order to fix a door or build a water tank building. On any given day we have people organizing a campout or planning a fundraiser. On any given day we have people encouraging a Webelo towards crossing over or a Life Scout toward Eagle. On any given day we have a Crew chief recruiting teens to enjoy our Venture program. We have scoutmasters and merit badge counselors, den leaders and crew chiefs, committee people and commissioners. We have assistant adult leaders and community business leaders. We have men and women who spend hours even days making this program all that it could be for our cubs, scouts and venturers. We have council volunteers from advancement committee to training committee, health and safety volunteers and marketing and membership experts. We have budgeters and fundraisers; we have loud boosters and quiet workers. We have you and we have me and over 600 other men and women who make scouting happen in the Valley.
Now our council must look to the future, every five years we start planning process in order to access our success and improve on our weaknesses. We plan to make scouting stronger and better in our council. We plan in order to build for the future. We plan in order to make sure that our 6-year-old Tigers, our 11-year-old tenderfeet, and our 14-year-old Ventureres grow up in the best scouting program possible. Toward that end, I have appointed Edward Sheehy, of Riverview Funeral Home of Shelton and Adzima Funeral home of Derby as the chairman of the Council Long Range Planning Committee. Ed is the immediate past president of the Derby Shelton Rotary Club. He is a well-known and well-respected funeral director. His family has been strong supporters of youth programs in general and scouting in particular in the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
Past long range plans resulted in new programs, new buildings, and new fervor for Scouting in the Valley. I trust that this process that will hopefully conclude in June of 2005 will result in renewing our commitment to our youth for the next five years of our Council. A long-range plan gives us a map, if you will for the future. That future will include new ideas, new programs, and maybe even new buildings for our council and our camp. In order for this plan to be the best it can be, Ed needs all of our cooperation.
We will have need of Scouters with expertise in the following areas: finance, planning, building trades, architecture, health and safety, demographics, and education. Further, we will need Scouters with a good understanding of our traditional programs – cubs, scouts and venturing. If you are interested please call the service center and let me know.
Housatonic Council is one of the gems of our area. I want to see our council to continue to grow and prosper. This Long Range Planning effort will allow us to be the best that we can in providing quality programs to our youth.
I know that you, the registered Scouters of our council do much more that I do each and every day in making scouting happen for our youth. I thank you for all you do and encourage you to continue helping us make Housatonic Council all that it can be.
Yours in Scouting,
(Rev.) Christopher M. Tiano
Housatonic Council Past President