Kevin Marti introduced Melissa who he has known for a couple of months now and said that she and her husband, Craig, were natives of South Dakota and were looking for lake property in Michigan. Melissa assumed the position of Field Service Council Scout Executive for the Southern Shores Council in February of this past year. Southern Shores is the product of the merger between the Great Sauk Trails Council and the Southwest Michigan Council.
The Boy Scouts is 105 years old and girls are also part of the organization as of about 12 years ago and are part of the “Venturing” program (ages 14-20). Melissa serves an 11-county area which are divided into 8 separate districts. Scouting, she said, “is all about the kids” and that the “Boy Scouts is the largest character-building organization in the world and all children have the same potential to succeed”. Kids learn life skills that will carry them through their lives.
Melissa said that the organization is looking for someone to take over the 2 county area of Hillsdale and Lenawee and if we know someone who might like to be considered for the opportunity to let her know. A very involved volunteer in this immediate area is Brian Bowers who serves as District Chairman who will also be providing office space for the new person.
In this area alone, she said, there are over 450 volunteers! Cub Scouts are for kids age 7-10; Boy Scouts – age 11-17. A pilot program for kindergarteners is being tested this year. Their camp in the Kalamazoo/Portage area encourages kids to have fun while they’re there and learn science and technology as well as the arts. Melissa said that in her district there are 773 boys and girls involved in the program, 18 Eagle Scouts in the 2 counties in 2015, 123 cub scouts and 227 boy scouts.
Melissa took an opportunity to thank Gleaner’s for their support by presenting Kevin Marti with a plaque at the end of her presentation.