April 2013
Vol 6, Issue 4

The Dispatch
Monthly News
for Marin Council Leaders
and Friends



A young man stands along the ridge line. His pack rests on his shoulders and in his hand is a compass. Behind him, twenty other Scouts are winding up the trail. Behind the Scouts are their volunteer leaders who have entrusted the lead Scout to guide the troop into camp for the night.


The young man on the ridge line had checked his compass bearing frequently during the hike. The anxiety he felt in the morning when asked to lead the troop has been replaced with confidence as he sees the trail leading down the lake where they will make camp. Quietly, he recalls the training he received at camp and in Scout meetings that had readied him for this day. With just a breeze surrounding him and against a setting sun, he realizes that the badge of rank on his uniform is not there to boast of his accomplishments but instead to signify his preparedness.


He turns towards the Scouts as they join him on the ridge line and points to the trail leading to the lake where they'll camp. "We're almost there," he says with a grin and repeats, "We're almost there."


During the coming months each of our Scouts will have a moment like this. It will be a moment of accomplishment when a Scout's skills will be put into action, and a leader will emerge. This moment might occur at Marin Sierra, Tamarancho, on the trail, or even in a Scout's home. That moment is why we are here; that moment is Scouting in Marin.

In This Issue
Camp Tamarancho Voted To Camp
Summer Camp Staff
Youth Deserve Trained Leaders
Facility Help and Report
National Jamboree Patches
Talako Lodge
Advancement: We Need You!
Slanes Flat
Friends of Scouting
NRA Basic Muzzle-loading Rifle
Report to the Nation
Commissioner Corner
Take Scouts to the Ball Game!
Join Our Mailing List!

Quick Links
Cub Scout Camping Committee Updates

Camp Tamarancho Voted a Top Camping Destination!


Marin Council's own Camp Tamarancho was voted one of Marin County's best overnight camps in the 2013 Pacific Sun "Best of Marin" reader's poll. The Cub Camping Committee and council are extremely proud of this recognition for the efforts of our volunteers and staff and would like to thank all Scouters and non-Scouters who voted!


Family Fiesta: Myths & Legends! May 17-19


Want to experience first-hand why Tamarancho was recognized as a great destination? Join Cub Camping and the troops of Marin Council for a weekend of Scouting fun, May 17-19, at Family Fiesta. This year's theme is Myths & Legends and will feature a wide range of activities to choose from as your entire family travels the path of a hero's journey. Sign up today to secure your spot before they are all gone! Registration forms are available here.

For more information about Cub Scout camping and to get involved, please email or call Committee Chair David Pearce at 415-203-6052 or the council office at 415-454-1081.


Cub Scout Day Camp


Just a reminder that if you are signing your Scout up for Cub Scout Day Camp, do it soon. These popular camps are filling up quickly. The July session is already "wait list only," and the June and August sessions are filling up. You can download the forms on our web site

Camp Staff Needed for Our Camps

Marin Council is proud to have to great camping facilities, which host some of the best Scout camps in the region. For generations, the council has offered exciting and adventurous camping opportunities to young people in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Great summer camps do not happen without great staff. The staff pictured above--during the first year of operation at Camp Marin Sierra--were vital to the future success of the camp. Likewise, having top-notch staff at both Camp Marin Sierra and Camp Tamarancho today works to ensure our continued success at both of these facilities. Camp Tamarancho being voted one of the best camps by the Pacific Sun (see article above) was largely due to the excellence of the people working there.

Summer camp is proven to be one of the greatest experiences and advancement opportunities in Scouting. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts who attend long-term camps are more likely to stay in and enjoy Scouting than those who do not.

There are opportunities to work at these excellent camps Marin Council offers. During the summer months, there are three Cub Scout day camps at Camp Tamarancho as well as Boy Scout resident camp for six weeks at Camp Marin Sierra. Working at summer camp is one of the most rewarding and fun experiences a youth can have.

However, don't wait; the time to apply is now. While there is no application deadline, the people who apply early have a better chance of being hired as well as securing the job they desire. Already, many applications have arrived in our office. If you or someone you know would like to apply, you can download the applications from our web site: Cub Scout Camp and Boy Scout Camp. Age requirements are listed on the forms.
Every Youth Deserves a Trained Leader


We have some outstanding courses being offered this spring to ensure our youth have trained Leaders and that our Adult Volunteers are having the best experience possible. Sign up now!   

You can come Friday night for BSLST and stay over that night if you want to attend IOLST on Saturday/Sunday, and finish BSLST Sunday afternoon. Continental breakfast will be provided Saturday morning for those that stay over.


If you are interested in additional training, either more date choices or additional courses, just let us know by clicking this link.
Properties Committee Report for 2012


The Spring Party Is Here!


Much was achieved again this year due to a seasoned and committed group of volunteers who contributed substantial time and effort in maintaining and improving the council properties. We have challenges and opportunities for the coming year in moving towards our goals outlined in the new strategic plan and our goal of First Class facilities to support the council programs. Rob Flatland continues improvement and implementation of the surveys to assess camp improvement needs for the updating of our camp strategic plan.


The Marin Council Camp Preservation Endowment Fund has begun with a gift from William and Joanne Murray, Jr. in the amount of $100,000. This will benefit our camps long in to the future and give us a jump start on increasing the fund for future camp maintenance. What a fantastic gift from the Murrays.


It's a party! Work parties! Hey, they are just that, party time! Could there be more fun than a party with great food, activities, and friends? That's what we do, combined with a little aerobic activity to keep the conversation lively. Please consider helping with these important work parties at your camps. We can used skilled and unskilled labor. 


Here are the dates:


Marin Sierra Camp Power Opening Weekend, May 25-27


Marin Sierra Ibach Lodge party, June 1-2


Marin Sierra commissary roof party, August 17-18


Read more . . .
Marin Council National Jamboree Patches
The Marin Jamboree Troop preparations are well underway for the upcoming expedition to Scoutings' new high adventure base and permanent home for the National Jamboree: The Summit Bechtel Reserve. As part of the Marin Jambo fundraising effort, the troop will be offering Marin Council the opportunity to obtain the same set of exciting patches that the Marin Jamboree Scouts will be wearing to Summit for your donation to help offset trip expenses.

Click here to download the patch catalog.

April Order of the Arrow Announcement

April 19-21 -- Spring Ordeal at Camp Tamarancho


Our Spring Ordeal will be at Camp Tamarancho on April 19-21. We still have many Scouts in the council who were elected in the Fall but who have not yet taken their Ordeal. If you have someone in your troop in this category, encourage them to take the Ordeal. The spring 2013 elected will be receiving their invitations soon. Last date to register is April 15. If you were elected but did not receive your invitation, please contact OA Lodge Chief Kenny Larsen.  


If you are a member of the Order of the Arrow (past or present), and interested in helping or attending, please come and share the fellowship, relive the mysteries of the ceremonies, and partake in a feast by chef extraordinaire, Ed Vorous. You can contact your Troop OA representative or Mr. Chris Cardinal, Lodge Advisor.


We look forward to seeing all of you at Tamarancho.
Advancement: We Need You!

Are you a Scouting adult who wants to volunteer but does not have a lot of time to give? Do you enjoy working with our youth and helping them to find their way down the Scouting path? Are you a Scout who recently became an adult and would like to continue being involved with scouting? Then the advancement committee needs you!


The Marin Council Advancement Committee is a rewarding way to volunteer at the council level. Many opportunities require various degrees of commitment ranging from just a few hours working on a simple project to leading a subcommittee. No previous experience is needed!


All that is required is a few hours of time and a desire to work with our youth in one of the most rewarding aspects of Scouting. If you would like more information on opportunities with the advancement committee, please contact the council office.

Looking for a Unique Campout?

Try Slanes Flat near the Yolla Bolly Wilderness. Slanes Flat is Marin Council's very own "high adventure" camp. The best time of year for Slanes Flat is May, June, and July, so get your reservation in now. It presents terrific opportunities for practicing lots of campcraft, discovering new hiking and backpacking trails, and loads of fun. Contact Tim Wells for more details, including directions and the key to the lock that opens the gate to this unique, remote camping site.  

Friends of Scouting


The Marin Council Annual Fundraising campaign, Friends of Scouting (FOS), is underway. Thanks go out to our families, community supporters, and council leaders who have already made their contribution. We'd like to remind you of some important considerations regarding Friends of Scouting and what it means to our council and to you:

  • The Friends of Scouting campaign accounts for nearly 25% of our council's annual operating budget. These funds support every facet of our council ranging from camp needs, program support, insurance and infrastructure expenses, as well as keeping the costs of our programs affordable for the majority of our families.
  • We ask you to consider the Family Level donation of $250; Marin Council subsidizes the average Scout's program cost by this amount each year. Some donors are able to give more, some give less. Regardless of the gift amount, every donation is appreciated and does make a difference.
  • Many donors find they can maximize their gift and enter into higher donation circles by pledging a larger amount and paying monthly or quarterly installments. Council can mail reminder notices or simply bill your credit card or debit card on a schedule you decide. Donors of $500 and above are included in our Major Donor circle in recognition of their support.
  • 100% of your donation stay local in the Marin Council directed towards Marin Scouts and Marin Council camps. The fees the Marin Council pays to the BSA nationally are generously underwritten through a select group of executive board members so that every penny of your donation remains local, benefitting our local programs.
  • Your FOS donation is tax deductible. Depending on your tax situation and age you may want to consider gifting methods through IRA distributions or gifts of appreciated securities.
  • And most importantly, know that your FOS gift does make a difference in the quality and sustainability of our council and the youth we serve.
NRA Basic Muzzle-loading Rifle Training Class

The Marin Council Shooting Sports is extremely excited to offer an NRA Basic Muzzle-loading Rifle course. Now is your chance to become knowledgeable about the safe gun handling of firearms used in the days of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. This course will give you the skills, knowledge, and attitude to safely use a muzzle-loading rifle as you learn how to safely handle a muzzle-loading rifle, parts of the rifle, sighting, how to load and fire, shooting positions, range commands, safe gun handling, care, cleaning, and storage of muzzle-loading rifles.



This is the perfect class to take for everything you ever wanted to know about muzzle-loading rifles! The class is 12 hours and will be offered starting on Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23, 2013. Cost is $75. Minimum age is 21. All must be BSA registered. CUT OFF DATE for registering is Friday, June 7, 2013. Class size: minimum 4, maximum 14. See Marin Council web site for the registration form.  


The course classroom time will be offered at the Marin Council Service Center in San Rafael and range time at Camp Tamarancho. If participation is high, we may also offer a Certified Muzzle-loading Rifle Instructor course at the same time. The class portion will be held at the Marin Council Service Center Friday, June 21 from 7-10PM, Saturday, June 22 from 9AM-6PM and will include open book instruction, lecture, PowerPoint slides, student participation presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on handling of muzzle-loading rifles. NRA Manual & binder will be supplied to all participants. Range time will be Sunday, June 23 from 9AM-5PM at Camp Tamarancho. Eye and hearing protection is required for the range. Range time is outdoors. Dress for range time according to weather. Muzzle-loading rifles will be supplied by the class. Do not bring firearms or ammunition to class.


You will also need to bring a check or credit card to the class in order to register with the NRA for your certificates and processing fees which will be about $40. This is separate from the class fee. You will need to be an NRA member (required). Please register to be an NRA member at www.nra.org before the class. If you have any questions contact Berne Holman.


2012 Report to the Nation

Awhile back, the BSA gave their 2012 Report to the Nation as they do every year. Representatives from across America in every level of Scouting went to Washington, DC, to meet with officials there.

An infographic was produced as a short recap of last year. It really puts into perspective the magnitude of the Scouting program. Take a look.

Click here to read the entire article.
The Commissioner Corner

In 2013, your commissioners have a new assignment to add to their portfolios for visitations to your unit: the Unit Service Plan. Some of you may have heard about it already, and some are already assessing what Journey To Excellence areas could be aided by help from outside the unit.


Here's what each unit (among the unit leaders) should do by the end of April. (1) Get the 2013 Journey to Excellence template, (2) realistically apply the numbers that you accomplished in 2012 to the 2013 standards, and (3) then assess which requirements you may have challenges improving or sustaining within the unit. At this point you should (4) contact your unit commissioner and ask to sit down and discuss the results of this assessment.


Read more . . . 

Take Scouts out to the Ball Game!


Head for the Pacifics  


Experience baseball like it used to be: up close, exciting and lots of fun!


Marin County's own minor-league team, the San Rafael Pacifics, is ready to start the 2013 season after winning the 2012 North American League Championship. Opening Day is June 11!


The Pacifics invite your pack, troop, or crew to come to a game this summer, and we've got ticket discount plans and pre-game party options in one of our fun party areas at Albert Park. We've got lots of great package deals that even include throwing out the first pitch or take batting practice with the team!


Book your event by emailing Kim Biss or call 415-640-4504 You can get additional information on tickets, parties, or merchandise on our web site.



Oakland A's Scout Day: May 19


The A's are inviting units to come to the game on May 19 against the Royals. 

Troops and groups of 25 people or more get tickets discounted.


Click here to download the flyer. 


Marin Council is blessed to be made up of nearly 2,000 families who participate in Scouting. While we have a common goal to provide a great experience to the youth we serve, since we are comprised of so many families it is not unusual for disagreements to sometimes emerge; we are after all only human. Most disagreements in Scouting involve issues at the unit level. Generally those can be resolved internally through open and honest communications that depend on your unit's leadership structure with the committee chair taking the lead.


However, sometimes matters cannot be resolved so easily, and a second level of resolution needs to be undertaken working through your unit's chartered organization representative assisted by your unit commissioner. Since each unit is chartered annually to a chartered organization, the chartered representative does have authority to ensure the smooth operation of the units they charter. Commissioners, council staff, and chartered representatives work together to help mediate situations and advise volunteers on BSA policy (if applicable) or to help bring divergent opinions to light to assist units in continuing to offer a Scouting program that meets the needs of the families in a specific unit.


Differences of opinion should be approached modeling the behavior we want our youth to follow: namely, adhering to the Scout Law and especially the first point: Trustworthy. Parents and Scouters who disagree on a matter should be upfront, objective, and honest. When chartered representatives and commissioners do not have all the information or are steered to an overly one-sided view of the situation, mistakes and errors of judgment can occur and those can be detrimental to all of us. Keeping the Scout Oath and Law in mind will help prevent disagreements from becoming dysfunctions.


Thank you for all you do for Scouting, and remember that the most important parts of our council are the youth we serve!
Marin Council, Boy Scouts of America