Thursday, June 1, 2017

BoyPower event was a success

Wonderful evening last night at the BoyPower Dinner. "Thank you" to everyone who made it a smashing success and congratulations again to our honorees. Here's the Daily News' report:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shotgun range campaign close to goal

We are VERY close to reaching our fundraising goal of $12,000 for the new shotgun range. People have been very generous. Between the donations website and direct checks, we're at $10,500! Encourage your friends to help us get there by giving either through the donations website or by sending a check to Iroquois Trail Council 201 East Main Street, Batavia, NY, 14020

Friday, February 24, 2017

Silver Beaver honoree: Nathan Pace

Nathan Pace’s Scouting history includes decades of service in several Boy Scout councils. On the local level he has served in a variety of roles, including Crew Advisor, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, Charter Organization Representative, District Committee Member. An experienced camper, he has served on camp staff at 2 camps as a National Camp School Certified staff member.

An Eagle Scout himself, Nathan is both son to an Eagle Scout and father of 2 Eagles. His 2 younger sons are working toward Eagle.

An attorney in private practice, his community service includes former terms as a City Council Member in Kaysville, Utah, and membership on the Utah State Board of Bar Examiners, as well as ongoing current service as Assistant Public Defender in Orleans County.

In his practice he has worked as a law guardian in Family Court in multiple counties representing the needs of children whose parents’ behavior has brought court action. In his practice he offers dispute resolution, mediation, and family advisement.

In addition to Scouting and community service, he is deeply devoted to his faith, and has served his church in various leadership roles. Most recently he served as Bishop of the Lockport Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his currently calling is to serve as President of the Buffalo Stake of the LDS Church.

President Pace’s leadership role in the Church and as an active member of the Iroquois Trail Council Executive Board helped him to facilitate a long-desired coming together of the Council’s mission with that of the church, which is to offer Scouts an amazing summer camp experience while also offering formal training to their adult leaders modeled on the training offered at the Philmont Training Center.

His inspirational leadership has helped to bring together a dedicated group of local volunteers who have poured heart and soul into launching the Zion’s Camp program at Camp Dittmer. Chief among the camp’s objectives is to teach troop leaders how better to help lead the Scouts to become better young men, better husbands, fathers, and leaders.

The Nationally-recognized Zion’s Camp program has had a transformative effect on the boys and men who attended, and has also helped to improve the overall program and infrastructure at Camp Dittmer, improving the outcomes for all of our local Scouts.

For his long service to youth and his community, and for his guidance, vision, and leadership, the Iroquois Trail Council is pleased to recognize Nathan Daniel Pace with the Silver Beaver Award.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Silver Beaver Honoree: Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has been a Scouting volunteer for more than 10 years. She has served in various roles in her local pack, including Tiger Leader, Den Leader, Webelos Leader, and Committee Member. Recently she has also taken on the role of Crew Advisor and lends a hand with her local Troop.

Beyond service to her local Scouting units, Lisa is an indispensable part of the Seneca District volunteer team. As an instructor for Basic Cub Leader Training and Den Chief Training since 2009, she has helped to teach hundreds of other leaders how to be successful at delivering an excellent Scouting program. A dynamic and creative instructor, she has carried over her enthusiasm for training by leading the district’s Cub Scout Leader Roundtable for the past several years. She has also shared her knowledge with others as part of the Area 3 Commissioner College training staff.

A perennial volunteer staffer for Day Camp and the Cub Scout Spookoree, Lisa has also stepped forward to take the lead on the district’s fund raising team, heading up the annual Popcorn Sale campaign and inspiring others to share in her love and support of Scouting as chair of the annual Family Friends of Scouting donation campaign. Her love and enthusiasm for the Scouting program inspires all of us at the District and Council level.

Her most recent project is the development of a local Scouters’ Cookbook, a fund raising project that will feature all of our favorite recipes.

Her hard work, support, and tireless dedication for Seneca District was recognized with the 2011 District Award of Merit.

This former resident of Colorado also keeps pretty busy outside of Scouting. She has sung in her church choir, been active as a Girl Scout and 4H leader, and served as a Class Advisor at Batavia High School.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spring camporee

The 2017 Spring Camporee will be held at Camp Sam Wood from April 28th to 30th. It will have a special focus on map and compass skills which are Scouting super powers that you must have to properly tackle wilderness adventures in the Adirondacks, Canada or Philmont. The info packet can be downloaded here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bob Confer's speech from our annual dinner

If you were unable to attend our annual dinner this past weekend, here's the transcript of Council President Bob Confer's speech...

If you’re a sports fan, you know that the sports world was full of improbable comebacks over the past year.

Down 3 games to 1 in the NBA Championships against the best team in history, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers came back to win it all.

Then, in the Major League Baseball playoffs, the Chicago Cubs also came back from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate more than a century of misery.

And, last week….we got to see one of the most exhilarating Super Bowls ever when Tom Brady willed the Patriots to a win after being 25 points down.

Those were all awesome wins.

But they’re sports.

They're fun to watch, but do they really impact our day to day lives?


But we were all involved in a comeback that did matter.

Everyone in this room contributed to a team effort that saw us win our own championship of sorts.

To understand that comeback, let’s go back in time to 2015.

2015 was not a good year for us. The Council’s finances were in the red. Camp attendance was down. Membership was down by more than 6%.

A lot of Councils would have a hard time coming back from that. Some never do.

But, like LeBron James and Tom Brady, everyone in this room, and all of our teammates not with us tonight, had a commitment to excellence…a sense of urgency…a desire to win our game ---- which is the game of Scouting.

2016 was one of those magical comebacks.

We went from being down in the dumps, to reaching the pinnacle --- in 2016 we became a Gold Council, something that less than 25% of all councils achieve in a given year.

That’s means we are the best of the best.

Fall recruitment was more than 20% higher than 2015 despite significant and immediate drops in the population of available youth in the area that surpassed 20% over the past 4 years.

Now, 1 in 4 boys who are of Cub Scout age across our 5 counties are Cub Scouts.

Camp attendance exploded, not only because of Zion’s camp but because of our scouts having a renewed interest, a new love affair, with our wonderful camps.

For the 10th year in a row we led all of NY in camping.

And, the Council made money.

We all came back.

The Council succeeded because YOU succeeded.

YOU are the Council.

It’s a team effort ---  from our packs, troops and posts….to our district and council committees…to our executives and office staff…to our camp staffs and rangers.

It takes a lot of people with special talents to make a sports team win….it takes a lot more people with more special talents to make a Council win.

And how do we measure our wins?

Being a Gold Council is nice…as a matter of fact, it’s pretty darn awesome.

But that’s not our Super Bowl trophy or World Series ring.

What’s our trophy?

It’s the smile on the cub scout having fun at the Pinewood Derby.

It’s the young man becoming having that Eagle Scout medal pinned to his uniform.

It’s the pride we take when one of our scouts goes on to become a great husband, father and citizen.

Our trophies don’t sit on a shelf.

Our trophies are real.

So, thank you for engineering that comeback in 2016 and for being at the top of your game.

You do things that really matter.

And, America can’t thank you enough for that.

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jim Van Arsdale, scouting friend, has passed away

The Council and the whole community lost a great friend and supporter in Jim Van Arsdale who passed away at 97 years of age. An incredibly nice and caring gentleman, Jim has had a life-long affiliation with the Boy Scouts that saw him earn the Eagle and Silver Beaver awards, serve as a leader, and run countless fundraisers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this incredible man.

Here is Jim's obituary:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Annual awards banquet

At the Iroquois Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America annual Volunteer Awards Dinner held Saturday, volunteers Lisa M. Brown of Batavia and Nathan D. Pace of Medina were honored with the council’s highest award: the Silver Beaver Award.

The Silver Beaver is a National BSA award that recognizes distinguished service to local youth.

Each recipient is a long-tenured volunteer who has also made significant contributions of service to their local community.

Brown’s decade-long scouting service includes a variety of roles including Cub Scout Den Leader, Webelos Leader, Training Committee Member and Fundraising Chair. Brown is employed in the administrative offices of the Batavia City Schools. Part of an active Scouting family, both her son and daughter have been active in Scouting, and husband Bill is currently a Scoutmaster in Batavia.

Eagle Scout Pace’s long Scouting history includes a former tenure as a Scoutmaster among numerous other direct leadership roles. An attorney in Orleans County, Pace also currently serves as president of the Buffalo Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he has been instrumental in helping to develop new leadership training and camping opportunities for youth and adults throughout Western New York.

The council was itself recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the 2016 Journey to Excellence Gold Award for program excellence.

Local Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders were recognized for program excellence in the areas of advancement, camping, membership recruitment and retention, and helping Scouts to meet their funding needs.

Several youth members were also recognized, including Explorer Ashley Chapman (Caledonia) and Boy Scout Tyler Mutka (Corfu).

A member of the Caledonia Fire Department’s Explorer Post, Chapman was recently named the Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association’s 2016 Explorer of the Year. Exploring is the coeducational young adult program of the Boy Scouts of America.

Mutka topped the list of 2016 popcorn sellers with Popcorn Sales of $5,125. The sale raises money for Scout programs, and also qualifies Mutka for a national college scholarship program. This is Mutka’s sixth year as top seller among Scouts in a five-county area. Several other Scouts will soon be inducted into the scholarship program.

The Iroquois Trail Council provides development, leadership, and life skills to more than 2,500 youth in Orleans, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston counties. To contact the council or enroll, visit or call (585) 343-0307.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Explore Post in Warsaw

Thinking about a career in emergency services, a medical career, or in public service or the military? Find out about the Explorer Program hosted by the Waraw Fire Department and Sheriff's Office, at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Warsaw fire hall, Route 20A.

This informational meeting is for boys and girls between 14 and 18 years old interested in the program. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend this free meeting.

For more information call Chrissy Ferrin (585) 297-2872 or Dave Greig (585) 322-5851 or Marily Werner, district executive of Iroquois Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America (585) 343-0307

This Explorer Program is sponsored by the Warsaw Fire Department in conjunction with the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Post.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Niagara Chocolates sale

The council is once again coordinating a special fundraising activity designed to help every Scout to get to camp. Cubs and Scouts who attend our local camps will earn a 50% commission on these sale items.

The Niagara Chocolates Candy Sale is underway now with orders due on Feb 20, featuring an assortment of Easter and other spring-themed candies. Sales kits are now available at both the Lockport and Batavia Service Centers.

Sales kits are available at both the Batavia and Lockport Scout Shops.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Volunteers needed at Council level

The Iroquois Trail Council has some immediate needs for volunteers at the council level. The list of some of the open positions can be found below.

If you know of someone interested or someone who may be a good candidate, please contact Council President Bob Confer and Council Executive Jim McMullen via email. Bob’s address is and Jim’s is

Membership Chair: This is a critical and immediate need for the Council. We have been without a council-level Membership Chair for nearly a year and a half. This person would manage the membership and customer-directed marketing activities of the Council, overseeing a team that would also include district-level membership chairs and other volunteers. The typical workload of this role would be: One Council board meeting per month in Batavia; one Membership Committee meeting per month in Batavia; and behind-the-scenes planning, implementation and follow-up which may be 1 to 2 hours per week of "homework" (which has seasonal peaks with recruiting drives).

Council diversity champion: This new position will aid in our goal of bringing Scouting to underserved populations -- namely, African-American and Hispanic families within our four largest communities, Lockport, Medina, Albion, and Batavia. This individual will work closely with the Membership Chair, Council President and Council Executive in reaching out to church/school/community leaders of those communities and recruiting leaders and youth who will join our existing units. The diversity chair will report to the Membership Chair and attend one Membership Committee meeting per month in Batavia.  

Eagle Alumni committee – 4 total openings, 1 of which will be the chair: This new committee will begin to develop a number of Eagle alumni initiatives from outreach to regular get-togethers to scholarships to events recognizing our newest Eagles. This committee will meet every other month, likely in Batavia, and should be made up solely of Eagles. Workload outside of the meetings depends on the events/activities the committee is willing to undertake. The chair of this committee will report to and interact with the Council Executive and Council President.  

Cub Camp Coordinators meeting

This is just a quick reminder about this week's special Camp Coordinators Meeting, January 25 at the Council office in Batavia, 201 East Main Street, 7:00 pm, in the upstairs board room.

This meeting is for Camp Coordinators old and new. We'll review the details of how to plan your Pack's Cub Scout Summer Camp Experience, how to simplify the process for you and your Scout families, and how to manage the 'paperwork' that goes along with camp registration.

With the Camping season a short six months away, we will help you get ready by sharing all the tools and paper work you'll need to get every Scout registered and ready for Camp.

Key to your success over the next few months will be your enthusiasm as Leader or Camp coordinator at Den and Pack meetings. Any time you talk about Camp it should be clear that Camp is your Pack's summer program, that you expect each boy to attend. Camp is your extra-long summer Pack Meeting - one that's filled with wonderful, once a year activities and opportunities!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Klondike Derby 2017

The Council-wide Klondike Derby will be held February 24-26, 2017 at the Medina Conservation Club. For details about the event, download the info and registration packet here:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Okpik training at Camp Dittmer

There will be an Okpik cold weather training course offered at Camp Dittmer in February. Okpik is a combination of classroom & outdoor style training designed to make the participants aware of the physiology and psychological aspects of cold weather & winter camping, as well as the great variety of winter camping equipment that’s available or can be assembled from traditional 3 season gear. This training will give you the skills and confidence to lead a winter campout and ensure a safe and fun experience for all of your Scouts! The flier and registration form can be downloaded here as a PDF:

Monday, January 16, 2017

ITC is gold

We're excited to share the news that the Iroquois Trail Council achieved Gold Level in the BSA's Journey to Excellence in 2016.

This is based on the cumulative results of every unit, every volunteer and every staff member in the Council. Thank you to each of you for the time and effort that you invest to bring an excellent and exciting Scouting program to your town and to our region.

This is a major accomplishment and a reason to celebrate. Typically, only 25% of councils across the country achieve Gold status. It's something we did in 2014, too.

Our scouts are positioned to succeed in Scouting and in life because of the top-notch programming they are given by you. They will grow up to be exceptional husbands, fathers and leaders. THANK YOU!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lonsberry helps launch shotgun range fund drive

Today on Bob Lonsberry's show on WHAM 1180 we officially launched the initiative to build a shotgun and firearms instruction range at Camp Dittmer. This facility will complement our existing rifle range and give scouts access to a world-class shotgun shooting experience. You can donate to this project via the following website or you can mail a check to the Scout office in Batavia (the photo is an example of similar facilities...ours will look a little different):