Wednesday, November 23, 2016


The Council's annual Scout For Food drive was held in November and it was amazingly successful. Here is on example that highlights its significance: Cub Scout Pack 18 of Gasport collected 1,072 items of food for the Gasport food pantry at the Zion Lutheran Church. That is a HUGE quantity for a town as small as Gasport!

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Spook-O-Ree is on October 15th

Plan now to join us at the Genesee County Park on Saturday, October 15 for the annual Cub Scout Spook-O-Ree. Our gaggle of ghosts is putting together a fun-filled afternoon of Halloween fun. If your pack isn't coming as a group, individual registrations are always welcome. Click here for registration forms for packs and individuals:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Write for your school paper and promote Scouting!

With a new school year upon us, it's time to remind you about an awesome recruiting tool that all scouts have access to -- your school newspaper. I strongly encourage every pack or troop to have one scout, and a different one each time, submit an article to the school paper. Write about what your unit does on a regular basis or write about one specific adventure. Make it fun and interesting (just like Scouting is!). Hundreds of your fellow students will be reading your article and with it you have a perfect opportunity to recruit more boys. Also, when it goes to print, please scan the page and send it to Bob Confer at We will post it here for everyone to see, encouraging more troops to use their newspapers as a recruiting tool.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Camp Dittmer storm damage

On Saturday evening at Camp Dittmer, Ranger Steve Croll has reported some significant storm damage with fallen trees, some damage to tents & platforms, power lines and other things.

Sunday, Steve worked on assessing all the damage and he also worked on reopening the camp roads. Steve is on top of things and has the immediate situation under control. He has made sure that there's not a crisis situation.

However, he's going to need help to clean things up. We are looking into organizing groups of workers who are available this week and this weekend, to come to Camp Dittmer to help clean up the storm damage. Our equipment is limited, so if you have additional equipment to use for this clean up detail, please bring it with you.

Upon arriving at Camp Dittmer, call Ranger Steve at 585-202-5050. Steve will be able to direct you to the area's that are currently being worked on.

For the weeks of August 15 thru August 26, Jim McMullen is out of the office and out of the area. We wouldn't want a critical message to wait in Jim's mailbox until he returns. Therefore, we are asking you to please contact either Jess Markel, 585-208-2542. Or Judy Anderson, 585-409-6109 during this time frame.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Youth board member wanted

Last year, beyond the OA Lodge Chief representation on the Council's executive board, we created a position on the board which was manned by a scout. We wanted the young men represented on the board, and who better than a scout – one of our “customers” - to offer insight on what we are doing or what we could be doing for our scouts?

Our first youth board member was Tyler Davis, who was an active member of our board. His one-year term has come to an end.

So, it is time for us to recruit another scout for this position.  

This position will be available to an active scout regardless of rank (he does not have to be an Eagle) who will be a high school junior or senior during the 2016-2017 school year. His duties will run from September 2016 to August 2017.

The board typically meets 6 to 8 times a year on the first Tuesday at 7:00 PM at the Batavia service center. On the off month, the much smaller executive committee, which he will not be a part of, meets in place of the full board. We typically have July or August off for summer break.

This is an excellent opportunity for the scout who will be selected…it will give him experience on an executive board at relatively early age; it will look good on his college application and professional resume; and, most importantly, it will give him the chance to give back to an organization – the BSA -- that has hopefully contributed a great deal to who he is.

This position does not come with voting power (as long as the Scout is 16 or older), and the scout will have a chance to voice his opinion and those of his fellow scouts.

We will be accepting applications until August 15th from which we will select one scout. Interested parties should send a letter via email to Scout Executive Jim McMullen ( and Council President Bob Confer ( In that letter, please give us a brief bio and a rundown on your scouting history, tell us why you are interested in the board position and please describe how active you currently are – and will be -- in Scouting.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Help Wanted: Membership Chair

A volunteer position of need that we have at the Council level is a membership chairperson. That role on our board has been vacant for some time. This person would manage the membership activities of the Council, overseeing a team that would also include district-level membership chairs and other volunteers.

This is an interesting role that would best be served by someone with a marketing background or an engineering background. "Engineering??", you ask...I throw that out there because this person is as much a detail-oriented project manager as they are a marketer.

The typical workload of this role would be:

* One Council board meeting per month in Batavia
* One Membership Committee meeting per month in Batavia
* Behind-the-scenes planning, implementation and follow-up which is maybe 1 to 2 hours per week of "homework" (which has seasonal peaks with recruiting drives)

If interested in this role and helping to recruit and retain local youth, please send a letter of interest, along with a little about your background, to Council President Bob Confer at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wally Hunter has passed away

It's with a heavy heart that we report that Wally Hunter, Mel's brother, has passed away. Wally was a longtime fixture of our shooting sports program at Camp and he was beloved by our scouts and scouters. Our thoughts are with the Hunter family. Rest in peace, Wally.

Here is Wally's obituary:

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Confer: Scouting brings confidence to young men

For the Council President's comments at Thursday's BoyPower dinner Bob Confer gave a speech about the importance of Scouting in today's world and how it brings confidence to children and teens who sorely need it. He converted that speech into a newspaper column that will run in this week's papers in Lockport and Niagara Falls. Here's the column:


If you know someone in their 20s or 30s, you’ve no doubt heard them ask if they should bring a child into this world. They say that because these are some heady times and today’s youth are bombarded with so much and they face so many obstacles and dangers.

This has led to something that I would call a “confidence crisis”, not only for those potential parents, but especially for those they beget. Children and teens are increasingly lacking in confidence in themselves and the world around them.

Today’s kids don’t have confidence in their families. Not only is the divorce rate still pretty high, but too many women are left to raise children on their own as so-called “dads” abandon them, and their interaction is limited to an occasional child support check, if anything at all.

Today’s youths don’t have confidence in their futures --- they saw their parents stung by the Great Recession and they see an economy that’s still a little wobbly, offering them little hope for tomorrow.
They don’t have confidence in their safety. School shootings, terror attacks and random acts of brutal violence dominate the news cycle, and have changed the way they live in and move about this country.

They don’t have confidence in the leadership of our country. They see grown men and women who want to lead us attacking one another and presenting very few legitimate options to better our United States.

And, they don’t have confidence in themselves. The Age of the Internet and the destruction of good old fashioned real human-to-human interaction have eroded emotion and empathy, leading to bullying and abuse and the image issues that come with that.

So, what is a modern parent to do?

How do you overcome these crises?

How do you instill confidence in children?

The answer to all of these questions is one word: Scouting.

The Boy Scouts of America have always given -- and will always give --- the boys and young men of this country the tools they need to succeed and the tools that America needs to succeed.

Take, for instance, the fatherless boys I had mentioned. In Scouting, their scoutmasters become their de facto fathers, bringing masculinity, strong fraternal support, paternal love, and important life lessons from a male perspective that those boys so desperately need.

Or, consider the boys who worry about their careers. Scouting and its myriad merit badges intimately introduce boys to career paths that they wouldn’t get proper exposure to elsewhere --- be it STEM, the trades, the arts, or business, these courses and the scouts’ efforts prepare them for the Real World and set them on paths to success in adulthood.

Think of the boys who worry about the world’s safety. Scouting give them the abilities they need to combat the world’s evils – they are trained in first aid, they are versed in discipline, uniformity and chain of command. Think of how many teenage scouts save lives every year --- think of how scouts go on to become first responders, police, and members of our armed forces.

And what of those boys who see poorly led communities, states, and countries or a glut of bullying and other abuses in their schools? By learning good citizenship and community-mindedness in Scouting -- and getting out and doing things for people in need -- they are groomed to be character-driven leaders of governments, schools, businesses and churches. Our future is in great hands when the Scouts take over.

All of this, and so much more, gives the boys the confidence they need to be mature, overcome all the wrongs in their lives and this world, to make their lives better and to make everyone else’s lives better.

Boy Scouts transforms boys into men. Real men.

No other youth-based organization can claim that with such vigor….with such confidence.

So, if you worry about your son or grandson and what the world holds for them, don’t. Enroll him in Scouting. It will markedly improve his ability to handle the bad and the good that might be thrown at him. It will give him the confidence to succeed in everything he does.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Council receives high marks

The Iroquois Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America was recently commended for outstanding customer satisfaction and communication in the 2015 National Voice of the Scout Survey.

The council, which provides services to nearly 3,000 youth in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Eastern Niagara counties, received the highest score in New York State by the parents and Troop/ Cub Scout pack leaders it serves. Eleven councils were evaluated.

“We strive to provide accurate and consistent communication to our customers,” Scout Executive James McMullen said. “We’re in the people-business and we take this obligation very seriously.”

Bob Confer, Executive Vice President of Confer Plastics and the volunteer president of the Council’s Board of Directors, credits the staff and local volunteers. “The high customer satisfaction rate speaks to the quality of service provided not only by the folks you see working in our offices, but also to the hundreds of volunteers who help to provide such a great program to the boys and young men of our communities. The Council’s efforts — and results — will pay huge dividends in the future as these Scouts become tomorrow’s leaders in businesses, communities and the armed forces.” 

The Council also received high marks for its Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack retention rates. Eighty percent of local youth stayed in the program from 2014 to 2015. That figure surpasses the national average of 76 percent. Almost 80 percent of all Cub Scouts in the Council attended camp in 2015, which is up from 68 percent in 2012.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Shotgun director needed

The Iroquois Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America has a SHOT-GUN SHOOTING DIRECTOR Opening.

JOB TITLE: Shot-gun Shooting Director.

JOB LOCATION: Camp Dittmer, Phelps, NY.

EXPERIENCE: 2 Years of acceptable related experience with many hours of shooting instruction. A shooting Instructor Certificate is preferred.

JOB DESCRIPTION: You will be in charge of our shot-gun shooting range under the supervision of our camps Shooting Sports Director. You will be teaching several Shot-gun Shooting Merit Badge classes each day Monday through Friday. The time commitment will be for staff week and three weeks with campers.

MAJOR SKILLS NEEDED: Very good shooting skills and technique, ability to give very good instruction, good rapport with boys 11 to 17, well organized.

OTHER HIRING REQUIREMENTS: Physical Exam (required only after job offer and if required for the job opening), Reference Check.

BoyPower dinner

The Iroquois Trail of the Boy Scouts of America will recognize distinguished citizens from five counties at the 41st Annual Boypower Dinner on May 26 at the Paddock Room of Batavia Downs in Batavia. These awards are chosen for people who exemplify positive county-wide impact through professional service with integrity and are dedicated to the community activities.

Council Scout Executive James McMullen is pleased to recognize the 2016 Honor Roll of Distinguished Citizens:

• Paul Siejak, Niagara County. While Siejak served as president of UAW Local 686 at Lockport’s Harrison Radiator, he was instrumental in raising several thousands of dollars for local charities. He coordinated the arrival of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, and currently serves as Town of Lockport deputy supervisor. He has assisted with United Way’s fundraising campaigns at Delphi and served on the board of the Eastern Niagara United Way.

• Edward Fancher, Orleans County. Fancher is the executive director of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee and has assisted in the program’s growth since 1987. He has a long history of service to local organizations, including the Albion Rotary Club, where he has twice received the Paul Harris Award, and is treasurer of the Executive Board of the Iroquois Trail Council. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Medina Savings and Loan and several local service organizations.

• James Vincent, Genesee County. Vincent is the retired president of L-Brooke Farms, Inc. and affiliated companies, a 7,000 acre processing vegetable and grain farm in Western New York. He has served in leadership positions on several community boards. Vincent is often quoted by saying “our communities, just as our land, have to be sustained for future generations.”

• Donald O’Geen, Wyoming County. O’Geen has aggressively prosecuted a wide range of cases during his 15 years with the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office. He also has dedicated his time toward several area organizations, including the United Way of Wyoming County with four years as chairman, board member of the Wyoming County YMCA and is currently the chairman of the 20/20 Vision Capital Campaign for the YMCA.

• Ronald Kosmider, Livingston County. Kosmider, is an active member of several Geneseo organizations, while continuing as co-owner with his son, Ron Jr., of LM3 (LaserModeling3), which designs and builds architectural and trade show models. He served several years as Geneseo’s Boy Scout Troop Committee Chairman and has organized numerous fund raising events for area youth. With all of his business successes, Kosmider shared that one of his family’s greatest accomplishments was supporting his son to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

The annual Boypower Dinner has evolved into the major event that raises funds to support Scouting programs for nearly 3,000 boys who range in age from 7 to 20, and for girls ages 14 to 21. More than 1,100 volunteers contribute their time in various ways to promote the values of Scouting.

The dinner’s featured speaker is Robert Rich III, the founder and president of ROAR Logistics. This is a fast-growing subsidiary of Rich Products which serves the shipping industry with multiple locations across the United States. Rich will share insight on the Rich Family dynasty and provide insightful stories about its growth to success.

The dinner’s Master of Ceremonies is Dan Fischer, president and owner of WBTA Batavia.

“Our committee believes Dan will bring his quick wit and professionalism to the microphone,” Scout Executive James McMullen said. “He’ll make it an entertaining evening for all, while sharing the values of Scouting and its impact on our area youth.”

The Boy Scouts of America, Iroquois Trail Council, prepares young people to succeed with leadership and life skills that promote personal responsibility, citizenship and strong family and ethical values. Funds raised by this annual event directly impact the Boy Scouts, and provide for Campership opportunities for summer day and resident camping experiences.

For additional information, contact the Iroquois Trail Council office at 201 East Main St. Batavia (Seymour Place) or by calling (585) 343-0307.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Support the Confer Classic Golf Tournament

To our friends and families in the Towpath District: Here is the Confer Classic ad that will be appearing in next week's Lockport Union-Sun and Journal. Please support this event by golfing, sponsoring a hole, or donating a raffle prize. Your support will be greatly appreciated -- an investment in Scouting is an investment in America's future.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Karl Snyder obituary

Karl E. Snyder, 59, of Medina, NY, was reunited in heaven to be with his beloved wife, Nancy, on Sunday, May 8, 2016 at Rochester General Hospital.

Born on March 13, 1957, in Medina, NY, he was the son of Alice (Miller) Snyder and the late Harold “Jack” Snyder. In 1975, Karl graduated from Medina High School, attended Ithaca College and in 1982 graduated from Bryant and Stratton of Buffalo. He worked as Project Manager for various companies including Depew Development, Barden Homes and Redman Construction in Brockport.

Karl served as Scout Master for Troop #35, Iroquois Trail Council for over 10 years with over 23 boys receiving the rank of Eagle Scout. He was instrumental in rebuilding the Boy Scout Cabin on District 10 Rd. in Medina, after the arson fire in 2009 and also served as Assistant Tennis Coach for the Medina Mustangs, was a devoted Medina Mustang Band Booster and was a dedicated Board Member on the Town of Shelby Planning Board. Karl’s most important and favorite job was being a loving father to his two sons, Kevin and Kristian.

Karl is survived by his mother, Alice Snyder of Medina, sons, Kevin Snyder of East Hampton, NY and Kristian Snyder of Medina, siblings, Kurt (Ruth) Snyder of Oakfield, NY, Kenneth (Sandra) Snyder of Medina, NY, Karen (John) Croce of Clifton Park, NY, mother-in-law, Barbara Clark, sister-in-law, Susan Squires, both of Medina, brother-in-law, David (Jennifer) Clark of Fredericksburg, Virginia, many nieces and nephews, a dear friend, Sharon Tanzer of Tarrytown, NY and his faithful companion, Koko.

Relatives and friends may call on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 10 AM -1 PM at Holy Trinity Parish/ St. Mary’s Church, 211 Eagle St. Medina, NY with a Funeral Service at 1:00 PM, the Rev. Erik Olsen officiating. Burial will be in the Boxwood Cemetery. A reception will be held at the St. Mary’s Hall immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kristian Snyder Collage Fund, payable to Kevin Snyder c/o The Law Office of Katherine Bogan, 517 Main Street, Medina NY 14103 or to the Troop #35 Boy Scout Summer Camp Fund, payable to Boy Scout Troop #35, c/o John Dieter, 915 Gwinn Street, Medina NY 14103.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Karl Synder: Rest in Peace

It's with a heavy heart that I report that Medina scoutmaster Karl Snyder passed away on Sunday, May 8th. He gave so much to Scouting, not only in his troop but for the whole Scouting movement (and he was a cornerstone of the Medina community). His scouts all love Scouting and have so much fun because HE loved Scouting and had so much fun...true leadership by example. He will be missed my MANY, but his memories and lessons will carry on in the countless hearts he touched. God bless him, he was one of the really, really good ones.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Variety Show coming to Lockport

This coming Saturday, David Keleher and his team are hosting a variety show at the Kenan Center in Lockport as a fundraiser to help send scouts to camp. Here is the report from the Lockport Union Sun and Journal:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Geocaching comes to Sam Wood

Camp Sam Wood now has 12 Geocaches for campers to find! Some Geocaches will be easy to find, some tricky, and a few are quite challenging. There are regular caches, multi-caches, mystery/puzzle caches, and even a night cache! For many Geocachers the thrill is in the hunt and the primary goal is to sign the logbook stored in the cache. But many love the caches that contain items for trading, and several of the caches at camp are provisioned with various Scouting patches or tchotchkes, so come prepared with your own items for trading! The camp now boasts 10 private caches that are available only to campers at Sam Wood and are not listed on, and 2 public caches that were hidden by non-Scouting Geocachers on or near camp and are listed on The project to hide the caches was launched by a Scout who recently participated in NYLT and used the project to complete his ticket. A pdf file is available with all the information needed to find all 12 caches. Ask about the Geocaches when confirming your reservations, or inquire with the ranger when you arrive at camp. Don't forget, when you find a cache you are expected to put it back exactly where you found it (or where it belongs). Now go have fun and explore the camp!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Craig Bacon reminisces about Scouting

Craig Bacon is the deputy Niagara County historian. Reflecting on the past is not only his vocation but his avocation. He loves to write about history, including his personal history, which he does through his "Reminiscing" series. His newest installment looks at the memories he had in Scouting. Good stuff!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ray Schndeider has passed away

The Iroquois Trail Council has lost a great friend...

Raymond John Schneider of Lockport, NY passed away on March 30, 2016 after a brief illness. Born in Tonawanda, NY on February 25, 1930, the son of Louis and Elizabeth Potel Schneider.

Always active, Ray enjoyed photography and gardening and contributing his talents in whatever ways he could to the many organizations in which he was active.

Predeceased by his beloved wife, Doris (Lander) Schneider. Ray is survived by two sons Carl (Nancy) Schneider of West Union, OH and Keith Schneider of Treasure Island, Fl, and five grandchildren, Jourdan (Kyle) Morgan, Nicholas Schneider and Elisa Schneider of Lockport,NY; Dean Schneider of Daytona, FL and Marci Schneider of West Union, OH and a daughter-in-law, Pattie Schneider of Lockport.

Ray served in the US Army during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. Ray retired from NYSEG as an engineer and enjoyed staying in contact with fellow retirees. He was also a lifelong member and active parishioner of the First United Church of Middleport.

Ray is remembered for his dedication to the Boy Scouts of America where he earned numerous awards and recognition during his 53 years as a volunteer including: the Silver Beaver and the George Meany Award.

Relatives and friends may call at Rutland-Corwin Funeral Home, Inc. at 2670 Main Street, Newfane on Tuesday, April 5 from 4-8pm where services will be held on April 6 at 10 AM. Interment will be in West Ridgeway Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Iroquois Trail Council – Boy Scouts of America would be appreciated by the family.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Bob Rich III: BoyPower keynote speaker

We've secured a great keynote speaker for our May 26th BoyPower Dinner. Bob Rich III is the founder and president of ROAR Logistics, a fast-growing subsidiary of Rich Products that serves the shipping industry with multiple locations across the US. Bob will talk about how the Rich family culture and his many adventures (he was a rock star and he played Robert Redford's son in "the Natural") have defined his management style and philosophies on life. Bob is a fun, engaging, and brilliant man whose presentation promises to be the same.