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Has it ever crossed your mind as to how you would react if you were faced with a true emergency? Do you wonder “Will I be brave?” or “Will I remember what to do?” or worse “Will I panic and freeze?” Most of us, fortunately, will only be able to roll these questions around in our heads and never really learn the answer.

On Monday, June 16, 2022, 16 Scouts and 8 adults from Bay-Lakes Council were able to answer those questions for themselves as they returned from a backpacking trip at the Philmont High Adventure Base in Cimarron, NM.

A day that started with a quiet ride on an Amtrak train turned deadly. Scouts who were napping, listening to music, or simply enjoying the ride home, suddenly found their world turned sideways, when their train collided with a dump truck in the middle of Missouri, killing four people and injuring numerous others. These Scouts and leaders sprang into action, guiding their fellow victims to safety, consoling them, providing basic first aid, and assisting emergency personnel. Their Scout training came through.

Each Scout and leader played a different role, based on their circumstances. Some were hurt. Some were initially trapped in the wreckage. We are still learning what took place that day. But all these Scouts and leaders can now answer the personal questions most of us only wonder about. “I was brave.” “I was ready.” “I did what I could, and it made a difference.”

It feels good to be a part of an organization that teaches young people to respond to an emergency in such a way. These Scouts were ready for what life threw at them that day. Across the country, people have another positive example of what a young person, with the right training, is capable of.

There is still more to the story yet to come. Some accolades to be sure. What happened that day was truly tragic. We pray for the victims of this accident and for the Scouts who were there to help as they continue to recover.

Registration for the 2022 Popcorn Sale is now live! If you haven’t signed up for the 2022 sale yet, please visit the Pecatonica River Popcorn website to do so. Here are exact instructions with how to register:

    • Go to the Pecatonica River Popcorn website
    • Click “My account”
    • Click “Create unit profile”
    • Enter Council Key “635BLC”
    • Follow prompts to choose, district, unit type and number
    • Enter a username, password, and all other information being requested
    • Click “Submit”

Popcorn training will be held Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 9 AM CST via Zoom.

We invite you to join us at our annual Golden Eagle Event at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, with guest speaker, Green Bay Packers Running Back, Aaron Jones!

If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming an event sponsor or purchasing tickets, please contact Kristin Ely-Bluemke at or call (920) 843-8818.

Most of us have heard the Biblical phrase “To everything there is a season.” As summer camp programming begins to wind down, families scurry to get in their summer vacations, and July moves toward August, our thoughts naturally begin to turn toward fall, preparation for the new school year, and anticipation of another year in Scouting. Our Scout motto admonishes us to Be Prepared, but how?

Join us in congratulating this recent Bay-Lakes Council Eagle Scouts:

Brandon Biechler, Troop 127 of Appleton, WI, Gathering Waters District

Josiah Feldhausen, Troop 1139 of Allouez, WI, Voyageur District

Logan Gregor, Troop 796 of West Bend, WI, Kettle Country District

We feature those Eagles who submit their Eagle Board of Honor news.
Send an email to Warren Kraft or use our Submit A Story link and help us continue to tell the great stories of Scouting.

As elementary students we were excited for Fire Prevention Safety Day at school, when we may have toured the local fire station or the emergency personnel brought their equipment to school. My wife and I raised our family in a quad-level home with the two children living upstairs. Our daughter still talks about removing the screen and throwing out the chain ladder to practice descents with her brother. Grateful that such practicing was never needed.

We place as our top priority the safety, health and well-being of our Scouts, their leaders and families, and our guests and visitor, throughout all our programs. Part of summer resident camp staff training includes first aid/CPR/AED, lost Scout drills, emergency preparedness. Even inviting local law enforcement and emergency response teams into our facilities to acquaint them with the layout and to provide guidance and instruction as needed.

Elsewhere in this Guide, and heavily reported last month on our local news outlets, we read about Scouts and their leaders who sprang into action when their train derailed: the heroic measures taken when putting someone else's interests first, while putting into practice all that training to be prepared. For any incident that we hear about, there are daily occurrences when "Be Prepared" eases, even resolves the situation.

Lord Baden-Powell devised the Scout Motto in 1908, a year after founding the Scout movement. In his handbook, "In Scouting for Boys," he wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.” It is said that he was once asked, "Prepared for what?" and replied, "Why, for any old thing.” (Did you notice that the first letter of each word in the Scout Motto matches Baden-Powell's initials? [B.P. & B-P]

Well into our second century of Scouting, our every day experiences remind us that preparedness is still a cornerstone of Scouting. It is a significant part of our values-based program: Scouting prepares young people for life. How are you prepared?

See you on the summer camp, of course!

Warren Kraft

Program Development


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