Judy Smith - An Apple a Day Won't Keep Me Away!

May 4, 2017


Judy Smith has been involved in the Scouting program since her boys were young, and that was...a couple of years ago. If you have been out to Cub Scout Resident Camp or Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Loud Thunder, you have met Nurse Judy. Most campers' experiences with Nurse Judy are brief: a quick hello at check-in, and high-fives in the dining hall, but there are those of us who have spent some quality time with Judy in the med-lodge during camp, and we are grateful to have her, especially when we aren't feeling well!

Nurse Judy is another example of Scouting being a lifelong program. She has witnessed the positive impact that the Scouting program has on the lives of countless young men and women, and she continues to volunteer her time to provide that opportunity to new generations of Scouts. 

If there are three lessons we can learn from Nurse Judy, they might be the following.

1. Drink more water. (If you are feeling sick, you're likely dehydrated.) 

2. Don't bleed on your uniform. (More importantly, don't bleed on mine!)

3. Do your best every day, and pass on what you have learned to others. This is what makes us Scouts. 

Kathy Mainz - One Knot at a Time

April 28, 2017

For this week's interview, we sat down with Kathy Mainz. Kathy has done it all in the world of Scouting: Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, District Committee Member, and you may recognize her as the face behind the Inali Merit Badge University held every year at Monmouth College! Listen to Kathy's story, and consider her words. Kathy Mainz shares a recent memory about a young Scout who had been working on learning how to tie knots. He was struggling, but after lots of practice, he was able to accomplish his task, and actually master the knots, saying that now he would be able to tie them for the rest of his life! Knots and Scouting have been synonymous since 1908, but is it really the knots that we want to teach our children? Perhaps. Or, perhaps it's the methodology of determination, of practicing a skill, any skill, to the point of mastery, overcoming obstacles along the way. After all, you know what they say, practice makes perfect! 

Michael Mueller - Leadership, Interpersonal Skills, and Career Readiness Through Exploring

April 20, 2017


Did you know that Scouting has a hands-on, career-development program for young men and women? For this week's 50th Anniversary interview, we visited with Michael Mueller. Michael is an Explorer with Post 4044 hosted by the Macomb Police Department. Listen to Michael as he shares his Exploring story, and pay special attention to when he discusses leadership, interpersonal skills, and career preparedness. For more information about this Exploring program, and the others that we offer in the Illowa Council, please visit Illowa Council Exploring at www.illowabsa.org/exploring

Dan Moore - Four Percent

April 13, 2017


If you have attended any Council activities in the last five years, you have come across Dan Moore. Dan is this week's 50th Anniversary Project interview, and he has some amazing things to share with us! Listen to Dan as he describes Scouting as the only program in our community that sets a foundation for youth that prepares them to be good citizens, stewards of the environment, and provides them with vocational and other life skills that help Scouts transition into productive members of society. As a District Advancement Chairman, Dan Moore has the unique opportunity of meeting every Eagle Scout that comes out of his District. If anyone knows all of the good things that our Scouts do in our community, it's Dan! 

Chief Scout Executive, Mike Surbaugh - 50 Years of Service in the Illowa Council

April 7, 2017


We here at the Illowa Council think that we have the best Scouts and leaders around, and we are proud of what you do! Do you know who else thinks that Illowa Council is great? Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the entire Boy Scouts of America. For this week's 50th anniversary project, we had the honor of interviewing Chief Surbaugh. Thank you for your leadership and your kind words, Chief! 

Bob Haffarnan - Scouts are Distinguished Among Their Peers

March 30, 2017


Do you believe that you can pick a Scout out of a group of their peers? Kittan District Chairman, Bob Haffarnan, thinks so! Listen to what Bob says makes Scouts stand out! 

Scouting in America Before the BSA

March 23, 2017


Scouting has been in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois since around 1910, when the BSA was founded, but did you know that Scouting was around before the BSA? There are several Boy Scout Troops that claim to be the first, but watch this week's video to discover which Troop was officially chartered and uniformed!

Brian Shore - Scouting is a Toolbox for Life

March 16, 2017


For this week's 50th anniversary project, we sat down with Brian Shore, Cubmaster of Pack 100 in Geneseo, IL, and District Commissioner of the Saukenuk District. 

Brian was given a second chance at Scouts after his Pack folded when he was a Webelos, and at the age of 14 got back into Scouting and was able to earn his Eagle Scout award before time ran out for him when he turned 18.

Brian returned to Scouting with his son in Cub Scouts, and has not looked back since. Brian describes Scouting as a toolbox, filled with the resources for both Scouts and adults to achieve their goals, aspirations, and dreams, both in the Scouting program and in life.

If you ever have a question about Scouting, chances are, Brian Shore knows the answer. Brian is active in planning Pack, District, and Council events, and is often found working hard behind the scenes. Thank you for your leadership and service, Mr. Shore!

Jennifer Dau - Scouting Helps Us "Unplug"

March 9, 2017

Jennifer Dau has the same problem that many parents across America have, her son relies too much on electronic devices. The Dau family uses Scouting's activities to spend time together outside, away from electronic distractions, having a blast camping, fishing, and learning about our community through serving others. You have to admit, its nice to unplug for a while every now and then! 

Dr. Art Tate - Learning, Leading, Living

March 2, 2017


Many of you know of Dr. Art Tate. 

Dr. Tate is Superintendent of Schools for Davenport Community School District, and his daily decisions effect thousands of people in Davenport. Did you know that Dr. Tate is an Eagle Scout, Exploring Gold Award and Silver Beaver Award recipient? 

You will hear Dr. Tate share his Scouting story with you, hear him tell us how he believes that Scouting "saved" him. The Scouting program prepared Dr. Tate for long careers an an Army officer and an educator, and he is always quick to share his love of the program with anyone who asks, but did you know that he is still involved in Scouting despite leading the largest school district in the area?

Dr. Tate is the chairman of the Illowa Council Exploring's Executive Committee, and in that capacity, he works with community leaders in the greater Quad Cities area to provide hands-on career education programs for youth ages 14-20 in Scouting's Exploring program. 

Dr. Tate also serves on the Illowa Council Board of Directors and works to provide opportunities for youth in all of Scouting's programs here in the QCA. 

Dr. Tate credits Scouts for teaching him the leadership skills that have made him such an influential leader in our community. We're just lucky to have him.

Tom Resig - Scouting, A Legacy of Honor

February 23, 2017


What do you do when you possess something that is extremely valuable to you and your family? You take good care of it, and you pass it down from generation to generation. The title of "Scout" is an honor that has been passed from generation to generation, and the Resig family is the perfect example.

This week we sat down with Tom Resig, an Assistant Scoutmaster from Troop 46 in LeClaire, Iowa. Tom, an Eagle Scout, is a third generation Scout, which makes his son a 4th generation Scout. How remarkable for a program that started in 1910! 

Scouting has given a lot to Tom and the Resig family over the years, but Tom has returned the favor, and then some! In addition to his leadership at the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop levels, Tom is an active volunteer at District and Council events, so next time you see Tom working hard in the background, be sure to say hello and thank him for everything that he does for the youth in our community! 

Dr. Wayne Merrell - From the BSA to NASA and Beyond!

February 16, 2017


Have you ever wondered why the Boy Scouts offer so many Merit Badges? 

This week's interview is with Dr. Wayne Merrell, and by working on Merit Badges as a Scout, he learned what subjects he enjoyed, and it gave him some hands-on experiences in applying what he learned! Do you think that young Scout thought that he would end up working for NASA? He did! 

Scouts in every program have opportunities to discover the world around them and learn about careers that interest them, but did you know that Scouting has a program specifically devoted to career exploration? 

Exploring is Scouting's hands-on real-world experience driven program for young men and women ages 14-20. We have a lot of Exploring programs here in the QCA, so check out Illowa Council Exploring at Illowabsa.org/exploring for details. 

Dr. Merrell's Scouting dream is to have every youth in America participate in the Scouting program. What a wonderful world that would be!

Ashley Bozman - Girls Like Camping Too! Venturing, Scouting's Co-Ed High Adventure Program

February 9, 2017


This week's 50th Anniversary Project interview is with Ashley Bozman, and guess what, its her birthday!

Ashley was a Venturer in the Illowa Council, now she volunteers as an advisor, and serves on the Council Outdoor Ethics Committee. If you want to know what opportunities Scouting provides, Ashley is the one to ask!

What you didn't get to hear Ashley tell us was about all of the awesome Scouting experiences that she has had since her personal awakening in 2006. Ashley served several summers on Camp Staff at Boy Scout Camp Loud Thunder, worked camp staff in Alaska, and served as staff at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan! 

The Venturing program provides young men and women, just like Ashley the opportunity to do the things they love and develop leadership skills at the same time. Scouting is an awesome program for the whole family, not just for boys!

Noah Kelly - Scouting is a Way of Life

February 2, 2017

Is Scouting more than just an activity or a program? Noah Kelly thinks so. Noah is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 109 in Moline, IL, and is currently the Lodge Chief for Konepaka Ketiwa 38, the Illowa Council's Order of the Arrow Lodge. Please take a couple of minutes to hear what Noah has to say, and share his video with your friends!

The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society. Members of the Order are Scouts who have camped for 15 or more nights in the last two years, and were elected by members of their Troop because they exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. As Lodge Chief, Noah was selected by his peers to oversee the Order of the Arrow program in our Council, and is the "head youth" in charge. For more information on the Order of the Arrow, please visit: www.illowabsa.org/order of the arrow

Noah is a young man who has gotten a lot out of the Scouting program. Outside of Troop activities, Noah was (and is) involved in the Order of the Arrow, Summer Camp Staff, attended national high adventure bases, and has met thousands of Scouts and Scouters in our area. These experiences give Noah a unique point of view to share with you what Scouting is all about, and in Noah's words, it all boils down to service to others.

Scouting, you see, is more than just a program, more just a meeting that you go to every week. Scouting gives kids the opportunity to learn and grow through adventures, activities, and plenty or trial and error. Scouting is a way of life. Scouting teaches us to focus less on "me" and more on "we." 

Noah is right when he says that Scouts have provided millions of hours of community service. As a matter of fact, Scouts provide over a million hours of community service each and every year. How is that for an impact on our communities?

Realff Ottesen - Scouting is a Life-Long Program

January 26, 2017

Why do we say that Scouting is a life-long program? Let us introduce you to Realff Ottesen. Realff is currently the Chairman of the Illowa Council Religious Relationships Committee, a retired Methodist Minister, a retired lawyer, and a Scouting volunteer for for over 30 years. 

Realff, like many of our leaders, got involved in Scouting because of his son. Realff saw the awesome things that Scouting did for his son, and he wanted to be there for him every step of the way. After Realff's son graduated high school, Realff moved away from the Scouting program, but discovered very soon how much he missed being involved. You don't have to have a child in Scouts to stay or become involved in Scouting. Realff volunteers his time on Council Committees, providing opportunities for countless young people in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois to experience the Scouting program and develop into successful women and men. You, too, can share in this impact on our community. All you have to do is ask the question that Realff did. "How can I help?"

Alyson Glynn - Be INVOLVED in Scouting!

January 18, 2017

Meet Alyson Glynn. Aly is the Cubmaster of Pack 3700 in Muscatine, Iowa. Listen to Aly as she shares a story about her son, and how Scouting helped him develop social skills and do something other than play videogames. Scouting recognizes that there is a time and a place for videogames, and we encourage Scouts to do what they enjoy, but we also like to provide them with opportunities to play and grow in the outdoors and to work together to accomplish team activities. You can hear the impact that Scouting had on Aly, her family, and her community.

Ben Rogers - Be Prepared: How Scouting is Preparing our Children for Life

January 9, 2017

Ben Rogers has been a familiar face throughout the Illowa Council for as long as most of us can remember. Ben is currently an Assistant Council Commissioner, an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 109 in Moline, Illinois, and a committee member for both the Saukenuk District Committee, and the Council Jamboree Committee.

How do you know that someone has been involved in Scouting for a long time? When they can't remember when they started! Ben Rogers has been changing lives through the Scouting movement for decades, directly impacting the lives of hundreds of young people throughout the Quad Cities Area, and is quite possibly the most humble person that you will ever have the honor of meeting.

As a boy progresses through the ranks of Cub Scouts in elementary school, and Boy Scouts in middle and high school, the ultimate goal for that young man is to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest award the Boy Scouts of America can bestow upon a Scout, and only 4% of Scouts earn that honor. Eagle Scouts have displayed courage, leadership, integrity, and demonstrate that they live the 12 points of the Scout Law and live up to the Scout Oath.

Ben Rogers learned something important. While earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a tremendous accomplishment, it's only the beginning of a lifelong journey of success and achievement. Ben discusses how the greatest satisfaction he gets is speaking with the parents of Eagle Scouts years after they earned the award. Scouting gives these young people the tools that they need to excel in life, and be successful adults.

Out of all the Scout skills and leadership lessons that Scouting teaches, Ben Rogers says that the most important is to follow the Scout Motto: Be Prepared. If a Scout can learn to be prepared for little things now, they can learn how to be be prepared for the major things that life will throw at them in the future. That, my friends, is a truly valuable skill.

Brice Chapman - Scouting is Fun for the whole Family!

January 5, 2017

Here is our very first interview for our 50th Anniversary Project! Meet Brice Chapman, a young man who earned his Eagle Scout award in 2009. Listen to Brice's story about how Scouting helped him learn to socialize with other kids, since he is an only child, and how important the family aspect of Scouting was to him.

Brice is currently an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 127 in Muscatine, a Vigil Honor member in the Order of the Arrow, (Scouting’s National Honor Society,) a recipient of the Eagle Scout Award and the Venturing Silver Award, and worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Loud Thunder.

In the adult world, positive results are best obtained through hard work, determination, and communication, three skills that Scouting nurtures in young people. As you heard, as an only child, Brice needed help learning to socialize and communicate with others, and he found the perfect opportunity to develop those skills in Cub Scouts, and later reinforced them in Boy Scouts and Venturing. With more and more of school time being devoted to preparing for tests, kids need the opportunity to work together and problem-solve, communicate, and have fun! Scouts gives kids such an outlet. Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement once said that, “Scouting is a game with a purpose.” We learn valuable skills and information as Scouts, and we have fun while doing so. That’s the secret.

The second point that Brice made centers around his family’s involvement in Scouting. You don’t have to be a former Scout or have any outdoor skills to participate in Scouting with your child. Brice talks about how even though his father couldn’t join him on every outing, he cherished the ones in which he could. There are TONS of ways to volunteer in the Scouting program, and we can always use your help! We all live busy lives, so we love Scouting because it’s a program that teaches our youth valuable skills, builds their character, and we can participate as a family! Scouting is fun for everyone! 

A Big Announcement from the Illowa Council

December 23, 2016

Illowa Council, BSA, to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

December 1, 2016

The Boy Scouts of America has been positively impacting our community here in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois since its founding in 1910. In the beginning, Scouting was run at the local level, with each community hosting its own Boy Scout Council. As the Scouting program grew, the administration of the program at the town and city level became impractical, councils became larger, and throughout time, councils merged together. Finally, in 1967, the Illowa Council was formed, and now supports all of the Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venture Crews, and Exploring Posts in 13 counties in Iowa and Illinois.

As you know, for the last 50 years, the Illowa Council, Boy Scouts of America, has prepared young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. In this, our 50th year of service, the Illowa Council is continuing this mission by focusing on learning from the past, and preparing for the future.

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, the Illowa Council will be hosting several special events throughout the year, highlighting the history of local Scouting and the Scouting program, with the culminating event being a Council-wide camporee being hosted by the Scott Community College campus of EICC, to be held October 20-22, 2017. Mark this on your calendars! We are excited to incorporate our anniversary in all of our District and Council events, and we encourage you to extend the celebration down to your own unit level!

To celebrate our heritage, and to spread the word about Scouting in our community, the Illowa Council will be releasing a series of short interviews with local individuals in which they share the impact that Scouting has had in their lives. One interview will be released each week in 2017 starting in January. Please reach out to Ken Brooks (Kenneth.Brooks@Scouting.org)  if you would like to volunteer your story for this project, or if you have a recommendation of someone that we should interview.

Local businesses and organizations are teaming up with the Illowa Council in the 50th Anniversary Partnership Program. This exciting opportunity will help promote the anniversary celebration throughout the entire community, and will provide local families with more information about how to get involved in Scouting, and community members with information about how they can support the Scouting programs that directly impact the lives of the youth in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. We would love for your business or organization to become an Anniversary Partner. It doesn’t cost anything, and you will be a HUGE help in sharing the Scouting program with those in our community who need it the most. To register, please contact Ken Brooks.

For those memorabilia collectors out there, The Illowa Council is incorporating this monumental occasion into our annual Friends of Scouting recognition items. For those individuals and families that donate at the “Family” Level of $185, they will receive the limited edition Illowa Council “50 Years of Service” Council Shoulder Patch. Those who donate at the “Leadership” Level will receive the 50th Anniversary Challenge Coin, with the special anniversary logo on the front, and the “Scout is Helpful” logo on the reverse. Friends who donate at the $1000 level will have their name engraved on the “Wall of Recognition” at the Council Scout Service Center, and will be recognized as special 50th Anniversary Donors.   

If you haven’t done so yet, please “Like” the Illowa Council on Facebook. We will use this tool to keep you updated on all of the 50th Anniversary events, and will post our weekly blog here also. The 50th Anniversary page on our website will have a link to the weekly blog, information on the Partnership Program, and information on the History of the Illowa Council. Share these online resources with friends, family, and coworkers! Also, when you share images and post on your social media accounts, use #ILLOWA50 when you are sharing awesome Scouting experiences.

The 50th Anniversary of our Council is a fun reason for us to celebrate. We are proud of the positive impact that our programs make in our community, and we are proud of our Scouts and all of their great accomplishments. The 50th anniversary is more than a celebration, though. It’s a launching pad. Let’s all work together to use this opportunity to kick off the next 50 years by continuing to promote Scouting in our community, by planning even better programs and events, and encouraging Scouts to participate!

Here’s to the next 50 years!