As we reflect on today’s Housatonic Council, we see an organization committed to serving the youth of our community for over 95 years. The Council has established a strong history and continues its tradition for supporting excellent programing, delivered by the Cub Packs, Scout Troops, Explorer Posts and Venture Crews throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Additionally, Council activities in the form of spring & fall camporees, the Klondike Derby and the Pinewood Derby provide great opportunity for our units to gather, compete, build fellowship and lifelong friendships, all under the banner of Scouting. Of course, our jewel of Camp Strang in Goshen and our local gem of Cub Day Camp held at Camp Cedar Crest in Orange, offer opportunities like no other for scout campers to engage in the best in learning skills, gaining experience and adventuring to their comfort limits, but most importantly having fun. All of this delivered in safe, structured and respectful environments maintained at all times and by all levels of adult and youth leadership and by scouts alike. The dividends of delivering scouting, gained from tremendous investment with equal portions of finance and volunteer time can readily be witnessed with the contributions realized by the tens of thousands of good citizens, quality leaders and downright great people who have come through the Housatonic Council in the last century.
2016 has again proven to be an outstanding year for the Housatonic Council. In the eyes of the Boy Scouts of America, the Council has again gained Gold Status on the Journey to Excellence (JTE) scale, judging us among all councils nationwide large and small. The Council has achieved this status consistently since the JTE scale was established. Of course, we here in the Housatonic Council know well, it’s the not recognition associated with Gold status that drives the volunteer leaders, the committees, chairs, the camp staffs, the directors and the professional staff to dedicate the countless hours they have and continue to provide. It’s all about the youth, sharing in their adventures, mentoring along the way and witnessing their growth. We are forever grateful for each and every one of you and thank you for your commitment to our organization.
Further, the 2016 budget ended with a very strong positive balance for the year, a tribute to both the generosity of our many donors, sponsors and contributors along with the wise fiscal management of the Executive Board and professional staff. Continued capital improvements at Camp Strang include an improved STEM center within the Tierney Memorial building and drainage improvements along the main road. These projects coupled with the recent renovation to the Bassett Lodge and construction of the Shower building serve as catalysts for continued commitment of ongoing improvements and construction over the next several years.
Although we experienced a slight drop (2.9%) in membership overall, the last quarter of 2016 clearly demonstrated a positive trend towards an increase in 2017. We look forward to partnering with each of our units to continue the growth through the next year and beyond. Camp attendance showed solid growth at Strang and achieved the goal at the Day Camp. Another achievement of the year was the development and implementation of year round program activities at Camp Strang. Through this innovative approach, the resources of the beautiful property along with the talents of the program directors will combine to provide opportunity for more scouts to experience our camp than ever before.
The Housatonic Council remains steadfast in our mission and committed to continue delivery of a quality Scout program for generations to come. We thank every individual, family, agency and foundation supporting us historically and in the years to come. Our reward lies in the ability to pay forward a strong Housatonic Council to those that follow us.
A program for boys 11 through 17 designed to achieve the aims of Scouting through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster. (Boys also may become Boy Scouts if they have earned the Arrow of Light Award or have completed the fifth grade.)
A program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age to provide positive experiences through exciting and meaningful activities that help youth pursue their special interests, grow, develop leadership skills, and become good citizens.
Exploring is the first step in identifying career possibilities while having fun in an exciting and informal environment.
John Zseller has a proven record of membership growth, fundraising success, campaign management, and staff empowerment that spans over 25 years.
John began his career as a District Executive in Greater New York Councils with the In-School Scouting Division, now Learning for Life. He then moved to the Career Awareness Exploring program where he served as a District Executive and later as District Director. After serving as the Queens Field Director, in 2005 John accepted the position of Borough Scout Executive.
In February of 2009, John began his tenure with the Theodore Roosevelt Council as a District Director serving two districts, with a total of 5,000 youth, 2,000 volunteers, and 120 units. Within 18 months John was promoted to Field Director, and one year later accepted the title and responsibilities of Assistant Scout Executive.
During his tenure as a Scouting professional John lead and managed various camp staffs; including a Special Needs Boy Scout Camp, a Cub Resident Camp, Cub Day Camp, and Cub Family Weekends.
John is an Eagle Scout from Troop 429 in Queens, NY. He is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, Suanhacky Lodge, and was recently awarded his Woodbadge beads. John is the proud father of an Eagle Scout.
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Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
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