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10.11.18 – SPOKES Notes and Photos

President Chelsea Dubey opened our club by going over announcements and upcoming events including the introduction of “Club 77” which is a name change to Rotary in the PM, recognizing Grand Rapids being the 77th club to join Rotary International. She also recognized birthdays and Rotary anniversaries for the month of October.

James Eliassen announced upcoming volunteer opportunities and thanked everyone for the outpouring of volunteers at the Rotary community engagement events lately.

Michael Loughman introduced our newest Rotary members – David Brown, Patricia Harris, Robert Rutgers, and Denise Sherwood. Welcome them next time you see them!

Bill Buchanan introduced our Interact students joining us from City High School – Betsy Pichardo, Andrew DeBoer, Adam Kuzee, and Jia Coleman. They were able to share a little bit about themselves, but we encourage you to reach out to them when you see them at our luncheons to introduce yourself and get to know more about these incredible students.

Bruce Young (celebrating his 25th anniversary with Rotary this month!) introduced our keynote speaker Aaron Gach, a graduate of Western with an MBA from GVSU and the current Scout Executive and CEO of Boy Scouts of America.

Gach opened by asking the crowd who knows a Boy Scout. Or an Eagle Scout. A title that carries a brand of achievement.

Gach shared with us the secret for that brand awareness that so many are familiar with.

Group leadership and outdoor programs are utilized in a safe environment as part of their method, achieving one goal after another until they gain confidence. They give young people opportunities to learn and win, toolkits for life application, and controlled environments to celebrate their successes.

If a young person is involved with Scouts for one year, they have a higher probability of graduating from college in the future. Kindness and helpfulness are attributable characteristics that Scouts attain during the program, among many others and they become contributing members of their communities which include quite a few of our past Presidents.

One program Boy Scouts of America is particularly proud of is their Career Exploration program. One group worked with an Aerospace company to create canister satellites that were launched into space. Scouts get the chance to participate in unique life experiences, making major contributions to society at a young age.

Boy Scouts of America has an office facility that is being transformed into a public facility where Scout groups can participate in an array of activities including STEM research, solar powered greenhouses, ziplines, and archery to name a few. They break ground on that project Wednesday 10/17.

A question was presented about Cub Scouts, elementary aged youth participating in the same program making it a family affair. The idea being that if all children can come to one place at one time to participate in the program, more people will get involved. It allows families to do something great together as a unit which is one of Boy Scouts of America’s newest initiatives. In addition to that, they have a Scouting program that breaks down any barriers that stand in the way of young men joining Boy Scouts, including economic backgrounds, finances, etc.

President Dubey presented Gach with a certificate of clean water and thanked him for sharing with us today.

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