Meeting Report – Staten Island Council – May 2013

As submitted to the Staten Island Advance:

Gathering at Bocelli’s Restaurant in Grasmere, the Staten Island Council of the Boy Scouts of America held its quarterly meeting. Council President John Caltabiano opened the meeting.

Council President Caltabiano noted that the Phase II of the preservation of Pouch Camp as part of the Greenbelt is underway, and should be finished before winter. This will substantially preserve the current nature of the Pouch Camp tract. A third phase will complete the effort.

Youth programs were discussed. The annual Staten Island Camp-o-ree took place last weekend, and the gray skies did not hamper the nearly 400 Scouts (and over 100 leaders) from enjoying the weekend. The Senior Patrol Leader Chili Cook-off was won by Scott Narvesen of Troop 125. Troop 222 took overall honors in the various competitions, and over 60 Scouts and Leaders were called out as candidates for the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s Honor Camping and Service organization, at the traditional Saturday night campfire. In addition, upcoming summer camping programs were discussed, as was the citywide JAMBO on Columbus Day weekend, which is now scheduled to take place on Staten Island at Pouch Camp Columbus Day weekend. Pouch Day Camp is offering a pre-season discount that takes the cost of a week of camp to under $200. The camp is for boys and girls entering 2nd through 6th grades in the fall. Scouting membership is not required. More information is at http://www.pouchdaycamp.org — the offer expires May 31.

Elections were held for offices in the coming year. Westerleigh resident and community leader Chris Williams was elected President. Williams is the owner of Williams Eye Works and president of the North Shore Rotary Club. He was most recently honored on March 1 by the YMCA as an “Unsung Hero” for his work on Sandy recovery, helping to coordinate efforts with his fellow Rotarians and organizing everything from serving burgers to demolishing homes to deploying goods to the areas that needed them the most. He is also a registered leader in Troop 2 and the father of an Eagle Scout. He served as finance chair for Staten Island Boy Scout Council for the past 4 years.

Incoming Staten Island Boy Scout Council President Chris Williams, far right, receives gavel from outgoing President John Caltabiano (far left) after being sworn in by Greater NY Council President Alair Townsend (center left) as Field Director Joseph Schiltz looks on.

Incoming Staten Island Boy Scout Council President Chris Williams, far right, receives gavel from outgoing President John Caltabiano (far left) after being sworn in by Greater NY Council President Alair Townsend (center left) as Field Director Joseph Schiltz looks on.

Williams was sworn in by Boy Scouts of America’s Greater New York Councils (GNYC) Executive President, Ms. Alair Townsend, (former publisher of Crain’s New York Business.) Ms. Townsend was key member of the GNYC effort to save Pouch Camp and turn it into a permanent “green” reserve.

Charles Greinsky was elected Vice President of Community Relations and Anne Marie Borriello was confirmed as Aquehonga District Chair. Williams will also serve as Staten Island Representative on the GNYC Executive Committee, and John Franzreb III is the representative to the GNYC Advisory Board. Forty-six at members where also elected to the Council Board.

Council members were shown the new quarterly Staten Island newsletter – Scouting Today, which will bring news and upcoming events for Staten Island.

It was noted that across New York City 76 Scouting units took part in NY Parks Day, cleaning up, planting as part of the Million Tree campaign, doing coastal cleanup and other tasks. The breakout of Staten Island units was not available, but several Packs and Troops participated.

Other events that are coming up include the Adult Recognition Dinner on June 4, the Good Scout Dinner on June 12, honoring Josephine Lindquist of Northfield Bank and Jane Rodgers of the Staten Island Yankees. There will also be a posthumous recognition of Gladys Schweiger at the Good Scout Dinner. In addition, the annual Golf Outing will be on June 21 at la Tourette.

For information about joining Scouting or about any Scouting event or program, contact Field Director Joe Schiltz at (212) 651-2827. Information is also available at www.beascout.org. Information about Staten Island events can found on the web at https://statenislandboyscouts.wordpress.com. Staten Island has a national program, Venturing, which is open to young men and women ages 14-21; Cub Scouts is for boys in first to fifth grade, and Boy Scouts is for boys 6th grade to age 18.

The next Council meeting will be in September.

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