Spreading Scouting on Social Media

There a lot of potential uses for social media in Scouting. While Scouts BSA is an organization that focuses on experiential programs, platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer a lot of communication tools to stay in the loop with the Council and share your experiences with other Scouters!

Follow the Denver Area Council

The DAC is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as @DenverBoyScouts. Following our accounts are a great way to get up-to-date information as well as connect with others around the Council. The DAC pages also share content from our local Scouts as well as the National Office regularly!

Certain content, such as our Virtual Den Meetings and Facebook Live events are only accessible through our Facebook page. We also host photo contests and giveaways regularly. Share the DAC page with your fellow Scouters and help them stay connected as well.

Create a Troop, Unit, etc. Page or Group

Stay organized with you Troop using Facebook. It’s super easy to start a Facebook page or group. You will then be able to have all your parents and Scouters stay connected and follow your Unit’s adventures. You can also use the page as a repository for your group’s pictures, videos and other captured memories (Remember that if you tag @DenverBoyScouts, we might even share it!). Facebook Events also allow easy organization for your meetings and events.

You can also follow a Facebook page (like the Denver Area Council Page) as your page. It’s super easy if you follow this guide. You can then like, share and interact with DAC content as your Troop, Unit or other Scouting group! This will help keep your Scouting content organized, and allow your page to share DAC content directly to your Scouting community.

With the lack of in-person opportunities with COVID, having a virtual way of connecting is more valuable than ever!

Show Your Scouting

The BEST way to recruit new Cubs and Scouts is to show the wonderful experiences that your family is having! Posting pictures of your campouts, advancement activities, Eagle Projects and other Scouting programs shows your online community the variety of fun things that Scouting has to offer.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are used (especially on Instagram) as a way to utilize keywords and find content that you care about. Some Scout-related ones include

  • #ScoutMeIn
  • #ScoutsBSA
  • #BeAScout

You may have seen the DAC using #RestartScouting during the past couple months as we have shared COVID-safe Scouting resources the past couple of months. Your Pack, Unit or Troop could also use a hashtag to connect your posts (like #Unit100)!

Interact with Posts

There are a lot of ways to interact with the posts you see on your Facebook timeline. Did you know that interacting with posts by liking, commenting or sharing increases the chances that others will also see that post? That means that every time you engage with a post from the DAC, you’re helping the Council reach more people with our content!

You are also able to comment on posts to ask questions (or Messenger us), and will be sure to get a speedy answer! Social Media makes it easy to get quick answers and feedback directly from us.

Looking for a little more guidance on Social Media usage? National has published this short article on their recommendations.

Have an idea for another way to use Social Media to promote Scouting? Share below!

A Scavenger Hunt to Save Lives

Any Scout who has completed the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge knows that a key element of being prepared for the unknown is to have an Emergency Kit stocked and ready to go. Be Prepared is the Scout motto for a reason!

That being said, your Scout doesn’t have to wait until officially beginning his or her E-Prep Merit Badge to get that kit together! With the October theme of Scavenger Hunt, there is a perfect opportunity to create an activity out of the theme: During a Den, Pack, Troop of Crew meeting, set a timer and have each Scout find as many items on their Emergency Preparedness list as they can find! You can even use these great and comprehensive example supply lists from Boys’ Life to get started:

Family Emergency Kit

[In case you must evacuate your home with little notice]

  • Three-day supply of water
  • Nonperishable foods (including pet food) and a nonelectric can opener
  • Eating utensils
  • Special foods for any dietary restrictions, including baby foods
  • Family first-aid kit
  • Battery- or cranked-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries (rotate these out regularly so they don’t go stale in your closet)
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Blanket or sleeping bag for each family member
  • Extra clothing
  • Face masks for air filtering
  • Soap, wipes, antibacterial gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Copies of important family documents in waterproof containers
  • Signal whistle
  • Local maps
  • Cash

Major Disaster Preparedness Items

[If you can safely stay in your home during an emergency ]

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tool kit (with ax, shovel, broom, screwdriver, pliers, hammer, coil of rope, coil of bailing wire, duct tape, razor blades, adjustable wrench for turning off gas or water)
  • Chart showing location of shutoff valves in your home, including the main electrical switch
  • Portable fire escape ladder for homes or buildings of more than one floor
  • Portable butane or charcoal stove (to be used outdoors away from the garage)
  • Gloves and cloths for cleaning up dangerous spills
  • Covered containers for storing waste
  • Garden hose kept near an outside faucet

Personal Emergency Service Pack

[If you and your troop are called out to serve during an emergency]

  • Poncho or raincoat with hood
  • Change or underwear and socks
  • Small bag with toiletries
  • Sleeping bag and waterproof ground cloth
  • Map of area where you’re going
  • 50 feet of No. 5 sash cord
  • Hand ax, folding saw or pocketknife
  • Water treatment equipment
  • Cook kit and canteen
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Hard hart
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Emergency ration
  • Pencil and small notebook
  • Handkerchief
  • Compass and map of the area (and GPS if you have one, with extra batteries)
  • Watch
  • Facial tissues
  • Work gloves
  • Face masks for air filtering

Remember that you can always adapt these lists or create one to fit a specific emergency as well! For example, if you live near wildfire areas, what supplies should be at the ready?

Make it more interactive – before the Hunt have the Scouts list as many items that can be on an emergency preparedness list and then send them on the hunt with the list they made!

Once everyone is back from their Hunt talk about the importance of these items. This is a great way to get the Scouts thinking and moving. If you try it out, be sure to tag @DenverBoyScouts and tell us all about it! You can even share your list below.

Happy Hunting!

Let’s Get ScOUTside with Scavenger Hunts!

The Restart Scouting theme for October is Scavenger Hunt!

From the living room to the nearby park – being on the lookout for items is a great way to start to recognize your surroundings and connect to the world around you! Send your families out and about with a list of things to find and take photos of them to share!  Or set a timer and challenge your scouts to be the first to gather all their items in a virtual race in their own house!

Looking for a more challenging hunt? Hide painted rocks or something special to your Unit (a flag, neckerchief, etc.), create riddles/clues and send your Scouts on the hunt! Remember to be courteous to both your neighbors and the nature around you when planting these items!

 Learn more about how to plan a Scavenger Hunt your family, den patrol, pack, troop or crew! You can also check out these Cub Scout Den Specific Outdoor Scavenger Hunts.

While you’re out hunting, take a pic and tag @DenverBoyScouts on any social media platform with the hashtag #GetScOUTside.  Tell us what you found and with who! We can’t wait to hear about your scavenger hunt adventures!

Finding a New Meeting Space

For the past few months, the DAC has been working to help #KeepScoutingGoing while also ensuring members of your troop stay safe and engaged. Our youth thrive off of the social opportunities, leadership development and other self growth that occur when they are Scouting. As such, this post focuses on how to find and access a good in-person meeting place.

Bring a Unit Action Plan to Your Charter Organization

Many Charter Organizations may still allow you to meet in their facilities. If you are getting pushback, try using the Unit Action Plan.

Even with a solid action plan, your Charter Organization may not be comfortable letting you back into their space. Remember that it is their right to refuse their space, but it is technically part of your Charter Agreement that your CO will “Ensure appropriate facilities for the unit for its regular meetings to facilitate the aims of the Chartered Organization and Scouting”. As such, if your CO does not allow physical meeting in their space, try to engage them to work with you on finding an alternative arrangement. 

If you find your pack, den, troop or unit in a situation where you need to arrange finding a location on your own, there are other options available to you. Remember to follow current CDC and local health guidelines for health and safety when meeting in person, regardless of the location.

The Great and Vast Outdoors#GetScOUTside

The easiest solution is obviously to meet outside. Parks, green spaces, back yards and other open air environments are great and safe places to host your group! The location can even allow for some outdoor activities and allow the kids to get active before or after the official meeting[LY3] . (If you’re looking for activity ideas, check out the DAC Cub Scout Activity Kits provided by the council for every Cub Scout pack!) Remember that even in these spaces, honor social distancing guidelines and precautions whenever possible.

We are fortunate to have an abundance of outdoor space here in Colorado. However, as the weather gets colder, the outdoor spaces that many troops are meeting in will no longer be viable options for meeting with your troop. While this is still a few weeks away, it is important to start planning NOW to find your next locale. Here are some options to consider for your pack:

Come to CAP

Did you know that there is a 20,000 square foot adventure and multi-use space on the west side of Hamilton Scott Headquarters? Colorado Adventure Point (CAP) has half a dozen classrooms and program spaces that are available to host your meetings! What’s even better is that they can provide activities and entertainment for your Scouts in conjunction with your meeting. Learn more here.

Survey your Parents

Do any of the adults or parents in your unit own their own business? Do you have access to some office space? How about a restaurant owner with an events room? There are so many businesses and workplaces that could be perfect alternatives for your meetings. Be sure to gain the proper permissions from the owners or bosses of these companies, but many will surely be receptive to enabling kids to hang out and participate in something as wholesome as Scouting!

Research Alternative Community Locations

People don’t have to be personally involved in Scouting to want to help! Check with nearby community centers, schools, restaurants, rec centers, fire stations and other businesses to see if you can meet in their facilities once it is too cold to meet outdoors. Other social organizations like the VFW or American Legion may also be able to host. You can even utilize a unique space to facilitate a meeting activity. Meeting in a fire station? Have a safety moment that focuses on fire safety!

Partially Virtual

Some members of your den may still feel unsafe with in-person activities, even with social distancing, masks and other precautions. That is JUST FINE! Invite them to join your meetings through Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime or another streaming app. If you find that you have a lot of members that are only interested in virtual meetings, consider how you can adapt your activities and meeting agenda to help keep them engaged from afar.

Some units are even implementing the Patrol Method as a means of hybrid virtual meetings. Have the smaller group of your Den or Patrol meet in person at a location, and join with the rest of your Pack, Unit or Troop virtually after some in-person activities.

Get creative!

There are a plethora of alternative ideas that we haven’t covered here. What has worked for you and your Scouts? Share below and we can help inspire others in the DAC! Also remember you can always tag us @DenverBoyScouts on any social media site.

Looking for more resources as you navigate Scouting during Covid? Check out the Restart Scouting page on our website today!

Unit Action Plan to Get Back to Your Charter Organization Meeting Space

With the cold front that blew in this week it is more obvious than ever that your Den, Patrol or other Scouting group needs to figure out a meeting place for this fall and winter season. With Covid restrictions, this may seem like an impossible task. However, we found a success story from Troop 130 in Golden. They developed a plan and were able to get back into their Chartered Organization’s facility after initially being told ‘no’. Italicized below is the plan that they followed to successfully regain entry.

Unit Action Plan

Initial Considerations

It is important to recognize the risks and concerns that your Chartered Organization is considering in their decision to allow Scouts back into their space. As such, here are the considerations Troop 130 made when making their ask:

1.   The Troop committee met before meeting with the church to discuss the impact we could have on the congregation, and we let the church know we had this meeting. A Scout is Reverent.

2.   We shared our estimate of the potential concerns that the church may have and presented our potential solutions to address them. We didn’t have a list of concerns from them, we just assumed. A Scout is Prepared.

3.   We also shared with them our policies that we’ve been executing this summer. We thanked them for the relationship we have and for them continuing to support the family of units they sponsor. A Scout is Courteous.

Health and Safety Measures Promised

As has been emphasized in all parts of the #RestartScouting Rally, health and safety are of paramount importance. A Scout is Clean. To ensure the wellbeing of all participants as well as the Chartered Organization, here are the protocols that were promised by the Troop:

  • We will limit indoor participation to 25 people per meeting. We intend to accomplish this by allowing 2 patrols (and associated leaders and parents) to attend per meeting night, and continuing to offer online meetings for the remaining scouts.
  • We will log everyone in/out of the building for their reference.
  • We will, prior to entry of the building, conduct a temperature and health screening of each attendant.
  • We will require that masks be worn when in the building, and we will maintain social distancing as best as possible.
  • We will use only one entrance/exit to the building.
  • We will limit participants access to the fellowship hall and the bathrooms on that floor. We will close, and lock if available, access to the other parts of the building.
  • We will provide tables and chairs and avoid sitting/touching other surfaces, asit gives us a targeted area to clean.
  • We will clean and sanitize all touch surfaces prior to and following each meeting, and we will provide our own cleaning supplies.
  • We will monitor the school exposure as it progresses, and should any concerns arise, we will quarantine to Zoom meetings.
  • We will remain in contact with the church as things progress, and should someone in our membership contract COVID, we will inform the church immediately.

While every Chartered Organization is different, having a plan that shows you are serious about following CDC and local guidelines is a clear indication to your CO that your group will respect the space. Following that plan is a good way to ensure the health of your fellow Scouters as well. 

Furthermore, it is technically part of your Charter agreement that your CO will “Ensure appropriate facilities for the unit for its regular meetings to facilitate the aims of the Chartered Organization and Scouting”. As such, if your CO does not allow physical meeting in their space, try to engage them to work with you on finding an alternative arrangement. If that is not successful, check out our Meeting Space article on more ideas for finding somewhere to meet.

If you use this plan to get back into your Chartered Organization meeting space, tell us all about it! If you have additional tips or success stories, we want to hear about that as well. Submit your story at this link or tag @DenverBoyScouts on social media.

Thank you for helping us #RestartScouting!

Let’s Sell Some Popcorn!

Selling popcorn this year is very different from a typical year. The DAC is here to help in any way that we can! In September, we released a video with our tips and tricks to be as effective as possible with your selling for 2020. In case you missed it, here are the Top 10 Tips that were shared by some Scouts:

1.       Make a pitch to businesses who give gifts to their referral sources and staff.

2.       You could say something like ‘Help me and my fellow Scouts go camping!’.

3.       Tell a bit about Scouting.

4.       Keep it simple!

5.       Share your favorite flavors.

6.       Have a defined pitch memorized and ready to go.

7.       Speak in a bold voice.

8.       Sell to family with online direct.

9.       Smile and be energetic when you speak.

10.     Be kind and polite, even if they say no!

Beyond this Scout-created list, there are several smart practices for selling this fall. As in all things as we #Restart Scouting, remember to be safe and healthy in your selling. Wear a mask and social distance when in public places. Also be sure to follow all local and CDC guidelines.

Free Shipping

One factor that has been extremely successful across the Council is to take advantage of free shipping over $30! The DAC and Trails End has extended this great offer – it is a great opportunity to push those orders to the $30 mark!

Use Social Media

The internet is as open as ever and has opportunities to connect you and your Scout with loved ones around the country. Take a video of your child making a traditional popcorn pitch. Share it with friends and family using social media, email, direct messaging and more!

Set SMART goals

This year might need some adjustment to your Scout’s goals. This is ok! Hitting points of accomplishment will help your Scouts feel successful and empowered as they sell. Adjust your goals – start a little smaller and you can always set the bar higher once you hit your benchmarks!

Reward Success

As noted above, it is great for youth to be recognized for their accomplishments. Recognize the members of your troop who are hitting their goals! Spread the word when Scouts find success, or maybe even give them a small reward when they hit a selling goal.

Share your Ideas with the DAC!

Has your Troop found a secret to success for selling this fall? Tag @DenverBoyScouts on any social media or tell us about it here! Let’s #RestartScouting together!

Fun Games for your Den!

When your Scouts lose focus or attention or it’s time for some exercise –Bring out a fun high spirited game!


The Denver Area Council is pleased to offer free Den Leader Fun Kits to all Cub Scout Packs! These fun kits come with a set of 10 soft stress balls and activity ideas to help keep your Pack engaged and active during your meetings. Check out some of the fun activities below! Contact your District Executive to get your Fun Kit today!


Equipment: Three or Four Balls. Cubs in a large circle with three or four in the center with a ball each.  Those in the center throw balls to any Cub in the circle.  If a Cub misses his catch once, he kneels, twice, he sits, three misses and he lies down and the next time he is out.  If he catches the ball any time he is in one of the above positions he comes back to the position before.


Equipment: One ball per team.  Teams in a line, the last players having the ball.  One the starting signal the ball is passed along the line to number 1, who then races to the back of the line and passes the ball forward.  When the person at the head of the lines receives the ball he races to the back and passes it forward.  Continue until number 1 is back to his place.  First team to finish is the winner.


Equipment: A ball. If there is a large number of players, they should form a circle.  For a small group, have the players spread out and form a square or five-sided figure.  One player is chosen to be “it” and he stands in the center.

The other players bounce or throw the ball around or across the circle or square.  They try to keep the ball away from “it” while he, of course, tries to get his hands on the ball.  When “it” catches the ball, he changes places with the last player who threw it and the game continues.


Equipment: Three balls, three tins.  Pack in a large circle.  Stand the three tins in the center of the circle.  One of the players stands in the center and stands up the tins as they are knocked down by the circle of Cubs with the balls.  When all three tins are knocked over at the same time the Cubs who knocked over the third tin changes places with the one in the center.


Equipment: Two Balls. The Cubs form a circle.  The Leader takes one ball (possum) which he starts on its way around the circle. A moment later he starts the other ball (dog).  The dog must catch the possum before it reaches the starting point.


Equipment: One ball.  One scout is “it” and he stands in front of the group with his back to them. “It” tosses the ball backwards over his head to the group. Whichever Scout catches the ball, holds it behind his back. All other scouts pretend to hold the ball behind their backs. When scouts are ready, they all shout, “Hey, Hey, Who’s got the ball?” “It” turns around and has 2 or 3 guesses to find out who has it, depending on group size. If he guesses correctly, he remains “it”. Otherwise, the Scout with the ball becomes “it.”


Equipment: Blindfolds and two chairs. Leaders are inside the harbor, the mouth of which is formed by two chairs. Dens are blindfolded in single file with their hands on the shoulders of the Scout in front of them. The Leader must shout directions to his den in order to get them into the harbor. First den through the harbor mouth wins.


Equipment: A tennis ball for each den.  The first Scout will get down on their back, and, supporting themselves on their hands and feet, walk to a line 30 feet away, while balancing their tennis ball on their chest. If it falls off, they must stop and replace it before continuing. Once they reach the line, they get up, and run the tennis ball back to the next Scout.  The first den finished wins.


Equipment: None. Designate one person as “it.”  They will try to tag other people. When they tag someone, they will go behind the first person and hold on to their shoulders. This will continue until there are four people, when they will split into two trains. This will continue until there is one person left.  The last Scout starts out as the train in the next round.


Equipment: A sheet of paper for each den member, plus one sheet.  If playing outside, you may want to use blocks, and you may also want to give each person two pieces, and tell them that they can only have one foot on one at a time.  Line up pieces of paper. Have everyone stand on their pieces, leaving the extra one at the back. The scouts will then take the paper and pass it up to the front, allowing them to advance one piece of paper. This will continue until all scouts and pieces of paper are across the finish line.  If a person touches the ground, then they drown, and the whole den has to go to the starting line without resetting their time.  The den that gets across to the finish line the fastest, with all den members alive, wins.


Always stop games while they are fun, leaving the Scouts wanting to play again: quick 5 minute games spaced smartly throughout a meeting will ensure focus during the meeting and everyone will have a good time.

As always, be sure to tag us on social media (@DenverBoyScouts) to show off your Den or Pack having fun with these activities!

Looking for more activities for your Den? Bring them to CAP for archery, BBs, rockclimbing, STEM experiments or leatherworking! Additionally, more resources are available on the DAC site.

Let’s Hike to Restart Scouting!

There are so many great activities to enjoy with your fellow Scouters as we #RestartScouting together! For September, the monthly themed activity is Hiking! Here in Colorado we are lucky enough to have some of the best hiking in the world. Even so, it can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. As we know, a Scout is Always Prepared so check out the tips below to ensure your hiking adventure is a successful one! Also, as we endeavor to Restart Scouting safely, remember to follow safety and health recommendations for your hike location.

Hiking is a great way to spend your time outdoors. It’s also a good way to get your heart pumping for some exercise or to test your limits. Some hikes are just a few hundred feet while others are many miles, but all can pose potential hazards if not carefully considered. Take some time to research your destination and its terrain so you can better prepare to have a memorable experience and fun while exploring.

Not all hikes are the same. Some pose rough terrain while others are more scenic and less physically demanding. Hiking may seem like one of the easiest things you can do in Scouting, but regardless, you should always be prepared for the same risks. Here are a few points from Scouting.org to consider when prepping for your hike:

  • Tools—A clean, sharp, and discreet tool can come in handy, so consider carrying a pocketknife. LED flashlights and fire starters (strike-anywhere matches) are also very useful and should be kept dry. Looking for some more advanced tools like trekking poles or light backpacking equipment? Contact CAP about our affordable rental options!
  • Clothing—Ponchos or parkas can protect you from rain showers, whether expected or unexpected, as well as block the wind to keep you warm. Comfortable and appropriate footwear will prevent any slips or falls while changing terrain or elevation. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather expected during your hike. Weather can change quickly, however, so be prepared for adverse conditions.
  • Trail food—Snacks like granola, dried fruits, and trail bars can give you the energy you need to complete your hike. Check out these great recipes!
  • First-aid kit—While a youth or adult leader will bring a group first-aid kit along, keeping your personal supplies with you is a good idea. Also, if your hike is going to take you above 6,000 feet in elevation, someone in the group should be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of high-altitude illnesses.
  • Sun protection—Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Broad-brimmed hats, synthetic fabrics, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, and lip balm with SPF are also effective in protecting you from the sun’s UV rays.
  • Map and compass—In unfamiliar areas, a map and a compass can help you. Learning how to use them through practice will ensure a safe hike as well as a safe hike home.
  • Water bottle—Drinking plenty of water while hiking can help to prevent dehydration.
  • Supplies—Consider writing down the supplies you need and what supplies you think you need. Staying organized with a checklist will provide a safeguard when Scouting and help you to become aware of risks you may not have thought about.
  • Buddy system—Buddy checks help to remind participants of their obligation to monitor their buddies so no one is left behind or is traveling too far ahead.

Looking for a location for your hike? Check out Jefferson County Open Space, Douglas County Open Space or AllTrails for inspiration!

Share your stories, experiences, videos, tips and ideas from your hiking adventure with us! Tag @DenverBoyScouts and we will share it with the rest of the DAC! Also, be sure to check back next month for October’s theme: Scavenger Hunt!

Interested in more ideas for #RestartScouting? Check out our dedicated webpage!

“The Scouts’ mission is a good compass to follow in your life,” says Chairman of the Board, Charlie McNeil.

A 4th generation Colorado native, Charlie McNeil was born in Greeley and raised in Estes Park. As a young boy Charlie joined the Cub Scouts and in 1965, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout from Troop 8 in Estes Park. In 2019, the National Eagle Scout Association awarded Charlie its highest recognition—the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Charlie McNeil

Charlie received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. The day after his graduation he married his wife of 48 years, Judy. They have two sons, one daughter and ten grandchildren. All of whom live in the Denver-metro area.

“My family is the love of my life. They mean everything to me. They are my purpose and a great posterity to carry on,” says Charlie. “My hobby is my family. I believe the fabric of our society is the family unit.”

Both of Charlie’s sons, his son-in-law and one of his grandsons have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Charlie is hoping a few more of his grandsons will as well. Charlie believes that Scouting “sets a boy on the right course to be a man.”

“My time with the Scouts is an important part of who I am today. What I learned in Scouting laid the path for me to follow a good direction in life and live by solid principles,” says Charlie. “I want to pass it forward and share the values I have learned as a Scout.”

Charlie and Judy are known for their philanthropic work and are asked to chair numerous major non-profit fundraising events in Colorado. In addition to chairing various events and bringing in donors, they are often generous financial contributors as well.

“It makes for a better community if we all chip in and do our part where our interests lie,” explains Charlie. Charlie lives and leads by example.

In 2006, Charlie joined Denver Area Council’s (DAC) Executive Board and in 2010 he was elected to the Board of Trustees. He served as the Vice President of Fundraising from 2011 to 2014, the Executive Vice President from 2015-2016 and the Council President from 2017-2018. Charlie currently serves as the Council’s Chairman of the Board.

In 2018 the DAC launched a new capital campaign, the major capital need was for improvements at the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch (PV) in Elbert, Colorado. The Growing Future Leaders capital campaign is not only about the physical buildings, it is about the impact the DAC will make on thousands of Scouts and non-Scouts for the next several generations. 

As part of the Campaign, the DAC held an unveiling ceremony at PV last summer to celebrate renaming the camp to the Charles S. McNeil Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch. The generous donation from the McNeil family not only commemorates their admiration for Scouting but will help enable tens of thousands of youth to enjoy PV well into the future.

Charlie believes that Scouting “sets a boy on the right course to be a man. The Scouts’ mission is a good compass to follow in your life.” And we at the DAC believe Charlie and his contributions to Scouting are a real-life example of this compass.

DAC Volunteers Like Matt Maranto Make Scouting a Success!

Once in a blue moon a volunteer comes around who gives as much to the Scouts through his presence as he does through his actions. Matt Maranto is that type of volunteer. Born in Colorado but raised in Florida, Matt experienced his first taste of volunteerism during his tenure as a Cub Scout. After college, a job opportunity brought Matt back home to Colorado where he met his wife of 29 years. They put down roots in Douglas County and raised a son and a daughter.

Their children attended an elementary school that offered both Brownies and Cub Scouts as extracurricular enrichments and both children signed up to participate. Matt’s dedication to Scouting was reborn with his son’s introduction to Cub Scouts and has endured—even after his son aged out.

“Being a Scout is a privilege filled with learning, responsibility, fellowship and fun,” Matt explains. “It is a simultaneous commitment to having fun, serving others, engaging in continuous learning and doing so in the safest environment possible. When I am at a scouting activity – whether it is a troop meeting or a National Jamboree – I always seem to be around great people, both youth and adults, who demonstrate high integrity, a passion for youth development and a willingness to serve others. I am a better person as a result.”

Currently, Matt is the Council Chair of Merit Awards. During his time with the Scouts he has investigated and recommended more than 70 Scouts and Scout Leaders receive recognition for lifesaving and/or meritorious actions. Matt invests a great amount of time researching each story of lifesaving and/or meritorious actions he is made aware of. This includes interviewing each Scout or Scout Leader, collecting accounts from witnesses, and compiling pages of documentation (can be upwards of 70+ pages) to submit to the National Council. His thoroughness in this process is a result of his dedication to the Scouts and making sure they are recognized for their hard work and contributions to the community. He does not want our heroes to go unsung.

“What I enjoy the most about Scouting is being able to mentor our youth,” Matt says.

Over the last 18 or more years, Matt has counseled or otherwise facilitated Scouts earning more than 300 religious emblems. In addition to watching and helping Scouts grow in their faith, he acts as a mentor. In this role he engages them in a conversation that typically includes: “So what are you thinking about doing after high school?” And this leads to a discussion about their future vision for themselves and their decision-making criteria and priorities.

Matt is clearly a top-notch mentor, “Over the years, 19 Scouts have presented me with Eagle Scout Mentor pins at their respective Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. I don’t think I have ever been able to fully articulate how very grateful I am for each one. I have also saved every Thank You note that I received – from either a Scout or a Scout parent – for contributing to the Scout’s success. Those mentor pins and notes mean much more than any other Scout award I have received.”

Matt gives so much of his time, friendship, and leadership to the Scouts. Each person who comes into contact with him is influenced by the emotional excitement he shows for the Scouts. As a lifelong volunteer, Matt has selflessly dedicated his time to providing character development and values-based leadership for our community’s youth.