Welcome to the Camp Staff Alumni Association

The concept of a Camp Staff Alumni Association began in July 2007 when five alumni from the 1970s gathered around a picnic table at Storer Reservation’s Tombstone campsite on a Sunday morning looking at old staff photographs. They reminisced about the summers when every campsite was full with troops and scouts — how the staff called the Reservation “home” for as much as three months every year — and the dedication of the staff to the property and program excellence. They wondered where all those staff members, spanning more than six decades, were located now and how the scouting experience had shaped their lives.

It was on that day, with memories of summers past, that formation of the Alumni Association and decade-specific alumni troops was proposed as a personalized means to seek and sustain alumni involvement, reconnect, and support the Council and Storer Scout Reservation.

During 2007-2009, the Alumni recruited, organized, and defined their mission and objectives. By January 2010, the Alumni had identified the issues most important to them and established the means for managing alumni contributions and donations. The Council embraced the Alumni Association and its members. In 2013, the Association established the Alumni Newsletter to enhance communication, affirmed its organizational structure, and established a holistic commitment to supporting the Council and Scouting program.

Storer Scout Reservation, originally operated by Boston Council, is now part of the Spirit of Adventure Council. Former staff members from any of the camps once affiliated with Boston, Minuteman, or Yankee Clipper councils, or any of the other Councils that merged with them, are welcome to join the Association. This includes former staff at Adams Pond and Wild Goose (Storer Reservation), Parker Mountain, Sachem, Quinipoxett, Loon Pond, Fellsland, Sayre, Massasoit, Indian Pond, Wah-Tut-Ca, and Lone Tree.

The membership roster was built by identifying former staff in old photographs and collective work by many. The roster contains contact information for each staff member and their skills. More than 250 alumni spanning six decades have joined the Alumni Association since fall 2007, and we anticipate many more to join in the coming months and years. It must be a team effort to find former staff members.

The diversity of professional and life-skills among alumni, combined with extensive knowledge of camp operations and programs, present a valuable resource for the camp and Council. Alumni can help by contributing leadership and technical skills, making donations that facilitate continuity in camp operations, mentoring, and helping with needed improvements. In total, alumni share an unprecedented array of life skills and historic knowledge that can aid the Council, scouts, and current staff.

Everyone is thrilled that we are moving forward and reconnecting. Friendships are being renewed and many old stories, sayings, and songs are being shared. Subjects include camp vehicles, nights off, staff dances, brush crew, staff week, campfires, program areas, teaching of scouting skills, sharing of knowledge, building of self-confidence and leadership skills, lots of accomplishments, and the best place on Earth (summer camp).

Your enthusiastic support is appreciated. Participate as you can; everyone is welcome. Please go to the alumni website and register (www.bmccampstaffalumni.org) — and especially look for old photographs, staff rosters, staff wills, and former staff members. We are going back to camp!

Bruce A. Colvin

Chairman, Camp Staff Alumni Association; bacolvin@juno.com

(Staff: Parker Mt. 1970-71; Storer Reservation 1972-77)

THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION GOAL, OBJECTIVES, AND MOTTO

Our Goal: Help maintain and enhance the summer camp program and promote the principles of Scouting.

Our Six Objectives:

  • Help sustain the legacy, continuity, and traditions of summer camp;

  • Have an annual Alumni Weekend at camp and build a network of staff alumni;

  • Perform projects to enhance camp infrastructure and program areas;

  • Perform fundraising to assist projects and programs selected by the Alumni;

  • Provide professional skills, expertise, and mentoring to enhance camp operations and programs;

  • Promote core values: self-reliance, team work, self-sacrifice to help others, and respect for natural resources.

Our Motto: “We will give back to camp more than camp gave to us.”

THE ORGANIZATION

The Alumni Association has a defined organization that includes an Executive Board, Committees, and Alumni Troops by decade.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is comprised of the: Association Chairman, Alumni Commissioner, Membership Chairman, Web Site coordinator, the three Committee Chairman (Reunion, Work Weekend, and Finance), and the Scoutmaster of each Alumni Troop.

Association Chairman

The Association Chairman chairs the Executive Board and helps guide policy, coordination among the alumni leadership, and organizational decisions. The Association Chairman also holds an annual meeting and may call other meetings of the Executive Board as necessary to facilitate coordination and decision making. The Chairman may interface with the Council Scout Executive in concert with the Alumni Commissioner.

Alumni Commissioner

The Commissioner interfaces with the Council’s Scout Executive and Executive Board regarding Alumni recommendations, participation, and events. The Commissioner facilitates policy, planning, and promotes a holistic approach to alumni involvement that may include activities at camp, participation in local events, or serving on Council committees. The Commissioner also serves as the Editor for the Alumni newsletter used to keep Alumni informed of scheduled events and activities.

Membership Chairman

The Association’s Membership Chairman maintains a centralized listing of alumni data, including contact information, camp and job when a staff member, years on staff, and skills that may be applicable to the alumni mission. Up-to-date email listings are important and will be used for communication among the alumni membership. Make sure the membership Chairman has your current information.

Webmaster

The Association’s web site is maintained by an alumni Webmaster. The alumni website and newsletter are the principal communication tools used by the Association. Postings include information on the Association’s organization, events, general announcements, meeting minutes, and photographs. Please go to the website and register, since it is the means by which email addresses are obtained and maintained for distribution of alumni information. Email the Webmaster documents or photographs that can be posted and shared with others.

The website address is: www.bmccampstaffalumni.org

Committees

There are three committees (Social, Projects, and Finance), and the chairman of each is on the Association’s Executive Board. The committee membership is comprised of representatives from each Alumni Troop.

Social

The Chairman of the Social Committee coordinates the annual social events for alumni, particularly the Alumni Weekend held at camp the first weekend in August. This is an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of camp – see the scouts and staff in action — and remember the culture and themes of our era (including old stories, trivia, sayings, and accomplishments). Alumni Weekends have been fantastic, with fun events, use of program areas, a lobster/steak banquet, campfire, awards, and a memorial service to remember lost alumni. This committee may plan other social events, such as a winter gathering in the Boston area.

Projects

The Chairman of the Projects Committee helps determine possible alumni projects and opportunities for participation and fund-raising based on Council needs, alumni wishes, and approval of the Association’s Executive Board. Work Weekends are held principally in the spring; however, opportunities to participate in a Work Weekend may occur periodically throughout the year. This is another way to demonstrate alumni work ethic and provide opportunity for those with craft skills to contribute. Examples of projects completed through alumni financial donations and labor include a new archery range, handicraft lodge, waterfront improvements, staff cabins, roofing, renovation of the Goose building, and a parade ground at Adams.

Finance

The Chairman of the Finance Committee acts as the Treasurer for the Association. The Finance Committee promotes fund-raising campaigns and tracks donations (including cash, equipment, and supplies) and expenditures. Alumni funds generated from social events and dues are deposited in an operating account identified as “Camp Staff Alumni Association” at the Spirit of Adventure Council. Those funds are released by the Council when requested by the Association’s Treasurer who first must obtain written approval from at least four Executive Board members. Excess funds in the operating account are used annually to support program supplies and equipment. Funds generated from fund-raising campaigns are placed in a capital account at the Council, referenced to the Alumni Association, and allocated by the Council for projects identified by the Alumni Association.

Alumni Troops

There are six Alumni Troops: 60, 70, 80, 90, 00, and 10. The reason for the alumni troops is to give each age group an opportunity to re-connect and share experiences unique to their decade. The troop concept also assures representation and long-term sustainability as each decade steps-up to take leadership roles over time.

There are six possible leadership roles within each troop: Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Historian, Social Committee representative, Projects Committee representative, and Finance Committee representative.

Troop Scoutmaster

Each Alumni Troop has a Scoutmaster who represents the staff associated with that particular decade. The Scoutmaster coordinates with other alumni scoutmasters, helps keep troop members informed, facilitates planning, and may identify troop-specific projects and activities. The Scoutmaster serves on the Association’s Executive Board.

Assistant Scoutmaster

Each Alumni Troop will have an Assistant Scoutmaster who will recruit members, maintain and update membership databases for that decade, and provide data to the Association’s Membership Chairman. The Internet is a great search tool (Zabasearch, Intelius, White Pages People Finder) to find former staff.

Troop Historian

The Historian for each Alumni Troop assembles staff photos and maintains historic records of alumni names and staff positions. The Troop Historian focuses on research and documentation, emailing old staff photographs so that staff members can be identified. Please take time to study old photos, locate old rosters and staff wills/yearbooks, find memorabilia, and identify faces in staff photos. That’s how alumni are identified and found.

CHAMPIONS PROGRAM

In addition to Alumni Weekends, Work Weekends, and fund-raising, the Alumni have a mentoring program to help the current staff and assist the Council. This is called the “Champions” program. It involves former staff with subject-area expertise, skills, and knowledge. These alumni offer assistance by topic (e.g., Administration, Finance, Construction, Property Management, Nature, Waterfront, Field Sports, Handicrafts, Scoutcraft, Climbing Course, Medical). Some alumni participate in the Council’s “Merit Badge University” held in the Boston area annually or advise the Council on technical or management issues when requested.

Volunteer to be a Champion or subject-matter expert.

  • Network with other alumni to achieve participation.

  • Recruit items needed by the camp staff or program areas.

  • Bring forward the successes of the past for consideration by current staff.

  • Offer mentoring, training, and new ideas for program activities.

  • Be an advocate for program area enhancement and needs.

  • Be an advocate of staff recognition for program area excellence.

  • Offer professional or trade skills to assist the Council.

DONATIONS AND DUES

Donations to support the Alumni Association’s mission are important and tax deductible.

Make checks payable to: Spirit of Adventure Council.

Note on the check’s memo line: Camp Staff Alumni Association

Mail checks to: Boston Minuteman Council, 411 Unquity Road, Milton, MA 02186

All donations are placed in the Alumni Association’s account with the Council. Funds are released for specific projects at Storer Reservation or Parker Mountain, as agreed upon by the Council and the Association’s Executive Board. All donations are tax deductable using the Council’s 501c3 non-profit, tax exempt, status and will be acknowledged by the Council.

Donations of any amount are welcome and much appreciated (cash, materials, equipment). For those able to contribute larger cash amounts, the donation will be acknowledged on the Association’s “Wall of Fame” display in the camp dining hall. Donation categories are:

Contributor $150

Sponsor $250

First Class: $500

Star: $1,000

Life: $2,500

Eagle: $5,000 or more

Dues are voluntary. Annual dues are $25 and Lifetime dues, paid at one time, are $250. Dues are requested concurrent with the Alumni Weekend held each year at Storer. When paying dues, mail checks as stated above with the annotation “Camp Staff Alumni Dues.” Dues are used to aid the annual purchase of program area supplies and equipment.

SPIRIT AWARDS TO RECOGNIZE ALUMNI AND CURRENT STAFF

Over the past 60 years, many staff members have contributed to the success of the Boston Minuteman Council summer camping program through dedicated leadership, unique program ideas, and commitment to scouting and teaching. To recognize these individuals, the Alumni have established the Tony Toto Memorial Spirit Awards. The first Spirit Award was presented in 2008 to Ernie Waldron, legendary Camp Ranger.

Tony Toto served as the Camp Director at Parker Mountain (Minuteman Council) during the 1960s and was instrumental in the development of Storer Scout Reservation (Boston Council) during the 1970s as the Council’s scouting professional responsible for the camp. His insightful leadership style and focus on quality were unmatched. His high expectations and unwavering demand for work ethic, accountability, respect, and unselfish commitment by the camp staff are legendary.

Tony believed in delivering dynamic, challenging, and creative programs for scouts as the underlying mission and the basis for leadership development. He expected attention to detail, including every element of the camp appearance and maintenance. In particular, Tony believed in teamwork and giving personal attention to the success of every scout that passed through the camp gate. Many of the camp’s features, infrastructure elements, and program areas are a direct result of his long-term planning and vision for economic sustainability of the camp, effective land use management, and harmony with the camp’s incredible natural resources.

Two “Spirit Awards” are given annually: 1) Alumni Award – to an alumnus who uniquely and unselfishly contributed while on staff but never received the “thank you” they truly deserved and 2) Staff Award – based on the principles of leadership, commitment, and program execution (as described above for Tony Toto) and contribution to the current success of camp programs.

The Alumni Executive Board selects the Spirit Award recipients in advance of the Alumni Weekend each year and presents the awards at that event. The current Camp Director and Program Director will make recommendations to the Alumni Association Chairman regarding the annual Staff Award.

INVOLVEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Many alumni have asked to be actively involved and others have said they can participate as their professional and family commitments allow. Regardless of your individual situation, consider joining a committee, participating in the Champions Program, making a donation, or attending an event. Participation and leadership is needed from each alumni Troop, so all decades are represented.

So please don’t wait to be asked; call or email your wishes and participate. Make contacts — call each other. Help plan events and find alumni. Bottom-line: get involved and have fun doing it.

Together we can make this a success if each person participates in their own way and as their personal and professional time allows. Remember, distance is not an acceptable excuse; email works great and the event dates are set long in advance. It doesn’t matter which camp you worked at, the inherent spirit of summer camp, scouting, and friendship is something that we all share; experience it again.

Importantly, we all benefited from the adventures and work at scout camp — such as lifetime skills, friendships, staff salaries, and incredible memories that enhanced our lives. Now it’s time to give something back. Help achieve our Alumni Association objectives and demonstrate our core values.

Remember The Alumni Motto:

We will give back to camp more than camp gave to us.”

Here’s the List: Six easy things to do:

1) Email your information to the Association’s Membership Chairman.

2) Look for staff wills, rosters, yearbooks, and photographs.

3) Help identify former staff using camp photographs.

4) Network to find alumni from your era; pass along contact information and encourage registration.

5) Plan your schedule to participate in Alumni events.

6) Think about what you could do to help meet the Alumni objectives; attend an event, join a committee, or make a donation – it’s all appreciated.

We’re glad that we found you and that you are part of the Association. Call if you have any questions or referrals – or an old story.

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND CONTACTS

Association Chairman: Bruce Colvin, bacolvin@juno.com (781-910-7368)

Alumni Commissioner: Nick Cortese, ncortese@comcast.net

Membership Chairman: Dom Ilacqua, dominic.ilacqua@gmail.com

Social Committee: Tony Morganelli, tonymorganelli@comcast.net

Projects Committee: Greg Boyd, grb04@comcast.net

Finance Committee: Lee Vergnani, sverg77@gmail.com

Webmaster: admin@bmccampstaffalumni.org