It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to Captain Les Baron. Yes, that’s right: captain. After 38 years as a professional Scouter, Les is headed out to sea. If you need him now he can be found in Florida waters offering tours and fishing trips with Brown Dog Adventures.
During the eight years he spent as our Scout Executive, Les helped our Council grow and accomplish an amazing amount. Under his leadership nearly 100,000 young people joined Scouting, more than 12,000 earned their Eagle Scout Award, and we recorded more than 4 million service hours.
At the same time we were growing our summer camp programs and facilities. Goshen Scout Reservation posted record attendance numbers, built a new dam, rennovated one dining hall, replaced another all together, added a STEM program, and celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Camp William B. Snyder celebrated its 10th anniversary, added a new STEM Shack and woodworking shop, built a new dining hall, and is now running near capacity all year round.
During this time our council also merged with the U.S. Virgin Islands Council. Working with local families, he forged new relationships with community organizations that have revitalized Scouting in the Islands. Camp Howard M. Wall has also been rebuilt as such an exciting high adventure destination that starting next year it will be part of Sea Base’s program.
He accomplished all of this while paying off our council’s debt and growing the endowment to almost $13 million.
But perhaps the best thing that can be said about Les is that the changes he made will endure beyond his time here. Their impact will be felt for generations to come as the families he helped welcome begin their own traditions of Scouting.
Les was the steady hand on the tiller during times of great change for Scouting, reminding us that through it all our our core values remain the same. They are our guiding star through stormy seas.
Now that’s a lasting impact!