Our outgoing Scout Executive Les Baron helped grow Scouting in many ways, but one of his strongest legacies is in his work to grow our Council’s endowment. In January 2014 our Council was awarded a matching grant from the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation, $2.5M of which was earmarked for our endowment fund. Les immediately took the precaution of meeting with the Endowment Team over blueberry pancakes to lay out our plan of attack and to mobilize members – his inspiration and experience were everywhere and he always kept a steady hand on the helm!
Fast forward 4 ½ years. By April of this year Les had already led us to achieve several milestones – the endowment matching grant was completed 8 months early; the endowment fund more than doubled, reaching $13M; over 170 Camperships and 400 Scoutreach Scholarships were awarded in each of the past three years; and over $160K was earmarked for top-priority camp maintenance from endowment fund interest…oh, yes, and a debt-free Council!
Les’ impact reaches far beyond donors and checks – he taught us that Endowment isn’t just fundraising, but maintaining genuine long term relationships with all our Supporters–with Scouts, Scouters, parents, colleagues, professionals and friends. He knows that 1,520 Eagle Scout Awards earned annually make a powerful force for citizenship and leadership in our communities, and that Family Scouting today puts our Nation in capable hands tomorrow. Les understands that making Scouts “Prepared. For Life” with sound values, moral compasses, and training to make ethical decisions is the best investment we can ever make in our youth!
Across his career in Scouting, Les built his solid Legacy for future generations and we know we are better citizens because of his leadership! Thanks, Les, for showing us how to make the perfect cast, to lead those clay pigeons and to keep our priorities straight!
Godspeed, Les and Kim!