We have very much to be proud of from our efforts in 2018. I would like to take a few minutes to highlight our accomplishments and to look to the future.

2018 was an exciting year for the Five Rivers Council and we took many proactive steps forward. The highlights include:

  • For the first time in more than 13 years we had membership growth as a council. In fact, our 3.4% increase was the 4th highest membership growth out of the 64 councils in the Northeast Region.
  • For the 2nd time in the last 3 years we earned the Gold Journey to Excellence level and had the highest score of any council in all of Area 3.
  • More than 150 young ladies joined our Cub Scout Program and we are excited about more joining Scouts, BSA starting next week.
  • Our Scouts provided more than 15,000 hours of service to the community.
  • 53 of our Scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
  • Our 3rd consecutive year of a balanced operating budget.
  • We added more than $30,000 to the Council Endowment Fund ? the second consecutive year with an influx of money to the fund.
  • Significant investments were made in improving our Camp facilities. We would like to recognize the Council Shooting Sports Committee for their efforts this past year to make significant efforts to improve our shooting sports facilities including the construction of a new Skeet Field at Camp Gorton.
  • We would also like to recognize the Friends of Camp Gorton for their efforts to raise funds and get work donated to improve our Camp facilities. The partnership between the Council and the Friends of Camp Gorton resulted in more than $50,000 worth of improvement to our camp infrastructure including the replacement of roofs, painting of buildings, and efforts to make our latrines more private and family friendly.
  • Finally we recently completed a very successful Audit of our operations, governance, and programs by the BSA National Office.? In fact, the team leader stated, ?I have done lots of these throughout the country and this is one of the best run Councils that I have seen!?

We would like to thank and recognize our board members who are completing their terms of service to the Council. These outgoing board members are:

?????? Andrew Bishop

?????? James Headley

?????? Mark Lemmon

?????? Gary Neiley

?????? Thomas ?T? Thompson

?????? Jay Voorhees

?????? Robert Walker

We would like to thank this year?s Nominating Committee:

?????? Rick Maxa ? Chair

?????? Hillary Austin

?????? Randi Hewitt

?????? Chris Sharkey

?????? Jan van den Blink

?????? John Meier

?????? Rick Lines

?????? Jamie Johnson

Tom Lynch was voted in as our Council President

Marc McGrain was voted in as our Council Commissioner along with the following District Commissioner?s:

?????? Ryan Ross ? Andaste

?????? Jerry Vasicek ? Indian Waters

?????? Melisa Swain ? Thunderbird

?????? Joe Johnson ? Williamson Road

The following were voted in as District Chairs:

?????? Richard Lines ? Andaste

?????? Steve Nagle ? Indian Waters

?????? George Harris ? Thunderbird

?????? Kurt Groeger ? Williamson Road

The following were voted in as new members of the Council Executive Board:

?????? Chris Karam

?????? Chris Kopf

?????? Todd Haraty

?????? John Sharkey

?????? Rob Sweet

?????? Steve Welliver

The following Charter Organizations were recognized for long service to Youth and Scouting:

?????? 20 years ? T4010 ? Smithfield Township Fire Dept. ? AD

?????? 30 years ? T1009 ? Saint Ann?s Catholic Church ? TB

?????? 40 years ? T33 ? Loyal Order of the Moose Canton ? AD

?????? 40 years ? T154 ? American Legion Post #154 ? IW

?????? 40 years ? P1026 ? Alfred Station Vol. Fire Co. Assn. ? TB

?????? 40 years ? T106 ? First Presbyterian Church ? WR

?????? 40 years - P2020 Liberty Presbyterian Church - WR

?????? 45 years - T19 - Union University Church - TB

?????? 45 years - P79 - Gang Mills Fire Department - WR

?????? 50 years - P32 - Wellsboro United Methodist Church - WR

?????? 55 years - T84 - First U.M. Church of Horseheads - IW

?????? 55 years - P78 - First U.M. Church of Corning - WR

?????? 60 years - ?P3041 - B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge #2297 - IW

?????? 60 years - T43 - Pennsylvania Ave. U.M. Church - IW

?????? 60 years - P22 - VFW Post #6753 Knoxville -WR

?????? 65 years - P8 - American Legion Post #534 -AD

?????? 65 years - P30 - Columbia Township - AD

?????? 65 years - P42 - Campbell United Methodist Church - WR

?????? 70 years - T50 - Odessa Fire Department -IW

?????? 70 years - P18 - Hammondsport American Legion - TB

?????? 80 years - T62 - Greenwood Volunteer Fire Dept. - TB

?????? 85 years - T2042 - American Legion Post #1279 ? WR

?????? 100 years ? T22 ? Knoxsville Yoked Churches, Mens Fellowship

This year was special for our Council.? We had not one, but two leaders who are being recognized tonight for heroism with the Council Certificate of Merit.? There are several recognitions for scouts or scouters who help others in their times of need.? These recognition levels range from rescuers who put themselves in harm?s way to save another to those who use skills learned in the Scouting program who go out of their way to aid someone in need.? Tonight, we have two wonderful examples to share:

This Scouter was returning home from a Girl Scout program when she and her daughter observed a young boy walking in the cold rain in pitch darkness.? With tornado warnings in the area they were especially concerned and stopped to ask if he was ok and observed that his arm was injured.? They loaded this young man into their vehicle and drove him to the Emergency Room, trying to comfort him as best they could during the trip.? He was confused and disoriented and after getting him checked in to ensure his injuries were treated, Scout Leader Casey Root used her Youth Protection Training knowledge and followed up to ensure that he was well cared for and safe.?


This scouter was staying late at work after most people had left for home.? A coworker began making a noise that wasn?t laughing, wasn?t coughing, wasn?t a noise one would normally hear.? This Scouter rushed to the area, realized what was happening, and applied the Heimlich maneuver twice, effectively dislodging the blockage from her co-worker?s airway.?She had choked on a cookie and her airway became completely blocked, and she was very close to passing out.? Karen Case had spoken calmly to our victim, told her exactly what she needed to do, and effected the rescue so well that the ambulance that had been dispatched via 911 was canceled. ?Karen attributes her knowledge of first aid to what she picked up while taking a Wilderness First Aide course in preparation for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.

We are also proud to mention that our very own Camp Gorton Summer Camp Commissioner, Randy Sparling, recently received the National Medal of Merit for lifesaving actions after a witnessing a vehicular accident. Randy?s brave and selfless actions inspire Scouts and Community members alike.

Since 1980, the boy scouts have been using popcorn as a way for scouts to earn their own way to camp and other activities. Tonight we would like to recognize the individuals and units having the largest sales in the council.

Top selling Unit/Pack:

3041 from Indian Waters district with a total sale of $25,765.00

Top selling Scout per district:


Indian Waters - JAMES GERMAN

Thunderbird - RYAN STANFORD

Williamson Road - JEFF YUELING

The rising star award is the newest of five rivers council?s awards for 2019. This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual scouter, on the district level, who has significantly impacted the operations of their district in 2018. The districts have provided the names of these people, based on the hard work and dedication that this individual has shown in past year.

INDIAN WATERS: Brian Spencer


ANDASTE: Richard Lines

THUNDERBIRD: Bruce Jackson

The James E. West Award was presented to:

?????? Marie Jo Cory

?????? Tom Miller

?????? General Sullivan Council

The Venturing Leadership Award was presented to:

?????? Christine Ziegenfus

?????? Elizabeth Grunsey

The Camping Award was presented to:

?????? Joe Taylor

?????? Bob Aho

The Social Inspiration Award was presented to:

?????? Richard Lines ? Pack Award

?????? Brian Spence ? Troop Award

?????? Kalla Ziegenfus ? Individual

William T. Hornaday was presented to:

?????? Andrew Joiner

Silver Beavers were presented to:

?????? John Collson

?????? Ira Hale

?????? Peter Reif

Thank you very much to our dedicated Staff, amazing Executive Board, and to each and every one of our incredible volunteers ? you truly make a difference!!

Here is to a wonderful and successful 2019 in the Five Rivers Council.

-- Council President, Tom Lynch


special thanks to Corning Incorporated and its employees for generations of support to Scouting

special thanks to the Corning Foundation for its continued support of Scouting through the Employee Matching Gifts and Dollars for Doers Programs 


Five Rivers Council is supported by