We are excited and honored to have a mention in the Spring 2017 Eagles’ Call magazine. What follows is a reprint of the article that appeared on page 5 of that magazine.
NESA Commitee Spotlight:
Montana Council, Great Falls, Mont.
If Montana were a metropolitan area, it would fall right between Honolulu and Tulsa on the U.S. population list. But it’s America’s fourth-largest staten, nearly as big as California and more than half the size of Texas. That sprawling geography – all of which the Montana Council covers – presents some special challenges to the Montana Council’s NESA committee.
Formed in the fall of 2014, MT-NESA is working to gradually build an infrastructure to support Scouting and Eagle Scouts across the Treasure State.
“You’ve got to take this with baby steps,” says Steve, Bowen, who chairs the committee and is a member of the national NESA committee.
Step one for Bowen was to identify NESA chairmen in the council’s western, central and eastern service areas, each of which covers five districts. Like politics, all Scouting is local, so these chairmen are focusing on local events, much like the council does with its executive board, which rotates meeting locations.
“They don’t get everybody to drive 500 miles from the west side of the state to the east side for a Saturday morning meeting,” he says.
MT-NESA is also using the Distinguished Eagle Scout and NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout awards to recognize exemplary men and garner publicit for Scouting. Last summer, for example, the committee presented the DESA to Chief Judge DAna L. Christensen o the United States District Court for the District of Montana, garnering positive publicity. In just two years, the committee has presented four NOESAs and two DESAs.
“That’s quite a bit for a council that only has 8,000 Scouts and 3,000 volunteers,” Bowen says.
The committee also oversees the “Report to the State” presentation made to Montana’s governor, which updates hm on the status of Scouting in the state each year. In addition, the coundil actively promotes MT-NESA directly to new Eagle Scouts through a letter inserted in Eagle Scout Award packets and through its electronic newsletter, an effort Bowen thinks will soon pay off.
“The enthusiasm of newly re-engaged Eagle Scouts – from 17 to 70-plus years old – is palpable and will have positive effects down the road,” he says.