Virtual Roundtable

July, 2013

Message from the Scout Executive...

Greetings & Salutations!

It has been a great summer, so far.  We had an awesome season at Camp John Mensinger.  Our CJM attendance increased for the second year in row, including record attendance - 65 Campers - at the Pendola Sierra Adventure Base.  We added a new Eagle Village with special Eagle required merit badges for our older scouts, Kayaking Merit badge, and two S.T.E.M. related merit badges – Automotive Maintenance and Welding.  The Waterfront programs at Beardsley Reservoir are into their third season and we have worked out most of the kinks.  Our Scouts now enjoy Kayaking, Canoeing, Motor Boating, and Sailing on a big lake.  Next year we plan to add Stand Up Paddle Boarding.  

 I had the chance to speak with leaders each week at Camp John Mensinger.  They provided us with great feedback, most of which was positive.  Generally, the leaders indicated that  we have a great staff, great camp leadership, awesome programs, and quality Merit badge instruction.  They also felt that the new online Merit badge registration worked very well and that the food in the camp dining hall was of good quality.  With their direction, our plans are already in motion for an even better season in 2014.  Many troops have already made their reservations for next year.  If you have not been back to Camp John Mensinger in a year or two, I encourage you to do so.  I applaud our Camp Director, Tim Long, and the entire CJM staff for offering an awesome program this summer!

I would be remiss if I did not mention our other programs.  We have had a great season of Cub Scout Day Camps in our various communities.  All of our Day Camp leadership teams are to be commended for their efforts.  Likewise, Our National Youth leader Training course trained 30 new junior leaders this past summer.  All of their troops will run better because of their experiences at NYLT.  A special thanks to David Bakken, for leading this year’s course. Finally, we sent a full troop and two crews to the National Jamboree at the Bechtel Summit in West Virginia.  I would like to personally thank all of the adults for giving significant time and treasure to provide that experience for our young men and young women who attended this year.   

I know that as I write this letter, there are hundreds of leaders across all of our units that have sacrificed countless hours to provide our young people with a great, safe summer program.  Summer is where the magic happens in Scouting.  It’s not possible to thank all of you individually, so I do so collectively.  Thank you for all that you do.  We need Scouting now more than ever before, and that just will not happen without great folks like you.

 I am looking forward to a great new program year starting in August, because we have great volunteers like all of you!

Gold Country News

Hello Gold Country Scouters

I hope you all are having a great summer with your families, friends, and fellow Scouters.  Several of you have been to summer camp and I trust your Boy Scouts have had a great time earning Merit Badges and meeting fellow Scouts. 

The Lodi Day Camp has come to an end with 138 Cub Scouts in attendance plus 71 Adult Volunteers making it once again a successful day camp.  Even though the first day of camp the boys were playing in the rain!  And as usual they didn’t want to come in from the rain. 

Activities that the Cub Scouts enjoyed:

  • Flag Football
  • Wood Crafts
  • Leather Crafts
  • Knife Carving
  • Made Terrariums                                            
  • Animal Masks
  • Games
  • Skits and Songs                                
  • Service Project

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped with the event.  We will see you all next year at Lodi Day Camp.

The Stockton Day Camp begins July 16th and should be another successful day camp . . . look forward to seeing you all there!

Camp Mensinger has been quite busy with Scouts from all around the Council and other Councils.  I have visited camp each week and received regular updates from those who were there.  Oh the tall tales that comes down from hill!  And yes some of them are true.  For those of you who haven’t yet been to camp remember there are wild animals and you must keep your food locked in the kitchen. 

Our August Roundtable will be another great Roundtable for all of the leaders and we look forward to seeing all Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Scoutmasters, and Assistant Scoutmasters to see what we have planned for you and your unit!  This fall should be another great year for our District with Fall Recruitment about ready to begin.  There are so many young men who are looking to become Cub Scouts just like your son!  Let’s welcome them to our District.

Sierra Valley District News

Rainbows over Manteca Day Camp

Things were wet and wild at the Manteca Cub Day Camp.  The fire truck came by and gave the traditional dousing to the Cubs at the Day Camp.  An added feature was the rainbow over the playing field -- something that was not ordered but much appreciated.  A good time was had by all at this fun and active day camp.

Young Marksman

A young marksman shoots his air rifle at the Manteca Day Camp.  BBs and Archery are featured at many of our Cub Day Camps.  Cub and Webelos Scouts are supervised on Day Camp ranges by range masters that take Cub Scout Shooting Sports Training under the direction of the council shooting sports director.  This NRA-based training makes sure that all Archery and BB Shooting done in Day Camp is safe and fun!

Riverbank/Modesto Cub Day Camp is still accepting registrations -- this camp actually runs four days instead of the usual three.  Contact Camp Director Jenniffer Hetzler for more details!

Sierra Valley Program Kickoff Dates

Be sure to attend the Roundtables in August.  They will feature program kickoff information for 2014.  The Valley Roundtable in Manteca will be held on August 8th.  The Sierra Roundtable will be held on August 13th in Sonora.  The meetings will feature school night recuritment training and much more.  The Council 17-month planning calendar will be distributed that night.  Show up and get your copy!

Our Active Units...

Now THIS is how you put the OUT in ScOUTing!

Troop 194 of Modesto took on the Northern Tier High Adventure Base in Minnesota where they canoed and portaged their way through lakes, rivers and wetlands.


Venturing Open House


What is it??

Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 13 (and completed the 8th grade) through 20 years of age.

Come join us on Saturday, August 17th at 10 am at the Greater Yosemite Council office and find out!

  • Learn what Venturing is all about!!
  • See some of the new changes that are coming in 2014.
  • Learn what  a VOA is and how you can help.
  • Share ideas!
  • Come for fun, games and hot dogs!
  • Meet some current venturing youth and leaders.

We encourage crews to bring flyers to promote their crew!

Please contact Cindy Vander Ploeg at for more information.

Download a printable flyer to hand out to friends and fellow Scouts.

Local Boy Does Good...

Maybe some of you recognize the picture below from the new National Cub Scout Facebook page...

...but did you know that this is one of our own faithful volunteers donning that precious Cub with his neckerchief at a local bridging ceremony a few years ago?  The look on that boy's face has captured many as it was broadcast across the social media over the past month -- that look of wonder and pride is what motivates so many of our faithful volunteers to continue to sacrifice their time to give "just an hour a week!"  :-)

And now for the unveiling...

...that same faithful Greater Yosemite Council volunteer is the very one who took on the daunting project of restoring our beloved Camp John Mensinger mascot.  "Thank you" just doesn't seem quite enough to show how grateful we are for the hours invested in this task!!!  But none-the-less, THANK YOU, KEN HORNE for your commitment to Scouting and to our Council!!!

2013 HYLC High Sierra Camp Out at Camp John Mensinger
Ninety-six students representing Merced, Livingston, Central Valley, Pitman, Turlock, Orestimba, Patterson, Gregory, Lathrop, Weston Ranch, Sierra, and Hughson High Schools, along with 12 adults, enjoyed the great out of doors at Mensinger back in June.
They enjoyed activities such as climbing, canoeing and shooting.
2013 Council Popcorn Sale

2013 Council Popcorn Sale


The 2013 Popcorn Sale is already underway!

The following units are already on board:

Wait a minute!!!  Is your Unit NOT in this list???  Here's what you need to do...

  1. Download the 2013 Popcorn Sales Guide
  2. Print out the Unit Commitment Form, complete it and bring it to one of the Council offices (or fax to 209-545-6321)
  3. E-mail Sara Heitz or call (209)566-7703 to let her know you're on board!
  4. Make an appointment to meet with your District Executive and/or District Kernel to conduct a sales planning session.
  5. Place your Show & Sell Popcorn order by the deadline of Monday, July 29th.


GYC now on facebook!
  Have you checked us out, yet?
Units are already taking advantage of the site by sending their photos from recent activities for upload and sharing.
You can e-mail your images to
Include a description and date of the event.  If you feel it necessary to name Scouts in the pictures we will only include first name and last initial.