Photo 1 -Workshop participants gather at the sign welcoming people to the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Photo 2 - Yes, there are members of the workshop somewhere under the rapids of this raft on the New River Gorge.
GLEN JEAN, W.Va.––For the first time, the Summit Bechtel Reserve served as the site of the annual UM Scouters Workshop.
The June 17-24 event was held at the 5-year-old high-adventure base and permanent site of BSA National Jamborees.
Gale winds and torrential rain storms pounded the 10 by 12-foot wall tents of the 22 participants during the week-long training event.
Course Director Bill Byrd, Assistant Director Susan Lawyer, and three shepherds (group leaders) guided the group through a host of topics ranging from the Programs of Religious Activities with Youth to youth protection and the role of scouting ministry specialists.
Coppock and Byrd gave the group the moniker, “The Summiteers,” denoting their special contribution to scouting ministry.
The workshops also provided participants an opportunity to tour the 70,000 acre and to take a wet and wild raft ride down the New River Gorge.
Responses from participants
I picked up several ideas and many connections that will help us in the North Georgia Conference, said Chris Karabinos. “Having not heard of a bishop’s dinner before, I see us holding one in the spring of 2018 as a tool to recruit new units. I also established connections with a lot of experienced scouters who can help connect us to other scouting resources around the country.
“This was my third scouter training experience,” said Bill Chaffin, scouting coordinator for the Virginia Annual Conference. “The course is never the same. The information will take some time to digest, filter and most assuredly share again. I feel renewed and empowered in my ministry.
Darrell Adams says the workshop gave him a clear understanding of his responsibilities as a scouting ministry specialist. He plans work with his pastor to expand scouting ministries in his church and in the Roanoke District of the Virginia Conference.
“I have had quite a bit of leader training as a scouter, but this was my first opportunity to be trained in scouting from a UM perspective,” said Craig Moles. “I look forward to applying these ideas in our local congregations in the Antelope Valley of California.
Jeanette Yoh of Newport News, Va., said she expected to receive a clear understanding of scouting ministry. “I received so much more,” she said. “An understanding of the relationship between the church and scouting was something that I lacked and it will be tremendously helpful as I work with my local churches.” She says the course also provided her with “forever friends” who are only an email away.
Che Dolan, a scouting ministry specialist from Little Rock, Ark., says “I don't want us to think too small in the information we gained this week.” She says, scouting is a way for a church to minister to an entire community.