Annual Report 2007
2007 Annual Report
Grand Rapids Catholic Committee on Scouting
In 2007, the Grand Rapids Catholic Committee on Scouting underwent a reorganization and revitalization. The following is a compilation of the committee's activities and accomplishments for the year.
Communications - Janette Maring, Chair
•· Developed and published a newsletter which is sent to the executive officer, COR, cub/scoutmaster, and committee chair of each Catholic chartered unit. The newsletter is distributed at other council and diocese events, and posted on the GRCCS website.
•· Published articles in The Catholic Weekly, a publication of the Diocese of Grand Rapids; and The Scouter, a publication of the Gerald R. Ford Council.
•· Developed a GRCCS website, http://www.grccscouting.org/, under the direction of committee member Joe Vig, our webmaster. The site has links to the Diocese and Scout Council, as well as, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and other sites of interest to Catholic Scouters.
•· Developed an informational hand out for distribution at Diocese and Scout Council events.
•· Developed a series of post cards for committee use.
•· Created an extensive email list of Clergy, Scouters, Knights of Columbus, Serrans, Parents, DREs, Youth Ministers, and others interested in being informed and participating in the committee's work.
Finance - Scott Harvey, Chair
•· Created by-laws, elected a Board of Directors, and became a recognized Michigan corporation.
•· Opened a committee checking account.
•· Created a budget.
•· Applied for affiliated ministry status to the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and inclusion into the Kennedy Directory.
•· Secured donations from the Bishop Kevin Britt Council #13526 and the Father Michael McGivney Assembly #2226 of the Knights of Columbus; as well as, from the tithing fund at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, for start up capital.
Membership - Judge Dennis Leiber, Chair
•· Established Cub Scout Pack #3513 at St. Joseph Parish in Pewamo. St. Joseph is a new charter partner.
•· Established Venture Crew #2325 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Grand Rapids, giving St. Anthony the full family of scouting units.
•· In cooperation with the Serra International Foundation, the Serra Club of Grand Rapids chartered Venture Crew #2207 at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids. The establishment of this Venture Crew was facilitated by a cooperative agreement in 2007 between Serra International Foundation and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to establish Venture Crews in Catholic High Schools.
•· As part of the cooperative program instituted in 2006 by the Knights of Columbus and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to promote Scouting as Youth Ministry and the associated membership initiative to have Knights councils and assemblies charter Scouting units, the committee was invited to do a presentation at the district meeting of Diocese of Grand Rapids Knights of Columbus Districts 30 and 50.
Religious Activities - Jeff Lippert, Chair
•· Sponsored the First Annual Day of Service at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. With the help of Eric Bridge from Aquinas, the committee was able to bring together 75 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Scouters to offer service on the Aquinas campus. The morning was spent spreading woodchips on campus trails. After lunch, participants were able to attend workshops concerned with an overview of the committee, an introduction to the religious emblems, and youth protection training. The Knights of Columbus were on hand not only to provide lunch, but to hold a session where participants were able to earn one of the patches from the NCCS Rosary Patch series.
•· Participated in the Annual Red Mass held at the Cathedral of St. Andrew. This is an annual diocesan celebration of mass that brings together judges, lawyers, and other elected officials.
•· Participated in many events hosted by the Gerald R. Ford Council. Committee members brought information about GRCCS to many Scouters during 2007 by participating in the annual council Program Kick Off and District Roundtables. A number of committee members were part of the staff for the annual Religious Retreat at Gerber Scout Camp. This Retreat is one of the main activities of the Gerald R. Ford Council Religious Relations Committee, where many GRCCS members are also active. GRCCS members were also on the staff of the annual council PowWow, acting as instructors for the "Duty to God" portion of the program.
Religious Emblems - Larry Wilson, Chair
•· Awarded 33 Light of Christ, 22 Parvuli Dei, 6 Ad Altare Dei, and 4 Pope Pius XII emblems in 2007.
•· Attended award celebration masses at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Belmont, Holy Redeemer Parish in Jenison, Holy Spirit Parish in Grand Rapids, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Grand Rapids, and St. Robert of Newminster Parish in Ada.
•· At the Day of Service 8 Scouts and 4 Adult Scouters completed the requirements and earned the Glorious Mysteries Rosary Patch.
•· Janette Maring and Larry Wilson were awarded the Golden Bow during the "Scouting in the Catholic Church" conference at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.
•· Awarded the Pope Paul VI, National Catholic Quality Unit Award to Pack #3283 chartered by Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Belmont.
•· Earned the 2006 Quality Diocese Award
Training - Deacon Leo Ferguson, Chair
•· Conducted FastStart Training as an overview of the committee and its work, 8 individuals in attendance.
•· Conducted Religious Emblems Counselor Training, 14 individuals in attendance. This training increased the number of counselors in the Diocese from 4 to 14.
•· 15 counselors and committee members attended and completed Virtus training.
•· Janette Maring, Larry Wilson, and Chuck Burch attended the "Scouting in the Catholic Church" Conference sponsored by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.
The committee takes its mission as a diocesan committee very seriously, and it is with this in mind that the decision was made to move committee meetings around the diocese. By having a "floating" location, the committee has the ability to visit the current charter partners, as well as, potential charter partners in the hopes of having them more closely involved in the committee's work. During 2007 the committee held meetings at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Belmont, Holy Family Parish in Caledonia, Holy Redeemer Parish in Jenison, Holy Spirit Parish in Grand Rapids, Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Rockford, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Grand Rapids, St. Jude Parish in Grand Rapids, St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Twin Lakes, St. Robert of Newminster Parish in Ada, and St. Stephen Parish in East Grand Rapids. GRCCS is currently comprised of about 15 active members. The committee members come from many areas of the Diocese and Scouting. Many of the members are Scouters, but also numbered among the ranks are a Deacon, members of the Knights of Columbus, a member of Serra, and many other individuals interested in bringing the Youth Ministry that is Boy Scouting to the Catholic youth in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Recruitment of additional committee members is an ongoing process. There are currently 5 committee members who have also become members of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Looking toward 2008 along with the ongoing programs already established, the committee is hoping to expand it's offerings to the Diocese and Scout Council. Currently in the planning stages are a Bishop's Lunch/Dinner, a Scout Mass, and a Catholic Religious Retreat. Committee support and participation in diocesan activities, such as the Vocation Rally being held in November, is being incorporated into the program. Training of additional emblems counselors to help encourage an increased number of Scouts to earn their religious emblems is being scheduled. For the Scouters, the committee is planning an adult retreat where the Scouter Development for the Lay Apostolate will be offered. We are exploring opportunities for fund raising, to run the committee, to support a seminarian as chaplain at Gerber Scout Camp and to offer a scholarship to Scouts interested in attending the St. George Trek. We are fortunate to have committee member Scott Harvey with connections in Rome, allowing us to consider the possibility of partnering with an Italian Scout Troop to plan a Scout High Adventure to Italy and the Vatican.
It has been an exciting year for the Grand Rapids Catholic Committee on Scouting, and the committee is enthusiastic about what can be accomplished in 2008.
Thomas A. Magnifico
Chairman, Grand Rapids Catholic Committee on Scouting