I am honored to have this opportunity to tell you about the best Venturing event in the nation. It just so happens that it occurred at Beaumont Scout Reservation here in the Greater St. Louis Area Council.
To start out the magical weekend, the “tri wizard cup” helped us select the 2012-13 VOA officers with more than 300 Venturers and Advisors at the council elections. You may be wondering why it was the “tri wizard cup” that helped choose. This 39th annual Fall Fun Rally was a whimsical Harry Potter-themed event with 1,326 people from all over the nation in attendance.
One of the really neat things about the Fall Fun Rally is that all the activities are youth-run. The council VOA along with the district VOA officers work throughout the year to help plan more than 100 events for the weekend.
We made it especially hard this year because most events followed the Harry Potter theme. We had events such as Hypogriff riding -- a.k.a. horseback riding -- or a helicopter landing in Scoutcraft Field. We even had a group come out and set up a quiditch field. How would you like to run around with a broom between your legs while throwing a ball back and forth trying to score points for your house team? After a fun-filled day, we ended with the Yule ball and a good old cup of butterbeer (cream soda and butterscotch topping).
The weekend included some very special guests. Our council’s Dustin Readenour, National Venturing president, and Sarah Mittrucker, National Venturing vice president, were in attendance. Both were helping out wherever needed. We also had Lizzie Wisman, Central Region Venturing president, from Michigan in attendance. Robert Rescot, a past St. Louis and Central Region Venturing officer, joined us for a few hours at the event before heading to Barnes Jewish Hospital on Monday for brain surgery. He is doing fine and the tumor was fully removed and found to be benign.
Emily Mausshardt, Central Region Area 3 Venturing president, led the Area 3 officers in coordinating and teaching many of the training sessions offered during the weekend. This included two Venturing Youth Protection Training sessions held in an effort to train all of our adult Advisors before the end of the year. The area officers also ran the Friday evening program of Harry Potter trivia in full English accents.
On Saturday afternoon, 11 of the 15 districts elected new district VOA officers. I am really looking forward to working with each district to help increase the efficiency of their district over the course of the next year.
Before I end, I want to take a brief moment and thank the board members for their support of the youth serving in positions within this council, because these are the building blocks the youth need to gain the courage and strength to run for positions outside of our council. Our council is the only council in the nation to have had two youth serve as the National Venturing president. This is because the Greater St. Louis Area Council is the best Venturing program in the nation! Our resources allow us to develop the leaders of tomorrow through your efforts for our council as a whole.
Without you, we could never support the youth like we do in this council.
I would like to thank you very much for inviting me to be here and I look forward to working with you all over the course of the next year!