Final Thoughts on Rock River Regatta 2022

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Now that we are 3 weeks out from Rock River Regatta 2022, I’d like everyone to take a moment and reflect on not just the past month, but the past year, and your whole scouting experience.  Many of us, if not all of us wouldn’t be in scouting without support from our family and friends, and our unit leaders. As I have said to many leaders over the last few years, I don’t think I would be an Eagle Scout if it wasn’t for the Sea Scout Ship my father started to help keep our young men active in scouting through their high school years. Thank you, DAD, aka. DK, Dr. Mike, and I’m sure many other names. Many scouts’ lives have been affected by your generosity of time and commitment.

Just like I stated during our brief awards ceremony, without our unit leaders, chaperones, carpool wranglers, and parents, events like Rock River Regatta wouldn’t be possible, because the youth wouldn’t have a way to attend.  Giving up our time is a huge, limited resource we have. We have an unknown amount of time on this planet to give back to your youth, and to spend a whole Saturday with us in Fort Atkinson is wonderful. You all deserve a round of applause and appreciation for all that you do

This past year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with both the Girl Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America as I being my daughters Scouting journey. For those you who attended Rock River Regatta this year, she was the little girl in the wheelchair at dinner, and the firecracker on the dance floor watching all your moves and mimicking them. She is already looking up to you. Be the change you want to see in the world.  As it isn’t just my wife and I, our family, my daughters’ units, and unit leaders, who help mold who she is, and what scouting experience she will have the opportunity to observe, but also all of you, be you and youth member or leader or parent of a different unit.

I can’t officially say if Scouting numbers are down, up, or steady over the years. I can say, after speaking with units who host similar events like Rock River Regatta, that our numbers are down everywhere. Two years ago, I started the process of creating a non-profit called Midwest Scouting Coalition Ltd. with my fellow SSS 007 Alumni, Eagle Scouts, Devin, and Derek. Our goal is to help promote scouting and these competitions, and with any luck be able to create some form of a scholarship to hand out at future Rock River Regatta events. The great news is you all can help!

For our youth, you can talk to your friend about scouting and these competitions. How you got to do a mixed event and met new friends from other units do silly activities like solving 5 jumbled up puzzles. How you got a day off from chores, granted I’m sure you all made those up to your parents already, but they don’t need to know that. And that you get the opportunity to dance with your new friends as well. Talk about your next meeting, talk about upcoming events you have planned, talk about other scouting competitions like Snowstorm and Winter Amidships.

For our leaders, you are doing great! You unit wouldn’t be the same without you.  But you can still help as well! As you attend various council events in your area, talk to other units about these competitions, and how they have helped your unit stay together, and how they have impacted your lives. Talk to them about the upcoming events as well and how you can help get them started in this adventure.  While you’re at it try and convince them to reach out to the various competitions so they can be kept in the loop of all the various things that are happening.

At our Rock River Regatta website, www.rockriverregatta.com, I try to keep a list of activities going on.  If you know of any competition or other scouting activity that is open for units to attend, please reach out to me and we can talk about adding it to our list. Our scouts don’t just need to meet up a few times a year at events like Bay Jammer and Badger Bash. Maybe there is something else everyone could do together as well.

Thank you again to all who were able to attend Rock River Regatta 2022. Thank you to my wife and daughter for allowing me to give up several days to help run Rock River Regatta. To all of you scouts, scouters, leaders, and parents for giving up your time to promote scouting and enriching these kids’ lives. Thank you to my volunteers, Derek, Devin, Shelby, David, BJ for helping with all the events. Thank you, John, for doing your best pulling double duty with DJ equipment, and lastly to the Fort Atkinson School District for lending us the use of your facilities.

For those of you attending Bay Jammer, good luck.

Thank you,

Eric

Father

Eagle Scout

Rock River Regatta Chair

Midwest Scouting Coalition Ltd – President

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