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Reflecting on the Blizzard of Fun: 2024 Gold Rush Klondike Recap

Over 150 fearless Scouts and Scouters defied the biting winds, transforming the Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation into a haven for minecart madness and KASH conquests!  From First Aid heroics to rescuing the legendary Cletus, Gold Panning, Bouldering, Fire Building, to the intense 2-man log saw and a sled race – the weekend was a whirlwind of excitement.

Despite the extreme winds and unpredictable weather, Scouts displayed unwavering enthusiasm, diving headfirst into each thrilling event. The promise of adventure and KASH kept everyone’s spirits high.

Amidst the challenges faced, a shining beacon of triumph emerged as Troop 4002 claimed the coveted title of Overall Grand Champions! Their exceptional teamwork, skills, and determination set them apart, earning them the admiration of fellow Scouts and Scouters. Klondike Chair, Zechariah Bauer, expressed, “Troop 4002’s performance was truly remarkable, showcasing the essence of Scouting excellence.”

However, nature had its plans, cutting the weekend short as Scouts were reluctantly sent home Saturday evening. The disappointment was palpable, especially for the Arrow of Light Scouts from Pack 344 who were geared up for a memorable Saturday night but will have to wait until next year.

Klondike Chair, Zechariah Bauer, shared his sentiments, stating, “Sitting in this empty dining hall after everyone has gone home, reminiscing about the many Klondike memories I have made here at Muskingum Valley Council and the many more to come.”

Despite the abrupt end, the 2024 Gold Rush Klondike left an indelible mark on the hearts of Scouts and Scouters alike. Here’s to the memories made, the challenges faced, and the resilience shown in the face of nature’s unpredictable whims. Until next year, when we’ll once again gather for another chapter of Klondike adventures! 

Exploring the Heights: A Weekend of Adventure in Hocking Hills

This past weekend, adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts descended upon the stunning landscape of Hocking Hills for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors. The setting was perfect, the energy was high, and the thrill of the rappel was a highlight that will be etched into memories for years to come.

The main event on Saturday saw Scouts bravely navigating their way down the magnificent Black Hand Sandstone cliffs. The day promised an array of rappels, varying in intensity and height, starting with shorter cliffs for warm-ups and culminating in the exhilarating 130-foot descent at Big Spring Hollow, where participants had the unique opportunity to rappel adjacent to a cascading waterfall.

Despite initial concerns about the weather, the elements held off, and the day unfolded beautifully. The Hocking Hills were resplendent with the vibrant hues of fall, complemented by a gentle mist that added an ethereal quality to the surroundings. Occasional sprinkles did little to deter the spirits of the intrepid rappellers.

The event witnessed a series of thrilling descents, including a 20-foot rappel, a 100-foot descent at Bent Tree, and the grand finale—a heart-pounding 130-foot rappel at Big Spring. Over 60 participants and staff embraced the challenge and exhilaration that the Hills had to offer, creating an atmosphere filled with camaraderie and shared adventure.

Reflecting on the event, a participant shared their thoughts: “Jack and his staff do a great job with the PEAK campout. I can’t say enough about their expertise and patience.” This sentiment encapsulates the dedication and skill of the organizers, ensuring that everyone felt safe and supported throughout the experience.

The allure of Hocking Hills extends beyond the thrill of the rappel; it’s a place where nature’s grandeur meets the adventurous spirit, offering a playground for exploration and an avenue for personal growth. As participants conquered the cliffs, they not only conquered their fears but also formed a deeper connection with the natural world.

As the event comes to a close, the memories created here will linger—a testament to the courage, teamwork, and the sheer thrill of stepping over the edge and descending into the stunning abyss of Hocking Hills.

The adventure might have paused for now, but the spirit of exploration and the camaraderie forged amid the cliffs will remain as an inspiration for future escapades and a testament to the power of conquering challenges in the heart of nature’s majesty.

Celebrating Jared Smith: A True Servant Leader Honored in Washington County

In a momentous celebration of service, dedication, and unwavering commitment, Jared Smith, the esteemed Muskingum Valley Council Scout Executive, has been named the recipient of The Chad D. Wright Memorial Award – an honor that signifies his exceptional contribution to the veterans of Washington County, Ohio. Moreover, his remarkable achievements have seen him inducted into the Washington County Veterans Hall of Fame, recognizing his profound impact and selfless dedication to the veteran community.

Smith’s recognition is a testament to his tireless efforts and unyielding support for the veterans of Washington County. His dedication and enduring service have left an indelible mark, showcasing not only his personal courage and determined attitude but also the depth of his unwavering commitment to the betterment of the lives of veterans in the area.

This prestigious recognition stands as a testament to the exceptional efforts and diligent work Jared Smith has put forth in support of the veteran community. His actions not only exemplify his leadership qualities but also reflect great credit upon himself, Washington County, and the entire state of Ohio.

Smith’s role as the Muskingum Valley Council Scout Executive has intertwined his dedication to service, mentorship, and leadership, shaping the lives of countless individuals, including the young Scouts he guides and supports. Beyond this role, his commitment to serving veterans in the community stands as a shining example of true servant leadership.

It’s not just the accolades that define Smith’s contributions, but the depth of his commitment to the well-being and support of those who have served their country. His relentless efforts have significantly aided in uplifting the lives of Washington County’s veterans, offering them a sense of hope, support, and a recognition of their sacrifices.

The Chad D. Wright Memorial Award and the induction into the Washington County Veterans Hall of Fame are well-deserved acknowledgments of Smith’s unwavering dedication. His work stands as an inspiration for many, encouraging a spirit of service, empathy, and selflessness within the community.

Jared Smith’s recognition as the Veteran of the Year and induction into the Veterans Hall of Fame reinforces the importance of acknowledging and honoring those individuals who go above and beyond to support and uplift the lives of our veterans. His story serves as an example of the impact one person’s dedication can have on a community and the lives of those who have served their country.

As we celebrate Jared Smith’s remarkable achievements, let us also recognize the significance of ongoing support and appreciation for our veterans and the invaluable contributions of individuals like Smith, whose commitment and actions positively impact the lives of those who have served our nation.

In honoring Jared Smith, we not only celebrate a remarkable individual but also recognize the power of service, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the betterment of our community and the lives of our veterans.

Spooktacular Success: A Recap of Muskingum Valley Council's First Trunk or Treat Event

The Muskingum Valley Council, BSA recently hosted its inaugural Trunk or Treat event at the Zanesville Office, marking a thrilling and successful celebration on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Despite the drizzly weather, the atmosphere was vibrant with joy, excitement, and Halloween spirit.

Families and participants were treated to a delightful evening filled with candy galore, hot dogs, and engaging activities such as archery and BB guns. The presence of Baldy the Eagle, interacting with Scouts, added a special touch to the event, leaving lasting memories for all who attended.

One of the highlights of the event was the creativity displayed in the various trunk displays and shelter areas. The Candy Land-themed decoration emerged victorious, claiming the coveted People’s Choice Trunk Award. The dedication and effort put into these displays were truly commendable, creating a festive and immersive experience for the young attendees.

What made the event even more special was the overwhelming participation and enthusiasm from the community. Families, scout units, and individuals came together to create a safe and enjoyable environment for the children, ensuring a memorable and fun-filled Halloween celebration.

The Trunk or Treat event also offered a platform for fostering community engagement and bonding. It provided an opportunity for individuals and organizations to come together, showcasing their inventive decorations and costumes while enjoying the festivities as a collective whole.

Notably, the Muskingum Valley Council, BSA extended a warm invitation to all youth, emphasizing an inclusive and free-of-charge event. Moreover, those who pre-registered received a special token of appreciation, a free gift as a thank you from the council.

With various prizes and awards given based on costumes and decorations, the event was not only a source of enjoyment but also a space for recognizing and celebrating the creative efforts of the participants.

The success of the event was a testament to the spirit of camaraderie and community engagement fostered by the Muskingum Valley Council, BSA. It reinforced the commitment to creating engaging, safe, and entertaining experiences for the youth and the community at large.

As the event concluded, it left behind cherished memories and a sense of togetherness that will resonate within the Muskingum Valley community for a long time to come. The Trunk or Treat event of 2023 was a resounding success, marking the beginning of a new and exciting tradition for the Council and the local community.

Stay tuned for future events and initiatives by the Muskingum Valley Council, BSA, as they continue their dedication to creating memorable experiences and opportunities for the youth and the community.

Muskingum Valley Council Empowers Service: The United States Presidential Volunteer Service Medal Initiative

The Muskingum Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America, is charting a new course in the realm of volunteerism by announcing its role as a certifying organization for the United States Presidential Volunteer Service Medal. This initiative seeks to not only boost community engagement among youth and adult leaders but also provide a recognized platform for celebrating their dedication to service on a national level.

Running from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023, and subsequently from October 1 to September 30 every year, this inaugural program year aims to incentivize volunteerism and recognize the significant contributions made by Scouts and adult leaders within the Muskingum Valley Council.

Volunteers are required to submit completed spreadsheets and supporting documentation no later than December 1, 2023, and each December 1st thereafter. The Council’s website hosts valuable resources, such as completed forms and downloadable spreadsheet templates, guiding participants in the submission process at

The certification of volunteer time will be overseen by the Scout Executive or their designee within the Muskingum Valley Council. In the event that an individual falls short of the required volunteer hours within the organization, supplementary qualifying volunteer hours achieved through other eligible institutions can be submitted for consideration.

The eligibility criteria for this award, spanning both youth and adults, requires candidates to be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and engage in unpaid acts of volunteer service benefiting others. This excludes certain activities such as donating funds, religious instruction, and political lobbying, among others, ensuring the focus remains on direct community impact.

The Muskingum Valley Council’s commitment to this initiative is exemplified through the awarding of one gold, silver, or bronze level medal and certificate per individual, along with a lifetime achievement award and certificate per person throughout the program’s existence. Additionally, participants have the option to purchase additional items by coordinating with the Scout Executive or their representative during the submission process at

This program not only recognizes the invaluable contributions of volunteers within the Boy Scouts of America but also sets a precedent for nurturing a culture of service and engagement within the community. It stands as a testament to the belief that every act of kindness and service, no matter how small, contributes to the greater good and strengthens the fabric of society.

The Muskingum Valley Council, BSA, through its involvement in this initiative, signals a commitment to fostering a generation of leaders who understand the importance of service and actively contribute to the welfare of their communities. It’s an invitation for individuals to step forward, engage, and be recognized for their efforts, fostering a culture of altruism and communal support that extends far beyond individual achievements.

Fun, Fellowship, and Frivolity at the Muskingum Valley Council Fall Camporee

Last weekend, the Muskingum Valley Council Fall Camporee brought together Scouts from across the region for a memorable weekend filled with fun, games, and camaraderie. Hosted at the scenic Deerassic Park in Cambridge, Ohio, this year’s camporee was a resounding success, leaving participants with cherished memories and a renewed sense of community.

One of the standout features of this camporee was the “S-Games,” a series of exciting activities and challenges that kept Scouts engaged and entertained throughout the weekend. From traditional games to creative contests, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The “S-Games” encouraged teamwork, creativity, and, of course, good-natured competition. The enthusiastic atmosphere was infectious, creating a sense of unity among the participating troops.

But the fun didn’t stop there. The camporee also featured an exciting addition – the “Jamboree on the Air.” This was a unique opportunity for Scouts to explore the world of amateur radio and connect with fellow Scouts from around the globe. Through radio waves, they exchanged greetings and stories, fostering international connections and broadening their horizons. The “Jamboree on the Air” offered a thrilling glimpse into the world of communication technology and allowed Scouts to experience the magic of connecting with others across vast distances.

Connor, a Scout from Troop 164, couldn’t contain his excitement about the camporee. He shared, “I really had a lot of fun, all the games, and the store where we spent our tickets! I’m just bummed that our SPL said no to the kazoo.” Connor’s sentiment echoes the sentiments of many participants who relished every moment of the camporee.

Zechariah B., a leader from Troop 164, provided insight into the camporee’s impact on the youth. He expressed, “Camporee was overall a very fun event for our youth. They enjoyed the silliness of the Friday night games and some of the Saturday games. This camporee gave our youth time to bond as fellow scouters within their troop and patrol. Scouting is fun, and the S-Games proved just that.” Zechariah’s words emphasize the significant role that events like this play in fostering friendships and instilling the values of scouting.

Despite the unpredictable Ohio weather, the spirit of the camporee remained undeterred. Scouts from various troops braved cold, windy, rainy, and sunny conditions with unwavering enthusiasm. It’s a testament to their resilience and the sheer joy they found in the experience. This resilience is at the core of what makes Scouts stand out – they are well-prepared for whatever challenges come their way.

Notably, Troop 164 had two distinct patrols, aptly nicknamed the Yooks and the Zooks, that ventured down their own unique paths during the camporee. The fact that not a single complaint about the weather was heard from these Scouts is a testament to their adventurous spirit and readiness to adapt to changing circumstances.

The Muskingum Valley Council Fall Camporee provided a platform for Scouts to put their skills to the test, develop new ones, and, most importantly, have a great time while doing so. It’s evident that this camporee was not just about learning and competing; it was about building lifelong friendships and a shared sense of purpose.

In the end, what truly makes events like the Muskingum Valley Council Fall Camporee special is the shared sense of adventure and community. Participants came together as Scouts and left as friends, having experienced the joys of scouting in a beautiful, ever-changing Ohio setting. Here’s to many more successful camporees and the memories they create for our young leaders of tomorrow!

Troop 174 Receives Friend of Conservation Award from Muskingum County Soil and Water Conservation District

We are thrilled to announce that Troop 174 has received the prestigious Friend of Conservation Award from the Muskingum County Soil and Water Conservation District. This significant recognition underscores their troop’s dedication to environmental stewardship and community service while highlighting the importance of sustainable initiatives in our community.

Their remarkable journey toward this award began with two Eagle Scout projects led by Ben Dosch and Ben Beebe, projects that left an indelible mark on our local community and laid the foundation for their troop’s commitment to conservation.

In the true spirit of scouting, Ben Dosch and Ben Beebe spearheaded their Eagle Scout projects at the Maple Harding Community Garden, creating spaces that championed sustainability and community well-being.

  1. Maple Harding Community Garden: The first phase of our conservation journey focused on developing the Maple Harding Community Garden. Ben Dosch and Ben Beebe aimed to create a space where community members could cultivate fresh produce, strengthen their sense of togetherness, and gain a deeper understanding of sustainable living. This project served as the catalyst for the troop’s commitment to nurturing the environment.

  2. Planting the Seeds of Sustainability: In the following summer, the troop actively engaged in planting and caring for various plants and vegetables in the garden. This hands-on experience not only deepened our connection to the natural world but also instilled the importance of responsible resource management and sustainable living. This knowledge has since become an integral part of the troop’s identity.

  3. Sustaining and Preserving: Their dedication to conservation didn’t end with planting the garden. They continued to work tirelessly to maintain and enhance the garden’s vitality. This involved consistent care for the garden bed, ongoing plant maintenance, and ensuring the space remained a beacon of sustainability and community bonding.

The Friend of Conservation Award bestowed upon Troop 174 is a testament to their unwavering commitment to creating a more sustainable world and serving our community. It serves as recognition for the countless hours they have invested in preserving the environment, nurturing their community, and instilling the values of conservation and sustainability in their young scouts.

Troop 174’s journey underscores the crucial role of community involvement in conservation efforts. They firmly believe that when a community unites for a common cause, it can achieve remarkable feats. Through the Maple Harding Community Garden and their ongoing commitment, they have not only created a hub of sustainability but also nurtured a sense of togetherness and shared responsibility.

This award encourages them to continue their journey of conservation and community service. We hope that their story will inspire other scouts, organizations, and individuals to embark on their own journeys toward a greener, more sustainable future.

The Friend of Conservation Award from the Muskingum County Soil and Water Conservation District is a milestone that will forever hold a special place in the heart of Troop 174. We extend our gratitude to Ben Dosch and Ben Beebe for their outstanding leadership, to the troop members for their unwavering commitment, and to our community for supporting their efforts.

As we move forward, we remain steadfast in our dedication to preserving the environment and serving our community. The award is not just a recognition of past efforts; it’s a commitment to an even greener and more sustainable future. Together, we can make a difference, one scout’s pledge at a time.

Silver Beaver Nominations

Getting Started

  • Identify Nominee(s).
  • The nominee must be registered volunteer with the MVC.
  • Youth Protection Training (YPT) must be current at the time of the award.
  • Average nominee tenure is 10 YEARS or longer according to:
  • Look for nominees who have been active. For example:
    • “Jane Smith has always been helpful with the units and coordinating Scout events.”
    • “Cub Master John Smith has been a dedicated CM for 10 years and has helped new CMs learn and grow.”
    • John Doe has been a leader in a District that has continually met its membership, advancement, and financial goals.
  • Read Instructions carefully on the nominations form:
  • Past nominees(s) must be re-nominated to be considered again.
  • Start early as the deadline for submission is Sunday, December 3, 2023.
  • After December 3, 2023, additional information will not be accepted unless requested by the committee chair.
  • Plan to address all three areas in the nomination.
    • Record of SERVICE in the BSA.
    • Standing in the Community exclusive of Scouting.
    • Noteworthy service of exceptional character to youth.
    • (Feel free to attach extra pages to provide all relevant information).
  • Submittals are to be sent or delivered (USPS, UPS, FedEx or Email) to:

Frank O’Hare

Silver Beaver Award Chair

Muskingum Valley Council, BSA

584 Grand Ridge Dr.

Howard, OH 43028

PDF Electronic Submittals can be submitted via Email to:

Where to obtain information

  • Write-ups from previous awards
  • Nominee’s family for Scouting involvement and outside of Scouting involvement
  • Employer, past employer and co-workers
  • Church, Synagogue, Mosque, etc.
  • Personal knowledge of the nominee.

What to Include if possible:

  • Positions held including period of service and Unit and/or District or Council.
  • Significant training completed.
  • Previous awards and recognitions.
  • Leadership roles in Scouting events/activities.
  • Comments on significant contributions to Scouting and their Community.
  • Cover letters or letters of recommendation are not required but will be read by the Silver Beaver Committee members to assist in their decisions.
  • A photograph of the nominee is recommended to assist the committee in recognition.
  • One PDF file is appreciated for the nominations documents.

After submission

  • An email or text receipt will be sent to the person submitting the nomination within 48 hours.
  • The nomination will be date stamped to mark receipt.
  • Nominations are placed in file folder for review by committee members.
  • Nominations will be summarized.
  • The nominations Committee will meet and review the nominations.
  • Recommendations will be sent to MVC Key 3.

Final Tips

  • Re-read the instruction, and the rules and regulations.
  • Cover all areas of the nomination.
  • Be Concise.
  • Add extra pages if necessary to include all relevant information.
  • Contact Frank O’Hare with questions: Email: or text: 614-506-1068.
  • Start early and submit by the deadline of December 3, 2023.
  • Nominations are confidential and retained by the Silver Beaver Committee.
  • Nominee should not be notified of their nomination.

Exploring the Power Within: Troop 332's Adventure at the Nuclear Science Camporee

The crisp autumn air was filled with a sense of excitement as Troop 332 from Mount Vernon, Ohio, embarked on an educational journey to the Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. Over the weekend of October 7th, these young scouts had the unique opportunity to attend the annual Nuclear Science Camporee. This event wasn’t just another camping trip; it was a chance to delve into the world of nuclear science and work towards earning their Nuclear Science Merit Badge. Let’s take a closer look at their enriching experience.

The heart of the adventure awaited the scouts as they arrived at the Nuclear Power Plants Training Facility. Here, they were greeted by knowledgeable guides who would introduce them to the fascinating world of nuclear power generation. The scouts learned the intricate process of how a Nuclear Power Plant generates electricity, from the controlled fission of atoms to the production of steam, which, in turn, powers generators to produce electricity. This insight gave them a newfound appreciation for the role of nuclear energy in our modern world.

One of the essential aspects of nuclear science is understanding the effects of radiation on the human body. During the Camporee, scouts had the opportunity to explore this topic in depth. They learned about the different types of radiation, their properties, and how they can impact living organisms. This knowledge is not only valuable for earning their merit badge but also for promoting a better understanding of radiation safety in everyday life.

As part of the immersive experience, Troop 332 got to try on anti-contamination protective clothing. Donning these specialized garments is crucial for the safety of workers in nuclear power plants. The scouts experienced firsthand the weight and restrictions of this gear, gaining a new perspective on the challenges faced by those who work in the nuclear industry. This hands-on experience helped them appreciate the importance of safety measures in such environments.

A highlight of the Camporee was the exclusive opportunity to explore the Control Room Training Simulator. Here, the scouts could sit in the seats where nuclear power plant operators work and make critical decisions. While the simulator wasn’t live, it provided an authentic experience of what it’s like to manage a nuclear reactor and maintain its safety. This inside look left a lasting impression on the scouts, igniting their interest in the complex world of nuclear power plant operation.

Troop 332’s adventure at the Nuclear Science Camporee was more than just a weekend getaway; it was an educational journey that broadened their horizons. From learning about the intricacies of nuclear power generation to exploring the effects of radiation and experiencing life inside a control room, these scouts gained a wealth of knowledge and practical insights.

Their commitment to earning the Nuclear Science Merit Badge exemplifies their dedication to learning and growing as responsible citizens. As they returned to Mount Vernon, Ohio, they carried with them not only a badge of accomplishment but also a deeper appreciation for the science that powers our world.

This unique experience will undoubtedly shape their future perspectives and inspire them to continue their exploration of the fascinating field of nuclear science. Troop 332’s adventure serves as a testament to the importance of hands-on learning and the valuable lessons that can be gained from venturing beyond the classroom.

Strengthening Small Towns: Scouts and Rotary Club Team Up to Restore Wolf Run Park

In small towns across America, building strong communities and nurturing engaged youth is a fundamental priority. On a beautiful Saturday morning, September 30th, the tight-knit community of Mount Vernon, Ohio, witnessed the power of collaboration between Scouts and community leaders as they embarked on a project to restore the fishing pier and observation deck at Wolf Run Park. This heartwarming partnership between Scouts BSA Troop 339 and the Mount Vernon Rotary Club exemplifies the spirit of unity and commitment that can transform a town.

Building bridges between young Scouts and the community is an essential aspect of grooming tomorrow’s leaders. It’s about fostering a sense of responsibility, citizenship, and the values of service. These qualities were front and center when two remarkable Scouts from Troop 339, Aaron Y. and Isaac Y., eagerly stepped up to participate in this community project. Their actions demonstrated that service to others lies at the very core of Scouting and can have a profound impact on their community.

The project involved repairing the aging fishing pier and rebuilding the observation deck at Wolf Run Park. Aaron and Isaac, along with fellow Scouts and Rotarians, played a pivotal role in making this vision a reality. They tirelessly removed damaged boards, cleaned up litter along the waterfront, and meticulously worked on prying up screws and nails. Their dedication was inspiring, and it showcased the passion and commitment that young individuals can bring to a community project.

Jeff Derr, the Service Project Chair of the Mount Vernon Rotary Club, expressed his appreciation for the involvement of the Scouts, saying, “Seeing the youth of our Scouting Units contribute to public service projects is invigorating and reassuring that the mission of the Boy Scouts of America continues to thrive. These boys did an outstanding job with their efforts to improve important outdoor recreation areas of Knox County.”

Paul McNeal, the President of the Mount Vernon Rotary Club, also extended his gratitude, recognizing the invaluable role played by both Rotarians and Scouts. He emphasized, “None of this would have been possible without your heartfelt commitment to Rotary and the betterment of the community. My appreciation for your willingness to volunteer for the project doesn’t go unnoticed!”

The partnership between The Boy Scouts of America and the Mount Vernon Rotary Club serves as a shining example of how a small town’s strength lies not only in its physical infrastructure but also in the dedication of its youth and community leaders. This collaboration not only restored a cherished recreational space but also instilled in young Scouts the values of service and community engagement.

As we reflect on this heartwarming story, we are reminded that the future of our communities depends on fostering the potential of our youth. When small towns come together to mentor and empower their young leaders, they set the stage for a brighter, more resilient future. The partnership between Troop 339 and the Mount Vernon Rotary Club exemplifies the true essence of community spirit, reminding us all of the remarkable things that can be achieved when we unite in a common cause.