As the COVID pandemic drags on seemingly intermittently, we have gone from “Two weeks to flatten the curve” to coming up on a full year of severe restrictions on in-person gatherings.
Many nonprofit and public service agencies have simply had to shut down: Youth sports leagues have been able to hold limited practices, but not games. Volunteer auxiliaries for our public libraries, museums, and city, county and state parks have simply gone on hiatus as those facilities have been shuttered.
Others have switched to online “virtual” meetings on platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google, etc.
But more than 10 months into the shutdowns, it is getting more challenging by the week to keep our members – whether Scouting units or service club members – to participate in the virtual meetings.
The folks at The Events Calendar, whose website calendaring software we use here at Knights of Buena Creek for the Community Calendar, have put out a list of ways to help sustain enthusiasm for and participation in virtual events.
Among their suggestions are:
Send multiple email reminders, with embedded links
Include Q&A sessions at the end, or hold a raffle for those who attend
Make sure you have the right moderator – someone with the personality to hold the (virtual) room’s attention.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, opened up the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Awards to young people around the world a few years ago.
While youths 14-24 in the United States have been able to earn the award for the last few years, this year saw the first local winner – Stevin Latimer of Vista. A junior at Mission Vista High School, Stevin earned the Bronze and Silver DofE awards, and is working on his Gold.
Similar to The Congressional Award, participants in the DofE program set their own goals. In the DofE program, they work with a volunteer adult coordinatorin creating a game plan to meet those goals. The goals are set in the areas of volunteer service, skill improvement, physical recreation, adventure, and a residential project.
To learn more about this award and how youth in your organization can take part, visit the DofE site for the United States at USAward.org.
Four Eagle Scouts were installed into the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America at a noon ceremony on Oct. 11 at the Escondido Moose Lodge (#1874). Troop 651, sponsored by the Lions Club of San Marcos, welcomed the Troop’s four latest Eagles.
The ceremony at the Moose was the result of a January breakfast between the Moose, the Lions and the Lake San Marcos Kiwanis Club on ways to coordinate their service to youth through their Scouting units. As the Lions Club and Kiwanis do not have their own lodges, the Moose has made its campus available for those clubs’ Scouting units alongside its own unit.
The Moose Lodge charters Cub Scout Pack 640, while the Kiwanis charters Pack 662. All three units – plus others – pitched in at two recent volunteer workdays at the Moose, helping clear brush along the creekbed to lessen this year’s fire danger.
Sunday’s ceremony was held under the County’s health order; only immediate family were present in person – while the ceremony was livestreamed via Zoom to the rest of the troop, the Lions Club, and extended friends and family. Those who attended wore masks, and practiced social distancing.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Carlsbad Fire Department Foundation will host its 7th Annual Golf Tournament to raise money to support the city’s firefighters. This year, the event is being held at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
In the past five years, the tournament has raised more than $75,000 to support the mission of the Foundation – which is to supplement and enhance basic fire and rescue services, and to support public outreach, safety education programs, and to provide scholarships to dependents of firefighters.
Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m., with tee time at noon. Following the tournament there will be a dinner and silent auction.
Following a nationwide search, the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos has selected a communications and fundraising veteran with over 35 years’ experience, Cathy Baur, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Baur began her new role at the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos on September 1.
Baur joins the Club from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) where she worked for nearly 12 years; serving four years as Vice President for University Advancement and prior to that as Associate Vice President for Communications. She also served as Executive Director of the CSUSM Foundation Board, a group of community leaders and philanthropists who cultivate and encourage charitable investment in the university. Under her leadership, the University completed its first comprehensive fundraising campaign exceeding its fundraising goal of $50 million with more than $55 million raised when it concluded in 2019.
“We are pleased to have Cathy join the Boys & Girls Club,” said Paul Malone, Boys & Girls Club Board Chair. “Her experience in fundraising and communication will be an excellent complement to our current staff and their expertise in delivering high quality programing to our members.”
In the new role, Baur will have oversight of a staff of 80 and be responsible for all aspects of the Club including strategic vision and growth as well as undertaking a $1 million capital campaign to build out a new site that will serve as the Club’s community resource center.
“The Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos plays such a critical role in our community during the best of times and even more so today as our families struggle in dealing with COVID-19,” said Baur, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join this amazing team and lead the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos as we start this next chapter.”
In addition to her tenure at CSUSM, Baur served as Vice President of Marketing & Sales Support for JPMorgan Chase and also held executive positions at the San Diego Workforce Partnership and Poway Unified School District.
Baur replaces Tish Murry who retired earlier this year after serving more than six years as Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos President & CEO and whose career with the Boys & Girls Club movement was over 30 years.
Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos (BGCSM) is a non-profit youth development organization whose mission is to inspire and enable all young people to become productive, responsible and caring citizens. The organization, which first opened its doors in 1979 at Woodland Park, now serves over 4,000 members ages 6 to 18 at its standalone branch and 12 extension sites at school campuses and affordable housing communities throughout San Marcos and neighboring communities. As part of a nationwide movement of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, BGCSM offers youth programs, developed and run by trained youth development professionals, that emphasize three priority outcome areas: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. To learn more or support the Club, please visit www.boysgirlsclubsm.org.
More than two dozen Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and parent volunteers gathered at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 to work in den and patrol groups to help the Escondido Moose Lodge (#1874) clean up brush and complete tree removal. The volunteer clean-up day was in response to the Deer Springs Fire Prevention District’s ongoing abatement program to try to lower the fire danger in the region.
Cub Scout Pack 662 (Lake San Marcos Kiwanis Club) joined the Moose Lodge’s own Pack 640. Also participating were Boy Scout Troop 651 (San Marcos Lion’s Club), Escondido Troop 659, and Troop 760 from the Vista Boys & Girls Club.
More than a ton of greens debris was loaded into two large stake bed trailers and taken to the Escondido recycling yard to be converted into mulch.
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy resumed its monthly Volunteer Day at Monserate Mountain Preserve this past Saturday, Sept. 5 at the crack of dawn!
Board members and volunteers met at the trail head at 6 a.m. in a race against the heatwave. We hiked up the trail about a mile to where it meets an access road. This road is part of the MMP trail system, linking the peak to a lower portion of the trail and creating a challenging 5-mile loop.
However, this road also provides access to the Preserve for emergency vehicles, including fire and paramedics. Over the years, the road has degraded due to erosion and it is now overgrown with chaparral, making it difficult for large emergency vehicles to navigate.
The FLC was recently awarded a grant from San Diego County to make improvements on MMP, including funding to repave this access road. We are leveraging that funding by enlisting our volunteers to prepare the road for grading and repaving by cutting back overgrown brush. This will allow us to reduce the cost of maintaining the road so we can utilize more of the grant funding for trail improvements, which are also greatly needed.
Fallbrook Land Conservancy is taking a break from tradition this year with a week-long series of virtual events designed to bring you all the fun of our popular, community festival to the comfort of your own home. STAGECOACH SUNDAY UPLOADED kicks off on Monday, Sept. 28 with wildlife encounters, tours of our local preserves, and more. The event culminates on Sunday, October 4, at our FLC Facebook page as winners of our GO WILD photo contest are announced.
Boy Scout Troop 651 (San Marcos Lions Club) showed up Saturday, September 5, at the Escondido Moose Lodge to assist with fire abatement efforts. Working with Moose members, the Scouts helped clear away brush, gathered palm fronds being cut down, and stacked firewood.