New Leadership on the Council Board

At the Chester County Council Executive Board Annual Meeting on February 15th, the board approved new board members and also approved several current board members to take on leadership roles on the board.  Get to know your new leadership by reading below their biographies and goals for their term of office.

Steve Carroll – Council President

As a youth, Steve began his Scouting journey as a cub in Cincinnati in the Dan Beard Council.  He earned the Arrow of Light and then was a Scout in Troop 62 of Winter Park, in what is now the Central Florida Council.  He then took the not-atypical hiatus from Scouting until his son was entering the first grade and joined.

As an adult in the Chester County Council, the highlights include popcorn kernel and Cubmaster of Pack 42 in Kemblesville and as Scoutmaster of Troop 30 in West Grove, PA.  District roles have included Unit Commissioner, Training Chair, and FOS Chair.  Steve has staffed and led many training courses at the District, Council, Area, and Territory levels.  The highlights are Wood Badge Course Director and as Chair for the Territory Wood Badge Course Directors’ Conference.  He recently stepped down from his role as Ordeal Advisor in the Order of the Arrow.

Joining the Executive Board of the Council in early 2019, Steve has served as chair of the Governance and Strategic Planning Committees and as the VP of Administration and currently serves as the Board President.

In both his educational and work history and also his Scouting history there have been many different types of roles.  From corporate finance to sales and marketing and then Scouting program to governance, many different perspectives are shared.

The Executive Board of the council is all about Leadership, Governance, and Strategy.  The question the board must ask itself: “How do we help to provide the structure and resources to support the youth and their adult leaders in the operation of the program?”

The primary goals over the next several years are:

  • Membership – how do we serve more youth and better share and provide the benefits of Scouting?
  • Finance – how to we better provide the resources needed to support the youth, leaders, and units in providing the best Scouting experience?
  • Planning – how do we best plan for the future in our changing world and anticipate the opportunities to support a better and expanded program to serve our constituents?

Meeting these challenges is the goal of the Council Board and it’s leadership.

 

Gus Sauerzopf – Council Commissioner

Gus started his Scouting experience at the age of 10 with Troop 79 out of Whitehall (Stiles), Pa. The Troop was very small, comprised of about 8 to 12 scouts and 2 leaders. The Chartered Organization was a small Roman Catholic Church (St. Joh the Baptist) in Minsi Trails Council. Troop 79 had been in existence since the 1930s but had yet to produce any Eagle Scouts. Although advancement wasn’t a priority, leadership was in a state of constant flux and the troop did not attend any BSA Summer Camps, he enjoyed being with his friends and experiencing the outdoors. Camping was a priority as the troop had monthly camping trips and for one week in the summer, the troop went to Hickory Run State Park. After aging out, Gus became an Assistant Scoutmaster while attending a local community college. After completing his BA at Bloomsburg State College, he returned to the troop as Scoutmaster, a position he held for 10 years. In that time the troop saw their first Eagle Scout and in those 10 years had a total of four.

His Scouting experience continued after he was relocated to Chester County for work. Gus’s three sons – Nick, Eric, and John – started and completed their Arrow of Light in Pack 152. He had no formal leadership role but was an active parent in the Pack. Upon Nicholas’s crossover to Troop 52, he assumed the role of Scoutmaster/Assistant SM for the next 15 years. He shared that role with his friend George Dunheimer. During that time, the troop attended as many as 3 summer camps per year and countless high adventure trips. Gus made sure he attended at least 2 week-long trips – attending Philmont twice. Troop 52 turned out over 55 Eagle Scouts in that time period and started to get heavily involved in the Order of the Arrow, with his Ordeal taking place in 2001. He sealed his membership in 2002 and became a Vigil Honor member in 2013. All three of his sons earned the rank of Eagle Scout and were inducted to the Order of the Arrow: two sealed their membership (Brotherhood) and John became a Vigil Honor member. Gus continued his love of service by accepting the role as Lodge Adviser. He attended 3 National Order of the Arrow Conferences and 7 Conclaves during that time. He maintained that role until December 2022. As Lodge Adviser, he was a member of the Chester County Council BSA Executive Board and Camping Committee. He now continues to serve as an Associate Lodge Adviser for the Lodge, CCC Executive Board member, Horseshoe Trail District Committee member, and Council Commissioner.

As Council Commissioner, Gus has set some short-term and long-term goals. The first short-term goal is to establish a team of District Commissioners and getting them trained. To date, District Commissioner roles are filled but still are in the process of training. His second goal is to recruit as many Unit Commissioners as possible; although not trained, they would be able to start opening the lines of communication between Unit and Council. Once the District Commissioners are trained, they will be able to train the Unit Commissioners. Currently, the Council has approximately 30 on the roster. A major resource for recruitment was Octoraro Lodge 22. Long-term, the goal is to get every unit in the Council covered with an excellent line of communication established. Gus and his Commissioners hope to make the Units feel comfortable communicating to the Commissioner team, seeking assistance and advice when needed. The long-term goal of 100% coverage is to achieve this by January of 2025.

 

Jim Caron – Vice President of Administration

Jim started his Scouting experience at the age of 8 with Pack 16 of Berkley, MA. Jim progressed through to Webelos and graduated into Troop 31. The highest rank he achieved was Life Scout aging out at 18 just shy of Eagle.  Jim’s troop did not attend summer camp and did not have consistent leaders so it was probably a little harder for him to advance. The troop was sponsored by the local Fire Department which did give him an avocation to volunteer in three states and for over 40 years.  During college because of his passion for Scouting, Jim was a Webelos Leader and Cubmaster in Pack 16 as well as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 31 in Berkley.

Graduating from Southeastern Massachusetts University with a Bachelor of Science in 1975 and relocated to Buffalo, New York, Jim took a brief sabbatical from Scouting.

While working in Western New York, Jim relocated his growing family twice: once to the Lake Chautauqua area and became Cubmaster of his church’s Pack 137 in Bemus Point, NY part of the Allegheny Highlands Council, and then to Niagara County and Pekin, NY where his sons started Cub Scouts.

The next stop for Jim was Lakewood, New Jersey in 1987 and active involvement with two sons in Pack 51 and Troop 51 as Webelos Leader, Committee member, Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster.  Jim’s two sons are Eagle Scouts.  During Jim’s service to Scouting at the Jersey Shore Council he was involved with the District Activities Committee and served as Chairman, served on staff for a number of Training Courses. Jim was inducted into the Japeechen Lodge of the Order of the Arrow receiving his Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honors and was a Chapter Adviser.  Jim received the District Award of Merit in 1993 and Silver Beaver in 1998.

While in Jersey Shore Council, Jim work on Subcamp Staff on three Jamborees from 1997 to 2005.

His Scouting experience continued after his final relocation to Chester County for work in 1999.  He began as a Unit Commissioner, before serving as Assistant District Commissioner and District Commissioner for the former Lenni-Lenape District.  Jim moved to Friends of Scouting Chairman for the family and community campaigns.

He joined the Council Insurance and Risk Management Committee after 50 years in the Insurance Industry.  He became chairman in 2022 and accepted the position of Vice President of Administration in 2023.

As Vice President of Administration he is responsible to oversee the Strategic Plan, Governance, Risk Management (council insurance, health and safety), Diversity, Nominating and Youth protection Committees.

As Vice President of Administration, Jim has set some short-term and long-term goals. The first short-term goal is to recruit, train Chairman for vacancies in some of the committees. Second is to promote Safe Scouting from Council Activities to Unit activities. Additionally, he will be re-introducing the Incident Reporting to help promote improvements in the Scouting program. His long-term goal is to oversee the successful administration of his assigned committees for Chester County Council.