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Sabattis Scout Reservation is the summer resident camp operated by Longhouse Council. It is arguably the most remote council camp in the northeastern United States. Accessible by 20 miles of dirt road, off the grid, without cell service, and with patrol cooking, Sabattis is a unique experience. In July of 2018 Sabattis celebrated it’s 60th anniversary. Alumni from all over the country returned to share their memories and rekindle old friendships. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh was one of those alumni. In the weeks leading up to the event Mike wanted to know what he could do. I told him at the reunion he should “just be Mike”. (I was putting him to work at a major donor cultivation event in Skaneateles the night before.) Mike and Lisa had a wonderful time seeing old friends and the day was a huge hit. Lisa told me it was the first time since becoming chief that Steve McGowan, the national attorney, could not reach him! The following day Mike spent some time in the camp office checking units in. (We left copies of Scouting Magazine and Boys Life opened to his picture laying around to watch campers’ reactions.) This was the second time Mike had been to Longhouse Council in my tenure. He also joined us for our 2016 BOYPOWER Dinner. Mike was a good friend and supporter and I miss him greatly.

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During one assignment I managed the operation of five summer camps and six year-round camps, all in different locations. Our summer programs included Boy Scout resident camps at No-Be-Bo-Sco and Turrell, a high adventure base at Floodwood Mountain, a Cub Scout overnight camp at Camp Lewis, and a Cub Scout day camp at Camp Yaw Paw. The summer camp operation had more than 300 seasonal employees under my direction. The year-round operation was staffed by one full-time and five part-time rangers, as well as a large staff of volunteer campmasters. 


In 2012 I gave leadership to the National Camp Accreditation Program FULL Authorization Process for all five of our summer camps. NCAP involves a tremendous amount of time and detail surrounding continuous improvement, physical plan review, and most of all, sustainability. It involves an EXTREMELY high level of Board engagement. Due to many of the innovations I introduced to the process, I have become a resource for many councils to help navigate the process. 


I am extremely proud of Lowanne Nimat. Our Lodge was formed from the merger of Kayanernh Kowa and Tahgajute Lodges on January 1, 2010. Youth members of the two lodges had already established strong bonds of brotherhood during their shared experiences traveling as a combined NOAC contingent in both 2006 and in 2009, and the name Lowanne Nimat- translated as Brothers of the North- reflects this. The lodge’s totem, the red fox, is symbolic of cunning charm, and is closely allied with warriors and generals. Characteristics attributed to this totem include grace, agility, cleverness, patience, quick-wittedness, and stealth. Lowanne Nimate has been continually rated as a Gold Lodge and earned numerous National Recognitions including The E. Urner Goodman Camping Award, The Innovation Award, and the National Service Award in both 2015 and 2016.

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