This week’s Member Spotlight is on the Arbuckle Area Council (AAC). The Council has had a long history in southern Oklahoma; however, they have not always been known by that name. In the early years, the group served under several different names before ultimately combining to be the Arbuckle Area Council. As they are today, they have been serving Johnston County for a minimum of 80 years. Over all those years, the mission as always been the same: to provide scouting to the local youth and instill in them the values of scouting.
There is currently a Boy Scout Troop and a Cub Scout Pack in Tishomingo. The Arbuckle Area Council has a representative that works closely with the scouting leaders in Johnston County as well as the schools and local businesses throughout the county. Their main purpose is to serve as many youth as possible and help them to find out what scouting can do for them. They believe the scouting program is instrumental to the development of strong moral character and wishes to pass that along as best they can to all participants. Other operations of the council that apply to the county include Camp Simpson, which is open to all scouts and non-scouts for recreational use.
The Arbuckle Area Council currently employs 6 individuals. These 6 positions include the Scout Executive, or CEO; 2 District Executives, each overseeing a variety of counties and work as closely as possible with individual communities to help support scouting; a Camp Ranger; an office manager; and a finance professional. AAC also employ 25-30 seasonal staff members. Every year during summer camp they employ scouters and non-scouts to help provide the program at Camp Simpson for four weeks.
The camp is always available for use to anyone who would like to embrace an outdoor experience and get away from the chaos of life. There are more than 2,000 acres of property with a large lake in the center of the land at Camp Simpson. Camping, hiking, fishing, wildlife studies, swimming, boating and just about any other outdoor activity that abides by the ideals of scouting and Leave No Trace are welcome. Upcoming events include Cub Family Camp at Simpson, District and Council Pinewood Derby races, and Summer Camp in June.
James Tillison, Chickasaw District Executive said, “As the council representative for this area, I believe scouting will experience an exponential growth. I have experienced first-hand the excitement the youth in this area have for the ideals of scouting and it seems there has been a resurgence in Johnston County for that lifestyle. I have also had the good fortune of watching the Cubmaster and Scoutmaster in Tishomingo at work and have absolute faith that they have built a lasting scouting program for their community.”
For more information about Arbuckle Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Camp Simpson, visit arbucklebsa.org or give James a call at 580-223-0831.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone in the community that sponsored, donated items and attended the Johnston County Chamber Membership Banquet Saturday evening. For me it was a whirlwind of fun and I hope that you all had a wonderful time. We were overjoyed to honor the Johnston County Sentinel as New Business of the Year, Blessing Gravel as Small Business of the Year, Vulcan Materials Company as Large Business of the Year, Verna Sowder as Volunteer of the Year, and Rex and Fran Morrell as Citizens of the Year. All of these companies and individuals were incredibly deserving and we hope they know how much we appreciate their service to the community. I also want to thank the Sentinel again for providing photos of the event; to Great Western Dining for the amazing meal; and to Murray State College for the use of the beautiful facility again this year.