I would like to take this opportunity to formally introduce our new Council Commissioner Gary Ely. Please join the Montana Council staff along with Scouts and volunteers across the state to give him a warm Team 315 welcome. – Jory Dellinger, Interim Scout Executive
We asked Gary to write a little something to introduce himself:
First off, I would like to thank Tom Russell for his leadership and guidance throughout his tenure. He was one of the most successful Council Commissioners I have known. I hope to build on his legacy and continue with the success of the council and, most importantly, the youth we all serve.
I began my Scouting as a Cub Scout in Pack 1149 in Woodbridge Virginia. I managed by luck to be around for the 50th and the 100th anniversary of this great organization. From there, I progressed (as most do) to Arrow of Light and Boy Scouts where I reached the rank of Life. But, as with a number of our youth, school, sports, and college moved me from the program before I could figure out Eagle Scout.
Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, I found myself in an information meeting for the local Cub Pack (269) with my oldest son. Walking out, I was the new Assistant Cubmaster in a pack of about 40. Three years later, I was selected to be Scoutmaster of a new Troop (269). We started with 14 boys and no clue of what to do. My Woodbadge Course was critical as it taught me to fully back off and let the Scouts lead. After 10 years, my youngest reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, and my mentoring over 25 Eagle Scout Candidates, I joined the ranks of Commissioner Service.
My wife, Therese, and I moved to the Flathead Valley in 2015 where the council wasted no time in getting me to participate here. This just happens to be Scout Heaven (but you knew that already). And now, I am your Council Commissioner.
Leading the Council Commissioner Service Team will require all the focus the District, Assistant District, Roundtable, and Unit commissioners can provide. Without them AND YOU the unit leaders, we would be unable to fulfill the promise that is in the opening pages of the Scout Handbook – Fun and Adventure.
The Commissioner Service Team is here to support your programs and assist you, the leaders of the units in this council to improve on the product you provide to the youth under our charge. We have all stepped up to the challenges facing the Scouting movement coming in the next few years. I am excited to be involved during this period and look forward in working with each of you. Please contact your Unit and/or District Commissioners for help resolving issues. If you need, I am available as well. So, as was said at the National Meeting this year in Dallas, SCOUT ME IN!
– Gary Ely, Council Commissioner