SBRSA History

Jack Furst, Dan McCarthy, and Russell Smart had been talking about a staff association for SBR since the early days of the project.  In early 2014, a small group (SBR Group Director Dan McCarthy, BSA legal counsel Steve McGowan, Gary Schroeder, and Russell Smart) put together the official documents and an initial proposal for our association and presented them for consideration to the Executive Board of the BSA. On October 15, 2014, the Executive Board passed a Resolution establishing our Charter to exist as an official part of the Boy Scouts of America, which was signed by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock. This charter established SBRSA’s accountability to the Summit Committee, a support committee of the BSA National Adventures Committee.

On December 4, 2014, the Summit Committee established a set of Operating Guidelines for the SBRSA and approved a group of volunteers (Kay Trick, Jillian Infusino, Sarah Mittrucker, Andrew Miller, Gary Schroeder, and Russell Smart) plus SBR professional staff member Danny Bell to serve as the official organizing committee for the SBRSA. In less than a month during the busy holiday season, this dedicated group approved an official logo, developed detailed membership guidelines, and established a social media presence including website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed to spread the word about the SBRSA to our BSA membership.

At 12:01 PM on January 5, 2015 (following several days of “teasers” on Facebook and Twitter), we opened an online registration system which was developed in less than seven days by BSA professionals, Lonnah Curry and Marty Teare.  Lonnah and Marty worked with our organizing committee and the SBR Controller Amy Grace. At 4:30 PM, Lonnah sent me a recap of the first few hours of activity, and we had already received 121 applications. By late January, that number had grown to well over 300. Our professional staff representative, Danny Bell, worked long hours checking the applications to make sure that everyone met the approved standards for SBRSA membership and received an acknowledgement of their membership status.

On the evening of January 28, 2015, Gary Schroeder and Russell Smart participated in a 90-minute conference call with Philmont Staff Association (PSA) Executive Director Randy Saunders, PSA President John Murphy, and former PSA Presidents Jim Lynch and Ed Pease. These amazing guys shared freely about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as well as the outstanding historical accomplishments of the PSA during its long history. Their information and suggestions gave Gary and Russell guidance and ideas on how to keep SBRSA focused on its mission. As a part of the discussion, the PSA also agreed to co-host a reception with the SBRSA at the BSA’s 2015 National Annual Meeting.

In March 2015, SBR professional employee, Phillip Ferrier was appointed by Dan McCarthy to be the first official professional staff advisor. Danny Bell continued to assist us with membership approvals while doing his primary job as Marketing Director for SBR BSA Programs.

In April 2015, with over 440 members now registered, we posted an invitation for candidates for the four regional representatives for the SBRSA Executive Committee (EXCOM). After reviewing the applications, the organizing committee selected three candidates from each region and submitted the names to the membership in an online balloting process, which began in early May. Three regions required a run-off election and at the Summit Committee meeting on May 19, 2015, the following persons were certified as the inaugural members of the SBRSA Executive Committee:

President – Russell Smart (appointed by Summit Committee Chairman Jack Furst)

Summit Committee Representative – Gary Schroeder

Northeast Region Representative – Pete Myers (now deceased)

Central Region Representative – Robert Fish

Southern Region Representative – Mark Harris

Western Region Representative – Jillian Infusino

SBR Professional Staff Advisor – Phillip Ferrier (appointed by Summit Group Director Dan McCarthy)

Ex Officio Member – Jack Furst, Chairman of the Summit Committee

Several days later, the 2015 seasonal staff at SBR elected second -year- staffer Matt Cree to serve as the first seasonal staff representative on the SBRSA EXCOM for 2015.

During that meeting, the Summit Committee approved the expenditure of SBRSA funds by the EXCOM to provide an appropriate form of recognition for the 2015 seasonal staff. The SBRSA has now continued for a decade to recognize all seasonal staff members.