News: Neillsville Scoutmaster Alex Timm Retires (Sep 2013)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Timm, Morrow, Kuhn, Slenczka, Bedell, Fields, Anason

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 12/04/2013

Neillsville Scoutmaster Alex Timm (Retires – 29 September 2013)

Alex Timm served as Scoutmaster of Neillsville Boy Scout Troop #43 for the past nine years. Timm decided to retire from that position Sept. 29, 2013. Todd Schmidt/Clark County Press

By Todd Schmidt

Neillsville Scoutmaster Alex Timm, 56, has decided to retire.

When Timm took over as Scoutmaster nine years ago, Neillsville Boy Scout Troop #43 had four boys on the roster. The troop now consists of 22 members, with much of the growth in numbers over the years attributed to his dedication and leadership.

Timm moved to Neillsville from Illinois. One evening, local scout organizer Judy Morrow called Timm and asked him if he would fill in as scoutmaster until she found somebody.

Morrow said the local Cub Scout troop was reorganized in 2004.

“Everything went well until the boys got to fifth grade and the Boy Scout level,” Morrow said. “There was no troop to go into. Alex stepped up and said he would be the scoutmaster. What a break for the scouting program and for those boys.”

One major accomplishment for the troop under Timm’s leadership is the advancement of Dominic Kuhn to the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Dominic will be the first Eagle Scout in the troop,” Timm said. “He should achieve that rank early in the summer of 2014.”

Timm said Kuhn started as a Tenderfoot and worked through six steps before seeking Eagle Scout status. Timm said three boys in the troop had achieved the Rank of Life status.

“I’m proud of all the boys who made the ranks as far as they did,” Timm said.

Kuhn credits much of his success in Boy Scouts to Timm’s leadership.

“Ever since I joined four years ago, Mr. Timm has been encouraging and motivating me to reach my Eagle Scout rank,” Kuhn said. “As elected senior patrol leader for two consecutive years, I always looked up to him for guidance and support, and when it got rough, he was there to help along with all the other scoutmasters. Our troop will miss him.”

Morrow said she always admired the way Timm organized the outdoor camping program with the troop.

“It is a known fact that camping keeps boys in Boy Scouts,” Morrow said. “Timm had an outdoor opportunity almost every month. That is amazing, considering the amount of personal time one has to put in to have that many overnight activities.”

Morrow is impressed by the way Timm put his heart into the Boy Scout program and the boys he had in the troop.

He made time for committee meetings, scout meetings, merit badge clinics, campouts and other training sessions,” Morrow said. “On top of that, he spent his vacation time each year at summer camp with the boys.

Troop #43 participated in a huge number of activities under Timm’s direction, including camping trips to Camp Phillips and Mead Lake, helping with trail work and cleanup at The Highground, food drives, wreath sales, popcorn sales, brat fries, and camping weekends including water park fun at Mount Olympus in Wisconsin Dells.

The scouts enjoyed a Spring Camporee, where they learned about Native American lore and culture and basket weaving. A Camporee near Cadott featured training about handicapped accessibility and needs. Scouts had to write a paper about the subject to get credit for a Merit Badge. Area veterans put on American heritage lessons for scouts at The Highground.

The troop also participated in programs on cyberbullying and Internet abuse.

Timm became certified in-COPE at Camp Phillips, which he said is an acronym for countless opportunities to plunge earthward. The activity features an off-the-ground obstacle course used to build teamwork.

He is also proud of the way the local troop acquired a six-foot by 10-foot enclosed trailer used to transport equipment.

Timm said a fundraiser was organized to raise approximately $2,000 to purchase and retrofit the trailer, originally used to haul canoes. Various businesses donated funds. Kuhn wrote a letter to the Listeman Foundation asking for support.

“Trunkel Trailers gave us a good deal to start with,” Timm said. “The scouts are thankful to all the businesses and individuals and the Listeman Foundation for their support. Without their help, we wouldn’t have a nice trailer to use.”

Timm said it was a difficult decision to step down as scoutmaster.

“I enjoy scouting a lot,” Timm said. “I have twin grandsons, Alex and David, who both turned 18. At times, I felt like I didn’t have much left to give to the troop.”

Timm, who has been maintenance supervisor at the Ho-Chunk Casino in Black R+iver Falls for 17 years, said his 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. work shifts made it difficult to make scout meetings.

Timm said there have been many changes to scouting during his tenure as Scoutmaster. Initially, the local troop didn’t have committee meetings, and the Chippewa Valley Council, of which Neillsville is a member, as not very involved in the activities of the troop.

“It probably took two or three years to get recognition from them for being an active troop,” Timm said. “Then we started getting more information from the council and began doing more activities.”

Timm said there are many things boys can get out of scouting. He lists having fun, gaining social skills, developing skills to take care of themselves in the woods and getting training in first aid and CPR. Timm recalled a situation involving a boy from another troop who used his skills to save his dad’s life after he sliced into an artery while cutting wood.

Scouts learn simple tasks, such as dong dishes and buying groceries. They learn how to plan a meal, budget for it and cook it.

Timm said scouting strives to teach boys responsibility, accountability, reliability, patience and fairness.

“Boys use the skills they learned in scouting to make better lives for themselves and become better human beings,” Timm said.

He hopes the troop will become bigger. An annual day with the Cub Scouts showing them what Boy Scouts do has been helpful. Bonding activities including swimming, basketball and pizza parties are effective for recruiting, along with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts spreading the word among their friends.

Boy Scout Troop #43 meets Sunday evenings at Hillside Community Church. Glenn Slenczka as been chosen as the new scoutmaster, with assistant scoutmasters Dave Bedell, Dave Fields, Rick Kuhn and Larry Anason carrying on the tradition of the troop.

“The troop will continue and grow, but without one man stepping up when he was needed, there would not have been a Troop $43,” Morrow said. “This is a troop that has earned the top Journey to Excellence Award.”

Timm will be honored at a Boy Scout holiday party Sunday, Dec. 29.




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