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Council names Scout executive; Tyms set to start March 1

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Shelly Birkelo
February 8, 2013

— The first item on Alex Tyms' agenda is simple: learn how Scouting can reach out to boys that the national organization might be missing.

Tyms, the new Scout executive for the Glacier's Edge Council, hopes to accomplish that by getting out in the field to meet people and talk to volunteers, donors and community leaders.

A firm believer that things get better or worse but rarely stay the same, Tyms wants to talk to Scouting stakeholders to better learn their visions. He then hopes to combine those visions into a single one the entire group can share.

"If we don't have a road map, how are we going to know where we're going?" he said.

Last month, the 44-year-old Ashland, Ohio, man was picked to lead the local Scouting council in Madison. He replaces Stephen Heck, who left in October to pursue other interests, said Matt Thornton, acting Scouting executive.

The Glacier's Edge Council serves five districts in Wisconsin and Illinois and features a service center in Janesville.

Tyms is excited about his new position.

"I look forward to working with volunteer and community leaders to provide a great program for kids," he said.

A 21-year veteran of the national organization, Tyms began his professional career with the Boy Scouts as an executive intern in Baltimore. Since then he has served at different levels of the organization in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Alaska.

Tyms is leaving his current position at the Heart of Ohio Council in Ashland, where he has been scout executive for nearly five years. His first day in the Madison office will be March 1.

Tyms, who also is an Eagle Scout and a former Philmont Scout Ranch staff member, was hired from a pool of seven candidates narrowed to four finalists, said Matt Thornton, acting scouting executive for the local council.

What set him apart "was his vision of where the council is and where it needs to go," Thornton said.

Tyms said he couldn't speak about the Boy Scouts proposal to end its ban on gays.

"It's still an ongoing discussion with our national board and a decision (that will be) made by the national council," he said.

Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday it will delay a vote on whether to change its policy banning gay Scouts and leaders until May.

Tyms wants to focus on what Scouting is doing today to make sure boys have a positive experience.

"The goal is to develop the next generation of leaders for our communities, states and country," he said.

Tyms also believes that, given the opportunity, potential Scouts quickly see the value in the organization.

"The one thing I've found is if you start a Boy Scout Troop, the kids will show up," he said. "That's a great testament to our program."



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