Barbara Schmidt and husband Jim Persoon's involvement in the Northern Star Council may have begun differently, but they agree on the impressive nature of the Scouting movement.
In the early 80's Barb was recognized with the Council's Spurgeon Award for her work in the community. She was then recruited to volunteer for Scouting, serving in many capacities over the years including her service on the Board of Directors.
Jim, who didn't have the opportunity in his youth to be a Scout, stepped up and became Cubmaster for his nephew's pack when there was a leadership vacancy. It was important to him that his nephew would have the benefit of Scouting in his life. That was 17 years ago and Jim's commitment to the program has extended to other volunteer positions, including the director of training for his district.
Barb: I've been fortunate to work with many non-profit and social service agencies over the past 35 years. If I had to pick one that impresses me the most consistently, it's Scouts. Northern Star Council is truly a special organization. Scouting isn't just a job for the Scouting professionals here. It is a lifelong commitment and passion. And I can't say enough about how effectively the Council utilizes their many volunteers. They make sure we all catch the Scouting spirit and that we understand how much our work does to support the youth and families of our community. When a volunteer becomes part of this movement, you understand how important Scouting is. What can be better than a group of people devoted to the young people of this community? What can be better than a group of people who are willing and passionate about doing whatever it takes to provide our youth with the services and support they need? Scouting is not just another program for youth, it is the program for youth!
Barb and Jim have always been thoughtful about planning for the future. Leaving something that lives on beyond their own life is important to them.
Jim: Even as a young couple we created wills and thought about how we wanted to use our resources as we grew older. It was the right and responsible thing to do and a big part of preparing for our future. But things get more complicated as you get older. Your perspective changes and your goals are different. You start thinking about where you want to invest the proceeds of a lifetime of work. You start to think seriously about what it means to leave something significant---something that will make a difference and live on in your name.
Barb: The Scouts have always been future-oriented and have often discussed such subjects at our various meetings: bequests, estate planning and the importance of growing the Council endowment. When Jim and I began talking about our own estate plans, we identified a list of three organizations, including the Northern Star Council, to receive the proceeds of our estate through a bequest in our will. These are organizations that we know are doing great work, have a passion for what they are doing, and will use the money for good that we can never do on our own. That is why we decided to make our commitment to Scouting formal with a bequest in our will. It was easy to do and it makes us feel good to know that our support for Scouting will live on.