Visionary Leader - Relationship builder -Creative problem solver

John Bickel

Scout Executive Candidate - Hawk Mountain Council

The Bickel Family

I am a Christian, husband, and dad!

My wife, Brittany, is my partner in all of life's adventures. She is a cyber security and data privacy attorney, and is a fitness enthusiast.

Our son, Jack, loves playing with his friends, being outside, and is always looking for the next thing to explore! We are excited to welcome our second boy in October!

When I'm not Scouting, you can find us at church on Sunday morning, out on family walks, finding new playgrounds to explore, enjoying time in the 1000 Islands in NY, and camping in PA and New York.

Scouting has laid the foundation of our family through the character-building principals of the Scout Law and I am passionate about playing those out in my home life as a husband and dad.

My Why

I am a life-long Scout who believes in the mission of the BSA. I have experienced first-hand the impact that Scouting can have on the life of a young person, improving their hope for the future and expanding their horizons.

It is my lifetime goal to help introduce Scouting to more families so they too can experience the benefits of Scouting, which in-tun will lead to stronger communities and a stronger nation.

Why I'm Excited to be Your Scout Executive

I am a strategic thinker who finds joy in building relationships. I am excited to be your Scout Executive because I want to lead the council into its next period of growth. To do this, I'll use my experience growing camping programs, developing council & camp strategic plans, increasing fundraising, and field service campaigns to grow Scouting by finding creative solutions to our most difficult problems.

I have a passion for ensuring that each youth is welcomed into Scouting, and I'm driven to achieve that audacious goal. Scouting's aims are as relevant today as they have ever been, and I want to work with the board, staff, and volunteers to realize the potential that exists throughout the council as your Scout Executive.

What to Expect as your

Scout Executive

As your Scout Executive, it will be my goal and responsibility to grow the Scouting programs in Berks, Schuylkill, and Carbon counties.

To do that, I believe there are three specific ways that I can use my skills to drive the change needed to welcome more Scouts into the program, return Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation to its previous position as a leading regional camp, and grow the financial impact by building on the current success.


Visionary Leadership

I believe in the power of Scouting as a volunteer-led organization, and I will work with the board, staff, and volunteer committees to develop a shared vision and strategic plan for the council.

Concept of Teamwork

Staff Management

People are the lifeblood of any organization, and having a staff that is all moving in the same direction with each other and their volunteers is crucial to our success. I will set my focus on the shared vision and set the tone for others to follow so that together we will achieve our goals in furtherance of growth and lasting impact.

Financial Growth Concept

Growing Scouting

I will commit to building relationships in our communities that help grow our membership and raise funds that will allow us to roll out programs in support of our mission.

Focus Area:

Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation Revival

The success of a council's camp is crucial to their success as a whole, and that is equally true for Hawk Mountain Council and Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation. As a past attendee of various events at the property, I've seen the camp in its height, and I know that Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation has the potential to return to its former glory.

Working with the Camping Committee and staff, I believe my 15 years of camp leadership experience uniquely position me to make a significant impact.

Camp Promotions

HMSR's attendance has seen a significant drop in the past several years. To reverse that trend, I will work with the camp leadership team and camping committee to employ tactics that welcome more troops and Scouts back to camp.

Improved Camp Operations

Staff, food quality, program, and facilities are the keys to a great camp. I will work with the camp leadership team to identify the current strengths and weaknesses to set a roadmap for how to retool the camp operations so our Scouts and other council scouts are excited to return to HMSR.

Welcoming Outside Groups

I have had significant success bringing new groups to use our current camps, and I believe HMSR is in a prime place to do the same. Whether it is youth groups, school groups, LARPing groups, or families, there is tremendous opportunity for increased revenue and program impact.

My Experience

Camping Program Impact

  • On pace to have an 11% increase in campers over 2022.
  • Created the Outdoor Adventure Lab to create new opportunities for all

youth, both Scouts and non-Scouts, to learn and grow in the outdoors.

  • Manage a $2.6MM operating budget including negotiating a food service

contract to save 10% over previous year.

coin stack money saving concept. green leaf plant growth on rows of coin on white background. money matters tips to investment and business financial banking for Financial Wellness.

Fundraising Impact

  • Gave leadership to twelve special events that raised more than $1.8 million in 2018.
  • Recruited 33 honorees and recruited more than 80 committee members across twelve events.
  • Led the strategic plan for our alumni cultivation campaign which led to an increase of attendees and donations.
  • Gave staff leadership to a fundraiser while implementing a new CRM.
Eagle Patch and Merit Badge Sash on Boy Scout Uniform

Field Service Impact

  • Grew Cub Scout camp attendance by 205% from 756 Cubs in 2013 to 1,552

Cubs in 2014.

  • Achieved membership growth in 4 of 5 years leading a district.
  • Achieved 200% of the district fundraising goal in 2010.
  • Doubled the district committee through a diligent nominating committee process.

Scouting Accomplishments

Eagle Scout


Unami Lodge Chief


Vigil Honor Member

Order of the Arrow

Course Director

National Camping School

Wood Badge