ABMT Directors Jackie Marin and Jimmy Loveland are proud to introduce the addition of a new source of energy – someone who will help us to drive the tournament to it’s real potential.
The Boy Scout program in the Virgin Islands is on target and ready to deliver to boys – and the community – all the professional and personal benefits for which Scouting is known. That’s the message that Charley Tinsley, the new Scout Executive/CEO of the Virgin Islands, wants to spread. “I really want to get the word out that Scouting is a viable option for boys today,” Tinsley says.
Born and raised in Hermanville, Mississippi and educated at Jackson State University where he received a Masters in Business Administration, Tinsley headed after graduation to Detroit, Michigan, to seek his fame and fortune. “I worked in the corporate world, then taught university level business courses,” he says. Answering a blind ad in 1985 brought him to the doorstep of the Boy Scouts.
“I started working with the Explorer program, bringing inner city kids into contact with the corporate world for career exploration purposes,” Tinsley explains. Success achieved, Tinsley’s work moved to suburban Detroit where through the Explorer program he not only arranged for hands-on experiences by high school age students with a wide range of professionals but also brought professionals into the classrooms to educate students about career opportunities.
Although Michigan is in the Central Region and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Northeast Region of the Boy Scouts of America, and some 3,000 miles apart, the two locations share much in common. Therefore, when the top Scout job in the islands became vacant, Tinsley was one of three candidates approached for the job. “The search committee wanted someone with a professional image, someone who could get the job done and someone who had experience raising funds,” he explains. On this last point, Tinsley notes “my fundraising skills range from popcorn sales to the corporate fundraising level.”
An ordinary experience during Tinsley’s initial visit and interview sealed the deal of taking the job when it was offered. “It was Friday afternoon and as I was riding up the hill to my hotel in a cab school was just letting out,” he relates. “All the boys had on uniforms so everyone looked similar, but as they walked down the road from school they reminded me of myself as a boy. It was then that the position here seemed more then a job, but a way to give something back. A way to offer opportunities to these kids and be a role model.” Continuing, Tinsley says: “I want to captivate the boy’s interest and make the excitement contagious. The longer they stay in Scouting, the more the program can really affect their lives.”
Annual events like the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament are key fundraisers for Boy Scouting in the Virgin Islands. “Events like this are a good opportunity for the public to see Scouting. Not just boys wearing uniforms, but self sufficiency and reliability in the forms of performing jobs like helping with cook-outs and registration or participating in a flag ceremony.” During the tournament this summer, Tinsley will use his Boy Scout and business knowledge to benefit the Virgin Islands program by doing what he does best – “networking, matching names with faces, and asking people to help support the islands’ youth through Scouting.”