June 30, 2001 – Charley Tinsley's may not be a household name in the Virgin Islands yet, but the St. Thomas newcomer hopes to find fame and fortune — not for himself, but for the Boy Scouts.
Since Jan.1, the new Boy Scouts of America chief executive officer for the territory has been working to increase public awareness about the scouting program. His hope is to make scouting more visible in the community, improve communication with the public and intensify fund-raising efforts.
Born in Hermanville, Miss., Tinsley studied marketing in college. After earning a master of business administration degree from Jackson State University, he moved to Detroit, where he taught college business courses. In 1985, he chanced upon the Boy Scouts when he answered a blind ad. "The scouting values matched my own," he says. "This was a chance to give back to the community."
Now a 15-year veteran of the Boy Scouts organization, Tinsley was selected over three other candidates to head the V.I. Council.
The Virgin Islands "is a different place from where I'm from," he says. "Compared to big-city life in Detroit, there is a calmness here." While there is a lot for which to be thankful in that, he says, the slow pace of the islands has its down side, too. "Every day that goes by, we miss the opportunity make a positive impact on a child," he explains.
That's why Tinsley, who is based on St. Thomas, has been busy training staff and volunteers and helping to organize a slew of fund-raising events. In his first half year on the job, he has been involved with the Boy Scouts Royak Regattas on St. Thomas and St. Croix and the Governor's Cup Golf Tournament.
He is preparing now for the upcoming 29th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament, popularly known as the "Boy Scouts tournament." Considered the best of its kind, the contest attracts top anglers from around the globe. Last year's event netted $140,000 for the Boy Scouts, making it the local scouting program's biggest fund-raiser by far.
Fund-raising events are critical to the Boy Scouts, accounting for 62 percent of the local chapter's budget, according to Tinsley. "They are also a great opportunity for us to showcase scouting and tie in nicely with the community," he adds.
Tinsley plans to remain in the Virgin Islands for another four to five years. The Boy Scouts organization generally advocates short terms for council heads to allow for career opportunities within the organization. "If you remain in a position for too long, you can lose your edge," Tinsley says.
He equates his job to running in a 100-meter relay. "You make a whole lot happen in a short time," he says, "then hand over the baton."


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