Hundreds of those who knew Ron Phillippo gathered for services to celebrate his life on November 19 and 20 at the Arlington Hills United Methodist Church. Ron served as the Scout Executive for the Saint Paul Boy Scout Council (then called Indianhead) for 22 years, from 1978 – 2000.
His innovative, mission-focused leadership helped to create a strong Scouting community, with elements of that entrepreneurial culture still present in our Northern Star Council today. Ron became a Boy Scout at age 11 and it became his life-long passion and career. He served the BSA for 42 years, with positions in Milwaukee, WI, Arlington Heights, IL, Princeton, NJ, and Miami, FL, before he came to St Paul.
Ron influenced thousands of Scouts, leaders and families as well as mentored many professional Scouters who went on to become Scout Executives or directors in other councils around the nation. These include Atlanta, Portland, Alaska, Missouri, South Dakota, Atlanta, Kansas as well as the current Director of the Florida Sea Base to name a few.
Scout camp had a special place in his heart and he ensured that all our council camps were well maintained and staffed. Upon Ron’s retirement in 2000, the Board of Directors recognized his powerful, positive impact by renaming Cannon River Scout Camp the “Phillippo Scout Reservation”. In addition, the 100’ Fire Tower at Tomahawk, climbed by thousands of Scouts each year, also bears his name. This was made possible by the donations of many Scouters in honor of his retirement.
There was a strong Scouting presence at the services. John Andrews, Northern Star Scout Executive, and Jeff Sulzbach, Aloha Council Scout Executive (who worked with Ron on Indianhead Council Staff) both spoke. Scouts and leaders from Troop 184, Christ Lutheran Church of Capitol Hill and Troop 5, Saint Ambrose of Woodbury served as greeters and door openers on Sunday with leaders of Troop 186, Centennial United Methodist Church, helped on Monday.
Alan Anderson, former Indianhead Chief Operating Offer and retired Area One Director, summed up the feelings of many: “He has made an incredible difference for good in the world! We will all miss him, even as his example continues to inspire us to keep making a difference while we're here.”
See the Ron Phillippo In Memoriam Slideshow Obituary