At the New Birth of Freedom Council’s Annual Business meeting on Tuesday, May 18, Matthew M. Haar was elected as Council President, succeeding William F. McQuade in that role.
Matt’s first Scouting experience was as a fourth-grader in Cub Scout Pack 54, chartered to Grace Lutheran Church in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County. After earning his Arrow of Light, Matt crossed over to Troop 54 (also chartered to Grace Lutheran Church), where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
One of the highlight experiences in Matt’s Scouting career was Troop 54’s 50-miler canoeing trips on the Juniata River. Another of Matt’s most memorable experiences as a Scout was at his Order of the Arrow Ordeal in 1987 (or precisely two cicada cycles ago) at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation. His crew’s work assignment that day was to install the boat docks and the field around the boat dock area Haar recalls as “absolutely loaded with cicadas,” and they were crawling all over the materials being used to construct the docks.
Before his election as Council President, Matt has been a Vice President and Executive Board member of the New Birth of Freedom Council since 2010. He previously served as a Vice President and Executive Board member (Camping Chairman) of the Keystone Area Council from 2005-10.
Matt is Managing Partner of the Harrisburg Office for Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in his professional life. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University in Carlisle, PA, graduating cum laude in 2000. Matt previously received a Bachelor of Science with Special Attainments in Commerce degree in Business Administration, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, in 1995.
In addition to his day-to-day work at his law firm, Matt is very active in the legal community, serving as President of the Dauphin County Bar Association (2017) and as President of the Federal Bar Association Middle District Chapter (2018-19). He is a member of the hearing committee for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board (2017-present) and as a member of the House of Delegates for the Pennsylvania Bar Association (2018-present). The Central Penn Business Journal also recognized Matt as one of its “Forty Under 40” honorees in 2007.
As Matt begins his tenure as Council President, our Council and the Boy Scouts of America face the dual challenges of the BSA’s bankruptcy and emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite these considerable obstacles to overcome, Matt is optimistic about our future.
“I’m honored and humbled to be elected to serve as Council President for the next two years,” Haar said. “Having been active in the New Birth of Freedom Council and previously the Keystone Area Council since I was a youth, I’ve met some of the most influential people in my life through Scouting. I look forward to working with Scouts and Scouters to make the program even better going forward.
“I’d especially like to thank Bill McQuade and congratulate him for concluding his successful term of service as President. Bill provided steady leadership through some significant challenges. While we continue to face many challenges, the future of Scouting looks brighter than ever!”