Some of the best Scouters do their work out of sight. This
week, though, all eyes are on Dr. George
T. Keene, district commissioner for the San Tan District in the Grand
Canyon Council. He’s also in charge of the National Youth Leadership Training
(NYLT) program for his council.
Dr. Keene has been involved in Scouting for the past 25
years, serving roles in Cub Scout and Boy Scout units. As a youth, he earned
the rank of Life Scout and served as a junior assistant Scoutmaster.
Scouting family: Two
sons, now 23 and 27, were in Scouting from Tiger Cubs to Life Scout. Dr.
Keene’s wife also is involved in the program. In fact, she’s planning the Area
Training Conference for future course directors in areas 4 and 6 of the Western
What is your most
memorable Scouting moment?
I was a Scoutmaster and had taken the troop to summer camp.
When we returned, I was reviewing the feedback cards that were filled out by
our youth when I came across one that fascinated me. The young man had stated
that when he got older he wanted to be like his leader, me, because his leader
knew how to act like a boy.
What legacy do you
want to leave behind in Scouting?
I hope that when people talk about me they will say, “He was
a great Scout.” Scouting, to me, means living the Scout Oath and the Scout Law
24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I try to set the example
all the time—not just when someone is looking.
What’s the central
message you want boys to get when they join the program?
I want them to know that they’re embarking on a great
adventure, and along the way they will shape their character for the rest of their
lives. Everything a boy does in Scouting will be for a purpose, but that
purpose often won’t be revealed until much later in life.
What would you tell a
Take all possible training courses and try to do Wood Badge
within the first two years.
What makes Scouting
different from other youth programs?
Leadership. It’s hard to argue against that.
What would you say to
a boy who is thinking of leaving Scouting?
Here’s what I would say: “As long as you know for sure that
you will not regret your decision 20 years from now, and you are secure enough
with your accomplishments and achievements to go forward in your career choice
without all of the benefits of the leadership training that Scouting offers,
then I would wholeheartedly support your decision. Until you can assure me of
that, I will make every attempt to keep you involved in Scouting.”
Thanks to Dr. Keene for his time. Do you know a great
Scouting volunteer? Be sure to e-mail us so that we can feature
him or her in a future Scouter Spotlight.