Scouter Spotlight: Meet Tom Baltes


The Scouting program relies on volunteers like you to
succeed. We at Cracker Barrel recognize this and enjoy showing off some of the
nation’s best adult volunteers. It’s a feature we call Scouter Spotlight, and
this week it shines on a great volunteer from New Mexico.

You’ll meet him in just a second. But first, why not
recommend a great volunteer who deserves recognition? Simply e-mail us the outstanding Scouter’s name and contact info to get started.

This week we’re spotlighting Tom Baltes of Albuquerque, N.M.
Tom serves many roles in the program: committee member, assistant Scoutmaster,
and unit commissioner—to name a few. He’s been in Scouting for 13 years, ever
since his family returned from 12 years of military duty around Germany. As a
boy, Tom was a Star Scout.

Tom’s son, Mike, 25, is an Eagle Scout and registered adult
leader who worked one year at Philmont Scout Ranch at a backcountry camp. Tom’s
wife, Louise, is a committee member with Troop 166 of Albuquerque and has
enjoyed many backpacking trips with Tom.

Follow the jump below to hear Tom’s take on Scouting.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Jamie Niss Dunn


Scouter Spotlight returns this week with a volunteer who
wears many hats—a phrase we hear a lot with so many active Scouters out there.
This week we’re introducing you to Jamie Niss Dunn, from the Northern Star
Council in Minnesota.

Jamie serves as a pack trainer, troop committee member,
roundtable commissioner, and district Cub Scout training coordinator. Now
that’s a résumé! Read on to learn more about this great volunteer.

Tenure in Scouting:
Involved in Scouting since September 1990.

Scouting Family: Three
sons: 19, 23, and 25. They were all Cub Scouts, and the oldest two were Boy

What is your favorite
Scouting memory?

There are too many to count. I particularly like the
expression of joy and satisfaction that comes over a Cub Scout’s face when he
and I have worked to hit the target at the archery range. 
Coaching youth to do their best, whether a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venturer
is immensely gratifying.

What does Scouting
mean to you?

It means helping young people become better adults. It means
experiences I share with family and friends. It means participating in and
sustaining the tradition my husband, grandfather, father, and uncle began
in our family. I was raised to value service to others. From my youngest
days I remember my grandparents and parents volunteering to improve their

What would you say to
a boy who is thinking about joining Scouting?

That he'll have a great time and make wonderful friends.

How do you make the
program relevant to your boys when there are so many other demands on their

Exciting, involving programs still engage the Scouts. We try
to help them balance Scouting with other activities.

How would you improve

Convince more parents that being involved with their
children is the best thing they can do for them.

What advice would you
give to a new leader?

Get trained! Find and tap all the resources in your unit,
your district, your council and the BSA provide for you, and then network like
crazy. My best ideas and my inspiration come from other leaders.

Thanks to Jamie for spending a few minutes with us. If you
know a worthy adult volunteer for Scouter spotlight, let us know by e-mail.

Scouter Spotlight: Meet Sven Rundman


After more than four decades of involvement in Scouting, Sven J. Rundman III can stand proudly
in this week’s Scouter Spotlight. Before you meet him, though, take a moment to
e-mail us with the name of a great volunteer for a future Spotlight.

Sven, the assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 199 in
Fredericksburg, Va., serves as a national Health and Safety Committee member
and on several district- and council-level committees. He has staffed Wood Badge
and served as a Scoutmaster for three national jamborees. His “trademark
phrase”: “It’s another grand and glorious day in Scouting, where every day is a
holiday and every meal a feast. Thank you, Lord Baden-Powell.”

Read on to find out more about Sven.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Connie Elliott


Great Scouters keep coming our way for Scouter Spotlight,
but we’re always looking for more people to feature. Do you know someone who
should be next? Send us an e-mail [insertlink], and you might see that
volunteer in an upcoming week.

Today it’s all about Connie
, Venturing Advisor with Crew 705 out of Temperance, Mich. She’s
also the Venturing chairperson for Great Sauk Trail Council. Read on to learn
her Scouting story.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Kay Trick


Scouting has no shortage of great volunteers. Let’s meet one
now. Today’s Scouter Spotlight shines on Kay Trick, committee chairperson with both
Pack 3508 and Troop 508 of Susquehanna Council in Williamsport, Pa. She’s also
involved on the council, regional, and national level, and she’ll head up the
staff dining halls at the 2010 jamboree. Now that is some serious commitment to
the program. If you know someone we should spotlight, e-mail us.

Tenure in Scouting: 25 years, all as an adult volunteer.

Scouting family: Son, Nicholas, became an Eagle Scout in
1993 and has earned his silver palm.

What’s your favorite Scouting memory?

Several come to mind. I enjoyed participating in the
ArrowCorps5 project last year. It was monumental for me in terms of servant
leadership and what the entire Scouting family accomplished in five national
forests for the good of the nation. It was extremely rewarding personally to
have been at Manti La-Sal and Shasta national forests (read our story about
ArrowCorps5 in this month's Scouting). I also am proud of assisting 21 Scouts in
becoming Eagle Scouts in our troop. They could always count on “Mrs. T” to have
what they needed to complete a project. 

What does Scouting mean to you?

Where else can you give of your time and talents while
learning life skills? I enjoy the excitement—things that engage attention and
emotion in a lively, stimulating, and compelling way. These young people are
taught values and ethics, and those lessons are simply woven into our program.

What would you say to a boy who is thinking of dropping out
of Scouting?

I’d ask: “What would you change in our program? Let me hear
your suggestions and concerns. Let’s explore and participate in exciting events
that you may be interested in.” Whether that’s a merit badge, camping, hiking,
or biking you can solicit his ideas and integrate them into monthly programs.

How do you make the program relevant to your boys when there
are so many other demands on their time?

It’s simple: We provide exciting opportunities within the
troop and council calendar to keep them interested and wanting more.

What is the key to Scouting’s success?

The open air. That’s why it’s important to keep your program
active and vibrant.

Thanks, Kay. We appreciate your thoughtful responses.
Scouter Spotlight will return next week.

Scouter Spotlight: Meet Dave Schimmel


On the stage, a spotlight shines on someone who is the
center of attention because they choose to be. Scouter Spotlight is different
because the people we highlight don’t seek applause or praise. Instead, they
work behind the scenes to make Scouting better for the kids. If you know
someone we should feature, click here.

This week’s honoree, Dave Schimmel, is an assistant Scoutmaster
with Troop 795 of Marietta, Ga. He was the troop’s Scoutmaster for about seven
years before stepping down last year. For more on Dave, read on.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Larry Cunningham


We bet you know that the BSA launched Venturing in 1998 to
help older youths, 14- to 20-year-olds, advance their skills and knowledge. But
do you know whom the organization recruited to make it happen?

Adult volunteers like Larry Cunningham, who served in the
front lines of the process. So read on as we get to know a little bit about Larry in
this week’s Scouter Spotlight.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Amanda Short


We’re on a roll for
recognizing great BSA volunteers each week in our Scouter Spotlight, and we’re
not stopping any time soon—not with hundreds of thousands of you out there. If
you know someone who deserves to be featured in this space, let us know.

This week we’re sitting down
with Amanda Short, a pack trainer with Pack 235 in Plano, Tex. She has
volunteered on the district and council level, and she helped the staff at the
national office work on Cub Scout den meeting plans.

Now, let’s learn more about

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Rick Bragga


It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been a Scouting volunteer
for five months or 50 years—your role in the lives of youth has equal
importance. Still, you’ve got to be inspired by volunteers who have given
decades of their lives to the program.

This week we’ll introduce one of those “veterans” of
Scouting. But first, remember to tell us if you know
someone who should step into the Scouter Spotlight.

Now, meet Rick Bragga
of Richmond, Va.. Rick wears several hats in Scouting—not to mention some crazy
sunglasses, as you can see in the photograph he sent us. Rick serves as a
chairman on several boards with the Heart of Virginia Council. He also does
great work on national-level committees and as chairman of the Philmont
Training Center Task Force.

Rick spent 10 years in Scouting as a youth and later was
named a Distinguished Eagle Scout, putting him on a list that includes
President Gerald Ford and astronaut Neil Armstrong.

As if that weren’t enough, he’s also a fairly accomplished
photographer. He has twice won honorable mention in Scouting magazine’s photo contest, first in 2004 and again
in 2006 (scroll down on each page to see his photos).

Read on to hear Rick’s take on the program.

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Scouter Spotlight: Meet Amir Rupshi


Your pack, troop, crew, or ship is no doubt full of outstanding volunteers that tirelessly give themselves to Scouting and receive little—if any—recognition. Well, now is your chance to change that. Click here to tell us their story, but only after you read this week’s Scouter Spotlight.

Today we continue our cross-country quest to recognize outstanding Scouting volunteers with a stop in Carrollton, Tex., to meet Amir Rupshi (above right), Scoutmaster of Troop 758, an all-Muslim troop with a whopping 80 Boy Scout members.

Read on to meet Amir and hear his take on the Scouting program.

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