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

Tenure in Scouting: Eight
years as a Cub Scout volunteer, including time spent as den leader and
advancement chairperson.

Scouting family: Son Brian is
a Bear Cub Scout. Her older sons, Daniel and Cameron, were both in Boy Scouts.

What is your favorite
Scouting memory?

Taking my sons and unit to
the BSA National Annual Meeting in 2005 in Grapevine, Tex. We all got on stage in
front of the audience and sang “Happy Birthday” to Cub Scouting for its 75th anniversary. (Read Scouting magazine’s story about 75 years
of Cub Scouting here.)

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

If a boy is “thinking about”
joining Cub Scouts, he is already hooked. He has probably been thinking about
it because his friends are in it. Now the only thing you have to do is hook the
parents. I tell them this: My boys have had many opportunities that I could not
have provided for them if not for Scouting. Now the parents are listening.
Next, you tell them about the bonding that happens. The boys in the den are
becoming teammates; they are learning to share, work together, and have closer
friendships than with boys from school.

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

I have found out that boys
don’t drop out of Cub Scouts—the parents drop out. The units that I have seen
have had the fortunate problem of having too many activities. Some parents get
overwhelmed and think they have to participate in everything. I tell them they
don’t have to go to every function. They need to have a well-rounded life with
God, family, school, other activities, and Scouting.

How would you improve

There are an awful lot of
lost leaders in Cub Scouts. By the time Cub Scout leaders know what they’re
doing, they usually move to Boy Scouts with their sons. Helping a lost leader
has to be done at the unit level. The BSA, on a national or district level, may
offer training or a great Web site, but if the new leader in the pack doesn’t
know about these resources, they can’t help. That’s where unit commissioners
and others come in.

What advice do you have for a
new leader?

Don’t wait until you’re
experienced to take supplemental training, such as pow wows or roundtables, or
advanced training, such as Wood Badge. Many new leaders think that this stuff
is for people that have been around. But if you’re a new den leader—or not even
that, just a parent—come and get trained. Every leader can bring something back
to his or her unit.

Thanks to Amanda for sharing
her Scouting wisdom. We’ll return with another Scouter Spotlight next week.

About Bryan Wendell 3043 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.