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.

Tenure in Scouting: Roughly 22 years—about 16 years as an
adult and six as a youth.

Scouting family: Three boys all involved in Scouting. Jesse,
22, is an Eagle Scout. He is very involved in leadership training, including
serving on the staff of NAYLE (National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience)
at Philmont. Nathan, 17, is a Life Scout who has served on NYLT (National Youth
Leadership Training) staff and attended NAYLE. Noah, 14, is a Star Scout and
will attend NAYLE this summer.

What is your favorite Scouting memory?

It’s hard to pick just one memory. I have been fortunate to
have had the privilege of serving on a number of youth leadership training
courses, and each time I am in awe of the skill, dedication, and spirit of the
youth staff. One of my favorite memories with my troop is from a backpacking
trip on the Appalachian Trail in the southern Nantahala region in North Carolina.
There’s a place called Wayah Bald where the view is pretty spectacular. We were
on about Day 4 of a 65-mile trek, and the view was extraordinary. The sun and
clouds and mountain peaks surrounded us. Another adult leader and I were
standing on the observation platform as our crew of Scouts approached. As every
one of our Scouts came over the crest, they exclaimed, "Wow!" In that
moment it was so clear to us why we do what we do.

What does Scouting mean to you?

Scouting is an opportunity for youths to challenge
themselves in every aspect of their lives. So much of their lives are
controlled and owned by their parents and teachers and others. To me, the
really neat thing about Scouting is that ultimately the Scouts get to own the
game, to choose the challenges, and to execute them to the best of their

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

If you want to have the time of your life, then Scouting is
for you. The Scouting trail can take you to some awesome places. Like anything
worthwhile, it will take some effort to walk that trail. But you will have so
much fun and accomplish so much that it will be so worth it.

How would you improve Scouting?

There are many Scouting units where the youth and the adults
forgo training opportunities because they believe they already know all they
need to about Scouting. My experience is that NYLT at the council level and
NAYLE at Philmont are extremely powerful experiences for the youth that attend.
These opportunities enable them to see the full potential of what Scouting can
be. I would encourage every unit to send their eligible youth leaders to these

We appreciate Dave sharing his story with us. What do you
say we do this Scouter Spotlight thing again next week? See you then.

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