Scout executive loses 112 pounds to ride new zip line at West Virginia camp

Scout Executive Jeff Doty was proud of his efforts to bring a zip line to Camp Mountaineer in West Virginia.

There was just one problem: At the time the zip line was announced, Doty weighed too much to ride the quarter-mile zip line himself.

And so the busy Scout professional from the Mountaineer Area Council made a change. He started walking, and he made simple lifestyle changes. He lost 112 pounds, and last weekend, he was among the first to ride the zip line.

What he didn’t expect, though, was that his own goal-setting would inspire other Scouters and colleagues struggling with their own weight loss.

‘Near Death’

A year ago, Doty was faced with an ultimatum: lose weight or face serious health consequences.

“I weighed 362 pounds and was near death. My blood sugar was out of control; my blood pressure was high,” he says. “I could hardly walk up stairs and almost needed a cane.”

With the support of his doctor and wife, he first set a goal to walk 20 minutes a day. Then he upped it to 30 minutes. And 40. Now he has walked 15,000 or more steps for more than 196 days.

To achieve his goal of at least 15,000 steps daily, Doty is constantly on the move. Conference calls occur as he paces the parking lot; instead of his office, he hold work meetings at a local walking trail. Lunchtime is spent walking near his office.

When there’s rain in the forecast? Doty will arrange his schedule to walk before storms roll in to ensure he reaches his goals.

“When I’m meeting with someone out on a trail, there are no interruptions. I’m more productive than ever now,” he says.

And when his weight loss plateaued, he increased the challenge by adding more elevation to his walking.

In addition to his daily step goal, he aims to walk 25 floors per day, tallied by his handy Fitbit. (He has summited at least 25 floors for 103 days in a row.)

Doty has lost 112 pounds and says he’s “more fit now than when he was in his 30s.”

Fan Zone

As a Scout Executive, Doty works with hundreds of Scouting professionals, volunteers and community members. He connects with many of them — including family and friends — on Facebook, where he shares commentary and countdowns toward his weight-loss goals. (Plus he shares plenty of scenic photos from his walks in the beautiful West Virginia surroundings!)

He also connects with other healthy-minded people on apps like Fitbit and LoseIt.

Sharing his weight-loss successes and struggles in public forums helps keep him accountable to his goals and inspire others working toward similar achievements.

“We all have self-doubt days where you reach a plateau and you don’t know if you can break through,” he says, “but then all of the sudden someone thanks you on Facebook and then I get pumped again and keep going. That’s pretty awesome.”

Next up for Doty? He’s working toward losing an additional 32 pounds to attend the 2017 National Jamboree as a staff member.

Keep up the great work!

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.