A big hand for these 8 recipients of the 2017 National Venturing Leadership Award

Venturers, with their green uniform shirts, stand out in a world of tan-shirted Scouts.

And the eight Venturers who will receive the 2017 National Venturing Leadership Award stand out in the world of Venturing.

The 2017 National Venturing Leadership Award recognizes great work done in 2016. You can see a list of past recipients here.

Venturers, unofficially known as Greenshirts, gain skills and knowledge in the areas of high adventure, sports, arts, hobbies and more. They’re at least 14 years old — or 13 and finished with the eighth grade — but not yet 21.

Presented at the council, area, regional and national levels, the Venturing Leadership Award recognizes people who serve Venturing in ways that recruit and retain young men and young women.

What kind of Greenshirts receive this award? Individuals like these eight, who will receive the 2017 National Venturing Leadership Award at this month’s BSA annual meeting.

Christopher Mausshardt

Council: Greater St. Louis Area

Recent position: 2016-2017 Central Region Venturing President

Why he received the award: “Chris has served admirably as the Central Region Venturing President. Managing his school, family and life commitments, Chris has continued to lead the Central Region’s Venturing program and impacted thousands of Venturers within and beyond his region. He always has a great attitude, a ‘can-do’ spirit, and very visibly lives and breathes the Scout Oath and Law.”

Michelle Merritt

Council: Spirit of Adventure (based in Woburn, Mass.)

Recent position: 2016-2017 National Venturing Vice President

Why she received the award: “Michelle has worked hard to support all four BSA regions. She visited the Southern Region, helping them with the Council Standards of Venturing Excellence forms, and helping then manage their national contact sheet. She provided great leadership abilities and service last summer at the Philmont Training Center, where she staffed one of the many great courses offered there. Michelle has also done wonderful things for communications nationally through social media and beyond.”

What’s next: Michelle is the 2017-2018 National Venturing President

Erik Saderholm

Council: Baltimore Area

Recent position: 2016-2017 Northeast Region Venturing President

Why he received the award: “Erik has provided exemplary leadership to the youth and adults of the Northeast Region throughout his tenure as the Northeast Region Venturing President, with notable accomplishments including the planning, production and success of NERV-Cast, a monthly podcast watched across the country by members of the Venturing community.”

Katie Schneider

Council: Great Southwest (based in Albuquerque, N.M.)

Recent position: 2016-2017 Western Region Venturing President

Why she received the award: “She was able to unite her region. She traveled around the region talking to youth and adults about the importance of Venturing. This allowed the Venturing door to be opened in councils for the first time.”

Cathie Seebauer

Council: Prairieland (based in Champaign, Ill.)

Recent position: 2016-2017 Central Region Vice President of Administration

Why she received the award: “Cathie has worked tirelessly on a number of projects for the National Venturing Committee, including the most notable: Venturing.org. Cathie, along with National Venturing President Pratik Vaidya and others, worked to launch Venturing’s own custom website during this past term. Not only does this increase the program’s visibility, but also it expands Venturing’s ability to reach directly to its members.”

What’s next: Cathie is the 2017-2018 National Venturing Vice President

Nate Steele

Council: Muskingum Valley Council (based in Zanesville, Ohio)

Recent position: National Venturing Committee Member

Why he received the award: “Nate’s critical thinking has served Venturing well. He has developed and tested a Venturing value proposition, helping Venturing lay the groundwork for growth.”

Russ Hunsaker

Council: Great Salt Lake

Recent position: National Relationships Chairman

Why he received the award: “Russ has shown intense dedication to the youth of Venturing. He led the National 4.1.1 Task Force, which extensively studied each of the programs to suggest changes that should happen. His first thought has always been how the BSA can transform more lives through our programs. He has opened doors for Venturing to be directly represented at the table with outside partners. This will allowing Venturing to have a greater audience for membership growth.”

Andrew Miller

Council: Garden State (based in Westampton, N.J.)

Recent position: National Venturing Committee Strategic Planning and Pilots Chairman

Why he received the award: “Andrew is a huge proponent of youth involvement and has found ways to implement the ideas developed by Venturing youth. With his experience in Scouting, he serves as a great resource and guides young people through the thought process. That helps them grow as individuals.”

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