Before he became the mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., Tim Keller became an Eagle Scout.
Keller, now 40, received Scouting’s highest honor on Aug. 10, 1995, as a member of Troop 285 in Albuquerque, part of the Great Southwest Council.
The man in charge of New Mexico’s largest city (population: 559,277) took time out of his busy schedule to answer my 5 Quick Questions last week. He discussed his summer as a Philmont staffer, what he learned from Scouting, his advice for today’s Scouts and more.
Bryan on Scouting: What did you like best about Scouting?
Tim Keller: I had so many great memories from my time as a Boy Scout. Any time I got to get out into nature, even if it was just a brief period of time, was so important to me and remains so today. I got to travel across the state when I was state auditor, and I would make it a point to get out into nature, even if it was a quick stop at Elephant Butte just to feel grounded.
BOS: What was it like being on staff at Philmont?
TK: I had so many great memories there that it makes it difficult to narrow it down to just one favorite. The sense of community I built with the staff and Scouts is something I will always cherish.
BOS: Did Scouting help prepare you for a political career? If so, how?
TK: Definitely. As a Scout, you learn to not only be hard working and self-sufficient but also to be a team player — which are all integral skills for being an elected official. While I haven’t always aligned with the Boy Scouts of America politically, Scouting instilled in me a respect for the outdoors, the value of helping others and a roadmap for being a good citizen of the community, which I feel are all great skills for being a good public servant.
BOS: What advice would you give today’s Scouts?
TK: Stick with it. The skills you learn in the Boy Scouts will prepare you for any path you take.
BOS: How do you use Scouting in your everyday life?
TK: As you know, the motto of the Boy Scouts is to “Be Prepared,” and I have taken that to heart every day of my life. You may not have all the answers to what comes your way, but preparation and a clear work ethic to tackle those challenges is critical.