Leaders N Legacies is all about connecting people with passions to other people with passions. Before returning Scouting as an adult Dave Rockwell (the Scouter DM) work and volunteered with youth as part of the United Methodist Churches summer camp program at Sky Lake (in Windsor, New York). He already had a passion for working with youth in outdoor settings. In 2013, his wife Kim changed his life when she volunteered him to be his son’s Den leader with Pack 913 in Herndon, VA. He hasn’t looked back since.
At first glance it may seem to be a case of Dave patting Dave on the back, but it’s not. Sure Dave is the one writing this blog post, but that’s just to give you the context of the legacy that is being worked. Dave is one of a few lucky people getting to live out the legacy of other Scouters. Sure we can trace out the path all the way to Lord Baden-Powell himself (and John Wesley too if you really push it). But Dave is a part of the legacy of some pretty tremendous Scouters who came before him.
You know two of them. Chris Cooper and George Costigan. Yep, Thandor and Stanton. Both are fun to play with but even more amazing to work with as Scouters. Both were impacting Dave before he even knew either of their names. Both have improved Scouting for thousands of Scouters and tens of thousands of Scouts moving through the program.
Dave was first impacted b Chris’ work when he was a Cubmaster. Dave heard of impassioned Scouters who were learning amazing things from Chris (and his colleagues) from a program called Wood Badge. Dave saw the amazing things that these scouters were doing because of that program. Dave wanted to have a similar impact for his Scouts. Dave took Wood Badge. The more Dave learned from Wood Badge, the more people kept pointing him this amazing mentor and friend they all had named Chris. In 2019, Dave got the chance work with Chris and saw all the amazing this Chris could do. While already inspired, Dave heard the word that so him on Chris being the coolest Scout leader ever when Chris proclaim “I love to play D&D”. The first of many inspirational leaders who play D&D that Dave would meet, Dave knew immediately he wanted to learn more about leadership from Chris and to play D&D with him too. He continues to do both. Chris was a class of 2018 recipient of the Silver Beaver.
Dave was learning about leadership from George long before he and George ever spoke. As a Cub Scout leader Dave quickly figured out Cub Scouter Leader Roundtable was the best place to pick up information about cub scouting and cub events. One hour of time at Roundtable could make up for several hours of digging and planning. Eventually Dave was recruited to join the Roundtable team in his home district. He was introduced to the person who practically invented the modern Roundtable and who was on the National Committee for Roundtable, George Costigan. Suddenly it connected, George was the leader giving Roundtable Commissioners and thereby Scout leaders “the WILL TO DO & the SKILL TO DO”. George is single handedly the Scouter who showed Dave the path to being an amazing Roundtable Commissioner and he mostly did it before they met on regular basis. George was kind enough to ask Dave to join him in working his legacy of Roundtable. Dave continues to learn from George. George received his Silver Beaver in 2009.
Each of the Scouters we have on the podcast is amazing. Seth will be attending Wood Badge this spring and is pretty amazing in general (always game to help scouts out). Rachel is not only a stellar Cubmaster, Day Camp Director but recently earned her Wood Badge beads (you get two for completing the course and your 5 Goal Wood Badge ticket). She will be staffing Wood Badge under Rick Rogers (another mentor of mine that I am in awe of). Both will be building their legacies upon the work of Chris and George.
Guests Sanjay Patel and Justin Day are leaders to watch and learn from too. Sanjay is an amazing Wood Badge staffer and as the Quartermaster for the NCAC’s Spring Wood Badge Course will be guiding many scouters to greatness. Justin works closely with Scouts in the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and NAYLE. Justin was awarded the Silver Beaver in 2021.
Note from Dave: I look forward to continuing to learning from all of these Scouters. They have introduced me to so many things and made me be better leader. I am honored to be selected in a Silver Beaver class with Shawn Carroll (a scouter we want to have on a guest player in the future and who is the mentor to many of my mentors) and Maria Cooper. Maria is Chris’ wife, but she comes at Scouting from her own perspective and I have been fortunate to have her as a colleague and mentor on Wood Badge Staff. George and I are also lucky to have her as the Scouts BSA Roundtable Assistant Council Commissioner on our Roundtable Team. Again, this post is not bragging, but to show the legacy work I am doing in an attempt to have an impact for youth. These are the leaders who inspired me. It is to them that I give thanks for the honor/award I am receiving.
I would be remiss in not mentioning other leaders who put me on my path to earning this award:
- Jim Martin (the best friend and Sky Lake colleague a guy could ask for)
- Scott Vint (the man who taught me what honor work meant to me)
- Roger Claff (the Scouter who taught me the importance of Scouting and restored my faith in the program).
- Chris Noyes (a valuable Scouter Colleague who showed me the big picture).
- Chip Smith (the person who inspired me to do Wood Badge)
- Vincent Keirnan (the best troop guide and mentor a person could ask for)
- Brian Meny (the best of us when it comes to Scouting)
- John Colwell (a true servant leader)
- Inge Gedo and Roland Taylor (Best District Chairs ever).
- Todd Bollick and Ray Posluszny (Some stellar DE’s)
- Doug Goldring (You showed me that Scouting can be funny)
- Ellen Bartola (Eventually we will take over the world).
- Jim Thomas, Ken Barrett, Doug Carlson, Mike Haas, Chris Cooper, Chris Gieger, Carrie Gieger, John Howlin, Jeep Fortuna, Danielle Ballantine, Melanie Anthony, Melanie Heider, Tony LaCava, Alex Keenan and Rick Rogers. These amazing Wood Badge Course Directors and Senior Staffers really taught me value and importance of strong servant leaders. Vision, Values and Mission are my guiding lights.