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WHAT I’VE LEARNED

Bob Dalton

Longtime Scouting insider touts the value of thinking outside the box.

FactSheet

Bob Dalton

SCOUTER SINCE: 1985

HOME: Cary, Ill.

CURRENT POSITIONS:

Troop 165 Scoutmaster, Crew 165 associate Advisor (both chartered to American Legion Post 171); Central Region Area 7 Powder Horn coordinator; BSA Leave No Trace master educator; 2010 National Scout Jamboree Scoutmaster

DAY JOB: Divisional

Manager, ARDEX Engineered Cements

FAVORITE CAMP:

Tooth Ridge Camp, Philmont Scout Ranch

PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING:Watching

his daughter Aileen complete a Philmont trek after struggling with acute mountain sickness

BOB DALTON HAS MOVED AROUND

the country, but he’s never moved away from Scouting. He became a Scout leader in 1985 when he was asked to serve as Scoutmaster for the Marshalton Ward of the LDS Church’s Philadelphia Stake. Since then, he has held Scouting jobs in California, Arizona, again in Pennsylvania, and now in Illinois. A strong proponent of

high adventure, Dalton has taken crews to the Philmont Scout Ranch and the Florida Sea Base—twice for both. In 2007, he directed a Powder Horn course, and he now coordinates Powder Horn training in the Central Region’s Area 7. We caught up with Dalton

between trips and training courses to get his take on both topics.

YOU’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME LEADING HIGH-ADVENTURE TRIPS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT HIGH ADVENTURE THAT ATTRACTS AND RETAINS KIDS? Nothing

can inspire a person like being in the backcountry. When you get kids away from all

the lights and gadgets and really see the grandeur of this earth, it changes their lives. When they get back, they become your best advertisement.

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S COUT ING ¿ MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 0

WHAT ELSE WORKS IN VENTURING

RECRUITING? I think the best prospects are the sisters of your active Boy Scouts. When they see all the fun that their brothers have, they naturally want to be part of a program where they can participate.

WHO DOES BETTER: THE BROTHERS

OR THE SISTERS?After my last time at Philmont, I decided that I would not do another high-adventure trek without it being coed. In most cases, the girls were tougher than the boys, but the boys worked harder and complained less. It was an interesting dynamic.

MANY SCOUTERS GET STICKER SHOCK WHEN THEY CONTEMPLATE HIGH ADVENTURE. HOW DO YOU

KEEP COSTS DOWN? One of the best high-adventure activities I have participated in was at the Sylvania Wilderness Area on the upper peninsula of Michigan. The cost was less than $75 per person, and we had a blast. The national high- adventure bases are great—and my unit has used them all—but if you’re on a budget, make the most of local and regional high-adventure activities.

HOW CAN YOU GET KIDS TO THINK CREATIVELY ABOUT HIGH-ADVENTURE

ACTIVITIES? Powder Horn training is a great way to stimulate outside- the-box thinking. Take the training

and bring the resources back to your youth. Ask your youth leaders what activities a “perfect” troop or crew would do and encourage them to pick activities that fit that vision.

WHAT IF THEY WANT TO DO AN ACTIV- ITY THAT YOU KNOW LITTLE ABOUT?

Bringing in outside experts is key. When asked, people love to share their expertise with youth. A great thing

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