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Don Lauer

Growth is a given for this Palmetto State Scouter.

FactSheet Don Lauer


GROWING UP IN Twentynine Palms, Calif., Eagle Scout Don Lauer was surrounded by troop leaders, includ- ing his dad, who were all active-duty or retired Marines. Given the availability of outdoor playgrounds like Joshua Tree National Monument, high adventure was business as usual in Troop 78. Adventure is also second

Committee chairman for Troop 9212, chartered organization representative for Pack and Troop 9212

DAY JOB: Civilian employee for the U.S. Navy

FAVORITE CAMP: Camp Ho Non Wah on Wadmalaw Island, S.C. “My sons have grown up there, and I’ve done a lot of training there. It’s right on the water. If you love aquatics like I love aquatics, that’s the place to go.”

PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING: “Having my dad, who presented my Eagle, there watching my son be presented his Eagle. It honored his legacy, and it made sure that the future has young men of quality to teach the next generation.”


nature in Troop 9212, which Lauer cofounded at South Carolina’s Palmetto Land Baptist Church in 2009. Lauer chose his unit number based on Psalm 92:12 — “The righ- teous will flourish like a palm tree …” — which turned out to be prophetic. In six years, the Scouting program at his church has grown to include 120 kids and 45 leaders in the pack and troop.

SOME TROOPS STRUGGLE TO GET LEADERS TO COMPLETE BASIC TRAINING, YET YOU HAVE 25 WOOD BADGE- TRAINED LEADERS. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET? I will not accept excuses why they can’t do basic training. Obviously, you can do most of your basic leader training online. If they want to go to Wood Badge or other advanced training, we


offer a partial scholar- ship. If there’s a leader who can’t afford to go to a particular training course, we work it out. We also have an active group that goes to roundtable and brings back the training resources that are avail- able from the district and council.

YOU ALSO HAVE QUITE A FEW LEADERS WITH SPECIALIZED TRAINING IN ACTIVITIES LIKE SCUBA DIVING, CLIMBING AND MORE. WHY? We’ve invested a lot of time in the personal growth and training of the adults, which in turn opens up the adventure and growth for the youth. The youth are supposed to be able to decide which activities they want to do, but even when they decide, you have to have qualified supervision. I don’t ever want the patrol leaders’ council to worry about what adventures they can and cannot plan.

ARE YOUR YOUTH LEADERS AS WELL TRAINED? Right now, our senior patrol leader, our assistant senior patrol leader and every patrol leader and troop guide have been through Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops and National Youth Leadership Training. We provide training to as many boys as

we can. We have Wood Badge-trained leaders; we have NYLT-trained youth leaders. We speak pretty much the same language.

POPCORN SALES ARE ONE WAY TROOP 9212 HAS GOTTEN UP TO SPEED SO QUICKLY. HOW DO YOU SELL SO MUCH? We will hit all-pause for six weeks, and our No. 1 focus is fundraising. I tell families we have six weeks of work — hard work — every night. I know we’re tired, but when it’s all done and we put it to bed, we get 46 weeks of paid-for fun. If I could work my regular job really hard for six weeks and have the rest of the year off, I’d certainly do it.

DOES THAT MEAN SIX WEEKS OF STANDING IN FRONT OF SUPERMAR- KETS? Standing outside of a Walmart asking people who are programmed to say no does not work. Put on your


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