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by mark ray WHAT I’VE LEARNED

Andi Vigue Constructing leadership lessons in business and Scouting.

FactSheet Andi Vigue


CURRENT POSITIONS: Scoutmaster, Troop 428

DAY JOB: President of Cianbro, a construction company with operations across the U.S.

FAVORITE CAMPS: Camp Hinds and Camp Roosevelt are among his favorites. “I can’t really say one is better than the other. Each camp has a very special place in my memory.”

PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING: “When I can see a boy achieve something that he otherwise wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been for Scouting— when a kid who couldn’t swim passes his swim test or a boy who’s never shot a bow and arrow is able to hit a bull’s-eye.”

FAMILY AND TRADITION are important in Scouting and in the life of Andi Vigue. Five years ago, Vigue suc- ceeded his father, Pete, as president of Cianbro, one of the largest employers in his hometown of Pittsfield, Maine. He’d been preparing for the job since he was 7 years old and helped out on his father’s job sites. About the same time, he

CURRENT CITY:Pittsfield, Maine

also took over as Scoutmaster of Troop 428, chartered to Cianbro. It’s where Vigue became an Eagle Scout at age 15. Now, Vigue’s son Greg is close to achieving Scouting’s highest rank. Vigue returned to Scouting

when Greg was old enough to become a Tiger Cub. He and his wife, Emily, both served as Cub Scout leaders. She now works with their daughter, Caroline, in Girl Scouting, while the men in the family spend their time in Boy Scouting.

YOU SAY YOU HAVE HIGH STANDARDS FOR YOUR SCOUTS. WHY IS THAT? Sometimes I think kids get pampered too much, and they rely on others to do things for them. Scouting is about allowing the boys to lead and to figure things

16 SCOUTING ¿  

out and succeed on their own. These kids are a lot more resil- ient than their parents give them credit for. My job is just to make sure they don’t get in over their heads.

HOW DO YOU KEEP THEM FROM GETTING IN OVER THEIR HEADS? I ask a lot of questions to encourage them to think. The older boys know me well enough now to say, “We’ve got to figure this out. He’s telling us something without telling us.” They usually can get there.

SO YOU’RE NOT ONE TO PREVENT MINOR MISTAKES? No. I think it’s more important that you see how a boy deals with a mistake after he makes it rather than showing him how not to make it. Everybody’s human, and we all make mistakes. It’s when you recognize that you’ve done something wrong that you can make an improve- ment and rebound from it.

HOW DO YOU GET KIDS TO TAP INTO THEIR OWN RESILIENCY? I’ll give you an example. Once we were canoeing a river with a destination in mind for that night. There was this one canoe with two boys in it that started to fall behind. I just kept drifting behind them, keeping them in front of me. We got to a point where both of the

boys were ready to quit. I said, “Are you dying? Are you hurt? No? Then we’ll just sleep in the canoes, and when you’re ready to start paddling, we’ll start paddling.” I said, “I’m not going to let you guys give up. You’re going to have to figure this out.” It took 35 or 40 minutes, but finally one of them said, “We might as well just paddle.” And they paddled the whole way.

HOW MUCH FARTHER DID THEY HAVE TO GO? About a mile and a half. They’re both still in the troop and much better for it.


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