Introducing Our Next Scout Executive Rob Stone
The Mason-Dixon Council Executive Board created a Scout Executive Selection Committee after the departure of our previous Scout Executive Mark Barbernitz, who left in September. The committee went through a selection process with the guidance of our Area Director Chuck Dobbins and members of the National Support Staff to review and select qualified candidates to interview. The committee selected five candidates to interview on October 20th in Hagerstown and made a decision that day. We are excited to introduce Rob Stone as our next Scout Executive of the Mason-Dixon Council. Rob will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and new ideas to help us further improve our program to serve the youth in our community. We asked Rob a few questions to help introduce himself to our scouting community. Here is what he had to say:
Q. What is your current position in the Northwest Georgia Council?
A. Assistant Scout Executive/COO
Q. What is your Scouting background?
A. I’m a 36 year Scouting veteran. I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout as a youth, involved briefly as an adult volunteer while in college, then after a gap of a few years, got involved again as an adult leader in the Alapaha Area Council in south Georgia when we moved there in 1989. It was a small council like ours (Mason-Dixon), so it didn’t take long before I had numerous volunteer “hats”, including Assistant Scoutmaster, Council Training Team member, Council Commissioner Staff, OA Lodge Advisor, and Camp Ranger. During my volunteer years, I was teaching American History and Economics at Lanier County High School and coaching baseball and basketball. Eventually, Scouting was taking so much time, my wife Layne asked me to drop something, so I stopped coaching. To her credit, she never said a word about us losing that coaching supplement, but a year later she said it was time to drop something else. I ended up joining the Scouting profession and soon we were moving to our first assignment as a District Executive for the Audubon Council in Madisonville, KY in April 1994. The council merged to become the Shawnee Trails council within a few months. After three years, my father in Georgia became ill and eventually needed a liver transplant. I wanted to be closer to be able to help my parents, so I accepted a position as Senior District Executive in the Northwest Georgia Council in July 1997. I was promoted to District Director, then Field Director, then Assistant Scout Executive/COO during my 19 ½ years there.
I’ve had many wonderful experiences during my time as a volunteer and professional Scouter, including serving as a Camp Ranger, Program Director and Camp Director; serving on several Wood Badge staffs, NOAC staffs, National Camp School staffs, and National Jamboree staffs; and, of course, working with a lot of great Scouts and Scouters at the unit, district, council, regional and national level. I feel truly blessed to have had these opportunities and experiences, and only hope that I have given back a fraction of what I’ve received from my involvement over the last three decades.
Q. Why are you so passionate about the Scouting program?
A. There is no better youth organization in the world than Scouting, and no other group that does what we do to prepare for a better future for our world. I’ve spent my entire adult life working with young people and Scouting has never been more important or more needed than it is today. The mission of Scouting, to help prepare young people to make moral and ethical decisions over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law, is one of the most noble causes anyone could be involved in. After my God, my wife and my family, nothing could be more worthwhile for me than to dedicate my time, talents and energy to this great Movement.
Q. What excites you about coming to the Mason-Dixon Council?
A. I’ve spent almost my entire Scouting career in small councils, and feel that my years as a volunteer and the last 22+ years as a professional have been preparing me to serve as your Scout Executive. The Mason-Dixon Council already feels like home for this Southern boy, thanks to the wonderful volunteers and employees I’ve already met and the striking similarities between our two councils. I’m also greatly impressed with the commitment this council has made to its program, including recent significant financial investments and risks, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to help this Council make those investments and risks pay off, so that we’re serving even more youths with the best quality Scouting program possible. Layne and I are truly looking forward to being part of the great Mason-Dixon Scouting family and working with you to “Deliver the Promise” of Scouting to the youth and families we serve!
Q. What is your fondest Scouting memory?
A. There are so many, it’s difficult to pick one. I’d have to say that one of my fondest is getting to work on National Jamboree 2010 Staff with my wife and son Jonathan.
Q. What is your favorite part about being a professional Scouter?
A. Working with and spending time with some of the greatest people in the world, both youth and adult!
Q. What hobbies do you have outside of Scouting?
A. I don’t seem to end up with much time after work and family, but I do enjoy fishing, hunting, playing golf, camping, and sitting around a campfire or cooking out with friends. I also greatly enjoy reading, and usually have at least 1-2 books going at any given time.
Q. Anything else you want to share or tell the Scouts of our council?
A. The young people we serve through Scouting are the reason our council exists. Everything we do at the unit, district and council level is designed to provide the best possible Scouting experience we can to as many young people as we can. If we’re not doing that for you, call us to task and challenge us to improve. Never settle for mediocrity, and never do less than your best!!!
Rob will be starting on December 1st and looks forward to meeting all of our great volunteers that make this program happen; so, if you're in the Scout Service Center after December 1st, please introduce yourself to our new Scout Executive. Welcome aboard Rob!