Amy Russell – Volunteer Spotlight
The Northeast Iowa Council is pleased to honor Amy Russell as a Spotlight Volunteer! Amy currently serves as the assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 64.
Amy lives in the far northeast corner of Iowa with her husband, four children, and multiple pets, including her Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Amy taught language at an area elementary school for sixteen years while simultaneously homeschooling her four children. The last several years she has stayed home to homeschool exclusively. Her hobbies include reading, baking, coaching basketball, traveling, and random remodeling projects. She also enjoys boating, swimming, kayaking, and basically any activity that involves being near water.
What motivates you to give your time to Scouting?
I believe that Scouting has perfected a systematic approach to teaching the basics of outdoor skills and citizenship. When done right, Scouting is an amazing program geared toward preparing youth for leadership and life. That is the type of program that I am willing to volunteer my time towards.
What aspects of Scouting do you enjoy the most?
Scouting allows me to fuse my love of teaching with my enjoyment of the outdoors. It is like taking the best part of teaching and removing the four walls of the classroom. Anything is possible! To see the gleam in a Scout’s eye when they have learned to start their own campfire, hiked to the highest overlook, climbed to the top of the tower, or finally mastered the game of 5-Card-Mil. That gleam is worth more than millions of dollars.
Share a favorite memory.
My favorite Scouting memory is so hard to pinpoint. For a Scoutmaster Minute, I recently asked my Scouts to each tell a favorite Scouting memory. I was so surprised that almost everyone one of their favorite memories was the result of some accident, mini-catastrophe, forgotten item, minor injury or terrible weather event!? Really!?! Hahaha!! I guess in Scouting favorite=memorable. I’ve had many memorable Scouting moments. Snow, high winds, torrential rains, and all manner of terrible weather seems to be my lot on campouts. If the Scouts know that I will be a leader at a campout, they remind each other to pack extra layers! My favorite Scouting memory as an adult leader would probably have to be Wood Badge. There is no equal to its leadership training and camaraderie. (Bears Rule!)
What advice can you give to new Scouting parents?
My advice to new Scouting parents is to get involved early and stick with it. I started as a Den Leader when my son was a Wolf in the Cub Scout Program. It has been amazing to see my shy little Cub Scout progress through the ranks to confident leadership positions in Scouts BSA.
What have you learned through Scouting?
While being a leader in Scouting, I have learned just as much or more as the Scouts. I can survive cold weather camping, hike 10+ miles, cook in cast iron, canoe in the wilderness for a week, and swim the mile in 50F water! You don’t know if you can do something until you learn about it, train for it, and try.
On behalf of the Northeast Iowa Council, please help us say thank you to a very dedicated Scouter, Amy Russell!