Laura Bies – Volunteer Spotlight
The Northeast Iowa Council is pleased to honor Laura Bies as a Spotlight Volunteer! Laura wears many hats in the council. She is an Executive Board Member, the VP of Membership for the council, STEM Committee Chair, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 94 and 194, and a member of the Scouting for Food Committee. Laura has been involved in Scouting for more than 18 years.
What motivates you to give your time to Scouting?
Even though my boys are both Eagles and aged-out, I am motivated to give my time to Scouting, because it is a rewarding experience. I enjoy seeing the development and progression of young people growing over time into more mature, capable, citizens demonstrating character, leadership and citizenship proudly after their time in Scouting. I also enjoy the relationships with adults and Scouts who are in the program for the same reasons: to give back and help their Scouts and their units, district or council be the best that it can be and offer the best that Scouting can to others.
What aspects of Scouting do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy many aspects of Scouting, so that is hard to choose. I like that Scouting offers many opportunities to grow with programs based on personal growth, community service and leadership. Because of the flexibility in Scouting, even though every unit follows the same advancements and guidelines, all Scouts really get a unique experience depending on the activities they choose.
That is why I started the STEM Committee, so that we could bring science, technology, engineering, and math activities out in a Scout setting, providing more opportunities to do varied things in Scouting. The adult support that we have received on that committee is outstanding and we all enjoy bringing those opportunities to Scouts in the council.
I also really like the high adventure trips and special events we do in Scouting. They are a lot of work to plan, but the payout can be life-changing for all participants, young and old. Some of the Scouts we have taken on far away trips have never really been out of the midwest, so it can be very inspiring and rewarding. I have been on Troop high adventure trips whitewater rafting in WV; hiking, climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, biking, caving in PA; canoeing in Boundary Waters twice, canoeing//camping on the Wisconsin River; and I am planning to go to Philmont with our Troop 94 crews in 2022. These trips help show Scouts that they can do more than they ever thought they were capable of and put their Scout skills to the test.
What advice can you give to new Scouting parents?
I would encourage new Scout parents to get involved and really experience Scouting with your son or daughter. There is so much you can learn by being a leader in Scouting and doing the training that helps prepare you to be a better parent and better person that you can apply to all aspects of your life.
But, most importantly, take the opportunity while your kids are the most interested and willing to listen to you when they are in grade school and middle school. Scouting helps you teach them character building and core values and life skills such as citizenship and teamwork in a setting with other caring adults who want the same thing for their kids. You will have lots of memories of doing these things alongside them and it helps you grow as a family.
Scouting is a family too and a great one with lots of support for leaders and youth! I have made so many great friendships through Scouting and so have my kids. It was one of the best choices my husband and I ever made when our son wanted to join! I am so thankful that we chose to get involved and I wouldn’t change that if I had it to do all over again!
On behalf of the Northeast Iowa Council, please help us say thank you to a very dedicated Scouter, Laura Bies!