Tim Park – Volunteer Spotlight
The Northeast Iowa Council is pleased to honor Tim Park as a Spotlight Volunteer! Tim currently serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 91 and just started as the Northeast Iowa Council High Adventure Committee. He says been blessed to spend a lot of time with Scouts, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and now as an adult leader. He is in his 23rd year of Scouting.
Tim and his wife Laura have three children, a boy and two girls. Outside of Scouts, Tim works for Merkle International in Galena.
What motivates you to give your time to Scouting?
I see the difference Scouting makes in kids’ lives. Kids come into scouts as Tigers, Cub Scouts or even as young scouts. They advance at different paces, mature at different rates, but when they leave, they leave with great life experiences and wonderful life skills like teamwork, leadership and grit.
What aspects of Scouting do you enjoy the most?
High Adventure. I told my son that I could guarantee that a High Adventure trip would be beneficial to him in his life. It would change him for the better. There aren’t many guarantees in life, but I could guarantee him that. He grew a lot as a person through the experience and that was the point. After his Philmont trek, he told me that I was right, which says a lot coming from a teenager to his dad.
What advice can you give to new Scouting parents?
As parents, we dream of well-rounded, kind, compassionate and responsible kids. If a child stays in Scouting and takes it all in, the parents’ dreams will come true. It does take time, years in fact, but his happens. They evolve from goofy grade-schoolers to awkward middle-schoolers to high-schoolers. For the parents themselves, I suggest you volunteer in whatever way you can. Not everyone is a camping parent. Not everyone is cut out to be the Popcorn Kernel. Everyone working together makes the organization better. You’ll have some fun along the way too.
What have you learned through Scouting?
Kids mature at their own pace, but if the see scouting through, they will be better for it. Kids also grow a lot when they get outside their comfort zone.
Please share a favorite Scouting memory.
I could not choose just one story. Please enjoy three of my favorite memories.
#1 from our Philmont trek in 2019. The boys from the crew were working on a teamwork challenge. They were having so much fun. Their laughter was contagious. We were all laughing, adult advisors and the Philmont staff member included. It was a moment of pure joy for those Scouts and I was lucky enough to be there to see it.
#2 meeting Green Bar Bill. At my first fall camporee, I got to meet Green Bar Bill, the author of the Scout Handbook for many years. Older Scouts talked about how great it was that he visited our troop. They had to explain what a big deal it was that he ate with our troop and that he signed my book and neckerchief. “You mean he doesn’t come visit us every time?”
#3 coming within a few feet of a shark. On my first day snorkeling in the shallows near Sea Base, I came within a few feet of a shark. My buddy and I were just cruising along when we came over a little rise in the sand, lying on the other side was a three-foot nurse shark, a little more than an arm’s length away. We freaked out, made a lot of splashing noises as we stopped and backed up. It woke up lifted off the sand and started swimming away. We looked at each other and each tried to say, “Cool!” with a snorkel in place and decided to follow. After about 20 seconds, it got tired of being followed by two Scouts, flicked its tail and was gone in a small cloud of sand.
On behalf of the Northeast Iowa Council, please help us say thank you to a very dedicated Scouter, Tim Park!