Eagle Scout Spotlight is a weekly blog post highlighting individuals who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Eagles are given a set of prepared questions in writing and they respond to them as they see fit. Responses may be edited for spelling mistakes, but they are the words and thoughts of each Eagle Scout.
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In this week’s Eagle Scout Spotlight, we learn about GGAC’s Scout Executive, Mike Hale. Mike earned his Eagle in 1976 with Troop 180 in the Heart of America Council and is a proud Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow and a recipient of the St. George Emblem.
Eagle FactThe Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting: https://oa-bsa.org/program/awards/vigil-honor
Mike began his Scouting career as a District Executive at the Cornhusker Council in Lincoln, Nebraska. He held positions of Camping Director, Program Director, and Director of Support Service before returning to Lincoln, NE, for his first stint as a Scout Executive. Mike’s professional career continued as an Associate Region Director with the Central Region, spent time at the National Council working on Mission Impact, and as an Area Director in the Western Region before becoming a Scout Executive for a second time at Northeast Illinois Council in Highland Park, Il. His last stop before the GGAC was as the Deputy Region Director of the Western Region, later transitioning into the Director of National Service Territory 3.
Eagle FactPrior to June 2021, the BSA’s organizational structure consisted of 27 Areas and 4 Regions (Western, Central, Southern, and Northeastern). Presently, there are 16 National Service Territories, with California and Hawaii making up NST 3: https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/properties/territory-maps/.
Scouting helped Mike by preparing him for a life of consistent change as he has done “lots of moving, almost all of my choice, has caused me to build new relationships my entire adult life. I love that aspect of scouting, and it is certainly necessary in my role.” When asked why he became a professional Scouter and was willing to move so many times, he said, “to give back to Scouting a debt that I could never repay.”
Mike’s time in Scouting has also left him with the valuable skills of leadership, listening, and the ability to make quick decisions. He credits his dad, Fred Hale, as the most influential individual along his trail to Eagle.
In 2021, the GGAC Scout Executive Selection Committee unanimously recommended hiring Mike, officially beginning his duties on October 1, 2021, as the second Scout Executive in GGAC history. He was interested in the GGAC because “the council was approaching re-emergence differently than other councils. We were all about how can we grow the movement and how fast can we do it.” In his time as Scout Executive, he believes, “more than anywhere else that I have been, the scouting families that we serve in our council are getting incredible unit-level programs.” He stresses that “the district and council exist to support those local unit programs. We all need to be of the same mindset to continue perpetuating our movement.”
Scout Executive Hale believes an Eagle Scout can ‘pay it forward’ by agreeing to do one thing. “It doesn’t have to be a massive commitment. Just agreeing to do one thing, like participate in an Eagle board, drive to camp, or wear an Eagle Scout pin are enough if we all do it.” He left Eagle Scouts with a piece of advice “Scouting more than ever needs new families. We are at the crossroads. We must recruit to perpetuate the organization that has been so good to us, our families, and our communities.”
Have you completed an Eagle Service Project in the GGAC or one of it’s legacy councils?
GGAC NESA Committee will host one-hour virtual panel / mentoring discussions to connect new Eagle Scouts, and Star and Life scouts, with industry leaders and older Eagle Scouts.
Stay tuned for me details.
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