The outstanding Officer of the Year Award is presented to the
Venturer who, in the view of the Advisors, has most demonstrated
leadership, service and spirit while serving as a Venturing officer.
Please help me congratulate this year’s winner, Kristina Izett.
Kristina, as most in the crew will recognize, is not a crew
officer. She is a former two-term crew secretary and was the leader of
our Sea Base expedition last summer. But her current rank tops all
others in the crew. She is president of the Council’s Venturing
Almost everything she does is out of sight of the crew. It is a
huge responsibility, filled with many frustrations, lots of meetings,
lots of annoying emails, many public appearances and the weight of the
program on her young shoulders. It is a weight she has handled well.
Kristina has had to coordinate the staffing for the Cub Scout
Haunted Forest weekend, help plan the first-ever Council Venturing
shooting sports weekend, the Venturing and Exploring Aquatics weekend,
the Venturing Leadership Skills Course. She also helped plan and
presided over the first VOA officers retreat, at which the group set
specific goals for the year.
She is reserved by nature but her leadership has been noticed by
the adults. Said one, “She is very quiet in her ways, but has the
ability to motivate others and get folks involved. They may not even be
aware of what she is doing, but she gets wheels turning, and watching
her work at VOA is amazing.”
To help herself manage all this, she underwent Kodiak advanced
leadership training last summer and Kodiak X training in April. He also
attended a BSA mentoring course, making her the only Venturer in the
Council eligible to be nominated for a spot in the BSA national
leadership hall of fame.
Of course, she’s had to improve her skills along the way. As VOA
president, she sits on the Council’s executive board, one of only two
youth allowed to do so. When they asked her last fall to help induct new
board members, she was, of course, nervous, and when she gets nervous,
she tends to speak faster. So she read the oath to the new board members
in record speed. One of them later confided that he was happy because he
wanted to get back to the office.
Then there was the time she called me earlier this year and asked
what an introduction speech is. I asked her why she wanted to know and
she said the Council’s advisor had asked her to give the introduction at
the Council’s Friends of Scouting dinner, a fundraising affair attended
by 800 people. I told her I thought what he was asking was for her to
give the invocation. She later confirmed that and gave a wonderful
prayer at the event.
Because this is Scouting’s 100th anniversary, she has been asked
to be present at many events that don’t involve the crew, including her
visit to the Statehouse in February to be greeted by House lawmakers.
For her outstanding sense of responsibility, service, promotion
of Venturing as well as her remarkable leadership skills, I am proud to
proclaim her the Outstanding Officer of the Year!