Our next award is for the crew member who has most demonstrated
the spirit of Venturing, an enthusiasm for all activities, a mindset for
adventure, a willingness to go on any outing and not to complain when
circumstances aren’t sunny and warm. Please help me welcome this year’s
recipient, Stuart Nates.
Stuart came to us with his dad two years ago and has become a
regular fixture in service, outings and leadership.
He earned his Eagle Scout award last year and his service project
was well attended by the crew. Last summer, he decided he wanted an
elected office in the crew and was elected health and safety officer.
When two spots opened up on the Council’s Venturing Officers Association
in March, he decided he wanted one of them and was elected VOA
Stuart’s service to others is not limited to the crew. In
addition to his volunteer work for the Homeworks program, a housing
rehab ministry, he also spends a week or more at Salkehatchie, a
Methodist version of Homework’s. His specialty of all things is roofing.
He actually gave up going to Philmont this year because he wanted to go
to Salkehatchie instead.
Stuart’s nick name in the crew is “Man Beast” and just
looking at his physique does not tell the whole story. Watching him eat
certainly gives you an idea. Adults in the crew marvel at how much he
consumes. We’re all a little wary of getting our fingers and hands too
close to him at feeding time.
I once tried restraining him at a campout. I might as well have
put my arm around a locomotive to try and stop it.
Stuart also has a mischievous sense of humor. You will often see
him smiling. Sometimes that smile indicates something is afoot. There
was that time that lots of shoes suddenly disappeared overnight on one
of our campouts. Or the time that tent poles became mysteriously
unattached on a certain tent on another outing.
He is, of course, most famous in the crew for his sleeping. Not
sleeping per se but waking up, or put more precisely, not waking up.
Stuart takes pride in being the last one to get up on outings and crew
members over time have tried every technique they can think of, from
pulling on his sleeping bag to banging pots without success. One time
Tyler, who calls Stuart “Stuey,” decided to wet a finger and
stick it in his ear. I have to say for his size, I was impressed by
Stuart’s speed in leaping to his feet out of his sleeping bag and
running down poor Tyler. Reminded me of a lion running down a giesel.
For all Stuart’s contributions, his willingness to try any
adventure, his leadership and high energy, I am proud to proclaim him
our 2010 recipient of the Spirit in Venturing Award.