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, Austin Steen.
Austin is another one we’ve seen a lot of improvement in this year. A former Boy Scout who came to us in 2013, Austin served two terms as quartermaster before winning election as our vice president of administration. Earlier this year he was elected vice president of program.
One of the things that I love about Austen is his passion. When he gets excited about things, he’s fun to watch. And he gets excited a lot.
Just say the word “knife” and his hair stands on end. With some adults, you can get them to talking by asking about their children. For Austin, ask him about his knife collection. He brings it in now and then for our show and tell. It’s kind of scary, actually.
When Austin gets excited about things, his eyes get big and he may switch into an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. Sometimes he overshares, like the stories about his killing chickens with a nail gun. I think that earned him a nickname with the troop.
He also got very excited during the caving trip when he learned that spraying oil on a hot griddle can sometimes be dangerous. He has a hole in his glove as a reminder.
But his passion also has helped the crew. Even though it was not his job, he got into the planning for Winterfest, our trip to Gatlinburg in February, researching the hotel (which ended up being across the street from the convention center) and the ski resort details. It was a great trip and it was made possible by his passion.
Austin has been enthusiastic, adventurous and smiles more than most in the crew. I am proud to declare him our 2015 Spirit in Venturing Award recipient.