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, Carly Wise Basinger.
Carly may be the most surprised person here about this award. That’s because she has been self-critical about her leanings toward pessimism. She would not describe herself as the most cheerful person in the crew. But that’s not what this award is about.
Carly came to us a couple years ago. I spotted her leadership talent then and hoped she would put it to use. However, like many in their first year with the crew, she stood on the sidelines, was not terribly active and did not try to lead.
This past year was a night and day difference. She plugged in, became active, and ran and won election as crew secretary. After doing a great job there, she ran for vice president of administration at the Christmas party at her house. She won decisively.
One of the things I like most about Carly is her sense of responsibility. A lot of officers come and go. Some take their job seriously and some do not. Carly always has. She remains the only officer in 12 years of crew history who has asked permission to miss a meeting. And those absences were not to go to a birthday party or a concert but to attend cross country team functions. She also felt a sense of responsibility to that team.
Anyone who knows Carly knows she is a free spirit and one that cares deeply about the environment. So much so that she asked if she could teach a program about leave-no-trace principals. She wasn’t working on a badge or a school project. She just feels passionately about this issue and wants others to as well.
That passion also shows when we do high-adventure activities, the more hardcore, the better. Whether it is hanging from a cliff, sleeping outside wrapped in her old shower curtain, or using her father’s ancient trail stove, Carly loves the outdoors and being on the edge. So it wasn’t a surprise to me when she decided to go barefoot on the toughest little mountain trail in the state. And it also wasn’t a surprise to me when she responded to a lecture from a Boy Scout on the trail about hiking barefoot and later blew by he and his troop. Her spirit on the Rim trail never flagged no matter how much her feet hurt.
Carly will be the first one to tell you that she has little patience and suffers no fools. She is not quiet when things aren’t going well. And sometimes she lets her vision be narrowed by a glass half empty.
Yet in her heart beats a passion for the outdoors, for high adventure, for challenges big and small. That spirit is what we celebrate tonight and if we are lucky, for the next year as she continues to lead the crew.
For those reasons I am proud to proclaim Carly our 2011 recipient of the Spirit in Venturing Award.