Adults recognized for service to Scouting
By Tim Wenzl
Four adults were presented awards recognizing their contributions to scouting at the conclusion of Quest ’09 on Feb. 15 at Dodge City Community College. The awards were presented by Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore at the recommendation of the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Wanda Waldman of Dodge City received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal. This medal recognizes the contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic Scouts and bears the name of the first American saint. Medal requirements specify at least three years of service in helping Catholic Girl Scouts learn more about their faith.
Waldman has more than five years as an adult leader in Girl Scouts. She is the single parent of three adopted special needs children, a volunteer at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, is employed by Arrowhead West, and teaches sign language at Dodge City Community College. She has served as a Quest counselor and troop co-leader over the past three years. The girls in the troop described her in these words: “Always there when you need her; selfless, kind, compassionate, loving, respectful, wise, and a good role model.”
Dan Stremel of Dodge City received the Bronze Pelican Award. This award is presented to an adult who has served in the scouting program at the parish level and has demonstrated good example as a Christian and influenced boys to live a good Christian life.
Stremel has been actively involved in scouting at the parish level for 10 years. He shas served as an adult leader for both Cub Pack 162 and Boy Scout Troop 162. He is active in the youth ministry apostolate of the Knights of Columbus and holds adult leadership positions in the King David Circle of the Columbian Squires and Boy Scout Troop 162. He currently serves as both chief counselor for the Squires and scoutmaster for the Boy Scout troop. In addition to his duties as scoutmaster, he is the mentor for a class of six scouts working toward Eagle.
Dave Snapp of Dodge City received the St. George Award. This award is the National Catholic Committee on Scouting emblem awarded by the diocese. The St. George emblem recognizes the recipient’s outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boy Scouts of America.
Snapp has served as an adult leader in Cub Pack 162 and Boy Scout Troop 162 for 15 years. He served as a counselor for scouts working on religious emblems during Quest. He was scoutmaster of Troop 162 from 2004 to 2008 and continues to serve the Troop as a committee member. He also serves the Santa Fe Trail Council as chairman of the High Plains District Committee. In addition to his involvement with scouting, Snapp also has served on numerous parish committees in Dodge City. He also serves as a member on the Boards of Directors for Catholic Social Service and Arrowhead West.
At the conclusion of the adult awards, John McLauglin, a member of the Catholic Committee on Scouting presented a brief history of Quest.
“The Scouting Quest weekend was initiated by the Catholic Committee on Scouting 30 years ago in 1979. At that time only the Boy Scouts attended Quest to work on their religious emblems. I served as scoutmaster for that first Quest weekend.
“Quest was then held at St. Mary of the Plains College and continued there until the college closed in 1992. There was an indoor pool at the college so swimming was always a popular activity. The boys camped in the classrooms at the Sheridan Activity Center.
“More than 50 boys attended the first Quest Weekend. Along with myself, instructors were Dennis Hertel from Great Bend, and Father James Baker, the diocesan scout chaplain.
“The first awards were presented in 1980 when 11 scouts received the Ad Altare Dei emblem. The Girl Scouts joined us at Quest for the first time in 1988. When their awards were presented the following year, 11 girls received the I Live My Faith emblem.
“All told, in the last 30 years, more than 350 religious emblems have been earned by the Boy and Girls Scouts attending Quest. This figures out to be 145 Ad Altare Dei; 94 I Live My Faith; 68 Pope Pius XII; 45 Marian Medals; and six Spirit of Life.
“After myself, the scoutmasters in the early years of Quest were Dennis Hertel and Darrell Phillips from Great Bend, and David Tackett from Garden City. Since 1987, the scoutmaster at Quest has been Dave Geist of Dodge City.
“Now on this the 30th anniversary of Quest, we would like to recognize the person who has given his time and energy so unselfishly to scouting as youth ministry in the Diocese of Dodge City. Dave Geist will you join me at the podium? Bishop Gilmore, I think you received something this week from the Holy Father?”
Bishop Gilmore then presented Dave Geist with an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI for his service to scouting as a youth ministry in the diocese. Geist has served on the Catholic Committee on Scouting since 1981; as Scoutmaster of Quest since 1987; and as Chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting since 1999.