By Grant Geier
Tan shirts blanketed with badges filled the room of Jacob’s Well Church. The young Boy Scouts eagerly watched on to their troop leader who was instructing them on the various starting and finishing strategic moves that were necessary to winning a game of chess.
Nick Shoemaker, a member of the regional Chippewa Valley Council Advancement Committee, Camping Committee, a Unit Commissioner and a Jamboree Security member watched on with a smile as the 24 boys of Troop 34 played chess matches among each other in order to fulfill requirements for their chess merit badge.
Shoemaker said “I wanted to stay involved in Boy Scouts to give back to the program that taught me so much.”
Shoemaker, who was once a Boy Scout, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout weeks before his 18th birthday. Roughly a year after receiving his rank of Eagle Scout, Shoemaker was asked on to the District Committee which he has been involved in for more than 15 years now.
When asked what the most fulfilling part of Shoemakers responsibilities on the Boy Scout committee was, he said “I love to make a difference in the kids lives. It’s always fulfilling to see kids progress through the ranks of Boy Scouts in hopes that they achieve Eagle Scout.”
Flint Parisi, a Boy Scout in Troop 24 said “I enjoy having Nick Shoemaker at all of the Boy Scout meetings because he’s always very friendly and willing to help whenever we have any questions about anything.”
Another Boy Scout member of Troop 24, John Allingham, said that he really enjoys all off the activities and campouts that Shoemaker helps plan with others while on the Camping Committee.
Since Shoemaker holds four important positions in the Scouting community, he has a lot of responsibilities that go along with those roles.
While on the Council Advancement Committee, Shoemaker is responsible for identifying if a scout is eligible for the rank of Eagle Scout. Shoemaker also helps coordinate camping trips and Jamborees while on the Camping Committee.
Along with these roles, Shoemaker also provides direct services to the various packs and troops of the Chippewa Valley Council as the Unit Commissioner. He is also a part of Jamboree Security in which he provides a safe environment for Boy Scouts to enjoy themselves while at camping outings.
Shoemaker started to get involved with Boy Scouts when he was a kid, partially because he was homeschooled. He said that Boy Scouts provided him with an outlet to socialize with his peers since he wasn’t able to while being homeschooled.
He also gained interest in Scouting because his father was his den leader of Troop 175 when he first started. Shoemaker also said that he was never very interested in sports so Scouts gave him a way to take advantage of the outdoor campouts and other activities that were presented to him.
Throughout Shoemaker’s time as a Boy Scout, he said he has had the opportunity to travel the world while acquiring valuable life skills through various merit badges along the way to achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Through these experiences, Shoemaker has also been able to make lifelong friends and memories in the process.
Shoemaker said that one of the most valuable skills he acquired was through his Eagle Scout project where he had to coordinate, and direct the project. Through this process, he was able to greatly increase his leadership skills.
“One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned through Scouting is that you may not win a popularity contest, but kids should stick with it because it can be one of the most beneficial things they can do” Shoemaker said.
When asked if Shoemaker has any advice for the young boys of the Boy Scout community he said “follow your dreams, no matter if you’re involved in Boy Scouts or not.”