Dan Wolboldt, scoutmaster for Troop 13 in North Warren, has been selected as one of the best 56 Scoutmasters in the nation.
The award will be presented in Texas during the Boy Scouts of America national annual meeting, and is derived from the 56 areas within the four Boy Scout regions.
Kevin Bonner, scout executive for the Chief Cornplanter Council, quoted council member John Lindberg saying, "It's not a feather in our (council's) cap, it's the whole war bonnet!"
Times Observer photo
Dan Wolboldt and his Eagle Medal
In a council known for volunteerism above and beyond, even for scouting, Wolboldt stands out as one of the very best. "He is the heart and soul of this council, and we don't know what we would do without him. He has forgotten more about scouting than the rest of us know," Bonner said.
He added that over the years, Wolboldt has influenced the lives of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people.
Wolboldt joined the Boy Scouts on June 9, 1954. He is an Eagle Scout, as are his father and two brothers. He was the flint-and-fire building champion with a time of three seconds at the 1957 National Jamboree, held at Valley Forge. His 90-year-old father John still volunteers at summer camp.
Bonner said, "At age 90, he can still light a friction fire faster than you can blink." Wolboldt said that is not quite true, as it takes him about nine seconds.
This isn't the first time Wolboldt has been honored. He was awarded the Silver Beaver and the Silver Antelope in previous years, is a member of Order of the Arrow, the honor society of scouting, and received the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow which is the highest honor the Order can bestow on its members. Bonner said Wolboldt is a humble man, and he doesn't do what he does for recognition, he does it to help youths through scouting.
His assistant scoutmaster and good friend Mike Brennan has known him for 19 years, since his twin sons made the transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Wolboldt was the assistant scoutmaster of Troop 13.
Brennan said, "He absolutely, positively lives his religion and the scout laws. He is so kind in how he deals with people. He is an amazing individual, and I wish we had more people like him. Dan works equally well with adults and young people. He keeps in touch with his former scouts, who hold him in great reverence."
Before coming to Warren, he taught Wood Badge team and leadership building camps for adult scout leaders, whose model was so successful that a number of Fortune 500 companies sent executives to the camps to participate and learn. The local council plans to hold a Wood Badge camp in August. The model is based on Boy Scout founder Baden-Powell's idea that scouts should decide who the patrol and senior patrol leaders will be, based on their scouting skills, and use their teamwork to plan and carry out their activities. The two weekend or week-long event is open to adults at least 18 years old.
Wolboldt served as a U.S. Army Chaplain for 22 years, and was a scout leader at military bases in Europe during that time. His community service is not limited to scouting, as he has served on the local board of directors of the Red Cross, and the board of directors of the Warren Players. He currently is the chaplain at the Interfaith Chapel at Warren State Hospital and has been the Spiritual Support Services Director for the Commonwealth of PA since June 2003.
Unfortunately, he will not be able to accept the Top 56 Scoutmasters award in person, because he will be performing two previously scheduled weddings on that day in Warren.