Name: Robert Smigielski
Hometown: Lower Macungie Township
Family: He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children: a son Damon, 12, and daughter Sara, 10.
Occupation: “I work at LSI in Allentown as a Staff Engineer doing embedded software development for devices we design, which are used to manage the combination of data and calls going through cell phone towers and the cell phone network. I have been involved in software development since about high school, and I still get a real kick out writing and using software that directly talks to hardware to make things happen.”
Describe what you do. “I am the scoutmaster—a big brother to the boys of the troop. My job is to train and lead the older boys in order for them to learn how to lead and teach the younger boys, ultimately learning to be a leader for the rest of their lives.
“I don’t expect the boys to always succeed in the things they do; but I do expect them to always try new things.
“I use one week of my vacation time and help at summer camp when our troop goes to Camp Trexler. This was my fourth year attending. It is a great way to teach what I know and also learn some things in the adult, or leader, classes.”
Why and how long have you volunteered? “I was a den leader in Pack 71 for five years and also served as the secretary of the administrative committee for a few years before moving to Boy Scouts with my son. I have been the scoutmaster for just over one year and really enjoy it.
“I volunteer as a leader with the scouts because I like the outdoors and teaching the kids about the outdoors. But more importantly, I like to see the boys developing into young men helping and leading each other along the way. It is very satisfying to see them mature from a 12-year-old boy into an 18-year-old man.”
Tell us a story about any experiences you may have had with this organization. “This is about how I became the scoutmaster when I wasn’t even a member yet. It was about two years ago in January at the annual Klondike Derby held at Hunsicker’s Grove. My son was just two months away from being a Boy Scout (he was a Cub Scout at the time).
“I received a call to help with the Klondike and spent about a half day there. However, unknowingly, I was actually being observed and interviewed for the scoutmaster position. I had to build a fire, cook, converse with the others around me and other things.
“Later that evening, at home, I received a call asking me to take over as scoutmaster after the current one resigned. I talked to a lot of people and gave it a lot of thought. This would be a significant time commitment and responsibility, I thought. So, I took the position and now am feeling very comfortable with it.”
How can someone get involved with this group if they want? “Go to our website for contact information. I encourage adults to get as involved as much as you can with mentoring the kids. We can use whatever skills and knowledge you may have.”
Do you know a volunteer who Patch should profile? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org