DECEMBER 1, 2009 — MONMOUTH, ILL. — "Scouting is growing in western Illinois," says Daniel M. Reck, a unit commissioner for the Illowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America. "With the formation of Venturing Crews at Warren Achievement Center and now Monmouth College, I'm glad to see the high adventure program is really taking off," he says. Venturing Crew 1851 was chartered today with about a half-dozen youth participants, which are called "Venturers" rather than Scouts.
Reck, who is also Assistant Director of Greek Life, Leadership, and Involvement at the college, provides volunteer support to the group's youth leaders and adult advisors. He provides the same service to the local Boy Scout Troop. Unlike a Scoutmaster, who works directly with Scouts to help them accomplish their goals, a Unit Commissioner is more like a consultant who can bring a wealth of Scouting knowledge to the troop or crew. "I've been a Venturing Crew Advisor in a new crew before, and that experience helps immensely as I support this crew in taking its first steps," Reck says.
The Boy Scouts' Venturing program is targeted at young men and women from fourteen through twenty years of age, and is an off-shoot of the long-running Exploring program. "While Exploring now focuses on vocational interests such as veterinary medicine, public safety, or scientific research, Venturing has coalesced around high adventure activities like caving, wilderness backpacking treks, and scuba diving," Reck says. All of the new crew members are students at Monmouth College. A professor serves as advisor, with other college staff contributing as the crew committee. The new unit was designated as Venturing Crew 1853. "We love that number. It's the founding date of the college," says Reck.
Reck, a twenty-year veteran of the Boy Scouts, has also served as a chief medical officer and business manger for Scout camps in Illinois and Indiana. In 2001, he was selected to serve on the National Jamboree staff as an emergency medical technician. He has hopes of attending the 2010 jamboree, which coincides with the one hundredth anniversary of Boy Scouting in the United States. "I'm still waiting on the final word on that, but I feel good about it," Reck says.
For his work in Scouting, Reck has been twice awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award. As a youth participant in the program, he earned Scouting's highest rank, Eagle Scout.