Mark Griffin

Scout Executive

I began my professional Scouting career in 1979 as a district executive in the Gulf Coast Council headquartered in Pensacola, Florida. I served a rural, four-county district in the Florida panhandle. I was also the reservation director for the council's two summer camps at the Spanish Trail Scout Reservation in 1981.  


In 1982 left we Pensacola to become part of the staff of the Gulf Ridge Council based in Tampa, Florida as a district executive and the summer camp director for Flaming Arrow Scout Reservation. I served in both roles for four years. I was promoted to field director in 1986, and in 1989 to director of field service.

In 1992 I was invited to join the national staff of the BSA as the associate national director of Cub Scouting. In that role I was responsible for coordinating production and budgeting of all Cub Scout literature, the Tiger Cub program, the Webelos Scout program, Program Helps, and all professional training related to Cub Scouting. During my tenure I worked with teams of national committee volunteers on various projects related to Cub Scouting, district operation, health and safety, and long-range planning. In 1993 I was asked to chair a task force to study the causes of the decline in Philmont Training Center attendance, and what could be done to keep PTC viable.
 
A dream that started during my first visit to Philmont in 1971 came true when in 1995 I was asked to become the director of the Philmont Training Center. That assignment included the year-around management of PTC's campus and conferences, Philmont's museums, and the ranch food service operation. I successfully managed assigned operating budgets with surpluses each year. By changing the culture of PTC, improving customer service, and building a vision of what PTC could be, we reversed the trend of declining attendance which resulted in PTC's largest conference attendance years and significantly increased “off-season” use of the campus. During my tenure we also rebuilt the relationship with the LDS-BSA relationships office, Church leadership, and established a relationship with Brigham Young University to provide internships and summer staff opportunities to students.


In 2000 the Blue Mountain Council in Kennewick, Washington selected me to be their Scout executive. The council serves four counties in Southeast Washington and eight counties in Northeast Oregon. During my tenure we worked to build strong community and chartered organization relationships. Especially with the Church. Both Elder Melvin Hammond and President Charles Dahlquist visited the council while we were there. We had consistent membership growth, established membership validation procedures, and an environment which ensured membership integrity. We had clean membership audits and clean financial audits in each year of my tenure. Our council was annually listed among the top councils in the BSA in youth member advancement, Cub Scout and Boy Scout camping, youth retention, unit retention, new member recruiting, membership density, and volunteer leader training. We were recognized as a Quality Council and a JTE Gold council. We were the first council in the BSA to make on-line youth protection training available and the first to have a mobile web site.


Janet and I had never planned to leave Kennewick. We loved the council, the community, and the people. But in late 2010 Assistant Chief Scout Executive Gary Butler called me and told me that because of our council's excellent program and JTE record he wanted me to return to the national council to take on the leadership of volunteer leader training for the BSA. As the team leader for volunteer development I was considered the Chief Learning Officer for volunteers in the BSA. In that role I was the staff advisor to the National Volunteer Training Committee. I gave leadership to the staff and volunteers who designed and delivered role-based training for unit level volunteers,  leadership development (Wood Badge, National Youth Leadership Training, National Advanced Youth Leadership Training, etc.) and train-the-trainer. In addition we developed training courses for STEM Scouts, Youth Protection, New Unit Organizers, Philmont Training Center conferences, Florida Sea Base conferences, Membership Standards, and many others. I believe we changed the culture in the team and the committee to a strategic-thinking and learning-emphasis culture. We led the successful effort to design new instructor-led position specific training courses for all unit leader positions. We built relationships with other departments to enhance learning and create better training record management systems in the BSA. I served on Annual Giving Campaign committee, Youth Protection task force, Diversity Committee, Membership Standards, Growth Initiative task force, My.Scouting Tools task force, Program Update (411) task force, National Meeting task force, the Michigan Project, Leadership Development, Chicagoland, and Top Hands task force. In 2011 I initiated the idea and served on the project team that led to the formation of Scouting University.


With the formation of Scouting University in 2014 I became the team lead of learning delivery. In that role I led the volunteers and staff who delivered on boarding, train-the-trainer, and role-based “how to do your job” training for all volunteers and employees in the Boy Scouts of America. I also managed the Westlake Learning Campus (formerly the Center for Professional Development) of Scouting University and thus became the only person to have led both the BSA’s national volunteer training center at Philmont and the professional training center in Texas.

In September of 2014 I assumed my current role as the area director for Area 5 of the Central Region. I work with 12 local councils in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Our area has the largest traditional youth membership in the Central Region and one of the largest in the BSA. In this role I manage issues and initiatives related to council operations, human resources, volunteers, and relationships with community organizations within the area. I am responsible for direct support of assigned councils; facilitating human resources initiatives to include Scout executive selection, employee coaching, issues, and placement; serve as coach, evaluator, and facilitator of reviews of Scout Executives with the local council presidents within the area: and am responsible for implementing and maintaining national standards, policies, rules and regulations, and general board resolutions within the area.


​My professional recognitions include Quality Council, Journey to Excellence (Gold), Area President's Growth Club, the Southeast Region Growth Club, the Opportunity Club, the Chief Scout Executive’s Winners’ Circle - Above and Beyond, Rayado Ridge Plaza of Professionals, the Founder's Circle, Professional Circle, Super Pro, Direct Support Achiever, Words to Live By Award, and Balanced Growth Achiever. Received the Western Region KWEO Award for Friends of Scouting, and the National Endowment Achievement Award.

My Career