Wally Berg is an avid climber with an affinity for the outdoors. His love for climbing grew during his outdoor adventures as a staff member at Philmont Scout Ranch and during the 26 years he lived in Colorado. He has climbed several of the highest summits in the world. Berg climbed Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest summit in the world, in 1987 and later climbed the fourth-highest summit, Lhotse. Each of these mountains is located on the China and Nepal border. Berg has even climbed Mount Everest four times.Berg decided to turn his passion into a business in 1992 when he founded Berg Adventures International. According to the Berg Adventure’s website, the company is “one of the world’s leading adventure travel and mountaineering companies.”
He’s received the Distinguished Staff Alumni Award from Philmont Scout Ranch in recognition of his life achievements. His profound respect for the environment started as a Scout and continued when he went on to be a staff member at a Scout camp and later as a mountaineer and guide. He still practices to this day the Leave No Trace ethics that are inherent in our programs.
Scot Oki is the former senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Microsoft. He started the company’s international operations and supervised an increase in company sales. His success in the business made Oki very wealthy and afforded him the opportunity to retire at the age of 44 in 1992. Once Oki retired, he decided to launch his own business called Oki Developments Inc. There he invests in different things spanning from technology to golf courses. His foundation, Oki Foundation, focuses on local and national philanthropic endeavors.
Oki has done a lot of amazing work, however, his big passion is Scouting. He especially loves Scouting in urban areas. He created the Chief Seattle Council’s Scoutreach Foundation in 2000 and worked with his sons’ troop in Washington. In a quote taken from the book Eagle Scout Stories Tails from the Trails of Scouting’s Highest Rank, Scott said “The values and character-building that is an integral part of being an Eagle Scout has had a wonderfully positive impact my life. But it has required a lot of hard work and diligence to live by the Scout Oath and Law!”
Charles William Steele Jr.
In 1980, Charles William Steele Jr. became a professional Scouter. A professional Scouter is a paid, non-volunteer employee of the national and local Scouting organization. He’s had several jobs with the Boy Scouts of America. Here are some of them:
- Scout executive
- BSA Cub Scout Division staff member
- BSA director of Alumni Relations
His most notable role being the director of Alumni Relations. There he oversaw a major overhaul of the National Eagle Scout Association website and oversaw the transition of the journal Eagletter into the Eagle Scout Magazine. Steele also created NESA’s first national directory.
Steele likes to get outside. As an avid caver, he has explored more than 2,000 caves. He led an exploration of the longest caves in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas and has contributed to and written several caving books. He found his love for cave exploration while in Scouting. According to the book, Eagle Scout Stories Tails from the Trails of Scouting’s Highest Rank, Steele said that attaining the Eagle Scout rank gave him lifelong confidence in guiding others towards accomplishing their goals.
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Author: Nicole Balmforth | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council