Marc Ryan is the Scout Executive of the Greater Cleveland Council. Before taking the reins in Ohio — and before many stops at various Scouting leadership positions along the way — he was a Yawgoog camper via his Scout troop on Long Island, N.Y.
“A ferry from Long Island would drop us off in Connecticut and Yawgoog staffers would pick us up and bring us to the Camp,” said Ryan. “Yawgoog was known as the jewel of New England.”
Camping at Yawgoog played a huge role in Ryan’s life. He eventually went on to serve as a Program Executive for the Narragansett Council, and then back to New York.
“I have always loved the structure, teamwork and adventure that Scouting brings,” he said.
But it was Ryan’s position as Assistant Director of the Urban Emphasis Division — which focused on promoting Scouting in the five most inner-city boroughs of New York City — that put the importance of Scouting through a whole new lens for him.
“I grew up in the shadows of New York City,” said Ryan. ”I had no idea how different it was.” Safety in getting to and from meetings, recruiting leadership that you could count to show up every week were among the challenges, he said. But rewards existed, as well. When taking kids from the Bronx to Manhattan to camp, it was the first time many of them had seen stars in the sky, he said.
The commitment to excellence that Scouting teaches is now being taught in fewer and fewer places, said Ryan. Resourcefulness and reliability all play a role in successful futures.
As for Ryan’s three children, all are involving in Scouting — even his kindergartner. “Our children thought they were Scouts long before they thought they were Scouts,” said Ryan, with his family having been by his side at so many Scouting events before then.