As a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, Scott Paddack spent his share of weekends as a youth camping and enjoying the great outdoors. He was more interested in the activities than rank advancement and earning merit badges, so his final rank was 2nd Class Scout, a long way from the coveted rank of Eagle.
"I can't think of a day that I don't think, 'Oh, I learned that in Boy Scouts'" Paddack said.
Paddack, 48, found his way back into Scouting, and now works to promote the values and life skills the Boy Scouts of America offers. He can share in the successes of local Scouts, their parents and leaders, including his 16-year-old son Daved, who earned the Eagle rank on Dec. 20, 2010.
Both Scott and Daved — whose name is a combination of Scott's two best friends, David and Ed — were members of Troop 10 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.
Paddack planned to get into teaching in 2002, but his volunteer work with the Mason-Dixon Council, which is the local Boy Scouts of America council, led to a job offer. He worked his way up to Washington County senior district executive and, on Jan. 18, took the post of the council's field director.
His summers will be spent as camp director at Sinoquipe Scout Reservation, which the Mason-Dixon Council opened in Fort Littleton, Pa., in 1948.
The rest of the year will be spent as program adviser for the council, which Paddack said has 2,400 traditional youth members and 1,000 members in Learning for Life, a program with a vocational focus.
Paddack said he will work to develop connections with local businesses so Scouts get discounts and to build healthy troops, packs and Venturing crews within the council.
A 1980 graduate of North Hagerstown High School, Paddack was born in Hendersonville, N.C., and lived in Richmond, Va. His family moved to Hagerstown when he was 5.
His father, Varner Paddack, had a career in real estate and was Hagerstown's mayor from 1972 to 1980. As a result, Scott, his brother and his sister attended events with their father and learned how to behave appropriately in public, he said. He credits his mother, who died in July 2010, for sharing her great sense of humor.
Paddack studied at Hagerstown Junior College, then graduated from Frostburg State University in 1987.
Paddack said leaving home for summer camp caused him some anxiety initially, but he credits it with helping him spread his wings to go away to college and to take jobs that involved international travel.
He was a promoter representative with a music industry booking agency and a ring announcer for pro wrestling that took him on a tour of the South Pacific. He lived in Hawaii before returning to Hagerstown in 1991 and getting into computer sales and networking.
Paddack and his wife, Deidre, were married in 1994. He has a stepdaughter, and the couple has a son and daughter.
Paddack got involved in Trinity Lutheran Church, the Antietam Exchange Club, the Jaycees, Federal Little League, MiHi and coaching youth basketball at the Hagerstown YMCA, among other things.
"I've been working real hard for Washington County to be an excellent place for Scouting. Scouting has everything you need in one package," Paddack said.