Once in a blue moon a volunteer comes around who gives as much to the Scouts through his presence as he does through his actions. Matt Maranto is that type of volunteer. Born in Colorado but raised in Florida, Matt experienced his first taste of volunteerism during his tenure as a Cub Scout. After college, a job opportunity brought Matt back home to Colorado where he met his wife of 29 years. They put down roots in Douglas County and raised a son and a daughter.
Their children attended an elementary school that offered both Brownies and Cub Scouts as extracurricular enrichments and both children signed up to participate. Matt’s dedication to Scouting was reborn with his son’s introduction to Cub Scouts and has endured—even after his son aged out.
“Being a Scout is a privilege filled with learning, responsibility, fellowship and fun,” Matt explains. “It is a simultaneous commitment to having fun, serving others, engaging in continuous learning and doing so in the safest environment possible. When I am at a scouting activity – whether it is a troop meeting or a National Jamboree – I always seem to be around great people, both youth and adults, who demonstrate high integrity, a passion for youth development and a willingness to serve others. I am a better person as a result.”
Currently, Matt is the Council Chair of Merit Awards. During his time with the Scouts he has investigated and recommended more than 70 Scouts and Scout Leaders receive recognition for lifesaving and/or meritorious actions. Matt invests a great amount of time researching each story of lifesaving and/or meritorious actions he is made aware of. This includes interviewing each Scout or Scout Leader, collecting accounts from witnesses, and compiling pages of documentation (can be upwards of 70+ pages) to submit to the National Council. His thoroughness in this process is a result of his dedication to the Scouts and making sure they are recognized for their hard work and contributions to the community. He does not want our heroes to go unsung.
“What I enjoy the most about Scouting is being able to mentor our youth,” Matt says.
Over the last 18 or more years, Matt has counseled or otherwise facilitated Scouts earning more than 300 religious emblems. In addition to watching and helping Scouts grow in their faith, he acts as a mentor. In this role he engages them in a conversation that typically includes: “So what are you thinking about doing after high school?” And this leads to a discussion about their future vision for themselves and their decision-making criteria and priorities.
Matt is clearly a top-notch mentor, “Over the years, 19 Scouts have presented me with Eagle Scout Mentor pins at their respective Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. I don’t think I have ever been able to fully articulate how very grateful I am for each one. I have also saved every Thank You note that I received – from either a Scout or a Scout parent – for contributing to the Scout’s success. Those mentor pins and notes mean much more than any other Scout award I have received.”
Matt gives so much of his time, friendship, and leadership to the Scouts. Each person who comes into contact with him is influenced by the emotional excitement he shows for the Scouts. As a lifelong volunteer, Matt has selflessly dedicated his time to providing character development and values-based leadership for our community’s youth.