My name is Wigberto Irizarry-Ortiz; I am currently an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 715 in the Cardinal District, Heart of Virginia Council. I am proud to be part of the adult leadership supporting this successful Boy Scout Unit.
I am originally from Puerto Rico. I attended all my school education on the island including a college degree in chemical engineering sciences. I moved from the Caribbean to the mainland around 20 years ago. Professionally, I have dedicated close to 30 years to the healthcare industry (pharma and medical devices), mainly in manufacturing operations.
Growing up, I did not get the opportunity to be a Cub or a Boy Scout. I had friends that participated in Scouting and through them I was able to recognize how special Scouting could be in developing the life of a young man. Instead of Scouting I was involved in Future Farmers of America, 4-H, science fairs and track and field. These organizations and activities transformed a shy and quiet farm boy into a confident and as-needed outspoken individual. I was fortunate to be nurtured by truly dedicated role models, mentors really invested in getting the best of young minds.
Early on I recognized the value of youth in our society and the importance of developing the citizens of tomorrow on core values and principles. These elements provided the foundation for my close to 40 years of working with youth; from junior to adult, I have had the opportunity to challenge and mold young individuals with the same dedication of those that mentored me in my early years. It is my way of giving back and making a difference in somebody’s life no matter how big or small.
My Scouting life really started 7 years ago when my son Joshua, back then a first grader, got home with BSA promotional cards and a yellow/blue pencil. “Mom and Daddy, there was an adult at school giving us cool pencils and inviting us to join Scouting. We are going, right?” Yes, I was the first one to venture to see what Scouting was all about, what it had to offer. I attended my first JSN and committed to attend the orientation night at Pack 508 in the Battlefield District. The rest is history! We joined the pack. My wife went through all Den Leader positions, I was of course the voluntold assistant and with time I ended up as Cubmaster. There is no meeting like a well-run pack meeting; a blend of accomplishment, recognition and fun. We went through our first campouts, Scouting for Food and popcorn explosion. Yes, with all the defects and virtues, we got hooked!
Then there came the Roundtables, cuburees, twilight camps, summer camps, shootorees, adult training just to name a few.
Here we are now, my son a 13 year Scout close to receive his Life rank, involved in all kind of activities within the unit, and me a Troop Guide for Woodbadge S7-602-17. Quite a ride! I hope my experience in this journey can serve as benchmark to other adults; I was a participant myself in the S7-607-14 session.
Scouting has complemented other of my interests such as nature photography. Not able to enjoy it now as much as I did in the past but still it inspires a passion in me, a passion like Scouting. Being born in a Spanish speaking environment has equipped me with tools to go beyond language barriers that could preclude youth or their families from the opportunity to live Scouting. In summary, I have prepared myself as a conduit of service, service to others as integrated in our Scout Oath.