By Jonathan Crane, Founder, former publisher, Tualatin Life
In my effort to promote local exceptionalism, the word volunteerism often crops up. Volunteers are present with every little league game, most charity functions, after school activities, and in so many areas that affect the growth and direction of our children and society as a whole.
So many of us have memories of being involved with Scouts in one form or another as kids. Many were in Brownies, which led to Girl Scouts. Others were in Cub Scouts, which led to Boy Scouts. Maybe it’s just me, but I vividly recall the memories of Scouts and the impact it made in my life. None of those memories would have been possible without the care, devotion and volunteerism of local leaders who stepped up to lead our various packs.
In Tualatin, if your son was involved with Scouts, it is with certainty that you would know the name Norm Dannemiller, who just recently stepped down as the Scoutmaster for Tualatin Troop 530 after a very impressive 12 years.
Both Norm and Jackie Dannemiller have been involved with Tualatin Scouts since they moved to Tualatin in 2000. It was first Jackie’s involvement, who was Cubmaster at Byrom Elementary School, which prompted Norm to get involved once their oldest son Nick crossed over from Cub Scout Pack 35 on to Boy Scouts. Norm went through extensive training to prepare in his many roles with the Boy Scouts, including Scoutmaster and providing many hours to Eagle Scout projects.
Norm Dannemiller was raised near Monterey, California and after high school worked as a line mechanic for an automotive repair shop in the early 80’s. Later, he went to college and became a mechanical engineer after graduating from Colorado School of Mines. Unfortunately, the mining industry experienced a downturn and his family moved to Tualatin from Colorado at that time.
While Norm was not involved with Scouts as a kid, his own sons have been highly involved. His oldest son, Nick, achieved the highest status possible as the 2014 National Chief for the Order, Scouting’s National Honor Society, which included presenting a report to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives discussing the BSA’s accomplishments and contributions over the past year. Their younger son, Matthew, is currently completing his Eagle Scout rank this Summer.
When I asked Norm what core values he hoped to impart on Boy Scouts, he replied, “I hope that through their experience in the Troop they develop the ability and confidence to be self-reliant, the ability to envision and chart their own course, that they always have ownership of the decisions that they make (for better or worse), that they are aware there are always opportunities to help others, and that leadership is selfless.”
Norm didn’t do all of this alone, the Dannemiller involvement in Scouts is a team effort. “We are a Scouting Family. Jackie has been involved in District, Council and National level roles. There are many Scouts across the nation and in our troop who consider her their ‘Scouting Mom’ for all the support and advice she has provided over the years.”
While Norm has stepped down as Scoutmaster, he will remain involved with Order of the Arrow (OA), as an Associate Lodge Advisor. “In 2019 our Council’s OA Lodge will be doing a large-scale conservation project across 2 national forests in Oregon called ArrowCorps 2019 and I am the advisor for that event. That should keep me out of trouble.”
I asked Norm what words of wisdom he might pass on to the new Scoutmaster and he replied with, “Patience. Leadership doesn’t happen overnight. The Scoutmaster’s job is to mentor, coach and enable. Secondly, mistakes happen along the way. If they’re not making mistakes, they’re probably not learning. When mistakes happen, take the time to review them and learn from them. Third, and most importantly, relish their success, whether it be a 20-mile hike, a District Camporee, a good troop meeting, or just a well tied knot.”
Norm Dannemiller’s devotion to the betterment of young, local boys has contributed in countless ways to make a difference to so many lives. Scouting experiences are remembered for a lifetime, so will Norm’s contribution to our youth.
Featuring Local Exceptionalism
A new column featuring local exceptionalism, highlighting individuals, groups or concepts that have had a positive effect in Tualatin. We welcome your nomination of deserving, exceptional people in the Tualatin community.
Please email your suggestions to Jonathan Crane at [email protected].