Mark Griffin is leaving after 11 years as executive scout for the Boy Scouts of America's Blue Mountain Council in Kennewick to take a new job.
But Griffin, who has worked for Boy Scouts of America for 31 years, isn't leaving Scouting. He's going to be the new team leader for volunteer development for the BSA National Council in Irving, Texas.
"It was with extreme mixed emotions that I accepted this new job," Griffin said. "But it's something I'm really excited about and at my age, 53, it feels good to get excited again."
Longtime scouting volunteer Mary Ann Price of Kennewick has closely worked with Griffin since he came to the Blue Mountain Council. She said she is sorry to see him go because "he brings a passion and energy to anything he does from working with the Boy Scouts to his community work. He's a super guy."
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Griffin said he had no plans to leave the Tri-Cities or the Blue Mountain Council.
"As I've told many, many people, it would take a lot to get me to leave the Tri-Cities," he said.
But that was before the chief scout executive called from Texas a few days before Christmas and offered him the job.
As team leader, he will be working with volunteers and staff to design and develop training programs for adults and older youths.
"It was exciting, there was no interview. He just said the position is yours if you want it," Griffin said.
After a quick visit to Texas, he accepted the position.
"This is one of those dream jobs," he said. "To be able to influence scouting across the country, to make a difference in people's lives, wow. This job is one of those where you can really make a difference in the lives of a lot of kids."
Griffin began his career with the Boy Scouts more than three decades ago in Florida.
After 13 years, he transferred to Texas for a few years, then went to northern New Mexico before being recruited for the executive scout position for the Blue Mountain Council.
Ted Woodlock, assistant scout executive, said Griffin "has been great to work with. He's a great leader and great motivator. He's someone you want to work for."
"I'm thrilled for him," Price said. "What he'll be doing for the Boy Scouts is something that will benefit our council too. We'll see fruit of his work, even if indirectly."
The search for Griffin's replacement is under way. The BSA's national headquarters will recommend several candidates to the Blue Mountain Council's board, and they will offer the position to one by Feb. 16.
"The Boy Scouts always promote from within, not within the council, but nationally," Griffin said.
Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; email@example.com