by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

A Scout’s Honor

volunteer_neill2Ben Neill’s connection to the Boy Scouts goes back a long way. Like his father, his two brothers and four cousins, Ben was a Boy Scout during his youth and earned the Eagle Scout award – the highest recognition in Boy Scouts. “My involvement in Scouting started as a family tradition,” recalled Ben, whose father still volunteers with the Boy Scouts in Kansas. “When my oldest son came home from school with a flyer about Cub Scouts, I let him decide if he wanted to join. When he joined, I was pleased, and it was natural that I volunteer to help the Scouts.”

Years later, Ben is still an avid volunteer for the Boy Scouts. “I am currently the Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 625 and have been in that position for the past two years,” said Ben. “Before being Scoutmaster, I was the Cubmaster for nine years at Cub Scout Pack 608 meeting at Midland Elementary School.” Ben has also been program director for the Lake Poway Cub Scout Day Camp for three years and was the Friends of Scouting family coordinator for the Black Mountain District of Boy Scouts for two years. “In 2012, I was honored to be awarded the Boy Scout’s Black Mountain District Award of Merit,” shared Ben.

Name: Ben Neill
Community: Poway
Volunteer Affiliation: Boy Scouts of America Troop 625
Profession: Water Resource Engineer
Family: Wife – Julie; Children – Peter and Liam
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, camping, signing, youth sports, Nebraska football

Ben and his wife of 21 years, Julie, met at the University of Nebraska and have been living in Poway for the past 13 years. “After moving to the San Diego area from Midwest America, Poway was nice because it maintains the same Midwest values and sense of community,” described Ben.  “I like the small town feel.”

Together, the couple has raised two sons, Peter (age 18 – a senior at Poway High School) and Liam (age 14 – an eighth grader at Twin Peaks Middle School). Both boys have followed in their father’s footsteps by participating in Boy Scouts. “Personally, my wife and I are very proud of raising our two sons and for their accomplishments in Scouts, school, and life,” shared Ben. “Peter has earned the Eagle Scout award, and Liam is just two merit badges away from earning Eagle Scout.”

volunteer_neill3When Ben isn’t busy volunteering for the Scouts, he can be found hiking, browsing the Old Poway Farmers Market, or enjoying music and food at the Company Pub or Mainstream Bar. “I also sing tenor in the choir at St. Gabriel Catholic Church,” he added.

As for his biggest accomplishment in volunteering for the Scouts, Ben said, “It’s seeing these young teenage boys grow up to be awesome well-rounded gentlemen and future leaders in our community.”

Name of Group: Boy Scouts of America Troop 625
Group’s Purpose: The boys in the troop came up with their own vision for the troop, which is to “work efficiently as a team and strive to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout while having fun and adventure on monthly campouts.”