It is almost impossible to phantom the the transition Robert Nakagawa went through after arriving on the Delmarva Peninsula to become the senior Boy Scouts executive for its Del-Mar-Va Council less than six months ago.
A lifetime scout who had spent most of his adult life in his native Hawaii, Robert has transitioned from running the Boy Scouts of America South Pacific program, which included Micronesia, American Sonoma, Republic of Palau, and the Marshall Islands, to one of the smallest Councils in North America. In moving to East Coast with his wife and four children, he wanted to provide his family with the experience of diversity while also challenging himself by wanting to double the Council’s 5,000 scouts within several years.
While Robert’s family has embraced this change of lifestyle, he also began his new job just as the COVID-19 crisis was emerging. With schools closed, and social distancing restrictions in place, the world of scouting, like many other organizations, came to an almost complete halt this spring.
And adding to that challenge was the Boy Scouts of America attempting to bounce back from bankruptcy court after a decade or more of lawsuits related to child endangerment.
Nonetheless, Robert has not lost is faith and enthusiasm for the institution of scouting. In his Spy interview, he talks candidly about his organization’s mistakes in the past but also an exciting and progressive rebirth with the inclusion of girls, and a timely mission to educate young people about the importance of diversity and citizenship.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the DEL-MAR-VA Council’s work on the Eastern Shore please go here.