Wood Badge Course

Meet The Staff

Scott Bator 
Assistant Scoutmaster - Logistics 



Scott started in scouting as a youth with the Des Plaines Police Explorer post #142 and competed at three national competitions. When Scott became a father his son was recruited with a patch and the phrase "You want to earn more"... of course we started our Cub Scout journey. Within weeks Scott was asked to be the Popcorn Kernel and the hook was set. Soon Scott became the Tiger leader and each year took on more roles. Den leader, Cubmaster, Pinewood derby chair, camping coordinator and yes while still be active as the Kernel.

In 2014 Scott took his course C7-129-14 and had a BLAST. Scott is a Beaver, Building a Better Future. Scott was beaded at his son's cross over blue and gold dinner. Scott's son was the one to present his regalia. If it was not for his son, Scott would not have taken this wonderful journey call Wood Badge. Scott is currently a committee member with Troop 85, North Star Unit Commissioner and helps with various other training.

Looking forward to helping you take this wonderful journey thru this years Wood Badge course and seeing you on course C7-129-18 ! Go Beavers!

Cheri Blenniss 



Cheri is a Cubmaster Emeritus, P96 Webelos Den Leader, T96 Assistant Scoutmaster and NEIC Commit 2 Be Fit Coordinator bringing fitness merit badges and swimming rank advancement opportunities to the Council. She will also be the Scoutmaster for the 2018-2019 Okpik cold weather camping training course.

Cheri is from Kentucky and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Cytotechnology from the University of Louisville. She lives in Grayslake with her husband Darrell, of 21 years, and has four sons ages 17, 16, 14 and 10. Besides having a passion for Scouting and camping, she is also a certified Jazzercise instructor and is currently a Substitute Teacher for three school districts.

Cheri has been awarded the North Star District Chairman's Award, P627 Silver Acorn, North Star District Cubmaster of the Year, President's Award, North Star District Award of Merit and is Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow . This is her fifth Wood Badge Staff experience and is proud to be an Owl!

Angela Chien 
Troop Guide 



I am currently the Aptakisic Training chair, The NEIC Council special Needs Scouting Chair, and The Training chair for Troop 71. I have been active with the BSA for many years holding various positions at the Troop, Pack, and district level.

I have three sons who are all in scouting ages 16, 14, and 11. My oldest son Troy is a life Scout and starting to plan his Eagle Project. My husband Jeff is very active at the Troop Level and loves Scouting. We are a Scouting Family!!

I attended C7-129-15 and truly enjoyed my experience. I met so many wonderful people and learned so much about leadership. I am truly blessed to be on staff with such amazing people this year. Go Buffalo's!!!

Mike Dashnaw 
Troop Guide 



"The best Council training you can experience as an adult volunteer"....if you haven't seen the testimonials from other participants (general info tab) you should check it out!

Mike is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 32 out of Glenview and proud dad of a 1st Class Scout. Mike started out in Scouting after a Fun with Son weekend at Makajawan with Pack 154. Mike has served as an Asst. Cub Master and Committee Chair and had the opportunity to serve as ASM for Jamboree Troop 2345 in 2017 and has sights set on the World Jamboree in 2019.

Mike is has taken more training then he'd care to admit, loves to camp/canoe and seeing teams come together. This is Mike's 4th Wood Badge staff experience. Don't delay.....reserve your spot for this course today!

Dave Davies 
Troop Guide 



Dave comes from an active \Scouting family. His father was a Boy Scout in Wales UK, his son is an Eagle Scout and Vice Chief of the OA Lodge and he was a both a Cub Scout and Boy Scout in England. His wife, Alison, is a Council Executive Vice President.

Prior to emigrating to the USA in 2008 Dave was a UK police officer for 18 years in Kent Police where he was a Detective Inspector. Dave joined BSA with his son upon emigrating and served as a Den Leader and Asst. Cubmaster in Pack 72, District Camping Chair, Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster in Troop 72. Dave currently serves as the Aptakisic Chapter Advisor for the OA and is also an ASM in Troop 72 and Unit Commissioner for Pack 72.

This year Dave has been awarded the District Award of Merit and been 'called out' for Vigil Honor in the OA. He is excited that his will be his first year on Wood Badge staff.

Sabrina Even 
Troop Guide 



I am currently the Crew Advisor for Crew 92 in Antioch, IL and one of the Advisors for the North Star Ceremony Team. My daughter, Dana has earned the Silver Award and my son, Thomas is an Eagle Scout. I have been active with the BSA for 12 years holding various positions in the Pack, Troop and Crew.

I attended C7-129-15 and LOVED my experience. The skills, information and friendships are invaluable. Every youth deserves a trained leader - I truly believe it makes a difference in their experience. Many of the skills that I learned during Wood Badge, I have been able to apply to my day to day and especially in my work.

I really enjoy seeing these young people grow, have new experiences and become the leaders that an 'on point' scouting program will do whether they are aware and working at it or not. This training is worth the time and commitment to make a better you so you in turn can better serve the youth!

Chris Fardoux 
Assistant Scoutmaster - Program 



Chris is a Fox and took his practical at Indian Mound Scout Reservation (C-27-05); this is his sixth Wood Badge staff experience. He’d love to see you join us as a participant on course and be part of the fun and great learning!

Chris sincerely loves Scouting and especially his current position as Scoutmaster for Troop 150 in Deerfield; he has been in that role since 2005. He has also been an Assistant Scoutmaster, Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, and Provisional Scoutmaster at Camp MaKaJaWan. At the 2010, National Scout Jamboree, Chris was Scoutmaster for NEIC Jamboree Troop 1006. In 2013, he was Scoutmaster for troop A122 at the first Jamboree held at The Summit; Chris treasures those experiences as well as visiting with those Scouts at every occasion, especially when they achieve the Eagle rank. Chris has served as an Assistant District Commissioner for Roundtable for a number of years and enjoys working together with other Scouters. He first became a Scout as a Cub with Pack 6 in Wilmette and continued on to become an Eagle Scout in 1976 with Troop 6. Chris served in several Lodge and Chapter youth positions and was very active with the Order of the Arrow. He received the Vigil Honor in 1978 and was honored as Example in 2009. He also served on the Camp MaKaJaWan Aquatics staff and loves to be a part of “the best place in the world” whenever he can. Chris was honored with the District Award of Merit, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Col. Henry Crown Award, and the Silver Beaver.

Chris loves the outdoors, camping, cycling, music (especially live), tropical fish, gardening, anything to do with aquatics, and sharing Scouting with all. Chris and Evelyn live in Highland Park and are the proud parents of two children, Emily; 31, and Ethan; 26. He has worked in public transit for 36 years and currently serves as Division Manager for Pace North Division in Waukegan. See you at Gilwell!

Lee Haak 
Course Director & Scoutmaster 



Lee comes from an active Scouting family. He can usually be found volunteering with his wife Charolette. Many Scouting friends know that "when you invite one Haak you are likely to get two".

Lee has two sons, Chris and Alex, who both earned their Eagle Scout rank through Troop 194. All four family members are active in the OA and carry the Vigil Honor. Lee served as Scoutmaster for seven years in Troop 194,and continues to serve in Troop 194 as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Eagle mentor.

Currently Lee serves as the Chairman of the Properties Committee for the Northeast Illinois Council where he works with volunteers and professional staff to insure that the proper facilities are available to support the Scouting program in our Council. Lee is also the Lodge Service Advisor for Lodge 40 where he advises on the service projects chosen by the Lodge's Scouts. Lee will serve as Course Director for C7-129-18. This is his seventh Wood Badge Staff experience.

Dan Kublank 
Troop Guide 



Dan is an Eagle Scout (1983), Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow (1981) and served in several Lodge and Chapter positions as a youth including Chapter Chief for the Quekolis Chapter.

He currently volunteers as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 71 in Libertyville where his 16 year old son, Noah, is a Life Scout working toward his Eagle. This year he was awarded the District Award of Merit for the Aptakisic District. Dan is a past camper and staff member of Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan and still works alongside many other volunteers with the Wilderness Engineering Society to keep the camp in shape.

This is his fifth Wood Badge staff experience and is an Antelope from Wood Badge course C-03-10 so, "Enjoy the View!". Dan has served as a professional Firefighter / Paramedic since 1983 and is a 25 year veteran of the Waukegan Fire Department where he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant. As a side note, Wood Badge is more fun when you attend with a friend so bring one along and get ready for your mountain-top experience.

Burton Lowry 
Senior Patrol Leader 


Burt has been involved in Scouting since seeking belt loops as a Cub Scout. Boy Scouts was all about the next campout and talk amongst the adults regarding how dirty Burt would get. There was a short stint with an Explorer Post with the local police department and Burt finished his youth BSA career doing a lot of rappelling as a Varsity Scout. Having filled positions at many different levels, the most enjoyable for Burt are those involving being challenged by the youth to keep up with them (I can still hold my own).  

Currently Burt is serving as the Committee Chair for Troop 274. Burt is an Eagle Scout (that fact being in my resume has helped me obtain a job 2 separate times). His son, Lyle, recently earned the rank of Eagle and served on Cub Camp Staff at Oakarro. His older daughter, Janeal, has been involved with her Venture Crew, earning the Discovery Award, and was on staff at Oakarro & MaKaJaWan. Janeal served 3 years on OKPIK staff and is currently serving an 18 month church mission in San Diego (losing those cold weather camping skills). Burt's younger daughter, Alanna, in not the camper type, but still caught the scouting bug and is on Oakarro camp staff for her second year. Burt's wife, Kathie, is Burt's biggest fan and never complains about the time and money that goes into his BSA hobbies, and gladly takes care of the camp fire smelling clothes that come home. 

Burt's Wood Badge course was C-47-06 where he became a Bear and this is his fifth time on staff. This is Burt just talking now...As I am really just a big kid, I am really looking forward to serving as the SPL (Senior Patrol Leader). There are many great things I have learned through Wood Badge and I look forward to helping you learn some of those things. It is a time commitment, but you will not regret the decision. Come on out and let's learn some great life and leadership skills...and let's have a lot of fun while doing so. 

JoAnn Manders 



I grew up in a Scouting family in Chicago. I have one brother that earned the Life Rank & three brothers that are Eagle Scouts & Vigil OA members. My mother was a Den Mother & Boy Scout Committee member & my Father was a Scoutmaster, Silver Beaver recipient, Woodbadger & Vigil OA member. I was a Girl Scout but spent lots of time with the Boy Scouts.

I have many fond memories of Scouting activities & spent every summer vacation in the 70s & 80s at Owasippe's Family Camp. I was a Committee member with Pack 179 for 8 years & I am currently a Committee member with Troop 188 & Crew 185. I enjoy sharing my Scouting experiences with my husband Allan & my sons Tyler (Life) & Trevor (Second Class). I am an Eagle!

My Mother presented my Father's Woodbadge beads to me at my beading ceremony. I cried my eyes out but couldn't have been more honored! I am very much looking forward to a great Woodbadge course & appreciate the opportunity to serve on staff.

Morgan McDermott 
Troop Guide 



Morgan is a teacher, writer, and breeder of talking shih tzu-bichon frise mixes, one of which, on top of mocking Morgan for being a Bobwhite, recently mastered the word "no." Which sounded great, until he realized he owned a dog that can say "no."

Since staying for his son's very first scout meeting -thus making himself a prime target for recruitment- Morgan has become both an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 20 WInnetka and Advisor to Crew 20. He has taken far too much scouter training for a sensible person, and so spends his down time far, far away from scouting, helping his son Chancellor in his quest to earn all 137 merit badges.

Morgan is also staffing the 2018 Powder Horn course which will be offered to both Boy Scout youth and adults as well as Venture Crew participants from June 8th to the 10th at Camp Crown. He highly recommends Powder Horn, and plans to bring one of his talking dogs if the course is short of staff. Not the one that can say "no," however. That one has unfortunately already mastered the single most useful word in the scouter's vocabulary.

Bob Reinert 
Quartermaster "Cook" 



Bob joined scouting as a youth in Mt Prospect in Pack 154 or Northwest Suburban Council. As a youth he was a member of Pack 154 and later crossed over to scouting in Troop 117. While a member of troop 117 he earned Ad Altare Dei, Eagle Scout and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. As a member of the Order of the Arrow he was Lodge Chief and earned the Vigil Honor.

Bob was on staff for three years at Camp Napowan. While on staff he was boating director, archery instructor and camp commissioner. Bob's son Joe joined scouting as a cub scout in pack 273 and went on to earn the rank of Eagle scout. While his son was a member of pack and troop 273, Bob was a Den Leader, Webelos Leader, Cub Master, Committee Chair and been on staff for OKPIK. Bob's daughter was very active in Girl scouts and earned the silver award.

He took Wood Badge in 2004 (C-48-04) and his critter is Fox. He has served on Wood Badge as support staff 2 years and Staff 2 years running the kitchen and looking forward to serving on staff again this year. Currently Bob is an ASM with troop 273 and serves on the District Advancement Committee. Bob has also served as a Unit Commissioner, Co-chaired Aptakisic Klondike and attended Philmont twice with his son Joe.

Delvin (Rick) Ryan


Rick completed his practical at Indian Mound Scout Reservation (C-27-05) and is a Fox. This is his sixth Wood Badge staff experience. He was a troop guide for C7-129-11-01, ASM Program for C7-129-12, Scribe for C7-129-13 and ASM Quartermaster for C7-129-14, and Scoutmaster for C7-129-15.

Rick started in Cub Scouting and earned Eagle rank in 1978. He has been involved as an adult since his oldest son became a Tiger in 1998, serving as Den Leader, Cubmaster, Pack and Troop committee member, and most recently as Troop committee chair.


He serves as the Council Advancement Chair, on the District Activities Committee, has been awarded the Silver Beaver, the District Award of Merit and holds the Vigil honor in the Order of the Arrow. Rick has three sons, all Eagle Scouts who have been on Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan staff and are active in the OA

Scott Smith 
Assistant Scoutmaster - Troop Guides 



Scott comes from a scouting family now with three generations of Eagle Scouts, six in total incl. his father (1939), two brothers and two sons. He earned his Eagle rank in 1972 while with T515 in Corralitos, CA, part of the Monterey Bay Area Council. Ask him about White Stag.

He left California in 1979 when hired by American Airlines as a Flight Attendant where he is still employed. While at AA Scott has instructed both initial and recurrent training for Flight Attendants. Scott is currently an ASM with T273 in Vernon Hills and serves on the Aptakisic District Committee.

He holds the Vigil Honor in the OA and has been awarded the Silver Beaver. In addition to Wood Badge, he has served on staff for both OKPIK and NYLT. Scott is no stranger to high adventure serving as adult advisor on five Philmont treks and has also been to Florida Sea Base and Summit Bechtel Reserve. Scott attended Wood Badge course C-18-09 and this is his fifth time on staff. He is an Eagle!!

Steve Strand 
Troop Guide 



Steve started in Scouting when his oldest son became a Webelos Scout in 1984. He moved on to Boy Scouts with both his boys to Troop 73 in Grayslake in 1987. Mike and Jamie are both Eagle Scouts. Steve was Scoutmaster of the Troop for over 10 years and is currently an ASM with emphasis on Training.

Steve is currently the Council Boy Scout Training Chairman, OKPIK Course Director, and heads up the Council Pioneering Kit Training. He has been awarded the Scouter's Key, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver, Scoutmaster of the Year, National Scoutmaster's Award of Merit, and holds the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. He was recently awarded the Lamb Award through St. Mark Lutheran Church for service to youth in his church, Boy Scouts and community. He has staffed the past three National Jamborees on the Pioneering Team and has applied for Pioneering Staff for the World Jamboree in 2019. Steve has a degree in Advertising Art from Iowa State University and spent 39 years in advertising for various companies.

He is semi-retired and currently doing home improvement projects for people. He is married to Nancy, they have their two sons, plus two daughters, Michelle and Karissa. They also have eight grandchildren. This is Steve's forth Wood Badge Staff experience. He is a proud Eagle from C-07-98 and even prouder Eagle from C-18-09.

Bob Willegal 



A stampeding Buffalo from C7-129-14, this is my first staff experience. Beaded by my father, also a Buffalo, at the packs's Blue and Gold in 2015. I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity to take part in delivering this top notch training experience to more leaders in NEIC.

My youth scouting experience includes earning Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout, Brotherhood OA member, Brownsea (NYLT) Staff / SPL, 1994 NOAC Staff, and Lodge 40 Vice Chief as a youth. Became an adult scouter when my oldest (now 12 and Second Class) started Tiger Cubs and quickly became the Tiger Den Leader and subsequently the Cubmaster. Now in my fifth year of Cubmastering and starting over with my younger son in Tigers at Antioch P191 I am also an Asst Scoutmaster for Antioch T190, a member of the North Star District Camping committee, and a two time OKPIK staff member.

Professionally I have been in various IT roles for twenty years currently serving as a Service Management Process Lead for AbbVie focused on IT Governance/Risk/Compliance, Security Incident Response, Vendor Risk, and Vulnerability Response processes. Looking forward to being back at Gilwell!

Doug Wilson 
Troop Guide 



Doug earned his Eagle rank in 1982 while with T516 in Centerville, OH. Doug's son Reid is a life scout working towards Eagle and seems to be ready to be course director for Wood Badge. He was just in my office discussing the communications and team building activities he is planning for tonight's High Adventure PSR Trek Meeting.

Doug is a Computer Engineer and for the past 25 years has been married to Troop 150's current Troop Committee Chair, his amazing wife Jennifer. He is also the proud father of two smart and beautiful young women at Uof I and OSU. He has been running his own software development company in Evanston for almost 20 years. Doug is currently an ASM with T150 in Deerfield. He is a Brotherhood member of the OA. His BSA training includes Wilderness First Aid and is also OKPIK trained.

Doug enjoys camping to a level that doesn't quite seem natural, and he has been leading the high adventure program at T150, with a Boundary Waters Trek in 2017, a Philmont Trek this year, and an Alaska trek planned for 2019! Doug attended Wood Badge course C-129-15 and this is his first time on staff. He is, of course, a Fox.






Course Staff
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