Through her longtime commitment to Scouting, Sharon Watson has helped generations of youths learn to lead.
By Nathan Solheim
Sharon Watson is known as a top real estate agent in her hometown of Grants Pass, Ore., but her work with the Boy Scouts of America has probably earned her just as much recognition.
For the past 27 years and counting, Watson has volunteered for the Boy Scouts. She began when her oldest of four sons, now 35, joined Cub Scouts. She also served a stint with the Girl Scouts when her daughter was growing up.
Watson, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Ideal Brokers in Grants Pass, has gotten to know many community members and their children through scouting, and says a fair amount of her business comes from those contacts. She topped $7 million in sales volume last year and earned her way into the 100 Percent Club.
But her long-lasting commitment to the organization runs much deeper than business.
“Scouting encourages young men to develop leadership skills as they grow,” says Watson, a former Girl Scout whose father was an Eagle Scout. “A boy who advances through scouting has ample opportunity to take charge in planning projects and seeing them through. That’s one of scouting’s key benefits.”
One of Watson’s greatest contributions to scouting involves a “snow day” – but not the kind where kids play video games all day on an unexpected break from school.
Each year, Watson organizes Snowcapades – a daylong event at a Boy Scout Camp in Lake O’ the Woods, Ore. The day includes eight outdoor activities – including saucer riding, zip lining, snow shoeing and fire building – all coordinated by Watson and local Scouts.
Now in its 22nd year, Snowcapades started out as a single day, but now families can select time to participate over four weekends in January. Snowcapades attracts more than 1,800 people and is open to youths, adults and even Girl Scouts.
Although the annual event requires a huge effort, it’s worth it when Watson sees families spending time together.
“You have to have a hole in your head to be as old as I am and continue to do it,” Watson says with a laugh, “But it’s a pleasure to walk through camp and see all those happy faces.”
Kevin Patterson, CEO and Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts’ Crater Lake Council, calls the event Watson’s greatest legacy.
“Sharon’s tireless dedication to her community has impacted countless young men,” he says, “And her enthusiasm and dedication is an inspiration to all.”