Dick Haas (affectionately known as “The Ancient One” or “TAO” to many throughout NCAC) and his son Mike have over 132 years of continuous BSA Scouting experience between them. They are also the only father/son team actively Staffing an NCAC Wood Badge training Course: a reflection of their unified and lifelong commitment to teaching other Scouters leadership skills to benefit all Scouts and Scouting Families.
TAO was a Scoutmaster for 15 years in New York State, and served as an Assistant Scoutmaster and in numerous BSA training and service positions that impacted hundreds of young men’s lives over multiple decades from the 1960s into the early 2000s. He remains an active Scouter in Stafford, VA, continuing to train and mentor adults in Scouting leadership skills. A World War II Navy veteran, TAO earned lifesaving awards for actions in 1964, rescuing 2 fellow passengers from a bus that crashed into the East River (they were the only 3 survivors). A 1966 Silver Beaver recipient and Scoutmaster of the Year in 1970 in Greater New York Council, in 1976 TAO created a Scouting junior leader training course in New York that trained hundreds of Scouts across almost three decades. Upon moving to Virginia, he energized a similar youth-led leadership training conference which has been running in Aquia District since 2007 thanks to his vision and initiative. Friends and loved ones chipped-in to honor TAO with a brick which was placed on the Camp Snyder dining facility flag patio in 2013 to commemorate his 76th anniversary of BSA service.
The elder 92-year old Haas, who lives with his wife of over 62 years, Rita, in Falls Run in southern Stafford, is a Life Scout who has been in Scouting for 82 years. TAO shook the hand of Scouting’s Founder, Lord Baden-Powell, while a member of BSA’s Scout contingent at the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens, NY. He earned his Wood Badge Beads in 1964, attending Wood Badge training at Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey, and was his sons’ (Mike and Alan) first Scoutmaster in Troop 712 in Manhattan, NY. His son Mike, also a Life Scout, retired from the Marine Corps in 2004, and lives with his wife of over 36 years, Lisa, in northern Stafford. Mike earned his Wood Badge Beads in 2006 and has had the privilege of Staffing multiple Wood Badge Courses.
So, when Mike was honored with selection as one of two Wood Badge Course Directors for 2019, a year which celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the original Wood Badge Course organized and led by Lord Baden-Powell at Gilwell Park in England, it’s no mystery that Mike chose his Dad to be one of his Course Mentors. Mike’s other Mentor is John Peloquin, a former NCAC Wood Badge Course Director. Mike and John both started their Scouting Trails together in Troop 26 (“26 Kicks!”) in Stafford with first John and then Mike taking the hand-off from John as Scoutmaster through the mid-2000s.
Any Scouter who will be fully trained in their BSA registered position by the first day of a Wood Badge training Course is eligible to register for the course. NCAC will be offering two 100th Anniversary Wood Badge Courses in 2019. To become the best trained adult Leader you can be for your Scouts and their Scouting Families, please visit: https://www.ncacbsa.org/training/wood-badge/ Register today. Your Scouts deserve it!