May 5, 2021

Honoring the Work of the Scouting Leaders Who Came Before Him


For Captain David Pickering, the appeal of being in the Boy Scouts (a program now called Scouts BSA) was developing friendship and fellowship with youth and adults who believed in the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. This environment helped Capt. Pickering develop self-confidence, and a desire to become a Scout leader, passing along these important ideals to the next generation.

Capt. Pickering was a long-time resident of Rehoboth, a Scout in Troop 13 Rehoboth and eventually a leader with Troop 13. For his decades of volunteering service to Scouting, Capt. Pickering was recently honored with the Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America’s highest volunteer award, the Silver Beaver. Since 1936, the Narragansett Council has given out awards to leaders and volunteers who demonstrate commitment to excellent service to youth within the Council. Capt. Pickering was honored in a virtual ceremony in February.

Capt. Pickering wasn't just a Scout leader, but his childhood memories are filled with Scouting adventures. His earliest memory of Scouting is as a Cub Scout with Pack 1 Rehoboth in 1963. He was the annual Pinewood Derby First Place Winner, earning a mention in the Providence Journal.

After becoming a member of Troop 13 Rehoboth in 1965, Capt. Pickering began noticing the special influence his Scout leaders had on his development as a young adult. Capt. Pickering’s Cubmaster and later Scoutmaster Joe DeRoche, Asst. Scoutmasters Andrew Colp and Lonnie Newman created a special Scouting experience for him. These three volunteers helped guide Capt. Pickering to the pinnacle of Scouting - earning the Eagle Scout rank in 1972.

After graduating from University of New Hampshire in 1976 with a degree in Forestry and Recreation, Capt. Pickering’s mission became to honor the work that DeRoche, Colp and Newman did for him. Immediately after graduation, he jumped in as the Scoutmaster for Troop 56 in Plymouth, New Hampshire, ready to inspire youth.

In 1980, Capt. Pickering returned home to Rehoboth and became Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 13 where he volunteered for three years. During these years, he helped numerous young men earn their Eagle Scout rank. One of Capt. Pickering’s fondest memories of working with Troop 13 was leading Scouts on an overnight winter climb up Mt. Washington to 6,288 feet, and camping at Hermit Lake Shelters.

Since the 1990’s, Capt. Pickering has been using the power of the ocean to change Scouts’ lives for the better. Capt. Pickering developed and implemented Sailing Charter Groups for one and two week sailing adventures to the islands of the Eastern Caribbean from the US Virgin Islands including the Windward and Leeward Islands to Grenada and South America and French Polynesia’s Society Islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine and Taha’a.

In 2002, Capt. Pickering earned his “captain” title by becoming a Licensed U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer. This accomplishment helped him better serve Scouts while out on the water.

In 2014, Capt. Pickering founded S.A.L.T.Y. (Seamanship and Leadership Training for Youths) – a non-profit organization teaching Scouts, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Gold Star Teens and other youth organizations about seamanship and leadership skills on week long sailing trips on Narragansett Bay. The crowning volunteer experience for Capt. Pickering while running S.A.L.T.Y was leading Sea Scout Ship 1909 scouts and adult leaders on a one-week sailing adventure on the open sea onboard the 295’ U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle.

These unique experiences that Capt. Pickering offered to hundreds of Scouts over his long career of volunteering made him perfectly suited to be honored with the Silver Beaver Award by the Narragansett Council in 2021. Capt. Pickering is proud of the Scouts who have used his lessons taught on the water to pursue further education in marine fields or pursue careers in the U.S Coast Guard.

Capt. Pickering believes that beyond the excitement and friendship building of the Scouting program, there are true lessons that can be applied for higher education and professional success.

Today, Capt. Pickering is retired, however still very active with Narragansett Council and living with his wife Leann on Greenwich Bay in Rhode Island.


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