From boy scout to policeman

Posted on 03 December 2014 by admin

Meramec Campus Police Officer Ed Ucinski serves as head adviser with the boy scouts

ed ucinskiBy: JASON JAMISON
Staff Writer

Ed Ucinski is an STLCC-Meramec police officer that spends his off-duty time as a Boy Scout and Explorers leader. He also works with the Venture crew, which is a part of the Boy Scouts.

“I am involved with the venturing crew as well as the Explorers, and have been for most of my adult life,” Ucinski said.

“The Boy Scouts wanted to do something for the older scouts because after a certain age, the kids start losing interest. Each venturing crew is a little bit different, and is open to females to expand the Scouts program.”

He said some crews focus on things such as high adventure and sports. His particular crew focuses on shooting sports like safe shooting and training with firearms. Ucinski said safe shooting is teaching the safety aspect of shooting.

They do not shoot at any targets that look like humans or animals. Instead, they shoot at paper targets.

He said responsibility is also a very important aspect of the firearms training and something he also teaches to the members of his crew.

“The program is designed to teach responsibility to the members on the proper use and handling of firearms,” Ucinski said.

Ucinski is the head advisor of Crew 2784 and they have five registered members to assist him, such as a Range Safety Officer.

The Venture crew allows him to pay forward what he was taught during his youth involvement with the Scouts.

“It gives me a chance to give back what I received when I was a youth member,” Ucinski said.

Ucinski was a youth member of the Boy Scouts and said he enjoyed the experience.

“I really enjoyed the outdoor activities such as weekend camping with friends,” Ucinski said.

“I never said that I set out to obtain Eagle Scout [Rank], that inspiration came later on.”

Ucinski’s involvement with the Scouts from his youth gave him passion and experience to become a Scout leader. He stayed with the Scouts until the age of 18 and then became an Assistant Scoutmaster.

The Explorers is another young adult program Ucinski is involved with. He said the Explorers gives teens a chance to learn about possible career paths that may interest them.

“There are a number of posts here in the Greater St. Louis area for interested parties to look into. Everything from health care to fire fighting services, EMT and law enforcement,” Ucinski said.

“It really works out well being involved because it gives me a chance to pass on law enforcement experience.”

Ucinski said his own Scout and Explorers leaders greatly influenced the way he mentors the youth but he also acknowledges his own personal leadership style.

“My former Scoutmaster, who I still keep in contact with today, was a former Marine Drill Instructor, and it showed,” Ucinski said. “I emulate his structure, but I also realize some people need different learning avenues.”

Ucinski said mentoring youth is not only enjoyable for him, but important to him as well.

“My parents were divorced and I lived with my mother, so Scouts and Explorers were a definite positive role model on me. You see these people come in as kids and watch them grow into young adults,” Ucinski said. “I didn’t set out to be this big Scout leader but watching the transition these kids go through from first grade to college, and seeing what they learn, its really rewarding. I recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference in a young person’s life.”

 

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