The adult leaders of White Stag Sierra are all volunteers. Some attended the program as a child, and some have children attending the program today. Some of their children are in college but they love the impact White Stag has on youth! Out adult leaders have a combined total of over 300 years of service to the organization. Why do they keep coming back? Read on.
Larry Challis, Association President
Larry grew up in Carmel, California and first attended White Stag in 1965 at age 13 at Camp Pico Blanco. He later became a member of the youth staff. As an adult, he moved to the Sacramento region where he founded a mortgage brokerage.
When his sons became Scouts, he learned that White Stag was still operational on the Central Coast. Larry served on the White Stag Academy’s adult staff in Monterey for four years and his sons later joined the youth staff. In 2014, Larry was asked by the leaders of the White Stag Association in northern California to become the Program Director of White Stag Sierra, where he has continually served since. Larry is an active member of his community, serving in the Kiwanis, church, and troop leadership positions.
Mark Weyland, Program Director
Mark first attended White Stag in 1980 as a candidate in Phase 1 Patrol Member Development. He was preceded by his two older brothers who had also been candidates and served on youth staff. He attended all three phases and in 1983 was selected to serve on Phase 1 youth staff. His leadership skills were quickly recognized and in his first year on staff he was given the Silver Stag award for his outstanding contributions to the program. He then served on Phase 2 and then Phase 3 youth staff in 1985 and 1986-89.
After receiving his Eagle rank and graduating from high school, Mark worked as an adult staff member on Phase 3 for two years. Mark attended Saint Mary’s College and graduated with a BA in English. He spent five years in Japan teaching conversational English and ESL at a technical university before opening Pegasus English school with a Japanese partner.
When he returned to the United States, he attended graduate school in English Literature. In 1998 he founded JA Design and Construction, Inc which he is the president and CEO. When he married and his son became old enough to attend White Stag, he sought out the program and became active again. He served on the staff of White Stag Monterey from 2011 to 2016. He joined White Stag Sierra as leader of Phase 3 Troop Leadership Development in 2017.
Mark says, “White Stag is a leadership program that no matter whether you are teaching or managing a construction business, the lessons of the program are equally useful. I would not be where I am today without the experiences of White Stag.”