Last night I was presented the Silver Beaver Award by the Nevada Area Council Boy Scouts of America. It is the highest award given to volunteers by the local Council for their service. We attended an awards dinner where seven individuals were presented the award for the year. My friend Don Dixon introduced me. I have given a little thought to my years of scouting and here is a summary.
I ave been an adult Boy Scout leader for 27 years. I have been a Scoutmaster, Committe Chairman, Explorer Leader (twice), Eleven year old Scout leader, District Varsity Scout Chairman, District Varsity Roundtable Chairman, Wood Badge Staff member (seven years), Wood Badge Course Director 2007, Assistant Course Director for the 2008 National Youth Leadership Training course, and at the moment I'm a merit badge counselor.
During my various assignments with the scouts I have worked with around 20 young men as they finished their Eagle Scouts.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time on activities with the boys. I've been to seven summer camps. I've helped to lead five 50 miler trips; three in the Sierras, one in the Moniter Range in Central Nevada and an 85 miler at Philmont Scout reservation in New Mexico. I've helped to lead two trips down the Colorado River in house boats and a week long trip aboard an 85 foot onvnverted 1929 Coast Guard cutter in the San Juan Islands. I've led three trips down the Virgin River Narrows and three Varsity/Explorer high adventure trips to Utah, Monterey, and Calaveras Big Trees State Park. There's been lots of hiking and camping in between the big trips. Right now most of my scouting time is limited to merit badge work and helping to present the Wood Badgers finish their tickets.
As a young man I wanted to be a forest ranger, but then I learned that they spent most of their time picking up trash, made very little money, and every other kid of the 70s want to be one. In college I changed my mind about being a forest ranger and thought that being a wildlife biologist would be more interesting. Unfortunately or maybe it is fortunate that I was no good at chemistry, physic, and biology. This did not boad well for an aspiring wildlife biologist. While on my mission I decided that people were actually OK and I liked leadership and organizations. On going into Finance and Business after my mission I decided I could satisfy my love for the outdoors through Scouting. Looking back the last 28 years, I feel that I have done many things out doors that I probably would not have done on my own. Some of my best friends as adults are those that have been on these scout outings.