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District & Council Recognition Awards

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I was recently added to the nominating committee for my district. I attended the first meeting Friday and the subject is district recognition awards for Scouters.


These fall into the following categories:


District Extra Mile Award


District Service Award


District Award of Merit


Silver Beaver Award



Usually people are first nominated for the District Extra Mile award and then can receive further awards over the years to recognize continuing high quality service.


Some people do not desire this kind of recognition, and their wishes are respected.


A lot of people do appreciate having their efforts recognized, and I was impressed by the efforts of the committee to look for deserving people to nominate.


We had six district leaders attend the nominating committee meeting, and additional meetings will be held each week for the next month. So it's a process that is taken seriously.


As a new member of the committee, I could suggest the names of people I'm familiar with who would merit recognition. I submitted two of those names, and one of those people had another name she suggested for recognition as well. Adding another person to the committee can help extend the web of recognition to new people.


I'm contacting those people to let them know that their efforts are appreciated and that they are being considered for recognition. We have a detailed Scouting history form that inventories their personal history including their activities as Scouters, training and so on. So I am asking them to fill out that form which will be used in making awards by the committee.


The district invites each Scout Troop and Cub Pack to nominate one or more unit volunteers each year to receive a unit "Extra Mile" award, and of course units can make additional awards as well if they wish to do so.


Personally, I decided that it was NICE to be recognized by my Scouter peers. My own experience with those positive feelings leads me to take the recognition system seriously and work to provide that kind of recognition for volunteers who are beginning their service as Scouters.


Yes, there are those who don't much care for awards for adults, and those who don't want such recognition wont be burdened with it. But it's a small tool to encourage people to contribute to Scouting, and it's also a way to be FRIENDLY, COURTEOUS and KIND, I suggest.

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The only problem with your scenario is that in most councils the ones who get those last two awards at least are the ones who contributed the MOST money to the council that year. The person gets a tax writeoff why do you need to give them a uniform knot???? A small plaque or certificate should be all the recognition they really need. A uniform knot IMO is inappropriate because it was BOUGHT for writing a check, not earned for working with the youth.

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Financial contributions don't appear to be considered at all in my district for awarding the District Award of Merit or Silver Beaver.


I was asked to get our information form filled out, which doesn't ask about contributions. I suppose someone might produce a list of FOS contributors, but no one has and I don't get the impression that's an issue.


Our district has been reliably making it's FOS goal for years.

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While I am a regular FOS contributor, my donations are modest, compared to Council board members or other Council leaders. I doubt they were any part of the reason I received the DaM or Silver Beaver. Nor has holding those awards led to more pressure to contribute, although I do keep getting asked to sit on more committees and task forces!

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I also have to disagree with BadenP. In our council, FOS contributions aren't what's considered for the DAM or SB. What's looked at is the overall contribution to Scouting by the person.


The people who receive those awards in our council receive them because they deserved them, because they work their tails off to staff programs, training, and serve the boys.


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"I also have to disagree with BadenP. In our council, FOS contributions aren't what's considered for the DAM or SB. What's looked at is the overall contribution to Scouting by the person."


Ditto for my council.


We have a lot of hardworking, dedicated scouters who AREN'T 'money people' get DAM and SB each year.



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Same here on FOS not counting. In 10 years of scouting, I think we made one small FOS contribution back around 2003. Since then, I've staffed 4 Wood Badge courses, been an ASM for 2 Jamborees, sit on the 2013 Jamboree committee, been the OA Chapter Adviser for 3 years, will be a Lodge Associate Adviser this coming year, received the Vigil Honor, am the backup CD for the summer NYLT course and the CD for the fall course. I received the DAM. I assume the council and district views the time I "spend" the same way I do, more valuable than money.


I've always viewed FOS as something for those parents who aren't involved to provide support.

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You guys obviously aren't from most councils. BadenP says you're clearly in the minority, because these awards are purchased. I guess you and I are totally in the dark, because my council's the same ... where money has absolutely nothing to do with selections.


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Who has been involved with their district nominating committee and what criteria did you use in evaluating people for district recognition?


Or what kind of criteria do you think should be used?


What emphasis should be placed on recognizing contributions to district and council programs, as opposed to unit (pack or troop) program?


How much credibility does district recognition have as far as being suitable and fair?


Who cares about such things?

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You really are a small pitiful little man. Throw your insults they don't bother me.


In my council for the last 15+ years the Silver Beaver has always gone to one of the larger contributors to the council, without exception. My friends in other councils have expressed similiar concerns. I am glad this is not the case in some other councils. My council is almost totally money oriented with little regard to program or camps.

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As I have learned, every council is different, and different leadership within a council gets different results.


I've seen high dollar FOS contributors get SB, with the DAM going more to folks in the field. This was under 1 SE and DFS I knew. Same council but under a different SE and DFS you are seeing folks who are mored involved in the field than FOS. One guy I know is a high dollar FOS donor, and has been an ASM with the same troop, and active too, for almost 30 years now.

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Show me a big enough check and I might nominate someone for an award.


It's just that in my very short tenure with the nominating committee no one has shown me a check or mentioned that they've seen one in the past.


Bill Gates received the Silver Antelope (I think it was) award a couple of years ago. I think he was a First Class Scout and I don't know that he's ever held a Scouting position.


But he DID have a WELL ATTENDED Hundred thousand dollar a plate awards dinner when he received it.


Frankly, I don't begrudge that.


In our council, each district nominates people for the Silver Beaver, plus the council makes some nominees as well. The council recognition committee then decides who will get the Beaver from among those nominated.


Each district gets one or sometimes two Beaver from people in their district. The council typically gets a couple of Beavers.


Last year one of the Beavers was the Council VP for Membership who I work for and who was a good candidate for that honor. I don't recall who the other person was.


Our district sends the last year Beaver recipients to the council meeting that decides who will receive the honor the next year. I was told that the council has to fight pretty hard to get their nominees recognized.


Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

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I have served on the selection Committees of both the DAM and the SB.


The forms for these awards are made available to any and everyone who wishes to nominate who ever they might like.

The selection committee for the District award is made up of people from the District.

Each year we present two DAM.

Where possible last years recipients sit on the committee, along with the District Commissioner, District Chairman and the District Training Chair.

The meeting doesn't as a rule take that long. - About an hour tops!

The District Award is for service to the District.

I've sat on this committee when the only thing that people have looked at are those who have ran things like Day Camp, Camporee and that sort of thing. While there have been years where the committee has said that people who have served units above and beyond should be the people who are recognized.

What always surprises me is how few nominating we receive.

After sitting on both committees I've had people ask why so and so wasn't recognized and when I say that no one nominated him or her, you can almost see the light bulb click on.

The selection Committee for the SB has reps from all the Districts, A rep from the Executive Board (Normally a vice president and a chair that is appointed by the Council president.

The Certificate for the Silver Beaver reads:

"For Distinguished Service To Youth".

Again as I just said the lack of nominations always seems odd to me.

The Silver Beaver is the highest award that a Council can award.

There have been times when a person who isn't that active in Scouting but has donated a great deal of money time and time again has got the award.

The problem lies with the fact that the money has been given to the Council.

Unless there is a way and if there is I don't know of it to donate to a Region the person will never get the Silver Antelope and if the money isn't going to the National coffers he will never get a Buffalo.

But by donating he has given Distinguished Service To Youth.

The same can be said about people who serve on the Board, just because they are not serving at the unit or District level doesn't mean that they are not serving the youth in the Council. Also some of these people sit on other boards that work for youth, the Silver Beaver makes no mention of services to Scouts or Scouting, just youth.

The District doesn't tell who got the award.

The Council does just to ensure that that person will attend the Council Recognition dinner.

So far I've not been invited to sit on the selection committee for the Antelope and as far as I can guess I only know two people who have.



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My father got the District Award of Merit and Silver Beaver and I am pretty sure he never contributed anything (or at least nothing noteworthy) to the council in terms of money. That was about 30 years ago, but I don't think the emphasis on money in the BSA was any different back then. I remember my father complaining about it when I was a Scout.


There are three people active in my troop now who have the Silver Beaver, and I don't know them as well as I knew my father, but I doubt they have contributed anything significant either. In money, that is. Time, energy, dedication, etc., yes, but not money.

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Hmmm. Thanks to the discussion here, I'm considering the following:



Asking the District Executive who contributed the largest amount to the district Friends of Scouting Campaign and nominating them for a District Extra Mile Award.


Nominating the Scout in the district who sold the most popcorn for a District Extra Mile Award. I happen to know this boy sold $5300 in popcorn last year and won 1st place in the council sales contest. This year he sold $9500 in popcorn and won second place in the council contest.


He also was a presenter at our District popcorn sale roundtable describing his sales methods.




Comments?(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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