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District & Council Recognition Awards

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SP: about the scout and his popcorn sales, eh.


1. The awards you are describing are all ADULT awards so it would be odd to give these awards to youth, who already have their own award program.

2. Was it really the boy who sold the product, or was it his parents who pushed it on colleagues at work? If the former, that's great, but if the latter, I don't see that as being worthy of adult awards. There is nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't the boy's effort. And many boys are also hard-working but not lucky to have parents with jobs where that's an option. So if it is the latter case then I wonder if you are really rewarding what you think you are rewarding (the scout's personal effort).

3. Do you want to make the poor scout sit through an evening of adult awards ceremonies? The poor kid might die of boredom!


Just my thoughts: keep the adult awards and the youth awards separate.



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I've had the honor of chairing both the DAM and SB Committees. There is absolutely no discussion of monetary issues for either award. Zero. At the Council level, the SB Committee has two representatives from each District and two from the Board. Once in a blue moon the SB Committee receives an application for someone who appeared to be a large contributor. However, unless the person was known to a majority of representatives from the Districts (through their good work for Scouting), they don't have a chance of being recognized with the SB award.

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The Cub Scout who sold the popcorn sold it in a partnership with his father. Mostly they went door to door together.


While the district recognition awards in question traditionally go to adults, I don't see any reason why a worthy Cub Scout mightn't earn one.


I'm brand new to the district nominations committee that evaluates such things, so I'm trying to think outside the box about people who might deserve recognition.


And I'm only one of six or eight people on the committee.


So far, you haven't convinced me that he isn't deserving of recognition. It would certainly be unusual to recognize a Cub Scout. I'm looking for additional opinions....(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Ignoring the usual opening childish insults, BadenP writes:


The good news is that his comments demonstrate that he's clearly not from my council. I'll take a step out on this one, and assume he's being somewhat truthful ... it's too bad that money speaks louder than the actual requirements for the award. Monetary contributions to support Scouting are a good and important part of our movement. It does, however, have nothing to do with any of the clearly stated requirements for the DAM or the Silver Beaver. I won't argue that it doesn't happen, but not where I hang my hat.



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I am a past recipient of the DAM and Silver Beaver, and I also have a current "streak" if you could call it that of nominating 4 individuals for the Silver Beaver. In the Council I serve nominations for the Silver Beaver close on Sept 1 for the Council Dinner in January. Anyone can nominate Scouters and I have successfully nominated 4 people in a row. (one for the past 4 years) I usually make a minimal donation


After I received the Silver Beaver I was looking across the room and saw some people who had not been so recognized and I felt cheap, knew I had to get them one before I could wear mine. So, I got started. The forms are available from the COuncil WEbsite and FOS is not mentioned. But other places could be different, we have all seen that


In the District I serve I have been on the DAM selection committee for about 6 years now, never has FOS ever been brought up and I am not sure we could get our hands on it if we wanted. As far as I know, no professional has ever told us we had to give a DAM to someone, for any reason.


But, all scouting is local and just because we experience something does not mean all of scouting is done that way

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Never heard of anyone asking for FOS reports when it comes to these awards.

The Silver Beaver that was awarded to the business person in the Council I'm with was for his several donations of over $250,000.

I wasn't on the selection committee that year. So I didn't get involved.

Some people thought it was wrong, while others thought it was just the way things go.

Still I think that the fact that he has never made or taken the time to be presented with the award speaks volumes. Maybe he just doesn't want the award and never did? Maybe the selection committee felt it was a nice thing that was kinda expected?

I have never heard of a committee being formed to nominate candidates, normally all the volunteers are given the opportunity to nominate whoever they want.

I agree that these awards are adult awards and really should not be awarded to youth members.


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One more thought on FOS being a factor......which it appears is not the case for the majority of us. I have to believe that where this happens, it is because of professional staff interjecting themselves into the process wanting to butter up large contributors. What possible motivation would their be for field volunteers to recognize monetary contributors over people who have given their time and talent to the youth. That isn't to say that folks who give money shouldn't be recognized, just not with the SB or DAM.


Professionals need to be careful in their decision making and how they treat volunteers. We had a $10M capital campaign. We were at $9M and struggling to get the last $1M. A local individual who owns a large energy company made the final donation to put us over the top. The SE and board (non-field scouters who know nothing of council customs and traditions) decided it would be a grand idea to rename the councils original and oldest property after this individual. They could have used part of the money to build the new swimming pool needed at the camp and call it the So and So Aquatic Center, but no, they had to rename the whole camp. It ticked a lot of people off who had 3rd and 4th generation children attending camp there. But it seemed a good way to honor the man who made such a generous gift. Right or wrong, there are ways to honor the money folks without giving them recognitions for field volunteers. Any pro staff that insists on it needs to meet with heavy resistence.

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"So far, you haven't convinced me that he isn't deserving of recognition. It would certainly be unusual to recognize a Cub Scout. I'm looking for additional opinions...."


Seattle, Of COURSE the cub scout deserves recognition. We have youth recognitions a-plenty, use those. Giving him an adult award at an adult ceremony is not the way to recognize the cub scout. The power of recognition comes from being recognized by one's peers and immediate circle or community, not by a bunch of random strangers at some adult award event.


Honestly, a typical 7 year old is going to be bored out of his gourd at some adult award banquet; might even be an incentive for him to sell LESS in the future!


Also: you would set a precedent; will every top seller, every year, be recognized in this manner? If not, why not? What would make this boy different?


From the adult side of things, imagine being an adult receiving this award. How will the adult feel, receiving the same recognition as a 7 year old? Will it diminish or change the experience for the other adult recipients? Would it, over time, lead to the need to create some other category of award that is "for adults" in order to replace this award?


I'm not diminishing the scout's (and parent's) accomplishment, but we need to think about the purpose behind each award. Recognitions only have value in so far as it is reasonably clear what they are symbolic of. If you start to play too much with that symbolism, the award may lose meaning and become an empty gesture, or even an insult to some recipients.(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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My district had a two hour meeting last week attended by six or more top district leaders to begin evaluating district recognition awards. A meeting a week for an additional four weeks is planned to finish that process.


All the people on the committee except the chair have the Beaver. As I understand it, Beaver recipients are pretty much permanently invited to be on the committee.


That last meeting was my first meeting with the committee, so I'm just learning what's going on.


I'm especially interested in identifying people to be considered for awards who may have been overlooked in the past. Earlier I'd promoted our Cub Scout Day Camp Director and a leading Cubmaster who was our Popcorn Kernel last year (and the father of the Cub who sold $9500 in popcorn), and they are being considered.


I e-mailed the day camp leader and asked if she had other volunteers on her staff she would like to see recognized. She had three, and we'll be adding those to our list.


Initial awards are likely to be of the District Extra Mile Award. Continued valued contributions are likely to result in further and higher awards in subsequent years.


So one question I have is... what other volunteers tend to be overlooked who might reasonably be recognized?




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I am inclined to ask our District Executive who made the largest Friends of Scouting donation in the district. I would consider recognizing that person with a District Extra Mile award, especially if they have other volunteer credits at the unit level.


If that person made continuing large FOS contributions, especially if it were combined with other volunteer activities, I might consider supporting additional recognition.


The need for money is a fact of life in Scouting. My council is LUCKY to remain well financed, and I don't take that for granted. Recognizing people who support Scouting financially seems quite reasonable to me.


I don't think they should dominate adult recognition, neither should their financial contributions be ignored when considering recognition.


Any comments on that as an idea?



(I want to thank Baden P for noting such recognition, even if overdone in his own council).



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Recognizing people who donate is nice, provided that they're comfortable with being publicly recognized. I've known a few folks who are happy to give but would HATE the public recognition, and I've read more stories here along those same lines. So it depends a bit on the people involved.


But again, I'm not sure that recognition of service should be the same as recognition of financial contribution. For my part, I would prefer to see separate ways of recognizing these. Otherwise, as BadenP complains, the meaning of an award becomes clouded. Imagine earning the Silver Beaver in BadenP's district - if what he writes is true, and there's a strong element of resentment by rank-and-file volunteers who can't afford to donate their way to recognition, then as a recipient you'd probably always be on the defensive about that award. That diminishes the value of the award in the eyes of recipients and the community. Far better to have a recognition that is clearly tied to financial donations, and leave the service recognitions separate.


Since you're talking about FOS donors, wouldn't a West award be appropriate for that?



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"But again, I'm not sure that recognition of service should be the same as recognition of financial contribution."


And this is why the BSA created a whole line of awards for just this thing.


You have the James West award, 1910 Society, and Founder Circle. With the 1910 and FC, you wear an extra pin on the West knot.


West is for giving $1000 to the endowment.


The 1910 Society has 4 levels:


* Ernest Thompson Seton, $25,000 minimum gift.

* Daniel Carter Beard, $100,000 minimum gift.

* Theodore Roosevelt, $500,000 minimum gift.

* Waite Phillips, $1,000,000 and up.


Founder's Circle has 4 levels. Its for giving deferred gifts intended for the council's endowment.


* Bronze $100,000 minimum gift commitment

* Silver $250,000 minimum gift commitment

* Gold $500,000 minimum gift commitment

* Platinum $1,000,000 minimum gift commitment



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You are correct about the awards but all of these that you mention go into an endowment and some of the larger amounts do not have to be in cash. Someone could buy an life insurance policy, naming a Council as the beneficiary and qualify for the award.

There are ways of taking a tax advantage by deferring donations of stocks and bonds and qualifying for these awards.

As far as I'm aware there isn't any award that is available for a person who donates money or goods to a Council that doesn't go into endowment.

As it is now someone could donate a very large amount toward FOS, where the funds don't go into endowment and there is no real BSA recognition.

This happens a lot when Councils have a capital campaign and is sometimes the reason why buildings and the like are named after people.

James E. West Awards are fine and dandy but ask any SE and I'll bet he'd rather have the $1,000 as a straight donation and not have it all tied up.


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Eamonn: "As it is now someone could donate a very large amount toward FOS, where the funds don't go into endowment and there is no real BSA recognition."


Well in our council, big FOS donations earn you a coffee mug and custom council strip! ;)

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