Jump to content

Silver Beaver and similar awards

Recommended Posts

We seem to have a lot of comments that indicate someone "earning" their Silver Beaver, or District Award of Merit, and so on. These awards are not ones you can simply decide to earn. Yes, you can be involved and get your name in the limelight, and even a few may actually campaign for these; but they are awarded on merit for the most part.


We all know some that seem left out, that perhaps "should have" been recognized by now. Still, you seldom see them complain, as they seem to grasp that while it is an honor, it is not what they are there for. And, even though we can say it is not fair, sometimes the SB or AoM are given to people for political or financial reasons.


For years, those that seemed to have sort have "bought" an one of these recognitions, really irked me. But, the real scouters understand the difference. And sometimes the financial or "special access" deserve these special recognitions, due to their major importance within a council.


Whenever I feel annoyed now about these sort of things, I simply try to remember that "my" focus should still be on my troop first, and that the best scouters' awards are the smiles of scouts when they succeed somehow, and, if you are fortunate, a scout from 30+ years ago saying hello and thank you on Facebook, or directly.



Link to post
Share on other sites

A few months ago Microsoft's Bill Gates was awarded the Silver Beaver or Silver Buffalo recognizing his achievements.


He was a Cub Scout for awhile, but not an AOL high achiever!


He was given this award at a notably well attended $10,000/plate dinner benefitting the council and BSA I expect.


I was glad to see that happen and to recognize a Cub Scout who was a world famous achiever as an adult!(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I believe that Bill Gates was a Boy Scout, and earned the rank of Life Scout. Presumably, he didn't make Eagle because he was wasting all of his time tinkering with some newfangled "computer" out in the garage. :)


If someone spends a lot of time serving youth, I doubt if their motivation in doing so is to get a small medal.


Similarly, if someone gets out the checkbook and writes a large check to the BSA, I doubt if some little medal is part of their motivation. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that Bill Gates had never even heard of the "Silver Beaver" award until after he had written whatever check he wrote.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since it was my comment that spun this thread off I'll comment on what I meant when I said "earned" for the Silver Beaver. No, you can't "earn" the Silver Beaver by checking off a list of requirements, but you can "earn" the Silver Beaver by being selfless in your dedication. I "earned" mine for about 10 years worth of work; leading troops, OA advising, organizing and running district camporees. At some point someone takes notice and submits your name for it.


In my opinion, the level of effort and accomplishment needs to be large to be choosen for the "Highest Honor" the Council can bestow on a an adult scouter. In the Chief Seattle Council where I cut my teeth at the adult level this was about one, maybe two scouters a year per district. That's why I was a bit shocked to see 6+ scouters in my new district in Idaho getting the award. Did these scouters "earn" it? I have no idea since I'm new here. I hope so. Otherwise it "cheapens" the award. Honor means a lot to me and was drummed into me through Scouting. I wear a number of knots on my uniform that are hard "earned", but every one of them was also a labor of love.


There are a number of things in Scouting that I would change if I had the chance. One of the biggest is the "Adult Glorifing" that I often see. We are there for the boys and that is why I have come back after 20 years now that my grandson will be a scout in September. I left because of the adults. The boys were always great....their parents.....


It does no good to complain about things from the outside. All I can do is work hard, set the bar high and lead by example and hope it changes Scouting for the better.



Link to post
Share on other sites


From the Silver Beaver Award Nomination form at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/92-103.pdf:


"(f) Each duly chartered local council shall be entitled

to one nomination. Councils having more than 60 traditional

units shall be entitled to further nominations on

the basis of one for each additional 60 traditional units

or fraction thereof in their territory, as of December 31

preceding the nomination, according to the records of

the national office.

(g) Councils not using their full allotment in any year

may accumulate the unused portion for use in any subsequent





6 nominations from one district in one year seems over the top, unless they've been saving up and haven't awarded any in several years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill Gates was awarded the Silver Buffalo. Not all Silver Buffalo recipients are recognized for their service to Scouting. This is a summary of the criteria:

"Created in 1925, the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth is awarded to those persons who give noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth. This award is Scouting's highest commendation of the invaluable contributions that outstanding Americans make to youth. The service must be national in scope and can be independent of, or directly through, the Boy Scouts of America."


Some of recent recipients include Tommy Dortch, former president of 100 Black Men



Jeff Gordon, the NASCAR driver



Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the good thing about the Silver Beaver is that with a quota, the council is forced to decide who their best candidates are. The council can't just say "Everyone is working hard, so they all deserve the medal." It's true that some years might have stronger candidates than other years, but it's hard to make it easy to get. You get one award for every sixty units.


If a council gave out six Silver Beavers, that means that they had at least 301 units. Someone decided that out of all of those units and all the nominations, those were the six best Scouters.


Unless you have evidence to the contrary (judging was rigged, or only one criteria was used, or something), I'd go with the assumption that these Scouters must be pretty good to qualify for the award.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You never know who will get the SB, unless you put in the nomination. We had a guy who has been working in the trenches since BEFORE he became a leader, in that he was promoting Scouting to potential COs trying to get units started. After that he is a volunteer with several of the units he helped start. THEN he works summer camp, but instead of a salary, he wants kids to go to camp from his units instead. Needless to say he's in it for the right reasons.


BUT for some people, he's a major PITA as he is a by the book player, doesn't mind speaking his mind and telling folks they are wrong, willing to try new ideas when other say it won't work, etc, etc. His only purpose is for the kids, and if it's in their best interest, or will work for them, he's their most vociferous proponent. Also when he is wrong, which I admit is rare, he will admit it.


Well he got the SB. Were some upset yep, but did he deserve it, absolutely.


Another SB receipient was the ASM who's been active 20+ years. he's been in and serving in the trenches. Nobody would expect him b/c he's a worker in the trenches, serving the boys. But someone put in a nomination and he got it.


Key is if you think someone is worthy submit the nomination.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In our district the SB is all about bootlickers and a..kissers. Yes there is a check list for earning a silver beaver.


FOS presenter

Camporee Chair

District committee

District Eagle board

presenter at Roundtable

butt kissery

Card holding member of the good old boys Club.



No use for it......


I understand there are people who deserve it.....not in my neck of the woods.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I confused by this "Silver Beaver" award of which you speak. Are you referring to the blue and white Good Ol' Boy knot?


BD and I must be in the same council.


Our council has interpreted this being a "council level" award to mean that only service directly to the council is considered. So that means all the muckety-mucks (outgoing council presidents and commissioners are a lock) and program committees. Unit-serving volunteers aren't eligible, unless they do double-duty on with the OA or camping committee.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that I have posted this before.


Back when I was a District Commissioner. One year I was really pushing for one of the U/C's to get the SB.

The fellow was a super nice fellow, who had given a lifetime to and for Scouting. Always involved in Cub Scouting.

That year our District Chairman was on the selection committee.

I called him at home after the meeting of the selection committee and asked if my guy had got it?

He said that he had done his best but just couldn't get the committee to see things.

I went into one of my long rants, which I'm sometimes known for. At times I wasn't very kind about the people on the selection committee.

When I finally took a breath I asked what idiot had been selected?

I was shocked and dumbfounded when he informed me that I'd got it!

I still believe that the U/C was more worthy than me and the following year when I sat on the selection committee I managed to push his Beaver through.

Sadly he is no longer with us, but his SB was in his casket.

Looking at the list that was provided:

FOS presenter

Camporee Chair

District committee

District Eagle board

presenter at Round-table.

I sit guilty as charged.

As for " butt kissery "

I'll get back to you on that one.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...