Scoutmaster Award of Merit
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Sun, 19 Sep 1993 23:37:35 CDT
Olan Watkins <o.watkins@GENIE.GEIS.COM> writes:
>Mike, re the Scoutmaster Award of Merit that you were talking about, I
>sometimes think that it is the most prestigious and bestowes the most honor
>of any of the awards because it must be started by a boy. As a part of my
>job as a commissioner, I try to make people aware of this award and I have
>taken several SPLs aside and explained the award and the process of how it
>is awarded and how great a job I think their Scoutmaster is doing. However,
>over the past 5 years, I have only seen it awarded two times in the district
>that I am in. When you see some one with that award, you can pretty well bet
>that they must be a special kind of person that the SPL of the Troop took
>the time and trouble to make the first recommendation and start the ball
>rolling for them to receive the award.
Olan's right...the Scoutmasters' Award of Merit *is* quite special and
it is the way that National intended it to be.
The Scoutmasters' Award of Merit (what used to be called the NESA
Scoutmasters' Award of Merit) is a little under eight years old, but
is one of the "inside secrets" of many Scouters, particularily
District and Council-level Scouters. The award is not a whole lot,
and that adds to the "mystique" of the award. The BSA has attempted
to correct this by incorporating it into the Scoutmaster's Key Award
requirements, but many local Councils have REFUSED to recognize it's
existance except to say "this is something that you CAN earn, but you
don't HAVE to earn it..." (and Kathie, please don't ask me HOW can a
local Council say this....they can, do, have and will say this because
they don't want to put forth the effort in getting the materials and
promoting yet another National "award"...and you will find this out in
smaller, rural, and poorer Councils....)
So here are the requirements for the award, the BSA catalog number of
the certificate (which the local Council MUST send out for...Council
Services keeps a running total (no names, just running totals) of the
number of SMAM reciepients and tallies them by Region (another reason
why some local Councils won't participate fully in the program...if
they report 30 reciepients this year and 12 next, then the Area
Director comes and asks "what happened?" (and in professional
parlance, you *don't* want the Area Director to come except twice a
year!!), the catalog number of the award patch and the square knot
award. Also contained here are some hints on how to earn the award.
Shortly after the National Eagle Scout Assocation was established in
1972, it began to make available a NESA Scoutmaster Award. Since
then, the award was presented on a basis of one per BSA area [or 30
total] each year to a Scoutmaster who had a record of the proper use
of the Boy Scout advancement and a significant number of his Boy
Scouts attaining the Eagle Scout rank [in other words, Scoutmasters
that kept "cranking out the Eagles" ]. This award was discontinued on
Decemeber 31, 1987.
The President of the BSA has requested that NESA convert its award
into a Scoutmaster Award of Merit which coulde be earned by All
Scoutmasters. His rationale is that there is a need for recognizing a
man [or woman] relatively early in his [or her] work as a Scoutmaster
prior to his [/her] qualifying for the Scouters' Key Award.
The nominee need NOT be an Eagle Scout but must:
1. Be a currently registered Scoutmaster who has served in that
position for at least 18 months.
2. Have acheived the Quality Unit Award at least once during his [her]
period of service.
3. Have completed Boy Scout Leader Fast Start and Scoutmaster
Fundamentals or equivalent.
4. Have a record of proper use of the Boy Scout advancement program
resulting in a majority of his [her] Boy Scouts attaining the First
5. Have a record of:
Development of boy leadership through the Patrol Method
Positive relations with the Troop's chartered partner
An extensive outdoor program including strong summer camp
A positive image of Scouting in the community
A Troop operation which attracts and retains Boy Scouts
[ In other words, running the Scouting program as it's intended to be
run and operated -- a Troop composed of several Patrols that is led
by youth leaders; a Troop committee that is not on paper but is alive
and active and supports the Troop's youth and adult leaders; a planned
program which has been approved by the chartered partner and the Troop
Committee...and which is executed as much as possible with an emphasis
on outdoor activities and outdoor events; and a program which manages
to get kids in the doors, keeps them there for a while and meets
their needs. ]
The Chairperson of the Troop Committee has the responsibility of
nominating the Scoutmaster on behalf of the Patrol Leaders's Council
and the Troop Committee. The Senior Patrol Leader and the Troop
Committee chair both write statements supporting the fact that the
candidate Scoutmaster has met or exceeded the requirements listed
above and how those requirements were met or exceeded.
[at one time, the BSA requested copies of the Troop's program, the
Quality Unit worksheet and other items..those items are no longer
The nomination is certified by the Unit Commissioner and forwarded to
the local Council service center (the form is BSA #58-413. I've got a
copy and so does your Council office..if they won't give you a copy,
let me know next week and I'll mail you a copy!)
[Big ol' note here: ]
Approval authority lies with the Scout Executive and either the
Council NESA chairman or the Council Commissioner.
[The Scout Executive used to forward a listing of names of
Scoutmasters who are to receive the award to the National Eagle Scout
Association. Now, all they do at the end of each year is to submit a
tally number of awards requested so that a match-up can be made
between the number of awards that are made and National's numbers.]
The Scout Execuecutive will forward a copy of the nomination form the
Council Services Division at the National Office and at the end of
each year, submit a summary listing all nominations sent to the Council
Services Division over the previous year from that Council.
A full-color certificate (BSA #58-423) will be provided by Council
Services Division free of charge. A cost of $1.50 per certificate
will be charged for a certificate which has the recipient's name hand
lettered. Payment should accompany the order.
The Council Services Division will send the certificates to the Scout
Executive via pouch mail. A 3-week turnaround should be allowed if the
names of recipients are to be hand lettered on the certificates.
Those unlettered require a two-week turnaround time.
A full-color, 6-inch jacket patch (BSA #5004), is available through
the BSA Supply Division. Local Councils are encouraged to also
purchase at Council-level price, special red or blue windbreakers to
which the jacket patch will be attached as a special ordered item for
presentation. Those items require a six-week turnaround time. Order
from Council Services using BSA #58-422.
There is a square knot (white knot on tan) (BSA #5007A) for the field
The award may be presented at an approviate chartered organization or
unit function with acknowledgement at a District or Council event or a
District or Council recognition event.
I hope that I have added to the knowledge of many that wondered how
they too, can receive this award. I also hope that this will spur
us onward to talking about how to get Scoutmasters to implement the
elements of the requirements of this award into their program.
It *all* comes down to two short sentences:
You plan on having successful programs. (enthusiam)
Programming sucessfully requires planning how you will get
there. (planning and executing the plan)
Hope that I've help and Olan, thanks for the great intro!!
Mike L. Walton
Former Scoutmaster and holder of SM Award of Merit (1987)
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
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