Ldr Recog. Handout
Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Mon, 18 Oct 1993 10:02:22 -0800
Ldr Recog. Handout
Dear friends...First, thank you very much for all your contributions. I've
compiled from numerous sources a collection of leader recognition items, and
spent the last weekend creating most of these and found them very easy and
inexpensive to do. I'm enclosing a copy of the handout I'm giving out at
my presentation for your benefit. Jon, if you would like this in a file
format tell me how you'd like it submitted. It is currently created in
Microsoft Word for Mac.
Thank you again for all your assistance...
Please note: The following is a Very Long Message. You've now been warned!
Instant recognition is an important part of the Scouting program, and can be
used to recognize Scouts, Scouters, and family members for their
contributions. They awards may be humorous or serious. Whichever the case,
make sure to present them in the proper setting with appropriate "ceremony".
Here are some recognition's ideas that can be presented in one or more ways:
Medallion: Thread an object on a string, rope, cord, or piece of gimp and
hang around the recipient's neck. Decorate with metallic stickers, sharpie
markers (which work on metal), etc.
Special Medallion: Use a large nail to punch holes around the entire edge of
a metal canning lid. Thread yarn or gimp decoratively through the holes.
Mount object(s) or paint directly on lid; suspend completed medallion from
ribbon or gimp. Round or specially shaped pieces of leather also make nice
(1) Mount item on a small stained or painted board, Styrofoam meat tray,
plastic lid, or other flat object.
(2) use plaster of Paris in a mold; spray or hand-paint the finished figure
and use "as is" or glue onto a base. A pull-top ring inserted into the
plaster before it hardens will make a suitable hanger.
Medal: Attach a safety pin to the back of a folded ribbon and suspend the
object from the ribbon.
(1) Mount the object on a block of wood, painted tin can, etc.
(2) Recycle old sports trophies (check garages sales) by adding a new
"topper" to the base.
Warrant or Certificate: Attach small flat objects or stickers to a
License: Attach small photos or stickers to a 3x5 card made into a mock
Ribbon: Attach small objects to ribbon streamers, or attach ribbon streamers
to larger objects, or use permanent marker or embroidery pen to write message
(1) Use a saw to make "wood cookie" slices from a good-sized limb. Hammer
a wood staple into the back. Sand smooth, apply varnish, and hot glue on the
appropriate item. Can also be decorated with wood burning, rubber stamps,
permanent markers, et. These slides are fun to make, durable, and very
(2) Use plaster of paris and small "candy molds". The hardened plaster can
be painted but is fragile.
(3) Use hot glue and small "candy molds". Work quickly to squirt the glue
into the mold and add a wire loop or wood staple before it hardens. These
modls are almost indestructible.
Handshake: A simple handshake with a meaningful thank-you can never be
overused and is very much appreciated.
Humorous and Fun Awards
Silver or Gold Spoon Award: For the person who really "digs in" to help!
Spray paint a plastic or wood spoon.
Whisk Award: For the person who whisks away problems.
Use a miniature whisk broom.
Top Banana: For the person in charge.
(1) Dole or Chiquita banana stickers, or
(2) a plastic toy banana.
Nuts and Bolts Award: For the person who can put it all together.
Glue nuts and bolts onto a plaque.
Attendance Award: Can be used as an incentive to boys and adults.
Attach beads or other items to a cord or thong. This can be worn from one
meeting to the next and more beads accumulated over time. Can also be
adapted for a den or patrol flag.
The Sponge Award: Given to new leaders to help them "soak up" ideas.
Punch a hole in a small piece of clean sponge. Thread onto string or gimp.
OR Attach to certificate!
A Big Kiss:
Mount Hershey's kiss on trophy, etc.
Helping Hand Award: for the person who gave you one.
Use a rubber glove, inflated or otherwise!
Write On! Award:
Pencil with ribbon pennant attached to top.
Lollipop Award: can be given to (1) the person who can't be licked, or (2)
the big sucker.
Glue a small lollipop to a base, stand a "stick" lollipop into a pre drilled
hole in a wood base, or suspend a lolli with a rope loop handle from a
First Aid Award: For someone who demonstrated good first aid skills,
completed a course, etc.
(1) wooden tongue depressor, suitably "engraved", with hole drilled through
(2) band-aid, possibly spray-painted and mounted.
Order of the Golden Peanut: A very special award, reserved for those truly
outstanding jobs. Can become a time-honored tradition in your unity.
Spray paint a peanut, drill a tiny hole through it, suspend from a ribbon
and present formally!
"I have a Headache and it's THIIIIIIS Big!" Award: For someone that got a
difficult job done.
A packet of aspirin or Tylenol on a plaque or tie slide.
YDG Award: Ya Done Good!
Letters Cut from vinyl, leather, or cardboard and mounted!
Smoky the Bear Award: For the person who can "put out fires"
Mount a small sticker or picture of Smoky, or a small fireman's hat.
Great Cook Award:
Use a miniature wooden spoon, or a set of tin measuring spoons, or some
other small kitchen item.
Winter Activity Award: For the cold camp survivor.
Small mitten(s) cut from fur or nappy fabric.
Rain Activity Award: For the person who makes it through a soggy hike or
Cut a miniature poncho out of colored vinyl or clear plastic. Can be used
to adorn a tie slide, plaque, etc. Could also be used to 'dress' a miniature
person made from an old-fashioned clothespin.
Fire Starter Award: For the person who can get a fire going, no matter what.
Use wood 'Strike Anywhere' matches to adorn the award item. A simple
'medal' of a notary public seal on cardboard with an attached ribbon could be
adorned with 'crossed matches'. A wood cookie tie slide with a single match
and the inscription 'ONE MATCH FIRE' could be a badge of honor for a Boy
Hooked on Fishing Award: For your favorite fisherman.
Hot-glue a fishing hook (dull the point first) onto a wood-cookie tie slide
or plaque. Wood burn "Hooked on Fishing!"
Trashcan Man or Woman: For the person who gathers up the most litter on a
Wad up small bits of paper, foil, etc. and glue to a plaque or wood cookie
Cone Award: For the person who can 'lick' any job.
Mount an ice cream cone on a base.
Cubby (like a "Emmy" or "Oscar")
Glue or mount a Cub Scout or Wolf head on a base or certificate. Plaster
molds make great trophies. Combine this with a ceremony: "the envelope
please.... and the winner is....."
Tiger Tail: For your Tiger Cub Coordinator or Coach
Issue them a gimp or cord necklace and add orange/black beads or "doodle"
items for each activity. Add a piece of round leather with the year stamped,
burned or painted on it, to signify the year they were the Tiger Cub Leader.
Good Egg Award: For the leader who is a 'good egg' or doesn't crack up under
(1) Spray paint a Legg's egg with gold paint:
(2) Make a 'fried eggs' from salt dough or self-hardening clay, painted
Box of Cheers! For the Cubmaster or Trainer who loves sparklers.
Use an empty Cheer concentrated detergent box with the lid still attached.
Reinforce the edges with colored plastic tape. Fill box with applause's and
stunts on folded cards. The Cubmaster can "reach into his box of Cheer" and
pull one out as needed. It will also be big enough to hold Sparklers books,
Keys to Success: For the leader who is a key to your success.
Use old keys, or cut some out of spray painted cardboard.
Measuring Up: For someone whose performance set the standard.
A Six-Inch ruler or wooden paint stirring stick marker in inches.
Our Eyes are on You! For the person who sets a great example.
Glue 'googly eyes' to a ribbon, medallion, tie slide, or medal!
The Round 'TUIT': For the person who never quite gets around to it.
Decorate a wood circle or the lid from a Cool whip or similar container with
the words, 'A Round TUIT'.
Class A Award: For the person whose efforts are 'Class A' all the way!
Cut the letter A out of Leather, vinyl, fabric, cardboard, etc.
Fund Raiser: For your outstanding money maker.
Use play money or foil-covered chocolate coins.
The Big R Tie Slide: For the Scout who shows responsibility.
Wood burn a large 'R' onto a wood cookie tie slide. Also makes a good
Order of the Bear: For anyone who does a 'Beary Good Job'.
Use any type of bear, bear paw, etc.
Helpful Paw: For the person who 'lent a paw'.
se a rubber stamp or hand-drawn pay print, or cut bits of fur or fabric
into paw shapes.
Friend of 383 Award (substitute your own unit numbers): A special award to
recognize outstanding service to the unit. Could go to a Scout, Scouter, or
Prepare any sort of advancement item with the unit numerals emblazoned upon
it. Have the unit leader present the award with great ceremony!
'Nuts About You!' Award: For the person who you're nuts about, OR to the
person who was NUTS enough to take on a certain job.
Attach nuts to a plaque or tie slide or string unshelled nuts on a thong.
Bonafide Award: For someone who deserves recognition.
Spray painted dog bone, marrow bone, etc.
Life Saver Award: For the person who saved you from whatever.
Mount lifesavers on a plaque or trophy.
Telephone Award: For the person who is always there when you call for help!
A plaque in the shape of the phone or with a toy phone attatched.
Keeps Things Going Award: For the person who helps keep things going and on
Small toy car or A pinewood derby car with thank you written on it attached
to a plaque.
Uniform Award: For a perfectly uniformed Scout or Scouter, or for a uniform
Use an old-fashioned clothespin as a miniature figure. Use ink pens to add
a head, facial features, and a uniform. Drill a hole through its head and
string on gimp. Can be used as a 'medallion' or a hanger for the den or
Hole in the Head Award: For the Scouter who takes on his umpteenth job...
Use a clothespin to make a figure similar to the one in 'Uniform Award' but
only add hair and facial features (no costume).
Cheermaster Award: For the person who loves to lead cheers and stunts.
Fold heavy paper or light cardboard into a megaphone. Spray paint, add a
'handle' and you're set! This could be a miniature version to put on a
trophy or plaque, or a full-sized model, suitably 'engraved'.
Extra marbles Award: For the person who's always losing theirs.
One or more marbles can be used to decorate an item. You may want to use a
whole bag for the person who really has a problem!
Silver Pencil Award: For your Pack's Secretary or Advancement Chair.
Take some silver spray paint, a pencil sharpened, some glue and a wooden
board painted or varnished. Spray the pencil on a piece of paper all over
and wait until it's dry. Then take the pencil and glue it to the board. Then
go out and get an engraving plate and get it engraved with the name of the
Jack W. Weinmann, Winding Rivers District Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner,
"I give Tandy leather conchos (the ones with a scalloped edge) to all
first-timers at our Roundtable. They are stamped with the universal Cub
Scout stamp and made into a necklace with plastic lacing. Everytime a leader
comes to Roundtable they are given a pony bead of the color chosen for the
year. When they have attended 4 Roundtables, they are also given a clear
faceted (sp?) bead. Upon perfect attendance they are given a certificate
"Perfect Attendance Award" and a gold faceted bead to string on their
"First-timers also get a small plastic bandaid dispenser that I had my company
donate. There's a sticker that I made up with the Cub Scout Logo and the
words "Winding Rivers District Cub Scout Roundtable" "First Aid For Leaders"
"Donated by C.E.I." that goes on the dispenser. We then have them state
their name, pack, and position in the pack and after that we sing "We're Glad
To See You Here" to them."
"Finally, this year I have instituted giving each staff member a Raspberry
faceted bead for their necklace that indicates that they were on staff for
Alan Wolfson, Assistant District Commissioner, Arrowhead District, Daniel
Webster Council shares:
"Up here in New Hampshire, we're really fond of giving Teddy Bears as tokens
of appreciation. You could spend big bucks on Vermont Teddy Bears (which are
_REALLY_ nice bears), but we typically go to the local toy store and buy a
generic bear. The bears are customized with neckerchiefs and/or caps, etc.
to be appropriate for whatever we are thanking the leader for. For example,
I was given a bear with a Den Chief patch on its neckerchief for running our
District's Den Chief Training. If the leader has attended Wood Badge, you
could substitute the appropriate animal for their Den or Patrol, but good
luck finding stuffed Bob White's!"
Don Izard, troop committee chairman, POLARIS District, Greater Niagara
Frontier Council, Buffalo NY, shares:
"WAY BACK in years that I was Pack Committee chairman, at the annual Blue and
Gold dinner, I would have a stack of PRE-made certificates complete with gold
seals etc. Sometimes we bought them from BSA catalogues, or some times
"resource" people made them on PC's etc."
"ANYWAY, at the BLUE and GOLD dinner, I started with the CUB master, and DEN
LEADERS & coaches. Then I had them move back a bit, Then I called the rest
of the committee, by name, plus anyone that helped on an event such as the
B&G chairman etc. I had a supply of blanks in case I missed anyone. After I
had all the leadership (parents) standing in front of the CUBS, I asked the
BOYS to THANK the leaders and parents for helping to MAKE the PACK GO for the
past year (a CHEER of course!) I also presented a thank you pin! I
asked/challenged any parents left seated to help for next year. I also
emphasized that since we had such a LARGE group of parents that did help, NO
ONE had a very large job to do."
"It worked for US, and that pack has over 100 cubs this year!"
Chris Haggerty, District Member at Large, Cochise District, Catalina Council,
Sierra Vista, AZ
"Some years ago I was District Activities Chairman and one of the
co-chairman for the district dinner was the wife of "MR. SCOUTING". This guy
had been District Chairman, commissioner, etc.... many times. His house was
full of scouting things and one big room he had build on to the back of his
house was full of scouting things. Knowing what their house was like there
was no way I going to give her something scouting to say thank you. They
already had all the plaques many times over."
"I had my wife paint something for her. My wife decided to paint something
she thought she would like (it ended up being a still of flowers). Certainly
not official BSA or even scouting related. When I presented her with the
painting at the District dinner, her reaction caught me off guard. She was
so excited about the painting that I almost did not get a chance to show the
dinner attendees. Clearly she was not interested in getting more of the SAME
scouting things she and her husband already had a house full of."
"Scouting items for thanks and recognition are great for the new scouters,
but if you need to say thanks to an old timer who already has three or four
plaques, use your imagination and get him/her something different, something
they will appreciate, instead of throwing in a box somewhere. After all,
you are trying to get the point across that you appreciate their efforts."
Ken Zwaschka, Cubmaster, Big Thunder District, Cascade Pacific Council
"We don't have any big ceremonies, but our pack gives all new leaders their
leader badge (Committee Member, Den Leader, etc.) at the Pack Meeting. I
also announce the leaders who have completed training."
"At Big Thunder Roundtable, all first time attendees are asked to come up to
the front, get introduced, and are given a Big Thunder Lightening Pin."
Bob Ontjes, Council Advancement Chair, Wauhawk District, Hawkeye Area Council
(Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
"One that I gave some years ago, the Golden Broom award. I took a twig (small
branch) about 8 in long and 1/4 in in diameter and attached some broom straws
(so it looked like a witches broom), sprayed it with gold paint and attached
it to a piece of wood. It was presented at a Court of Honor to one of the
older scouts who had
had a good time on a troop campout. A nice kid that had managed to avoid
many of the less desirable details during the outing, but had grabbed a broom
during the cleanup (we had used a shelter) and worked until everything was
This was presented with a detailed, embellished and highly dramatic
recitation of how when there were dishes to do he was nowhere to be found,
etc., but when it was time to finally clean up he was there. Needless to say
his father wasn't very happy, but the scout was ecstatic. He kept the award
and it was prominently displayed at his later Eagle Court of Honor."
"Warning: a GAG award of this type can backfire, and after the reaction of
the father, I'm not sure I'd do it again. But under other scenarios (not as
a GAG award) can be very effective."
Tom Richardson, Scoutmaster, Troop 700, Swamp Fox District, Coastal Carolina
Council, Summerville SC
"Abstract: when possible, recognize two people simultaneously and have the
one know about the other's but be totally ignorant of his own . . . make him
buy into the other's award and he will be there to receive his own and be
"NOTE: I am aware that IR (institutional representative) is an "obsolete
term" and the contemporary term is "chartered organization
representative"(?); it is just that this fellow would probable respond with
the former if you asked him his position and then follow up with "no, they
changed it, I think its . . "
"In spring 1991, my troop committee and church (= charter org) recognized me
and the "institutional representative" with the Presbyterian God and Service
"Meaningful? yes, it was not a recognition I expected to receive -- I wear
the knot with pride and break out the medal & ribbon for special occasions.
A surprise? most definitely -- I will sketch out how they did it and submit
this for your consideration . . . "
"The committee approached me early on to tell me that they wanted to
recognize the IR and that there was some information they needed and might I
have it buried away someplace? This appears to have been when my wife was
able to identify where I had some of my records . . . so she could peruse
them at her leisure for the information needed for the application on my
behalf. I suspect that Penn was approached in the same time frame with a
"The process went onwards, I was informed that Penn's recognition had been
approved and that the ceremony was going to be on a certain Sunday, etc., and
that we should have a "special Scout Sunday" for this."
"I promoted this at the troop meeting prior during SM minute . . . "this
individual has done a lot for us . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah" etc., the
IR attends the occasional committee meeting and fills in when needed on a
Board of Review but most definitely is not around on a weekly basis so the
Scouts really don't know him . . ."
"The Sunday for the recognition also happened to be OA fellowship weekend, so
many of us came back in late Saturday night to be ready for first service
(the one that we, Penn and myself and our spouses, usually attend)"
"The bulletin said something to the effect of "special scouting recognition".
The pastor began by stating that there were two individuals who were to be
recognized with a special award . . . this didn't register with me, my
recollection is that I guessed that either the Girl Scout or Cub Scout programs
might also be doing something . . ."
"Then, of course, the pastor called my name and read the citation . . . and
while I did not totally come apart, I was most definitely surprised; I know
Penn was, especially since he was just becoming eligible for "volunteer's
recognition's" . . . former professional Scouters (reached retirement age,
not "was retired") have a "waiting period"
"The hardest part of the operation was at the next troop meeting . . . I
managed to convince the young fellows that I had not been promoting myself in
the previous weeks' comments . . . and the SPL then said something to the
effect that many of them (my PLC!) knew what was going to happen and their
problem had been to keep it under wraps!"
Mike Walton, Greenwood, Kentucky
"One of my most memorable appreciation items I've received ever was a piece
of wood, painted white and red with blue letters "Thank you" on one side and
"Troop 343" on the other. I was at summer camp in 1980 at Camp Covered
Bridge and was serving as Provisional Scoutmaster to two combined Troops from
Indiana, Troops 3 and 43. So we made up the provisional Troop number Troop
343 for the week. I guess that I made a great impression on them, because on
the Thursday evening after the dinner in the mess hall, the Scouts presented
me with this award."
"But more than that, are the vocal "thanks" from Scouts that make it to Eagle
that I've helped along the way and from Explorers that receive the
Achievement Award that I've served as their Advisor. Those and the personal
letters of thanks written in longhand by them I've kept and when things get
tough and I don't think that I want to stay in Scouting....I read a couple of
those . . and think "no way...I'm staying!"
Rick Clements, Cubmaster, Tuality District, Cascade Pacific Council shares:
"Leader recognition can be done almost any time. We often use awards that
have been made for the occasion, but not always. The award can be some thing
that is made or bought, but it should fit the occasion. I think it the
presentation that makes the award more than the award its self."
"Last year, when our Cubmaster retired, he was presented the a plaque that
said "Thank you". One by one people came up and added hats to it. (The hats
had half a Styrofoam ball and was fasten on putty. The putty was replace by
glue later.) Each hat represented a hat he wore in our Pack. We started
with involved parent and finished with Cubmaster."
"We made an exception to our home made tradition for the organizer of Day
Camp. She had to get registration in and coordinate leaders and car pools.
An artist made a T shirt for the camp. It showed the suspension bridge and
was very nice. It seamed perfect for the occasion."
"At Webelos Woods, the KYBO lacked privacy in the site our pack had. Two of
the leaders improved the privacy with a couple blue tarps. The women who
were there presented them with the "blue door award". They were two plaques
shape like a KYBO with blue material for a door."
Peter Van Houten
Snail Mail: 7225 SW 160th
Beaverton, OR 97007
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City