Re: Adult Recognitions
Jack Weinmann (aa855@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Sat, 3 Jun 1995 00:55:05 -0400
As a former District Award of Merit Nominating Committee Chairperson I felt
I should add my observations here.
In my council, Greater Cleveland Council, we have made every effort to
assure that an Award of Merit recipient is chosen on his/her
accomplishments REGARDLESS of where they are registered. We attempt to
issue at least as many to UNIT people as we do to the district Scouters.
One of the key issues that I became aware of was HOW the award nomination
We had over 30 nominations that were submitted with a limit of 5 that we
could award. Clearly this was not an easy task to pick 5 people from this
list. They were ALL excellent choices! To top it all off, there were many
Scouters that were NOT nominated that would also have been fantastic
Some of the Scouters that received the awards that year were not people
that I knew much about. They were very qualified and deserving of the
award, I simply did not KNOW them! This was primarily because I have spent
all of my 13 years in the Cub Scout program with only a brief few years in
Boy Scouting when my sons were active (and that was limited to our own
troop). The people that were unknown to me were those that were in the Boy
Scouting side of the program. It was good that I chose half of my
committee from the Boy Scout side and half from the Cub Scout side, as each
group could spend a little time telling the others a little more about the
It is here that the nominating form plays a key role. If it is written
very briefly, with little or no specific information, the nominee has a
slim chance of receiving the award. If, however, the form goes into
greater detail about many of the excellent things this person has done,
both in Scouting, and IN OTHER AREAS, they have an excellent chance of
receiving the award. In one case a Scouter that was known to me was
nominated and there was a fair amount of information on the form, but there
were MANY items that were not listed. One of these items is that he has
"adopted" a 90+ year-old neighbor and takes him to the doctor, shopping,
has his pack do clean-up around the man's house, etc... What an example of
one of the things that should earn the AOM!
Another recipient makes house calls on her elderly neighbors to see that
they are taking their medications and that they are eating and in
reasonably good health and spirit. Without that information it is very
difficult to pick one nominee from another. They have all done their share
in the Scouting positions, but it is the EXTRA involvement in other areas
that really makes a difference.
It should be STRESSED that as much information as possible should be put on
the nomination form to give the committee a chance at picking the most
qualified recipients. Spend some time on it and ask the person's spouse,
fellow unit members, clergy, etc to get the best picture of that person on
paper. After all, it IS the award of MERIT and we owe it to the person
nominated to give a CLEAR and COMPLETE description of their special
The other problem that I saw as the chairperson is that many of the
long-time Scouters are automatically ASSUMED to have received the award
already! This is a major reason that many aren't written-up as nominees.
It is a shame that this happens and it does prevent many fine, deserving
Scouters from being considered for the award.
We tell our people at Roundtables, etc, that if they aren't sure whether a
Scouter already HAS the award, PUT THEM IN ANYWAY! The committee will
check to see if they already have it, and if they do the committee will
make note that and discard the nomination. NO PROBLEM! It is only a
problem if the person gets overlooked for the award because someone THOUGHT
that they MUST already have that one!
The year that I had the honor to have presented the awards I believe only 2
of the 5 awards was to district members the other 3 were UNIT people, and
as I said before - ALL 30+ were excellent choices to begin with!!!!
Sorry about the length but I hope it helps the discussion.
Jack W. Weinmann firstname.lastname@example.org
District Member at Large Council Cub Wood Badge Coordinator
Council Cub Scout Advancement Chairperson
Merit Badge Counselor - Electricity, Electronics, Reptile and Amphibian Study
Co-sysop Scouting Center on Cleveland Freenet
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City