Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Adult Recognition and Adwards
Re: Adult Recognition and Adwards
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Thu, 5 Aug 1999 19:56:14 -0500
Your District is silly!! I'll explain why in a minute. First, your question
to all of us was:
>I am wondering how other districts treat adult recognition. Are
>there any awards or patches presented at the district level to
>volunteers and leaders generally?
Adult recognition is divided into four "parts":
*unit participation awards, like position emblems and certificates. This is
to recognize the Scouter that volunteered over the past year to serve a
particular unit and to become trained in that position. Mostly, these are
done at the unit level with a mention during the District's dinner.
*training participation awards, like training awards and keys, plaques for
training accomphishments and certificates. These are likewise best made
during the unit's award ceremonies...but many District "rolls up" all of the
adult training awards and presents either a summary or ask all whom have
received a particular training award to stand during the District dinner.
The same goes with other training awards less Wood Badge.
*service awards, which may be the Silver Beaver, District Award of Merit,
other service awards, Scoutmaster or Venturing Leader Award of Merit,
commissioner service awards, and other service awards. Veterans awards are
included in this. These are frequently presented during the District dinner
and may be held toward the end of the program to heighten its importance.
*Council and District-specific awards, which your District chose to "remove"
because of some stupidity on the part of your District's Committee. OF
COURSE ANYTHING WHICH RECEIVES THE APPROVAL OF YOUR COUNCIL SCOUT EXECUTIVE
MAY BE PRESENTED to volunteers in your District or Council. Where is that
in writing?? I refer you to the BSA's Insignia (Control) Guide:
(page 2) "Local Councils are authorized to adopt special badges and insignia
as awards for particular purposes in harmony with national policies and to
permit their use upon the official uniform in accordance with the Rules and
Regulations of the Corporation, but such awards must be approved as to
purpose and design by the Corporation in advance."
(In 1992, the BSA granted Council Scout Executives the right to approve such
local Council insignia without having to send it to the BSA's National
Uniform and Insignia Committee as a way to streamline the process of getting
such localized patches, awards and certificates approved. Councils have the
obligation of sending two copies of any such badge, device or emblem to the
BSA's Uniform and Insignia Committee for historical and tracking purposes,
and they reserve the right to refuse to allow local Council awards to be
worn if in the opinion of the Committee the insignia is not suitable for usage)
(The background to this was that during 1992, many local Councils sent
prototypes of Jamboree Shoulder Patches and others insignia to National,
completely overwhelming the Committee and the two BSA staffers managing that
committee....hence, the approval to do it locally but leave the National
committee the right of last refusal. It has worked out well; badges which
used to take several weeks to get approved in time for critical programs are
now approved, purchased and made and then distributed in about half the
time...and very seldom has an item been turned down by the National Insignia
and Uniform Committee if a Council Scout Executive approved it for
wear....most times, the Council Executives are more strict than the National
folk would be!)
(and yes, as soon as I get back to the States, I'll add this to the
Unofficial Uniform and Insignia site because it comes up a lot!!)
Most Councils and their Districts present special "Unit Leader of the Year"
and "Commissioner of the Year" and several other awards, providing either a
certificate, a plaque or some special uniform emblem or award. As long as
the Council has approved such awards in advance, there should be NO PROBLEM
with presenting them or wearing them in your Council or any other Council.
Over the years, I've been honored with several local Council awards which
I've worn with pride when visiting with that Council or those few times I
take a "formal photo." They mean a lot because they are NOT "national
awards" but rather something special that *that particular Council" or
District has designed and created to recognize special acheivements.
(I'll give you another reason why it's important to present those awards:
because it gives even more special meaning to the District Award of Merit
and the Silver Beaver Award!)
> Is there any awards or recognitions that are given on a troop or pack >basis?
Of course there are! In addition to the Quality Unit Awards, there's also
the Summertime Pack Award, the National Camping Award, and the (Exploring)
Ventuing Community Service Award. There's also several other unit awards
which can be presented during the District's annual dinner. And don't
forget the Friends of Scouting/SME plaques and streamers.
Some Councils also have created special "Five Star", "All Star", or "Super
Unit" awards which come complete with a patch for the unit's flag, patches
for each Scout or Venturer, and patches, hats or even jackets for the adult
Other Districts have taken the fun approach toward recognizing Scouters with
awards specially created with care to recognize "spark plugs" of the Troop,
"diamonds" and "rubies", and "Key Scouters" at the unit and District levels.
>Last year, these awards were unilaterally abolished by the District
>Committee on several grounds including that these awards were not
>proper scouting awards and were not approved by National. This has
>cause a lot of hard feelings among some in the District.
That's why I say your District's being silly, Kyle...because if someone
would have taken the time to actually CALL the Council Scout Executive in
your Council and to LOOK in the Insignia Guide, you would have found the
basis for those awards. Your Scout Executive is aware of the policies
dealing with special awards and could give you an answer right then and there...
An award doesn't have to appear in a publication to be awarded....there are
many awards which are NOT illustrated in the Insignia Guide which are
available to Scouters....and to Scouts for that matter.
>The District's annual award dinner now consists of just three awards >(the
District Award of Merit, the Family of the Year and Outstanding
>Commissioner) and there are no rewards either decided at the troop or
>pack level or other recognitions generally awarded to the vast
>majority of the volunteers or leaders.
The "Family of the Year" and "Outstanding Commissioner" aren't "official
Scouting awards, " Kyle...how are they justifying those???
It sounds to me like a group of Scouters in your District decided for
everyone that "hey, we've already gotten those things...we really don't need
them anymore, and we'll just make the program go that much faster next year!!"
>One of the justifications for discontinuing the prior awards was that
>such awards were not sanctioned by the National office.
They don't have to. They have to be approved by your Council, though.
>Is there any National policy on adult recognition by a district? Are
>there any restrictions on the ability of a district to award or recognize
>leaders and volunteers?
Again, the ONLY restrictions are that any awards granted on behalf of a
local Council (Districts are part of the local Council!) are approved in
advance by the local Council's Scout Executive. He and he alone makes the
final decision on what insignia, devices, awards, plaques and certificates
are to be presented to volunteers and members residing in his or her
Council. They do not have to be approved by National, but I don't know of a
single Scout Executive that hasn't sent copies or samples of the awards they
approve along with requirements or guidelines for presentation of those
awards to National.
Believe me, if National disapproved the wearing or awarding of any award,
your Council's Scout Executive would know and would be sharing it with you
and others in your Council.
They were being silly, your District. They didn't use their resources.
Hope this helps out, Kyle!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
APO Miami, AA 34042 (Soto Cano AB, Honduras)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
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