I’m a firm believer in the importance of rewarding and recognizing our staff, volunteers and Scouts who go above and beyond to represent Scouting well and advance our movement.
That’s why I was honored yesterday to present four National Service Center employees with the Silver Benchmark Award at the National Staff meeting. The honorees were nominated by their peers as part of the Scouting Honors employee recognition program for the important work they do in partnership with volunteers across the country. These four men and women have exceeded their normal job responsibilities to help strengthen Scouting and the way we deliver our life-changing programs to America’s youth, and I am pleased to present them to you below:
- Eva Barfi from the Information Delivery Group was recognized in the “Think and Act in the Greater Interest of the BSA” category for her work assisting councils with Affordable Care Act compliance in 2015. Her diligence helped councils avoid any possible fines they might face due to these complex healthcare requirements. Because of her efforts, councils were able to use those funds to bring new adventures to their units.
- Janice Downey with our Strategic Innovation team received honors in the “Impact Youth as One Family” category for her work digitizing the delivery of the Scouting program experience, helping today’s youth and volunteers access Scouting information through resources like the digital Boy Scout Handbook and Cyber Chip, an online portal to age-specific Scouting resources.
- Gary Hartley, director of community and government relations for The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, was honored in the “Think and Act in the Greater Interest of the BSA.” Gary’s efforts resulted in a positive outcome to the West Virginia ballot initiative in support of the launch of The Summit, the fourth High Adventure Base for our Scouts.
- Greg Nagle of the Information Delivery Group was recognized in the “Think and Act in the Greater Interest of the BSA” category for his work to improve tracking of Youth Protection Training (YPT) records. His new tracking system increased YPT training by 671 leaders at the Trapper Trails Council and helped boost overall trained leader headcounts.
Congratulations again, Eva, Janice, Gary and Greg, and thank you for everything you do in support of our organization. Scouting is strengthened by your efforts and the efforts of so many individuals like you who work hard every day to make sure our programs are reaching and benefiting more and more young people. As staff members, we are often reluctant to accept public recognition. Our volunteers, who deliver the Scouting program to young people without expectation of reward, strictly out of an altruistic spirit of giving, are our true heroes. But sometimes, it is important to note our staff enthusiasm and passion for working to make the Scouting program the best it can possibly be for the young people whose lives are impacted each and every day.
I intend to use this forum to recognize more deserving people like you going forward. I hope our councils will do the same, honoring the individuals and teams at the local level who regularly rise to the occasion to help our movement succeed and grow. Please join me in fostering a culture of recognition for the people who make Scouting great. Great stories of volunteer and staff “extra-mile” efforts happen every day and while we can’t publish them all, if you have some stellar success to recognize, please send those stories my way. We’ll highlight a few, and hopefully, we’ll all continue to be inspired by the commitment and dedication our teams have to taking Scouting to new heights.