Every Troop has its traditions, customs, and special awards and recognition. I thought I would share with you a special award that our Troop does every year. This is my favorite award of the year and I take a great deal of pleasure in presenting this at our Court of Honor after Summer camp.
We call it the “Bobby Walker Award”. It is named after a Scout that used to be in our Troop. Now without going into to much detail on Bobby, lets just say that Bobby had a hard knock life. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a truly hard knock life… ok then now you get it. Bobby was brought to us by a sponsor from an organization in Portland. They were looking for some “other experiences” for Bobby to see and do. Well, much to everyone’s surprise Bobby took to Scouting like he was Baden-Powell son. He loved everything about it. He had a uniform, he had friends, he loved to camp and hang out with his new buddies, but most of all.. He LOVED Summer camp! When we arrived at Summer camp, Bobby fully immersed his whole being into the camp. He would work merit badges, spend lots of time at the water front (he learned to swim at summer camp), he loved the camp fires, the songs and skits, well… just everything that summer camp is supposed to be. The week at summer camp for Babby Walker was like a week in heaven.
After one particular summer camp I was so moved by watching Bobby over the week that we (the ASMs and I) decided to give him a special award. So I purchased one of those Boy Scout memorabilia boxes from the Scout shop and we presented it to him at the Court of Honor. We called it the Spirit of Summer camp award that year.
The next year Bobby had to leave our Troop. There was no good byes or reasons why, his sponsor just showed up without him one meeting night and with a tear in his eye told me that Bobby was “moving on”. I never asked any more about it, but it saddened me.
So the next year at camp the Troop and I decided that the award would be called the Bobby Walker award. Awarded to the Scout that demonstrated the best of what Summer camp is all about. To the Scout that immersed himself into the camp. Each year we give a Scout memorabilia box to the most deserving Scout as voted by the Assistant Scoutmasters and I.
This has become a great tradition in our Troop and each year the Scouts look forward to seeing who gets the Bobby Walker award. It is also a great opportunity to share the story with the Scouts to remind them that they are the lucky ones. I’ll do a post on that another time.
So what are some of the traditions and special recognitions of your Troop. Leave them in the comments section.
Have a Great Scouting Day!