Several Scouts were recognized during the Scouters of Pine Tree District's annual volunteer and Eagle Scout recognition dinner last weekend.
"For 58 years the Brainerd Elks have sponsored our recognition dinner, giving us the opportunity to recognize the contributions of our dedicated adults and the accomplishments of our Eagle Scouts," said Loren Meinke, Pine Tree district commissioner, in a news release.
Several awards were presented during the event, including the District Award of Merit; Cub Scouter of the Year; Scouts BSA, Scouter of the Year; Scouter of the Year; and Friend of the Pine Tree District.
All award winners were selected from nominations submitted by volunteers and voted on by the district awards committee. Eligible recipients of the Cub Scouter of the Year award must be registered as a Cub Scout den leader or Cub Master in a Pine Tree Cub Scout pack.
Phil Johnson, of Pack 74, and Ryan Oldakowski, of Pack 39 both won Cub Scouter of the Year awards this year. Johnson serves as a Webelos den leader for Pack 74 chartered by First Lutheran Church of Brainerd, and Oldakowski serves as a Webelos den leader for Pack 39 chartered by the Pierz Lions Club.
Eligible recipients of the Scouts BSA, Scouter of the Year award must be registered as a leader in a Scouts BSA troop as either a scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster. This award went to Shawn Middagh, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 43 chartered by Trinity Lutheran Church, Brainerd.
Eligible recipients of the Scouter of the Year award must be registered as a committee member or other supporting role in any program of the Boy Scouts of America. This year's award went to Barb Gosch, committee chair of Pack 43.
"I was quite honestly very shocked," Gosch said in a news release. "After it had registered, I was so very touched and extremely honored to be recognized and receive such an honor. I'm so proud of our pack. We've accomplished a lot, and I have not done anything alone. Thank you to everyone who helps and volunteers."
The most prestigious award a scout district can present to a volunteer is the District Award of Merit, which can go to any registered Scouter who has given noteworthy service to youths through and outside of Scouting. The district may present one award for every 25 units or portion thereof. Consideration is given to the Scouter's position and the opportunities to provide leadership and service to Scouting.
Karl Jackman, a district committee member, took home the grand prize.
"Jackman has served in almost every position in Pack 74, from den leader to Cub Master, and is now also serving as a district committee member," Kim Erickson, district committee chair, said in the release. "He regularly attends district roundtable to gain insights and find ways to enhance the program the pack leadership provides to the Scouts. He recently chaired the district's klondike derby for the Scouts BSA level Scouts and has also agreed to serve as a unit commissioner. Karl is a model leader who seeks knowledge and then shares that knowledge with others. His list of trainings is pages long, and he continues to seek more to do. Our
Scouts are fortunate to have him serving as a leader in the district."
"It's an honor to receive this award, and I am thankful for all of the Scouts and scout parents for making Scouting so enjoyable and rewarding," Jackman said. "Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a shy Cub Scout develop and evolve into a Scouts BSA member. I've seen how my own children have grown in this program and all of the fun we have together because of Scouting."
Area legislators and members of the Brainerd Elks Club attended the event to help recognize youth members who attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Reps. Josh Heintzeman, Dale Lueck and John Poston, along with Sen. Carrie Ruud were there to celebrate the occasion.
"It is my honor to join my fellow representatives in honoring these young people on their accomplishment of earning the rank of Eagle Scout," Heintzeman stated in the release. "These Scouts have overcome challenges, shown perseverance and dedication to reach this milestone in their lives. The men and women of the Minnesota House congratulate them and look forward to their future accomplishments."
For the second year the district leadership presented a new award known as the "Friend of the Pine Tree District" and presented it to the Brainerd Dispatch. This honor is presented to an unregistered individual, individuals or organization in support of the mission and values of the Boy Scouts of America.