Virgin River Valley District of the Boy Scouts of America held their annual Leader Recognition Banquet on Thursday, Jan. 29.
Scout Leaders from the 11 units sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, leaders from Pack 8 sponsored by the Elk’s and leaders from Troop 60 sponsored by the Mesquite Resort Association attended. Mark Tichenor, District Chairman, gave special recognition to the District Award of Merit recipients Chris Allen, scoutmaster of Troop 41 Bunkerville First Ward and Ryan Toone, Scoutmaster of Troop 998 Mesquite 7th Ward. Chris has been active in the scouting program helping with the pinewood derby races and the merit badge pow wow. In the 4 1/2 years he has served as scoutmaster he has helped a lot of boys’ progress in scouting. Ryan Toone has been a merit badge counselor at summer camp and the merit badge Pow Wow, a Varsity Scout Leader, and round table commissioner. They were presented with an engraved plaque, a certificate and a knot to wear on their uniform.
The District also thanked eight leaders with a second miler award in appreciation for their great service this year in the scouting program in Virgin Valley. John Meierhoff, leader of the 11 years old of Troop 488, a round table commissioner, who is always enthusiastic and loves to build things with his scouts. Jarred Johnson, a merit badge counselor, was awarded the 2nd miler for his service in providing physicals for scouts going to summer camp. Brain Havilland has been involved in the Venture and Varsity programs and is certified to do rappelling with the scouts. Art Shaner has been a leader in scouting for 25+ years as a scoutmaster, program director for summer camp at Kolob, on the Eagle Scout Board of Review, a Unit Commissioner, and has helped many of his scouts reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Kendall Anderson attended the National Scout Jamboree and is an Eagle Scout and he has been assistant scoutmaster and Venture Crew Leader. He is very passionate about scouting but in a way that lets the boys lead. LDS Stake President Kraig Hafen and President Theron Jensen were presented with 2nd miler awards for their support of scouting in our valley. The LDS church has funded the merit badge pow wow, day camp for cub scouts including pack 8, the Eagle Scout knives and has provided physical facilities for many scout activities. Many thanks to John Felix for handcrafting the 2nd miler wood plaques. Kyle Memmott received the Scout Trainer Award, the Unit Leader Award of Merit and the Scoutmaster Key. Craig Haderlie, District Commissioner, received the Arrowhead Honor and the Commissioner’s Key Award.
Ryan Moon, Field Service Representative of the Las Vegas Area Council of BSA presented Mark Tichenor and Craig Haderlie with the Gold Award in Journey to Excellence for the district. He said there are 20,000 scouts in the Las Vegas Area Council and 425 of those live in Virgin Valley. For the 3rd year in a row the Virgin River Valley District has received the Gold Award in Journey to Excellence. This is the highest rank ever in the history of the LVAC. There are 17 criteria that gives the basis for the score. Virgin River Valley District received 2,575 points out of a possible 3,100.
Ryan Moon was the keynote speaker for the evening spoke about heroes. He said, “We honor you the leaders and parents for all your service and sacrifice in helping these boys grow in to great young men. “Scouting reaches deeply into the community in service projects and Eagle Scout projects.” He asked, “What is a hero? Is it a quarterback, a sport’s car driver, a leading soccer g scorer?” He answered the question by stating, ” A hero is a person to be admired, is outstanding and of notable qualifications.” He quoted President Spencer W. Kimball who said, “Boys need heroes. It is good to have heroes like Washington and Lincoln but boys also need heroes nearby to hike and camp with and talk man to man with.” Ryan continued, “There are a lot of heroes in this district like Keith Belnap who has worked in scouting for 65 years and continues to keep records of the leaders and re-charter the units. Kelton Chamberlain who has served in scouting for 56 years and still goes to pack meeting to represent Akela and give an inspiring arrowhead of Light Ceremony. Another hero is Roger Gessell who volunteers his time
to keep the scout store open and stocked and help with Troop 60; Petra Jones of Troop 60 who has kept those young men advancing through the ranks. It is volunteers like you that make a difference in the lives of boys in helping them learn in the scouting program. Thank you for your service and commitment to the scouting movement. ”
Three scout leaders from our district will receive the Silver Beaver Award, the highest leadership recognition presented by a Council, at the Las Vegas Area Council Silver Beaver Banquet in March. The recipients from our district are Duane Thurston, Bevan Reber, and Craig Haderlie.
There are 21 Silver Beaver Awards this year in the LVAC and three of them are from Virgin River Valley District.
The Virgin River Valley District has transferred into the Utah Parks Council and the Snow Canyon District. Paul Tikalsy Jr. will be the council’s field service representative for Virgin Valley area.