Scout Leaders were honored at the annual recognition dinner on January 25, for leaders in the Virgin River Valley District of the BSA sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mesquite Elks Club, and the Mesquite Resort Association. Chloe Lee, pack 2640, was presented with the District Award of Merit for her service to cub scouts in several positions including Cubmaster and Den Leader. She has recruited many cubs and has helped with service to youth groups in and out of scouting.
Sharon and Danny Leavitt received the 2nd miler award for their 25 years working with cub scouts as den leader, and cub master. Sharon also served as Round Table Commissioner for the district. Alex Blazzard was honored with a 2nd miler plaque for his great example in serving as Cub Scout pack leader and chartered organization representative for the 7th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Danny Allen, Asst. District Commissioner was presented with a 2nd miler plaque.
Keith Belnap, committee chairman for troop 2640 and district training chairman, was honored for his 70 years of being a registered scouter and serving the young men as scoutmaster or other positions. He was presented with a letter of gratitude from the National Office of the BSA and a bar for his uniform by Bob Gowan, Scout Executive from Snow Canyon District of Utah National Parks Council BSA.
Brent Hughes, scoutmaster for 2493 was recognized for his long service as District Activities Committee chairman and serving at the Mountain Man Rendezvous for many years.
Val Woods, Silver Beaver recipient, was recognized for his service as a Cub Scout leader, 11 years old scout leader, assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster for more than 27 years. The Silver Beaver is the highest award given to a volunteer scouter. During this time, he has also served at summer scout camps, Cub Scout days camp and as merit badge counselor.
Mark Tichenor, District Chairman, was the keynote speaker and said, “The foundation of scouting is duty to God: it is the action part of scouting. There are great teaching moments in scouting especially when scouts go on hikes and camps and things don’t go as planned – these can be teaching moments. There is no greater teaching than that which builds integrity and strength of character found in reliance on service to God. “
Duty to God is the heart of Scouting. This was emphasized when Tichenor quoted Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley on the 75th Birthday of Scouting when he said, “duty to God is the foundation that is needed by all young men.“ He quoted Lord Baden Powell, “There is no religious side to the scouting movement. The whole of it based on religion, that is the realization and service of God.” Tichenor continued, “Scouting is not merely outdoor activities; not a camping club. It is a character university. Our responsibility is to help a new generation of young men to know their duty and act on it.”
Brent Hughes presented Mark with a handmade obsidian knife in appreciation for his service as the district chairman for six years.
Roger Gessell was presented with a training bar by Mark Tichenor for training him and for taking such effort and time to run the scout store where Roger supplies badges and awards in a timely manner to scout leaders. Jon Meierhoff received the Scout Trainer Award, David West the Cubmaster Key and Gary Hillius received the Scout Training Award.
Pres. Danny Allen, a member of LDS Mesquite Stake presidency, spoke to the leaders about being “forever strong.” Allen said, “I remember my scout leaders with great gratitude for all they taught me and you can make a difference in the lives of the young men in your unit and they will remember those special times and lessons with you, their scout leaders, and then they will be “forever strong.