This year’s Pony Express Council Recognition Dinner took place April 5, 2014 at Grace Evangelical Church in St. Joseph, Mo. The Council Dinner is a time to recognize volunteers across the districts and award the council’s highest award, the Silver Beaver, to those deserving recipients.
The evening opened at 5 p.m. with a social hour for guests as well as the Annual Heritage Society Reception. After all the guests arrived, greeted each other, and found their spots for dinner, there was only one thing that seemed logical to do: eat dinner! Dinner was a generous portion of Chicken Parmesan, twice-baked potatoes, green bean casserole and for dessert, peanut butter and fudge parfait.
After dinner, the guests were treated to the evening program portion of the night. The program started with Event Chairman Jim Wheeler introducing the emcee, Clark Hampton. Clark then introduced Scout Executive Alan Franks and Council President Nick Robb. All three gentlemen gave their remarks of wisdom and excitement for Scouting in the Pony Express Council.
The awards quickly got underway with recognition of the newest members of the James E. West Fellowship. These gentlemen had also been given honors at the previously mentioned Heritage Society Reception. Each District was then presented with their Key 3 Journey to Excellence Awards. All districts received high marks and were noted by Franks as being successful in many areas including, “membership growth, financial stewardship, trained quality leaders, and continued focus on program.”
Congratulations to the many volunteers at all levels of the Pony Express Council for your outstanding service to Scouting in 2013!
The time of the night to present the coveted Silver Beaver Awards had arrived with much anticipation and excitement. If you’re not familiar with how this award is presentations, each recipient is introduced by another distinguished member of their District. The presentation process is the first chance at actually knowing who it is that will receive the award. Before revealing the award recipient’s name, the presenter tells of all the service, dedication, and leadership that this person has provided to the Pony Express Council over the years. As this list is quite long in each and every case, we have listed just a few brief notes below with each recipient.
First to receive the honor was Mabel Blanchard of the Crossed Arrows District. Presented by Gaylon Whitmer, Mabel is well known around the Council and Crossed Arrows District through her enthusiastic involvement in the Cub Program. Mabel has also received the District Award of Merit and served in many leadership positions at various levels in the Council. Along side her son Zach, an Eagle Scout, Mabel has enjoyed multiple summers on the Camp Geiger Staff.
Next to the podium was Richard Miller of the Kanza District. Richard proudly presented the Silver Beaver honor to long time Unit and District Leader Paul Becker. Along with his involvement and leadership through Wood Badge and the White Coup Society, Paul has also received the District Award of Merit. Paul became involved in Scouting with his sons, Matt and Andrew, who are both Eagle Scouts, Keepers of the Sacred Bundle, and long time Camp Staff Members.
The third Silver Beaver Recipient of the night was Dave Bengston of the Ma-Has-Kah District. Dave received the District Award of Merit in 2001, and has served as the Friends of Scouting District Chairman. Kevin Bailey had the honor of presenting Dave and proudly telling the crowd, “in the entire time that I’ve known him, he’s worked tirelessly to make a difference in his community, been a friend to all that know him, and has been an advocate for both youth and adults alike.” Well put, Kevin.
Last called to the stage to present a new Silver Beaver Recipient was Ken Baker, Ceremonial Chief Little Pack Rock. Ken was pleased to present his good friend and fellow Chieftain, Darrell R. Jones. After 27 years on the Tribal Council, Medicine Man Short Fire became Chieftain Short Fire in 2013. An Eagle Scout, Tapper, and Silver Coup Recipient, Darrell has also spent time as the Robidoux District Dance Director, Make Talk Now Executive Producer, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Inner Circle Trade Company Merchandising Committee.
Congratulations and thank you to all the new Silver Beaver Recipients for your outstanding dedication, service and leadership to Scouting and the Pony Express Council!