Local scout leader earns the silver award

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By Special to the Monitor

The Great Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored local resident Sandy Jennings with the council-level distinguish service award, the Silver Beaver, at the annual recognition event held Feb. 21 in Albuquerque.

The Silver Beaver is the highest award that can be presented by a local council for noteworthy service of an exceptional character to youth within the council.

The award recognizes those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it.

A 20-year veteran scouter, Jennings has continued to give leadership to both the pack and troop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while also providing inspiration, organization and dynamic enthusiasm for a variety of district programs.

In her fifth year as Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Jennings has provided worthwhile programs and has gone out of her way to provide mentorship and program ideas to packs in the more remote parts of the district that are unable to attend most roundtables.

She has chaired district activities such as Pinewood Derbies and Pushmobile Races and has also organized Scout participation in local parades and patriotic holiday observances.

As a den leader herself, she holds den activities throughout the year and recruits boys who might otherwise not have the chance to join Cub Scouts.

Jennings has excelled as a Day Camp Director, going into her seventh year this summer, enthusiastically promoting camp by visiting pack meetings in the costume for the camp theme and increasing attendance to 170 boys in 2008.

“Sandy makes things happened in Cub Scouting and makes them happen in a wild and crazy way,” said Lowell Christensen, Northern New Mexico District chairman.

“I stopped by Cub Scout Day Camp last year and there were two teams of scouts flying high above in the air playing Quidditch, which on closer inspection was actually two teams of scouts playing something like soccer in the dirt,” he said. “There was Sandy in her element, having fun and making sure everyone there was having fun — non-stop for several days. She has been working her magic for years.”

Established in 1931, the Silver Beaver Award is presented for distinguished service to young people within a BSA local council. More than 50,000 recognitions have been conferred nationwide to date.