If you think about it, labor unions are a lot like Scouting
units. Both consist of a group of similarly minded people who are all working
toward a common goal.
That explains why thousands of Scout leaders are also union
members. Scouting honors this dual role with the George Meany Award, given by the AFL-CIO’s central labor council
and by each AFL-CIO state federation.
So who was George Meany? He was president of the AFL
(American Federation of Labor) from 1952 to 1955 and then remained president
when the AFL merged with the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) in
He thought that free trade unions and the labor movement
were important components of the fabric of America—much like Scouting.
The award is meant to honor union members—men and women—who
make contributions to their community through the BSA. That involvement can
take on a number of forms. Union members could help advance the use of the
American Labor merit badge, form Scout units that are chartered to unions or
labor groups, and bring Scouting and labor unions together for the betterment
of the community.
Contact your local council for information on how to apply
for the award or find more information here.